The tyranny of the “check up”

Whenever I meet a principal with an average daily productivity of less then £1500 (and that accounts for over 80% of you) I automatically ask how much of their time is spent delivering the dreaded “check up”.

And, of course, the answer is “80% of my time”.

I have never understood this as a business model – the senior dentist in the practice delivering the most junior work?

Wouldn’t the principal in any other professional service firm oversee the routine work and deliver the most complex?

  • accountant
  • lawyer
  • architect
  • hospital consultant

Perhaps only medical GP’s, slaving over a full waiting room of the elderly, the infirm and the pregnant would be a similar fate.

And look how much of their work is now being “passed down” to nurses and others.

The mantra is always the same:

my patients wouldn’t want to see anyone else, they have been with me for years


I couldn’t find any other dentist who would look after them as well as I do

Neither is true – and that has now been proven by numerous practices who have moved “maintenance” to associates, therapists and/or hygienists (under supervision) and with excellent results in terms of business efficiency, customer satisfaction, team pride and a healthy bottom line.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.