Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Getting Patients in the Door for a New Startup

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Guest post by Brian Baliwas, DDS

Four years ago, I took a risk as a new grad and joined a group practice in San Francisco to try and build a patient base of my own. A few trusted mentors supported the idea and gave me the confidence that building something for myself straight out of school was a good idea.

I saw a staggering FIVE patients in my first week. My days were full of hygiene and down time, but I kept a positive outlook throughout it all. I knew that if I did good work and treated people like family, this slow start and double-digit patient count would be temporary.

Like any dental startup, the priority was getting patients in the door. When I wasn’t with patients, I brainstormed different ways to market my practice with a limited marketing budget. Today, my patient count is in the quadruple digits, and I believe social media has played a significant role in that growth.

Social media gives dentists an opportunity to show potential patients something no other type of marketing can: a glimpse of who they are behind the mask. Dentists who treat social media like traditional advertising and post about whitening specials and Invisalign discounts miss out on the opportunity to really convey their personality and practice philosophy.

In addition to growing my practice, social media has allowed me to connect with people I may have never met. Aside from patients, I’ve met other dentists, specialists, dental students, laboratory techs, and dental product reps. I use it to stay connected with people I meet at conferences. I even met the person mentoring me towards AACD accreditation, Dr. Adamo Notarantonio (@adamoelvis), through Instagram!

The question you must ask yourself when starting a dental social media account is: what do you want to share and who are you targeting?

If growing a practice is your goal, don’t get caught up focusing on irrelevant numbers. Patients don’t (directly) care about your follower count, follower to following ratios, how many likes you received, or other meaningless social media statistics. Focus on content and providing information they would find valuable. Nothing else matters.

If you have a great personality and provide honest dental care, your future patients deserve to know! Take pictures of your office, staff, patients and dental work (with permission), volunteering, CE courses, hobbies, humor, family, and individuality. Share who you are… and then share some more. (002)Brian Baliwas (@sfdentalnerd) received his DDS degree from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, where he graduated with high honors and was elected to join both Omicron Kappa Upsilon and Tau Kappa Omega dental honor societies. He is an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Academy of General Dentistry, and maintains a fee-for-service private practice in San Francisco, California, with two locations near Union Square and the Marina district.

His practice philosophy is centered on conservative, highly esthetic, comprehensive dentistry that utilizes modern technology and techniques. Dr. Baliwas also teaches part-time at UOP in the Department of Integrated Reconstructive Dental Sciences.



Strength in Numbers

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Guest post by Dawn Christodoulou, President/Owner of XLDent

The modern dental office is becoming fully integrated into the digital age, with the ability to capture and analyze much of the data it generates on a weekly basis. Close monitoring can guide the Practice Owner to reflect on which marketing methods are generating the most leads, how successful collection efforts are, and production trends.

In a matter of seconds, a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) should tell you whether your practice is growing, maintaining, or starting to decline. XLDent offers a brand new KPI Dashboard feature to help you gather this data quickly, and formXLDent.TND.Blog.Dec.2017.Dashboard2 (002)at it into easy-to-read graphs, giving you a window to the health of your dental practice. This Dashboard is mobile-friendly and accessible from anywhere, anytime.

An analysis of your Clinical team can tell you several things:

-Production is the most basic building block of your business, so these daily, weekly, and monthly totals are a great place to start looking for trends, peaks and valleys. They can be useful to determine whether you should think about adding more staff to manage your patient care without delays or protracted schedules.

-Is the hygiene team making sure to schedule the next recall appointment with the patients before they leave the treatment room? Recall metrics need to be clearly visible, concise, and up to date.

-Are your recommended treatment plans being accepted, scheduled, and followed through or are patients not feeling confident in your team? Perhaps you will need to add education for patients who are unsure if planned treatment is truly needed.

-Are overhead costs crippling your ability to run a successful business? The materials and equipment you choose (and the method they are deployed) should be reviewed periodically, so that modifications can be made, where appropriate.

An analysis of your Administrative Team will point out the following areas:

-The number of new patients coming into the practice each month. Are they referred from satisfied patients, calling you because of a successful marketing campaign, and is your office creating the best experience once they come in?

