When you think about it, dentistry is a considerable gamble accompanied by a heck of a lot of hard work.
Becoming a dentist requires four long years in dental school that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in school debt. After that, entrepreneurial dentists usually have to borrow hundreds of thousands more to open a practice.
And then come the long hours, days, weeks months, and years hunched over the dental chairs. And even more hours handling the thousand and one tasks required to run a small business. There’s no doubt that being a small business owner is a very demanding role, and one that can wear all you over time.
Still, if all goes well, dentistry is a profitable and enjoyable profession leading to a very comfortable retirement. But all doesn’t always go well. While the failure rates for dentists are very low – 2 percent by some estimates – that figure doesn’t count the dentists who managed to sell their struggling practices before they went under.
How’s your business doing? More to the point, how are things looking for your retirement? If business isn’t great, it’s unlikely that your eventual retirement will be great… unless you take action in the very near future.
It’s Only Going To Get Harder
There are four major forces that threaten the profitability of dentistry – the rise of corporate dentistry, record numbers of new dental school graduates, declining insurance reimbursements, and economic uncertainty. Together, those forces are the Four Horsemen of Dentistry, and you can learn a great deal about their impact on the dental profession in The Four Horsemen of Dentistry: Survival Strategies for the Private Dental Practice Under Siege.
Corporate dentistryiscoming to your market, if it’s not already there. You’ll go broke trying to compete with the chains on price, insurance acceptance, and availability.
New dental school graduates are fuel for the corporate machine. The sign-on bonuses and tuition repayment programs are extremely attractive to debt-laden new graduates. Some of those new dentists, when they pay down or pay off their school debt, will be opening individual practices. That’s yet another source of competition for your practice.
Dental insurance is no one’s friend these days. Delta Dental is leading the charge to shift more of the payment responsibilities to patients. And reimbursement rates have been and continue to be in constant decline as almost every dentist knows.
Economic uncertainty is something that no one can accurately predict, but it’s an inescapable fact of life. The lessons of the Great Recession of 2008-2010 are still fresh in most people’s minds, despite the record performance of the stock market. What goes up does come down – history teaches that – and the next recession will have people hoarding money to cover the basics of living. Elective dental procedures will take a nosedive, and even routine care is likely to be deferred.
It’s not a question of if the Horsemen will converge, just a matter of when.
You Can Successfully Fight The Horsemen, But Will You?
If you’ve built your practice on low price, discounts, and insurance acceptance, you’re vulnerable to the coming dental armageddon.
There is is proven way to safeguard your practice and to even thrive when things go smash.
Go to smartboxdental.com and reserve your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™. Invest 20 minutes of your time to discover how you can double or even triple your practice.
From the results of that phone call, you’ll receive your completely personalized Patient Attraction Roadmap™ – again, absolutely free.
You deserve the kind of practice, and retirement, that you’ve been working for. Don’t let them slip away.
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.