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How to prioritize dental practice expenses: What’s most important?

November 3rd, 2022 | 5 min. read

How to prioritize dental practice expenses: What’s most important? Blog Feature

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You’re a dentist and business owner struggling to figure out how to prioritize dental practice expenses. Figuring out which dental practice expenses should be a priority, and which should be cut is a huge challenge. What’s the most important part of your practice budget? You want to be profitable while still having the best quality dental service. 

Dental ClaimSupport is a trusted dental billing partner that helps make collecting claims income easy for dental teams. Running your practice becomes smoother and more profitable when you have a clear, accurate, and compliant billing process. Through our years of service, we’ve seen which parts of the dental practice should be top priorities when it comes to managing the cost of doing business. 

In this article, we will share the most important expenses of the dental practice with you, and why these should be your priority. A clear view of those functions that contribute to your revenue and productivity can help you optimize your dental practice expenses.

Evaluate your technology - is there something that needs updating or replacing?

Technology is a huge part of running a business, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As it evolves and changes, though - what you choose to use and pay for should as well. 

The reason your technology should be evaluated when you prioritize dental practice expenses is that they can contribute to or hold you back from productivity. Is your practice management software out of date? 

Or is it an older, less popular software that you’ve had for several years? It might be time to revisit what you need from practice management software so that you can choose one that not only fits your price range but helps your dental team be productive and profitable. 


Related: 3 updates to modernize your dental office and improve revenue


There is obviously a lot of technology throughout your practice that helps you move through the day, so evaluate each piece of it and decide if it is or is not helping your team complete their job. 

Evaluate any supplies that you regularly purchase 

To run an office you need office supplies. But there are supplies that you could likely cut down on to help prioritize other dental practice expenses. 

You’re always going to need a printer, paper, and ink. There will always be patients who would rather have a statement printed out for them rather than emailed. So paper, printers, envelopes, and postage are probably always going to be a prioritized dental practice expense. But you can cut down on these expenses by going paperless in any way you can. 

As we mentioned, there will always be patients who want a paper statement, but give them the option, and you’ll get plenty of patients that say, “An emailed statement is fine.”

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Do you have overstocked supplies in your inventory that you keep purchasing more of? Let’s say you have an agreement with a toothbrush vendor to send you toothbrushes, floss, sample toothpaste, and bags for you to give to patients. 

This supplier ships these supplies quarterly and you’ve built up quite an inventory. Reevaluate this partnership by adjusting the amount purchased or shipping schedule to reduce your expense.

Evaluate where you can cut expenses so that you can prioritize your clinical supplies. 

Review expiration dates on clinical materials making sure to put them in your supply cabinet with the most recent date of expiration towards the front. When putting your stock away, make sure you rotate it appropriately. It is such a waste when disposing of expired supplies.   

These are the supplies that affect the patient’s oral care, and how you perform your job. They’re far less negotiable than a paperless bill. Keep your waste to a minimum to control your expenses. 

Ensure your dental billing processes are as efficient as possible 

When it comes to cost control, it’s wise to check whether paying employees vs a service is your best strategy. So whether you’re doing billing in-house or using a service, take some time to evaluate the performance of the dental billing solution you have in place.

Checking the ROI of in-house dental billing

To run your practice you need at least someone at the front desk, and someone with billing skills to process your insurance claims and bill patients.

Many dentists tell us that a top challenge is staffing front desk positions. A common strategy is to raise salaries to attract and keep an insurance coordinator. Another strategy is to double-task the office manager with insurance claims processing.

Do an objective cost comparison. What is your actual cost to pay an employee? What would a dental insurance billing service cost to collect the same amount?  Use our free calculator to see your costs and our service fee estimate.

How much will you save? See savings calculator →

Also, consider training costs. Can you maintain billing skills you need and keep overhead costs from skyrocketing?

Reminder: Outsourcing your billing can be the most cost-effective solution for dentists looking to control overhead, and also use dental billing expertise to collect the payments you’ve earned.

Checking the ROI of a dental billing service

Are you using a dental billing service? Here are a few dental billing metrics to check for when evaluating your dental billing service

  1. Your insurance AR - do you have more than 10% of your claims still unpaid after 30 days? 
  2. Your insurance collection percentage - are you receiving payment on 98-100% of the claims filed?
  3. Claims that reach timely filing limits - once your service has processed any backlog, the number of claims that reach timely filing limits should be 0.

The goal here is to figure out two big things - is your practice collecting more revenue as compared to the previous period? Is your in-house team less stressed than they were before? 

Outsourcing to a dental billing service can help your dental practice not only collect more money; you also gain clean, accurate, and compliant processes. The end result is you’re able to deliver an excellent dental experience because insurance billing is no longer draining your resources. 

So, if the dental billing service is improving your profits, and making your patients and in-house team happy -  this expense should be a high priority.

Ready to cut down more on overhead costs through outsourcing your dental billing?

Figuring out which dental practice expenses are a priority starts with a simple question: Does this help us deliver an excellent patient experience with a smooth-running practice? Expenses that give you job satisfaction and optimal revenue make sense as top priorities. 

You now have tips and ideas on how to prioritize your dental practice expenses. You can decide where to invest and cut your expenses confidently, knowing you’ll remain profitable.  

Dental ClaimSupport helps dental teams by making sure the billing is handled, so you’re fully equipped to lead your practice and team. To learn more about how outsourcing your dental billing can cut down on overhead costs, visit our Learning Center.

Find out how to increase income, lower costs on dental billing when you schedule a call

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