Dental Practice Solutions

Optimize your dental hygiene department by taking an integrated, team approach

  • Do you feel like you are working hard and your production is not increasing?
  • Do you feel like your hygiene department is under performing?
  • Is your hygiene department producing 25-30% of your total production?
  • Are hygienists in your office treating bloody prophys?
  • Does your hygiene department help enroll implant cases and high-end treatment?
  • Do you have one or more holes in your schedule daily?

I am so happy that you are here because we have answers and solutions to your challenges.

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Dental Hygienist’s Patient Scheduled for a Prophy but NOT a Prophy!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 30, 2019

I want to talk about the elephant in the room. Let’s take for example Ronda who is a twenty-year patient of Dr. Curry. Susan is her hygienist of ten years, but Ronda is out sick today. On this particular day the dental hygienists’ patient is schedule for a Prophy but Ronda, the patient, is NOT a Prophy!

To set the stage for the first challenge, Sally is the temp hygienist.

Sally is an amazing clinician. She is good with patient’s; knows how to build rapport and she definitely has excellent clinical skills.

Sally completes all the necessary clinical exams and discovers that Ronda is more than a prophy patient.

The next thing Sally does is talk to Ronda about the change in her oral condition and explains she needs more than a “cleaning” at today’s dental hygiene appointment.

Sally begins treating Ronda for gingivitis and Dr. Curry enters to complete the hygiene patient exam and everything seems fine with Rona.

Everything seemed fine until Ronda got to the front desk and was asked to make a 2nd hygiene appointment in two weeks PLUS, Ronda was told that only one of these two hygiene appointment would be covered by her insurance.

WOW! Now we have a problem!

Ronda complained about all this to the lady at the front desk!

Ronda was NOT happy! She says, “No one ever told me I have gum problems until today!”

I do NOT like this hygienist I just saw!”

Ronda continues, “That hygienist does not know what she is doing!”

Oh my!

The lady at the front desk is rather new and she did not know what to say.

Ronda left without a next appointment.


OVERCOMING OVERWHELM AND CONFUSION

How can this situation which turned sour become like lemonade at your next party?

Well, a dental hygiene appointment (to most) doesn’t feel like a party but how can we overcome this overwhelm and confusion.

Let me outline a few steps that can make a positive change:

  1. When possible, for the long-term patients of your hygienist, let the know you have a temp hygienist
    1. This may take out some of the shock of a different hygienist
  2. Always explain what your patient is there for
    1. Ex: Routine preventive care, x-rays, “abnormality exams (oral cancer and “gum exam”., Comprehensive perio exam), doctor exam, etc.
  3. Before you complete the Comprehensive Periodontal Exam (CPE. To the patient it is called “Gum exam), let your patient know you will check the health of their gums with a ruler. Explain what the numbers mean. Ex: 1 through 3 is healthy. If you hear a 4, that means there is inflammation and if you hear a 5 or higher, that most likely means you have infection and active gum disease.
  4. Ask your patient to listen for the numbers because at the end of your exam you will ask them, “What was the highest and what was the lowest number you heard me call out?”
    1. The purpose of having your patient listen is because when they do hear a number that is more than 3, they will TELL YOU. Rarely, does the hygienist need to ask the patient, “What was the highest number your heard and what was the lowest number you heard?”
    2. I can almost guarantee you that when your patient hears a 4 or 5, they WILL be letting their hygienist know, “that did not sound good!”
    3. If your patient hears you call out “Bleeding on Tooth #3, etc.,” your patient will also be very likely to let you know,
      that did not sound good!”
  5. Whenever you see something that is abnormal, always take this opportunity to “show” your patient.
    1. Use the intra-oral camera
    2. Take pictures of heavy supra build-up on lower lingual of lower anterior, take pictures of BOP and holes, discolored teeth in your patients mouth. When you see areas of papillary and marginal inflammation, take a picture of the area with your intra-oral camera. Use the intra-oral camera for stains on their teeth and old composite stains and discoloration.
  6. When showing your patient, the intra-oral pictures, ask your patients to tell you what “they see.”
    1. Interestingly, many patients will not be able to tell you they see anything out of the ordinary so at this point in the conversation, you will want to compare health to the disease in their mouth.
    1. Be sure to show them the heavy supra calculus especially if they don’t recognize anything abnormal on the picture you will show them.
  7. Be sure you sit your patient up-right in the chair as you discuss what you “see.”
  8. Explain what you see, using words your patient will understand and yet, use words that add value to the hygiene service.
    1. For ex: Deep cleaning is not going to be value enough to return and pay more money.
    2. Use words like Gingivitis, gum disease, inflammation, infection, bleeding, disease.
  9. Explain the change in today’s appointment after your initial exam of abnormalities.
  10. Explain what future appointments are necessary to treat the abnormality today and what is necessary to prevent disease in the future.
  11. Always follow the system and process of each dental practice.
    1. Many offices find it valuable to quote a fee to the patient when there is a change in the service.
      1. Be aware that it is not “best-practice” to have a patient lying or sitting in a dental chair and then give financial estimates.
      2. Patients should always be in a place that feels “Safe” and “confidential” when discussing private matters such as “finances, etc.”
  12. What do you do when a patient is angry like Ronda became?
    1. This is where a written office- hygiene department system is super important!
    2. When you have a new hygienist and especially when you have a temp hygienist, you should have a guide, a blueprint written for when you treat a prophy and when it is not a prophy.
      1. When does a prophy patient receive treatment for gingivitis?
      2. When does a gingivitis patient return for their next hygiene appointment?
      3. When does a prophy patient become a perio patient?
      4. What happens after scaling and root planing is completed? When does that patient return for a hygiene appointment?
      5. The list of processes for the hygiene appointment is long. It must be written out so everyone on your team knows what is expected……and especially when you have a new or temp hygienist.

