As a new or prospective Associate Dentist, give yourself the best chance of success by educating yourself on the characteristics, skills and professionalism practice owners seek. Your role in the dental practice will span both your technical capabilities as well as your business acumen. Building your business development skills will set you apart from other dentists and will mean you are ready to hit the ground running upon commencement at a new practice. Let’s explore key competencies that will serve you and your career well.
As an Associate Dentist, your values and that of the owner should closely align, particularly when it comes to patient communication. As the team member that spends the most time with the patient, it’s important that you effectively communicate in a way that is both professional and approachable. As the knowledge source for your patient, building trust will allow you to guide them to the best course of treatment to ensure their oral and overall health and wellbeing. As we’re sure you’re aware, not every patient will feel comfortable when visiting a dentist as they may be experiencing pain or have past trauma from previous treatment. It is therefore your responsibility to make them feel at ease, answer their questions with patience, discuss their options and provide them with reassurance when needed. These qualities will go a long way in setting a positive first impression and will put you in a good position to build a long-term relationship with your patients.
Along with strong dental and treatment expertise, as an Associate Dentist, part of your role in the success of the Dental Practice is to not only service, but to also grow the database. As the customer facing role in the business, you will have a large impact on the success and growth of the practice. Along with your interpersonal skills and technical competencies, your attention to detail, thirst for knowledge and mindset will set you apart.
A positive way to impact the growth of the practice is to prioritise your own growth as well. By keeping yourself up to date with the latest technological advancements and treatment developments in the industry, your practice will be able to offer the latest innovative procedures to attract patients. It’s important to remember that along with finding new patients, servicing your existing database well will maximise practice profits. Your problem-solving skills when it comes to recommending the best treatment approach is an essential trait to ensuring patients feel heard, understood and taken care of.
Dental Practice Development
Good business sense as an Associate Dentist is a skill that will truly set you apart, show up as an engaged member of the team and constantly strive to do your best for the success of both your patients and the practice. Develop your professional career by sharing any ideas you have that could add value to the practice and your patient relationships. By providing your insight, even if you have a different perspective to the practice owner, your willingness to express your point of view will be appreciated. Just respect the owner’s decision… Whatever that may be.
Fundamental to the practice’s development is your ability to both attract new patients and to retain the current patients. With the age of social media, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok can be a useful communication mode to educate your audience and potential client base on the importance of regular dental check-ups and other information about their oral and overall health. By developing your authority as an industry leader and your personal brand as the local go-to dentist, you will find that you will organically attract new patients. This combined with great reviews and referrals by your existing patient base as social proof will cement your success.
When it comes to the art of retaining your current patients, choose quality over quantity. If your patients feel like they are receiving your undivided attention and best care, it will be unlikely for them to seek another dentist. Retaining your clients will be a given if you pay attention to your patient’s needs, follow up on past discussions and keep them informed of potential treatment needs ahead of time where possible.
Important in understanding the quality of a patient database is to be aware of the lifetime value of a patient. This will come with time and with the help of your practice owner or principal dentist. The main ways to increase the practice’s revenue is are by seeing more patients, increasing the frequency of visits, or increasing the size of the transaction during a visit. Learning how to maximise each will be a game changer.
Associate Dentists Academy
Are you ready to future-proof your career growth and become an Academy Certified Associate Dentist? Our Associate Dentist’s Academy is a 12-month program that will support you in becoming the dentist you want to be by developing the skills and toolkit necessary to maximise patient care and earn your desired income. With 8 flexible e-learning courses that you can fit around your full-time work, access to the world’s leading dental patient communications approach has never been easier. Learn more about the Associate Dentist’s Academy here.
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