One day (or week, or month), production is high, and everything is great! Then the next day…it falls off a cliff.

During the high-production day, you’re busy running between patients and exhausted at the end.

And somehow, after the low-production day, you’re even more exhausted because you’re jumping between adjustments, follow-ups, crown deliveries, etc., and don’t have much in the way of income to show for it.

Lunches are missed. You’re working through breaks. You’re staying after hours…

Does any of this sound familiar?

If so, finding out how to make every day productive and profitable is a must! So, let’s discuss five ideas that can help you do just that!

(And by the way, if you really want to get a handle on your schedule, attend the Scheduling for Production Seminar. We hold this seminar twice a year and you can attend in-person or online)

So, with that said, let’s get into this!

1. Don’t just put patients in the schedule wherever there’s an opening.

Have guidelines for where certain procedures go on the schedule. Block out times for different types of appointments/procedures. You want specific blocks for:

  • High-production value appointments
  • Low-production value appointments
  • No-charge appointments
  • Consultations/case presentations
  • New patients
  • Emergencies

You can see this blog post for more on where to put these procedures on the schedule.

The important thing here is that you have these times laid out, so the Scheduling Coordinator knows where they are and knows they need to fill them up every day.

(Related: Getting Control of Your Schedule: Can You Tell Patients What to Do?)

Which leads me to…

2. Don’t overfill a day (or week) with only one or two types of procedures—that’s right, not even “high-production” appointments

I know it seems counter-intuitive to put a “ceiling” on your production. Why not fill it up with a ton of high-production appointments and have a super successful day? If a bunch of patients want to come in on Thursday, why not let them come in on Thursday?

I’ll tell you why:

If you start adding high-production-value appointments outside of your blocked-out time, you are eating up your future production.

It means you won’t be able to see that last-minute emergency new patient that could have turned into multiple crowns or implants.

And most importantly, it means you won’t have time for thorough exams, case presentations, and consultations.

And this brings me to my next point…

3. Set aside enough time to present treatment thoroughly

You can’t produce it tomorrow if it didn’t get accepted today.

This is why a super-productive week is often followed immediately by a slump the next week: You were so busy with procedures that you weren’t finding and presenting new treatment plans.

In most dental offices, not enough emphasis is put on bringing patients in for second opinions, getting patients with outstanding treatment back in for a check-up/consultation, and making sure to fully answer patients’ questions and address their concerns about their treatment plans.

(Related: How Changing My Mindset in Case Presentations Helped Me Increase Treatment Acceptance)

It’s not enough to just present your findings chairside for 2 minutes and then send them up front while you rush to see another patient.

I know that consults are $0 appointments, but they are extremely important because an extra 15 minutes sitting down with a patient can lead to thousands of dollars of treatment they would not have accepted otherwise. And most importantly, they’ll get the treatment they truly need to restore health and function now.

So, keep consultation time blocked on the schedule and don’t sacrifice it because you’re trying to “fill up” the schedule.

If you want to know how to fill up that time with valuable consultations—attend the Scheduling for Production Seminar.

4. Set daily production targets

You may or may not have a production goal for the month. If you don’t, then you need to make one!

Once you’ve done that, divide it by the number of days you’re open this month. That becomes your daily production target.

Your Scheduling Coordinator needs to know this target. Then as they fill the schedule for the upcoming week(s) they need to keep a running total for each day as they fill it, so they know that the targets will be achieved.

Now they can keep working to fill up each day until they’ve reached the target, and then move on to the next day, the next, and so on.

And if you’re really smart, you’ll also set a target for the “Dollar value of treatment presented” that is higher than the daily production target. After all, you can only produce it if you’ve sold it beforehand.

(Related: Doing This for 10 Minutes a Day Can Greatly Increase Practice Production)

If your production target is $5,000 a day, then you’ll want to present $10,000 of treatment each day to ensure you have enough production going forward.

5. Know your “break-even” point

How do you determine your monthly production target?

Don’t just average out your previous months—because if you were underproducing previously, then you’ll still be underproducing going forward that way.

The most important rule is that at the bare minimum, you need to at least “break-even”—i.e., be able to pay your bills, your staff, and yourself.

Ideally, your monthly target would be much higher than your break-even point, but it can never, ever be lower.

And I want to be clear: when I say “break-even point,” this includes sufficient compensation for the owner.

As the owner and/or primary producer, you should be taking home 30-50% of whatever you produced, whether it’s in the form of salary or profit distributions.

If you aren’t getting paid at least as much as an associate doctor would get paid for that work, I don’t consider you’ve “broke even.” After all, why own your own practice if you’re getting paid less than an associate?

If you can’t figure out how to pay yourself at least 30% of your production, or if you’re having trouble filling up these appointment blocks, then you need to make some changes ASAP. Attend the Scheduling for Production Seminar or request a free consultation here to talk to us today. We’d be happy to answer your questions and give you some pointers.

I hope these tips help! And I can always be reached at JeffS@mgeonline.com.


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