8 Ways to Reduce Expenses in a Dental Practice

Lexy Garrett


Cutting out unnecessary expenses in a dental practice is a critical component of becoming more profitable. Fortunately, practice owners can take 8 easy steps to improve their bottom line.   

  1. Add motion detectors in examination and storage rooms. Using motion detectors to operate lights and certain types of equipment in examination or storage rooms can greatly reduce energy costs for the practice.
  2. Invest in a waterless vacuum system. Consider investing in a dry or waterless vacuum system, as it can help decrease daily water usage by 300 to 500 gallons. When it comes to cutting costs, a lower monthly water bill can have a tremendous impact on the overall expenses for a practice.
  3. Replace any halogen light bulbs with LED light bulbs. Replacing halogen light bulbs in the practice with LED bulbs can reduce energy usage by up to 75%. LED bulbs also have a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs, making them a more valuable investment for any practice. 
  4. Purchase a washer and dryer for the practice. Many dental offices still send their scrubs to the dry cleaner to be cleaned. Installing a washer and dryer directly in your practice can help save time and reduce both cleaning and uniform costs in the long run.
  5. Invest in management software. Consider implementing dental management software such as DAISY from Dentists Management to help reduce administrative costs and increase the overall efficiency of the practice. DAISY, for example, is able to organize and manage electronic billing, prescriptions, claims, patient recall, and more.
  6. Look for a cheaper supplier. It is important for dental practices to frequently evaluate the current value of their supplier contracts. By doing so, practices could discover an alternate supplier that provides items such as impression trays and hygiene instruments of similar quality at lower prices. They could even use this information as leverage to negotiate a better contract with their current supplier.
  7. Use reusable patient barriers. Consider using reusable sterilization pouches and patient barriers rather than the disposable alternative. Eco-friendly choices don’t sacrifice on sterilization standards and can lower costs.
  8. Perform collection claim risk-benefit analysis. Sometimes a malpractice claim arises when dentists pursue collection claims, so try to perform a risk-benefit analysis before each collection attempt. If a patient files a malpractice claim, it can sometimes cost the practice more than the original collection would have been.

Ms. Garrett is a marketing manager at Sageworks, a financial information company that provides financial analysis, industry benchmarks, and cash flow applications to business owners and their accountants. As part of the business advisory technology division, Ms. Garrett regularly creates content on improving cash flow for small business owners. She can be reached at lexy.garrett@sageworks.com.

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