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

Happy New Year From Dental Practice Solutions

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 31, 2015

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC9SSXh1ZXRhMTlMSSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iIj48L2lmcmFtZT4=[/video_player] Happy New Year from Dental Practice Solutions!

There is a lot going on this year and I believe that it is very important to support you to get to your next level of success in 2016.

You may have heard of my training called Hygiene Empowerment and maybe you think that trainings are boring or their are not worth the money so I have a free introductory training to Hygiene Empowerment because you may not  know how much meat is in my training videos. Hygiene Empowerment provides you with Bi-monthly training videos and implementation guide, a transcript of the videos and an action plan to get going on what you learn immediately.

Grab your gift of the free introductory videos which also includes our most popular eBook about treating the bloody prophy and a webinar with 5 Steps for hygienists to discuss treatment plans with patients so doctor comes in at the appropriate time to complete the exam and the patient is all set up to say “YES” to their treatment.

All you need to do is CLICK THIS LINK  and enter you name and email. This costs you nothing but if you do nothing it costs you everything. I want to wish you much success in 2016 and together we can make 2016 your best year ever.

Happy New Year!

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and is known for the past 11 years as one of dentistry’s leaders in consulting. She started Dental Practice Solutions in 2000. Debbie is a previous clinical hygienist as well as a former program director where she wrote the accreditation and started the hygiene program in Portland, Oregon.

Debbie spent many years at the University of Southern California as a clinical assistant professor guiding the senior hygiene department students in advanced clinical skills as well as she co-taught the senior dental students practice management.

You will read her published articles frequently is various dental journals and see her speak at most of the national dental conferences. Be sure you enroll in her introduction to Hygiene Empowerment where she empowers hygienists to lead the hygiene department and create a profitable dental practice. Click Here to Enroll in the Introduction

Happy New Year From Dental Practice Solutions

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC9SSXh1ZXRhMTlMSSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iIj48L2lmcmFtZT4=[/video_player] Happy New Year from Dental Practice Solutions!

There is a lot going on this year and I believe that it is very important to support you to get to your next level of success in 2016.

You may have heard of my training called Hygiene Empowerment and maybe you think that trainings are boring or their are not worth the money so I have a free introductory training to Hygiene Empowerment because you may not  know how much meat is in my training videos. Hygiene Empowerment provides you with Bi-monthly training videos and implementation guide, a transcript of the videos and an action plan to get going on what you learn immediately.

Grab your gift of the free introductory videos which also includes our most popular eBook about treating the bloody prophy and a webinar with 5 Steps for hygienists to discuss treatment plans with patients so doctor comes in at the appropriate time to complete the exam and the patient is all set up to say “YES” to their treatment.

All you need to do is CLICK THIS LINK  and enter you name and email. This costs you nothing but if you do nothing it costs you everything. I want to wish you much success in 2016 and together we can make 2016 your best year ever.

Happy New Year!

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and is known for the past 11 years as one of dentistry’s leaders in consulting. She started Dental Practice Solutions in 2000. Debbie is a previous clinical hygienist as well as a former program director where she wrote the accreditation and started the hygiene program in Portland, Oregon.

Debbie spent many years at the University of Southern California as a clinical assistant professor guiding the senior hygiene department students in advanced clinical skills as well as she co-taught the senior dental students practice management.

You will read her published articles frequently is various dental journals and see her speak at most of the national dental conferences. Be sure you enroll in her introduction to Hygiene Empowerment where she empowers hygienists to lead the hygiene department and create a profitable dental practice. Click Here to Enroll in the Introduction

Give Your Hygiene Patients What They Deserve!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 17, 2015

As we review dental offices’ end-of-the year key performance indicators – KPI’s – one area of untapped potential we see is case acceptance.

We find that there are hundreds of patients who did not accept treatment in 2015.

What will happen to that decay that started out as something small? Will they feel motivated to accept treatment if and when they do return to your office in 2016?

What can you do now to give your hygiene patients what they deserve?

Most of us who have a career in dentistry are in this business to help people.

If you are in the business of helping people and yet you don’t want to  “Sell” dentistry, then let’s change that word “Sell” into “SERVE.”

I looked up the definition of SERVE and here is one sentence that will describe this word:

“A person in the service of another.”

I imagine that if you are reading this that you are an excellent clinician. And I want to encourage you to be eager to serve your patients with the very best you have to offer.

