Four Steps to a Smart Schedule

Dental clinics work much the same as doctors in hospitals. When it comes to running a dental practice, proper scheduling is one of the most important factors to consider. Although the archaic solution to accommodating more patients daily is to stretch work hours, this is not always wise. This is because, naturally, the longer dentists and the staff work the more stressed out they become making them more proportionally impatient and generally less efficient.

1. Classify Procedures
It is necessary to group procedures together. Dentists, obviously, strive towards increasing their practice’s profitability. Different procedures have varying costs. To make it a lot easier to organize a day’s worth of appointments, it would be best to group procedures according to their income potentials. For instance, Class 1 procedures could include comprehensive exams or restorative procedures, all of which charge high fees. On the other hand, Class 2 procedures are the likes of bonding repairs and bleaching procedures which exact more modest fees.

2. Dividing Your Schedule
A dentist’s daily schedule should comprise of Class 1 and Class 2 procedures. This can be easily accomplished by having two columns in the clinic’s daily schedule. A basic rule that must be followed to maximize profitability is that there should only be one Class 2 procedure for each hour.

3. Pre-blocking Schedules
Complex dental procedures are considered as the most profitable dental gigs. Jobs that have to do with restorative and cosmetic dentistry can run for as long as four hours since these procedures often involve the removal of multiple teeth. Appointments of this kind can go for as long as four to eight hours. Because of the high income potential of these jobs, a dental clinic should know how to prioritize these appointments. One way is to reserve one appointment that is eight hours long for each month. If this pre-block schedule cannot be filled up, it can simply be opened for multiple Class 1 appointments.

4. Make Way for New Patients
New patients are like the lifeblood of any dental practice. The initial interview of any new patient is crucial in establishing rapport leading to case acceptance. Dental clinics need to choose a schedule that works well with new patients and then pre-block this schedule. Most clinics prefer to have the pre-exam early in the morning when both the dentist and the patient are still perked up. Again, if this schedule is not filled, it can simply be opened for Class 1 procedures.


Elliot Pearson writes as a specialist in Dental Marketing Solutions which includes building websites and search engine optimization.

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