What they don't teach in dental schools
Updated: Apr 8, 2022
By no stretch, I can claim to know enough about dentistry, but being married to a dentist, being a business partner of another dentist and having been in the company of a few other dentists, I have developed a lot of insights into the profession. Having studied engineering before doing my MBA, I am able to find parallels between engineering and dental schools. In both cases no emphasis is made on the “business” of a profession. How many dental schools do you know that teach entrepreneurship, business or marketing skills to dentists? The curriculum is filled with a lot of clinical subjects, but they miss out on teaching some real-world subjects: entrepreneurship, business and marketing.
A lot of dentists coming out of these schools find it difficult to understand the business side of running a practice. Not even that, these marketing and business skills are necessary even though you may not own a practice. On top of that, it gets more complex if we throw the ever-changing technological advancements in AI, Robotics, Machine Learning and the never-ending lists of marketing platforms - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Clubhouse.
Being a dentist is tough. You are dealing with real-world patients and as a dentist, you don’t get second chances. The compliance guidelines and regulators such as GDC in the UK, make it more complex that prevents dentists from being innovative.
It's tough, but it can be made more rewarding if dentists keep an open mindset, learn some quick strategies and tactics, and be open to trying new things. A lot of engineering school curriculums now teaches digital marketing terminologies such as lead generation, conversion, optimization, performance marketing, growth marketing, loyalty etc. Why should dental schools fall behind? Dentists should also understand these concepts and see how they can be applied to their businesses - either as an associate or as a principal dentist.
Healthcare is not just a service to society, but also a business. Yes, as a dentist the primary job is to treat the patients, but you should apply strategies and tactics that can lead to :
More patients coming to your clinic,
Retaining more patients,
Engaging more with your patients,
Introducing digital tools and platforms make it easy for your practice to scale up and your patients to get the continual best service along that journey. We see a lot of such common business strategies being applied to clinics that are owned by dental chains/groups or DSO (the US) that have a back-office staff to manage such things. But in reality majority of clinics are owned by individuals and not companies, and these individuals have a day job of being a dentist. But outside of the day job as a dentist, you need to research what is out there, talk to other fellow dentists in terms of what is trending, speak to innovative companies that are disrupting dentistry and push yourself to bigger and better business.
At Smile Genius Dental , our mission is to enable the local dental clinics to grow their businesses without thinking much about operations and technology. We understand that dentists cannot become business operators overnight. Our aim is to work with you to help you add higher-margin treatments such as Clear Aligners which can allow you to earn upto 2.5x more than your current per-hour earnings. By adopting digital dentistry practices, similar to ones offered by Smile Genius, you can leverage the opportunity to scale your practices. Smile Genius is a SaaS (Software as a Service) company that is cloud-based. What does that mean? It simply means that you pay for the service as you pay for your mobile usage and when you want to scale up by offering orthodontics or cosmetic dentistry to multiple clinics, we make it easy for you to do that.
As a dentist you will still need to equip yourself with the strategies and tactics we covered above, but by adopting digital dentistry platforms, you can execute those strategies easily. To put it simply, if your plan is to go from city A to B, would you rather buy a car that will take you there or will you build a car? Our mission through Smile Genius is to allow clinics to buy an already built car and focus on driving it rather than building one.
Book a demo with us and you will know how Smile Genius can help you grow your cosmetic dentistry business