- 2 Minute Read -

An article published in JADA last August provided some very illuminating statistics about how satisfied dentists are in various practice settings. While the authors stressed that the results can’t be generalized to the entire dentist population in the U.S., I think that dentists who are less than satisfied with their current situations will find the results useful.

The study surveyed nearly 2,200 dentists working in solo practices, small group practices, and large group practices about their satisfaction levels in a number of areas:

  • hours and scheduling
  • work-life balance
  • income and benefits
  • emotional exhaustion
  • clinical autonomy
  • career advancement and skill development
  • overall satisfaction.

Large group practices were either partnerships or corporately-owned with multiple practice sites. Small group practices were defined as multiple dentists at one location.

Solo practices were defined as a single practice owner-operator. Across the three practice types, doctors practicing general dentistry represented between 75-82% of respondents.

Here’s what the study revealed:

Dentists in large group practices reported significantly lower satisfaction levels in one or both of the other practice types in the areas of:

  • hours and scheduling
  • work-life balance
  • income and benefits
  • autonomy
  • career advancement and skill development
  • overall satisfaction.

Solo practitioners were far more likely to demonstrate overall satisfaction than the other two practice types. However, they were also more likely to report feeling stressed in their job.

There are a number of sub-factors that went into the rankings for each area, and those might be worth a closer look. You can read the entire study jada.ada.org. For now, let’s focus on solo dentists feeling more stressed.

I’ve learned that one of the reasons dentists feel stressed is because they try to do it ALL: clinical practice AND practice marketing, AND maybe payroll and HR, and even fixing that leaky sink!

I call these the “Piddler” dentists; they’re using their valuable time and energy to piddle with everything except the most profitable thing that makes them money: treating patients.

No wonder they’re stressed.

The “cure” for Piddler dentists is to develop a CEO mindset, one where they focus on what they do best and delegate the rest. CEO dentists make decisions and leave it to others to carry out the steps. That’s the key for growth and success for dentists.

Piddling may be unavoidable for undercapitalized dentists who are just starting out. But if you’ve been in practice for a number of years and aren’t laser-focused on your success, it’s time to re-evaluate your approach.

One of the best things dentists can do is outsource their marketing. Sure, some dentists love tinkering with their website, or learning all about search engine optimization, or trying to create email auto-responders from scratch. Some of them even enjoy writing blog posts.

But all of that is a lousy use of their time.

Are you not growing your practice, or not fast enough? Are your collections flat or even declining? Are you spending more on your marketing but getting less?

There’s an answer for that.

If you think you have, or can quickly develop, a CEO dentist mindset, contact SmartBox Web Marketing. Our proven Patient Attraction System™ is designed to help you get more patients, more profits and more freedom.

But it’s designed for, and requires, dentists who are CEOs.

Not Piddlers.



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.