By Roger P. Levin, DDS
More than three-quarters of orthodontists (78%) expect to increase practice production this year, according to a recent survey conducted by the Levin Group Data Center.
The past decade has been a tough one for many orthodontists, who have struggled with flat production in face of increased competition from:
- A greater number of orthodontists due to the addition of new dental schools and fewer orthodontists retiring
- More dental service organizations providing orthodontic care
- More GPs offering aligners and other orthodontic treatments
In addition, consumers are slower decision-makers when it comes to big-ticket items such as orthodontic care. Many parents will shop several ortho practices looking for the best deal on treatment before making their choice. All these factors have put downward pressure on orthodontic production during the last decade.
Yet many orthodontists have adapted to the rigors of this more competitive environment and are doing quite well. In fact, more than 6 out of 10 ortho practice owners (61%) said they increased production in 2016.
On the flip side, 44% of respondents said increasing production was their biggest challenge and nearly a quarter of orthodontists (24%) experienced high or extremely high stress. That’s a significant percentage, and while all stress can’t be eliminated, it’s apparent that too many orthodontists are working in highly pressurized environments.
The #1 cause of high stress for doctors––and this might surprise some of you––is not parents/patients or the team, but rather outdated systems. When your systems are ineffective and malfunctioning, it has dire consequences in terms of:
- Poor customer service
- Low morale among team members
- Negative word-of-mouth from parents of patients
- Decreasing referrals
- Declining production
Strong systems and high production go hand in hand. If your practice is struggling with low revenue and high stress, it may be time for new systems, especially if they’ve been in place longer than three years.
Need help with new systems or increasing production? Visit www.levingroup.com/consulting for a fuller discussion on the solutions we offer.