Why Continuing Education is Critical to Your Success in Dentistry

Every state requires dentists to comply with mandatory continuing education requirements. In addition, there are a wide range of optional continuing education courses available to dentists across the nation. If you are a practicing dentist, though, you might wonder why. After all, you are using your clinical skills every day, so you certainly aren’t rusty. Yet even beyond the need to comply with regulations, continuing education is vital for all dentists. Here’s a look at why continuing education is critical to your success in dentistry.

Emergency Care

Maintaining current CPR certification is mandatory in most states. Many also require continuing education credits in topics such as infection control, blood borne pathogens, and HIV/AIDS. Some require dentists to have regular training in ethics, professional responsibility, and recognizing the signs of abuse.

All of these are topics that the average dentist does not frequently confront. You probably have sterilization and infection control procedures in place that work well for your day to day operations. You likely face few situations that require you to perform CPR or make complex ethical decisions. Yet when you suddenly find yourself in an unusual scenario, you need to have sharp, recently practiced skills that you can rely on.

Innovative Technology

Technology continues to develop at lightning speed, and there is no way that the average busy dentist could keep up with all of the new possibilities. Continuing education courses that focus on technology sum up your new options and present them in a way that is fast and easy to digest. You will receive enough information that you can then easily research any new tools that catch your eye.

New Clinical Skills

The field of dentistry is also transforming rapidly, partly due to innovations in technology. Dentists today have more options than ever before for treating different dental diseases. Continuing education courses give you an overview of new techniques and methodologies, some of which could revolutionize the care you are able to provide.

Changing Business Landscape

“Disruption” is the new buzzword in business, as companies attempt to turn old ways of doing business on their ear. As new disruptors enter the marketplace, service providers such as dentists must stay on their toes. Agility, streamlining, and the ability to pivot as needed are key skills that any business owner must learn. Attending continuing education classes focused on the business side of your practice ensures that you stay aware of the changing landscape and are prepared to take on new disruptions as they occur.

Continuing education requirements can feel like just one more thing on your never-ending to do list. Yet these classes are the best insurance your dental practice can have against the ramifications of a rapidly changing field. When looking for continuing education courses, try to select a range of topics that address emergency care, technology, clinical skills, and business knowledge. Your success will be worth the hassle.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

The Importance of Proper Goal Setting in Your Dental Practice

If you run a dental practice, you are probably at least loosely aware of the importance of goal setting. If not, here is some food for thought. A recent 10-year study of Harvard MBAs found only 3% had written goals with a plan of action for achieving them. Another 13% had goals in mind, but never shared them with others or wrote them down. A stunning 84% had no specific goals at all. At the end of the 10 years, the 13% with unwritten goals made twice as much money as those with no goals. And the 3% who had written goals earned 10 times as much as the rest of the group combined!

Yet simply setting goals is not enough. That 3% also had a plan to achieve their goals. To develop and execute a plan of action, though, it is important to set SMART goals. Here’s what that means:

Specific: General goals, like “grow my practice” are a terrific way to start the goal setting process, but are not enough on their own. The goal must be specific in both scope and area. To set specific goals, consider the five Ws—who, what, where, which, and why.

Measurable: A goal must be able to be measured or quantified in some way. Try asking “how” questions—how many, how much, how will I know when I’ve achieved the goal?

Achievable: To be achievable, a goal must be within your control and must be realistic given your available resources. For this step, ask the practical questions—can I afford the cost in both time and money, do I have the necessary manpower, are there alternative ways to reach this goal that I haven’t yet considered?

Relevant: A relevant goal is both personally important to you and in alignment with your other relevant goals. Ask questions such as: does this feel right, is it the appropriate time, will it take too many resources away from other goals, does this flow well with other efforts I am making?

Time-based: Deadlines are essential to keeping you moving forward, but they must be realistic. Each goal needs a final deadline for completion, broken down into smaller components. A popular way to go about this is to work backwards. First, what is my final deadline? Then, to reach that deadline, what needs to be done by six months from now, six weeks from now, one week from now, and today?

