Skip to main content

5 basics of practice management

A dentist in scrubs sitting in an exam room looking at a tablet.

Running a successful practice takes more than being a great dentist. Here are five areas of successful practice management to master when you aren’t treating patients in your chair.

1. Take care of your finances

As a practice owner you will need to manage cash flow, control overhead, set and follow a budget and learn to forecast future production. You will also need to stay organized and informed so that you don’t fall behind on paying your bills.

2. People management

Your team looks up to you to lead the way, not just for the practice but also for their individual careers. You need a clear vision for your practice and the ability to communicate that vision clearly and consistently. You will need to hone a wide range of skills. If this is your first proper role as a manager in your career, don’t wing it. Take the time to develop the people skills you need to do it right.

3. Marketing and branding

Some new practice owners are disappointed to learn being a great dentist isn’t good enough when it comes to bringing in new patients. Marketing your practice and establishing your brand is an ongoing task that must be given sufficient time and resources to keep a flow of new appointments coming into the office.

4. Regulatory compliance

HIPPA and OSHA are just the beginning. From patient records to billing, licensing and more, the ultimate responsibility for making sure your practice stays in compliance rests on your shoulders.

5. Equipment and inventory

Your practice cannot operate without the proper tools and supplies. While ordering and day-to-day inventory management can be delegated, you will be responsible for making the final decision on equipment upgrades, implementation of new technology, and managing business relationships and contracts with vendors and suppliers. Making smart decisions on when and how to invest in improving your practice can make a real impact on your bottom line and your competitiveness in the local market.