Have you checked your end-of-year case acceptance numbers?

You should have close to an 80% case acceptance rate and the majority of your treatment plans should originate from the hygienist having a discussion with the patient, showing them (together) what they see in their mouth.

Yes, that is correct! Both the hygienist and the patient should be looking together and they come up with the perfect plan. Doctor comes in at the appropriate time to complete the hygiene exam and doctor is all set up to agree with what the hygienist and patient have already discussed.

If you have a system like this in place, life will be much easier for everyone and your patients will get the dentistry they deserve!

Do you wish your hygienist would support the treatment planning process more?

Last week I asked thousands of doctors, “What is one thing you wish your hygienist would do more of?”
The answer was: “Help enroll patients into treatment.”

This is why I write about this today and if you want to make this change for your hygienist(s) to enroll more patients then check out Hygiene Empowerment.

Doctors who enroll in Hygiene Empowerment have huge returns from what their hygienist creates in treatment plans, perio therapy and so much more!

Between December 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016, I will host a webinar that you can listen to at your leisure. Be sure to check back so you can get all the information.

Enroll in the Hygiene Empowerment Series at no cost and you will be one of the first to receive the webinar info. CLICK HERE TO GET THE TRAINING NOW

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

She is also a former clinical assistant from the University of Southern California and co-taught the senior dental students Practice Management course until the school went to a PBL learning format.

In 2000, she founded Dental Practice Solutions and works with dental practices world-wide to:

  • create profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments
  • known for reactivating and retaining patients for dental practices world-wide
  • organically grow new patient numbers

Dental Practice Solutions creates:

  • sustainable dental hygiene departments throughout the world
  • a “team-driven” practice, where the employees feel like leaders vs. employees

All of this means that the doctor can come to the office to do their job as a Dentist and not worry about managing people!

Be sure you check out our Hygiene Empowerment ProgramRegister here 

Give Your Hygiene Patients What They Deserve!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

dentist and assistant working together

As we review dental offices’ end-of-the year key performance indicators – KPI’s – one area of untapped potential we see is case acceptance.

We find that there are hundreds of patients who did not accept treatment in 2015.

What will happen to that decay that started out as something small? Will they feel motivated to accept treatment if and when they do return to your office in 2016?

What can you do now to give your hygiene patients what they deserve?

Most of us who have a career in dentistry are in this business to help people.

If you are in the business of helping people and yet you don’t want to  “Sell” dentistry, then let’s change that word “Sell” into “SERVE.”

I looked up the definition of SERVE and here is one sentence that will describe this word:

“A person in the service of another.”

I imagine that if you are reading this that you are an excellent clinician. And I want to encourage you to be eager to serve your patients with the very best you have to offer.

Have you checked your end-of-year case acceptance numbers?

You should have close to an 80% case acceptance rate and the majority of your treatment plans should originate from the hygienist having a discussion with the patient, showing them (together) what they see in their mouth.

Yes, that is correct! Both the hygienist and the patient should be looking together and they come up with the perfect plan. Doctor comes in at the appropriate time to complete the hygiene exam and doctor is all set up to agree with what the hygienist and patient have already discussed.

If you have a system like this in place, life will be much easier for everyone and your patients will get the dentistry they deserve!

Do you wish your hygienist would support the treatment planning process more?

Last week I asked thousands of doctors, “What is one thing you wish your hygienist would do more of?”
The answer was: “Help enroll patients into treatment.”

This is why I write about this today and if you want to make this change for your hygienist(s) to enroll more patients then check out Hygiene Empowerment.

Doctors who enroll in Hygiene Empowerment have huge returns from what their hygienist creates in treatment plans, perio therapy and so much more!

Between December 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016, I will host a webinar that you can listen to at your leisure. Be sure to check back so you can get all the information.

Enroll in the Hygiene Empowerment Series at no cost and you will be one of the first to receive the webinar info. CLICK HERE TO GET THE TRAINING NOW

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

She is also a former clinical assistant from the University of Southern California and co-taught the senior dental students Practice Management course until the school went to a PBL learning format.

