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  • Writer's pictureSona Wegner, MBA, Founder

How to master these seven dental key performance indicators

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Bookkeeping for Dentists Blog

There are so many dental practice key performance indicators floating around, it probably makes your head spin 🤪. The good news is, no matter what all that KPI noise tells you, the ultimate dental practice KPIs simply come down to your financial reports (the actual money in and out), particularly, your collection income vs. practice overhead expenses.

The financial reports are the endgame results of everything in your dental practice, and also the easiest dental metrics to get your hands on. Everyone has a dental Profit & Loss report, right? If you file a tax return, you should have a Profit & Loss report. There are seven key performance indicators (KPIs) right on your Profit & Loss report that will tell you the most insightful story into your dental practice performance.

The greatest part about these dental KPIs is by simply adjusting your mindset and only focusing on what matters most, I'll tell you where you are going to make the biggest domino impact to master all seven dental KPIs.


Below, I have listed and explained the seven dental KPIs for easy reference. These KPIs are calculated as a percent of your income. Then keep reading because I explain how you can master them all!

Dental key performance indicators:

  • Team/Personnel Costs - 24-28%

  • Clinical Supplies & Lab - 12-14%

  • General Business Costs - 11%

  • Facility & Equipment - 10%

  • Discretionary Costs - 0-2%

  • Total Overhead - 60-65%

  • Owner's Compensation & Profit - 35-40%

Dental Practice Overhead Percentages
Real Client Averages for 2020

Team Key Performance Indicator - 24-28% of income

Your dental practice Team KPI mostly consists of the team's payroll costs, with the addition of services you outsource like phone answering and collections/billing services since they replace the staff in your practice. This dental KPI does NOT include any doctor, owner, or associate expenses. Be sure to take doctor related costs out of all the items below.

  • Staff Gross Payroll

  • Staff Employer Payroll Taxes

  • Employee Benefits

  • Temp contractors

  • Answering Services

  • Collection/Billing Services

Facility & Equipment Key Performance Indicator - 10% of income

Your Facility KPI is everything related to your space and the equipment in it. It includes depreciation expense, which you might not be able to get totals for without your CPA, but that's okay. You can do this KPI without it, and it'll still be pretty close.

  • Rent/Lease of your space

  • Repairs & Maintenance

  • Utilities

  • Depreciation Expense

  • Amortization Expense

  • Loan Interest

Dental Supplies & Lab Key Performance Indicator - 12-14% of income

The Dental KPI for clinical supplies and lab fees is an easy one. It is exactly what it says. Hopefully your Profit & Loss report is organized enough to keep this simple. Add your dental supplies and lab fees together and that’s it.

  • Dental Supplies

  • Laboratory Fees

Discretionary Costs Key Performance Indicator - 0-2% of income

The Discretionary costs dental KPI is one of my favorites. Why you ask? Because it’s an awesome dental metric that points to all the extra money you spend on things that don’t provide value to the practice. The only exception is continuing education, but even that can be spent wisely, and not excessively. The discretionary costs also get pulled off the P&L when doing an dental practice EBITDA valuation.

  • Automobile Expenses

  • Automobile Lease

  • Travel and related costs

  • All meals, even staff meals

  • Entertainment

  • Business Gifts

  • Charitable Donations

  • Continuing Education