Some experts expand SMART goals into SMARTER goals, acknowledging the importance of Evaluation and Review. The key takeaway from that is that you must acknowledge the reality that life gets in the way. If you don’t make your six-week deadline on a particular goal, don’t give up! Evaluate the situation to learn why you didn’t make it and review your timeline to make necessary shifts.

Likewise, a goal that seemed critical six months ago may no longer seem relevant. Evaluate the goal to see if you should table it, and review your overall goals to determine whether it is a necessary component or something you can simply let go.

Your goal list, like your business plan, should be a living document that adapts and evolves as needed. Having a written list of goals with deadlines is vital for success, but at no time should you become a slave to an outdated goal sheet. Take the time to sit down and set SMART goals, and then revisit them at least biannually to ensure that you are making adequate progress and to refresh your list as appropriate.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Understanding costs are key to growing your dental practice

As the man behind Dentaltown Dr. Howard Farran is easily one of the most recognized names in our industry.  He’s a dentist, an MBA, and an international lecturer. More importantly he understands what’s important to our profession, not only clinically, but business wise.

You can be the best clinician in the world, but if your business skills aren’t developed then you will always struggle.

Farran’s business acumen is something that was baked into him from a very early age.

I had an extremely lucky childhood. My dad was dirt poor and when I was ten years old, he saved up his money and bought a SONIC Drive-In franchise,” he says.

“He went from making like $11,000 a year to $60,000 his first year, then he opened up another SONIC every year for nine years. We went from dirt poor to living in the wealthiest area of Wichita, Kansas in United States.”

“The church we attended also had the founders of Pizza Hut, Dan and Beverly Carney, and the Shah family that started Godfather’s. So when I was a little kid and went fishing, I would sit next to my dad who had nine restaurants, Roger Carpenter who had 100, Jim Williams had 1,000, Roger Carpenter had 2,800 and there was a lot of takeaways from growing up with these guys.”

“By the time any of them had five employees, one of them was a fulltime bookkeeper. All they did was master their costs.”

Farran takes these lessons from legendary American business people and applies them to the dental industry.

“I hired a bookkeeper when I started out,” he says. “She’s now the president of my company and makes $200,000 a year. It’s all about cost.”

“Most dentists don’t know their costs. They have practice management information systems like Dentrix and Eaglesoft, but they don’t even have accounting software!”

“So dentists go through the day managing people, time and money. All their costs are incurred in time, but they bill in units. The only thing that matters is what does that room cost for an hour and how much production do you do in that hour.”

Farran thinks of dentistry like an airline.

“Southwest Airlines takes 100 percent of all their cost and reduces it to one airline seat flying through the sky for a mile. If that chair takes off in Boston and flies to my house in Phoenix  – even if no one is sitting in it – it still has costs. That plane is not being flown by the tooth fairy, it’s not being pulled by magic fairy dust, it has costs. Too many dentists don’t even know what an operatory costs!”

But even beyond the physical location, a bookkeeper will be able to show where to find efficiencies in the practice. “The receptionist might book an hour for two fillings.  She doesn’t even know what it is, then she books some lady to come in for a cleaning for an hour, she’s getting $55 for the cleaning and the hygienist is getting $40 and these dentists don’t even know they’re in quicksand. You have to hire a bookkeeper at every position you have.”

According to Farran, it’s this lack of financial literacy that makes it so hard for new dentists and even established dentists to maximize their earning potential.

“The average dentist is signed up for about 12 to 15 different PPO plans,” he says.  “They have no idea what they are getting paid for any procedure, no idea what the room costs. But the receptionist is scheduling the only cost as time.”

When a dentist finally understands the overhead costs, can they truly see how to make their practice more profitable.

Farran puts it very succinctly when he says “If your room costs $200 an hour and you put in $145 MOD, you just sent a $50 bill through the shredder.”

Understanding costs is the key to making any business successful. Wishful thinking and hopeful guesses are a recipe for financial disaster.

3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dental Business Coach

Even Olympic athletes have coaches, so why wouldn’t you want one to help take your dental business to the next level? A dental business coach can help you map out future goals, solidify your branding and marketing, provide a new perspective, challenge you to reach new heights, and hold you accountable for moving forward. Yet not all business coaches are the same. To make the most of your investment, you need a coach who is experienced and reliable, and who truly gets your vision. Here are 3 questions to ask before hiring a dental business coach.