In 2000, she founded Dental Practice Solutions and works with dental practices world-wide to:

  • create profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments
  • known for reactivating and retaining patients for dental practices world-wide
  • organically grow new patient numbers

Dental Practice Solutions creates:

  • sustainable dental hygiene departments throughout the world
  • a “team-driven” practice, where the employees feel like leaders vs. employees

All of this means that the doctor can come to the office to do their job as a Dentist and not worry about managing people!

Be sure you check out our Hygiene Empowerment ProgramRegister here 

 

Going Undercover in Corporate Dentistry: What I Didn’t Tell You

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 10, 2015

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Last week I went undercover as a patient to a corporate dental office.

I posed as a “non-dental professional” at a “corporate” or “big box” dental office. Maybe you read last week’s blog and already know about this. Here is what I didn’t tell you last week.

My experience was quite “eye opening”.  This location provided an extremely positive customer experience.  From the minute I walked into that office…to meeting the doctor and then even the hygiene appointment, I was treated extremely well.  This is what you would call Five Star Customer Service.

And Believe Me, I came prepared to be on the defense.  I came prepared with an eagles’ eye on every aspect of this visit.

They weren’t perfect, but what I saw first-hand was the basics of what I work with my clients on to build their practice: (Read last week’s blog for my one complaint)

  • The Customer Experience
  • Effective Communication (internally and externally)
  • Philosophy of patient care
  • Philosophy of care for evaluating periodontal disease

One of the many takeaways from this experience is that Corporate Dentistry has many more employee resources at their finger-tips that will keep all of their office locations running at a high level of care.

They have state of the art equipment AND they are using best practices that will enable them to continue to chip away at the very dental offices we work with…the independent dental practice.

The Corporate Dental Offices have oversight from:

  • CEO
  • CFO
  • COO
  • Accountants
  • Legal teams
  • Operations
  • Training Departments
  • Etc.….

All managing their many dental offices in many different locations at a high level.

In comparison the Independent Dental Office who have oversight from:

  • Dentist
  • Office Manager
  • Scheduling Coordinator
  • Insurance Billing

The big missing piece here for the independent practice is obvious. There is no one jn place to help provide a high level of oversight and coaching.

Let me give you an example…you may have experienced this personally:

You decide at the beginning of the year to have a New Year’s Resolution.  You’re going to start going to the gym and work out to get rid of some of that extra weight (the Fat) you put on over the holidays…or maybe you just have gotten a little “soft”.

So you get a gym membership and start going to the gym…all goes okay for a week, maybe two and then…suddenly you get busy doing something else.

LIFE GETS IN THE WAY!

The next thing you know, you haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, then three weeks.  Trying to do this all on your own, you basically stop all of those great intentions, and before you know it, you have totally stopped going.  Bummer.  Huh?

So what would happen if instead of just getting a gym membership, you also hire a personal trainer – a fitness coach?  Now, you have some skin in the game.

Someone is there to help with your new exercise plan, someone to help hold you accountable, someone to let you know when you may need to “Pick-up the Pace” during your fitness routine, someone to call you if you miss a work out.

The chance of success is much greater than trying to do it on your own!

Now you actually get the results you wanted, and you are better off for it!

This is exactly what we do at Dental Practice Solutions!  (Also see www.dentalhygiene.solutions )

We become your personal (Dental Practice) fitness coach.  We work with you to work (out) correctly, we don’t want you to hurt yourself and we make sure you get the fastest results!

The goal is for you to work smarter, not harder and get the most efficiency out of your practice, just like a well-designed exercise plan.

  • Do you have a New Year’s Resolution to be your best and not work so hard? What goals do you wish to achieve next year?
  • What if you could have an accountability partner and someone to call you when you don’t “Show-up?”
  • What is someone was there to measure your success and let you know when you need to pick up the pace to achieve your goal(s)?

Please allow us to help you achieve your goals. Let us show your hygiene department and the entire team, how you can achieve your goals (BIG or small) and not work so hard.

Together we can turn your practice into the practice of your dreams!

Contact us at:  mail://support@dentalpracticesolutions.com

or check out our website at www.DentalPracticeSolutions.com

Enroll in our no charge Hygiene Department Empowerment Videos and more here:  ENROLL HERE

Going Undercover in Corporate Dentistry: What I Didn’t Tell You

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC84RHRUdGRLRXdRQSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iIj48L2lmcmFtZT4=[/video_player]

Last week I went undercover as a patient to a corporate dental office.

