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Good Practice Management = Team Management

By January 10, 2019October 7th, 2022Practice Management

A list of Dental Practice Management Tips online from 57 dental practice management experts, and not surprisingly managing your team properly is a key and recurring component of good dental practice management.

Here are the excerpts of the HR-related tips:


2. Invest in your team. Too many times we see doctors and their team frustrated because someone was placed in a position with little or no training; or worse, continuing to do something the same (antiquated) way. Giving someone the title ‘office manager’ does not make them the ultimate manager, and even a seasoned manager needs to continue to stay up to date to remain relevant in the industry.

There are online courses, conferences, lunch and learns, e-zines, newsletters, magazines… the options are endless. Investing in your team is never money wasted and is often just the thing needed to take that person or that practice to the next level.

– Denise Ciardello,

3. Dental practices succeed and flourish when they have efficient and effective communications meetings. These practices can strategically plan to maintain their standards and quality, keep their systems functioning, changing if need be to implement innovative technology and service changes, etc.

Morning Huddle and regular team meetings, along with defined job descriptions, task lists with ultimate responsibilities defined, team member growth conferences and merit raise reviews are critical for this. Practices that encourage and train team members so they can stretch, change, and grow, creating a well-functioning team that works cohesively toward a common set of goals will have a thriving practice.

Personnel determines the Potential of the Team. Vision determines the Direction of the team. Work Ethic determines the Preparation of the team. Leadership determines the Success of the team.

– Cindy Ishimoto,

4. Develop Policies and Procedures for Staff Accountability and Consistency.

– Dr Paul Caselle,

6. Always have a continual training protocol in place in your practice as a well-trained, efficient office is a maximally profitable one.

– Laura Hatch,

8. Define and assess your leadership role in the practice and get coaching if you are weak in this area. Establish strong systems for recall, collections, and scheduling with policies that all staff understand. Provide a legal Employment Policy Manual that eliminates or reduces misunderstandings about holiday pay, maternity leave, overtime, dress code, cell phone use, and body tattoos (to name a few).

Have positive team meetings monthly. Check the office financial reports daily and meet with your front office monthly to keep track of production and collection statistics. All adjustments to accounts need an explanation. Stay connected and don’t give away your responsibility as CEO.

– Belle DuCharme,

12. Invest in Your Team- Hire for maturity (not age but demeanor). Take the time to teach them your culture and train accordingly. Treat them as assets – not liabilities. Tell them your top 5 values and clearly outline expectations. Teams who perform well understand practice objectives and act accordingly.

– Debra Engelhardt Nash,

18. Even though there is lots of technology to make it easier to run the numbers, dentistry is still very much a people business. My best advice would be to invest the time and energy it takes to get great people on your team: empower them with the training they need and ensure they are committed to the success of the practice.

There are lots of ways to improve a practice, but staff changes for the better are what I’ve seen make the most difference to the owner’s income, as well as to their quality of life.

Get the people right, and the rest will follow!

– Ciara MacMahon,

24. The root of many practice management issues is the lack of control; learn to gain control and you will have success at your office and have your teamwork WITH you instead of AGAINST you.

– Tuan Pham,

34. Engage dental professionals to help you with managerial decisions.

– Allen Schiff, Dental CPA,, 

36. Ensure that the whole team is professionally trained in ethical sales & world class communication skills, from the receptionist right through to the doctor. You are one team and there are thousands of dollars worth of opportunities calling and walking into your office every day, your job is to ensure that your whole team is skilled up to maximise these opportunities. The second piece of advice is to ask every patient this question: is there anything that you would like to change or improve about your smile? If so what would it be? Sit back and listen attentively.

– Ashley Latter,, @latterash

37. Implement systems and training along with regular team meetings to allow your vision to become a reality

– Amy Smith,

45. All practices should be growing each year by a minimum of 15-20%. if that’s not happening, assess your management systems and apply the 3 rules of CHANGE…

If something is working celebrate and DO MORE of it…
If a system is NOT working – stop the insanity and DO something DIFFERENT
If you don’t know if it works or not, analyze and FIND OUT…

– Lisa Philp,

49. Be the leader in your practice and have a clear statement of what your vision is for your practice, something that your team can articulate, embrace and own. Then walk your talk!

– V. Kim Kutsch,

50. Share your expectations with your team, in detail, and prioritize. One of the most common complaints I hear from team members is that they do not know what the doctor wants. They are anxious to please the doctor, but they feel they are just winging it most of the time. This can lead to frustration for the entire team and can have a negative impact on the overall production of the practice.

A while back one of my clients was very frustrated that his dental assistant was never in the treatment room when he was ready to deliver anesthetic. I asked him how he let her know that he expected her in the room during that procedure, and he said, “I press on the rheostat and when she hears it, she usually comes running.” As you might guess this led to a lot of frustration for the doctor and the assistant. Also, it’s important that you PRIORITIZE your expectations.

Using the example above, the doctor said the assistant was very detail oriented and could trim models to perfection, which is usually what she was engaged in when he needed her most. Once he made it clear that it was important to him that she be in the treatment room when he was ready to deliver anesthetic AND that it took priority over trimming models, it was never an issue again. I always tell my clients, “As long as your expectations are moral, legal and ethical, your team will give you 100% effort.”

– Judy Risner, @judy_risner

51. Embezzlement is always done by an employee who you have decided to trust. Remember that trust is a fluid concept and needs to periodically be reevaluated.

– David Harris,

53. Start with your team. Hire based on well-developed core values. Do not hire anyone who does not possess or aspire to possess your values. Be convicted to fire someone who repeatedly violates a core value. Be prepared to incur a significant financial liability to protect those values.

– David Phelps, D.D.S.,


Now Take Action!

If you have any questions about how to improve your team dynamics or finally getting around to implementing contracts in the office, give us a call! 416-443-9280.