    What Does Business Coaching Mean to Them?

Different business coaches have different philosophies and approaches to the job. A good business coach should focus half on you as the owner: helping you become the best entrepreneur you can be, and half on your business: analyzing its strengths and weaknesses and helping you build a clear action plan for success.

A good business coach should also be able to articulate his or her values and techniques. While it is not reasonable to expect an entire plan to be presented before you sign a contract, you should be able to get a good idea of how the coach will approach the project.

    What Is Their Experience?

Not all business coaches are experienced in dentistry, and not all experienced dentists make good business coaches. You need someone who is equally skilled in three areas: dentistry, entrepreneurship, and coaching. The coach does not necessarily need to be a dentist, but he or she should have a strong background in running or coaching a dental practice. Your coach also needs to be able to show a track record of measurable business growth, as well as the ability to teach.

    Is Hands-on Help Available?

While the goal of business coaching is to teach you what you need to know to grow and build your business, learning is a process. In the meantime, a good dental business coach should be available to review documents, advise you in decision-making, and help you get out of the weeds. If the coach is more of a consultant with a hands-off approach, you might not get the most value from the relationship. Of course, you will need to remain actively involved every step of the way. If you want someone to take over certain duties, you should hire a business manager, not a coach.

A dental business coach can be a valuable asset in developing and growing your practice. However, not all coaches are the same. Take the time to interview a few coaches and choose the one that best fits with your vision.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

5 Reasons to Hire a Dental Business Coach in 2018

As 2017 comes to a close, it is a smart idea to perform a quick annual review both personally and professionally. What goals did you have for the year? Did you meet them? What were your biggest successes and challenges? What one thing did you mean to do this year that you never quite got around to?

It is equally important to look to the future, to set new goals and make new plans for the coming year. When it comes to running your dental business, one of the best ways to do this is to sit down with a business coach. After all, even Olympic athletes have coaches. No matter how successful your dental practice was this year, you can have an even better 2018 if you consult with a business coach. Here are 5 reasons to hire a dental business coach in 2018.

    Business Mapping

You might have a fully detailed business plan, complete with 5-year projections and a collection of short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals. Or you might be running your business on the fly, adapting and changing as you go along. Either way, the new year is a wonderful time to revisit your plans and make sure they are as strong as they can be.

A dental business coach can help you refine everything from your mission and vision statements to your corporate culture and values. Branding, marketing opportunities, and future expansion are just a few of the many topics that your business coach can help you map out.


Balancing chairside time with patients against all of your business duties can become a grind, and it is easy to get lost in the day to day. A dental business coach brings a fresh perspective, and takes a zoomed-out macro look at your practice. This may be just what you need to step outside the daily challenges and remember why you opened your practice in the first place.


It is easy to do what you have always done, and making changes can be intimidating. A good dental business coach will challenge you to set lofty goals, and map a plan to meet them. You can do more than you ever thought possible, but many people need someone to challenge them to be their best.


Your dental business coach believes in you even when your faith in yourself waivers. He or she intimately knows the challenges and opportunities involved in running a dental practice, and can help you learn what to expect if you make certain changes or pursue different goals. This can give you the confidence to face the future and build your practice in a whole new way.


Getting excited about possibilities is easy, but making the long-term commitment to making them a reality is far more difficult. Your dental business coach will hold you accountable, checking in regularly to see how you are progressing. Like a workout buddy, your dental business coach can be the catalyst for keeping your commitments and continuing to build toward your goals.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

How often are dentists the victims of embezzlement?

More than two thirds of dentists are destined to become victims of embezzlement at some point in their career. According to David Harris, the founder of Prosperident, the world’s largest dental embezzlement firm that number might even be low!

“Those numbers are probably understated a little bit simply because some embezzlement goes on and is never detected and other embezzlement happens and nobody reports it,” says Harris.

“So my own number, which is of course unprovable, is that there’s probably an 80 percent chance that you’ll get hit at some point in your career.”

David’s vast investigative experience in this field has helped Prosperident grow to more than a dozen specialized investigators consulting on hundreds of embezzlement matters annually.

