4 steps top-performing dental practices take to reach goals

November 17, 2020

What do you want from your dental practice? Take a moment and answer that question. Seriously, stop reading for three to five minutes and ask yourself, “What do I want for my team, for my patients, for my family, for me? What does it look like, what will it feel like when I actually get there?” We all have dreams, hopes, and ideally, a vision. 

This is the story of how you get from here to there. 

Right now, you’re here, but in the future, you want to be there and from here, there looks pretty good – and yet so few get there. ?Why is that?? Of those who do “make it,” a few just get lucky, but most will have a strategy – they will plan and execute, set goals and review, and they’ll obtain the information needed to lead them to their desired destination. If you’re looking to get there, you need to chart a course and then monitor your progress every step of the way.? 

So, how do you reach a desired destination? It depends on the destination and distance and effort required to get there. Walking from your couch to the kitchen? Easy, hopefully. Getting from your driveway to the top of Mt. Everest? Definitely not easy. 

But regardless of where you are right now, you can get to where you want to be. And the road between here and there is shorter for those who know the way. 

Far too often I run into dental practice owners who have given up on ever getting “there.” Of course, they have a hope that success is possible, but they usually don’t take the time to first identify where they are and to then map out the course leading to where they want to be. Does this apply to you? If someone asked where your practice is at, right now, would you respond with “I don’t know”? 

The good news? After working with over 8,000 dental practices, I have seen real growth happen as these practices consistently apply fundamental principles. ?Success is ultimately being where we want to be, when we want to be there, and perhaps most importantly, knowing how we got there.??So, what are those principles? 

Honestly, it’s simple.??We have not learned how to master the techniques in living in a way to reach those goals.

Start with four important steps to reach your goals. 

  • Identify where your “here” is:? Where are you right now? 
  • Identify what your “there” is:? Where do you want to be? 
  • Design and develop a process.? This is a map for you and your team, your path to get from here to “there.” 
  • Monitor. Measure your progress every step of the way. This is the step that will help you know when and if you’ve fallen off-course. 

How did one dentist put these 4 steps in practice? Find out. 

After a couple of years of seeing plateaued results, one of our most successful practices owner decided to actually do something about not reaching his past goals by putting these four steps to work. At the time, he was trying to figure why his patient volume was up by 12%, but his gross revenue was flat. He knew he had a problem, but he didn’t know what the problem was.? Or, in other words, he knew where he wanted to be, but he didn’t really know where he was.? He was lost. Why? There were lots of possibilities, but just guessing wasn’t an option. He knew he had to first know why he wasn’t growing in order to make needed changes. 

Step #1 

This doctor?used the power of practice intelligence to go below the surface and find the root cause of the problem.?In other words, using data, he worked hard to discover as best he could where he really was, and that’s when he found the source of his problem: There was a decrease in average production-per-patient revenue. 

Step #2 

Armed with this data, he and his team began?looking at all of the possible reasons?for the decrease. After rejecting several possible causes because the data didn’t validate them, this practice determined that the cause of their lagging performance was same-day treatment acceptance. They got excited, because this metric was something they could do something about! 

Step #3 

His next action was to meet as a team and discuss and practice techniques that would increase same-day case acceptance.?Every member of the treatment team took ownership of their role, and then they went to work, focused on improving their case presentation skills with patients who needed treatment. In just a few short weeks, they saw an amazing 10% increase in case acceptance and a 50% increase in presented treatment, leading to an all-time high in total practice revenue. 

Step #4 

I’m happy to report this successful practice owner and his team?continue to monitor this and many other key metrics?in their practice. Step four, in case you missed it. 

If you’re not quite sure where your practice is at right now, don’t stress. Dental Intelligence would love to help you discover your current “location” and then share several steps you can take to reach your desired destination.

We call this a “practice analysis” and we provide it to eligible practices at no charge (you just need to use one of our approved practice management software programs).? 

Visit us Dental Intelligence and request a free analysis today.?You CAN get there from here! 



Weston Lunsford, CEO of Dental Intelligence, loves helping people and teams to achieve their potential. As co-founder and CEO, Weston leads a growing team committed to guiding dental practices in their efforts to master the business of dentistry. He especially enjoys meeting with and teaching practice owners, dentists, and other team members effective principles of success. A father of five, Weston loves spending time with his family on Lake Powell, mountain-bike riding (including coaching a high school bike team) and serving others in his Utah community.