Have you ever had one of those days where you sprint from operatory to operatory, barely having five minutes for lunch, running late the entire day, and when you finally finish you can’t believe how little you produced? Too many dentists and dental teams experience this on a regular basis. Even when frantic schedules yield great production, the pace leaves everyone feeling exhausted.
I work with a lot of dentists who acknowledge their schedules need some fine-tuning. The question that emerges is, “Where do I start?” I always answer with another question: what is the flow of your ideal day?
If you have the most energy in the morning, construct your schedule to accommodate bigger production before lunch: crowns, implants, root canals, extraction of wisdom teeth, sedation, surgeries, a quadrant of fillings, etc.
What is your energy level like after lunch? I work with a dentist who will not schedule multiple surface composite fillings after 3:00 because his energy level (and patience) starts to wane. Another client prefers light production for the first hour after lunch and then heavy production until the end of the day.
After you outline where you prefer bigger procedures, you can clearly see the best place for new patients, consults, emergencies, and low or no production appointments such as seats and adjustments. Often the ideal times are the hour before and after lunch in addition to the last hour of the day.
I often meet with dentists and dental teams several times before we are satisfied with the efficiency and productivity of the schedule; therefore I know the process can take some time. But until you commit the time, your schedule will continue to work against you.