Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.

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.

Dr. Smith Headshot
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.