How to Beat Burnout in Your Dental Practice

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Do you want to get your dental career started on the right path? Are you looking to put in place the practices and procedures to make your existing dental business more profitable? Send Dr. Coughlin a quick email today!

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Follow me

Kevin Coughlin

Kevin Coughlin, DMD, MBA, FAGD, MAGD at Ascent Dental Solutions
Dr. Kevin Coughlin is an expert on the business of dentistry. Growing his practices from 1 to 14 during his career, he’s learned what works and what doesn’t.

And he knows that once you “get it right,” it’s not a great leap to replicate that success over and over again.

Today, in addition to his work as an actual dentist, Dr. Coughlin coaches, consults and speaks to dentists across the country on how to build the practice of their dreams – based on proven processes and procedures.
Kevin Coughlin
Follow me