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Determining Time Required To Perform Different Dental Procedures

It doesn’t take long for you to find a varietyClock of resources that have recommended time allotments for different dental procedures.  Insurance companies especially are willing to provide you with the time they believe it takes for you to do your work.

But to properly manage your practice, it’s important that you keep track of your own time and look closely at how long it takes you and your staff to perform different procedures.  This can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

For example, if the industry average for a procedure is one hour, and it takes your practice an hour and a half, you’re probably not getting paid for that extra time.  Or, if you are, you may be creating a competitive disadvantage for yourself if you’re charging more for a procedure than patients would pay at one of your competitors.  Conversely, if it takes you less time to perform a procedure than the industry average, you may be creating an advantage for yourself.

How do you know?  Here are some guidelines:

  1. Keep detailed records.  Time keeping tells part of the story, but if you spend a couple of weeks making sure you add extra details (like amount of prep time, time for the procedure itself, and any additional time you spent), you could get a clearer picture.
  2. If you’re slower than the average, figure out why.  Are you talking to patients too much?  Is your staff slowing you down?  Can you change a step in the procedure to gain the time back?
  3. What’s comfortable for you?  You can always find ways to go faster, but are you maintaining patient comfort and quality?  Do you feel good about the work, or do you feel rushed?  There’s a balance.

Continually analyze your time records, and compare them with industry research.  It’s an ongoing process.  However, done properly, it can make a big difference in your profitability.

Visit “Ask The Expert” for suggestions to improve performance and profitability.

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