-Are your Collections being handled in a timely manner? Not everyone is comfortable asking patients to pay their balances, so it’s a good idea to seek out the right staff person to tackle this roll.

With all this information at your fingertips, performance goals can be set and achieved. Practice growth decisions should include clear expectations of what your team is capable of, and what systems and positions may need to be modified going forward. Keeping track of your practice’s growth, and potential, doesn’t need to be a major time commitment. The new XLDent KPI Dashboard can provide a window into where you’re headed in just minutes.

To connect with XLDent, call 800-328-2925 or email xldentinfo@xldent.comDawn

Dawn Christodoulou is the President/Owner of XLDent. She has more than 25 years of experience computerizing dental offices and helping both new and established practices streamline electronic workflows for increased efficiency, improve patient engagement, and achieve maximum profitability. Dawn is also a member of ADA SCDI Working Groups 11.1 Standard Clinical Architecture and 11.9 Core Reference Data Set.

A Smart Start to Practice Growth

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Guest post by Dawn Christodoulou, President/Owner of XLDent

As the owner of a practice starting out or a stagnant one trying to grow, you are faced with figuring out what impacts practice growth the most. When properly planned, three areas can help to maximize growth from day one.

  1. Systems

You’re likely not thinking about efficiency or productivity during your first days or weeks in business. With a handful of patients each day, you’re not faced with bottlenecks, communication gaps, or duplication of processes. Alas, you soon will be. Systems minimize gaps or overlaps in your daily processes. They are needed for productive workflows and profitability.

Create standard operating procedures (SOPs) early on. Doing so sets the stage for staff expectations, accountability measures, and helps you measure areas of success or needs for improvement. Early on, you are likely running your practice without a full team. You have an assistant also taking on the front desk role, because you’re simply not busy enough yet to hire a full-time admin team member. As you bring on new staff, a written set of SOPs will ensure each team member is prepared and knows their responsibilities. Systems should be created knowing they will evolve as your practice grows and staff roles change. XLDent provides each practice, whether just starting out or transitioning from another PMS, a core set of SOPs to start with. They are a fantastic starting point for those new to establishing systems, and are customized by each practice as needed.

  1. XLDent blog photo Mockup-12-19-16Reviews and Referrals

I doubt there’s a practice starting out today that doesn’t have an online presence from day one. From the day you open your doors, focus on creating a process for reviews and referrals. Nothing attracts new patients more than a healthy online rating and patients who aren’t afraid to tell others about their great experience. After a visit, ask your patient if they were happy with their experience and funnel them right over to do that 5-star review. Lighthouse 360 helps you automate this. Emails. are automatically sent post-visit, and good reviews are posted right to your website and social media pages.

  1.  Patient Experience

It’s no surprise that convenience and consumer experience are priorities when a new patient chooses a dentist. They are especially significant in gaining one who is loyal. Don’t discount the importance of electronic reminders, online access, and paperless forms, to a patient. A busy mom doesn’t want to be faced with a stack of forms to complete that you’re going to scan and shred anyway. Consider a system that embraces all aspects of a streamlined paperless system, so you’re not left with the task of finding disconnected solutions that leave you with clumsy systems.

To connect with someone from XLDent, call 800-328-2925 or email

DawnDawn Christodoulou is the President/Owner of XLDent. She has more than 25 years of experience computerizing dental offices and helping both new and established practices streamline electronic workflows for increased efficiency, improve patient engagement, and achieve maximum profitability. Dawn is also a member of ADA SCDI Working Groups 11.1 Standard Clinical Architecture and 11.9 Core Reference Data Set.


Technology Planning for the New Dentist

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Guest post by Dawn Christodoulou, President/Owner of XLDent

For most dentists, starting a business is a time filled with excitement and confusion. Whether buying an existing practice or starting a new one, incorporating the right technology is one key to practice success. When it comes to practice technology, the temptation to DIY can lead the Dentist through a vortex of projects and complications. In addition, a DIY network could present limitations down the road. Let’s examine a few of the most important considerations a new dentist should make when choosing technology partners.

