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Compared to 2020 – or almost any other year in living memory – 2021 has been pretty good for dental practices. 

According to the ADA’a June 14th figures – the most recent available – private practice dentists are overwhelmingly open and conducting business as usual. Depending on the number of dentists in the practice, those figures run from roughly 60 percent to 78 percent, with the larger practices doing better. 

And, some 76 percent of practices report total patient volume at 86 percent of normal or greater. Overall, the picture for dentists could be summarized as, “Not bad, but it could be better.”

“Not bad” isn’t much of an endorsement, whether you’re talking about the quality of food at a restaurant or a dental practice’s profitability. If things are going to get better, you have to make them better.

What’s Your Plan?

It’s an unfortunate fact that the vast majority of owner-dentists tend to have a short-term focus on their businesses. Understandable, but unfortunate, because the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” rings true here. There are still too many variables that can impact your success to “wing it” and expect to thrive.

As of this writing, the delta variant of Covid-19 accounts for more than half of all new infections. A solid core of some 33 percent of the U.S. population is opposed to receiving vaccination against the virus, which means that we’re looking at a strong resurgence in many, if not most, states. And that resurgence has the potential to be brutal. According to the “big brains,” 99.2 percent of Covid-related deaths occur among the unvaccinated.

No, the country is unlikely to shut down, but if you practice in or adjacent to an area with a low vaccination rate, you should plan for the possibility that new restrictions will be put into place and your chairs won’t be nearly as full.

Right Now, You Have Room To Maneuver

If you plan to finish the year strong – ideally without working yourself half to death – you need to reconsider your approach to 1) attracting new patients and 2) the kinds of patients you want in your chairs. But the clock is ticking, and the longer you wait, the fewer options you’ll have.

SmartBox has been helping thousands of dentists get more and better patients for well over a decade. We can do that for you. If you’re interested, schedule a call with our Director of Practice Growth. 


Written by Smartbox

SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.

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