Most Dentists Have Been Disappointed by Dental Consultants

Post your comments about dental consultants to our blog. Read the dental consultant survey press release.

Most Dentists Have Been Disappointed by Dental Consultants

In this poll, we asked dentists: Have you had negative experiences with dental consultants?

Well, most of them said "yes." The majority (62%) indicate they have had problems with consultants in the past.
On the other hand, 38% report being smart and/or lucky enough to avoid the bad ones.

Read the dentists’ comments for more insight into the many failings of some dental consultants.

General dentists versus specialists


Specialists were somewhat more likely to have been disappointed by their consultant experiences than general dentists.

Urban, suburban and rural dentists


Geographic location was not correlated with opinions on consulting.

Male dentists compared to female dentists


Female dentists were more likely than their male colleagues to have been let down by dental consultants.

For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

It's the dentist's job to pick the right consultant

  • “As business owners, we MUST take responsibility to do due diligence when making decisions concerning our future. Just as we cannot become mindless technicians in our care of patients, we cannot become lemmings and blindly follow the ideas of a so-called expert.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I’ve had good experiences, but not all dental consultants’ styles or messages are right for you. Before you sign, seriously interview the consultant and have a trial period. Usually you pay tons of money and find out that it does not work for you.” (Connecticut dentist)

Some consultants are terrible

  • “I had the experience of working with a consultant who knew nothing of accounts receivables, good ratios, etc. He was a podiatrist who decided to become a business consultant on the side. He should have stayed with feet!” (New Jersey dental office worker)
  • “Beware of consultants who promise increases in production and collections and demand payment in full the day the process begins. I paid an excessive amount to a husband/wife team who guaranteed a 30% increase in production and collections, then proceeded to almost destroy my practice. It has taken two years to repair the damage caused by following their ‘program.'” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “I have had about four different consultants. The last one charged $70,000 up-front. Never delivered, made false promises, and basically took the money and ran.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “Inexperienced consultant oversold abilities and tried to charge ridiculous sum.” (Washington DC dentist)
  • “Most consultants are bad and misinformed. Every dentist has his or her own style, both in management and clinical skills. Most consults say they customize their ‘plans.’ However, they are all the same cookie-cutter ideas disguised as something different.” (South Carolina dentist)
  • “Our technology consultant spent most of our consultation time on our practice phone. We never received the follow-up report.” (Maine dentist)
  • “The most recent consultant I had was very negative to my staff and did not return calls. Although we hired them for a yearlong contract, each time we had a consultant come in, they left the firm they worked for, did not do the promised follow-up, and we were not notified they had left their job. Very bad experience.” (North Carolina orthodontist)

Some consultants are great

  • “The first and classy consultants we used were Advanced Hygiene Concepts. They absolutely turned our practice around with quality care and profitable days!” (Pennsylvania dental hygienist)
  • “We’ve been working with a consultant for the last five years and are very happy with him.” (Minnesota dentist)
  • “Among other useful things, he told me to cut cotton rolls in half.” (Oregon dentist)

Employees don't always like consultants

  • I ended up being sued by my staff. Their techniques sounded good. In reality, the results were not very good, and it was way too expensive. I never ever want to go to a dental consultant again.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “My first coach would chastise the staff for not knowing how to run certain reports. She was abrasive in everything she did when I wasn’t around. They hated her. I fired her after a few months.” (Texas dentist)
  • “She had the staff in tears at her initial presentation! She came on like a drill sergeant to the staff within minutes of meeting them.” (Massachusetts pediatric dentist)

There are many reasons consultant relationships can fail

  • “I had an out-of-town consultant before; it was not as helpful as a local one.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “Some dental offices do not read the codes for procedures and use them incorrectly. This results in questioning of the procedures.” (Arizona dentist)
  • Financial arrangements were not clear.” (California dentist)
  • “Most ‘consultants’ want to be practice brokers and not practice builders.” (New York dentist)
  • “I have never seen any profession that so over-charges…” (Texas dentist)

It's just a matter of finding the right one for you

  • “There were a few things in the ‘program’ this guy wanted me to do that I was not willing to do. I told him I would do 75% of the things he asked. He embarrassed me in front of my staff and told me that I was not really willing to change and make it a better practice. He completely undermined my authority and made things worse. I spent $50,000 for a two year program. I fired him after one year and regretted ever meeting the guy. It took a few years to get the practice back in order. I had used a consultant eight years earlier and doubled my practice within two years. It was very low stress and the guy listened to me. He didn’t force me to do a few things I was strongly opposed to. It was a very positive experience – so I know there are good ones out there.” (Maryland dentist)

Scientology (yes, Scientology)

  • “I got invited to a teaser meeting and returned the next week to experience an aggressive attempt to humiliate me into signing on to an outrageously expensive no-end-in-sight series of coaching meetings. Not only that, it would eventually involve a religious change.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “This may not sound like a horror story, but it was a very expensive lesson to do my due diligence a little better. I wanted a consultant who would come into my office to make a ‘diagnosis’ and recommendations. After the payment, I learned that the approach was strictly L. Ron Hubbard – an approach I had previously experienced and rejected as not appropriate for my management style and practice profile.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “Watch out for any of the ‘consultants’ who tout the Scientology writings of L. Ron Hubbard.” (California dentist)
  • “What I thought was consulting was a front for Scientology.” (New York dentist)
  • “Had a group essentially using consulting as a ‘come on’ to recruit people to their New Age religion.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Hollander. All promises and no delivery. Waste of time and money. Scientology-based; proselytized my staff.” (Oregon dentist)
  • “It’s the L. Ron Hubbard/Scientology ones that drive me crazy.” (Connecticut dentist)
  • “I am poorer and no wiser from the experience with Hollander. Hubbard was just too out there for my sleepy Amish area. Very little positive plans, just a lot of theory. Waste of time and money.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “Scientology-based consultants. Scary! (Hollander/ Sterling). When I tried to get out of Sterling, losing a HUGE deposit, they told me, threateningly, ‘You’re making a big mistake.’ What a bunch of fruitcakes.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Scientology influenced – some weird people!” (Mississippi dentist)

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