Wrap-up 2022 to Benefit the Year Ahead!

Planning for the success of your dental practice in 2023

As we come to the final pages of the 2022 calendar and get busy with the holidays, gatherings, and vacations, it may be tempting to take your foot off the gas and coast into the new year. We’ve all been there, but the tone you set throughout November and December can be the determinant of your success in January, February, and further into 2023. Let’s start planning for the success of your dental practice in 2023!

Here are a few areas to focus on as we look to a successful close of this year and an exciting start to the next.

Patients – Insurance Benefit Letters

Is December one of your slower months of the year?  If so, you’re not alone, and direct marketing to your patients to remind them of their expiring benefits can provide a huge boost to year-end profits allowing you to meet goals while providing care that may have been previously delayed.  The simple plan is to develop a letter to send to all insured patients with a reminder that benefits do expire and that now is an excellent time to take advantage of something they are already paying for. To take things a step further, review reports or charts for presented but not accepted or even actual delayed treatment and send a more specific letter to those patients to encourage them to appoint. 

Facility – Time for Upgrades?

Have you ever had someone visit your facility not for the practice, but to provide a critical eye to the space, sharing with you their feedback? If you haven’t, perhaps look to schedule someone sooner rather than later. Ask them to visit for, perhaps thirty minutes, and give you frank, honest feedback about everything they see, aesthetically, as a fresh perspective.  It’s easy to glance over the peeling wallpaper when you’re there daily but someone with a clean slate can alert you to something a patient may see, or experience, that you were not aware of or had noted but forgotten.  Walk the office with them, quietly writing down every comment that they make. This is not a time to be defensive, although it may be easy to feel the need. This is an opportunity to learn and improve.

Similarly, spend time, perhaps in departmental staff meetings or even all together, to have an open conversation about what could be improved aesthetically, mechanically, and technologically in the practice. No wrong feedback here, just listen to what everyone contributes and understand their “what” and “why”.

Having these meetings allows you to digest and potentially schedule overdue maintenance, production-enhancing upgrades, or aesthetic updates during end-of-year downtime. This will allow for less day-to-day production disruption and get everyone excited for the year to come.

Team – Setting Goals for 2023

Goal setting, with or without a formal bonus plan, is a hallmark of a quality practice. Establishing a directive point for the team to focus on with effective waypoints can provide the focus and drive for your team to excel. While they should not be set so high that they are not reasonably achievable, which would be demoralizing and damaging overall, they should similarly not be set so low that they require little to no effort to exceed. 

One way to set this goal is to look at your practice and your personal financial needs and build backward. Understanding your household needs (including retirement) and developing the plan to cover those, plus your practice’s overhead can provide you with a clear understanding of how much you may truly need to produce, and collect, in the coming year. Are you planning changes at home?  Include those.  Possible staff, equipment, or other changes in the practice? Estimate those, to the best of your ability, as well. This is well beyond simply targeting a three, five, or ten percent growth trendline – its foundational calculations that result in an actionable and justifiable top line.

Extending that conversation, this may be the time to look at overall planning for the following year.  Setting the annual target first, then drilling that down to monthly, weekly, and daily production goals to get to that endpoint can provide the daily driver to your team. This also provides peace of mind that when those goals are being met on a regular basis, you will be in a strong position for the overall annual picture. Do you want to increase the number of days you take out of the practice in the coming year?  Figure that in and the concern of you not producing during those vacation days can be replaced with actual relaxation and rejuvenation time. You will be equipped with the knowledge that you are collecting throughout the year to cover the ongoing practice expenses.  Knowledge is not just power, but also comfort.

Team – Celebrate!

Amongst these more concrete plans to enhance your practice and set it up for success in the coming year, it’s important to not forget the value of celebrating the year you had with your team. Looking at the nearly 1,000 (if not more) practices that we do on an annual basis, most of them have had a strong year, two or more – many besting their historical high points. Whether your practice is one of those, one that held steady, or, perhaps experienced some hiccups and ended up off pace, there is something to celebrate with your staff and they appreciate it. In nearly every transition, the Seller indicates that the staff members are like family to them and a family among themselves. Few instances are there where this is not the case, especially since most of us spend more than half of our waking hours in the office. With that, recognize the contributions and successes in the growth and development and just a level of overall gratitude for the team. Without them, your practice would not be what it is. Recognition and appreciation go a long way and while it’s advisable to provide that throughout the year, this is just another prime time to share even more.


Be sure to close out your practice management software at the end of the year.  To do that you must have closed each month throughout the year. If you

have not done that, you may jeopardize accurate reporting for any subsequent years.

Also, send your financial data to your accountant or bookkeeper as early as possible.  The first quarter is a good time to refresh your practice valuation, update your fee schedule, and could be the time to look at conversations for transition, whether it be adding an associate or planning for a sale. Your complete end-of-year practice and financial reports will be important for those conversations so the sooner you have them complete, the better.


You are important for your practice, as well. Be sure to take time to reflect and plan for yourself, personally, as well as your family. Enjoy some downtime and be ready for an excellent year to come.

These are clearly just a few small things that can be done, some may be easier than others.  For the harder items, or those you may not know how or from where to start, we have resources to help plan the success of your dental practice in 2023.  Whether it be a practice analysis to support goal setting and trending into the new year, equipment, or other updates to the office space, or simply guidance to plan, our team has the experience, expertise, and knowledge you can rely on.