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Masters of clinical and business

New ADA resource offers tips on managing finances

May 27, 2016

By Kelly Soderlund

Successful dental practice owners not only provide the best clinical care, they’re also business savvy.

Having a knack for business may not come naturally to some dentists, which is why the ADA Council on Dental Practice, with input from dental practice management consultants and content authorities, is developing a series of practice management resources to help them navigate certain business aspects they may not have learned in dental school.

The ADA Guidelines for Practice Success: Managing Finances offers tips on overseeing the revenue and expenses in a dental practice. Dentists can learn how to handle patient financing options; resolve credit card disputes; budget for rent and mortgage; payroll; taxes and more. The module also offers information about different dental benefit plans, including indemnity, managed care, capitation and government-funded like Medicaid and Medicare.

Photo of Dr. Brown
Dr. Brown
“Running a dental practice means dentists have to be smart business owners as well as masters of clinical work,” said Dr. Andrew Brown, chair of the Council on Dental Practice. “Dental practices become successful when their owners understand the importance of tracking expenses, maximizing revenue and minimizing risk. We’re developing these guidelines to help all ADA members succeed.”

Dentists can access this member-only resource on the ADA Center for Professional Success website by using their member login. It will be available to purchase in print this summer. The development of the guidelines came from House of Delegates Resolution 62H-2014.

The first module, Managing Patients (P552), is also available online and in print through the ADA Catalog at The book is $29.95 for members and retails for $44.90. Use promo code 16121 by July 29 to receive a 15 percent discount on all ADA Catalog product orders.

Photo of Dr. Creasy
Dr. Creasey
Future modules will include Managing the Dental Team; Managing Marketing; Managing the Regulatory Environment; and Managing Technology.

“These guidelines are a response to what members have said they need: information on practice management,” said Dr. Jean Creasey, chair of the ad hoc advisory committee overseeing the project. “They have the clinical side covered. We’re trying to make it easy for them to run the business side of the practice while providing the best patient care. I think members who take the time to visit the practice management guidelines will feel rewarded and inspired to implement many of the ideas in their offices.”