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

4 Rules of Hiring the Right Dental Practice Management Consultant

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 29, 2013

The majority of dentists have not studied business management in college. Our economic climate is a cold one today which means your business skills must be at a high level to be a successful business owner. The same systems and services that made a dental office successful ten years ago no longer work for business profitability.

Many challenges such as dental hygiene department strategies/systems, treatment presentation, time management and getting your patients to pay for treatment are some of the solutions we can bring to a dental practice.

Many challenges such as dental hygiene department strategies/systems, treatment presentation, time management and getting your patients to pay for treatment are some of the solutions we can bring to a dental practice.

The four rules to success:

How to know if a dental practice management consultant is the best one for you:          Doctor-and-Debbie-

1) Follow a path to success  When you hire a dental practice management consultant, you are going to have homework to do. It will not be a lot of time but there will be some initial work to close the gap between where you are today and where you should be tomorrow.  This is something you will greatly benefit from in the long run. When your consultant has the correct information, in the beginning, it is much easier to create a plan for the office to run smoothly and create the increase in profits.

2) Superior clinical skills will not take your practice to the next level –Many dentists have gone through special training to advance their clinical skills and they are now have amazing clinical skills. These dentists are also expecting to increase their profits after completing this extensive training. Usually the result of these training courses is that production remains the same.

These are the dentists who call a dental practice management consultant because they cannot understand why their clinical skills have not taken their practice profits into the stratosphere.

What I recommend is a complimentary check of your practice’ vital signs. This allows me to take a closer look at your systems and where the gap is in your practice potential.

I am not saying that having this advanced clinical training is a poor choice but it is not going to increase your profit potential if specific systems are not in place.

3) Practice-management systems must be strategically created Many dentists go through programs with dental practice management consultants and gain nothing other than a depletion of funds in their bank account. It is important that you choose a dental practice management consultant who can implement proven strategic systems for your dental practice and one that has a track record of success for many years.

4) Your Dental Hygiene Department is a big profit potential for every general dental office. In order for your dental hygiene department to be profitable you need to have a philosophy of care for disease intervention at the earliest stage and a formula to prevent systemic disease for your patients.

Communication skills are going to be a very important piece for transitioning your patients of record into the various services you offer. Your comprehensive clinical refinements must be merged into your treatment plans for case acceptance to increase.

When hiring a consultant to increase profits in your dental hygiene department your consultant must be able to lead your team to refine and merge your philosophy of practice, the clinical skills with your practice and business systems. This is what will create a profitable and very successful dental practice.

The Success Formula – is a very simple formula. Not only does it require clinical excellence and your practice management systems to be in place but there are a few other factors that will take you to a higher level. Having the right people on your team will make it much easier to get there. This combination of choosing the right consultant, having excellent clinical skills, a profitable dental hygiene department, effective communication and the right people on your team will mean you are closer to creating success and a profitable dental practice.

A Plan to Change Patients’ Lives ‘One Smile at a Time!’

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 18, 2013

Before and After Front teeth

“Dentistry is about changing lives!” I had no idea when I chose to become a dental hygienist that I would be able to help patients live a longer and healthier life! Besides providing optimal health we also create beautiful smiles!

How does a dental office plan to create beautiful smiles, optimal patient health, be profitable and with little to now stress? The answer lies in how you begin your day. You may rush into the office at the last minute but if you take time to breathe, meet as a team for 10-15 minutes and prepare for a dream day at the office, everything else can be like the icing on the cake!

Start your day at the office or the day before by reviewing the patient charts. Then discuss as a team, the days patients, challenges, difficult personalities, pre-medication, special needs, exams, x-rays, exams needed, emergency time available, etc. The morning team meeting is where you can create your plan for success and it is where the profitability is maximized for the practice. Make sure you have an effective plan not just recite who is coming into the office. Talk about bottlenecks, who has outstanding treatment and where ER appointments can be fit in, etc. This is not a good time to flip through charts but to come prepared with valuable information to share with each other.

Have your financial coordinator or the office manager report to your office production and collections. Are you on track and what will you do when there is a decrease production? Allow the team to experience bliss when there is an increase in production! What is your plan to celebrate success?

Communication

If you want success treating patients with aesthetic and periodontal disease communication is key. Annually have your patient complete a smile evaluation during the hygiene appointment.

Ask you patient to complete a small intake form about their smile when they check in for their appointment. When the patient is seated in the chair have the hygienist give the patient a mirror, show the patient a shade guide and have the patient pick what shade they believe they are according to the guide. You will soon find out you open doors to aesthetic treatment that patients never would have dreamed about completing.

Use the intraoral camera to document not only restorative concerns but bleeding, heavy calculus and plaque.

Ask yourself these questions: “Did I ask my patient the right kind of questions? “Did I ask questions that only allowed my patient to answer yes or no?” “Did I ask my patient to express their ideas and concerns?” Did you really understand emotions inside of your patient?” If you answered “No” to any of these questions, there is a good chance your patient will not be satisfied with the outcome, regardless of how clinically sound any treatment is presented. It is possible that your patient may not be in the right frame of mind to hear your answers to their questions.

Sit down at a team meeting and know what questions you need to be asking patients.

Treatment Planning

Treatment planning for aesthetic dentistry and all preventive treatment concerns should be a group effort. This includes doctor, the entire team, the lab and even referral dentists. Your patient expectations need to be met for the entire process of communication, case acceptance and future patient relationships to continue. It is very important that patients understand their end result and personal benefits for completing treatment recommendations.

Sit down as a team and discover what your patients really want. Have you taken a patients survey to understand what they really want from you as their dental healthcare provider? How do you measure the success of your communication and listening skills? What percentages of treatment plans are outstanding? How do you know that patient understand the benefits and why they really need the treatment completed?

When was the last time you assessed your outstanding treatment plans? What is your plan to get those treatment plans completed this year? When was the last time you discussed outstanding treatment and alternative options with those patients?

Get to “YES!”

Of course you want your patients to respond with “YES!” You just need to know what questions to ask them. Listen closely to their answers and what their body language as they are speaking. They are giving you their honesty with many non-verbal clues.

Creating the Plan

Each morning, come prepared to discuss options to hear more patients say “YES!” each day. Monitor your successes and keep track of the outstanding treatment plans. If you find many patients leave the office saying “I need to think about it” or “Let me talk to my husband” let me suggest it is time to look at your verbal skills and make some changes in your communication skills.

We are in the business of changing people’s lives. We really can change each patient’s life just one smile at a time. Imagine the great feeling and rewards you will experience if you can change a smile that your patient has never imagined possible!

Communication, planning, and execution can go a long way when you provide optimal health and excellent aesthetic dentistry. Now we’re talking success!