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The “magic pixie dust” to improve your practice

July 11, 2022
It turns out that the magic ingredient to make your practice better isn't magic at all—it's right there waiting for you.

A lot of dentists who we talk to are looking for the magic pixie dust that will improve their practice. What letter should they write? What software should they get? Where should they advertise? What technology should they buy? What course should they take? What consultant should they use? The list goes on and on. We really feel for some of you, especially those of you with massive student debt who have taken on even more debt with your practices.

Frankly, we are often at a loss because dentists frequently are stuck in their own minds, resistant to hearing actual solutions, and unable to even consider that the “magic” they’re looking for is really quite basic. It isn’t a “thing” you can purchase, a letter you can write, or a consultant you can hire that’s going to make it happen for you.

Remember in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy finally went home to Kansas, the Good Witch told Dorothy that she had had the ability to go home all the time, but that she would never have believed it? The same is true for the improvements you want to make to your practice. Any dentist has what it takes right now, starting today, to make these improvements. But the biggest obstacle is in their own mind.

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And the secret is…

The magic pixie dust is simple: great communication and truly excellent customer service. And it’s something you can begin immediately.

The soft skills aren’t difficult, but they take time to hone. If you’ve ever experienced real, old-world hospitality from someone, then you know it does feel like magic, in a way. You are made to feel warm and welcome. That person knows how to “visit.” They sit down with people and ask them what’s going on. And they listen with interest.

The magic is to put down the iPad and meet the patients on their level. Look them in the eye. Ask them what you can do to help them. Listen until they’re finished. Tell them all their options, then help them choose. encounter, but you need someone with these skills at your front desk and at your chairside. You need to be that kind of person yourself. Do be yourself—just be your best self.

You may be investing more time up front, but if you ever want to have your comprehensive treatment plans accepted and give your patients the best possible care, that investment is well worth your time. The magic that the pixie dust makes is that your relationships with your patients will be much more gratifying.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the July 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

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