Are Dental Consultants Bad for Dental Practices?

by Jim Du Molin

When Dental Consultants Go Wrong

The single biggest complaint from dentists who have had bad experiences with dental consultants is Scientology-influenced consultants, as I discovered in our recent dental consultant survey. Many within the dental community are unaware of the connections between the Church of Scientology and some dental consultancies.

The exact relationship between the Church of Scientology and the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) is somewhat unclear. The church insists WISE is a separate, autonomous organization devoted to the secular use of L. Ron Hubbard’s management systems. Critics insist that WISE’s true purpose is religious recruitment; in fact, WISE’s own incorporation papers state the organization “is organized under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law primarily for religious purposes.”

Sterling Management Systems is a WISE affiliate. Sterling offers consulting services to dentists and other professionals “based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard.” This management-by-statistics approach focuses on raising productivity in all areas.

There have been a number of lawsuits brought against Sterling and other WISE affiliates, generally alleging that employees of consulting clients were pressured to convert to Scientology. One anti-WISE website tells of a woman who “was employed in a medical office and told how a scientologist wanted access to patient files so he could see which ones were likely candidates for Scientology processing.”

In fact, if you look it up on Wikipedia, you’ll find that dentistry is the number-one field served by WISE consultants.

And believe me, I’ve heard about it from a number of dentists myself. “I got invited to a teaser meeting and returned the next week to experience an aggressive attempt to humiliate me into signing on to an outrageously expensive no-end-in-sight series of coaching meetings,” said an Arizona dentist. “Not only that, it would eventually involve a religious change.”

There are dozens, probably hundreds, of ways consultants can fail you – apart from interfering with your religious beliefs. Here are some red flags:


  • They don’t actually listen to you.
  • They try to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to your practice.
  • They ignore the unique aspects of your local market.
  • They don’t know enough about the logistics of running a dental practice.
  • They avoid your calls or dodge their obligations.
  • They make guarantees they can’t keep.
  • They are abrasive, demeaning or offensive.



So, how can you avoid these bad dental consultants and get straight to the good ones? By doing your due diligence.


  • Check references. You won’t believe the valuable information you can uncover with a quick internet search or a call to the right colleague.
  • Have a trial period. Anyone who demands you hand over a massive amount of money right away might be trying to take your money and run.
  • Give the program a chance to work. Only snake oil charlatans will promise you’ll see overnight results. However, the being said…
  • Don’t be afraid to start over. If you’ve picked the wrong consultant, throwing more money into the relationship won’t make it work better.



Full disclosure: I’m a dental consultant myself, and have been for more years than I’d care to remember. Now, it’s possible I’m just a little biased, but I consider myself one of the good ones. And I know there are plenty of other great dental consultants out there as well. But some of the bad ones can be so monstrously bad that they scare some dentists away from the profession as a whole.

Check out our complete survey results for dental consultant horror stories and information about bad experiences with dental consultants!

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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