5 Key Steps to Becoming a More Successful Dentist

Uncategorized Mar 11, 2019

5 Key Steps to Become Successful Sooner


I’m sure you’ll agree, in this day and age, so many people want things fast. 

Instant gratification is being discussed more than ever.

From weight loss to internet speed. 

It seems to be carrying across into our profession as well – whether that be seeing more patients, or carrying out more treatments – in less and less time.

Earning more money, being more successful – ASAP. 

Yet more and more dentists are simply working harder, not smarter.

In truth, I don’t believe there’s a single specific “secret” or “hack” that will guarantee overnight success. 


There are certain processes and measures that can be taken to drive your success, as quickly as possible.

Here are my thoughts…

1. Concrete Goal Setting

Personal and professional goals are different for everyone.

Similarly, success is defined differently at times too.

Specific clarity on the goals you want to achieve is key.

Then you know what to commit to and aim for.

For me, both short-term and long-term goals are in place.

Smaller milestones along the way for bigger goals.

For faster success, you need a road map to follow.

That’s not to say I always achieve what I set out to.

But I am certain...

I wouldn’t get close to achieving my goals if they weren’t specific and written down with total clarity.

Aim high.

"Most people reach the limit of their belief

before they reach the limit of their talent"

Jeff Pettitt

 2. Create a routine. Then follow it.

Mastering the skill of repetition is crucial to success.

How many of our treatments do we ‘repeat’?

In theory, there is only a realistic certain number of treatments we provide as dentists.

Example – if you can form good habits, early on in your career. Whether that relates to your record keeping, structuring your appointment diary, communicating treatments with your patients.

And more than likely, your stress levels decrease at the same rate. 

Having a routine will help to maintain focus and motivation. 

And also allow you to monitor you progress as well.

3. Find a mentor.

This is the biggest difference-maker for me personally.

Having a mentor will accelerate your growth and success at a rate you might not even realise possible.

Learn from the mistakes of others.

I read the definition of a mentor as this:

 “A mentor is someone who is on the same career path as you,

but further along.”

Isn’t that just so true?

Age is not an issue. 

A quality mentor need not necessarily be older than you.

They simply need to be offer relevant guidance, expertise and knowledge to you.

‘Further along’ is not necessarily a reference to time.

Be careful who you look to as a mentor.

Having the right mentor. 

Not just a mentor.

4Once you have your routine - Streamline it.

Once you have formed the habits you need to succeed and reach a stage where they are on “autopilot”, you will be able to streamline your activities.

In this era of speed and a need to finish tasks quickly, my best advice?

Slow down in the surgery.

Remember - whilst a positive routine can accelerate your career, bad habits will have the opposite result.

Remove any roadblocks holding you back.

How do you streamline your routine to remove the bad habits?


  • Identify the things that take up time but do not benefit you in terms of work/business/career. (You know the things – checking Facebook every 20 mins – they’ll drain your time and distract your focus.)
  • Concentrate to eliminate these distractions – or at least reduce as much as possible.
  • Your focus and concentration will soar
  • And get you to your goals much quicker.

5. Learn from your mistakes.

The fact is, the more you venture out of your comfort zone, the higher the chance of making a mistake.

Example – learning to discuss fees and treatment plans with patients comfortably and confidently. 

Not easy. 

And not a subject that gets much air time in our profession (undergraduate or postgraduate). 

But an area that can transform your levels of stress to a thing of the past once mastered. 

Truman Capote, the American novelist, once wrote:

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.”

If you want to become more successful, don’t let these ‘perceived failures’ break you or hold you back from progressing.

Flip your thinking entirely – and turn them into an opportunity.

This is all coming from the guy who had to re-do his A-Level chemistry. 

Bumps along the way are inevitable.

They can be our biggest source of learning.


Perhaps without even realising, help you to avoid a much bigger failure in the future.

Always focus on your progress, not perfection.

If you can learn from your mistakes (or those of your mentor), you’ll reach the heights of your success much faster.

To Your Ongoing Success,


Dr Leonard J Maguire


General Dental Surgeon

Co-Founder of The Dentists Academy

- “The Complete Business Toolkit for Dentists in General Practice”

P.S. Copy this quote from Andy Harrington and store it somewhere for referencing back to.

“No-one is immune from the experience of failure, rejection, loss, or conflict but it’s how we deal with these moments that will determine if we learn from them or fear them happening again in the future and therefore limit what we say yes to and what we have to settle for"

Stay connected with us 

Join our growing network of fellow Dentists to receive the latest ideas and updates from our team.

Yes, I'd like to stay connected.

50% Complete

Simply enter your details below and you will receive and email with your login details.