It’s important to have an appropriate fee structure that suits the needs of your practice and your patient base.

You want to make sure you’re profitable enough to provide patients with the best care, invest in the right equipment, hire and train qualified staff.

And as recent years have shown us, you also need to build in a bit of a buffer so that if market conditions change or emergencies arise, you have the cash flow necessary to keep the practice afloat. Reviewing your fee structure regularly is just part of good business practices.

Your fees are a direct reflection of your costs; rent, staff, interest rates on loans, equipment, etc.

Because your costs and the economic environment in which you operate changes so often, you need to review your fees periodically.

Sometimes people go years without reviewing their fees which is a huge mistake.

If you don’t review your fees for several years then one day you take a look at your costs and realise you need to increase your fees by a lot, then you’ll probably have to make a pretty noticeable increase.

This kind of big jump can be tricky, awkward, and even alienate patients. So, as a preventative, you want to review your fees often and the increase will be a lot smaller.

If you are in the position where you do need to make a big jump, your best bet is to break it into smaller increments over time.

Our first hand experience shows that patients aren’t too fussed about this and rarely notice at all.

Of course, practice owners biggest fear is that a patient will complain or challenge the fee increase.

It’s important to know that in our decades of industry experience, this rarely ever happens and shouldn’t deter you from increasing the fees as necessary to cover the costs of the practice.

In the rare occasion this does happen, a good verbal skill to navigate it is:

“You’re right, we’ve been able to absorb certain costs in the background and haven’t increased fees in XYZ years. But we’ve gotten to a point where we can’t absorb those costs any longer and we’ve had to pass some back to the patient.”


As you can see, that’s a totally reasonable response that gives the patient a bit more context about the cost involved in running a dental practice, why the increase is happening now of all times, and reinforces the goodwill of the practice.

So, if you haven’t reviewed your fees in a while, maybe this is your sign to go ahead and do that now…