Being a dentist is hard work. In the dental field, it takes a special blend of medical expertise and interpersonal skills to be successful. And, of course, it’s important to always continue learning as your career progresses. While we can’t tell you how to better apply a crown or extract a tooth, we go over a few things you may not have considered before. So, without further ado, here are four things every dental professional should know.
Customer Service Is Essential
A dentist’s primary job is to ensure the dental health of their patients. They’re tasked with conducting regular check-ups, diagnosing problems, filling cavities, and repairing any damaged teeth. However, as a dentist, your job doesn’t stop at fixing teeth. In order to be truly successful, you must also demonstrate excellent customer service skills.
People want to go to a dentist who is friendly, helpful, and communicative. They want a dentist who will facilitate a great experience by listening to their concerns and guiding them through any necessary procedures. In fact, some people—especially children—may be nervous or afraid when it comes to going to the dentist. Part of your job is soothing those fears and creating a kind, welcoming environment for all of your patients.
Professionalism Goes a Long Way
Like with any medical professional, a person places a lot of trust in their dentist. The patient trusts that you know what you’re doing, that you’ll keep them safe and prevent harm from coming their way. And, since dental services tend to be expensive, patients want to be treated well and be satisfied with their overall experience.
This is where professionalism comes into play. It’s important to maintain a professional demeanor in your dental practice because this helps to instill trust in your patients. You should dress appropriately, arrive on time for your appointments, and follow best practices to ensure patient safety. Maintaining a sense of professionalism will always reflect positively on your dental practice.
As a dentist, your main concerns may be conducting check-ups, filling cavities, conducting root canals, and so on. Perhaps you tend not to be so business-oriented, but instead you remain focused on your dental work. But the fact is that inventory management is a big part of running a successful dental practice. You have to make sure that you have the supplies you need to effectively tend to your patients.
Both over-ordering and under-ordering can negatively affect your dental practice. That’s why you need to set up an inventory management system. This ensures that you’ll have everything from patient bibs to dental rubber dams on hand when you need them. Consider assigning the duty of inventory management to a single person or use inventory management software to automate the process.
Cost Is a Major Concern for Patients
The cost of healthcare is a major concern in the United States, and dental work is no exception. Even with dental insurance, many patients may struggle to keep up with deductibles and other related costs. As a dentist, it’s important to be mindful of how the cost of a procedure can impact a patient’s finances.
How can you be mindful of cost? First of all, be transparent when it comes to pricey procedures. Let patients know well in advance how much a given procedure will cost, as this allows them time to save up money. You might also consider setting up financing or payment plans for certain procedures, which allows patients to pay off their dental work in installments over time.
A dental practice is always a work in progress. From customer service to inventory management to the dental work itself, there are always areas that can be improved. The important thing is to listen to your patients and continue to learn as you move forward in your dental career.