Calculate staff bonuses using Dentrix

Do you offer staff bonuses? This can be a great way to motivate your staff and set goals that are a win-win. A win for the staff when they hit the bonus, but also a win for the dentist who sets the goal at a high enough level that she/he will have enough additional income to afford the extra pay!

Types of dental staff bonuses

I’m a fan of setting a production bonus for assistants and business staff. To choose the production level for bonus, look at your production history – to find your production in Dentrix, just go to the Practice Analysis icon and choose Production Summary. I always uncheck the box for Categories because I want to see the production for each procedure code. Once you see your monthly production for this year, then you set a goal that you believe your team can hit 50% of the time.

Another type of dental staff bonus you can establish is focused on a specific procedure. If you want to increase a specific type of treatment you offer – let’s say, dental implants, then you can look at your performance and set a goal to challenge your team. You can use the same Dentrix Production Summary report to look at the production specifically for code D6010 implant placement or code D6058 implant supported ceramic crown. If you’re not doing a substantial volume of implants each month, then it may make sense to set a quarterly goal – even if you break it down into a monthly goal, for example “our goal is to start 1 implant case each month”. ┬áThen, you can run the Dentrix report with the dates set for the quarter.

Another type of staff bonus that works well is to set a goal for large case acceptance. This goal takes a bit of manual tracking, but it’s worth it! First of all, determine the dollar value of your large treatment plans that you want to handle in a special manner. Depending on your style of practice, this may be only large reconstruction cases or if you’re a pediatric dentist, it may be targeting operating room type cases. Once you set the dollar value, then determine the entry point for these type of cases – most large cases come from D0150 comprehensive exams. For Dentrix users, go to the Office manager, Letters section and run a report for all D0150 patients in the last month. Then, look at the ledger, treatment plan view to see the total dollar treatment plan for each one – when you find one over your goal, document the patient name and have your office manager track the success of this case.

Only your creativity limits your dental staff bonuses

In my group practice, we have expanded our quarterly bonus system over the years and changed it to target the procedures we want to increase and the production levels we want to develop. When you look at all the different types of dental procedure codes you’re charging out every day – you realize that your computer system can provide you with hundreds of options for goal setting. For example, over the past few years our dental group practice noticed a substantial increase in new patients through emergency visits. We decided to focus on these new emergency patients and try to convert them into “real” patients who would come in for a comprehensive exam and return for regular cleanings. So, we targeted the emergency exam code and looked in the ledger for those that returned for either a comprehensive exam or cleaning. Then, we gave a bonus to the assistant that worked with the patient that day and spent the time to motivate that patient to invest time and money on their teeth! You can do the same thing in your office.

Setting dental staff bonuses is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog:


One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
jill@dentalpracticecoaching.com
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