I posed as a “non-dental professional” at a “corporate” or “big box” dental office. Maybe you read last week’s blog and already know about this. Here is what I didn’t tell you last week.

My experience was quite “eye opening”.  This location provided an extremely positive customer experience.  From the minute I walked into that office…to meeting the doctor and then even the hygiene appointment, I was treated extremely well.  This is what you would call Five Star Customer Service.

And Believe Me, I came prepared to be on the defense.  I came prepared with an eagles’ eye on every aspect of this visit.

They weren’t perfect, but what I saw first-hand was the basics of what I work with my clients on to build their practice: (Read last week’s blog for my one complaint)

  • The Customer Experience
  • Effective Communication (internally and externally)
  • Philosophy of patient care
  • Philosophy of care for evaluating periodontal disease

One of the many takeaways from this experience is that Corporate Dentistry has many more employee resources at their finger-tips that will keep all of their office locations running at a high level of care.

They have state of the art equipment AND they are using best practices that will enable them to continue to chip away at the very dental offices we work with…the independent dental practice.

The Corporate Dental Offices have oversight from:

  • CEO
  • CFO
  • COO
  • Accountants
  • Legal teams
  • Operations
  • Training Departments
  • Etc.….

All managing their many dental offices in many different locations at a high level.

In comparison the Independent Dental Office who have oversight from:

  • Dentist
  • Office Manager
  • Scheduling Coordinator
  • Insurance Billing

The big missing piece here for the independent practice is obvious. There is no one jn place to help provide a high level of oversight and coaching.

Let me give you an example…you may have experienced this personally:

You decide at the beginning of the year to have a New Year’s Resolution.  You’re going to start going to the gym and work out to get rid of some of that extra weight (the Fat) you put on over the holidays…or maybe you just have gotten a little “soft”.

So you get a gym membership and start going to the gym…all goes okay for a week, maybe two and then…suddenly you get busy doing something else.

LIFE GETS IN THE WAY!

The next thing you know, you haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, then three weeks.  Trying to do this all on your own, you basically stop all of those great intentions, and before you know it, you have totally stopped going.  Bummer.  Huh?

So what would happen if instead of just getting a gym membership, you also hire a personal trainer – a fitness coach?  Now, you have some skin in the game.

Someone is there to help with your new exercise plan, someone to help hold you accountable, someone to let you know when you may need to “Pick-up the Pace” during your fitness routine, someone to call you if you miss a work out.

The chance of success is much greater than trying to do it on your own!

Now you actually get the results you wanted, and you are better off for it!

This is exactly what we do at Dental Practice Solutions!  (Also see www.dentalhygiene.solutions )

We become your personal (Dental Practice) fitness coach.  We work with you to work (out) correctly, we don’t want you to hurt yourself and we make sure you get the fastest results!

The goal is for you to work smarter, not harder and get the most efficiency out of your practice, just like a well-designed exercise plan.

  • Do you have a New Year’s Resolution to be your best and not work so hard? What goals do you wish to achieve next year?
  • What if you could have an accountability partner and someone to call you when you don’t “Show-up?”
  • What is someone was there to measure your success and let you know when you need to pick up the pace to achieve your goal(s)?

Please allow us to help you achieve your goals. Let us show your hygiene department and the entire team, how you can achieve your goals (BIG or small) and not work so hard.

Together we can turn your practice into the practice of your dreams!

Contact us at:  mail://support@dentalpracticesolutions.com

or check out our website at www.DentalPracticeSolutions.com

Enroll in our no charge Hygiene Department Empowerment Videos and more here:  ENROLL HERE

Card from officeP. S. Look what was in my mailbox which I just checked! What a nice card the assistant personally sent to me! Too bad it wasn’t signed by all of them but I have to admit it is a really nice touch and makes ME want to go back.

 

 

 

 

Lead Pages picABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

She is also a former clinical assistant from the University of Southern California and co-taught the senior dental students Practice Management course until the school went to a PBL learning format.

In 2000, she founded Dental Practice Solutions and works with dental practices world-wide to:

  • create profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments
  • known for reactivating and retaining patients for dental practices world-wide
  • organically grow new patient numbers

Dental Practice Solutions creates:

  • sustainable dental hygiene departments throughout the world
  • a “team-driven” practice, where the employees feel like leaders vs. employees

All of this means that the doctor can come to the office to do their job as a Dentist and not worry about managing people!

