Dealing with common issues in a practice

Dentistry is a profession with a big learning curve. Your ability to perform treatments quickly and effectively will be tested, as well as your strength in successfully managing staff, dealing with difficult patients and making business decisions.

Mistakes can happen. Here are some of the more common issues in running a practice and some ideas on dealing with them effectively.

Unhappy patients

Over the course of your career, you may have some unhappy patients. In some cases, the patient is at fault, having refused your instructions and made the procedure more difficult than it needed to be.

In other cases, you might’ve had trouble with a challenging case. While learning from these difficult situations is key, being too hard on yourself is not productive.

It’s usually best to handle an upset patient by cutting out emotions and keeping the conversation clinical. Highlight all the positive results you were able to achieve and focus on bettering future treatment solutions.

Providing direction to your team

Most employees want to be successful. They want smooth, stress-free days and to better themselves professionally. For this to happen, they need good direction. Try to avoid assuming that staff is on the same page as you. Create a written description of everyone’s job title and duties to prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.

Knowing your limits

Know your clinical limits and use your specialist network for support. As your range of skills and resources increase, you won’t need to refer as many cases and once-daunting treatments will become routine.

Understanding the value of building patient relationships

Although patients want a quality dentist, they will want a trustworthy one too. Building patient trust is more than just curing toothaches. While excellent care matters, patients are looking for an overall positive experience. A quick follow-up call in the evening to a patient who underwent a long treatment goes a long way in building patient relationships.