Business of Dentistry

Nine out of 10 entrepreneurial companies go bankrupt within five years. Privately practicing Dentists are typically successful at remaining in practice, but not because they are well-trained and knowledgeable business people. In fact, they receive little business training in dental school or residency programs. Demand for dental services has been and continues to be sufficient to allow most Dentists to be successful. Dental practices have four major business areas - operations, financial management, human resources, and marketing. Managing staff to maximize productivity and expand operations by which income is generated and efficiency of the financial practice management allows Dentists to achieve their practice potentials, and to fully fund retirement programs, accumulate savings, and enjoy comfortable lifestyles.

Both Oral Hygienists and Dental Therapists are trained clinicians and although they are specialized, their training overlaps to a large extent, which leads to a school of thought that they should be merged. Oral Hygienists undertake some procedures and work also undertaken by Dentists.

In some Commonwealth Countries dental care providers other than Dentists, were sometimes collectively referred to as Professionals Complementary to Dentistry (PCDs) and include Dental Technicians, Oral Hygienists, Dental Therapists, and Dental Assistants.

Private Dental practice have increased productivity by utilising support staff – the Oral Health Team. Dental Technicians, Oral Hygienists, Chairside Assistants and Administration staff were employed and much of the dedicated tasks were delegated to allow Dentists to focus on core tasks in the practice. Dental Technology became too specialised and Capital Intense to remain within the Dental practice. These days Dental Technicians are seldom employed directly and are a separate support industry, to which the manufacture of dental appliances is subcontracted to. Dental Therapy were also instituted to assist with basic dental procedures.