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ADA releases first set of practice management guidelines

November 11, 2015

By Kelly Soderlund

Practice success: Members of the ADA Council on Dental Practice’s ad hoc committee overseeing the Guidelines for Practice Success pose in front of a poster for CareCredit, which sponsored the development of the guidelines. From left, Dr. William van Dyk, Denise Ciardello, Linda Harvey, Dr. Lillian Obucina, Lois Banta, Debra Englehardt-Nash, Christine Taxin, Judy Kay Mausolf, Dr. Jean L. Creasey, Council on Dental Practice, Dr. J. Christopher Smith, Council on Dental Practice,  Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi, New Dentist Committee Consultant to the Council on Dental Practice and ADA second vice president.

The ADA has released its first set of practice management guidelines, a new member value for dentists.

Managing Patients is the first module in the Guidelines for Practice Success, which will eventually include a series of practice management modules developed by the ADA Council on Dental Practice with input from dental practice management consultants and content authorities.

“The Council on Dental Practice is committed to providing ADA members with practice management resources, like the Guidelines for Practice Success,” says Dr. Joseph G. Unger, who chaired the Council on Dental Practice when the concept for the Guidelines was first developed. “Each module will help all members succeed by giving them information and resources that are comprehensive, user-friendly, and based on input from a panel of leading practice management consultants.”

This is a member-only resource that dentists can access on the ADA Center for Professional Success website at using their member login. The development of the guidelines came from House of Delegates Resolution 62H-2014.

The ethically-based guidelines include information on how dentists can improve their patients’ experiences along with tips on managing the administrative and business side of their practices. Topics range from patient intake, where dentists can learn how to handle a patient’s first visit and tips on designing a reception area and decorating an office, to how to create cancellation policies and handle specialty referrals. The Managing Patients module also covers treatment recommendations and patient relations.

Future modules will include Managing Finances; Managing the Dental Team; Managing Marketing; Managing the Regulatory Environment; and Managing Technology.

“These guidelines represent the Council on Dental Practice’s latest, innovative response to members’ demands for practice management information,” says, Dr. Jean L. Creasey, chair of the ad hoc advisory committee overseeing the project. “Each module will be written so members can quickly access the information they need, regardless of whether they want a complete overview of a topic or are looking to review information on one aspect.”