The biggest mistakes dentists make: Doing the same thing and expecting different results

Too many dentists assume that all they need to do is “wait out” the economy, and they’ll eventually start to grow again. Dr. Roger Levin says that isn't going to happen.

Based on his extensive experience with dentists over the past 30 years, Dr. Roger P. Levin has authored a new book entitled The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make. His premise is simple. As he says in the introduction, “We can learn from our mistakes. But isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?”

The following is an excerpt from the book.

Not many years ago, practices had little trouble attracting and keeping patients. Market demand, in the form of patients who wanted dental care, stayed relatively high, while the supply of dentists remained relatively low. If a caller failed to schedule, that was of no great concern. There were always more calls, and always enough patients to keep the doctor happy.

The business of dentistry has changed more in the last seven years than in the previous 50 years combined. As a result, 75 percent of practices have suffered production declines since 2008. Many financially stressed patients have simply dropped out of the market, while others have become concerned about getting more for their money.

More from Dr. Levin: When is it time to update your office?

Unfortunately, many dentists have been slow to recognize and act on this new economic reality. Doctors approach me all the time asking when things will get back to the way they were. The Great Recession coincided with significant changes in the field of dentistry and, together, these forces permanently altered supply and demand for most practices across the country. This is why it’s a mistake to continue business as usual and hope that things get better on their own.

Too many dentists assume that all they need to do is “wait out” the economy, and they’ll eventually start to grow again. Their practices, however, are likely to remain flat or in decline for years - perhaps decades - unless they take proactive steps immediately.

More from Dr. Levin: Making decisions too slowly is another big mistake dentists make

Many practices are growing steadily because they’ve embraced sound, real-world business methodologies. To succeed in the new dental economy, dentists need to reimagine and reinvent how they run their practices.

Free Whitepaper: Tired of waiting for things to get better? Find out how a Practice Analysis can give you the answers you need to make the changes you want. Download Dr. Levin’s free whitepaper “How to Increase the Income from Your Practice” by clicking here.