Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Patients Choose Elective Dentistry with Whitening

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Guest post by John “Cappy” Sinclair, DDS

As a student in dental school, I used to hear tales about how patients would come into practices during the cosmetic dentistry boom in the early 2000s just seeking elective dental care. I envisioned a future of patients on waiting lists and being booked out for weeks with veneer patients. Then the great recession hit, and many of those patients seeking elective care disappeared. But there’s one treatment I do in my office to open the door for elective services, and it’s one that you can start providing immediately right after dental school. What is this one service? It’s tooth whitening!

Prefabricated trays: New to the market just a few years ago, these are the go-to trays in our office. We use the 15% hydrogen peroxide (HP) for patients that are just looking for a quick way to maintain their whitening while traveling, 6% HP for teens in braces looking to freshen things up before school photos, or the 10% HP as a primer a few days before in-office whitening to pre-condition the teeth. These are the most versatile trays as well as the most cost effective. They also help motivate our patients towards the next phase of treatment.

Custom trays: I am sure there are many patients in your practice who have a set of whitening trays somewhere at home that haven’t been used in years. It could be because their trays no longer fit, or maybe they had issues with sensitivity from some of the earlier whitening products. The good news is your patients are already familiar with this treatment, and there are new whitening products for even the most sensitive patients. We also use custom trays to help with our periodontal patients. SDI has a great whitening product that is 3% hydrogen peroxide that we use prior to and after scaling and root planning procedures to help break down calculus and prevent biofilm from reoccurring.

In-Office: Before the recession, it seemed that in-office whitening such as ZOOM or Boost was all the rage, and patients were willing to pay a premium for it. Now, with fierce competition in the market, I have found a premium fee is a large obstacle for many patients. So how do you adjust your fee while still making in-office whitening profitable? One of the easiest ways to adjust the cost is by limiting doctor time. In our office, in-office whitening is handled by a team member. By empowering a team member to handle these tasks, the doctor’s time is left available for doing restorative and prosthodontic dentistry. If your team is a little rusty, many of the reps will come in and train them.

Many of our patients that have started the whitening process have asked about other enhancements, from replacing old stained composites to tooth alignment and even veneers. I may not have been practicing dentistry during the so-called golden era, but I’d like to think that for this generation of new dentists, the best is yet to come!

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Dr. Sinclair earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has spent additional time in post-graduate training, studying under renowned leaders in functional and esthetic dentistry, and he currently serves as a board member for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and as a product evaluator for Contemporary Product Solutions and 3M.

 

 

Success Starts by Just Showing Up: But Picking the Right Place Helps!

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Guest post by Stevan J. Orser, DDS, AAACD

Years ago, at a dinner meeting with my two partners, I proclaimed the need to advance our cosmetic dentistry skills. Cosmetic dentistry was the hot topic in our profession, and the cosmetic programs at seminars were packed—many top lectures had standing room only. This was true of the courses at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s (AACD) annual scientific session, but we knew if we wanted to be the best, we needed to learn from the best.

I made sure to register early and secure my spot at the next AACD meeting. At that meeting, I heard a lecturer say: “During one’s career, it is really helpful to have a mentor.” He defined a mentor as “someone who is already where you want to be. They’ve done what you’d like to do.” I considered my options, and with much anxiety, I contacted the chairman of AACD’s Accreditation process. The truth is, I didn’t know him. I had only heard him lecture and saw his amazing cosmetic dentistry slides in that lecture. But I knew he was the best person to reach out to.

I was shaking in my boots when I met him for early morning coffee. I did the only thing any of us can do to initiate change, I just showed up. The meeting went great, and he was generous with his time and ideas. Later that day, I signed up for the AACD Accreditation Written Exam and began the Accreditation process.

Generosity from the helpful people who have gone ahead of me has been a constant experience I’ve had with the AACD. It’s an organization with so many people willing to help and share. You may feel they’re more advanced, yet they will help you and they believe in you. We do things beyond our comfort zone because others know we can. It was the belief in me and the comradery that’s made my experience in AACD like no other organization. Twenty years later, my AACD colleagues remain a major positive force in my career.

The AACD and its members are here to serve and support you, getting you where you want to go. New members and first-time conference attendees are shepherded into the community at the annual scientific session with special events and opportunities to connect with veteran members. AACD affiliates offer local opportunities to connect, and involvement in AACD committees offers a unique opportunity to enjoy comradery with like-minded professionals while supporting the organization and its members. The AACD Accreditation process is the single most rewarding program in which I have participated. Years later, I now mentor others and have the honor of guiding several people to their peak of becoming Accredited Members.

At the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re all in this together. But to be a part of it, you just have to show up.

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In addition to creating life-changing smiles at his Arlington Heights practice, Dr. Orser teaches other dentists at the prestigious Eubank Teaching Institute in Plano, Texas and is a visiting faculty member at UCLA. He also currently serves as an accredited examiner for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

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.

AACD.BLOG.3.7.18.BrianBaliwas.photo (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.

 

 

The New Look of Multi-Location Practices

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Guest post by Dawn Christodoulou, President/Owner of XLDent

Dental practice ownership has indeed been in a state of change over the last 10-15 years. The landscape of corporate practices and multi-owner practices is something of a norm. But it hasn’t always been this way. Single-owner private practices are evolving.

