Every Dentist Should Know These Key Performance Indicators

With a steady flow of patients and a booked schedule, you may assume you are running a successful dental practice. However, some key performance indicators need to be taken into account when evaluating your practice. Independent dentists are responsible for several jobs outside of simply treating their patients. Without the guidance of a trusted dental consulting firm, the business side of the practice can suffer. Keep reading to learn more about how you can evaluate your practice’s health, and what to do if you are under-performing. 

A key performance indicator will let you know how healthy your practice is, and how close or far away you are from your career goals. KPI’s can show you your areas of weakness as well as your areas of strengths. They are a good way to judge if you are losing money in a specific area or even if you are leaving money on the table. Unified Smiles recognizes that not all dental professionals have experience identifying KPI’s and understanding how to implement these measurements into your business plan. We work with dentists to evaluate their practice successfully and offer guidance based on a practice’s specific needs and goals. The following are some basic KPI’s that can help to offer some insight into your practice’s current health: 

Overhead Costs

Having a thorough understanding of your overhead costs is arguably the most valuable KPI when it comes to running a successful practice. It is common for dental practitioners to underestimate just how much money they have going out the door every month. Dental consulting firms know this and have extensive experience identifying common factors that may be contributing to high overhead. We provide independent dentists with the knowledge and insight to better understand their budget and identify where they could possibly save money, or even where they can afford to invest a little more. To really measure the success of your business, a clear understanding and evaluation of your overhead costs is the first step. 

Active Patients/Scheduling Consistency

Staying on top of scheduling appointments for clients can make a huge difference in how much money your practice is able to bring in. Communication is key when it comes to scheduling, both for active and inactive patients. Keep track of appointments so that you can provide patients with a reminder call that it is time for their regular dental cleaning and check-up. By leaving patients as inactive in your database, you are potentially leaving money on the table. Unified Smiles can help transition your organization so that it is completely streamlined and automated. With some simple updates to technology and records, you can have a clear sense of when it is time to give inactive patients a call.


It is important to track all expenses and income to truly understand how much you are profiting off of your services. While things may seem healthy because you are able to keep the lights on and schedule patients, you never want to have to rely on getting the next patient. Just getting by is not enough to protect your business and your staff from financial hardship. Analyzing exactly how much you are spending every month and what is coming in can help you understand just how profitable your business is. Dental consulting firms can identify these factors for you and provide you with a target KPI that you should be hitting every month in order to make a profit. True success comes when you are able to withstand any financial storm that may arise when it comes to your business. Unified Smiles can work with you to identify exactly how much you are taking in every month, how much you should aim for, and where you can afford to reduce costs.

 Cost Per Patient

When it comes down to the brass tacks, many practices underestimate just how much money they are spending on each patient. Things like equipment use, cancellation rate, frequency of visits, cost of goods, and compensation for services all have an effect on the cost of each patient. By making specific adjustments to your practice, you may be able to save money on each patient. For example, spending more money on frequently used equipment may save you more money than if you were to purchase a cheaper option that will need to be replaced in a shorter amount of time. Every practice is unique and so the needs of your patients will determine your expenses. We can take a look at where you are spending your money, how often, the number of people you see per day, and then we can make recommendations that can help preserve your cash.

 Flow of New Patients

A steady stream of new patients can be a great indicator of a healthy business. It is important to understand how and where patients are hearing of your practice and identify the rate at which they choose to call and make an appointment. This can be a clear sign of successful marketing, and may offer an opportunity to expand. If you don’t see a flow of new patients, it could be a sign that your current marketing plan is not working and it may be time to take a new approach. Dental consulting firms can evaluate how often you are getting new patients, where they are hearing of you, what the most requested service is, and how happy patients are afterward. This information is essential to understand if you are looking to improve your bottom line.

 Staff Satisfaction & Productivity

Your employees are without a doubt your most important resource, but they are also your most expensive. It will benefit you, your practice, and your staff to have clearly defined duties and tasks so that you can properly manage and compensate staff for their work. Dental consulting firms have extensive experience evaluating and overseeing staff expenses and can provide some guidance on how to delegate and compensate your staff appropriately. By providing your team with clearly defined tasks and proper compensation, you can expect higher morale and a more satisfied staff experience. It is important that you have a happy and productive staff to keep your practice thriving. They are the people that your patients interact with the most and they will keep your business running smoothly. We can help measure staff productivity and identify any areas to adjust. We can also take a look at how your staff’s compensation compares with other practices in the area so that you know you are getting the absolute best people for your team.

To get a better understanding of your practice’s key performance indicators, call Unified Smiles for a free consultation. We can provide you with some insight into your bottom line and provide you with recommendations on how to move forward. Our team is proud to serve independent dentists throughout the county and we look forward to working with you. Give us a call to learn more about how you can reach your career and business goals.