"Hidden" Problems In Your Practice And 4 Steps To Fix Them

Equipment emergencies are expensive and frustrating. Eliminate stress by implementing these 4 steps!

"Hidden" Problems In Your Practice And 4 Steps To Fix Them

The Dreaded Call...

It's 7AM. I'm mentally preparing for a packed day with back to back meetings from 8AM to 8PM...

**Ring - Ring - Ring**


Me: That's not good. Sorry to hear it!... What exactly is happening?

Dental Office: I have no idea! Can they be here in the next 15 minutes?!

Me: Have you tried resetting it?

Dental Office: I just need someone here now!! Patients are in the chairs.

Me: Ok... Let me get on it.

Dental Office: THANK YOU SO MUCH!


I wish 15 minutes was possible. Realistically, we could be facing 2 hours to a full day of downtime and thousands of dollars in revenue.

Weekly, I expend Olympic worthy mental gymnastics to handle equipment emergencies. All around they are a VERY rough start to everyone's morning. But, why does this happen?... Neglect. Unintentional neglect, but still just as problematic.

How To Avoid Dental Equipment Emergencies?

Thankfully, unintentional neglect is dramatically reduced by establishing consistent maintenance protocols. These are my 4 steps to successfully implementing a maintenance protocol and saving thousands of dollars in costly repairs:

Step 1: Take Inventory of All Equipment

The Equipment Inventory is a collection of information to adequately maintain, service, and budget for equipment related expenses. I have included a comprehensive equipment inventory guide at the end of this article absolutely free. Please consider subscribing with the button below to gain access to the files.

Step 2: Establish Maintenance Protocols

Using this equipment inventory we can establish protocols for the team to follow. Practice turnover can be challenging for maintenance but the equipment inventory allows new team members to easily fulfill the role. When incorporating new equipment items we add them to the inventory with warranty data for simple reference in the future. Above all, it is critical to follow the Dental Equipment Maintenance Checklist and additional equipment manufacturer recommendations.

Step 3: Assign Responsibilities

The most successful protocols require a consistent set of eyes. Assigning maintenance responsibilities to one team member will ensure that someone is handling it. When a practice leaves this task to multiple team members I often find that nobody takes care of it. Select one day of each month for updating and reviewing the equipment inventory.

Step 4: Professional Preventive Maintenance

Some dental equipment requires regular professional preventive maintenance.  A "preventive maintenance" schedule reduces emergency calls eliminating minor issues before they become serious problems. Since technical service expenses can add up, consider partnering with one company for supplies, equipment, and technical service to receive reduced rates.  

Embracing Proactivity

How The Equipment Inventory Is Applied?

  • New Practice Build: consider asking a dental representative to catalog newly purchased equipment. This document is a valuable resource for tracking manufacturer warranties offering long-term protection for equipment investments.
  • Practice Acquisition: Ask a dental representative to evaluate the "health" of the existing equipment. Often, they can help determine the investment required to make a practice functional.
  • Existing Practice: Catalog equipment and service related activity to increase longevity and reduce stress.

Example: Include A Floor Plan for Reference
Example: Taking Inventory of Dental Equipment

Managing Multiple Locations

I cannot imagine dealing with the daily challenges a dental practice faces. Multiply this by 5, 7, or 10+ practices and that is enough to cause insanity. I recommend everything above with one exception. Use the web based version of the equipment inventory (accessible after subscribing) and house the files online. Then, grant access to all team members. Having a trusted partner when dealing with general service and emergencies can substantially protect the business from expensive losses while keeping the practice productive.

Unlimited Free Access to the Equipment Inventory

If not already completed, please submit a frequently used email using the button below and view email inbox to confirm receipt. This will unlock the equipment inventory files, useful infographics, and jumpstart the path to improved practice productivity!

Direct feedback and questions to ben.holguin@pattersondental.com or 714-560-3472. Thank you for reading and enjoy the resources!