When we think about embezzlement the assumption is that it always involves some sort of cash. But according to Harris this type of theft can manifest itself in all sorts of ways.

“Typically we see staff stealing from their doctors. In most cases it’s money. But it could also be something like someone ordering hand pieces and they order an extra one to sell on eBay.”

Embezzlement is something that can happen to anyone. In fact it’s happened to me. Three times! Each time was not only emotionally disturbing, it also rattled my confidence.

Over his 25 years in the business Harris has seen just how this can happen – even to people who think they have the proper safeguards in place.

“You can’t underestimate the embezzler or assume that your superior education will give you some kind of upper hand in this battle,” he says.

“The second thing is there is absolutely nothing you can do that will prevent embezzlement. If I work for you and I get the idea that I am somehow more entitled to the money that your practice makes than you are, I’m going to get away with it – at least for a while.”

If somebody steals from you once and gets caught, I view that as a success not a failure. Somebody who gets away with it for three years and gets $275,000, that’s a failure.”

So what can a dentist to make sure that thefts are caught quickly?

“One of the pieces of advice that I give doctors is that the only reports they look at the end of each day and at the end of each month be ones that they printed themselves. Otherwise you can’t be confident that the reports are 100% accurate.”

If you are concerned at all about your practice after reading this and you would like to contact David Harris directly or you would like to have his company help you minimize your risk exposure to embezzlement he can be reached at david@dentalembezzlement.com.

Why should dentists join the ADA

Dentistry is a business. And you need to treat it as such if you want to maximize the return on all your hard work and skills development.

A big part of being successful in business is the support you get from being a part of an association.

Recently I spoke to Dr. David Preble of the American Dental Association about how the ADA helps dentists at every stage of their career journey.

Currently the ADA counts about 63 percent of working dentists in it’s membership, representing more than 161,000 men and women from across the country.

That may seem like a lot. But with boomers retiring and selling their practices and millenials making up almost 50 percent of dentists the challenge is to find a real value proposition that speaks to dentists wherever they are in their career.

The ADA provides a broad range of services from legislative and regulatory advocacy, practice-based advocacy with third-party payers and governmental agencies, continuing education, peer review, scientific research, the development of dentistry policies and standards, as well as, practice management tools and resources.

I’ve been a member since 1983. Over the years I’ve had both agreements and disagreements on policy. However in the end the mission statement is to represent the dental profession and dentists and I think it generally does a great job.

With increasing competition, financial risks and educational debt having a greater impact on individuals than ever before it’s good to have an group to advocate on our behalf.

For new dentists the ADA is a tremendous source of information and knowledge to help guide those new graduates through some of the trials and tribulations of either starting a practice, joining a practice, and other areas related to getting a career started on the right foot.

“A new dentist can really benefit from the services like our Career Center,” says Dr. Preble, “which we are building to be even better and better. That really helps dentists make more informed and better decisions about where they want to practice, and how they want to practice.”

“We also provide networking opportunities through local and state dental societies, which are an integral part of the ADA, along with practice development resources, and even licensure guidance and loan refinancing options.”

It’s not just new dentists. For dentists who have been practicing for between 8 to 20 years and are dealing with the practice management issues, where perhaps their practice isn’t growing and doing as well as they’d hoped for a variety of reasons the ADA has an enormous amount of information to help.

Again Dr. Preble says “for those dentists in that mid-career part, they can have ADA tools and resources to answer these third-party payer and other business related questions, along with access to online scientific resources, etc.”

Finally, the last group are those individuals more in the twilight of their career. Are they in a position to retire financially? Is their clinical practice in a position to pass on to another individual or group? Again, the ADA is there with knowledge, information and expertise.

“When dentists get into the later part of their career, “ says Preble, “The ADA has practice transition information, along with answers to financial questions and then lots of opportunities for mentoring new dentists”

If you are a new dentist a membership in the ADA is a critical to becoming part of the greater community of peers and will provide you with knowledge and networking that will help you throughout your whole career. If you’ve let your membership lapse then maybe it’s time to re-think and re-engage with this important organisation.

