EDUCATION: Are you learning the right things?


Dentistry is a big profession and requires continuous learning. Perhaps the best example is that each state requires a certain level of continuing education to maintain a dental license. This is how important education is to dentistry.

But do you have the right education?

The most successful dentists are exposed to many new aspects of dentistry, clinical training, technological advancements, and other direct skills in dental diagnosis and treatment. But they also spend time learning about other “non-dental” areas such as business, leadership, customer service, sales and marketing.

I believe that a blended approach to learning is optimal for practicing dentists and as such I suggest you apply an 80:20 approach.

80% of your dental training should be devoted to clinical quality and excellence. This is the goal of most dentists who want to provide patients with the best care possible.

20% of your education should be devoted to practice management or business-related knowledge, because managing the practice, implementing documented, proven, step-by-step systems, leading a team and developing Getting the right income are all essential aspects of a great practice, great career, and great life.

Here is the truth. Most dentists have spent extremely little time on practice management or business training. But those who do, find that they profit from it. They benefit because they learn more about how to streamline practice to get results, as well as how to implement systems that will train and retain the team and push them to become better leaders and strategists.

Each year I have the privilege of meeting many new dentists and having in-depth conversations with them about their practice. After 37 years, there is an absolute pattern that has imposed itself. When I meet a dentist who has extensive knowledge or is exposed to broad topics in their continuing education, I already expect them to have a great practice.

Studying a variety of business topics in addition to clinical HR has the added benefit of enabling dentists to identify ideal solutions for their unique practice. Savvy dentists are much more likely to discover superior strategies because they’re much less likely to hold on to the first idea that pops up when they have a problem. They are more aware of the wide range of practical business techniques used inside and outside of dentistry, giving them more options to find the perfect fit for their practice and team.

So for every four or five courses you take on cosmetic dentistry, implant restoration, or periodontal diagnosis and treatment, read a book or take a webinar on leadership or team development. Most successful dentists I have met have a passion for continuing education.

They are curious and interested people who continually change throughout their lives and careers.


Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to scale production. A recognized expert in dental practice management and marketing, he has authored over 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the United States and around the world.

To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice the production tip of the day, to visit or email [email protected]

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: mohamed hassan from Pixabay.


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