Fastest Ways to Cut Unnecessary Spending for Your Dental Practice

March 28, 2022

Reducing unnecessary costs and overhead is essential for making a dental practice more profitable. As the dental industry grows more competitive, overhead control is more important to your profit margins now than ever before. Running a successful dental practice can be expensive, and every cut expense can make a difference to your profit margin. But how do dentists cut costs?As a dentist, you need to focus on the well-being and health of your patients as well as your practice's bottom line. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to save money, reduce overhead and make your dental practice more cost-efficient.

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How to Save Money in a Dental Practice

Improving your dental practice's bottom line means finding ways to save money. Try some of the tips below to save money in your practice:

  • Buy a washer and dryer: If your dental practice still sends scrubs to the dry cleaner, you may want to invest in a washer and dryer. By cleaning scrubs at your practice, you can save both time and money.
  • Install motion detectors: Motion detectors should be used to operate lights and some equipment in storage rooms and examination rooms. Using motion detectors can greatly reduce your dental practice's energy costs.
  • Perform a risk-benefit analysis: Prior to a collection attempt, perform a risk-benefit analysis. Pursuing a collection claim could lead to a malpractice claim, which can cost your dental practice more than the original collection's value.
  • Utilize reusable patient barriers: Consider utilizing reusable patient barriers and sterilization pouches instead of the disposable versions. Eco-friendly choices can lower costs without sacrificing sterilization standards.
  • Find a more affordable supplier: Evaluate your supplier contracts frequently to determine the current value. By doing so, your dental practice could identify an alternative supplier that provides items for a lower price but at a similar quality. You may even be able to use this information to negotiate a better contract with your current supplier.
  • Buy a waterless vacuum system: Consider investing in a waterless or dry vacuum system. If you want to cut costs, investing in this system can have a significant impact on your monthly water bill and save your practice on overall expenses.
  • Purchase dental management software: Implement dental management software to reduce administrative costs and improve your practice's overall efficiency. With this software, you can organize and manage procurement, claims, prescriptions and electronic billing.
  • Swap incandescent light bulbs for LED bulbs: Swapping incandescent light bulbs in your dental practice for LED light bulbs greatly reduces your energy usage. LED bulbs also last longer than other bulbs, so they're a much more valuable investment.

How to Reduce Overhead in a Dental Office

Within a dental practice, earning revenue and reducing overhead are equally important to sustaining and growing your practice. Follow the tips below to learn more about how you can reduce your dental overhead:

  • Save on utility bills: Though many dental practices receive their utility bills and pay them as is, you may be able to call your provider and renegotiate your contract terms. Many utility providers offer promotions or new specials that your dental practice could qualify for, so take some time to call and ask whether your bill can be lowered in price.
  • Control labor costs: One of the largest expenses many dental practices face is labor costs. To control labor costs, make sure every staff member's time is managed efficiently. To eliminate overtime, you may want to use part-timers during peak times or stagger work schedules to reduce labor costs.
  • Choose a merchant services provider wisely: Your merchant services provider allows you to accept credit and debit card payments. But to do so, they charge a fee. Shop around to look for competitive provider prices that can minimize overhead costs while still letting you accept convenient payment options.
  • Eliminate wastefulness: In a dental practice, keeping waste management under control is essential. Doing so will help you prevent wastefulness, and thus, reduce costs. Reduce or eliminate wastefulness by decreasing single-use plastic items, recycling old dental instruments and transitioning to paperless. You should also know when to purchase new supplies to avoid ordering too much at once.
  • Invest in inventory management: Inventory can eat into your profits. Too much stock or expired items can cost your practice and waste precious dollars. To prevent this loss, invest in inventory management software. This software lets your practice accurately manage your inventory rather than relying on manual processes.

How Can I Make My Dental Office More Cost-Efficient?

You can go beyond saving money and reducing overhead by making your dental practice more cost-efficient. Follow the tips below to increase the efficiency of your practice:

  • Reduce costly bills: Examine your bills to determine which ones are costing you the most and where you may be able to save. Water and energy usage, for example, can quickly add up. Ensure any outdoor watering is efficient, and don't keep taps running unnecessarily. You may also be able to consolidate other bills like insurance and save when you bundle.
  • Maximize your schedule: When you maximize your schedule, you save time, which means saving money and potentially earning more. When you know exactly how long certain dental procedures should take, everyone can stick to a time budget, making your practice more productive and cost-efficient. You can also take on more clients per day if it's reasonable to do so.
  • Communicate with clients: Maintain a cost-effective practice by managing when clients can cancel. You might charge a fee if they cancel an appointment within 24 hours or don't show. Communicate these terms clearly with your clients, such as making it clear how close to an appointment they have to cancel. Sending appointment reminders can help reduce last-minute cancellations, as well.

Contact Us at Method Procurement

At Method Procurement, LLC, we combine our passion for software and dentistry to offer a solution tailored to the unique challenges dental practices face. We were founded by a group of technology and dental industry veterans, so we understand exactly how dental procurement works and provide the expertise you can rely on.Our mission is to revolutionize the way dental practices function. We've reimagined end-to-end purchasing to bring it to the digital space and modernized the approach to spend management. Contact us at Method Procurement to learn more about how you can recession-proof a dental practice and stop the back-end cash bleed.

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