Be sure you check out our Hygiene Empowerment Program Register here 

Going Undercover in Corporate Dentistry

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 3, 2015

Pic Monkey Blog Photo
Recently, I had what I thought was a fracture on the side of an onlay. The last time I had major dentistry completed was about 25 yrs. ago. My previous employer about 25 yrs. ago removed childhood amalgam fillings and replaced them with beautiful gold onlays. I thought that these would last forever!

Unfortunately, my amazing dentist and previous employer is in Newport Beach, California and I now live in Portland, Oregon. I don’t plan to be in California until Christmas this year.

What should I do? Of course this is like a major catastrophe for a dental professional and one who takes meticulous care of their teeth!

I called my previous dentist/employer and scheduled an appointment to have a (What I thought would probably be!) crown prepped on December 23rd. But in the meantime, I wanted to show my previous dentist a radiograph of the area I thought was fractured.

Lucky for me; No Pain!  That was good news and I immediately began treating myself with fluoride varnish I have in my bathroom closet; just in case there was decay and I could arrest this or possibly reverse any possible decay.

My husband and I have been watching, especially over the last 2-3 yrs., a lot of corporate dental offices pop up in our neighborhood and this one day about a week ago, we saw a sign outside one of the beautiful corporate dental offices that said, “X-rays, Exam and Cleaning ONLY $39!”

What a deal! And of course I really need to get x-rays and send them to my dentist in Newport Beach, California! So I took down their office number and even went to their website where I could request an appointment.

And this is where I decided I would go “Undercover in Corporate Dentistry.” I decided to lie about my occupation Lying is not something I am good at so I seriously practiced with my girlfriend). I needed to work on this idea with my friends so that I would not blow my cover. As I discussed this with my girlfriend we reviewed what I would say and we role played how I would be someone who was JUST a patient and not a person who knew what went on inside a dental office.

My occupation was “domestic engineer.” What a dream! 🙂

Truly believing that I had this fracture and thinking that going to a “Corporate Dental Office “was going to be a scam, I equipped myself to NOT BE OVERSOLD!

And guess what?! This “Belief” and all the “Media Hype” about CORPORATE DENTISTRY turned 180 degrees on me!!!

Here is what you need to know if you are a small dental practice.

And btw: I mean if you are currently producing less than 2 million US Dollars in production annually and even if you have 2 office locations or more; here is what you must know to stay in business in the 21st century!

  • Personally respond to all and any request by a phone call and someone who represents your office as highly qualified and speaks English well.
    • Although I requested an appointment by email, on Monday morning I received a call from a lady at this corporate office who really seemed to care about “Me.”
    • She knew from my email that I was concerned about a “Broken” tooth. That is the information I wrote down in my appointment request.
  • Allow patients to click and link and easily complete their patient information prior to their arrival for their 1st appointment.

The information your patient completes online should be very easy to answer: The patient can click a button and answer easily!  The entire information gathering process online should be about 3 and maybe 5 minutes total!

  • Be ready for the new patient to arrive!   The moment I stepped foot in the door, the lady at the front desk, who btw was very nicely dressed (I even commented about how beautiful her necklace was!), well-groomed and called me by name.  I never had to say my name. It was obvious that these people were expecting “ME!”
    • Yes, they made me feel like I was Queen of England right away!  The dentist took me into a private office and asked about me. He seemed just as concerned about my fracture as I was. The doctor explained exactly what they would be doing for me today.  I have to admit, I was shocked that for $39 I was getting a full series of x-rays, a panoramic x-ray, intra-oral photos, a “Cleaning, Oh yes! and a “check of my gums ” (i.e. a full mouth comprehensive perio exam.), and doctor would do a complete exam as well.
  • Next, the assistant took all my x-rays (Beautiful – New Sirona, Digital Panoramic Machine) and she completed the intra-oral photos of every sextant throughout my mouth. She even took a photo of me saying that “now no one else could pretend to be me.” lol
  • The dentist now completed the comprehensive perio exam, then the assistant came in and they documented all my restorations.
    • Next the dentist did an extremely thorough exam while wearing his 2.5 loupes and light. (Yes, that is important to me that my clinicians wear at least loupes!)
    • The dentist btw: never did find a fracture. That will be my best Christmas present!
    • The dentist left the room to go talk to the hygienist who would now come “clean” my teeth.
      • Yes, he told me my gums were very healthy and that I had very little cleaning for the hygienist to do.
  • Last but not least, the dentist came back with the hygienist and introduced her. The hygienist also wore loupes. That made me very happy! Of course I checked her instruments and they were very new looking Gracey curettes and the latest ultrasonic equipment as well. The hygienists’ scrubs matched the other back-office assistant’s scrubs as well.

