In Featured Perspectives Ariana Portalatin 
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

What dentists are most focused on for the 2nd half of 2022: 4 insights

Some of the top priorities for dentists during the second half of 2022 include maintaining consistent operations, recruiting staff and improving financial performance. 

Here, four dentists share their top priorities for the rest of the year:

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.

Brett Silverman, DDS. Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry (Alpharetta, Ga.): My top priorities for the second half of the year is consistency. 

We have been beaten up since COVID. We have been pushed back and beaten up. 

Don't get me wrong. … We have had great growth but the "ease and flow" are gone. 

We have three team members remaining from pre-COVID. We have 16 [total] (yes we have added team members). We are constantly reinforcing our culture. It is training, training and more training. 

Pre-COVID, our meetings consisted of "tweaks" to make things better. Now we are still focusing on bigger picture items. I'd like to get back to the small modifications. 

[Patient wise], We have had some ebbs and flows. It seems with every "big" story we have a drop in patients. We have always had that on a smaller scale. Now it seems exaggerated. COVID, omicron, the Russian war, new variants … patients have fatigue and it shows. 

Brad Rand, DDS. Watermark Dental (Brewer, Maine): A top priority for our office is maintaining good team members.

In July, the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute reported that 93 percent of private practice dentists felt recruiting dental hygienists was either extremely challenging or very challenging. Eighty-four percent felt recruiting dental assistants was extremely challenging or very challenging. Over a third of dentists reported they were hiring for dental assistants and dental hygienists. This highlights more than ever that it's increasingly important to retain employees and to reward team members who excel. 

While wages are important in recruiting and retaining valuable team members, there are other things we do to create team unity and identity. As an employer, I find ways to recognize what team members are doing to build our brand. Sometimes it's a note or recognizing a team member during a meeting. Other times it's using our social media platforms to highlight team members. 

A couple months ago we got all our team members' cars detailed while they were at work. Last month, we took an hour and went for a scheduled walk together during office hours. These simple things that help our team bond and create our brand loyalty. 

We took a simple poll to see what was most valuable to our team. We asked whether it was more important to them to have increased flexibility with time off, opportunities to earn more or what other office perks were valuable to them. We changed some things about our scheduling to align with team members' values.

Catherine Cech, DMD. Private Practice (Manchester, Vt.): To fully staff the office!!! I am doing three [additional] jobs (dentist, hygienist, office manager and cleaning lady) and this was my year to back off. Truly even with all of my high-end technology, the patients bring me my only joy. I'm so close to closing the doors of an expensive investment and throwing away the keys.

Robert Boff, DMD. Ramsey (N.J.) Family Dental: Top priorities for our practice in the second half of 2022 include maximizing our pre-tax retirement contributions, bolstering our internet/social media footprint, and reducing accounts receivables. All three are basic business concepts that must not go unnoticed or be ignored.

We will maintain our 40-hour/four-day office operational schedule (nights and Saturday hours included), as the extra day off gives the staff a much needed break. There is no doubt this is the hardest I've needed to work in the last 10 to 15 years, including needing to deliver my own lab cases. Dental practice owners have to realize that the economic stresses we are experiencing are cyclical in nature, not terminal.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.