When choosing a hardware vendor or network service provider…

A partner that focuses on dentistry can have a critical impact on your practice success. Because technology failure equals loss of production, a company with expertise in the dental field will be able to minimize downtime. In addition, your partner will have a knowledge about digital x-ray systems and peripheral technologies that not just any IT company will know.

When choosing a dental software program…

With many dental software programs available, choosing a scalable solution will support your practice through growth and transition. The future of many privately owned practices includes multiple locations and multiple specialties offered. As your practice flourishes, your software partner should provide guidance about best practices. Recommendations about workflow optimization, billing, production tracking and database management will help you streamline your business. When starting your practice, a partner that supports multi-location and multi-specialty practices with one database will be a key consideration.

When choosing ANY technology partner…

Consider the learning tools that the partner can offer. As a dentist, production time is so valuable! Partners that provide excellent opportunities for learning new things will save you so much time in the end. CAN you install your own digital x-ray sensors and train your team on proper techniques? Sure, but your time is worth more than that! Take advantage of web based and in person learning opportunities that will help your business reach its fullest potential. A partner who understands your vision will guide you through the steps necessary to meet your goals.

As an independent dental software company, XLDent is dedicated to the preservation of private dentistry and has made it our purpose to help new dentists in practice build successful small businesses.

To connect with someone from XLDent, please call 800-328-2925 or email



Dawn Christodoulou is the President/Owner of XLDent. She has more than 25 years of experience computerizing dental offices and helping both new and established practices streamline electronic workflows for increased efficiency, improve patient engagement, and achieve maximum profitability. Dawn is also a member of ADA SCDI Working Groups 11.1 Standard Clinical Architecture and 11.9 Core Reference Data Set.



The Simple Big Picture

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Guest post by Dawn Christodoulou, President/Owner of XLDent

Starting a new business is a huge undertaking, and next to the decision to go to dental school, probably one of the biggest decisions of a new dentist’s professional life.  We applaud and congratulate new business owners for their desire to be their own boss, and thank them for opening the doors to a brand new business in their community.  As a privately owned business ourselves, XLDent is dedicated to the preservation of private dentistry and has made it our purpose to help new dentists in practice build successful small businesses.

We are now in the era of electronic records, so it is important to choose a system that will help you go totally paperless from the beginning, is easy to operate, and morphs as needed to support the evolution of the growing business.  That’s why we recommend a “Plan…Build…Implement…Review…Grow” approach when setting up the dental practice management software and clinical image systems.  It’s important to build a solid foundation from the beginning and select a company that will listen to you, consult with you, and help you establish the core business systems that will be essential to the success of your future practice.

Data is key to any business, therefore successful database establishment is the key to initiating core business systems. As each new dentist starts their journey, we ask them to consider that there is value in the depth and breadth of the patient database they are about to build.  The content, integrity and continuity of electronic dental records will play a key role in their ability to grow efficiently and profitably, as well as maintain valuable patient relationships and patient engagement mechanisms.  Electronic dental records also become the “goodwill” that ultimately defines the value or worth of the business.

XLDent’s All-Inclusive Suite of products and services includes all the tools needed to start simply and finish BIG!  Because we know it’s costly to start up a new dental office, we offer a No Cost software solution and a Getting Started program that tracks with you during the critical first 12 months of your practice opening.  Additionally, you’ll have access to self-guided training resources, on-demand webinars and ongoing live technical support.

Click Here for a FREE no-obligation consultation and personal demonstration.



Dawn Christodoulou is the President/Owner of XLDent.  She has more than 25 years of experience computerizing dental offices and helping both new and established practices streamline electronic workflows for increased efficiency, improved patient engagement, and maximum profitability.  Dawn is also a member of ADA SCDI Working Groups 11.1 Standard Clinical Architecture and 11.9 Core Reference Data Set.

To speak with someone from XLDent, please call 800-328-2925, or email Duane Anderson at


CAD/CAM—Not Just For Crowns Anymore

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Guest Post from The New Dentist Advisory Board Member Dr. Nicole Smith (Calif.)

