Your Dental Team: What Costs the Most

by Dr. Ron Arndt

As the CEO of a dental practice, the largest cost you incur is staff. In my book, I discuss how I had strategically planned for my staff expenditures to be in a range of 23-27% of total practice revenue. It was my largest cost, and it needed meticulously managed.

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So, how did I make sure that my largest and most valuable asset – my staff – were productive, while profitable? It was simple…..I did the following:

  • Do We All Agree?: I created a team agreement. I let my team know that I counted on them to show up for work, ready to work and be productive. If an integral team member did not show up for work, we canceled all of our patients that day. I would not work without a fully, efficiently staffed office. It is too stressful.
  • If It Doesn’t Come In The Front Door, It Can’t Go Out the Back: I built the entire compensation system of my practice around the concept of each employee being responsible for the money they made. The more they did for the practice, the more money they brought home. They determined their own futures, and my practice soared because of it.
  • What Happens When Costs Go Over? I had three choices. I could increase production, patient volumes and collections. Secondly, I could reduce costs by cutting staff wages or laying off employees. The last choice was to do a combination of both.


Bonus: Check out Dr. Ron’s Right Hiring Retention Manual here for more info on “right hiring.” This publication contains steps that if followed will position you for success in your dental practice. Together, these steps will help you to determine when to hire, how to interview, and who to bring into your practice. The hiring process is one that can be overwhelming when caught short-handed.

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