The business of dentistry

For a number of years, I have had the privilege of being a monthly contributor to Dental Economics. This forum has allowed me to provide business development education to the dental community. Each year, I receive management questions from all over the world, most of which relate to the business of dentistry.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, MBA

For a number of years, I have had the privilege of being a monthly contributor to Dental Economics. This forum has allowed me to provide business development education to the dental community. Each year, I receive management questions from all over the world, most of which relate to the business of dentistry. These dentists are often asking specific questions regarding the implementation of business systems into their practices. This is one of the primary reasons that I decided to focus a series of my columns in Dental Economics on this subject.

As the CEO of Levin Group (Baltimore, MD), we search for the best methods to help clients establish business goals. Our company is finding that dentists are becoming more sophisticated about practice management. Dentists are also interested in higher level information from authors and consultants to help them fully understand the best way to manage and operate their practices. As a dentist, I can certainly understand this desire. The complexity of managing a practice, acting as a daily leader, and producing dentistry creates an intricate web that can be both confusing and chaotic.

It has been my experience that the fundamental purpose of the business of dentistry is to create and help customers, involving several key component systems that most dentists want to achieve.

A practice must combine several areas in order to be effective in business development and expansion. At Levin Group, we have found that most dentists incorporate four concepts routinely into their vision for their practices:

1. Provide excellent, high-quality care to all patients. Patients are the end consumers. Dentists want to provide excellence to every patient who enters the practice.

2. Achieve desired income to increase outstanding quality of life. Dentists receive significant education and training. They want and deserve to be financially comfortable as a result of their efforts. Quality of life is important.

3. Enjoy each day in the practice. As professionals, dentists sincerely want to enjoy their careers and find them personally and emotionally rewarding.

4. Maintain positive growth, excitement, enthusiasm, and fun throughout entire career. Dentists want to be challenged and have the ability to offer patients new and improved techniques and solutions over the course of their careers.

This vision has led to a series of goals that we believe almost any practice can achieve. They will serve as the objective for this series of columns on developing the business side of your practice. These goals are:

  • Fee-for-service practice.
  • Excellent annual profit.
  • Increase 20-year revenues by $6 million-$9 million.
  • Decrease stress.
  • Doctor and team have fun-daily.
  • Doctor achieves financial independence at early age.
  • Team has opportunities for growth.
  • Doctor and team achieve and maintain inner peace - professionally and personally.

Understanding the business of dentistry is absolutely necessary for all dentists who want to realize the goals defined by their vision statements.

Almost every dentist I meet wants to achieve these or similar goals. This is certainly the educational foundation of my work, and that of the Levin Group. My goal will be to include at least two to three highly practical strategies in each column of this series - which you can implement almost immediately into your practice - and to build on this information over time.

I would like to thank Dr. Joe Blaes, Dental Economics, and you, the readers, for the opportunity to provide business techniques that can help you reach the pinnacle of your practice.


Roger P. Levin, DDS, MBA, president and CEO of The Levin Group and the Levin Advanced Learning Institute, provides worldwide leadership in dental management for general dentists and specialists. Contact The Levin Group at (410) 654-1234.

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