Dental Practice Solutions

Optimize your dental hygiene department by taking an integrated, team approach

  • Do you feel like you are working hard and your production is not increasing?
  • Do you feel like your hygiene department is under performing?
  • Is your hygiene department producing 25-30% of your total production?
  • Are hygienists in your office treating bloody prophys?
  • Does your hygiene department help enroll implant cases and high-end treatment?
  • Do you have one or more holes in your schedule daily?

I am so happy that you are here because we have answers and solutions to your challenges.

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Dental Practice Management Consultant Takes Team from Good to Great!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

August 6, 2013


As a Dental Practice Management Consultant I see various types of dental practices.

It is the sad truth but most of the dentists who contact my office are usually at a sink or swim stage and it can be a daunting task to even pick up the phone and talk,  let alone try to make a decision about hiring a dental practice management consultant.

(And this article will explain the ROI on hiring a consultant.– IF you read between the lines regarding their BIG results!)

It usually takes a dentist 3 months to make a decision to hire a new consultant and by this time the office numbers have plummeted to where doctor is not able to sleep at night.

Does this sound like you? Are you one of these dentists thinking that you must do something but you fear change or worse, you fear nothing will ever change no matter what you do!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein 

Maybe you have tried various new dental business systems or other practice management programs and nothing seems to work.

Let me put your mind at ease and begin to share a recent client of ours: (Read on and you can calculate for yourself the doctors ROI on hiring a Dental Practice Management Consultant)

In order to create consistent profitability for doctors desired outcome I needed to  research and  analyse their current numbers. I looked at their list of services, fees, production and collection numbers, P & L, etc., before we began to dive into the consulting process. We were able to set realistic goals after sitting down to research and strategize together.

Years ago, I learned that it is extremely important to identify the practices’ obstacles and road blocks, to reach where they want to be. Once I have the attention of doctor and the team I can place my full attention, together, with my passion, enthusiasm and keen insight, to dig into the necessary work that needs to be done. We create a step-by-step process to work smarter and not so hard. It really doesn’t not mean that working with a Dental Practice Management Consultant is stressful or creates more work. It is just the opposite.  Together; doctor, the entire team and I, roll up our sleeves and dig deep into the barriers that broke down the success of the office.

Big Results

The team at “Dr. XYZ” in Portland, Oregon, has shown big improvements in less than 5 months of hygiene department coaching. When I first met with doctor she showed me the hygiene schedules. Each hygienist (2 hygienists) had at least 2 openings each day. The office has seven days of hygiene patients each week. Originally these days were not booked with patients but just sitting open.

The entire team changed many of the words that they used with their patients. The front office scheduling coordinator no longer calls and asks patients to return a confirmation call. She is confirming patients appointments about 4 days in advance of their appointment. All patients are now aked if they prefer to be contacted via email, text message or phone call.

(Some of the words they changed were “Cleaning” as well as asking patients when THEY wanted to return vs. suggesting an appointment date and time. They took control of the schedule. AND they increased the percentage of pre-scheduled hygiene patients.)

Many of the patients now request an email to confirm their appointment. The email says something like this:

“Dear Mary,

I am writing to let you know that Doctor XYZ and Holly, (Most know HOLLY is their hygienist) are looking forward to seeing you for your preventive care appointment. Dr. XYZ will review your x-rays and complete a visual exam. Holly will also complete an oral cancer screening exam using our new technology called Vizilite with can detect any early signs of oral cancer. She will also evaluate the health of your gums for inflammation, disease, check any restorations, remove plaque, calculus and stains as necessary. We look forward to seeing you on Friday August 9th at 8 am.”

In good health,

Megan Ridgley
Scheduling Coordinator at Dr. XYZ

Here are the BOTTOM LINE Results the office has received from the Dental Practice Management Consulting Process:

  • The office of XYZ has decreased their cancellations and open holes in the hygiene schedule, down to no more than 1 each week.
  • The team began role-play exercises to more effectively communicate non-surgical perio treatment. We also worked together (role-play) on overcoming many of the barriers and obstacles for patients accepting aesthetic and restorative treatment.
  • The original percentage of adult  patients treated for periodontal disease went from 18 – 45% in the past five months.
  • The hygienists now have a 90% acceptance rate for using the Vizilite which has contributed to an increase in production.
  • The team learned how to assess and categorize patients for Caries Risk using the most recent CAMBRA protocols. (found in California Dental Journal 2011) This provided another $3,000 production to the practice without creating more patient time in the chair and didn’t increase the practice’s overhead. This is pure profit!
  • This increased hygiene production as well without adding more chair time or hiring more employees to work in the office.

One Team Challenge Existed

The one challenge they were still having at the end of July was keeping the hygienists on time so we were able to implement our “Down to a Science” strategy which seems to be helping with time management.

The Dental Practice Management Consulting Process

  • Each month I have at least one phone call with doctor to discuss the successes and challenges that may still exist. We are able to work together to create a systematic approach to solve these challenges as they occur.
  • Every sixty days myself or one of my team coaches is in their office for about 1 1/2 days of hands-on training, team meetings, role-playing and strategy sessions so discover solutions to any challenges.

The fact that the team has an expert there to guide them through a step-by-step process is a much easier way to create their next stage of success.
I have to add that the office administrator is great to work with and we spend a lot of time working together each week.

As of August 5, 2014 the office production numbers are at $628,000 with the hygiene department up by $65,000 and aesthetic/restorative case acceptance has increased by $110,000 this year so far.
The total production and collections is estimated to be up by approximately 30% from 2012.

More Big Team Results

The team has gained a new enthusiasm for working together. They told me that they feel like a family and have their friends (their patients) come to visit daily.

Recently, doctor had a pizza party after hours and each team member played a role in calling overdue hygiene patients. This was one more solutions we came up with through our research and strategy sessions together.

The team also receives a bonus when they achieve their new collection goals which appears to have limited team morale.

Would you like to be our next success story? There are so many options today. The one roadblock I see holding offices back is the attitude “It’s this economy that holds us back!” I want to say to you “Creaate your own economy!” People really are finding many ways to buy what they really want. Do your patients understand the wonderful menu of services you offer?

Does you team educate your patients about doctors extensive specialty courses he/she has completed?
Let your patients know about the research on oral health and it’s relationship to total health. I do believe most of your patients want to live a longer health status.

Let’s schedule a time to talk about your next level of success: or 888-816-1511
Maybe you want to take a test drive of what our team offers. Here is a simple and a simple step-by-step guide to get your started:
30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program


ME not too high jpeg

Are you looking to improve profits in your dental hygiene department? Debbie has an innovative and successful way to educate you and your team to create the small tweaks mentioned in this blog. Debbie has been in the trenches of the dental office over 30 years. She is a former Dental Hygiene Program Director, an assistant professor from the University of Southern California and even co-taught the practice management course for the senior dental students at USC.

Check our her services section on the website to find one that meets your needs. Consider getting your team involved in her 12 week Case Acceptance Program. You won’t need to stop your day of work at the office or pay for a consultant to travel to your office. The program is at your fingertips 24/7  indefinitely.

Debbie speaks at most of the major dental conferences in the world. She is recognized for the past 8 years as “One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants.”

She will also be featured on the cover of Hygiene Today in September 2013. (Published alongside Dentistry Today)

Many of her clients span from not only the United States but Brazil, Australia, India and the UK, just to mention a few.