Welcome

to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

PROPHY or PERIO PATIENT?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 21, 2012

3 Easy steps guide you to increase patient value and thousands of $$$$’s!

Did you know that any time you spend more than 20 minutes scaling on your PROPHY Patient that you are possibly throwing money down the drain? No matter how much time hygienists spend removing plaque and calculus, many dental offices charge the same fee for a more involved treatment — and leave even more money sitting on the table by failing to initiate a new, more appropriate treatment plan. And the patients total health may pay the price in years to come!

“A Prophy Patient is not always a Prophy Patient but a Perio Patient is Always a Perio Patient.”

So, when I tell my clients that today’s dental practices experience a substantial amount of hemorrhaging, I’m not just talking about bleeding gums. Dental practices’ profits are hemorrhaging from countless missed opportunities in the non-surgical periodontal treatment profit center. Far too many patients receive just a prophylaxis when they really need non-surgical periodontal therapy or periodontal maintenance. (also known as Supportive Periodontal Therapy or SPT)

So why is this pattern so rampant across the globe — especially when dental practices need that extra cash to survive today’s economy? First, many hardworking dental professionals are not comfortable stepping off the daily Prophy treadmill. They are not comfortable talking to patients about the science  and communicating the need for non-surgical periodontal therapy. Even the hygienists that do propose Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT) to patients often give up because they can’t convince patients to pay more money for just a “cleaning.” Some dental offices will even avoid SPT appointments because they don’t understand how to code the procedure for insurance payment. The biggest reason, however, I believe, why dental offices are unsuccessful at building their SPT programs, is poor communication and patient education. Patients simply do not understand the importance of regular preventive care and routine SPT appointments. Why would someone agree to a seemingly simple, supportive therapy to prevent disease when they don’t understand the far-reaching health consequences of inaction?

That said, let’s explore together three ways you can break these old, unproductive habits and tap into a periodontal maintenance gold mine worth thousands of dollars annually in profits to your dental hygiene department.

1.      Patient Needs

Annually schedule patients for a periodontal screening exam. This is a six-point screening process that all dental hygienists learn to administer and assess for periodontal disease. It takes maybe 10 minutes and this is one time the dental hygiene team needs to plan to slow down the speed on the treadmill — at least once a year. When pocket depths are Within Normal Limits (WNL) and still you find yourself scaling more than 20 minutes, perhaps it is due to how you have inserted the periodontal probe into the sulcus during the screening exam. Many of us when in the dental hygiene program were taught to angle the probe in contact with the root surface, holding the probe parallel with the long axis of the tooth. The original purpose of teaching this method was for the researchers and possibly the dental hygiene educators, to have probing depths that are reproducible. The challenge with holding the probe at this angle is that it will not detect any mid-interproximal pockets. This is one reason periodontal disease is greatly underestimated.

Take time as a team for the hygienists and doctor(s) to calibrate your probing technique so a 4 mm or 5 mm pocket is the same for everyone who will hold a probe.

2.     Fine-tune your patient education.

The latest research behind periodontal disease is your biggest tool to convince a patient to begin — and stick with — preventive and SPT appointments. Make sure you clearly understand the information behind your case and are able to bridge the gap between the hard science and your patients oral health.
First, give patients the disease facts, focusing on tooth/bone loss and systemic health. The bottom line message to patients is, any time bleeding is present, pathological change is occurring that needs to be evaluated and appropriately treated sooner than later. If periodontal disease is present, the potential for bone loss has already begun. Depending upon a patient’s risk factors, bone loss can occur quickly and become aggressive very easily. With this knowledge, a patient will be much more likely to say, “Yes,” to your treatment plan. Assess their risk for disease and treat appropriately.

Point out that your patients’ health and longevity are also at stake if they do not follow the appropriate treatment plan. Cite examples of the link between poor periodontal health and certain diseases. Back up your facts with brochures, posters, iPad apps, etc. Also, highlight specific risk factors. (such as smoking, diabetes, etc.) Explain the complications that arise when periodontal health declines — and how easily this can happen without proper treatment and regular supportive periodontal therapy.

Key: Remember to explain that periodontal disease is episodic. Tell patients that from this point forward, they need to return every twelve weeks, or at frequent, appropriate intervals when SPT is required — even if their teeth and gums begin to look and feel healthy again. This is a disease and once a disease always a disease. The role of all dental professionals is to prevent disease. Communicate, Educate and Prevent.

3.      Practice Philosophy

The practice philosophy is a huge reason for patients receiving a Prophylaxis when in fact they are a periodontal patient. It is the primary role of healthcare providers to prevent disease. Communication of the evidence-based science and educating patients’ about their needs is another important role as a dental professional. When effective communication is implemented we can create a change in patients’ values and what they believe is important to pay for.