Additional resources


Center for Professional Success

Successful dental careers require more than clinical skills

If you’re just coming out of dental school it’s safe to say that you probably have the requisite clinical skills to do your job.

Unfortunately clinical skills are not the only thing you need to have a successful career.

Dentistry is a business. If you don’t treat it like a business, then you are setting a ceiling on your own financial security.
I learned very young one of the most important skills they don’t teach you in dental school is how to choose the proper career path.

Most new dentists graduate with a lot of debt. That means the dream of opening your own practice right away is out of reach for most of us early in our careers.

The reality is that you’ll probably be working as an associate for a few years while you get your own financial house in order.

Depending on where your see your career taking you, you may consider joining an independent practice or one that is connected to a Dental Service Organization or Managed Service Organization.

Deciding on which route you want to take boils down to one question – do you have the entrepreneurial drive to one day own your own practice, or are you content to be an employee?

There is no right answer. However it’s a decision that you will have to make early and it will determine the path of your career going forward.

Whatever path you choose it’s important that you not only burnish your clinical skills, but also pay attention to how the practice is run. In essence you have two jobs – improving your skills and learning the business.

I’ve been a “wet-finger” dentist for over 35 years. When I graduated it was a different environment for dentists. When I started I had the luxury of time to figure things out. I made mistakes and I learned hard lessons. Eventually I was able to put in place processes and procedures that not only worked – but were also easy to replicate.

Today, the commoditization of dentistry has accelerated the learning curve considerably. So if you don’t get everything going right from day one then you will struggle.

I started consulting with new dentists because, through my work at Tufts, I saw that dental schools are very good at clinical, and often ignore the business and career development part of dentistry.

I didn’t see enough emphasis on accounting, legal, sales, marketing and other aspects of the business that can make or break a career.

Getting these skills, along with putting in place the proper processes and procedures that make a practice efficient at every level is the best way to ensure sustained growth and position you to achieve the maximum return on your investment when you eventually go to sell.

If you are a new dentist, or simply struggling with the business part of your dental practice, then I encourage you to book some time with me to talk about your current situation. It’s up to you how you want your career to play out. Talking to someone who knows what they’re doing with a solid track record of success is the best place to start.

When should a dentist open a second or third practice

If you are successful running one practice, it is almost impossible not to consider the potential financial windfall that might come from opening a second or even third practice.

I’ve been a practicing dentist for over 35 years and I have 14 offices. So what have I learned? The first thing is that before you make any decision you need to think long and hard about what your end game is.  

Are you building additional practices to sell to a DSO or MSO? If that’s the case then you must think about how you can get the highest return on your investment down the road. Maybe you’re growing because you’re business is booming and the only way to effectively grow your business is to expand to another location.

The reality is that even if you aren’t thinking about selling now, at some point you will. When that day comes you’ll want to get the biggest return on your investment.

If one practice is successful and the second practice is just as successful, the investment and the return on your investment will be significantly better than just selling one solo practice. That’s just math.

So the more successful practices you have,  and the better the processes and procedures you have in place to run them, the more valuable this entity will eventually be to a potential purchaser.

Depending on the number of practices you accumulate and run successfully, your value will go up, but the number of individuals interested in that practice will go down. If you grow your business to include three, four, five, ten or fifteen practices they will be valuable – but the market for them when you go to sell will be severely restricted.  

Let’s face it, a single dentist will not be purchasing 10 practices at once. So in most cases, you will ultimately be leaning towards a DSO or Dental Service Organization or an MSO, Managed Service Organizations.

That being you should never expand into another location, unless your first location has excellent processes and procedures. That means infrastructure is in place, you have great team members at your front desk, adequate chair side assistance, adequate dental hygienists and – let me emphasize this – hardware and software controls.

Another consideration is age. Where are you in your career? You can afford to lose almost everything in your 20s and 30s and still have plenty of time to rebound and be very successful financially.  When you start this type of aggressive expansion mid to late  in your career, the money, time and effort may not give you the best return because your investment will not be recouped quickly.

