Top 9 Qualities Of A Successful Dentist – Dental Practice Management

What are the best qualities of successful dentists? We asked many successful dental practitioners and finally made this list - Qualities of a successful dentist. Read and see which qualities you are having or lacking?

What are the best qualities of successful dentists? We asked many successful dental practitioners and finally made this list – Qualities of a successful dentist. Read and see which quality you are having or lacking?

Dentistry is a global profession.

It is also one of the highly competitive sectors in health services and yet one of the most rewarding.

So, it is no surprise that on a global scale dentists are among the highest earners & tax payers.

Yes, there are always difficulties when a young dentist starts his/her career. But in the long run, with consistent hard work, the majority of the young dentists succeed financially & socially.

We met with some of the leaders in the field of dentistry & asked  – What are the qualities of a successful dentist?

Time, place and circumstances might be different for each dentist, but there are few qualities that every dentist must possess to have a successful dental practice.

From the answers of some long-time dental practitioners, we have made this list.

Read and try to incorporate some the qualities that you feel you might be lacking.

#1. Planning, Flexibility & Persistence

These are 3 different words but inherently connected to each other. The success of a dental practice is not an overnight phenomenon.

The success of a dental practice is not an overnight phenomenon.

Even to get closer to the prospect of having a profitable and quality dental practice, it sometimes takes months of planning and successful execution of the plans.

So, as the first step to a successful dental practice, you need to understand the mix of the 3 words mentioned above – planning, flexibility & persistence.

Planning for your dental practice

A dentist who wants to be successful in the near future must have a proper plan on every aspect of his/her dental practice.

Planning for the location: Plan where you want to start your clinic. You may not always get the location you want because of availability and price. So, you need to scout and search.

Planning your finance: Starting a dental practice is akin to starting a small start up. So, you must plan your expenditures. It will prevent you from making unnecessary expenditures and save money.

Planning for your approach: From the start plan out an approach for your dental practice and how you are going to project it in your community.


On way to a successful dental practice, there are going to changes which are beyond your control. So, when you feel that a certain plan of action is not working for you then you should have the flexibility to modify your plans. Many times ego prevents us from seeing the clear picture. Never carry that ego. Believe in your ideas but when you feel something is not working (after proper assessment) be quick to modify your plan.

Persistence or Perseverance

Most of the successful dentists stressed on this quality.

Not an Overnight Success Module: As mentioned above success in dentistry is not an overnight phenomenon.

Stick to your plans: You have to be persistent with your planning and efforts.

The Waiting Game: You have to play the waiting game and in the mean time stay motivated & updated.

Most of the successful dentists whom we asked mentioned that Perseverance in dentistry is tough to achieve. Only dentists who are highly motivated, can do this.

See Next Slide 

Quality of Successful Dentists – #2 & #3

#2. The interest to learn & stay updated

We do not need to even mention that dental science is always improving and changing.

Every 2 to 3 years or less there are newer and better dental materials, more efficient medicines available in the market.

Due to extensive research by dental corporations, better and newer dental treatment equipment are coming into the market.

There has also been an exponential rise in the use of software in managing the dental practice. There is various dental practice management software that helps the dentists to manage their dental practice more easily.

If you think closely, all these improvements related to dentistry has one point agenda:

To Provide the patients a better and improved treatment.

So, one of the most important qualities of a successful dentist: Always be a student of the dental craft.

  • Keep updating yourself on new and better dental treatments.
  • Stay updated on the latest development in the medicines.
  • Adapt to the changing world and learn to use various software to help yourself managing your practice better.

#3. The Power to Communicate

Communication or Words is the key in dental practice.

Your persona as a successful dentist does not depend only on how good a treatment you are providing. Yes, that is the center point. But the peripheral aspect of a good communication is also equally significant.

How effectively you are able to communicate to the patient or make him/her understand decides a major portion of your success as a dentist.

Communication with a patient can be divided into three segments and you need to master all of them.

Communication on the first visit (before treatment): The most important stage of communication. A patient comes with his own thoughts, fears, and expectations. How effectively you are able to manage the initial communication (by reducing the patient fears & explaining the required treatment), decides if the patient is going to stay with your practice or not. How to manage dental fears? Read here.

Communication during treatment: This involves giving a simplified overview of the treatment being done and continuously assuring the patient.

