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

Debunking the Myths and Sharing Some Tips

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 25, 2013

Myths

 

Keeping our patients’ teeth and gums healthy is essential for a beautiful smile. But wait! — did you know that profitability begins with preventive procedures not  those reconstructive services?

Common myths

Patients who think getting their teeth cleaned every six months must understand that this is not enough for maintaining healthy teeth and gums And it is not a guarantee for optimal overall health. Many adult patients who schedule only six month hygiene appointments soon find out at some point in life that they will develop periodontal disease. Patients, who skip their dental hygiene appointments trying to save money, are actually costing themselves more money the longer they put off regular dental hygiene appointments. We need to repeatedly communicate to our patients that regular hygiene visits are extremely important for the prevention of diseases; oral diseases as well as systemic. And regular dental hygiene visits will save them money – long term.

Regarding patients teeth, gums and overall health; dental hygienists have an important role of educating patients about nutrition and whole body wellness. Hygienists need to be the ‘go to’ person about overall health when patients return for their hygiene visits.

Patient tips for keeping their teeth white

It takes less than 5 minutes to complete a smile evaluation. This simple evaluation will open many doors for referrals as patients learn ways to make their smile even more beautiful!

Hand your patient a mirror and ask a few questions about their smile. This is a great time to share some simple tips for keeping their teeth white. I mention this because almost all of your patients will tell you they want whiter teeth!

One simple tip to share with your patients is to drink coffee with a straw to avoid coffee stains on the teeth. After they drink coffee or something which is likely to stain their teeth, it is very helpful to have them rinse their mouth (or brush if possible) so that the coffee or staining food does not sit on the teeth and lead to staining. The same goes for teas or dark liquids. After drinking red wine, make sure to have patients brush. Their teeth will stay whiter longer if the stains are removed sooner than later.

Trends in dentistry

Men really are starting to whiten their teeth a lot more in recent years and they are getting smile makeovers almost as much as women. These “makeovers” include whitening, veneers, replacing discolored fillings, implants, etc. In general, women tend to opt for veneers more often than men. Men would rather just bleach their teeth instead of getting veneers, or at least would like to bleach before making the commitment for veneers.

As dental professionals we are changing lives and doing something important to improve the quality of life for our patients and our profession of dentistry. When you give someone a new smile, in many cases it truly changes the way they feel every day.

 

Periodontal Disease: Treating Patients’ Total Health Includes Supplementation

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 5, 2013

overall health

 

 

Periodontal Disease is the result of an inflammatory response which is the result of an interaction between pathogenic bacteria and the host’s immune response. There is data which supports the fact that nutrition, particularly antioxidants, can influence and halt the onset and progression of periodontal disease, along with provide optimal wound healing.

The current knowledge that we have regarding periodontal disease, its processes involved with the onset and progression of this disease, is far more advanced today than ever before.

One way to provide patient care beyond the operatory is to identify risk factors, predecessors to periodontal disease, vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other systemic diseases.

When a patient presents with one risk factor it is highly predicable that the speed of onset, severity and progression of other diseases is very likely to occur.

If we want to provide overall health to our patients and with the opportunity in today’s world, to move beyond the mouth, we must understand the other factors involved with prevention of systemic diseases.

In order to treat overall health we must look at a complete health history which will include family risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, (including stents, by-pass surgeries, valve replacement, congestive heart failure) heart attacks, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, obesity, strokes, (TIA and CVA) vascular changes, (or changes later in life involving dementia) rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and parents who are edentulous, have a history of periodontal disease or bleeding gums. This also needs to be considered a red flag for a patient who includes this in their personal health history.

Think of your patient assessment as having multi-layers during the evaluation process. Patients who are free of disease still need to have their family health history evaluated and as a clinician you need to be aware of any red flags in their oral and overall health. Many patients will not have any signs of periodontal disease but they will have a family history and possibly a personal history of hypertension, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Become aware of the comprehensive risk assessment that needs to occur.

In past years we have practiced dentistry based on the “end-stage disease model” which means we do not treat until we know the patient has the manifestation of disease. Today’s dentistry allows us to transition our daily practice into a wellness practice model. Comprehensive assessments and preventive adjuncts are what allow us to care for our patients’ total health.

Today’s dental practice must transition into a patient-centered-wellness model. This will include specifically targeted nutritional supplements for the patient’s home-care regimen. This is not only for patients who present with periodontal disease but this can and should be used as a prevention model. When we combine natural alternatives

(Assessment of carotenoid score and nutrition, micro-nutrient supplementation for prevention) with traditional therapies, we have a strong business model that not only includes another profit center but shows a promise of modifying systemic risk-factors. This is also a cost effective way to potentially reverse the patient’s disease process.

With the introduction of the Biophotonic Scanner, (Pharmanex) which objectively measures patient antioxidant status, non-invasively, (within 90 seconds) this provides the healthcare professional with a proactive risk-monitoring device. This technology appears to provide the dentist with information relevant to early diagnosis and intervention of periodontal disease, which will now lead us to more predictable treatment outcomes. Assessment utilizing the Biophotonic Scanner takes no longer than 90 seconds. This is life-saving technology. A Win-Win for all!

Adding the biophotonic scanner and supplementation for prevention of disease can add a minimum of $50,000.00 US to your Dental Hygiene Department profitability. Use of the biophotonic scanner takes only 90 seconds and anyone in the dental office can communicate about the use of supplementation. After the 1st discussion this becomes routine and usually no more time with patient implementation is necessary. There is no cost to the dental practitioner to lease or purchase a scanner. There is no inventory to be stored in the office.

Dental Practice Solutions and The JP Institute will train your team on this technology at very little to no cost to you.

Please contact Debbie for a complimentary evaluation of your DH Department to see if you qualify for little to no-cost training on this technology.