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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 37-39

Resources for practice management

Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska, USA

Date of Web Publication10-Jun-2015

Correspondence Address:
Prof. David G Dunning
Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 4000 East Campus Loop South, Lincoln, Nebraska - 68583-0740
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: The author receives royalties for one of the books highlighted in the article. The author also received an original stipend/honorarium to develop one of the courses mentioned above. However, no honorarium or payment is associated with future users of the course. Lastly, the author has editorial involvement with "Dental Hypotheses."

DOI: 10.4103/2155-8213.158466

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How to cite this article:
Dunning DG. Resources for practice management. Dent Hypotheses 2015;6:37-9

How to cite this URL:
Dunning DG. Resources for practice management. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 5];6:37-9. Available from:

The 2015 Annual Session of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) included a project-sharing workshop titled "Igniting Practice Management Learning." This editorial summarizes the proceedings of that workshop and then highlights additional resources for practice management for use in dental college and beyond.

  ADEA Workshop Top

The project-sharing workshop featured seven speakers and focused on successful strategies for teaching practice management.

Dr. David Willis, University of Louisville, discussed his website, Two dental management simulation programs, a "basic" version and an advanced version, "Strategic Challenge," offer dental students and practitioners an avenue to learn actively about the business of dentistry. Simulation "game" players forecast goals through a strategic plan and then make a series of management decisions for each business quarter (3 simulated months). Players then track their outcomes based on quarterly printouts, which include detailed overhead line-items, cash management, and profit. Players adjust decisions based on their practice outcomes and changing market parameters. The simulation also includes built-in cases that cover issues ranging from staff management and dental insurance to dental suppliers. Having utilized the "advanced" version with students for over 15 years, I can attest to its effectiveness in guiding students to grasp the basics of dental business.

In addition, Dr. Willis overviewed his book, Business Basics for Dentists, available from Wiley at: Purchasers of the book will find supplemental material available on a companion website.

Dr. Brian Lange, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry, discussed another textbook, Dental Practice Transition: A Practical Guide to Management, published by Wiley and available at: A second edition of this book is currently being written.

Dr. Dave Dunning, also at the Nebraska College of Dentistry, reviewed four online courses in practice management currently available for free to dental faculty and students at, Procter & Gamble's increasingly versatile website. Courses include goal setting, financial management of the dental office, patient communication, and performance reviews for dental staff. Students may take these modules independently or in conjunction with a course. In addition, the web site has a practice management section with articles at:

Dr. James Willey and Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Shapiro of the ADEA described a growing web presence at To access most materials, American Dental Association (ADA) membership is required. Business calculators are available, as are online tools and educational programs/modules on topics such as business planning and being a great boss. The ADA also offers a 13-lesson Executive Practice Management Certificate program for a tuition fee. The program is a joint venture with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The ADA has also developed an online Benefit Plan Analyzer available to members for a subscription fee. The Analyzer examines the expected impact of participating in a given dental insurance benefit program, such as becoming a preferred provider. Finally, the ADA continues to publish hard-copy and e-book versions of books on a variety of practice management topics, such as associateships, practice valuation, and dental office design.

Dr. John Williams outlined an additional Commission on Dental Accreditation predoctoral standard, which seems likely to be approved. The new standard will require dental schools to teach personal finance and debt management. The new standard is a practical avenue for addressing the need for students to manage their increasing student loans, associated with undergraduate and dental education.

It should also be noted that some dental colleges in the USA have joint programs allowing dental students to earn both a dental degree and a Master in business administration, including Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of California-Los Angeles.

  Other Resources for Practice Management Top

With the growth of the Internet and our Information Age, there are literally thousands of resources, particularly websites, related to business and to practice management, including almost weekly webinars on a variety of subjects. I am noting and commenting here on a very small sample of additional resources.

  Other Selected Books Top

Cooper M. Mastering the Business of Practice. 2 nd ed. Woodinville, WA: Sahalie Press; 2009.

Finkbeiner B, Finkbeiner C. Practice Management for the Dental Team. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2011.

Gantra R. Re-Inventing Dentistry: A New Vision for Building and Marketing. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace; 2012.

Hindley LN. Getting Down to Business - Success in Each Stage of Your Dental Career. 3 rd ed. Parsons, KS: Sun Graphics; 2013.

Logan E. Dentistry's Business Secrets - Proven Growth Strategies for New or Existing Practice. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse; 2011.

Osterhaus G. How to Open a New Dental Office or Relocate Your Current One. Phoenix, AZ: GFO Publishing; 2011.

PPC Loan. The Affluent Dentist (now out of print). Woodlands, TX: PPCLOAN; 2009.

Small J. Face to Face: A Leadership Guide for Health Care Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Oviedo, FL: HigherLife; 2011.

Smith HM. Dental Practice Transitions Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Buying, Selling, Associates and Partnerships. Tuscon, AZ: Wheatmark; 2011.

  A Select Few of the Countless Internet Resources in Practice Management Top (Emerging website with resources about practice management - available for members of the American Dental Student Association). (Free consulting services for business) (Practice management link for, with articles about practice management). (Association of Dental Support Organizations; the "Professional Resources" section has some information on practice management). (A firm that provides financing for dental practices). (A dental practice consulting firm). (Dental Economics online). (With the rise of dental education debt, this site is useful as it offers links to free courses on economics and personal finance). (Collier & Associates: Dental and legal consulting services). [The American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) is one of the largest educational and networking associations dedicated to serving dental practice management professionals]. (Features many articles and materials on practice management). (Specialists in human resource management). (A list of many types of financial calculators from loans to taxes). (Business consulting firm for dental practice; also has a newsletter available for subscription). (A primer on various types of insurance). [The Academy of Dental CPAs, an organization of CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) providing consulting, accounting, and tax services to dental professionals]. (Dental marketing and practice management consulting services). (Resources and links through the American Student Dental Association). (Many articles related to practice management and transition provided in the archives). (A robust business intelligence system to track over 300 indices of practice success). (a variety of articles on different practice management topics, such as staffing and practice transition). (A group of individuals focusing on practice management consulting services). (A firm specializing in dental consulting/coaching services). (A firm specializing in dental consulting services). (A firm specializing in preventing/investigating embezzlement in dental practice). (A company specializing in branding). (A firm specializing in dental consulting services; a free e-book is available at the time of writing for registering on the website: The Super General Dental Practice by Michael Abernathy, DDS). (A network of brokers specializing in the sale/transition of dental practices; a "Resources" menu button leads to many articles on dental practice management). (The transition division of Henry Schein; website includes a practice valuation guide; many articles related to practice management are available from the "Insights and Events/Articles and New Releases" menu button). (Offers courses for practicing dentists on both clinical skills and practice management). (A hub for dentists to communicate and collaborate, including some content related to practice management). (A powerful system for automated patient communication).

  Conclusion Top

There is a growing body of quality resources available in practice management, both in print and online. My hope is that by accessing these many resources, you will be able to broaden your horizons for understanding practice management and also help others to learn more about it.

  Acknowledgments Top

Thank you to several colleagues who provided information about some of the resources listed above.

  Authors Top


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