Conclusion

The dental hygienist has two important roles. The first role is to determine which type of preventive care is appropriate for each individual patient – and at what interval the preventive treatment is necessary. The second role is to educate and communicate to patients about their oral health conditions and exactly what type of care is appropriate for their overall health. Performing these roles allows us be patient-centered and offer comprehensive care.

Creating a patient-centered comprehensive approach means you have a few keys to unlock a higher level of patient value and increasing profits is automated!

As dental professionals we are concerned about our patients’ overall health. We want the very best for our patients. Educating patients on the difference between health and disease, prevention and treatment, is a huge part of , comprehproviding optimum, patient-centered comprehensive care. Communicate to patients how much you care, and they will most likely follow through with future preventive care providing optimal health. Creating a patient- centered comprehensive dental practice is a win for everyone!

 

 

7 Benefits of a Mastermind Group for Dental Practice Owners

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 13, 2012

You may be wondering “what is a Mastermind Group” and “how can I benefit from a Mastermind Group?” I have asked the same questions to myself and now that I am in a mastermind group I have found it to be the biggest ROI for my business this year.

Are you asking “How can I benefit from a Mastermind Group?”  Here are some answers that may resonate with you:

1.      Cultivating Success

A group of “like-minded professionals will meet. Our purpose is to grow and succeed. During the live sessions as a good group, you have a safe place to be real without fear of judgment. The thoughts and energies of the members combine to create a unique atmosphere. Ideas are shared, more ideas are generated, which generates more sharing, etc. The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. If you have read the book “Think and Grow Rich” you may remember this from Chapter 10. If you have not read this book, consider this to be a “MUST READ” for success in your business!

2.      Perspective

When you associate yourself with the same people day after day and year after year, you tend take on the same perspective. It’s simply human nature. It is incredibly refreshing to belong to a mastermind group with people of differing views and perspectives. They will help you to see things in your business from a completely unique vantage point. You may find yourself trying things you would have never even imagined.

3.      Unique You

You are able to be You. Within this environment to cultivate success you are able to discover your own uniqueness and find what sets you apart from all the rest. This is where “What you do and The WHY you do what you do becomes unique to you. This is how you can be well known in your community for what you do!  The acceptance and encouragement from the group naturally invites a type of self-actualization not found in many other places.

4.      Authenticity

Do you know what your REAL Purpose in your life is? Why are you the best dentist in your community? What were you born to do best? In this environment you become more aware of the who…the what… AND… the why you do what you do. This environment is where you realize there’s something that only YOU can do.

5.      Fuel and Fire

There may be days in your dental office when you feel burned out. You just do not have that energy necessary to make it through the day and then some. Let’s face it, there may be weeks on end where your energy is lacking.  A good mastermind group will bring the energy back to you and also to your day at the office.

When ideas are flowing back and forth, real energy is created that carries over into your dental practice and most importantly your personal life, (The family and friends you love) for days, weeks and months. It is like you just got a shot in the arm. A painless shot!  All you feel is energy.

This renewed energy, during each day, can work wonders for leaping forward in life. Get the injection and make a DIFFERENCE in something that will  revitalize your entire team, your patients and provide you the necessary cash flow to live the life of your dreams.

6.      Synergy

This is the very best part of the mastermind group! An idea or concept that started as one thing will morph, and morph again. Your ideas and new concepts will be added to, carved and chipped away at, and they will turn into a life of its own. Often times something that’s not even recognizable from what it started from. In fact, sometimes it has NOTHING to do with what it started from.

This is my favorite part of being part of a Mastermind Group! The ideas that come from this synergy of the group can be incredibly dynamic. Many times it happens for ALL of the people in the group. Partnerships are formed. You just never know what will be when like-minded professionals all get together!

You are sure to find other benefits of the mastermind group that are just your own.

7.      Mindset + Action = Lifestyle

As you re-create in your mind and in your set of goals, the opportunities available to you are endless. Your mind and the brain cells that set your mind on fire will create change. As your mind changes you grow, you leap forward and become the authentic you. This is where your entire life shifts. Your actions will flow from that inner mindset change and everything around you changes. This is when the “good stuff” begins to show up and the “bad stuff” flows away from you. AND Yes, this is when even your income changes. As you grow so does your income!  The relationships around you grow and so does everything else in your life which will bring you peace, joy and your dreams now become your reality!

When you are surrounded by like-minded professionals, you are most  likely to find, as countless others have, that you will naturally begin expressing encouragement to others and LEAP forward in your own life.

The beautiful result is, as you become the PERSON you were meant to be, others will  come to know, like and trust you and by default, you end up selling and/or becoming more of  the YOU that you were meant to be.

Am I suggesting that you can’t be successful without being a member of a mastermind community? Not at all.

But I am suggesting that it’s likely to help you get to success if you are in a Mastermind Group with like-minded dental professionals.

While you’re here, take a peek at the mastermind group that begins now!

SO…Are you READY to Leap forward and Join our Mastermind group of like-minded professionals just like you?!

