I see it all the time. In my webinars. In E-School. In my everyday interactions with general dentists. … I’m talking about a whole lot of anxiety when it comes to daily operations. We’re talking anxiety around doing endo AND when it comes to how to run a dental practice.
I get it. When it comes to nailing your root canals and being a boss, there’s a lot to know, there are lots of tools and tricks, and there’s lots of procedures that frankly, take a lot of time to get right.
While there is no formula that will get you a flawless root canal every single time, there are steps you can take to make your job easier and get you performing root canals with confidence (and you can leave that self-doubt in the parking lot).
Let’s walk through why simple, repeatable processes can change the game, and why I think instrumentation is a perfect example.
How to run a dental practice better (the answer is with processes!)
Processes, workflows, and protocols—sexy, right? Okay, maybe not, but it’s how I’m able to make more money in my practice working one day a week than I previously was making working five days. It’s also how the doctors in my practice are able to take weeks and months off, and still be super efficient, effective, and profitable.
So you can say I’m a huge fan of processes in general when it comes to how to run a dental practice in the most optimal way. SOPs, protocols, and giving yourself and your entire team a system they can return to time and time again are huge assets (and I promise, the effort you put into creating these up-front will pay off tenfold!).
When you put a process in place, you hold yourself to a certain standard and communicate that standard to your team as well. And when you have the details of the task in writing and what steps to take, you eliminate the guesswork (so you can say so long to anxiety).
But wait! There’s more. When you lean on a repeatable process you create consistency, you improve efficiency, and you have a jumping-off point for continuous improvement.
That’s what I’m talking about!
Processes can be built upon
In the long run, you save time by integrating workflows into your work, setting the example, and sharing your standard operating procedures (that’s an SOP for short) and workflows with your team.
I like to think of each workflow I create as a recipe: it gets better the more you use it—tweaking this or adding a little bit more of that. My workflows are meant to evolve and adapt to my own needs, as well as the needs of my team. You should think of yours the same.
Workflows are a foundation for running a dental practice well. When you keep them simple and commit to using them—I swear a good workflow is going to make every work day a little easier. And that little bit of stress reduction every day really adds up.
For example, I have workflows in my practice for everything, like:
- Taking radiographs
- Discussing insurance and billing
- Filling out a referral slip
- Scheduling patients and emergencies
- Post-operative instructions
- Payroll for my team
- And SO much more
You name it, we’ve streamlined the shit out of it! And as a result, we’re profitable, we get awesome outcomes, and our company culture is rocking! And THAT is how you run a dental practice.
Certainty + optimization = gamechangers
Like I said, there’s no formula for a root canal, because every patient is different, and every tooth is different. There’s a lot to take into consideration for every. single. Root canal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go through a checklist of steps!
Think about all the steps that happen before you ever pick up a file! You’re finding the origin of the pain by cold testing and other pulpal and periapical diagnostic tests, reviewing the details of the referral slip, asking the patient a bunch of questions, imaging, and deciding whether the tooth can be soundly restored. And that’s just the beginning. Endo requires a lot of problem solving, testing, and strategy. That’s why it is all the more important to create some guidelines for processes where you can.
And then when you finally get in there to perform the root canal, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Don’t add another headache to your hectic day, my friends.
Making your job a little easier is one of MY jobs as an educator, which is why I documented my endodontic instrumentation workflow, so you have a place to start when you begin a root canal—and skip the guesswork when it comes to which file to reach for.
The goal: More successful root canals, and more successful business ops … more consistently
Successful root canals depend on the proficient use of the right files and instruments to get the job done (and get to the end of every one of those canals—every time!).
When we accurately gauge patency on all root canals in a tooth, and then accurately measure our working length, using rotary systems to shape, and then obturate—that means we can get our patients out of pain and on the track to feeling good in a reasonable amount of time. All while saving teeth!
It’s critical that we use our tools effectively to get the best possible outcome for our patients.
That’s what it’s all about after all.
The workflows that we use for procedures like root canals are models for the other processes we can put in place to make our businesses the best they can be. So you want to do better root canals and figure out how to run your dental practice better? There’s your answer.
Want to download my instrumentation workflow so you can refer back to it anytime you need a boost of confidence? And maybe even use it as a little inspiration to create more workflows of your own? Get my endodontic instrumentation workflow for free, right here.
And if you’re looking for additional clarity on how to really put this endodontic instrumentation workflow to use in your practice to decrease your chair time and create an office that runs better than ever, check out E-School: Everyday Endo Made Easy. This course is designed for general dentists to up their endo and optimize their systems so they can earn more while better serving their patients.