Introduction to Dental Office Management and The Schuster Model

For the dental professional, the speed of change continues to increase and the stress of keeping up seems overwhelming. Dental Schools have not adequately prepared dentists to be practice (business) owners. And yet, the majority of dentists were drawn to dentistry for it’s autonomy and opportunity for control over one’s future. Adding to this lack of adequate of management and leadership training, are the problems which have surfaced over the last 30 years as a result of the impact of the insurance industry on the dental profession.


Recent ADA statistics continue to show an increase in the number of hours worked by dentists and a decline in real net income. These two trends have been consistent for the last 25 years!

As a young dentist, Dr. Schuster discovered just how unprepared he was to own and operate his practice. He knew that he wanted to create a practice based upon technical excellence and freedom from insurance and do so profitably, but he lacked the training and the knowledge to create such a practice.

Fortunately, at a relatively young point in his career, he began to seek out professionals who would help him, teach him, and mentor him in the creation of his ideal practice. Using this knowledge, he was able to create a small practice in Iowa, then a larger group practice (also in Iowa) before relocating to Scottsdale, Arizona and once again starting a practice from scratch. He was able to prove, in three very different communities and settings, that the principles of high quality and high profitability, could be learned and applied successfully in any practice situation and in any city or town.

Our Mission: 

We believe that every individual has infinite worth and unlimited potential for growth.
When given correct information combined with the right support, any worthwhile purpose can be accomplished. We are dedicated to innovation, integrity and excellence in everything we do. 

Our mission is to nurture the spirit of every individual we touch and to empower people and organizations to significantly increase their performance capability in order to achieve worthwhile purposes through learning, living and teaching sound principles of life and business. 

Dr. Schuster’s personal experience and training, helped him bring together a comprehensive management approach to a love volume, high quality management model. This is a learning sequence that builds upon early training. Successful practice management requires management training and development.

The Schuster Model is not a cookbook or cookie cutter approach, but rather an a step by step process, including all critical and necessary leverage points for each dentist to develop their own unique practice model.

The doctor’s ability to drive the leverage points of the model helps him create the management systems to reduce frustrations. The model gives doctors the tools that work through a formal curriculum, but the doctors must learn and be motivated to implement them. The team learns how to leverage the doctor’s technical skills and capabilities as part of more effective practice management. This helps to to insulate the doctor from perceived urgent, but not important, activities to better leverage the doctor’s time. This is the map to economic freedom, as well as the gate to freedom to allowing the doctor to do longer, more complex technical dentistry.

The Schuster Management Model is built on principle-centered management – a system of fundamental truths that have universal application. By implementing this concept, dentist’s learn to become business owners and C.E.O’s, rather than just excellent clinicians. They learn to use management principles and economic/financial principles to gain control over the resources which dominate and drive the practice.

It is a step by step approach, with each principle taught building upon each other, to create a harmonious, well run practice, whereby everyone understands the driving forces of this renewed enterprise. Every person is valued, trained and developed in this process alongside of the doctor. Each are challenged to grow their abilities and become leaders in their own right. We give you the tools and training, coaching and development, feedback and accountability, to create your own unique dental practice, or re-create if you are re-organizing an existing practice.

This model is based upon treating people – patients and team – with dignity and respect, which means one patient at a time and one practice at a time.

Our purpose is best summed up in our Mission Statement, which was created in 1977 and continues to represent our core beliefs and values today.