Recently I was lucky enough to attend the Cerec 30 Convention in Las Vegas—a continuing education program celebrating 30 years of Cerec. Yes, Cerec has been around for 30 years! I still hear the question from patients and colleagues alike asking if CAD/CAM is new technology, and clearly it is not. I have been using my Cerec CAD/CAM machine on a daily basis in my offices for about 6 years and it has significantly changed how I practice. For one, I am more conservative with my dentistry—I am much more likely to do an onlay now instead of a crown if I am able to save tooth structure without sacrificing strength. Also, I am now almost completely metal free—my work looks better and is healthy for the patients. It makes me a better dentist—I design my restorations so I see where my preps excel and where they lack in finesse, allowing me to know what prep designs work the best for different restorations. And of course, it is a time saver for my patients. I am able to prep and cement an onlay in less than an hour and a crown in less than 2 hours. CAD/CAM has been a worthwhile investment for me because I have embraced the technology and use it daily. The Cerec 30 Convention blew my mind though…there is so much more I can do with my Cerec machine than I ever knew!

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy—A CAD/CAM machine can be used to make appliances that open a patient’s airway and keep them off of a CPAP machine. Truly a service your sleep apnea patients will thank you for!

TMD—Treating patients with just a simple nightguard impression to the lab is a thing of the past when you can use your Cerec to image and design custom TMD appliances.
Veneers—The next step in CAD/CAM proficiency allows you to change your patient’s smile in just 1 visit.

CBCT—You can now connect your Cerec with your Cone Beam machine for making precise stents for implant surgery. This is groundbreaking! You don’t need to wait a week for the lab to get the stent back to your office. You are able to take your 3D radiograph, design your stent, and place your implant the same day with excellent precision and time efficiency.

Implant Abutments and Crowns—The technology now allows us to make our own custom implant abutments and crowns right there in the office!

CAD/CAM is changing the world of dentistry at a pace faster than I ever expected. There is so much exciting development out there in using digital technology that can make my patients’ visits faster and more enjoyable. But in the long run it is also making dentistry more exciting for me to practice and evolve in! I truly believe that the technology you choose to invest in will only be worthwhile if you commit to using it on a regular basis and learn everything it can do for you. For me, I am thankful I took the plunge with investing in Cerec, and I know my patients are too!

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Nicole Smith, DDS, is a 2009 graduate from New York University College of Dentistry. She was class president for 3 years, is a member of several professional organizations and recipient of honors and awards for her contributions. She partnered with a group practice organization and now owns 2 dental offices in Southern California.

Building Your Practice’s Facebook Empire

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Guest Post from The New Dentist Reader: Dr. John Syrbu

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As a new dentist, you surely have a personal Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
account, building an audience from your patients requires a slightly different
mindset. For the purposes of this discussion, we will consider the international
standard in social media: the Facebook business page. Before we even think of
asking patients to like your page, let’s assess if your page is ready for visitors.

The first and most important question to ask yourself is – if you were a patient,
would you like your page in its current state? Does it provide value? Do you see
the faces of you, your staff and happy patients sprinkled throughout the wall? Do
you have a foundation of fans and interactions? If “maybe” or “not really” crossed
your mind in answering these questions, then let’s take a few steps back.

First, let’s cross our T’s and dot our I’s. Are all of the written sections of the page
filled out and accurate? Surely your wall is your landing page, but if a new patient
is perusing through your page and they connect with your office, they might not
click back to your website for the hours, address or number to call. Make sure
your “About” section is polished and updated.
Next, get some fresh and recent posts on your wall. “What? I don’t even have
any fans yet, why bother?” you might think. If your most recent post wished
everyone a “Merry Christmas” and it’s warm outside, you either live in San Diego
or that post is outdated. And worse if your wall is completely empty, patients will
feel like they’re the first ones at the party. It’s awkward.
Once your wall is no longer vacant or outdated, invite your friends and family to
like the page. Have your team members invite their friends and family. “What
about the patients!?” They’re next. It’s important to have a foundation of followers
before asking your patients to join in. Again, no one likes being the first one to
the party. Assuming your friends and family like you, they will probably start to
“like” and comment on the posts, giving your posts a small dose of clout.
You are now fully dressed, furnished and ready to invite your patients to your
page. Have the signage in readily visible areas such as the reception desk and
waiting area. Make a note about the promotions and features that patients are
eligible for as Facebook fans. You and your staff should also be referencing the
page or recent posts in conversation. Talk about how much fun you have and
that you think your patient would enjoy and benefit from the content. Be honest,
authentic and consistent. And remember the three E’s of social media: educate,
entertain and engage!