Conclusion

2 hours later, I finally left the office. I am happy to say that the only service they inquired about me paying for, other than my $39 appointment I scheduled for, was a fluoride varnish. That would have been $30 US Dollars.

The hygienists’ face to seem a little strange when I declined the fluoride varnish, probably for good reason since I was so concerned about having healthy teeth. Well, you know I have varnish at home so thinking to myself; why would I pay $30 when I have it at home? You get it!

This is the only negative I can talk about:

  • The front office lady sked if “I wanted to schedule my next hygiene appointment?” and I always suggest to our clients…
    • Never “Ask” but tell the patient why they need to come back even if it is 6 months from now
    • Tell them a next appointment day and time. (Mention and time and day similar to the same time and day they are currently in your office)
    • Provide a benefit to return to your office (Example: We will check the margins of those onlays to be sure you do not have any cavities around those in the future)
  • And #2 is the lady at the front office, when I asked the cost of my next hygiene appointment, she told me “only $75.”

When I inquired more about “only $75” I was now informed that when I return and pay for a “special in-office dental plan” of $111.00 — this is why the next hygiene appointment would only be $75 and the doctor’s exam fee would be “waived.”

She also went on to explain how I would save money in the future if I purchased the $111 “dental plan” and then every 6 months I would only pay $75 for my cleanings.

So let’s get this clear: I will pay $111 for the “Plan” and then 2 times in the next year I will pay “$75?”

That is $111 + $150 and that equals $261.

She said that every 6 months without the plan it would $104 to clean my teeth and the dentist would need to do an exam and the exam every 6 months would be $95! Now we’re talking $398 annually.

She swore I would be saving myself a lot of money if I got the plan!!

I told her I would need to think about this because it does not make sense to have an exam every 6 months since I have never had a cavity since I was a teenager.

The front office lady really did not know how to respond other than that is how they do it.

Not wanting to make any waves after just paying my $39.00, I left with my next 6 month appointment which I will later call to cancel.

Well, I am now going to go to YELP to review the dental office.  I will give them 4 Stars!

Until the check-out part with the lady telling me about paying $75.00 for my next hygiene appointment and nothing more about the “dental plan” and cost of that, (until I actually asked about the $75 cost next visit) I was very impressed and would have given them a 5 star rating. Because of this, I only gave a 4 star rating on YELP.

BTW: One thing the hygienist did tell me is that she was being flown to their corporate office more very EXTENSIVE Training! Can you imagine the cost to fly here there and for 3 days plus a hotel and all the food she would eat. She told me she was very excited to attend this corporate training.

I can honestly say that the experience was one of my best ones!

I am sad to say that never have I ever had such an experience with the dentist speaking with me in private, and never have I experienced such a thorough examination process!

The moral of this story is that if you are in solo practice or if you are wanting to have a few of your own dental offices, you need to understand how the BIG BOX CORPORATE DENTAL OFFICES are treating their patients.

If you question corporate dentistry, maybe you should go undercover and experienced this first-hand. I hope you have the same good experience that I just had.

My question to you: “IF you will be kind enough to comment; should I ever tell them I was “Undercover” and as a dental professional, I think they did a great job!”   ???

What would you do?

Did anything here resonate with you?

What do you need to change in your current practice to get to the stellar level and have all your patients leave your office feeling as if they were treated like the Queen of England or President of the United States?

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

She is also a former clinical assistant from the University of Southern California and co-taught the senior dental students Practice Management course until the school went to a PBL learning format.

In 2000, she founded Dental Practice Solutions and works with dental practices world-wide to:

  • create profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments
  • known for reactivating and retaining patients for dental practices world-wide
  • organically grow new patient numbers

Dental Practice Solutions creates:

  • sustainable dental hygiene departments throughout the world
  • a “team-driven” practice, where the employees feel like leaders vs. employees

All of this means that the doctor can come to the office to do their job as a Dentist and not worry about managing people!

