Dentist CEO

Setting goals for your dental providers.

May 24, 2019

In the first installment of our series on improving dental practice profitability, we’ll discuss the importance of goals and how to set them for your providers.

At the bottom of this post you can also access a video that goes over this topic in more detail. 

Why goals are important

Goals and often confused with quotas, which are typically associated with sales positions. A quota in sales sets the bar for minimum expected performance. A goal is something more aspirational—less of a requirement, and more of a desired outcome. Over-emphasizing quotas in dentistry is not recommended because the practice can lead to a decline in quality of patient care.  

Goals, on the other hand, can help you achieve strong financial results while still maintaining quality patient care as your number one priority.

Clearly defined goals not only help you gauge staff performance; they also serve as a powerful motivation for your providers.

Assigning goals for dentists

Setting goals is not an exact science, but here are some rough guidelines for general dentists:

  • Start with their salary and work backwards
  • Assign daily goals that are at least 4 times the amount of their daily wages
  • More experienced dentists may have a higher daily wage, so their goal should be higher
  • Revenue per patient should be equal to or greater than $350 in most cases

It’s good practice to discuss goals with your providers to emphasize that you’re not setting a quota. You can also set financial rewards for them if they exceed those goals, as a further incentive.

Assigning goals for hygienists

As with your doctors, discuss goals with your hygienists openly. A few basic guidelines:

  • Start with their hourly wages and work backwards
  • Assign daily goals that are at least 3 times the amount of their hourly wages
  • Revenue per hour should be equal to or greater than $150 in most cases

I’ve set my goals, now what?

You’ve set your goals—great. Now what? Stay tuned for our next installments in this series. We’ll cover morning huddles, daily metrics, additional team incentives, and some best practices for balancing production and patient care.