Stressed About Employee Salaries?

Coaching dentists to become confident leaders of a profitable practice
ask sharyn

Team Doesn’t Like My Diagnosis


Dear Sharyn,

I’m getting some pushback from my team about the way I diagnose and recommend treatment. My practice has three dentists and we’re all scheduled out for months.  I know they see the other dentists recommending a crown for an old alloy in the tooth, but when I do an exam I say “Everything looks great!” Sure if I see decay, I recommend a restoration. But for me, my schedule is booked out so far that that old alloys are going to have to wait. How do I get my team to understand this?

A.S. Kansas

Dear A.S,,

Hmm- while I do understand your desire to triage patients so that your schedule doesn’t completely overwhelm you, your solution has some potential negative consequences. Telling patients they look great when there are issues, only kicks this problem down the road. Sooner or later, these patients will be back in your office and they may want to understandably know why you didn’t recommend treatment when it was a smaller problem. This approach doesn’t help raise your patients’ dental IQ or increase their value for dentistry. I also suspect it is demoralizing for your clinical team to hear you downplaying the need for intervention and contradicting their clinical judgments.

So, I can understand why you’re getting pushback and I would encourage you to find a way to balance the needs of all of your patients within the realities of your schedule. I suggest you meet with the team and together work out a process for patients who don’t need to come in immediately but who should nevertheless get on the schedule for future treatment.  Then your verbiage with patients will be more honest and transparent. “Patient, I’m seeing an old alloy which we do need to take care of before it causes you some problems.  This is not an immediate emergency so we’re going to schedule you for it in 4-6 months when you come back for your hygiene appointment. This will mean one less trip for you and one less thing for you to worry about in the future.”

Subscribe to the Bite-Sized Practice Management Newsletter: Tips, Scripts and tools designed for dentists in a hurry.​

Download the Dental Wage Planner

View your current payroll costs at a glance and forecast the impact of potential raises. You will be able to see any compensation inequities, compare payroll costs to your production and calculate the costs of proposed raises against your production goals. 

DOWNLOAD: The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

Sign up below and we’ll send you the free guide straight to your inbox

Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

You’ll learn how to