Why Every Practice Should Have Clearly Defined Core Values

Posted by Amy Carbone on Feb 19, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Core values are critical for every business, to guide employees, direct the growth of the brand and allow patients to connect with you on a deeper level. Your dental practice can benefit from having well-defined beliefs that impact all areas of the service you provide to patients. Here's why.

Core Values Defined

Core values, also called company or practice values, are the group of foundational beliefs on which your practice is built. Your company beliefs are the principles that guide the management of your dental practice and influence your relationship with patients. They should be mandated, not suggested, and should shape every aspect of your practice, from workplace culture to company policy to dental marketing and the treatments you offer. It's important that your office does more than just state your beliefs. You and your staff should put them into action at every opportunity.

Why every dental practice should have core values

Why Are Core Beliefs Important for Your Dental Practice?

A solid set of practice values provides your office with direction and helps you build a positive reputation. The belief system you build your practice around sets the tone for how your office interacts with patients, markets your services and makes critical decisions. When you take your company values seriously, they can help you form a strong brand identity with a cohesive, comprehensive business plan.

How to Establish Your Practice's Values

Establishing a set of beliefs for your dental practice starts with brainstorming. Meet with key staff members and other important advisors to generate ideas about what values drive your practice already, what can set you apart from your competition, and how you can organize them into an engaging mission statement that can be used in various marketing materials. A competitive analysis can be a good tool to identify what value statements other dental professionals in your area are using. You can also ask meeting participants to jot down a list of what they think your practice values are or should be.

Ask thought-provoking questions like:

  • What beliefs will best resonate with your ideal patient type?
  • What principles should guide the decisions your practice makes?
  • What do you want your dental practice to be known for?
  • What qualities do you appreciate in staff members?
  • How can your practice beliefs differentiate you from other dentists?

Core Value Checklist

Once you've started to develop a few ideas for core beliefs that embody your practice goals, it's important to check them against a few basic guidelines. Make sure your practice values are:

Why every dental practice should have core values

  • Succinct. Avoid the temptation to digress in your value statement. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Purposeful. Make sure each value you include in your statement has a purpose or accomplishes something. Don't list generic ideals.
  • Relatable. Keep values related to your practice. For example, committing to honesty is all well and good, but that doesn't relate specifically to the dental industry or your practice. Instead, you could commit to treatment transparency so patients know that you'll be clear about what treatments they need and why you're recommending them.
  • Actionable. Try to include at least some values that are actionable, like "delivering quality" or "striving for excellence." Use plenty of verbs that describe what your office is actively working towards.
  • Evergreen. Core beliefs are intended to be timeless, or unchanging, like an evergreen tree. Make sure your values aren't reflective of current economic conditions, dental industry trends, outside incentives, or competitive advantage.

Examples of Company Values for Dental Practices

Entrepreneur lists important beliefs that today's businesses can abide by, including transparency, problem-solving, adaptability, accountability, and transparency. While an excellent starting point, what these values lack is specificity. 


Any company– in any industry–  can adopt these generic beliefs and say they apply to their business. Instead, work to develop values that are tailored to your dental practice, such as:


  • Patient care is the foundation for all we do, and we strive to achieve excellence in all areas of our practice. We work hard to exemplify compassion, understanding, and care in every dental treatment and procedure.
  • Our practice is dedicated to teamwork, treatment transparency, attention to detail, diversity in the workplace, treatment collaboration, and delivering quality.
  • Our core values influence every aspect of our practice and patient care. We believe in continuing education, the pursuit of excellence, remaining on the forefront of dental technology, providing the highest quality service, putting patients before profit, and increasing the availability of affordable dental care in the community.

How to Help Your Staff Emulate Your Beliefs

An important aspect of developing a set of core values for your dental practice is putting them into action. Help dental associates, administrative staff, hygienists, and dental assistants emulate your values by providing encouragement and incentives. 

Be prepared to stand by your company's beliefs even when abandoning them might seem easier or more cost-effective. Show your office staff that your values aren't simply stated beliefs; they're choices that you and your team can make on a daily and even hourly basis. Reward employees who make a conscious effort to uphold practice values.

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Treloar & Heisel, LLC. and its divisions do not offer marketing or practice management advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.

Topics: Dental Practice Business Tips