John Syrbu DDS is a dentist, author and illustrator. Reach Dr. John at or visit his website ( for more information.

Carestream Dental Donates CBCT System to UAB

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015


The faculty and staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry are dedicated to providing first-class education and cutting-edge resources to the next generation of students. That’s why Carestream Dental is pleased to support the School’s goals with the donation of a CS 9300C system in honor of well-known orthodontist David Sarver, D.M.D., M.S.

The donation comes as part of a lifetime achievement award given to Sarver in recognition of almost 20 years consulting for Carestream Dental. During that time, he played an important role in designing and developing CS Orthodontic Imaging software. Sarver is also the designer of the Sarver Analysis Module for CS Orthodontic Imaging and CS OrthoTrac practice management software. In honor of his dedication to advancing the specialty of orthodontics, Carestream Dental donated the CS 9300C to the university of his choosing.

CS-9300C-on-WhiteThe CS 9300C is a four-in-one system that features panoramic, CBCT and the cephalometric imaging that is so vital to orthodontics, as well as the ability to scan PVS impressions and stone models. Students can familiarize themselves with seven selectable fields of view, from single/dual jaw to maxillofacial options. They can also practice the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle with Low Dose and Fast Scan modes, which are particularly beneficial to the young patients the students will one day be treating.

“Carestream Dental and Dr. David Sarver are synonymous in digital dentistry innovations,” Chung How Kau, Ph.D., chairman of the UAB School of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics, said. “This gift in his honor not only will benefit the UAB Dentistry Department of Orthodontics but all of our residency programs and our D.M.D. students.”

Sarver compares the value of CBCT to that of keeping an eyeglass prescription up-to-date. Much like how putting on a new pair of glasses brings things that were once blurry into sharp focus, a CBCT scan provides “greater acuity to diagnostic vision.”

“Trying to visualize the location of impacted teeth or whether pathology is present has suddenly come into focus, as though—prior to this technology—I needed glasses but didn’t know it,” Sarver said.

Sarver received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from UAB School of Dentistry and Master of Science in Orthodontics from the University of North Carolina. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics; a member of the Edwards H. Angle Society of Orthodontists; a Fellow of both the International and American Colleges of Dentists; and a Fellow in the American Association of Esthetic Dentists. Sarver also co-authored the fourth and fifth editions of “Contemporary Orthodontics,” the most widely used orthodontic text in the world. He currently practices in Vestavia Hills, Ala., outside of Birmingham.

For more information on Carestream Dental’s innovative solutions, please call 800.944.6365 or visit

Announcing our newly designed website

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

We are excited to announce our newly designed website at Our website’s fresh new look, user-friendly navigation and new digital edition platform are some of the features you will enjoy. The new site has several easy to use article links and access to the latest resources for New Dentists.  One of our main goals was to build a user-friendly and simple to navigate site. The new design allows New Dentists to quickly find the content thanks to its easy hierarchical structure. We hope that you will enjoy browsing our new site and find more options and information each time.

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While you get used to our new website, please use the links below to find what you need:



The current edition of The New Dentist™ Magazine is displayed on our homepage and throughout the website making it readily available for New Dentists to read upon each new release.  The online version is adapted for use on any of your digital devices whether mobile, laptop, Electronic Readers, Mac, PC, etc.

To access and read the current edition now, simply click the following link:


Here you can view current and previous articles by topic. You can even download them for your personal use and safekeeping.


Peruse entire past issues cover to cover.  Email the link to a page or an entire edition.


Our Resource directory allows you to discover new products, services and technology that is specific to your needs as a dentist in the first 10 years of your career.


Moved? Just Married? Keep your subscription up to date at:


We look forward to using our blog to provide you with even more information about our latest products and tips and tricks.


Please take some time to look around and acquaint yourself with the new layout and features.