This last point is very important to dentists in their 50s or late 50s. You need to fully understand the financial and the emotional time commitment of opening up additional practices and what you can expect for your return on investment prior to selling. Unless you’re an incredible superstar and you can get that practice up and running, profitable, with an EBITA of at least $300,000 to $400,000 within 12 to 18 months, you may find that your return on investment may not benefit when you consider the risk and effort involved.

What Do You See When You Look In the Mirror?

I’ll tell you what I see. I see opportunity!

Dentistry is a great profession. As sure as people will always need a haircut, they will always need to have their teeth looked after by professionals like us. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges ahead. Like every industry, we too are facing many changes. Some of them are amazing and let us work more efficiently and become more profitable, while others take us down unproductive paths.

For many years now Lasers have been a part of dentistry. We use lasers for intra oral tissue removal, tissue re-contouring, tooth whitening, caries removal, disinfection of periodontal pockets, improvements in the healing of aphous lesions and the list goes on and on…it’s amazing technology.

Most practicing dentists quickly develop a myopic view of the patient care. We tend to see only the oral cavity because that is where we are most comfortable and where we have been trained to diagnosis and treat. But what if there is more? What if there was a way to utilize the skills and equipment you already have to offer additional value-added services to your patients? Would you be willing to think outside the box and take action?

Recently I have been considering additional lasers for my 14 dental offices. As part of the decision-making process I took a week’s course though the National Laser Institute to evaluate different laser companies and experience firsthand what would work best in my practices.

Let me say that my experience with the National Laser Institute could not have been better. Their team was professional and knowledgeable and I had a very enjoyable experience. But even more importantI saw opportunity. When it comes to laser treatments there is an almost limitless supply of patients clamoring for this type of treatment option.

I have had, and used, lasers in my dental offices on and off for many years. But I’d never considered their use for other forms of care and treatment.

Consider the following-

  • Hair removal and or reduction
  • Brown and Red spot removal
  • Tattoo removal
  • Facial Rejuvenation and Radiofrequency Care and Treatment
  • IPL Treatments or Intense Pulsed Light Photo facials
  • Wrinkle Reduction and Fractional Laser treatments
  • Body Contouring That Targets Adipose and Cellulite Problem Areas
  • Vein Reduction
  • Micro-needling

The above list just scratches the surface of treatment options we could all be offering. This is an opportunity just waiting for dentists to embrace.

There is a seemingly never ending list of challenges that face us day in and day out – with dental insurers constantly reducing fees and placing more rules and regulations between us and the care we provide, not to mention the growing competition from DSO’s and MSO’s. Perhaps now is the time to look into the mirror and see the enormous opportunities that are still there if we choose to learn and apply new skills to service alternative markets outside the gumline.

Did you know that almost 30 million people in the US alone have tattoos and almost 80% want them removed! With the right laser and techniques in 4-10 visits this can be done!

Did you know that most women have terminal and vellus hair on their face that they would like to see removed and or reduced!

Did you know in recent surveys most men and women want to see a reduction of age and sun damaged spots on the face along with reduction of wrinkles and fine lines!

What I have learned over the last 35 years in my professional and business career is that we are health care professionals and the care and service we provide is paramount. But we are also small business owners who need to adjust to market forces to grow our practices.

Clearly esthetic treatments are in great demand and will become even more popular as our population ages. What I see is an opportunity to add value, a growing patient base, an unmet need and a reduced barrier to provide care and treatment. That’s right – this is a “no-insurance” business. Patients pay for what they want and need.

If you are still on the fence about adding this kind of service option to your practice consider this, when a crown is done it usually doesn’t require additional treatment for many years, however facial esthetics treatments are ongoing. We may never stop aging, but we clients will sure as heck pay to hold the signs of aging back for as long as possible.

With the correct lasers and training a tremendous opportunity lays right in front of us all. We need embrace it and learn to provide these additional services to patients.


Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD

Owner of Ascent-Dental-Solutions with a focus on Knowledge, Development, Training and Consultation

Author, Educator and Lecturer

Dr. Coughlin started Baystate Dental in 1983 with 14 practices and 150 employees and continues to practice full time all aspects of General Dentistry.

He can be reached at 1-800-983-4126 or 1-413-634-4459 or DrKevin@Ascent-Dental-Solutions.com