Communication after treatment: This involves staying in touch with the patient after the treatment is over. Keep the contacts of your patients. Periodically send them dental tips, reminders, birthday wishes and festival wishes. This results in a close formal contact with the patient. Benefit: More chances of that patient referring your dental practice to his/her friends & family. Do you know that you can use dental practice management software for staying in touch with your patients? Read here.

See Next Slide for 

Points #4 & #5 – Qualities of a Successful Dentist

#4. The Business Acumen

From a very practical point of view, what is that one factor, which will keep your dental practice running?

Yes, you guessed it right – a net financial profit month after month.

You will find many so called public giving tall statements that – a dentist must look at looking helping people, not making money. Dentists should not assess profit & loss like a business man/woman.

Such idea is pure emotional blackmailing. In fact, the reality is completely opposite to such a thought.

Being a dentist and having a business acumen means:

  • You are serious about your dental practice: It shows that you are very professional about your craft and want to provide the best service.
  • You want to keep your practice up to date: A dental practice needs to be regularly updated and for that, you need financial profit.
  • You believe in your craft and service: A good business sense also indicates that you are confident about your craft to provide a top dental service. You believe that you deserve the price that you quote.
  • You are practical: It is not possible to sustain a dental practice that is having financial losses month after month. You cannot update your practice nor pay salary to your staffs. So, a good business sense means that you are practical and serious about making your practice a success.
  • It also gives you the chance to provide free services: Only when your clinic is financially stable, you can provide free services to the poor who cannot afford the treatments and are in real need of help.

Always remember for your dental practice to succeed and prosper, there have to be viable profits on a regular basis. Otherwise, the whole dental practice will collapse and shut down.

#5. Look the Part:

Look Like a Health Professional

One of the qualities that all the top dentists mentioned was to look like a health professional.

Being a dentist you are associated with hygiene & aesthetics also. So always make a conscious effort to look your best when you are present in your dental practice.

So, what are the points you should take care to look the part?

  • Be clean shaven: Groom your hair with a proper cut. If you are a male dentist then make sure that you are clean shaven. Unruly hair or excess beard does not go well with the profession. If you are a lady dentist then properly arrange your hair. The idea is your appearance should be neat and clean. This is what is expected from health professionals.
  • Keep your clinic organized: A dental practice where the instruments and other materials are not properly arranged give a very negative vibe to the patients. 
  • Ask you dental practice staffs to dress and behave properly: The neat dress code applies to the staffs of your dental practice. Instruct them to be polite. Remember, any patient, new or old, will first interact with the staffs of your dental practice like the receptionist. So, it’s essential the 1st impression is good.

What we mean to say is – you do not need to look like Tom Cruise.

It’s more than enough if you appear organized, confident & assuring.

In the present world where people are quick to make judgments, you have to extra careful about the points mentioned above. This is essential to improve the brand value of your dental practice.

See Next Slide for points #7 & #8 

The Qualities of a Successful Dentist

#6. Be Friends with Good People, Fellow Dentists & Follow the advice of a mentor

No dentist can be successful staying isolated.

All the dentists we interviewed unanimously said that it is essential for

every dentist must make efforts to connect with fellow dentists.

It is essential that every dentist makes a sincere effort to mingle with fellow dentists. The regular interaction helps dentists to learn new points on dentistry.

It also gives a dentist the chance to make new friends which are always relaxing.

There is a great deal you can learn from the experience of senior dentists.

They have seen all the phases of dentistry and have successfully faced each stage.

Do you know what are the various stages of dentistry and how to face them?

Read about the stages below: 

5 Stages in the Professional Life cycle of a Dentist

So it is for the benefit of every dentist, who wants to be successful, to respect and learn from their seniors.

For every human to be successful it is essential to have humility and respect for others. Almost every dentist we talked with highlighted that to be successful you need to have compassion and respect towards your patients & staffs.

Without humility, it is not possible to be a successful dentist.

See Next Slide for point #8

Quality of a Successful Dentist

#7. Marketing for a Dentist

One more point that every dentist accepted to be essential for success in the modern day world is Marketing.

What has marketing got to do with a dentist?

A lot.

There was a time when dentists were few. There was enough market share for every new and old dentist. It was not very difficult to be known in your community. Dentists in a short span of time were getting the social recognition as well as financial gain.

But how fast the times have changed. In the modern world of today, like every other career, dentistry is also getting more and more crowded. More and more dentists are graduating every year and are trying for their share in the billion dollars dental practice industry.

