Dental Financing Important in Tough Times

In this survey, the majority of dentists said they offer their patients outside financing options.

Very few dental practices these days offer their own financing. “We’ve never offered inside financing,” wrote one prosthodontist. “We don’t want to deal with any problems, so we farm the financing out.”

Here are some other things dentists had to say:

  • “It is more difficult now for people to afford one more payment that they need to come up with the money for. In this economic climate, if it doesn’t hurt to offer financing if they want to wait.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “It really increases production and collections. Patients love the 0% financing.” (California dentist)
  • “Outside financing has been a tremendous financial boon for our practice. Relationships stay where they should be when the payment is to a 3rd party.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “We use Care Credit.” (California periodontist)
  • “We’ve never offered inside financing. Everyone I’ve talked to says DON’T DO IT!” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “We are surprised by the number of patients who are turned down by the outside agency. In most cases, we would have provided in-house arrangements.” (Ohio oral surgeon)

Read more: Dentists Prefer Outside Dental Financing,/p>

Dental Practice Embezzlement: Dentist Survey Video

Dental practice embezzlement dentist survey videoDental practice embezzlement can be a major dental management issue.

In a survey from The Wealthy Dentist, 52% of dentists who responded reported having been embezzled, while 48% say they have not been a victim of fraud.

“It happens to 95% of dental offices,” said an orthodontist. “The other 5% are ignorant, or have a spouse working the front desk.”

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss the problem of dental practice embezzlement:

“I was embezzled to the tune of over $1,000,000!” said a periodontist.

“You need to have several checks and balances to help prevent embezzlement, plus do random audits to let staff know you keep on top of checking records and books,” advised a pediatric dentist.

Has your dental office ever been embezzled? Any further thoughts on dental practice embezzlement and fraud?

Dentists: Do You Project Practice Revenue for 2011 to Be More Than 2010? (survey)

take the TWD dental survey on the cost of veneersDentists: please participate in our survey on dental practice revenue for 2011.

As part of The Wealthy Dentist dialogue on dental practice management and marketing, we offer weekly surveys and invite your participation.

In order to understand different perspectives on the dental industry, we have developed surveys to canvas a diverse group of dental practices on their view of the dental industry, what constitutes current good practice in dental marketing and quality care.

The information collected will be used to prepare articles for The Wealthy Dentist readership.

The survey should take no more than 90 seconds to complete –

If you’d like to be notified about future dental surveys, please sign up for our weekly newsletter in the right sidebar.

Dentistry’s Dismal Financial Future…?

3M: Health Care Optimism, Cosmetic Dentistry Pessimism

I’ve been telling you recently how competitive the health care marketplace has gotten. It’s so rough out there that some dentists are putting braces on sale. So what do the big dogs think of the current economic situation? Is there a silver lining?

Corporate giant 3M is finding that healthcare has remained more profitable than many of their other business sectors, accounting for about 20% of the company’s total profit. It’s the second-largest division at 3M in terms of producing revenue, and sales were actually up by 10% during the third quarter.

“Thank God we’ve got a healthcare business,” joked 3M’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick Campbell.

The company expects 2009 to be a tough year. One analyst predicts the company will see sales drop by 10%, but only anticipates a 3% reduction in their healthcare sales.

But 3M execs have singled out dentistry as an area of particular concern. They expect a significant drop in consumer demand for cosmetic dentistry and other discretionary dental expenses. (Interestingly, they expect the US dental market to be tighter than those overseas.) But since cosmetic dental products only account for about 6% of the company’s healthcare division, they hope to remain relatively insulated.

But no dental practice is as diversified as 3M. We will live and die by the dental economy…

Read more about 3M

Dental Offices Most Profitable Businesses…?

A new study released by Sageworks finds that dental offices had the highest net profit margin of any category of private business in 2008. (This may come as news to many of you whose dental practices are struggling in the current economy!) The study found dentists’ offices had a profit margin of nearly 17%.

According to the Sageworks study, these were the most profitable industries in 2008:

  1. Offices of dentists (17% net profit margin)
  2. Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services (16% net profit margin)
  3. Legal services (13% net profit margin)
  4. Offices of other health practitioners (12% net profit margin)
  5. Support activities for mining (11.9% net profit margin)
  6. Offices of physicians (11.9% net profit margin)
  7. Outpatient care centers (11.5% net profit margin)

It’s hard not to notice that half of these are related to health care. Looking at this data, a consumer might reasonably assume that health care costs have increased so that health professional can keep a healthy profit for themselves. But is that really true?

I can’t help but wonder how Sageworks compiles their data. They’re only looking at privately-held companies. Are dental offices really that profitable, or are these statistics misleading?


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