According to an article in the latest issue of Dentistry, employers are increasingly discouraging staff from visiting the dentist during working hours. According to the Simplyhealth Annual Dental survey, last year 54% of companies felt that employees could choose when they wanted to see the dentist (ie they could go in work hours), this year it's down to 37%.
This strengthens the advice that we, and other dental business experts, have been giving dentists for some years now, which is that they need to offer extended hours to patients.
This makes perfect sense - many people work, and can't get to their dentist during normal working hours, either because they are not allowed to or because it simply isn't convenient. If you don't cater for these people, then according to the survey you are effectively waving goodbye to almost two thirds (63%) of your working patients. Can you really afford to do that?
We're not saying you need to be open 24/7, or have ridiculously long hours every day of the week. But we are saying that you need to re-examine your opening hours. Stop closing at lunchtime - most businesses ditched that practice decades ago - and consider opening early one day a week, and staying open late another. If you want your practice to survive, this is an issue you can no longer choose to ignore.