Why the shift?

Traditionally, a dental office consisted of one office with a single practitioner owner. Recent years have seen a trend towards alternate models, which include DSOs (Dental Service Organizations) and corporate clinics. To maintain a dentist-owned status while having the flexibility to expand your business, some are opting for a multi-location practice.

Corporate and large-scale DSOs often provide expanded services, extended hours, and other patient conveniences. Competing with these practices means you must be focused on providing premium patient care. This may mean creating a practice of specialty colleagues to provide all services “under one roof”. If you aren’t ready to own a multi-specialty practice, consider connecting with colleagues nearby to build a streamlined referral network. Patient experience is a priority and creating a practice of personal, patient-focused care will help you stand out from the competition.

What changes will you be making?

Owning multiple dental practices can be rewarding, exciting, and profitable if properly executed. Multiple locations can help to position yourself in a way that allows you to be more competitive which could mean double income potential, but also, double stress and increased overhead. To be successful and competitive you need to have done the proper planning to take on a second, third, or more facilities.

Infrastructure and operations are the backbone of any successful business, and your dental practice is no exception. As you look at your management software and elements needed to run multiple locations, you might first think cloud. The good news… you don’t need a cloud-based system to make this happen. The key is a robust practice management system that already has everything you need to run your multi-location business efficiently and effectively.

The XLDent replication solution helps multiple locations run seamlessly while utilizing one single database. Or, your preKPI-Dashboard2 (002)ference may be to keep independent data for each, while accessing XLDent at all locations throughout the day. Whichever you choose, your team will be able to run a cohesive, streamlined operation at various locations around town. Plus, practice owners can stay informed about the practice(s) with the XLDent KPI Dashboard. This bird’s-eye view lets you see current practice stats anywhere, anytime.

Whether you’re a sole practice or are considering branching out with a team of associates and specialists on board, your management software solution is one important factor in making it a success.

To connect with someone from 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.

Navigating Dental Sleep Medicine Education

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Guest post by Harold A. Smith, DDS, President of the AADSM

As the number of adults diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea continues to increase, dentists have the opportunity to integrate oral appliance therapy into their skill set to help treat this serious disease. Continuing education (CE) courses provide the knowledge needed to expand into dental sleep medicine, but dentists should be wary that some educational offerings provide inadequate instruction and may teach outdated practices or non-validated protocols.

Here are four indicators of inferior education in dental sleep medicine that you should avoid when selecting CE courses

1. Overgeneralized instruction – Courses that attempt to be all things to all people, and are not designed to meet the different levels of dental sleep medicine experience and knowledge, most likely will not meet your professional nds. Beware of courses that are overgeneralized to draw as many attendees as possible.

2. Integrated teaching and testing entities – Education providers should administer certification testing and education from separate boards to ensure that dentists’ education is the main focus of the organization. Distinction between these goals is expected and necessary in prestigious medical education programs, and the same standards should apply to dental sleep medicine courses.

3. For-profit organizations – Any organization that stands to profit from teaching participants to use particular devices or services cannot provide impartial instruction. While these courses can help you learn about tools of the trade, they are not a substitute for gaining fundamental, unbiased knowledge about dental sleep medicine.

4. Access to test questions – Courses that provide advance access to questions that will appear on an upcoming certification exam do not support the competency in dental sleep medicine that our medical colleagues will respect and expect.

For superior CE courses that directly benefit you and your practice, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine provides education that is built upon 25 years of proven success in growing dental sleep medicine careers and businesses. AADSM offers best-in-class educational opportunities that are recognized, respected and rewarding – putting you at the forefront of the field.

As the only non-profit, professional association dedicated exclusively to dental sleep medicine, AADSM affiliation is important to physicians, payers and patients who are looking for qualified dentists to help treat sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. AADSM courses are recognized by the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) and are the best investment for those looking to achieve respected certification in dental sleep medicine, build long-lasting medical relationships and gain patients. The AADSM offers a tailored educational approach that will give you the credibility and tools to unlock immediate opportunities to advance your dental sleep medicine career – increasing your patient roster and your revenue.

Dental sleep medicine is a smart, viable and valuable opportunity for dentists interested in providing sleep solutions to their patients and expanding their practice. The sooner you become an expert, the better positioned you’ll be for success and seniority in this fast-growing, exciting dental field. To accelerate your dental sleep medicine career and improve your bottom line, learn more about best-in-class CE opportunities at www.AADSM.org.

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Harold A. Smith, DDS, is the president of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). He has provided oral appliance therapy since 1993 and is currently the clinical director of Dental Sleep Medicine of Indiana. He also serves as the dental consultant to the major Indianapolis hospital sleep disorder centers and is on faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine’s Fellowship program in sleep medicine.
As a distinguished speaker and ABDSM Diplomate, Dr. Smith has lectured nationally on the dentist’s role as part of a medical team in sleep medicine. He also has served on many levels of organized dentistry throughout the years. Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and is an active member of the AASM, ADA, IDA, IDDS and AGD. He is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Dentistry.
An active and passionate dental sleep medicine professional, Dr. Smith served as president of the AADSM from 2002 to 2004, received the AADSM Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and acted as president of the ABDSM from 2008-2010.