Practice Revenue for Dentists Weathering Challenging Economic Times

dental practice revenue for 2011The American Dental Association just released the results for their Second Quarter Survey of Economic Confidence. Four out of ten dentists who responded to the ADA survey, indicated their net income in the second quarter was lower than in the first quarter.

According to the ADA report, dentists also projected their net income for all of 2011 would be 3.4 percent lower than in 2010.

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we decided to conduct our own second quarter survey to ask dentists if they project dental practice revenue for 2011 to be higher than 2010.

The largest percentage of The Wealthy Dentist respondents, 56%, said they expect to net more in 2011 than 2010, while 30% felt they would be making less, and 14% didn’t know just yet.

“Running about 1% over last year. Too close to call at this time,” said one general dentist.

Dentists had mixed reasons for their responses –

“The last 6 months have been much better for us. I believe the variety of services we offer (Invisalign, Sedation, Implant placement & restoration, CEREC) have allowed us to weather these challenging economic times.” (Minnesota dentist)

“We have added more revenue streams which is helping us stay ahead, like implant surgery and GBR and sinus lifts. Also periodontal surgery–taking more CE courses in order to do these procedures.” (Massachusetts dentist)

We have doubled our advertising budget. We have also increased our fees 6%. We are auditing all the systems we have in place to make sure things like collections and needed radiographs — such as every five year full mouth radiographs are taken. We are looking closely at the labs to make sure we are getting the most for our expense dollars. We are refining work descriptions so there is greater efficiency. We are having every staff member emphasize to the patients the importance of scheduling for needed work. We are also paying close attention to keeping the schedule filled to best utilize the doctor’s, hygienist’s and assistants’ time. We are projecting an increase this year in production and collections just like the past three years. You have to stay on top of these things and more.” (Colorado dentist)

“The economy isn’t affecting our practice, we have continued to grow each year since we moved to our new location in 2008.” (Kansas dentist)

“Regular dental procedures are way down. I make it up in doing specialty.” (General dentist)

“With things like Groupon, Google Offers, etc… people are definitely used to getting a deal and they are price shopping a lot… negotiation and sales skills are key now and in the future.” (Texas dentist)

“Patients make appointments for hygiene and either cancel at last minute or just outright fail to show. If I don’t see them in hygiene, I don’t see them in my chair for treatment. I estimate there is a 30-40% drop in production monthly.” (North Dakota dentist)

“It’s hard to fill the schedule, people don’t have enough $$$.” (Minnesota dentist)

“This year the economy feels like it has swung back to 2008-2009 levels. 2010 was the best year our office had experienced in the last 10 years. I think people are scared. I think they are nervous about the Presidential election and are holding their funds until they see what will happen. It’s just such an unsure time. I have had to lay one employee off and will probably lay 2 -3 more off in the coming weeks. I don’t expect things to improve until the election is over. If we don’t see a change in the office of President I am not sure things will change until we do see one.” (Kansas dentist)

The responses didn’t appear to be regional. In the survey results, dentists in the same state either said they are doing better or doing worse, although California, Ohio and Texas had the most positive responses to The Wealthy Dentist survey.

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.


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