A dental business guru is warning dentists to upskill in order to protect their income from hygienists and therapists.
Chris Barrow, managing director of the BKH Group, gave the opening welcome for the dental business conference at the Dentistry Show earlier this month.
He followed his opening address with the talk, ‘The Boom of 2012’, where he outlined his top 10 successful habits of winning practices.
His tips included partnering with therapists, but also also warned that direct access will open up dentistry more widely to fellow clinicians which could be a threat to their income.
He advised: ‘There are a lot of hygienists and therapists who could take your basic work away from you, so you’d better upskill or you’re going to get left behind.
‘Attend courses and dental conferences, receive mentoring from senior clinicians, and take part in e-learning to become a better clinician.’
He also suggested dentists look to work more closely with therapists, saying: ‘Dental therapy is the future of independent dentistry, because soon they will have direct access to patients.
‘It doesn’t mean they’re going to set up their own businesses, it means they’ll be able to work in the building independently of you. If you work with them, they can drive your maintenance programme.’
He added that, with therapists or hygienists in place, dentists can offer patients a healthy mouth assessment every six months for maintenance.
He said: ‘The dentist gets to do dentistry all day and not just endless check ups and the therapy team runs the maintenance book. Then, you can introduce a membership scheme and build up some stable cash flow into your business.’