Having a dental practice can be a rewarding way to both serve your community and provide for your family. However, when you consider retiring, you might be concerned about how to break the news to your patients.
After developing positive working relationships with your patients over the years, you might feel bad about announcing your retirement. However, you can address some of your patients’ concerns up front to help ease their transition to another dentist.
There are many ways, that this process is similar to setting up a succession plan for any other business. However, people have a hard time finding a dentist they like, so the transfer of your practice to another dentist can be rocky them. But it doesn’t have to be if you:
- Inform your patients: While many of your patients might only see you twice a year for a cleaning and checkup, they will probably want time to process the upcoming change. Some people have gone to the same practice for many years and will react poorly to change.
- Vet your successor: Just like hiring a new office assistant or hygienist, finding the right person to hand your patients to is more of an art than a science. You want to trust their skills and their personality. Consider your resources, such as alumni associations or speak to other dentists nearby or even have a trial period for your successor to begin the transition period.
- Set a time table and stick to it: After you’ve settled on when you’d like to retire, told your long-standing patients what to expect and found the right replacement, the hardest part comes along: letting go.
With just these few simple steps you can make the transition from every day dentist, to happy retiree, while making sure the people you’ve card for over your career are in good hands.