As always, your comments are welcomed.

 

 

TAKE THE ACTION THAT WILL CREATE THE CHANGE YOU NEED TO BE!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 7, 2012

It makes complete sense that becoming a dentist appears and may sound very attractive to many young high school or college students today. The traditional work model for a dentist and even a dental hygienist seems like a good fit for men and especially women. For a woman they are possibly thinking about raising a family. For many, being able to custom-design a business that fits the lifestyle we want is the ultimate dream!

The downside is that Dentists are also business owners. When I met with the dental students at USC in Los Angeles, they have no clue, no knowledge about becoming a business owner and being an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur requires one KEY quality: the willingness to take risks. And this is where I see many promising dental professionals and new dental practice owners struggle.

You see, when I mentor a client, they always start out saying “I am finally ready to step up and build a very profitable dental practice.” Then, we get to that place where they may be required to “take a risk”. Often what happens is—while in the beginning having the support of a coach/consultant sounds exciting, all seems wonderful—but then it tends to get uncomfortable and I find that clients begin to crawl into their black hole. They begin to say things like: “I’m not ready for x yet.” Or “x is too …!” “Why don’t we start with w or z first?” Or, “v sounds great, but let’s save it for six months from now.

This is not unusual, because honestly we are not programmed to just “go for it”. When we are born, we first crawl, then we walk. In school, we go to grade one, grade two, middle school, high school and so forth. In college, we become freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors- –THEN you are accepted into dental school. Not many dental schools today offer business skills. Then REALITY SINKS in soon after graduation! In the real world, you may start out as an associate dentist and then you move up in the world a few years later to buy your own practice

The problem is, this “grade school” way of thinking stays with us for life. And when you also add in the fact that essentially at the DNA level most of us are wired for safety, you can see why this becomes a big hurdle.

If you are ready to step up into a bigger purpose and make a big change in your life, this type of ladder-type thinking will defeat you. It feels safer, but in the end, it will get you nowhere. At the most, you may make a step in the right direction, but most often you’ll end up back where you started.

Big gains in your personal income and your practice profits will come from leaping—not ladder climbing. This will take some adjustment to your thinking– your mindset.

To help my clients start thinking in “leaps”, I recommend they read a few great books such as The E-Myth by Michael Gerber or Good to Great by Jim Collins, just to name a few. Then there are the biographies of big-thinking entrepreneurs like, Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Bill Gates, etc.

In most of these books you will find that when these people came across big opportunities, they were in line with their mission, and never did they shy away. They jumped in all the way—even when the resources they needed to do so weren’t apparent yet. They took risks!

Did you get that last part? They said YES even when they weren’t sure how they would do it, where they would get the money, or who could support and guide them to do it all. Very quickly they found—sure enough as you will too—that when a big opportunity presents itself and you step up and say “yes”, and when you truly believe in your heart that this goal is yours, suddenly the universe seems to rearrange itself to help you. Have you ever thought “The force is with me?!” Now is your time to create the change that takes you where you deserve to be! Feel safe in taking the action that will create the CHANGE! This change creates a positive power down the pefect path for your success in life.

And here’s the good news… You typically don’t have to go looking for these opportunities. These are usually right in front of you, or one will soon drop in your lap. Once you declare you are ready, your awareness is heightened, a shift occurs, something presents itself, and you will suddenly see the path to all that you, your business and your life, can truly be!

I hear countless times from my clients, as I will use an example here; that they were not sure where they would get the money to pay for a years’ contract of my services. Surprisingly enough, once they signed the contract, suddenly, the resources they needed to pay for the consulting services — surfaced. Funny how that happens!

So, are you really ready to be an entrepreneur? Is your pulse racing? Did you feel a shift here? If your heart is right now is shouting, “Yes!” here are some examples for you to take action and create the change for success:

  • Do you know how to increase your income in 2012?
  • Do you want to create a few new income streams to increase your own paycheck? How many profit centers do you have in your dental practice today? ANSWER: Many!
  • Are you aware of an expert coach, consultant, mentor whom you could hire, or whose training or coaching program you could join?
  • Are you aware of a powerful event you could attend that could help fast-forward your success? See below for this answer
  • Is there an influential person whom you know if you connected with could change your trajectory of success? Again look here

Here is the scoop… Save your SPOT, register for your place, invest in our low cost high ROI Mastermind Program or our RAISE Virtual Program – choose what that step is—and make that big move. All your rewards are waiting… if you’re ready to make the leap!

 

California Dental Association Anaheim Meeting

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 5, 2012

Dentistry Today Live Blog

Click on the above link to Catch up on the meeting in case you missed the CDA in Anaheim this year. Great turn out!

Journal: Hygiene Today Article “Getting to YES for Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment.” Author Debra Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 2012 Issue. Page 76.  READ HERE

COVER OF HYGIENE TODAY