Transforming practice fears into action and profitability

Since the beginning of the 2008 recession, the business of endodontics has become more competitive and stressful. The recession caused practice decline in over 78% of all endodontic practices. If your practice is not growing, it’s declining. These challenges and stresses are broken down to external (things we can’t control) and internal (things we can control).

External stresses

  • More corporate offices
  • Insurance companies controlling our fees
  • More general dentists doing endodontics
  • Implants instead of retreatments
  • More endodontists to compete with
  • Fewer endodontists retiring
  • Increased consumer spending

Internal stress

  • Low production/low doctor income
  • Fewer patients and open schedule
  • Challenging cases
  • No-shows and last-minute cancellations
  • Office stress and drama
  • Leading your team
  • Student debt
  • Business management challenges
  • Your vacations (wondering who’s taking your patients)

  Dr. Albert (Ace) Goerig


We have no control over the external forces. We must focus our time and resources on solving the internal issues within the practice. If this is done well, the external forces become irrelevant. The internal problems have little to do with clinical expertise but more about a highly trained and incredible team, strong office systems, and a culture that provides superior customer service while creating strong relationships with patients and referring offices. We need to learn how to create an emotional connection with every person we meet. Also, doctors need to understand and master the business side of their practice.

This process all begins with creating a vision and culture for your practice that’s fun and safe while providing the highest quality of care. As the owner, your practice is your canvas; you have the brush and can create your practice in any way you envision. Once you have shared your vision with your team, then develop a structured program to train them on how to deliver the WOW experience with patients and referring offices. Replace all team members who cause drama in your practice. Start having fun again! Develop a schedule that flows smoothly, so you focus on one patient at a time. A smooth schedule will do much to eliminate the stress in the office and allow time for you to focus on marketing the practice.

When marketing is done well, you’ll fill your book daily, increase profitability, and get easier, straightforward cases from your referring doctors. Successful marketing is all about creating strong relationships and differentiating yourself in the dental community. Remember, until you have the right team and systems in place, you should not market. The number one marketing idea is to be able to see emergency patients the day the referring office calls and complete the case that day. With marketing, it is always the best relationship that wins, not always the best doctor.

If change is to occur, you must take action! Don’t be like the chess piece that is moved around the board by others. Learn to be the chess player and control your own destiny while creating the practice of your dreams.

Dr. Albert (Ace) Goerig

Albert (Ace) Goerig, DDS, MS, is a nationally known speaker who has lectured extensively in his field of endodontics and dental practice management to dentists throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. He has authored over 60 articles and is a contributing author to the following textbooks: Pathways of the Pulp, Ingle’s Endodontics, and Practical Endodontics. Dr. Goerig is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics and a Fellow of both the American and International College of Dentists. He has been involved in teaching both endodontics and general dentistry residents for many years. He is in private dental practice in Olympia, Washington, specializing in endodontics. In 1996, he co-founded Endodontic Practice Mastery to teach endodontists the business of dentistry while helping them to love their practice. Since then he has personally coached over 22% of all endodontists and their teams in the U.S. and Canada. He is also the co-author of Time and Money: Your Guide to Financial Freedom. He and his wife, Nancy, were married in 1969 and have five children. He has many hobbies, including fishing, scuba diving, skiing, and travel.

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