Dental Career

5 Reasons Why Running a Dental Practice Is Harder Than Ever

Dental Career

5 Reasons Why Running a Dental Practice Is Harder Than Ever

Community Dental Partners is here to support your career and help you enjoy life as a dentist!

If you talk to dentists who have been in the industry for a while, or even the recently retired, you might get the impression things used to be easier for dentists. And you wouldn’t be wrong! In the past, young dentists could graduate and start a practice right out of school. Or, you’d land an associate position, work for a few years, and take over when the owner retired. In recent years, running a dental practice has gotten harder than ever. But don’t get discouraged! Community Dental Partners is here to support your career and help you enjoy life as a dentist! Here are 5 challenges we can help you overcome in your practice.

#1 – Inconsistent Patient Volume

Once upon a time, people tended to stay close to home throughout their lives. They might keep the same dentist, doctor, or barber for decades. Now, Americans relocate more frequently than at any time in the past, often because of job changes. With those moves and job changes may come medical and dental insurance coverage changes. Patients also seek new practitioners frequently as they struggle to find affordable dental care. Add unprecedented global events like COVID-19 and a particularly unpredictable economy into the mix, and it’s no wonder dentists have trouble keeping a full schedule.

Dental practices have always been subject to ebbs and flow in patient volume. There will always be times when you struggle to fill gaps in your schedule, such as during summer when families may go on vacation. Beyond those predictable yearly cycles, however, the marketplace has become far more competitive than in the past. A solo dental practice may need help to carve out space in saturated markets. Without enough new or established patients coming in, you may struggle to pay the bills!

Luckily, CDP can solve this problem. Whether you’re a new dentist just trying to establish yourself or own a floundering practice, we can help. With comprehensive administrative support, we can keep your schedule full and patients returning. We employ teams of experts in dental marketing to help build you up and ensure patients know your name! 

With comprehensive administrative support, we can keep your schedule full and keep patients coming back.

#2 – Competition with Corporations

Large corporate dental entities are a huge reason for the changes in our industry in the past several years. They draw huge numbers of patients away from smaller practices. After all, high volume is the name of the game for corporate dentistry! Unfortunately, they’re also damaging the reputation of dentists as a whole. Patients often leave these practices with a bad taste because their business model relies on churning out tons of treatment and filling quotas on specific treatment types. 

It can be really difficult for small private practices to stay afloat without a corporation’s advertising budget. On top of that, those huge franchises can often present prices the little guys just can’t match. So what can you do?

As a dentist, you always have a choice of working for a corporation, DSO, or private practice. A small group practice DSO like CDP can really help level the playing field while offering superior care and a great work environment. We can help with name recognition and marketing, support you in finding the perfect location to bring in patients, and help you keep busy without burning out

#3 – Patients Expect Dentists to Do It All

In the past, a general dentist had a much more focused skill set. A DDS would perform routine care and refer out for everything else. Implants went to the periodontist, crooked teeth went to the orthodontist, and kids went to the pediatric dentist. Now, you’re expected to be a “one-stop shop,” giving patients everything they need in one place. General dentists need to know how to place implants, perform simple root canal therapy, and straighten teeth with aligners. 

While it’s great for patients to have access to these options, it leaves you constantly scrambling for more CEs and certifications. Those classes can really add up! Blurring the lines between practice types puts a strain on general dentists and takes patients away from specialists who once depended on referrals. 

Both general dentists and specialists can benefit from partnering with CDP. We help our doctors access more CEs annually by including money for those classes in your benefits package. That way, you’ll be able to expand your scope of practice in the ways that drive you without breaking the bank. We also support specialists like orthodontists and oral surgeons in the CDP family by giving them a dependable source for quality referrals and administrative support to stay busy. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats and ensures it does!

#4 – Staffing Shortages

Building a truly excellent dental team has always been a challenge. Handling hiring, firing, vetting new employees, and intervening when things get tense can be draining. Lately, the situation has gotten far worse. Since the beginning of the pandemic years ago, dentists have been reporting severe staffing problems. There are not enough hygienists or assistants out there. That means private practices can run up against stiff competition not only for patients but also for clinicians!

We’ll take the burden of HR off your hands completely, and handle interviewing potential team members for you.

Fortunately, CDP can also help with staffing issues. We’ll take the burden of HR off your hands and handle interviewing potential team members for you. We can also attract the best talent with incredible benefits packages. Dental hygienists frequently don’t expect benefits, but at CDP, they can look forward to an excellent salary plus benefits! That means you get a quality support team without the stress.

#5 – Cost of Entry Is Extremely High

Before you can even start worrying about how difficult it might be to run a dental practice, you need to have a practice first. Unfortunately, the cost of entry for our industry has become steep—sometimes prohibitive—for new dentists. Dental school tuition is higher than ever and will likely continue to rise. It’s not uncommon for new dentists to start their career with student debt over $300,000, especially if they’ve pursued the kinds of advanced certifications we discussed above to stay competitive and offer a range of services. 

The cost of becoming a dentist doesn’t stop there, however. The cost of opening your own practice can be astronomical. Equipping a dental office is expensive, especially with the latest developments in dental technology, from 3D CBCT to hard tissue lasers. Many practices feel pressure to equip an in-house lab, for which a mill alone can run in the tens of thousands. Not to mention the real estate itself, decorating, supplying, covering payroll, etc. Taking on the further burden of loans to start your practice on top of your student loan debt can make sleeping hard at night.

Fortunately, this is yet another area where CDP can significantly impact your career path. With generous starting salaries and benefits packages, we can help you overcome the financial hurdles. Our path to practice ownership helps give you a strong start with support for designing and equipping your office and getting those patients in the door.

We want to help driven dentists build long and fruitful careers so more patients can enjoy better health. That’s why we’re passionate about giving you the support you need. Dentistry can be a challenging field. But with the proper support behind you, it can be so much easier! Schedule a call with a Hiring Manager to learn more about a fantastic dental career at CDP!

Speak with a CDP Hiring Manager
Tiffany Green
Tiffany Green Director of Clinical Recruiting Community Dental Partners

A distinguished graduate of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business Operations Management and Marketing, she holds an MBA and MS from the University of Texas at Arlington, specializing in Operations Management and Human Resources.

With a rich experience spanning over a decade, Tiffany has been a trailblazer in the Human Resources realm. She has consistently made a profound impact, from talent management and system implementation to employee relations and training & development.

Presently, Tiffany serves as the Director of Clinical Recruiting at Community Dental Partners. She manages the entire life cycle of doctor recruitment, optimizing the customer journey from lead generation to lead conversion. She leads in developing and supporting CDP's innovative recruiting platform to strategically enhance brand awareness utilizing multiple strategic marketing strategies.

Nestled in Texas with her loving family—husband and three children—Tiffany finds joy in spontaneous adventures, embracing natural wellness, and savoring life in gratitude with a cup of coffee. Her enthusiasm lies in connecting doctors with opportunities that bring about tangible and fundamental changes in people's lives while radiating the passion to make the whole world smile!

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Careers with CDP

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Team Supported.

You take care of the smiles. We take care of you.

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