October is the time of year when practices are making the final push for a great year before holidays and time with family rightfully become our end of year priority. It is a time when we begin to think about how we, and our practices, have performed, and what we might have done differently to have achieved a better outcome. It then becomes the time of year to give initial thought to what we can do differently in the coming year to achieve any unrealized potential. That is why this tends to be the time of year when most of our coaching clients come onboard, and achieve great things in the coming year.


If you are reading this, you are a dentist, a dental professional, or a team member in a dental practice. You have achieved a relative degree of success, but undoubtedly, you want more.

How do dentists get better at what they do? How do they become more productive? How do they make more money? How do they lower their level of stress? How do they become more fulfilled?

There is a traditional pedagogical view that we go to school, we study, we practice, we learn and then we go out into the dental world and make our way on our own. Many believe that as professionals, we are capable of managing our own improvement. It sounds great in theory.

It turns out that there are numerous problems with navigating this path. There are numerous challenges to achieving greater success on your own. Often times you don’t recognize the issues that are standing in your way of increased production and greater success, and if you do, you lack the experience to develop strategies and systems to overcome them. The result is that somewhere along the way, you stop improving and you settle for what you have, conceding that “this is the best it will be”. We see it all the time and it breeds complacency. Coaching breaks this cycle.

Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” But the world continues to change at warp speed. Dentistry is constantly changing. The patients we care for, and how they respond, are changing more and more with each passing day. Thus, to change your success, you must meet the challenge of change and similarly change the way you practice.

When it comes to change, the small things matter. When we coach dental practices, we do not make drastic changes in the way dentistry is performed. We do recommend numerous small changes in methods that improve the standard of care and the ways that the dentists and teams communicate the value of care to their patients. That ultimately leads to increased patient acceptance of care, ease of providing this increased care, less stress and greater fulfillment. The practices that we coach experience tremendous growth that exceeds what non-coached practices are seeing during these challenging times.

Many practices that were strong prior to COVID, have not been able to sustain steep growth following the initial surge from reopening a year ago.  One of the major reasons for this has been team turnover and failure to attract, or retain, strong team members. When the doctors and remaining team are working beyond capacity, they are faced with inadequate time to train new team members and pre-existent systems are diluted, which erodes efficiency and increases stress. This leads to burnout and further attrition of team.

Our coaching program provides support and guidance to help you and your practice get through tough times. We help you create clarity on what is important and then prioritize tasks and skills geared towards reaching your practice potential. When you go it alone, you often have to learn from mistakes. Because we have now worked with over 130 practices, we have encountered most common, and uncommon, challenges in practices and we have helped practices overcome them without experiencing “trial and error”.

In the course of your typical days it is difficult to objectively evaluate what is working, and steering you to be successful, and what is derailing your progress. One of the greatest things that we do in working with a practice is identifying what is being done well, cheerlead for the team for their successes, and then identify opportunities for improvement. Coaching gives you and your team a fresh perspective and leads to growth.

A major emphasis of our program has been derived from an almost unanimous response of doctors and team members for wanting improved communication. The departmentalization in offices leads to barriers in communication. Learning to overcome these barriers and improving communication among the team, and with patients, enables far greater harmony and success with far less stress and conflict. Practices with better communication tend to attract the best team members and do not lose them. Patients seem to respond to practices with a stable team by accepting more treatment due to increased confidence and trust.

We subscribe to the principle that whatever you do is worth measuring and we embrace the use of analytics to help practices make minor adjustments in systems to help them achieve more with less effort. This enables working smarter and not having to work harder. If you speak to the doctors who we work with, you will find that they cannot believe their increases in production seem to occur with less effort and stress than they envisioned. This helps them develop a better work-life balance and they become less resentful of working in their practices. When we feel stressed and overwhelmed it is impossible to focus and we tend to waste more time with no productive outcome. Coaching definitely helps to reduce the level of stress in your practice.

Much of the reduced stress comes from building accountability among your team. It starts with the doctor in helping to develop improved leadership skills and team empowerment. We find that our coaching program gives team members more intrinsic motivation to take on new challenges. This prevents the tremendous amount of disengagement we are seeing in so many practices that we observe. A disengaged team cannot be productive and more responsibility falls on the doctor. Our program shifts much of this responsibility off the doctor’s shoulders as the practice becomes team-driven.

The results of coaching are improved patient care, increased production, increased income, lowered stress, and more enjoyment. Ultimate success in dentistry is not easy to achieve without support. It demands perseverance and patience. Coaching helps provide guidance and support for the steps that need to be taken to reach your potential.

For any doctor desiring greater success, coaching is an important engagement to consider. It should be an important part of your professional life, because it can provide support, encouragement and motivation, as well as tools, skills and strategies for growth. Just like highly successful athletes, everyone needs a coach who can help guide them and provide more focused direction on their journey. Consider having Smile Potential as your coach to help you smile more and reach your potential. That’s your Smile Potential.