Increase Profits in a Competitive Market

It’s important to understand what contributes to the profitability of your practice and what does not.

Updated 6/30/20

The dental profession is growing at a rate of 16 percent—faster than the average growth for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In its annual best jobs ranking, U.S. News & World Report says dentistry is expected to add 23,300 new jobs up to the year 2022.

“A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to the No. 3 position on our list of Best Jobs of 2014,” the magazine reports. And it ranks dental hygienist as the No. 10 job.

U.S. News ranks the top 100 jobs every year, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ranking criteria include:

  • Jobs with the greatest hiring demand from now until 2022
  • 10-year growth volume and percentage
  • Median salary
  • Employment rate
  • Future job prospects
  • Stress level
  • Work-life balance

Here’s how the U.S. Department of Labor summarizes the job outlook for dentists:

The aging population in the U.S. will provide a further boost to the Dentist Job Outlook. Many members of the baby-boom generation will need complicated dental work. In addition, because each generation is more likely to keep their teeth than past generations, more dental care will be needed in the years to come. Dentists will continue to see an increase in public demand for their services as studies continue to link oral health to overall health.

Whether patients seek care is largely dependent on their insurance coverage. People with new or expanded dental insurance coverage will be more likely to visit a dentist than in the past. Cosmetic dental services, such as teeth-whitening treatments, will become increasingly popular. This trend is expected to continue as new technologies allow for less invasive, faster procedures. All of these variables will contribute to the favorable Dentist Job Outlook through 2022.

Get Ready for More Competition

A favorable job outlook and high rankings in job growth are encouraging news for dental school students, but what does this mean for you and your practice? More competition.

In a competitive dental market, it’s important to understand what contributes to the profitability of your practice and what does not. Knowing the key performance indicators or KPIs for your practice, and how to monitor and improve these numbers, will give your practice a competitive advantage.

Monitoring these six KPIs will show your progress and let you know where to improve:

  1. Active patients: The number of patients visiting your office in the past 18 months.
  2. Active patients in hygiene: The number of patients with a hygiene appointment in the past 12 months.
  3. Production: What each doctor and hygienist contributes to your practice.
  4. Accounts receivable management: Key A/R numbers such as production-to-collection ratio, account balance aging, insurance claims aging and others.
  5. Schedule optimization: Tracking unfilled hygiene and dentist hours and broken appointments.
  6. New patients: Track new patients to maintain a healthy patient base and to know where your new patients are coming from.

How Dentrix Can Help

Dentrix is the only practice management system that automatically gathers the KPI data you need on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Simply run the Dentrix Practice Advisor Report to see your KPIs at a glance.

The report shows your current performance compared to the previous month and year-to-date numbers. It also compares your practice’s KPI numbers to industry-standard benchmarks. Or, you can customize the benchmarks to become your practice’s goals. When your KPIs fall below the benchmark, the Practice Advisor Report offers recommendations to help you improve your profitability.

In addition, to ensure that your office uses the Practice Advisor Report correctly, Dentrix also offers Profitability Coaching. Whether you’re new to Dentrix or you’ve been using the software for years, Dentrix Profitability Coaching can help you implement and manage KPIs for greater practice efficiency and profits—and greater competitive advantage.

Learn More

Sign up for a free 30-minute Practice Advisor Assessment.

Get more tips for increasing your profits! Visit to download Master the Metrics that Matter, a free eBook from Dentrix.

By Tammy Barker, Senior Product Manager

Originally published in the Dentrix eNewsletter, February 2015