Your dental practice CAN survive the recession

The positive face of dentistry found a voice during a webinar led by dentist and frontman for ‘Heart Your Smile’, James Goolnik.

He voiced his opinions on how dentists can determine how they cope with the continuing recessionary pressures.

As principal of Bow Lane Dental Practice James fully understands the challenges that are facing dentists but, despite the prevailing economic conditions, continuing legislative demands and the air of negativity currently surrounding the profession, James is very optimistic about the future.

Using personal anecdotes and experiences from his practice, he encouraged listeners to develop a personal and professional plan and emphasised the importance of understanding what patients really want from their dentist.

Only in this way, he explained, could patient fears, of cost and pain, be lessened and the barriers to regular attendance eliminated.

James was followed by Greg Clay (sales and marketing director at Software of Excellence), who invited attendees to benchmark their own practice performance by completing the Best Practice Check Up –

Greg explained how Key Performance Indicators such as chair-time usage, FTA rates, short notice cancellations and recall effectiveness can all be measured, analysed and monitored to provide evidence of performance and he illustrated how improvements in each of these areas can impact on profitability.

This type of data is particularly useful in helping dentists draw an accurate picture as to where their practice stands and pinpoint where under-performance is occurring.

Greg also showed how technology, in the form of online booking, is helping practices to engage with existing patients and provides a means of capturing potential patients via a practice website all at a time and place convenient to the patient.

At a time when many challenges face the profession, this webinar provided motivation and enthusiasm, supported by clear, practical advice, that dentists can immediately put into action.

If you missed the webinar, it will be available for download from 27 February by visiting

‘Heart Your Smile’ is a campaign designed to change the public’s perception of the dental profession and has, at its core the ‘9 habits of a happy dental professional’.

Find out how to join the campaign at

Dentists can benchmark practice performance by completing the survey at

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