Dentistry Management: How to Run a Successful Dental Practice

Date Posted: 11.03.21

The gears and levers that keep your dental practice going are referred to as dentistry management. Cloud 9 Software is the leader in cloud-based practice management software for orthodontists and pediatric dentists, but regardless of your dental specialty, good practice management in dentistry is what enables you to manage priorities, meet tight deadlines, and handle the evolving needs of your patients.

How to Run a Successful Dental Practice

Why Should You Care About Dentistry Management?

A good manager is not just someone who can manage paperwork but someone with knowledge of the profession. Figuring out how to manage a dental office properly helps to:

  • Manage priorities
  • Meet tight deadlines
  • Coordinate practice staff
  • Get the most out of your team
  • Evolve to meet current patient needs

You cannot provide a great service to your patients without a positive approach to dentist management.

Remember, your dental office is ultimately a business providing a service to the community. You need to run it using the same principles as any other business.

How to Run a Dental Practice

Knowing how to run a dental office means addressing the various aspects of your practice. You must create a strategy and a set of dental best practices to deal with each area of practice management.

Shortcomings within any area of your business ultimately affect the patient experience and the quality of treatment a practice can provide.

Dentistry is a hypercompetitive part of the healthcare sector, and if you’re not meeting patient expectations, you’re guaranteed to lose business to other practices in your area.

Building your team

Building Your Team

Practices are so much more than dentists dedicated to improving a patient’s oral health. Clinical assistants, hygienists, receptionists, and accountants are just some of the staff that enables dentists to provide the best possible service.

Hiring the best is just the first step to building your team. You need a development system to help each member of your team reach their potential.

Whether it’s giving time off to attend seminars and classes or helping a new assistant in their studies to reach that next level, team building is about knowing each other’s needs and supporting them.

Another important part of your dental business is regular communication. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Regular meetings are crucial to keeping everyone in the loop.

Patient Communication

Communication with patients extends outside your surgery. Great interpersonal skills are a key part of your dental business, but dentistry management extends beyond in-person chats.

Do you have a system in place to enhance patient communication?

Whether it’s appointment reminders, maintaining sufficient information to personalize the patient experience, or anticipating their future needs, patient communication is what makes a memorable experience.

For orthodontists and pediatric dentists, Cloud 9 Software allows you to automate much of this process while providing your staff with reminders for when they need to touch base with your clientele.


The average dentist will see hundreds of patients every single month. Inefficient scheduling systems may lead to double bookings or patients not getting the quality time they need.

Practice management in dentistry requires a modern, state-of-the-art scheduling system. Cloud 9 Software provides automated scheduling to enable specialty dentists to always know the patients coming in and when they are due to see them in advance.

What’s more, Cloud 9 Software’s specialty dental practice management software can be accessed remotely. Everyone has access to the same easy-to-use dashboard so everyone can prepare to welcome the next patient.

Dentistry is a profession marked by incredibly tight deadlines. The right scheduling solution can transform your business.

Instagram marketing


Simply being open is not enough to attract new patients. Every empty appointment slot means lost revenue. Dental offices must have an online marketing strategy in place.

More and more patients are actively comparing potential dentists online. If you have no marketing strategy, you may as well not exist.

Some ideas for marketing could include:

  • Instagram photos to build strong patient-dentist relationships.
  • Videos to provide information on common dental procedures.
  • Free online and offline consultations.
  • Establishing clear, consistent brand guidelines.
  • Social media promotions to acquire more exposure.

Dentists themselves rarely have time to manage these parts of their businesses. Install a strong marketing team that can define and evolve your marketing approach.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to hire a dedicated marketing team. Every member of your team can play a role in this part of your dental business. However, everyone needs to know what they’re doing and have the same goals in mind.

Finance Management

Most dental office management tips overlook the importance of finance management. While some dentists handle their own accounts, this is far from the most efficient approach to dentist management.

Establish a system for managing invoices and maintaining records. Make sure you can easily track down patients who have yet to pay, or those who are expected to make monthly payments.

Any good dental manager will tackle two main areas of financial management within a practice:

  • Tax Issues – Dentistry means higher salaries. Most dental staff will fall into the 28% tax bracket, which can place a big burden on your practice. Practices need to ensure that they are not only tax-efficient but tax-compliant.
  • Accounts Receivable – Patients and clients with late payments need to be chased down. Establish a standard set of procedures for handling outstanding bills.

Finance management can get complicated, and unlike other business types, you cannot simply expect a freelance accountant to manage everything on your behalf.

Team Culture

Culture has become a buzzword in recent years. The culture is part of your brand and extends into every part of your practice.

A positive team culture lifts everyone up, while a negative one is toxic and makes your office a demoralizing place to work. Your practice should be a workplace that is enjoyable, with staff that are happy to be a part of the team.

Keep in mind, team cultures are not built overnight. They require months and years of careful nurturing. Think about your vision for what you want your team to be and prioritize those values.

Create a written strategy for how you’re going to incorporate those values into the areas of your day-to-day operations.

The Environment

The layout and atmosphere of your dental practice are not only important for your team but also for your patients. Many visitors suffer from dental anxiety and need to feel comfortable. Your team should feel as if their work improves their mood, rather than makes them feel oppressed.

This is especially important for the waiting room, where many of your staff members and your patients will spend most of their time. The right atmosphere will make or break your practice.

The dental office environment

Here are some ideas for creating a better environment :

  • Everything should be clean and tidy. Encourage your team to tidy up. Dental practices are healthcare environments, after all.
  • Opt for pleasant colors. Neutral colors are an excellent option, but blues and greens are proven to help people feel relaxed.
  • Make sure there’s lots of natural light to avoid your practice feeling sterile.
  • Avoid too many open windows so patients don’t feel as if they are on display.
  • Provide entertainment to keep patients busy while they’re waiting such as magazines or television.
  • Try to make your waiting room feel homey, rather than clinical.
  • Offer comfortable seating. Comfortable patients are less likely to complain if they’re waiting a long time.

Modern dental practices are designed to be comfortable and relaxing. If your dental office feels clinical then it’s time to make a change.

Patient Confidentiality

All areas of the healthcare sector must conform to strict patient confidentiality rules. Dentistry is no different.

Good dentistry management means auditing the systems you have in place to ensure compliance with confidentiality rules. Remember, your practice is carrying huge amounts of confidential data.

In the event of a breach, your practice could be liable to severe regulatory fines and private lawsuits. The resulting financial turmoil could number in the millions, particularly if you run a practice.

Here are some of the ways you can ensure that your practice meets the standards of HIPAA:

  • Password-protected documents
  • Locked filing cabinets
  • Anti-virus systems in place
  • Limit access to computers
  • Restrict employee access to sensitive files

It can be difficult for dentists to get this part of their businesses right. This is why a dental manager is essential, as they can point you in the right direction and ensure ongoing compliance.


Practice management in dentistry extends into every part of your business. This is before a dentist reaches the stage of actually treating patients. Even the best dental professionals require an efficient approach to management, or their practices will grind to a halt.

Embracing technology can make running your practice easier. From scheduling patient appointments to managing outstanding invoices, Cloud 9 Software is the number one cloud-based management platform for orthodontic and pediatric dentistry specialty practices across the nation.

If you’re an orthodontist or pediatric dentist, revolutionize your specialty dental practice and provide your patients with a better experience with Cloud 9 Software. To learn more about how it works, request your free demo now.