So how do you reach the people and let them know about your dental practice among all the noise?

That’s where Marketing Kicks in for a Dentist.

Marketing itself is a very elaborate topic for discussion. But below is a short summary of some of the points on Dentist Marketing.

Marketing Points for Successful Dentists

On-Line Marketing (Using the power of the internet): 

Website based Marketing: This involves creating your own dental website and marketing your dental practice via your website.

Social Media Marketing: This involves the use of social media to create marketing and promotion for your dental practice. This includes promotion in Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Marketing in your local & nearby community (Using the power of real life contacts)

  • Attend local social functions.
  • Make settings and deliver a speech on dental career/care in school, colleges and community gatherings on health care & awareness.
  • Attend treatment camps being conducted by other doctors & organizations.
  • Visit rural places to provide dental treatment.
  • The goal is to make yourself visible in your local community.
  • Slowly & steadily you will rise the ladder up.
  • If possible buy print ads to promote your practice in local newspapers or try to write health articles in the local magazines, papers. You can also use Radio for speech & promotion. That’s one of the easiest ways to get close to your local community.
  • Don’t spend too much on online marketing. Your clinic is not an on-line market like amazon. Your promotion must target the local population first.
  • Don’t over-estimate social media and Facebook promotion. That’s better for big corporations and websites. Using facebook try to connect with more people in your locality and nearby areas. Are you confused how to use facebook properly for the promotion of your dental practice? Then read 5 Tricks to promote your Dental Practice in Facebook.

If you would like to know more about dental marketing then read the article below


You all must have heard In simple words – it’s the world of promotion and marketing. Whether you like it or not, much of your success as a dentist is completely dependant on how effectively you are marketing yourself. This modern era dentistry is very different from the professional clinical practice scenario that was prevalent a decade back.

See the next slide

for the final point #9 of

Qualities of a Successful Dentist

#8. The Confidence & Beliefe in your Talent & Goal

 This was one quality which every dentist felt is essential but not easy to acquire.

dental practice management

You might be talented. You might have correct avenues.

But all that will not be enough if a dentist does not have 3 qualities that act in unison:

The Hunger for Success

The Passion to Work Hard & Learn

The belief & confidence in oneself.

If you check the story of any of the successful person then it will be clear that they were confident about their approach and skill. They were confident but not over confident.

A career in dentistry is tough and stressful. Yes, it is rewarding but it takes a long journey to reach the thresh hold of success. In this long journey, other than your talent and skills, the only other quality that will push you to move ahead is the Inner Beliefe.

So, how does confidence plays a role in the success of a dentist?

  • Confidence makes you more aware of your surrounding.
  • With a confidence that is reasonable, you can stay calm and face your day to day clinical practice more confidently.
  • Confidence keeps you guarded and humble. As a confident person, you realize the value of always learning and improving your techniques in dentistry.

Confidence and belief give you the inner strength to go through all the 5 stages of dentistry mentioned here – Stages of dentistry.

#9. The ability to learn from your mistakes

Perhaps the most important quality needed by a dentist to be really successful.

This quality was echoed by every dentist we talked with.

It is the ability to learn from your mistakes & not to repeat them.

Professional dentistry is a technique sensitive craft that keeps on improving with experience. You are bound to make mistakes in your dental practice. But the truly successful dentists are the ones who revise and learn from their mistakes.

The goal must be to learn where was the fault and to never repeat that mistake again.

Rather use it improve your practice further.

Talking about mistakes, you would like to read this article below that warns you about all the common mistakes in a dental practice.

10 Greatest Mistakes to Avoid in Your Dental Clinic – Dental Practice Management

10 Greatest Mistakes that every dentist must avoid in their dental clinic. Very essential for a successful dental career & dental practice management. Yes, having our clinic is a moment of pride, joy, and happiness. It does feel like owning a piece of the world.

To conclude:

Dentistry is a long career with many stages. To complete each stage successfully, a dentist needs to have a mixture of many qualities. In this post, we have tried to enumerate some of the qualities that can make a dentist successful. All the points mentioned were taken from the experience of dentists who are into professional dental practice for past 10 years.

We hope that you got some valuable insight which will be helpful in your dental career.

To wrap this article, here is a list of the points we discussed in the form of an infographic.

Qualities of a Successful Dentist: The Infographic.