Why are Dentists’ Incomes Continuing to Fall?

An article last month in Dentistry Today reported that annual incomes for GP dentists have been declining since 2005. That information is based on the ADA Health Policy Institute’s Survey of Dental Practice.

2014’s average earnings were down over $9100 from 2013’s average of $183,885, and represent a drop of 20 percent from 2005’s peak.

The article mentioned “a broad set of factors” beginning in the early 2000s related to the continuing income decline and singled out two: the beginning of a trend toward less demand for adult dental care, and an increase in the number of practicing dentists.

The article didn’t mention decreasing reimbursement by insurance companies, but you can bet that’s played a major role in cutting dentists’ incomes.

I think that those are all valid factors, but there are more. And frankly, that’s a good thing, because there’s almost nothing an individual dental practice can do about overall decreased demand for services.

However, there are factors that are within a dentist’s control.

I’ve written before about the impact of corporate dentistry on individual dental practices. I’ve worked with many dentists whose incomes declined after a corporate clinic moved into their market. This is a trend that shows no sign of reversing anytime soon.

Corporate dentistry is pretty much a “race to the bottom” for solo dentists. The well-funded corporate practices realize tremendous cost savings on equipment, supplies, marketing, and even rent. With that financial edge, they can undercut local practitioners and still make a profit.

Fortunately, the solution for the problems of corporate dentistry, too many dental practitioners, and declining reimbursements is the same: attract more and better patients.

That’s what we do at SmartBox Web Marketing: we help select dentists get the patients they want. We help them get more patients, more profits and more freedom to do the things they love.

We’re the industry leader in dental web marketing thanks to our proven Patient Attraction System. SmartBox also offers a host of dental marketing services, from our exclusive Zetetics® phone tracking system, to website design and SEO optimization, dental marketing content creation, and many, many more.

We’re firm believers in “attract, don’t chase” prospective patients. We don’t “do” advertising. Advertising is designed for “quick hit” results – getting people in the door today, tomorrow, this week or this month.

Then you have to advertise all over again. And pay for it.

Our proven system attracts patients to your practice 24/7/365, building your patient base over time. And, we tailor it carefully to attract the patients you want.

The patients who stay, pay, and refer.

I offer a free phone consultation for dentists who want more and are willing to think and act differently when it comes to their marketing. It’s called the Patient Attraction Blueprint™ Session.

If you’re interested in an online patient attraction system that can generate “double your practice” kind of growth, then you’re the kind of dentist we’re interested in working with.

Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the national decline in dentists’ incomes.

Your income? That’s a different matter.




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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.