Three Proven Ways to Increase Dental Office Capacity Without Building a New Office

A major theme we’re hearing again and again is how many dental practices are at capacity with ops fully booked every single day. While being super busy is seemingly a good thing for a dental practice, for most being at capacity means lost opportunities.

A team from Design Ergonomics attended The Team Training Institute’s 17th annual Champions of Dentistry Summit on April 29-30 in San Diego, CA. We joined hundreds of dentists and their teams who gathered to learn, and share, top strategies for building thriving dental practices.

Last week we shared details of the on-stage discussion on the future of dentistry at the Summit between Dr. John Meis, Co-Founder of The Team Training Institute, and Dr. David Ahearn, President of Design Ergonomics. You can read about it here.

The D/E team, including Dr. Ahearn, Monica Lecchi, Vice President, and Nina Emond, Vice President of Customer Relations, shared three proven ideas for how to increase capacity without building a new office:

1. Improve Dental Operatory Turnaround Time

Our research suggests that the average op turnaround time is about ten minutes.

However, we’ve learned that it is possible to reduce the turnaround time to about four minutes. It turns out the rate limiting factor for maximum turnaround speed is the time the disinfectant takes to work, which is about four minutes. Going from ten minutes to four is all a matter of efficiency.

Going from ten minutes to four means it’s possible to book another hygiene appointment per day per op, greatly expanding capacity. For more tips on improving room turnaround, see Dr. Ahearn’s “This Can All Be Easier” presentation on YouTube.

2. Mobilize Your Technology to Increase Dental Operatory Efficiency

When a patient is in the office for a cleaning or a routine filling and you discover something that needs to be addressed, the usual option is to book another appointment in the future. Same-day service can be a challenge for many practices because dedicated hygiene rooms don’t have the required resources, or it just takes too long to prep a treatment room for a specialty procedure like a root canal.

Adding a RapidCart or two to an office means that the right equipment is mobilized so it can be deployed in just a few minutes.

The RapidCart work surface is medical-grade Corian. It features two or three drawers designed to hold Lewis Bins – which makes organizing your specialty supplies easy – and it has has racks to accommodate three Zirc® tubs for fast incorporation of supplies into action.

RapidCart in dental operatory

A rapid deployment cart makes same-day service much easier.

Keelan RapidCarts

Rapid deployment carts quickly increase the capabilities of all your ops, without duplicating expensive equipment.

Mobilizing technology and supplies with Rapid deployment allows instantaneous set up and redeployment of delivery elements such as those desired in endodontics, surgery, and advanced diagnosis.

3. Look for Dental Treatment Room Space Hidden in an Office or Closet

While doctors told us that they were at capacity and not ready to build a new office, many hadn’t explored the possibility of re-purposing another room. Do you have a private office, business office, or even a closet that could be easily turned into an op? Seriously, we’ve converted closets into hygiene rooms that our hygienists fight over. Everything is so easy to reach! Obviously, a practice makes money in ops, not in a business office or private office.

We’re proud to work with Dr. John Meis, DDS and his partner Wendy Briggs, RDH, at The Team Training Institute. Their work has helped hundreds of dental professionals across three continents grow continuously profitable dental practices, without sacrificing patient care.

TTI’s Coaching and Training is a proven process to equip dental teams with the systems and confidence to not only increase production, but also increase profitability by doing the right thing, every time, for every patient.

The next Summit will be held April 28-29, 2023 at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, FL. Go to The Team Training Institute’s website to be the first in line for tickets when they become available. We hope to see you there.


Author Angie Bachman