The direction of your dental career starts on Day 1

In any career, the earliest decisions are always the most crucial. Decisions made at the outset of any endeavor directly determine the path you're on and at least in rough terms, where you will end up. And yes, when you walk out the doors of dental academe, the choices begin. Today, the new dentist is faced with an important fork in the career road that really didn’t exist when I started out some 34 years ago. To go the corporate dentistry route or not is a decision that would have vexed Hamlet and it’s the same for new dentists. Corporate ...
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Profitability rises when focus is on patient

If you begin to think of every hour of your day as billable, you may soon start to believe any time spent away from the chair is a lost revenue opportunity. I understand that. But it’s a trap. In order to provide the best customer care you have to be rested. So taking time to recharge your batteries is an investment in yourself that you can’t ignore. On one side of the equation you need to make time to be with your family, take a vacation to simply go to a movie. Professionally you can invest your time away from ...
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Early decisions in a dental career are the most crucial

New dentists don’t often think of themselves as business people. But that’s exactly what they are. Whether you are starting your own practice, buying into a practice or joining an established team as an employee, your decisions are all primarily business decisions. And the choices you make at the beginning of your career are some of the most important you’ll ever have to make. When you leave dental school you are ready for patient care. But what about career care? What business prep have you received?  I can tell you that when I left school it was very little and ...
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Talking to dentists is a great spring break

Last month I had a great spring break at Destin 2017. No, there wasn’t a lot of swimming, or reading by the beach. It was a different kind of break: one where I was connecting with fellow dentists and sharing best practices to make our businesses more profitable. At these types of events the one-on-ones are great. But I was fortunate enough to have been invited as a speaker – thereby allowing me to share my practical experiences with more people dentists than I could ever have reached simply walking the halls. With 34 years in the industry building up ...
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Denture solutions as varied as the patients themselves

If a patient wants or needs a prosthesis solution, there are a few good options available. Although many would prefer a non removable denture solution, sometimes medical history, time and / or clinical conditions and of course expense can work against that option. When patients consider a denture solution, it is usually with limited information as to the hows and whys of such a procedure. For example most consider a denture solution to be a one-time mattter which is not true. A removable prosthesis must be relined periodically, which can mean they will have to live without it while this is ...
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Dental implants good but only in specific situations

Dental implants have grown in use over the years and for good reason. In an ideal scenario, an implant can replace a problem tooth quite well. But that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal procedure for all patients. There are many mitigating factors to consider before recommending an implant. First, check the condition of the teeth next to the implant area. If they’re good, then I would recommend proceeding. If not, I would think a conventional crown and bridge treatment would be better. Here are some common questions and answers that arise during treatment planning: How long will the implant last? ...
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Being a coach to your patients the best dental strategy

When working with my patients, I’ve come to see that aside from fixing their teeth, I’m also a consultant and at best, a coach to them. If all I did was fix their chompers, that would get old rather quickly. Helping them change their habits and become proactive in their own care is a very fulfilling process for both them and myself. As a dentist, I’m looking to establish a relationship with my patients much like a medical doctor. Your physician talks to you about your health and what you can do to improve it. Same with dentists. Short term ...
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My spring break: going to ‘Excellent’ and talking profitabilty

Even dentists need a spring break. But I’m going to be working during mine! It’s a good kind of work though: I’ll be talking at the Excellence In Dentistry Spring Break Seminar taking place April 27 to 29 in Destin, Florida. Even better I’ll be speaking about one of my favorite topics: Process and Procedures to Improve Profitability. When it comes to building a more profitable dental practice, cutting corners is a short-sighted strategy. Better to invest in processes and procedures that drive the growth of your practice. Over the course of my 90-minute talk, I’ll outline how I did ...
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Managing periodontal care can be a challenge

Let’s keep it simple: almost all patients have some type of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, where inflammation is confined to the soft tissue, involves no bone loss. Periodontitis, on the other hand, means bone loss. Whenever you have periodontitis, you also have gingivitis, but just because you have gingivitis does not mean you have periodontitis. Sound a bit confusing? It’s really not. Consider this: The diseases can be classified as follows: ∙ Type one: gingivitis-inflamed tissue, no bone loss ∙ Type two: early periodontitis with mild bone loss but without furcation involvement ∙ Type three: moderate periodontitis with moderate bone loss ...
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Cover your assets with a dental non-compliance form

At some point every dentist will have to tackle a tooth restoration. Of all the types of restoration, the most challenging is doing a composite restoration that looks good, functions well, has nice interproximal contacts, and isn’t sensitive. It’s generally not the first recommended treatment in your care arsenal. But often it’s what the patient wants.  Just be certain to let them know to expect sensitvity during it and that the process will need a root canal and crown to finish. But a restoration can create more clinical problems than anything else we do in our day to day practice ...
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