Dental Work Week Includes Both Patient Care and Practice Management, Finds Wealthy Dentist Survey

March 26, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The average dentist reports working 35 hours a week over an average of five days, found a survey by dental practice marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist. It's important to note that dentists spend their work time on two very different tasks: treating dental patients and attending to dental practice management.

Some dentists report earning higher profits while working less. "When I cut back to 4 days per week 15 years ago, my income went up, not down!" raved a California dentist. "Don't work longer…work smarter," agreed a Connecticut periodontist. "When I can work 3 days per week and make the same or more as in 4 days, that is a no-brainer!" exclaimed a Florida dentist.

Other dentists have been forced to reduce their hours as a result of the slow economy. "I'm working 3 days a week due to the recession," sighed a Canadian dentist. "Hours are not as productive as before the financial crisis," agreed an Oregon dentist. "Many who have lost their jobs and insurance want a ton of work done before the insurance goes away and want me to finance what the insurance doesn't pay."

Dental continuing education is another task that keeps dentists busy. "The more time I take off, the more continuing dental education I take. I'm working smarter instead of longer," said an Illinois dentist. "I spend 36 hours in clinical treatment, 4 hours teaching at dental school and about 20 to 30 hours administrative," said a Washington pediatric dentist.

Many dental practices devote four days a week to patient care, reserving the fifth day for practice management and administrative tasks. "We reserve Fridays for team meetings, dental continuing education, and for patients that might require an extremely lengthy procedure when we can focus on just that one patient," said a Delaware dentist.

"I know how hard dentists work, so this number seems low to me," said Jim Du Molin, dental management consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist. "I suspect many dentists reported only how many hours they spend with patients. I certainly know that dental practice management can take up a lot of extra time."