Be sure you check out our Hygiene Empowerment Program Register here

Going Undercover in Corporate Dentistry

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Recently, I had what I thought was a fracture on the side of an onlay. The last time I had major dentistry completed was about 25 yrs. ago. My previous employer about 25 yrs. ago removed childhood amalgam fillings and replaced them with beautiful gold onlays. I thought that these would last forever!

Unfortunately, my amazing dentist and previous employer is in Newport Beach, California and I now live in Portland, Oregon. I don’t plan to be in California until Christmas this year.

What should I do? Of course this is like a major catastrophe for a dental professional and one who takes meticulous care of their teeth!

I called my previous dentist/employer and scheduled an appointment to have a (What I thought would probably be!) crown prepped on December 23rd. But in the meantime, I wanted to show my previous dentist a radiograph of the area I thought was fractured.

Lucky for me; No Pain!  That was good news and I immediately began treating myself with fluoride varnish I have in my bathroom closet; just in case there was decay and I could arrest this or possibly reverse any possible decay.

My husband and I have been watching, especially over the last 2-3 yrs., a lot of corporate dental offices pop up in our neighborhood and this one day about a week ago, we saw a sign outside one of the beautiful corporate dental offices that said, “X-rays, Exam and Cleaning ONLY $39!”

What a deal! And of course I really need to get x-rays and send them to my dentist in Newport Beach, California! So I took down their office number and even went to their website where I could request an appointment.

And this is where I decided I would go “Undercover in Corporate Dentistry.” I decided to lie about my occupation Lying is not something I am good at so I seriously practiced with my girlfriend). I needed to work on this idea with my friends so that I would not blow my cover. As I discussed this with my girlfriend we reviewed what I would say and we role played how I would be someone who was JUST a patient and not a person who knew what went on inside a dental office.

My occupation was “domestic engineer.” What a dream! :)

Truly believing that I had this fracture and thinking that going to a “Corporate Dental Office “was going to be a scam, I equipped myself to NOT BE OVERSOLD!

And guess what?! This “Belief” and all the “Media Hype” about CORPORATE DENTISTRY turned 180 degrees on me!!!

Here is what you need to know if you are a small dental practice.

And btw: I mean if you are currently producing less than 2 million US Dollars in production annually and even if you have 2 office locations or more; here is what you must know to stay in business in the 21st century!

  • Personally respond to all and any request by a phone call and someone who represents your office as highly qualified and speaks English well.
    • Although I requested an appointment by email, on Monday morning I received a call from a lady at this corporate office who really seemed to care about “Me.”
    • She knew from my email that I was concerned about a “Broken” tooth. That is the information I wrote down in my appointment request.
  • Allow patients to click and link and easily complete their patient information prior to their arrival for their 1st appointment.

The information your patient completes online should be very easy to answer: The patient can click a button and answer easily!  The entire information gathering process online should be about 3 and maybe 5 minutes total!

  • Be ready for the new patient to arrive!   The moment I stepped foot in the door, the lady at the front desk, who btw was very nicely dressed (I even commented about how beautiful her necklace was!), well-groomed and called me by name.  I never had to say my name. It was obvious that these people were expecting “ME!”
    • Yes, they made me feel like I was Queen of England right away!  The dentist took me into a private office and asked about me. He seemed just as concerned about my fracture as I was. The doctor explained exactly what they would be doing for me today.  I have to admit, I was shocked that for $39 I was getting a full series of x-rays, a panoramic x-ray, intra-oral photos, a “Cleaning, Oh yes! and a “check of my gums ” (i.e. a full mouth comprehensive perio exam.), and doctor would do a complete exam as well.
  • Next, the assistant took all my x-rays (Beautiful – New Sirona, Digital Panoramic Machine) and she completed the intra-oral photos of every sextant throughout my mouth. She even took a photo of me saying that “now no one else could pretend to be me.” lol
  • The dentist now completed the comprehensive perio exam, then the assistant came in and they documented all my restorations.
    • Next the dentist did an extremely thorough exam while wearing his 2.5 loupes and light. (Yes, that is important to me that my clinicians wear at least loupes!)
    • The dentist btw: never did find a fracture. That will be my best Christmas present!
    • The dentist left the room to go talk to the hygienist who would now come “clean” my teeth.
      • Yes, he told me my gums were very healthy and that I had very little cleaning for the hygienist to do.
  • Last but not least, the dentist came back with the hygienist and introduced her. The hygienist also wore loupes. That made me very happy! Of course I checked her instruments and they were very new looking Gracey curettes and the latest ultrasonic equipment as well. The hygienists’ scrubs matched the other back-office assistant’s scrubs as well.

