here are dental practices who are still enjoying full appointment books. These practices are often those who have been established for many years. Their patient base is one whose loyalty has been cultivated over time through the caring and trusting relationships that have been developed. These relationships are such that patients are not enticed away by the attempts of their health funds to seek ‘cheaper’ services.

It is natural for newer and less-busy practices to become anxious about their future. Despite cutting down on expenses and instigating advertising campaigns, they are left with little growth and improvement. It is difficult to see the dental team simply ‘filling in time’ when they would rather them be busy providing dental services to clients. It is deflating, and over time, it can become a challenge to remain optimistic in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. You cannot shrink your way to greatness.

I was lucky to have purchased a well-established practice when I entered practice-ownership. However, we still experienced slower times over the years. I remember a gastrointestinal surgeon who shared the building once said to me, “Even my work ebbs and flows. It makes no sense that from month to month the demand for colonoscopies fluctuates. If I have slow periods, a dental practice is also likely to.” 

This observation, although stating a harsh reality, was of comfort to me. I then accepted that it was unrealistic that the dental appointment books would be permanently full. I instead looked for the opportunity of how best to manage these less-busy times. The answer was obvious: team collaboration and training. 

Self-development is important 

The best use of your team’s time when they are not managing patients is to develop their own capabilities and implement improvements in the services they deliver. It will energise your team and generate success above and beyond any other strategy. 

When else do you get the opportunity to sit down as a team and brainstorm how to ‘wow’ your patients? How to achieve greater results? How to work more effectively as a team? 

Stephen Covey’s book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ states as the 7th habit to ‘Sharpen the Saw’. To preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have – you and your team. Apply this advice to your team. Enhance and sharpen your greatest assets in readiness for when clients are in the practice, to maximise the potential that they will eventually become the holy grail – a loyal customer.  

We are always keen to improve our information for the dental community. If you have an idea for a blog post, we would be happy to hear from you. 

Contact us today on 1800 118 991 or

Julie Parker
DirJulie Parker Practice Success
m. 0407 657 729
e. Parker was the first non-dentist to own a dental practice in Australia. After 10 successful years of managing her practice in Brighton, Victoria, Julie joined forces with Australasia’s Passion Provocateur, Charles Kovess, to create Julie Parker Practice Success. They are on a mission to teach all dental teams the strategies and know-how of achieving great success.

PO Box 2345, Parramatta NSW 1750 Australia

T: 1800 118 991