One Dental Billing

Reduce dental practice overhead costs: start with outsourcing

No matter the size of a practice or accrued average revenue, every dental owner has the goal to reduce overhead and increase profit and savings. The best way to reduce overhead is to become more efficient, while concurrently reducing the cost of your practice. While many expenses cannot be eliminated entirely, there are strategic ways to assess and decrease overhead costs, increase profit margins, avoid fatal cash flow problems, and put a dental practice on track for retirement savings. Below you will find tips and tricks for cutting overhead to regain thousands of lost dollars – without ever sacrificing efficiency or the patient experience.
One saying has proven to be true time and time again: “You need to spend money to make money.” But there also comes a point when your expenses far outweigh your income – and that’s a recipe for disaster. According to the 2021 Dental Buyer Advocates study, the median practice overhead for 2021 was 61.9% and the average 75%. These numbers are on the high-end for the industry and business operations in general.

Control your overhead by taking action in two areas:
  • Increase production with your current resources of facility, people, and procedures.
  • Reduce expenses and control costs in all areas.
Develop your clinical efficiency

The 2010 ADA Survey of Dental Practice states you will increase your production by 26.1% with the use of two dental assistants, and by 70.1% with the use of three chairside assistants. From the consultant’s view here, that is only if you train and delegate to the letter of your current state law all expanded duties.

Dental Office Supplies

Dental office supplies are the biggest overhead costs because of the hidden costs of managing inventory. For instance, shipping and handling charges and defective or expired products are all wasted supply costs. To reduce the overhead cost of dental supplies, consolidate your purchases with as few vendors as possible, implement an inventory management system to prevent overbuying, and look for industry best pricing.

Dental Lab Fees

A dental clinic that doesn’t offer prosthetics for restorative or cosmetic dentistry is like a salon that doesn’t offer highlights. Many dental clinics have attempted to create their own in-house lab to save money on partnering with a dental lab. But, once you calculate the cost of supplies, the space used, the equipment, and the time taken away from patient care, it costs more than using a dental lab. To cut overhead costs on dental lab fees, it is in your best interest to partner with a trusted dental lab.

Go Green with Apps, Emails, and Other Digital Communications

The cost of sending out paper marketing materials can quickly add up for any sized dental practice. In order to reduce this overhead cost, run a cost analysis to see if a dental application can replace your paper communications. Dental applications can be used in conjunction with email communications to keep track of patient information, streamline scheduling efforts, automate customer appointment reminders, and a multitude of other overhead-reducing features.

Review Your Numbers Regularly

Taking the time to go over overhead costs monthly, quarterly, and yearly can help you identify trends of what may be too expensive or what may not be getting nearly enough attention. While issues or opportunities may not be immediately obvious, you will begin to understand your practice better every time you check in. It can be difficult to decipher pricing of items that you use every day, and how much these items should be costing you. Our Unified Smiles Representatives can review these costs with you and connect you with one of our partners to reduce these costs.

Understand Competitive Pricing

One way to reduce dental office overhead cost is to understand competitive pricing. The cheapest brands are not always the least expensive in the long run, though sometimes they may be more beneficial for you to invest in an item. Unified Smiles works to help find supplies and technology that will give you the most value for your money while also increasing production. Items that are noncritical could be something purchased for a lower price and it may not make a difference. However, if you need equipment that may be used to diagnose or treat a patient, it may be smarter to invest in a more expensive option. Our Unified Smiles Representatives can work with you to find the best match for your practice and your budget. We can guide you to make the right investments that will provide value to your practice.

Reach Out to Patients

Patients want scheduling and keeping appointments to be a breeze, so going above and beyond to reach out to them can make all the difference. Simple appointment reminders and check-ins can help keep their health on track and can fill up your schedule. Encouraging reviews of your practice can also help boost your reputation among those in your community. Utilizing social media and referrals will truly make all the difference with the way you are perceived in your area and could be an easy way to increase the number of patients you see. Our Unified Smiles Representative can connect you with trusted, vetted partner to assist with these goal.

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