For support questions, contact us at


MacPractice News for New Dentists

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

MacPractice has been a highly esteemed supporter and resource for the New Dentist Magazine and they asked us to share some of their recent news with you here, announcement as follows:

October 23, 2014, Lincoln, NE- MacPractice announced MacPractice DDS 5. In addition to MacPractice EMR and EDR, Yosemite compatible MacPractice 5 offers a new MacPractice EHR Ability that interoperates with MacPractice’s iOS 8 compatible iEHR, Clipboard and Patient Check In apps for iPad, and features ICD-10 code mapping with ICD-9 and SNOMED, an updated Patient PHI Portal, secure messaging, Kiosk 2 and online registration.

“MacPractice 5 represents a leap forward for all doctors who prefer the reliability and ease of use of Macs in their offices with the support of an established US vendor. 2014 Edition Certified MacPractice DDS, 5.0 make Apple technology usable for US dentists who wish to qualify for government incentives for the adoption and Meaningful Use of electronic health records,”

said MacPractice’s CEO Mark Hollis.

“Although MacPractice’s clients include practices and clinics with 50 or more users, we design our software to support small private practices. Smaller practices can’t afford the IT costs commonly associated with PC solutions. MacPractice does not require a dedicated server for less than 25 simultaneous users, nor does it require a “server” operating system. When the Internet is down or slow, MacPractice is ‘up and running.’ Most practices using MacPractice do not retain outside IT services. Many practices report paying no more than $300-$500 annually for on site IT service versus the $8,000-$15,000 they used to spend for the PC system MacPractice replaced. MacPractice is bolstering the sustainability and viability of the private practice of medicine in the US.”

Among many new features, MacPractice DDS 5 offers:

· New EHR desktop companion to iEHR for iPad

· 2 EHRs for the price of 1: EMR/EDR plus EHR for OS X/iEHR for iPad

· Upgraded Patient PHI (Protected Health Information) Portal

· Online Registration with EHR Forms

· Secure Messaging- doctor and patient, doctor to doctor

· Kiosk 2 works with EMR/EDR for patient registration and clinical forms

· ICD-9, ICD-10, SNOMED capable

· DEXIS Mac interface and integration (DDS)

· New DR images ribbon in MacPractice Restorative Chart (DDS)

· Enhanced Data Security, integrity and Audit Trail

· iOS 8 compatible Check In, Clipboard, iEHR apps for iPad

· iOS 8 compatible MacPractice Interface for iPad with ePrescribe

· iOS 8 compatible MacPractice Interface for iPhone

With MacPractice EHR/iEHR, clinicians can begin recording the patient’s visit on the iPad and finish on their Mac, or vice versa, giving them the best of both worlds. There are 15,000 providers who use MacPractice EMR, which was introduced in 2007. MacPractice EMR and EHR are ICD-10 capable. MacPractice is presently providing both EHR and EMR for the cost of just EMR, giving doctors the option to use either or both, for the cost of just one.

Purchasers of MacPractice MD, DC, 20/20 and DDS 5 receive $500 off or $1000 off for an EHR “trade-up” until December 31, 2014!

With 30 years of Mac experience, 30,000 MacPractice users in 4000 practices, 120 corporate staff in their recently expanded 30,000 square foot facility, and 40 full time MacPractice Practice Consultants in the field, MacPractice is the leading Apple developer of OS X and iOS native software for doctors who prefer to use Macs, iPads, and iPhones. Local representation, training and installation of MacPractice is available in the US, UK and Australia. MacPractice software is used in 29 countries. MacPractice is developed and supported in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Visit to learn about MacPractice, MacPractice software and view video testimonials. Hear what MacPractice users have to say about MacPractice, Inc. and MacPractice software. Register to view demo videos of MacPractice, the leading software for 10 years for doctors who prefer to use Apple technology in their offices for ease of use and far lower on site IT support cost.

About MacPractice:MacPractice, Inc. is a client centric practice management and clinical software development firm, comprised of highly experienced and caring individuals, dedicated to the development and support of best-of-class Macintosh software, hardware, and associated services for physicians, dentists, chiropractors, and eye care professionals.

Contact: Mark Hollis, CEO of MacPractice, Inc.
(212) 683-2224