One of our team members at MPMB reached out to a long-term client of ours, and spent some time training a new office manager on our cloud-based dental software and key concepts with the Clinical Business of Dentistry Training.

When it came to teaching the OM about upgrading, and the documents in My Dental Docs to print out, she said, “Oh no, we don’t upgrade as we have chosen not to nickel and dime our patients.” The MPMB team trainer asked her if they upgrade anything, and it came out they DO upgrade implants so that they can use the hi-end grade five titanium implants such as Straumann Implants, but nothing else.

I met with a group of individuals made up of MBA’s, CPA’s, business leaders, and asked the question, “Why is dentistry the only profession that feels charging for value-added services constitutes nickel and diming their customers”? The answer from all of them was nearly the same. The majority of them stated their answer in with these words, “Because they’re dentists.” I thought, “How Rude”. And I also thought how right they are.

Below is a quick list my wife and I came up with, in the business world, of companies who offer value-added upgrades:

-Banks with private banking, ATM fees

-Airlines with luggage and seats

-Hotels with WiFi, and different rooms

-Cell phones with online payment convenience fees

-Apple with laptops, phones, etc.

-New vehicles with all the add-ons one can have

-Grocery Stores with all those specials

-Medical Insurance

-Vehicle Insurance


-Same Day Surgery Centers


-Software upgrades

-Home upgrades

-Cloths, Shoes



-Outdoor Gear

-Travel packages

-Hair Salons

-Fast Food, or any fine dining restaurants


As you can see, there are many businesses that offer upgrades, in medicine and out, and the above list only touches a few. Now that we’ve proven upgrading is a valuable business concept for profitability and sustainability, the question I have asked all these years is this: “Are we nickel and diming our patients, or are we short changing the skills and abilities of our team and ourselves?”

In our Clinical Business of Dentistry Training we teach dental practices the importance of looking at their direct operating costs (DOC) per hour, and how it applies to their profit and loss factors. To be an effective office manager, dentist, practice owner, you have got to understand your DOC when it comes to setting your fees for dental procedures. It’s a simple business concept that impacts the following:


-Paying cash for technology instead of taking out loans

-Giving raises to your team

-Giving a raise to yourself

-Dramatically increasing corporate profits

-Working smarter not harder, which is physically understood the older you get

That’s just to name a few of the financial stresses we face each day in dentistry. If, by age 50, your retirement fund has four million, you’re completely debt free, your practice is up-to-date with technology, and you only work 3 days a week, 40 weeks a year, then you probably should stop reading this post, or you already implemented our business concepts with the Clinical Business of Dentistry Training taught by the team at My Practice My Business.

Layering our fees instead of baking them as insurance companies try to make us do, differentiate your fees where there is variable in costs of goods, learn what true “corporate profits” are and earn them, and stop fighting well-known and taught business concepts within our own practices just because we don’t understand them. Is there any wonder why corporate dentistry has taken off and independent dentistry has decreased?

Corporate dentistry has certainly had their issues with retaining dentists and providing quality dental care, but look out! These smart business executives have/are figuring it out, and they are raising the bar within the practices they own. Where is that leaving solo practices? I’ll tell you exactly where they are leaving us: needing better business skills. That’s exactly why we created our cloud-based dental software with our dental consulting.

Rob Thorup, DDS

Clinical Director/Co-Founder

My Practice My Business

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