Looking for additional revenue streams for dentists? Whether times or lean or you just want to maximize what you’re bringing home, there are many ways to earn passive income or generate a little extra with minimal effort. We’ll walk you through six creative revenue streams for dentists here.
1. Sell Dental Products
Dentists and oral health care products go hand in hand and there is a wealth of products you can choose from. Many manufacturers will provide you with everything you need to get started including products and marketing materials too.
For example, ORL, an organic oral care manufacturer that specializes in natural toothpaste and mouthwash, offers products directly to dentists and oral hygienists at a wholesale price. You can even place signage in your office that allows patients to sign up for a subscription-based service and earn commission on every order – a very easy, non-intrusive way to generate passive income without actually selling anything or keeping products in your office. Drop them a line at email@example.com if you’re interested or research your favorite brands to find out if they offer a similar program.
2. Offer Virtual Smile Consults
With many dental insurance companies now paying for teledentistry services, and patients often happy to pay out-of-pocket for a quick consultation or second opinion, virtual smile consults are an easy way to generate additional production without requiring assistant time or a room.
Research also shows that 87% of patients who start with a virtual smile consultation follow up with treatment. That’s up to a 62% case acceptance rate boost with new patients!
Traditional video conferencing tools are not HIPAA-compliant, so you’ll need a dedicated teledentistry tool for this. If you’re using Practice-Web, pwTeledentist not only pays for itself in as little as one consult per month but also automatically logs session recordings in the patient’s chart for faster documentation and easy retrieval later.
3. Subscription/ Membership Plans
Millions of Americans don’t have dental insurance. Offering an in-house membership provides several benefits:
- You collect a monthly fee whether or not the patient visits.
- Patients are happier because they can get a discount without needing insurance.
- Patient retention increases because in-house plans can only be used in your office and happy patients tend to be more loyal.
Preventative dental insurance plans start at around $20 per month for an individual per Forbes research. Comprehensive plans can top $60 per month. Family plans are typically two or three times the individual rate.
Consider slightly undercutting traditional insurance rates and offering at least two levels – a preventative plan that includes just a couple of cleanings and exams per year and a comprehensive plan that includes the same, but also offers discounts on basic and major services. If your practice has success with these, you may want to expand your options with student, senior, and perio care options or additional solutions that fit the needs of your patient base.
You can purchase special software to administer these programs. However, if you use Practice-Web, you have everything you need to offer them already. See “Creating an In-House Discount Plan: Step-By-Step Instructions” for details.
4. Participate in Referral Programs
Referral programs can provide you with multiple additional revenue streams. Many professional service providers have formal referral programs that provide you with a commission or a bonus when you refer someone. Sometimes you’ll get the payout just for referring someone and other times you’ll only earn if the person signs up for services. Potential earnings vary widely as well, but are usually tied to the value and cost of the service being offered.
Because the services and providers you recommend to others reflect on you, it’s better to only participate in referral programs with brands you know and trust. For example, Practice-Web has referral programs for dental professionals and for professional service providers in adjacent industries like IT and consulting that can easily give you thousands of dollars without doing much beyond dropping our name to dentists you think could benefit from our software. If you’d like to learn more, email us at Sales@Practice-Web.com.
You might also want to check with other companies or service providers you work with to see if they have similar programs such as:
- Lenders/ Financial Service Providers
- Insurance Agents
- IT Professionals
- Marketing Agencies
- Cleaning Companies
- Vendors/ Product Manufacturers
5. Monetize Your Blog
Your website is the keystone of all your digital marketing efforts, so you’ll want to keep the main site, including any service or patient information pages free of clutter and potentially distracting/ conflicting messaging. However, if you run a blog (and you should for SEO!), it’s ok to add some tasteful monetization. Blog monetization is technically passive income for dentists. Once you set it up, you’ll continue getting paid essentially forever. However, programs tend to work better if you’re actively adding to your blog on a regular basis and consistently creating content that people like to read.
Platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads are highly customizable, so you have a lot of control over what types of ads appear on your website. Most businesses will qualify to place ads on their sites with these options too. If you have a large blog that gets a lot of traffic, you might qualify for options like Amazon Publisher Services, which works similarly, or Taboola, which is more about sharing content than promoting products. There are hundreds of ad networks to choose from, so poke around until you find one that feels right for your needs.
Affiliate programs are kind of like a hybrid between digital ads and referral programs. Let’s say you decide to promote a toothbrush as part of an affiliate program. If it’s a toothbrush you really like, you might put a linked image of it in the sidebar of your blog or on the footer, so it displays on every page. Or, you might look through your content to see where you discuss brushing teeth and add a linked image with the content. Depending on the affiliate program, you might get a payment each time someone clicks on it or you might get a payment when someone purchases it.
Some people get very into their affiliate programs and do up blogs specifically to capitalize on them. For example, you might write an entire blog about choosing the best toothbrush, then choose five different toothbrushes to discuss and link each one. (i.e. the best toothbrush for sensitive gums, the best toothbrush on a budget, the best electric toothbrush.)
Just like there are many ad networks to choose from, many companies offer affiliate programs too. Some of your own suppliers might have them. The Amazon Associates program tends to be easy to get started with because there are millions of products you can promote and you’ll earn 10% of each sale.
6. Share Your Space
There are many ways dentists can earn additional revenue streams for sharing space. For example, you can offer up your office during the hours you’re not using it. A dentist just starting out might be thrilled to have access to rooms and equipment on your shorter days, weekends, or evenings. Consider how much you’re willing to share before you start looking for “roommates.” Supplies, disposable items, PPE, etc., may be off limits, while large equipment such as sterilizers and CEREC machines could potentially be shared if that’s your preference.
You might also be able to lease space to a roaming specialist, such as an oral surgeon who works out of a different practice each day. In some jurisdictions, hygienists can work without a dentist’s supervision. In these cases, you could potentially rent out a chair.
Bonus Additional Revenue Streams for Dentists
Looking for more ways to generate additional revenue or boost profit? Check out these related articles:
- 11 Simple Ways to Improve Dental Practice Cash Flow
- Production Goals: 9 Proven Ways to Hit Your Mark
- The Dental Practice Marketing Tree: Where to Start and Why
Let Us Know How We Can Help
If you’re not using Practice-Web but want to explore our software solutions, start with a complimentary demo.
If you’re already using Practice-Web and want help getting started with the referral program, virtual smile consults, or membership programs, contact us for assistance.