Year-End Review: 5 Essential Year-End Reflections for Dentists

Every year moves faster than most expect, and soon we’ll look at 2022 in the rearview mirror. But the end of the year gives us time to reflect, take stock, and plan for new opportunities.

We hope you can take a little time away from your practice and enjoy time with family and friends this month. The memories we make; hold an immeasurable value that enriches us at the moment and beyond. As we learn to cherish these moments, we increase the meaning of those special times we don’t get back.

As you consider the past year, you’ll probably evaluate your practice and the people you serve. So here are a few questions worth spending time with before moving into 2023.

How does your practice profitability compare to the previous year?

Most dentists experienced a sharp rebound in production after the pandemic. But inflation continues to put pressure on net income, and overhead management deserves special attention. Still, many practice owners take proactive steps to push net income into a growth curve. This trend will attract the most attention and the highest value for those considering a future sale. Contact us about a complimentary P&L analysis we offer to help you focus your efforts in 2023.

What new services did you add to increase production?

Patients are concerned about inflation, but that’s not stopping them from investing in their wellness. While dental expenditures are still rebounding in 2022, the dental industry is expected to grow from $160 billion to $230 billion by 2030. Dentists can profit by adding new services that help patients enhance their well-being and overall health. Learning new skills and planning for integration now can prepare your practice for more profitability as we move through the current economic cycle.

How did you manage staffing challenges?

ADA surveys demonstrate the strain many practice owners experience staying fully staffed. Christine Sison, CEO of Swiss Monkey, provides virtual services for dental practices. She notes, “The labor market has fundamentally changed with the emergence of the gig economy and fewer full-time workers. This isn’t just a pandemic by-product; it’s the next generation of workers.” Dentists can find that staffing shortages throttle growth and undermine income. Consider creative solutions such as outsourcing non-patient-facing functions. This concept mirrors the centralization of off-site functions adopted by many successful DSO models.

What did you do to improve your well-being?

Serving as a clinician, manager, and entrepreneur of a busy practice takes significant energy and creativity that tests your skills. Your demanding profession hasn’t become easier, and challenges remain in the years ahead. A recent survey revealed that the percentage of dentists with anxiety tripled between 2003 and 2021, and 84% reported musculoskeletal pain. You must take care of your health as well as you care for your patients. Proactive actions will help you maintain and grow your practice for profitability now and maximum value later.

What did you do this year that will increase/maintain the value of your practice?

Despite small healthcare entities’ challenges, incremental improvements lead to exponential gains over time. In the book The Slight Edge, author Jeff Olson lays out how small decisions don’t look like much today but start to compound as time passes. Dentists who focus on continuous improvement usually create fulfilling, profitable, and valuable practices.

Reflect and prepare for 2023.

Reflection gives us all a chance to celebrate the wins, learn from our shortcomings, and resolve to take strategic steps in the new year. Next month we’ll kick off the year considering five steps every dentist should take to evaluate their next move. At DDSmatch, we can help you evaluate every option to map out the rest of your career. If you’d like to start the conversation now, reach out and schedule time HERE.

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