Break Fix Vs. Managed Services: Which is Best for Your Dental Practice?

Break Fix Vs. Managed Services: Which is Best for Your Dental Practice?

It is no secret that running a dental practice is not an easy feat. Besides patient care, there are countless administrative tasks to handle and technological considerations to keep in mind. One of the most important decisions you will make is how you choose to manage your IT network—will you go with a break fix model or switch over to managed services?  

It is an important decision that needs careful consideration as it affects not only your risk management and network security, but also the efficiency of operations within your practice. In this post, we will explore the differences between break fix vs. managed services so you can decide which one best suit the needs of your dental practice. 

Introducing Break Fix and Managed Services 

IT services are essential for a dental practice to remain competitive in today's tech-driven world. Two common approaches for providing IT support are break fix services and managed services. 

Break Fix IT Services and Support 

Break Fix IT services and support focus on fixing existing problems as they arise, setting up a reactive approach that can help contain costs but may not always be the most efficient solution. 

Managed IT Services and Support 

Managed IT services and support offers an ongoing, proactive approach to IT, which includes network management and support to delay or avoid costly issues from arising. This service also offers dental practices access to an invaluable asset by helping them identify potential risk areas and address any security vulnerabilities. As such, it can provide you with peace of mind knowing your IT infrastructure and data remain safe and secure despite the fast-evolving cyber landscape. 

Understanding Reactive IT Support vs. Proactive IT Support 

Navigating the world of information technology support and services can be a tricky task, making it important to understand the differences between reactive and proactive support.  

  • Reactive IT Support: more commonly referred to as “break-fix” style support, focuses on crisis-based operations in assisting with failures after they have already occurred. 
  • Proactive IT Support: involve managed services that help businesses identify potential problems and mitigate risks. This approach helps dental practices plan for future growth and reduce any larger needs for costly repairs or replacement in the long run. Phenomenal security measures are also important for any dental practice that is serious about protecting their data and keeping ahead of cyber threats. Proactive IT services ensure you practice is utilizing up-to-date systems which can prevent major breaches from happening, helping you transition from dealing with IT as a burden to viewing technology as a strategic asset that contributes to your dental practice's overall success. 

Managing Risk and Security with Break Fix or Managed Services 

When it comes to managing risk and security for your dental practice, it is important to consider the capabilities of both break fix and managed services. Break Fix services take a reactive approach, with the focus on addressing specific issues as they arise - i.e. trying to figure out how/where to access missing data after a data breach. Whereas managed services offer a proactive approach which focuses on prevention by proactively monitoring security and ensuring the systems are running smoothly - i.e. an active backup disaster and recovery solution is in place and professional technical service engineers can provide you with your data almost instantly.  

Taking the proactive approach of managed services will help reduce problems before they become major risks and can also potentially increase the efficiency of IT resources, flipping the script of IT being a burden towards IT becoming an asset to the success of your dental practice. Consequently, current needs should be assessed while considering scalability to choose between break fix or managed services when managing risk and security. 

The Difference Between IT as a Burden and IT as an Asset 

When IT is viewed as a burden, the focus is often on solving immediate technical issues, or 'break fix'. This reactive form of service is often limited to addressing a complaint when it arises and does not look at the wider picture - for example, any security risks or future events that could present another problem, such as outdated software and hardware that could cause substantial downtime. Additionally, break/fix pricing models, which are common in reactive IT services, are invoiced per hour – becoming rather costly due to issues being more severe and taking more time to mitigate. 

On the other hand, when IT is an asset, more proactive approaches to risk analysis and security can be taken. Managed services allow for an in-depth evaluation of current systems in order to identify weak points and put preventative measures in place. Taking a preventative approach allows your dental practice to protect data over time rather than being faced with situations of crisis.  

The difference between viewing IT as a burden versus as an asset can have huge ramifications over the long term, such as improved efficiency, better workflows and cyber protection. 

Why Your Dental Practice Should Choose Managed Services 

For any dental practice, the right technology can make a big difference. It's important to understand that one of the key advantages of utilizing a managed service provider (MSP) is their ability to deliver proactive solutions and strategies, which is something break 'fix' approaches simply cannot do. With managed services, you can take advantage of best-in-class network security tailored specifically to your practice, as opposed to having to purchase separate products piecemeal. Additionally, an MSP's comprehensive suite of tools and support services help alleviate downtime by allowing you and your staff to focus on patients rather than technology headaches. 

When it comes to selecting the best IT support and service solutions for a dental practice, it can mean the difference between protecting patient data, reducing risks, and gaining an asset versus having a liability. Managed services provide the key advantage of being proactive rather than reactive – they continuously monitor and prevent potential risks while keeping your technology up-to-date. Choosing managed services for your dental practice will ultimately add value to your bottom line by helping you be one-step ahead of any security threats or technical flaws. 


By understanding the differences between break fix and managed services, it is evident that the latter is much more beneficial to dental practices. Proactively monitored networks, an emphasis on risk contagion, and treating IT as an asset rather than a burden all help to ensure a secure environment with optimal performance. Managed services can provide actionable insights into system changes, help improve workflow automation efforts, and save time by helping reduce security risks associated with manual tasks. Ultimately, if your dental practice is looking for longevity in success and compliance in today’s digital landscape, managed services should unquestionably be implemented as part of your IT planning heading into the future. 


We're here to help! As a professional dental IT managed service provider, Pact-One will provide you with ongoing, proactive IT support. Let us help shift your focus from absorbing the burden of handling technical issues to being in control of running a successful office that is secure and resilient. Connect with us today for a complimentary dental IT assessment. 

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