Dr Anand Marya (Cambodia) did his BDS from India, his M.Sc.D. Orthodontics from Manila and is a Ph. D. Scholar from Thailand. He is holds a MFDS RCPS Glasgow and a PGD Hospital and Health Care Management from India. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists (FICD), Fellow of the Malaysian Orthodontic Practitioners Association (FMOPA), Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy (FPFA), Member of Mentorship & Planning Committee- American Academy of Orofacial Pain, Section Chair- Pierre Fauchard Academy Cambodia section. Currently he is an assistant professor in University of Puthisastra, Cambodia and a course conductor & Keynote Speaker for various orthodontic programs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. He is one of the coveted speakers of the DRDCA 2020.
It takes years to attain the necessary qualifications to become an Orthodontist and even longer to gain a good reputation among patients. There are a lot of things that Orthodontists often resort to, in order to bring in more patients but often we forget the most important factor i.e., happy and satisfied patients! To help run a successful Orthodontic practice we must keep the following 7 points in mind always:
1. Identify your practice culture– When patients enter your practice, they must understand how different your practice is from others. You can settle on a unique identity for your office in terms of operations, staff training, communication skills, leadership style and most importantly by clearly setting ethical guidelines. A patient that visits you for treatment should know and see who you are, the values behind the practice and the culture in the waiting room itself.
2. Organizing your practice– An organized practice always runs better. You can organize your clinic into diagnostic and treatment areas so that you can organize and equip each area with the required instruments and be able to focus better on the task at hand. The patients also would be able to see how well organized the clinic is, and it helps adds reliability points.
3. Diagnostic records– Often diagnostic records are given less priority over starting the treatment whereas it is the most crucial first step. It not only gives you an opportunity to understand the patient’s problems in detail but also a chance to get to know the attitude of the patient. Orthodontic treatment to a major extent depends on good patient compliance, so getting to talk to the patient and understanding their concerns is as important as carrying out the treatment itself.
4. Streamline appointments– Orthodontic patients usually visit the clinic on a long-term basis so they must be attended to properly at every visit. Its never a good idea to have many patients in the waiting area, especially ones who visit you every month, so it is advised to have a proper streamlined scheduled with ample time in between appointments.
5. Well trained staff– A clinic runs as successfully as its staff enables it to. Ensure that you have professionally qualified assistants and customer service executives who can attend to and answer all patient queries properly. The patient’s first point of contact is the front desk so always ensure they are well trained to communicate with patients and handle their doubts and queries effectively.
6. Encourage feedbacks and reviews– Since orthodontic patients visit the clinic on a regular basis, they should be encouraged to leave a feedback regarding the treatment as well as the overall experience. This not only assures the patients that they are being looked after properly, but also that their treatment is progressing as planned.
7. Planning for the future and enhancing skills– Treatment options keep changing with time and so do techniques. As a practicing orthodontist, it should be your responsibility to keep updating your skills and knowledge routinely to provide your patients the best possible treatment always. As a part of the dental fraternity, we owe it to our patients to always have adequate knowledge to provide sound treatment.
A good orthodontic practice takes years to develop but the results are satisfying. Hard work and ethics are something one should never compromise on and patient satisfaction will reflect this eventually.