Resources & Tips For Dentists


The Key to Having a Successful Dental Practice? Don’t Be a Dentist.

Articles, Practice Life

A lot of times, when people come to me for suggestions on how to run their practice more effectively, efficiently, or more profitably, I find that it’s their personal and emotional involvement that’s getting in the way of their success.

The problem is that we, as dentists, are technicians. When we think about opening our own dental practice, we think we’re going to be able to work the way we want to work, use the materials we want to use, and implement the techniques that appeal to us—we get real technical about it. I think Michael Gerber said it the best in his book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. In this book, he explains why the majority of small businesses fail—and what we can do to avoid failing. He describes three different business owner personalities relevant for understanding the “Entrepreneurial Myth”—the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.

Typically, one of these personalities is dominant in a founder, and I believe that the technician is especially dominant in dentists. Are you leaving a hat on the rack? The first thing you must do as a dental practice owner is realize that you’re wearing several different hats. For one, we’re the confidant for our patients— they’ll tell us some of their most intimate problems.

On the other hand, we’re mentors trying to lead and train our teams and get them to perform at a level that they didn’t know they could possibly perform at. But one hat that usually remains on the hat rack—that we forget to put on ourselves sometimes—is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) hat. The CEO hat is when you look at the organization—at the business as a whole—as an entire machine rather than just narrowing down on one of the moving parts. I like to think of it as the 500-foot view: You take a step away from the practice and get a look at everything that’s going on. Think facts, not feelings. When I was running a dental practice, I had one “admin day” every week. I would literally get away from the practice and remotely dive into the books, reports, invoices, and so on. I did this so that I could get that 500-foot view unemotionally. 

What do I mean by that? Well, one of the key reasons I’d separate myself from the practice was so I could examine my business without being in front of my team members. The fact is, it’s hard for us to come across issues caused by our team members without reacting emotionally. For example, if we’re running through our bills and find that a member of the team spent $900 on Impregum because it was on sale, we might get upset in the moment and tell them all about how we’ll never be able to use the Impregum before it expires. In the end, we’ll probably both feel cruddy.

Our job as a CEO is to take that step back, get away from the team, look at the problems logically, and train yourself to think facts instead of feelings. In other words, don’t be a dentist.


Current Issue

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Previous Issues

Stay Connected


Keeping Your Sanity as a Dental Professional with Mauty

Keeping Your Sanity as a Dental Professional with Mauty

If you’re a Dental Professional on social media, you’ve probably laughed, got triggered, or have been shocked by something Dr. Steven Mautner posted. But as someone who has known Dr. Mautner for many years, I like to give credit to those posts to his social media...


The rubber really hit the road in 2015, when I made a life-changing decision to enlist the services of a professional bodybuilding coach. This change in focus resulted in adopting a strict diet plan, meticulously measuring my food intake to gain muscle and lose body...

The Joy That Lies in Storytelling

The Joy That Lies in Storytelling

Dr. Gayatri Raina Patel’s journey into dentistry wasn’t one she’d initially considered. Growing up in India, regular dental visits were a rare piece of her upbringing. Gayatri’s perspective on dentistry began to shift during her time in Canada (where she moved during...

Finding Fulfillment Even If You Don’t Love Dentistry

Finding Fulfillment Even If You Don’t Love Dentistry

Dr. McMasters has built his practice based on strong principles of honesty, integrity, and compassion. He is committed to excellence and working side-by-side with patients in addressing their treatment needs, as well as helping them obtain their personal vision of...