Are you looking to add orthodontic services to your group dental practice? No matter whether you are a general dentist, pediatric dentist, or a DSO, adding these services can seem like a great opportunity to expand your business and increase your revenue.

However, while they can be beneficial, there are also a host of challenges and complexities that you will face. At least once a week, practices will ask me, “can you help me to find an orthodontist for my practice?” and having been both an ortho looking for opportunities and the owner of a practice looking to hire people, I know what works and what doesn’t.

That is why I thought I would take a closer look at the many hurdles you will face…

Why should you hire an orthodontist?
While there are a considerable number of issues and challenges with adding orthodontic services to your practice, if done correctly, it can be very beneficial. If you are tired of referring patients out, then it can help you to offer patients a far more comprehensive range of treatment options in-house, helping to increase revenue and elevate your practice.

What are the challenges of adding orthodontic services?
While there is certainly a host of opportunities by adding these services, many practices underestimate just how complex of a process it is. In fact, more often than not, most corporations will not follow through with the expansion due to the challenges that arise.

Some of the most common issues you will face include:
1) Large investment
One of the first challenges that come with adding orthodontic services is the large amount of investment that is required. In order to offer high-quality orthodontics, you will need to pay for significant tools and equipment, including an internal scanner, which requires clear budgeting.

Of course, you will then face additional costs throughout each quarter, too, from lab fees to replacement equipment, so it is essential you understand the costs involved before starting.

2) High turnover
Another major challenge is that orthodontics faces extremely high turnover rates. It is very unlikely that your new doctor will stay for a long time, with many either not being up to standard, leaving to find better remuneration, or to start their own practice.

This creates significant challenges, as you will need to either be able to complete the services yourself or pay for an experienced orthodontist to join your team temporarily.

3) Payment
You will also need to establish how you will pay your doctor. You should not be paying your orthodontist in full until the entire project has been completed and the patient has signed a statement of satisfaction.

That means you should break the fee down into clear segments for work completed, and this needs to be clearly outlined in their contract.

4) Availability
It is also very likely that your doctor will only be able to do one certain day a week. While to begin with that will likely work well and patients will understand, eventually, life will dictate that patients need to swap days or that your doctor might no longer be able to make that day.

It is also very likely that at some point in time, you will also face a patient who needs emergency treatment. In both of these instances, you will need to either be able to step up or face having to refer them to another practice. As the owner, it is your responsibility to pick up the pieces.

Need help?
If you are in need of support with expanding your business or orthodontics, then StraightSmile Solutions® is here to help you. We are a web-based orthodontic consulting service designed to support general and pediatric dentists, new graduates, dental laboratories, and those in the dental industry.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with our team today!