What Makes a Dental Practice Successful

If you’ve ever talked-up a business to a friend you probably said something like – “…there’s just something about that place…” That “something” involves a lot of factors. And the same applies to what makes a dental practice successful.

Success isn’t random. In fact, it requires consistent, intentional energy.

Brand First

The term, “DNA,” might be a useful analogy. A successful dental practice has a certain “DNA” or perhaps you’re more inclined to call it brand “identity.”

From patient care to patient satisfaction to patient experience there are success-drivers at the “cellular” level of every successful practice.

Your practice has a brand identity whether you give attention to it or not. It’s that unique brand identity your patients and families will reference when returning, reviewing, and referring your services.

”Being unique is all about giving your potential patients a reason to choose you over other local dentists. It doesn’t matter whether you focus on a particular speciality or you offer different dental services. Creating a unique perspective on quality dental care services has the power to net and retain many clients.” [1]

But what other qualities are needed to create a successful practice?


A Unique Environment (and Culture)

The uniqueness of your practice environment and culture help to preserve your competitive advantage. You’re likely aware that your services don’t solely determine success. But how you deliver those services in alignment with your practice culture will impact your successful outcomes.

Culture is reflected in your…

  • Personality
  • Style of leadership
  • Practice vision and values
  • Workflows and systems
  • Team management, communication, and expectations

Generally speaking, culture is how you “run” your practice.

And then there’s your environment. A unique environment is designed on the foundation of your practice culture.

Environment involves a variety of factors.

A unique culture and environment require intentionality. Allow your team to evaluate and contribute to ongoing improvements. And listen to patient feedback and reviews for insight into improvement factors.

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Efficient Systems and Workflows

System efficiency is a key to dental practice success. According to the ADA,

”The top 10 percent of dental practices understand that their internal systems are essential to their success. Using outdated systems can easily impact the quality of service you offer to your patient.” [2]

Efficient systems and workflows that drive practice success include:

  • Up-to-date technology that improves your patient care standards from scheduling to treatment protocols.
  • Balancing production increases with outstanding patient experience.
  • A culture of ongoing improvement within your practice management strategy.

Training enhanced communication across all practice departments that flows into patient interactions.

Expanded Services

Earlier we noted that your services do not (solely) determine your practice success. But certain services driven by public and/or patient need WILL contribute to the ongoing success of your dental practice.

Again, it’s the uniqueness of what you provide and the culture that supports it that will set your practice apart. Expanding your services provides you an opportunity to grow your patient base.

Adding services…

  • Gives you a slight edge on your competitors based on what you provide.
  • Catches the attention of prospective and new patients who are searching for a specific oral health solution.

Expanding your services requires that you listen to what your current patients are asking about.

  • Listen for trends relative to their oral health goals, problems, and pain-points.
  • Leverage your patient demographic knowledge into improving schedule and specialty options (e.g. early and late appointments, services that appeal to a specific age group, etc).

Patient Engagement

Knowing that you should consistently engage your patients and then how you engage them is vital to dental practice success. Think of patient engagement as the overall patient experience you provide.

Next to your practice environment, an online presence is key to making a first (engaging) impression.

  • Design (or redesign) your dental practice website as an informative, easily-accessible platform. Highlight your services, your team, and provide a clear call-to-action (CTA) for contacting, scheduling, and/or requesting information.
  • Provide a secure patient portal on your website. Give patients access to pre-treatment forms (e.g. health history, necessary appointment information, etc)
  • Deliver useful content via a blog page on your website. Answer questions and provide solutions using conversational (non-technical) language in your posts.
  • Maintain a consistent presence on social media. Highlight your practice culture and environment (events, milestones, etc) alongside links to helpful oral health content your create and/or curate from other sources.
  • Ask for reviews and referrals. And use the information in your reviews (positive and negative) to refine and improve your patient engagement strategies.


Check out these related resources on culture, environment, and patient-facing strategies that lead to dental practice success:

The Best Dental Marketing Tactics and Strategy

What is Patient Experience and Why Does It Matter?

Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing with These Key Strategies

And make an investment that helps assure your successful outcomes.

Invest in Your Patients

Valuing your patients and their families sets them up for a lifetime of positive health outcomes. And the environment you create can help you achieve a better patient experience.

  • Reduce patient anxiety and enhance their relaxation
  • Prime patients and families for their appointments
  • Create positive dental care experiences

Invest in Your Business

Maintain your edge in the crowded dental service space. Attention to details in your niche can transform your environment and overall patient satisfaction…whatever your dental niche.

  • Create “buzz” in the community you serve
  • Accelerate patient referrals
  • Generate positive online reviews

A Practical Guide to Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience

Download Our White Paper: Alleviating Patient Anxiety Through Office Theming

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn more tips to mkae your dental practice successful.

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[1]  http://marketplace.ada.org/blog/the-7-secrets-to-a-successful-dental-practice/

[2]  http://marketplace.ada.org/blog/the-7-secrets-to-a-successful-dental-practice/

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