Thinking About Hiring an Orthodontic Consultant? Ask These Important Questions First

March 25, 2024
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Key Takeaways  

  • The right orthodontic practice management consultant can drive growth, but it's important to choose one that aligns with your goals.
  • Consistent and clear communication with your consultant is vital for staying informed and maintaining smooth practice operations.  
  • Integrating new technologies under the guidance of a skilled consultant can significantly enhance patient care and workflow efficiency.
  • Gaidge 360 Consulting's data-driven approach and 50+ years of collective experience ensure tailored strategies for each practice's success.  
  • Long-term support from your consulting partner, like Gaidge 360 Consulting, is key to sustainable growth and ongoing success.  

Orthodontic practice consultants are increasingly popular in today’s competitive environment. Their expert insights bring promising opportunities to the table, helping practices refine their operations, enhance patient experiences, and ultimately boost revenue.  

But how do you find a practice management consulting team that does what it says, and says what it means? The key is to ask the right questions before you commit. Here are seven crucial questions to steer your conversation and ensure you make a well-informed decision.  

1. What Are Your Goals for Our Practice and How Do They Align with Ours?  

Not all orthodontic practice consultants are the same. Some may focus on new practices starting from the ground up, team training, or established practices struggling with growth. Depending on their specialty and experience, some are more suited to help you achieve your goals than others.  

Prior to meeting with the consultant, outline your short- and long-term goals.  

Are you hoping to increase new patient starts by 5% in the next quarter? Do you want to build a comprehensive team training program? Are you planning to open a new office location within the next three years? Be specific.  

Then, when you meet with the consultant, present these goals clearly. Discuss how they plan to help you achieve your goals. Ask how they've successfully achieved similar objectives in other practices. This will give you a clear idea of their capabilities and whether they align with your practice's vision and needs.  

Remember, a good fit with your consultant is key to your practice's growth and success.  

2. What Methods Do You Use to Improve Practice Performance?  

This question invites consultants to detail their approach and align it with your practice's specific needs. Consultants might employ various strategies to optimize your practice. They could analyze the market to identify growth opportunities, develop patient retention programs, or enhance team communication skills.  

Gaidge 360 Consulting, for example, focuses on a data-driven approach. Our strategies include analyzing practice metrics for informed decision-making, streamlining systems for patient flow and financial management, and developing custom training programs. We also tailor these strategies to fit your orthodontic practice’s unique needs.  

Gaidge’s Founder and Senior Consultant, Mary Beth Kirkpatrick, analyzes scheduling with orthodontic team members.
Gaidge’s Founder and Senior Consultant, Mary Beth Kirkpatrick, analyzes scheduling with orthodontic team members.

3. Can You Share Your Experience and Credentials Relevant to Orthodontic Practice Consulting?  

If a practice management consultant doesn't have experience in consulting, you have a right to know. Ask about their experience in not only the orthodontic field but with meeting your specific goals. Furthermore, determine the number of practices they’ve worked with and the types of challenges they’ve addressed. The right consultant team should have a proven track record that makes you feel comfortable and confident in seeking their advice.  

Collectively, the Gaidge 360 Consulting team brings together over fifty years of experience in orthodontic practices. Our expertise spans across practice marketing, team development, clinical efficiency, and more. With a rich background in hands-on experience and diverse consulting skills, we've helped over 2,000 orthodontic practices thrive. Our insights have enabled them to enhance their operations, grow sustainably, and achieve their specific goals.

With the help of an orthodontic consultant, an orthodontic team member provides better customer service.

4. How Do You Tailor Your Services to Fit Our Unique Practice Needs?  

Large or small, single- or multi-practice, orthodontic practices vary widely, and so should a consultant’s approach. A good consultant adapts their services to match the unique characteristics and objectives of each practice. They should take the time to understand your specific challenges, patient demographics, team dynamics, and long-term vision.  

As such, ask how they plan to customize their strategies. Determine whether it's through targeted marketing initiatives, specialized staff training, or tactical patient engagement techniques. The key is to ensure their solutions are not one-size-fits-all but rather thoughtfully planned to align with your practice's needs.  

5. How Will We Communicate and How Often Will You Report on Progress?  

Reaching your goals is an ongoing process that requires consistent communication. Effective collaboration with your consultant should fit seamlessly into the rhythm of your practice without disrupting patient care. Inquire about their preferred communication channels, whether they're in-person meetings, virtual check-ins, or email or phone updates.  

Moreover, it's also vital to establish a schedule for these interactions. They should occur frequently enough to keep you informed and engaged. Yet, they should be flexible enough to adapt to your practice’s busy schedule.  

Additionally, discuss the format and frequency of progress reports. These should provide clear, actionable insights into how your practice is moving towards its goals. The ideal consultant should tailor them to your preferred level of detail and frequency. Predictable, transparent communication is essential to a successful partnership and achieving your practice's objectives.  

6. What's Your Approach to Integrating New Technologies in Orthodontic Practices?  

As the orthodontic industry modernizes, a consulting team that leverages new technologies can give your practice a competitive advantage. The best consultant knows about new orthodontic software and can easily integrate these technologies into your practice. This includes everything from digital imaging and patient management systems to innovative treatment planning software.  

Gaidge 360 Consulting uses the Gaidge Analytics dashboard for detailed, data driven orthodontic consulting.
Gaidge Analytics Dashboard

For example, Gaidge 360 Consulting utilizes data-driven insights, pulling information from Gaidge Analytics to improve decision-making and workflow efficiency. We help your practice adopt these new technologies to ensure they complement your existing workflows and enhance patient care. The goal is to make technology work for you, improving both the patient experience and your practice's productivity. Additionally, we can help you interpret and use technological insights to drive growth and optimize your services.  

7. How Do You Provide Ongoing Support and Ensure Sustainable Practice Growth?  

An experienced and thoughtful consultant knows their role goes beyond the initial implementation phase. A good consultant stays involved, always monitoring progress and adjusting as needed. They understand that each practice's journey is unique and are committed to being a part of that journey long-term.  

When we step in to help, we become integral members of your team. We’re available for questions, guidance, and support at each step. We offer expert advice and insights to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Additionally, we ensure our solutions are both effective in the short term and lay the groundwork for sustainable success.  

The Gaidge 360 Consulting team discusses practice growth with an orthodontic team.
Build lasting growth by partnering with Gaidge.

The more you know, the more empowered you are to choose the best orthodontic consultant for your practice. By asking these questions, you can find the right growth partner who understands your unique challenges and goals. It can yield exceptional results and a stronger future for your orthodontic practice.  

At Gaidge 360 Consulting, we combine decades of expertise with advanced data analytics to elevate your orthodontic practice. Our guidance can help you refine your operations, strengthen team performance, and harness technology for growth. We provide practical solutions and data-driven strategies, carefully tailored to suit the specific needs of your practice.  

Ready to see your practice thrive? Take the next step with a partnership that understands and meets your unique needs. Reach out today to start building a brighter future for your orthodontic practice.  

Callie Norton

Ms. Mary Beth Kirkpatrick. (n.d.). American Association of Orthodontists. Retrieved March 13, 2024, from  

Orthodontics Market Size, Share, Growth | Research Report 2026. (2023, June). Fortune Business Insights.