Identify and Leverage Your Dental Practice Revenue Streams

Jul 27, 2022

Next to patient care and the practice productivity, there’s another all-consuming thought you might have as a dentist: how to identify and leverage your dental practice revenue streams.

Alongside that desire is balancing costs. Your dental practice expense data likely reveals a few holes you’d prefer to fill — or eliminate.

Up your dentistry business “game”

No doubt, the clinical side of dentistry consumes much of your training and passion. The business side of dentistry also equally consumes you.

It’s really a question of how to balance the two:

  • Provide a high standard of patient care
  • Produce dentistry that generates a profitable business

As you’re perhaps aware, profitability relies on some fundamental business factors:

  • Your overhead and general operational costs
  • Your service fees
  • Your patient data
  • Your practice location and marketing presence

Allow these factors to bring to your awareness two profit-related realities.

1-Your dental practice profit margin

Data from a 2019 Dental Economics survey reveals that the average percentage of overhead for dental practices was 64.5% in 2018 1. That puts average profits at 36.5%.

Of course, your dental practice profit data can vary. Facility costs relative to location and market, among other operational factors, can impact your profit.

2-Your dental practice revenue

The American Dental Association (ADA) places the average gross billing for general dentistry at $666,060. Specialty dental practices experience an average billing of $935,760 2.

Billing and revenue numbers fluctuate from practice to practice. Keep this in mind as you compare your numbers with what industry analysts reveal.

However you account for your dental practice’s profit margins, billing and revenue, it’s essential to maintain your business growth strategies.

How to identify and leverage your dental practice revenue streams

Yes, “streams.” Your profit growth potential rises by having more than one (or two) revenue streams. Here are a few practical solutions that could increase your profitability.

Do more dentistry

Let’s address this somewhat fundamental strategy first. More patients treated within an hour of scheduling translates to more income.

How can you treat more patients?

Perhaps you’re already thinking about you and your team’s ability to increase your care capacity. A few thought-provoking ideas could include:

  • Doing a space inventory to determine if a room is available to be utilized for an additional treatment or hygiene room.
  • Adding another dentist or hygienist to your team.
  • Increasing administrative and clinical efficiency through training and technology.
  • Accessing your systems and streamlining key workflows.
  • Adding higher-profit procedures to your services and building your influence as a provider (e.g., dental implants, endodontics, cosmetic dental treatment, orthodontics, etc.).

Develop new patient relationships and maximize your current patient relationships

New patients enable you to do more dentistry (as noted above). And some new patients might choose you because of their desire for higher-profit procedures.

Regardless of how they are attracted to your practice (marketing included), it’s essential that you’re strategic about building a long-term relationship with your new patients. The same applies to your current/loyal patient base. Ways to build long-term relationships include:

  • Exploring your patient data according to demographics. Promote relevant services to each patient segment (rather than one-size-fits all promotions).
  • Expanding your dental marketing reach to include content marketing (e.g., blog content, informative newsletters, etc.), social media marketing and targeted digital ad marketing.

Depend less on insurance

Observe available data around your network of providers. Perhaps some are eating into your profits as they reduce reimbursement totals.

Decrease your reliance on insurance companies. Get strategic about how you can replace them with potentially more profitable solutions, including:

  • Creating an in-house membership plan for your interested and/or uninsured patients.
  • Staying aware of insurance networks that could be more accommodating of your current patient base and your services.

Determine how you can increase your case acceptance rate

Analyze your data to compare your case presentation to case acceptance ratio. Look for factors that could be affecting increases and decreases by asking questions like:

  • Is it a communication problem?
  • Is it a patient education problem?
  • Is it a cost or insurance coverage issue?
  • Is it about your practice culture?
  • Is it related to how treatment benefits are communicated (or not)?

Answers to these questions and more can help you refine your case presentation strategy and perhaps lead to an increase in case acceptance.

Decide to provide nothing less than an outstanding patient experience

Customer (patient) service is key. The patient experience is a catalyst for positive reviews and referrals.

Each of those are “votes” of confidence and loyalty to your practice and its culture. Don’t take them lightly! To promote an outstanding patient experience, you can:

  • Provide ongoing “customer service” training for your team.
  • Create and establish standards for how your team interacts, communicates, assists and follows-up on patients.
  • Acknowledge (and empower) team members who go above and beyond on a patient’s behalf.
  • Confirm that your dental marketing “story” matches your patient experience.

Data analysis is a key to monitoring and improving your dental practice profitability. These resources can keep this front and center as you refine your revenue producing strategies:

The Basics of a Healthy RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) System for Your Dental Practice or DSO

Measure and Improve the Financial Health of Your Dental Organization Using Your Data

Analyze your dental practice data on a proven analytics platform

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re monitoring and tracking the important data — including what keeps you financially healthy.

Jarvis Analytics:

Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform.
Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups and DSOs.

Experience Jarvis Analytics in action. Request a demo today!


Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability.


Join thousands of other people, subscribe to our newsletter, and get valuable business tips delivered right to your inbox.