Archive for March, 2011

Dental Office Manager Problem

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“Dr. Tom” called me in frustration to discuss the fact that his office manager of 15 years leaves every day at 2 p.m. He is understandably concerned because the office is essentially left unattended for the better part of the afternoon. Moreover, a multitude of essential duties are routinely left undone because when the clock strikes mid-afternoon, “Kim” is out the door.

 

While the role and specific duties of the office manager may vary from practice to practice, the cornerstone of the job is efficiency. This person should be able to oversee key practice systems to ensure that the office is running efficiently. They may have multiple duties including answering phones, helping with the schedule, running reports, sitting down with the doctors to alert them to issues, and concerns with patients and staff. Whatever shape the role takes, it must be clearly defined to best meet the overall management needs of the practice. And the duties must be spelled out, point by point, in black and white. Additionally, specific goals for the position that compliment overall practice goals must be identified. Performance measurements must be in place to measure the individual’s success as well as necessary tools to help the individual achieve success, such as office manager training.

 

In the case of Kim, Dr. Tom values her contribution to the practice and emphasizes that she has been a good employee. However, it appears that given her years with the practice she now believes that she is entitled to a “flexible” schedule. Again, Kim needs specific direction from the doctor as to what is expected of her. Once Kim understands clearly what the role of office manager means in this practice, she can choose to accept the job or find other opportunities.

 

New Dentists – Some Options on Isolation Techniques

Monday, March 28th, 2011

As documented here before, I am a big fan of isolation techniques.  I am a rubber dam believer and still use it in my practice.  I also use an Isodry in my practice.  An article in the March 2011 issue of JADA compares temperature and humidity of mouths when different isolation methods are in place.  The study compared rubber dam, Isolite I2, Coolex, and no isolation.  All three methods decreased the temperature and relative humidity intraorally.  Rubber dam decreased both the most, but there was a very little difference between the rubber dam, Isolite, and Coolex.  This study definitely emphasizes the importance of dry0field isolation techniques.  All three of these systems work far better than nothing.  A rubber dam is obviously the cheapest of the options, but both the Isolite and Coolex are affordable and offer a good value for the ease of use.  I know I could not practice without my Isodry.  If you have had issues with isolation, I would definitely look into this study and these methods.  They will help improve your dentistry!

Becoming an Associate…What You Need To Know

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Whether you just graduated from dental school, finished a residency program or specialty training, the majority of young dentists begin their careers as associates. The road to becoming an associate is full of variables, and knowing the ‘lay of the land’ can help you make wise decisions. The journey begins with choosing the practice that is right for you.

 

If you want to join a practice as a full-time associate and have adequate patient volume for yourself, you need to join a practice that is “saturated.” Saturation means that the owner is working at optimum speed, practicing optimum hours, is scheduled fully, six to eight weeks in advance, and has more new patients in the practice than can be cared for.

 

By joining a “saturated” practice, you have an immediate opportunity to gain clinical experience and enhance your income. Additionally, saturated practices afford greater opportunities to build a patient base. A saturated practice may also offer long-term opportunity in the form of an equity interest or potential buy-out.

 

Usually, general practices with more than 1,700 active patients are at the saturation point. An active patient is one who visits the practice at least once during the past 18 months for a recare visit. The degree of saturation, or the number of excess patients in a practice, will determine the actual opportunity for you to work as a full-time or part-time associate. For example, an efficient and skilled owner who is servicing 1,700 patients with a full-time workload may want to reduce hours and transfer patients to a part–time associate. Generally, practices with 2,500 or more patients present excellent full-time opportunities for new associates.

 

Therefore, if you are considering a full-time associateship, be sure to inquire about the size of the active patient base.   

 

Snyder, DMD, MBA, Tom  (2009, Summer). Becoming an Associate…What You Need to Know. the NEW DENTIST™ Magazine, 20-21.

Continuing Education for New Dentists

Friday, March 4th, 2011

LUMINEERS Destination Education is sponsoring an event this April in Orlando and May in Las Vegas. It’s a very exciting CE event featuring Dr. Bill Dorfman as Keynote Speaker and a very strong line-up of educators and teaching clinicians. As a new dentist, it is the perfect opportunity to not only be exposed to some of the top thought leaders in the profession, but also to learn leading edge clinical technologies and procedures.

 

ASCR LUMINEERS® DESTINATION EDUCATION

ORLANDO (APRIL 8-10) &
LAS VEGAS (MAY 27-29):

Transforming Continuing Education for Practice Growth

Dr Bill Dorfman, “America’s Dentist,” featured dentist on ABC’s Extreme Makeover and founder of Discus Dental, will headline the LUMINEERS Destination Education program this April in Orlando and again over the Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas.  He will address the challenges facing today’s general practitioner, offer insight and suggestions based on what’s worked in his highly successful practice, and highlight the role that transformational products like Snap-On Smile can play in achieving new levels of success.

 

The Orlando program is set for April 8-10 at Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin Hotel and the Las Vegas event takes place over the Memorial Day Weekend, May-27-29, at the Aria Hotel and Casino. To register or for further information, call 800-445-0345 or go to www.ascredu.org.

Continuing Education for New Dentists

Friday, March 4th, 2011


ASCR LUMINEERS Destination Education is sponsoring an event this April in Orlando and May in Las Vegas. It’s a very exciting CE event featuring Dr. Bill Dorfman as Keynote Speaker and a very strong line-up of educators and teaching clinicians. As a new dentist, it is the perfect opportunity to not only be exposed to some of the top thought leaders in the profession, but also to learn leading edge clinical technologies and procedures.

ASCR LUMINEERS® DESTINATION EDUCATION in ORLANDO (APRIL 8-10) & LAS VEGAS (MAY 27-29): Transforming Continuing Education for Practice Growth

Dr Bill Dorfman, “America’s Dentist,” featured dentist on ABC’s Extreme Makeover and founder of Discus Dental, will headline the LUMINEERS Destination Education program this April in Orlando and again over the Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas.  He will address the challenges facing today’s general practitioner, offer insight and suggestions based on what’s worked in his highly successful practice, and highlight the role that transformational products like Snap-On Smile can play in achieving new levels of success.

The Orlando program is set for April 8-10 at Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin Hotel and the Las Vegas event takes place over the Memorial Day Weekend, May-27-29, at the Aria Hotel and Casino. To register or for further information, call 800-445-0345 or go to www.ascredu.org.