Managing Dental Office Transitions, Dr. Cynthia Graves


Dr. Cynthia Graves has been through many transitions in her life, including all of the office transitions that come with purchasing an existing practice. Today T-Bone’s series with female dentists continues as he talks with Dr. Graves about changes related to personnel, technology, and the implementation of new practices. Dr. Graves and T-Bone talk about when patients leave the practice because of insurance, how to avoid mismanagement of funds, and creating a team that functions well together. They also discuss implementation of sleep apnea treatment and a few issues that are specific to women in dentistry. Listen in for great insights on managing your practice!

Keep yourself available to patients who leave your practice because of insurance

One transition that every dental office faces is when patients leave. Dr. Cynthia Graves, who is not in-network for any insurance companies, has some patients for whom this raises a financial concern. When patients leave for that reason, Dr. Graves has a conversation with them assuring them that she understands and that she is available for a second opinion any time they are not comfortable with what a new dentist may recommend. On this episode, she talks about why she gives priority to these conversations and the effect this has on her practice. Listen in for some great insights for responding to patients who leave your practice due to financial concerns.

Front-office practices that can help prevent financial mismanagement

Embezzlement is not something that any practice owner wants to face, ever. On today’s episode, Dr. Cynthia Graves explains the systems she has in place in her practice to prevent the misuse of funds. She trusts the people on her team but knows that it is still wise to have appropriate checks and balances. Listen to this episode to learn how Dr. Graves handles bookkeeping, deposit oversight, bank accounts, and insurance billing in ways that keep everyone appropriately accountable and prevents financial mismanagement.

Keep a record of your systems to help smooth out transitions in your office personnel

Team transitions can be a challenge for a dental practice. When Dr. Cynthia Graves purchased an existing practice and the team leader later left, all the systems left with her and had to be figured out and re-created. On this episode, Dr. Graves and T-Bone discuss the importance of recording all of the systems for your dental practice so that things can continue running smoothly even when transitioning to new team members. Listen in to hear Cynthia’s story and to get some creative ideas for how to document your systems.

T-Bone answers questions about implementing Sleep Apnea in your dental practice

When a dental office transitions into a new treatment or technology, there are specific things that need to happen for it to be successful. Dr. Cynthia Graves wants to add sleep to her practice. On this episode, T-Bone answers her questions and describes how to effectively implement sleep apnea treatments by getting your team on board and having them do most of the work. Listen in to get your questions answered and learn the biggest key to success in implementing sleep.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:11] Intro to Cynthia Graves and her practice in Austin, Texas.
  • [12:18] How Dr. Graves responds when a patient leaves the practice for financial reasons.
  • [17:53] Front office practices that can help prevent financial mismanagement.
  • [29:40] Building a team with different skill sets to create the best customer service.
  • [30:32] Dr. Graves’ story of team transitions.
  • [33:03] Unique challenges for a female business owner.
  • [34:16] Keep a record of your systems so transitions in office personnel can go smoothly.
  • [38:24] Dr. Graves’ story of upgrading her technology to Cerec and Conebeam.
  • [48:14] Dr. Graves’ advice to young dentists: Know your strengths and weaknesses. [49:34] Adding services to your practice – dental implants.
  • [52:50] Weave – The technology Dr. Graves could not live without in her practice.
  • [56:36] Dr. Graves goal: to be less involved in daily production and more involved in growing the business and overseeing the practice.
  • [1:00:47] Considerations in hiring an associate.
  • [1:05:40] The trap of being too busy in your practice.
  • [1:07:16] Options for getting a sleep diagnosis for patients.
  • [1:14:22] Include your team in sleep apnea CE – they will do 90% of the work.

Resources & People Mentioned

Listen to the entire interview

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