Conclusion

2 hours later, I finally left the office. I am happy to say that the only service they inquired about me paying for, other than my $39 appointment I scheduled for, was a fluoride varnish. That would have been $30 US Dollars.

The hygienists’ face to seem a little strange when I declined the fluoride varnish, probably for good reason since I was so concerned about having healthy teeth. Well, you know I have varnish at home so thinking to myself; why would I pay $30 when I have it at home? You get it!

This is the only negative I can talk about:

  • The front office lady sked if “I wanted to schedule my next hygiene appointment?” and I always suggest to our clients…
    • Never “Ask” but tell the patient why they need to come back even if it is 6 months from now
    • Tell them a next appointment day and time. (Mention and time and day similar to the same time and day they are currently in your office)
    • Provide a benefit to return to your office (Example: We will check the margins of those onlays to be sure you do not have any cavities around those in the future)
  • And #2 is the lady at the front office, when I asked the cost of my next hygiene appointment, she told me “only $75.”

When I inquired more about “only $75” I was now informed that when I return and pay for a “special in-office dental plan” of $111.00 — this is why the next hygiene appointment would only be $75 and the doctor’s exam fee would be “waived.”

She also went on to explain how I would save money in the future if I purchased the $111 “dental plan” and then every 6 months I would only pay $75 for my cleanings.

So let’s get this clear: I will pay $111 for the “Plan” and then 2 times in the next year I will pay “$75?”

That is $111 + $150 and that equals $261.

She said that every 6 months without the plan it would $104 to clean my teeth and the dentist would need to do an exam and the exam every 6 months would be $95! Now we’re talking $398 annually.

She swore I would be saving myself a lot of money if I got the plan!!

I told her I would need to think about this because it does not make sense to have an exam every 6 months since I have never had a cavity since I was a teenager.

The front office lady really did not know how to respond other than that is how they do it.

Not wanting to make any waves after just paying my $39.00, I left with my next 6 month appointment which I will later call to cancel.

Well, I am now going to go to YELP to review the dental office.  I will give them 4 Stars!

Until the check-out part with the lady telling me about paying $75.00 for my next hygiene appointment and nothing more about the “dental plan” and cost of that, (until I actually asked about the $75 cost next visit) I was very impressed and would have given them a 5 star rating. Because of this, I only gave a 4 star rating on YELP.

BTW: One thing the hygienist did tell me is that she was being flown to their corporate office more very EXTENSIVE Training! Can you imagine the cost to fly here there and for 3 days plus a hotel and all the food she would eat. She told me she was very excited to attend this corporate training.

I can honestly say that the experience was one of my best ones!

I am sad to say that never have I ever had such an experience with the dentist speaking with me in private, and never have I experienced such a thorough examination process!

The moral of this story is that if you are in solo practice or if you are wanting to have a few of your own dental offices, you need to understand how the BIG BOX CORPORATE DENTAL OFFICES are treating their patients.

If you question corporate dentistry, maybe you should go undercover and experienced this first-hand. I hope you have the same good experience that I just had.

My question to you: “IF you will be kind enough to comment; should I ever tell them I was “Undercover” and as a dental professional, I think they did a great job!”   ???

What would you do?

Did anything here resonate with you?

What do you need to change in your current practice to get to the stellar level and have all your patients leave your office feeling as if they were treated like the Queen of England or President of the United States?

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

She is also a former clinical assistant from the University of Southern California and co-taught the senior dental students Practice Management course until the school went to a PBL learning format.

In 2000, she founded Dental Practice Solutions and works with dental practices world-wide to:

  • create profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments
  • known for reactivating and retaining patients for dental practices world-wide
  • organically grow new patient numbers

Dental Practice Solutions creates:

  • sustainable dental hygiene departments throughout the world
  • a “team-driven” practice, where the employees feel like leaders vs. employees

All of this means that the doctor can come to the office to do their job as a Dentist and not worry about managing people!

Be sure you check out our Hygiene Empowerment Program Register here