A key ingredient for success
Veterinary practice owners who wish to improve their dentistry offerings or create dentistry programs can be challenged with knowing how to obtain accurate data on their current dental case load and performance in order to determine potential future success. In addition, the process of measuring performance can be time consuming.
In a landmark study conducted by Midmark on launching dentistry programs, we found that base lining, benchmarking and tracking dental performance were critical components of continuous improvement that proved to be a key factor of success. Responses from five veterinary hospitals spoke favorably of their dental case load and the number of cases they were doing daily and weekly. In order to accurately measure the impact of the improvements we were making as part of our proposed program, we asked for specifics on exactly how many dental procedures they performed last year, what their dental revenue was and how it compared to practice revenue. They could not answer the question in the moment, which meant they were not already tracking dentistry performance in the practice. This provided one of the first teachable moments of our study. If we were going to measure the impact of the program we would help implement, we first needed to determine the starting point. A common theme emerged: veterinary practice owners and managers are not measuring their dentistry performance.
The size of the prize Studies by the AVMA suggest that 70-80% of cats and dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease. That means that in the average small animal veterinary practice, about half the patients seen every day would benefit from a proper dentistry procedure to assess and treat periodontal disease.
This is why we believe that dentistry remains the largest opportunity for patient care and practice revenue in most companion animal clinics. In an average practice that has 3,000 active patients, there are approximately 1,500 cats and dogs suffering with periodontal disease. According to AAHA1, the average dental case before oral surgery is just over $425, which translates to more than $600,000 in annual dental opportunity. The first step you need to take is to baseline your dentistry so you know exactly where you stand, and so you can set realistic goals for improvement and growth.
When we did this at our study clinics, their performance lagged their optimistic projections
significantly, and the opportunity was enormous.
For more information, please read the white paper on the study here