HYGIENE-DOCTOR-PATIENT EXAM

Not every dental office has a system where the doctor will complete a hygiene-patient exam in the hygiene room.

It is very helpful to have doctor and hygienist together for the hygiene patient exam. This provides effective communication, and nothing should be missed.

When doctor and hygienist complete the patient exam together, the hygienist can bring doctor into the loop on what has transpired during the hygiene appointment, up-to-this point.

In the situation with Ronda being new to Sally the hygienist, Dr. Curry can also build up Ronda’s confidence about the temp hygienist and let her know how great Ronda is even though she is the temp hygienist today.

At the end of the doctor exam, instead of asking the patient, “Do you have any questions,” change this question and ask, “What questions do you have for me today?”

This is an open-ended question and gets the patient thinking.

When asked a yes or no type of question, patient will usually tell the doctor,
“No, I don’t have any questions.”

But as you can see in this situation, Ronda had a lot of questions. She never felt comfortable asking.

I could provide a one-two hour course on this topic.

It’s a hot topic in today’s world of dental hygiene. It’s a big-reason, dentists have been calling our office for support.

Dentists and dental hygienists want to know, what to say to a patient who has always been a prophy but is now “more than a prophy patient.”

I recently wrote a course called, “What’s Blood Got to Do With it?” and I highly recommend you enroll because I will review in two video training modules how to handle patients who are more than a prophy patient.

In this training you will have numerous resources to support reimbursement and so much more. This is not only for the knowledge of the dental hygienist but will support the front office with patients who will pay for more than a prophy appointment.

Also remember, we are here to provide optimal oral health for our patients. It is not the standard-of-care to treat a patient with a specific service because you know a specific service is what their insurance will or will not pay for.

When you are able to help patients “own” their disease, they will be most likely to schedule and pay for treatment.

These patients will continue to return for their appointments at your office.

These are your patients who will tell their friends and family about your dental office!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director. Her expertise is optimizing the hygiene department by taking a total team approach; including the doctor as the leader.

Checkout our latest training about treating the gingivitis patient. Each paid registration will receive 2 CE Credits once the complete the course.

Five Reasons Dental Temp Agencies are Outdated

By: Trey Tepichin, CEO, Cloud Dentistry

December 24, 2019

As a dental practice owner, it’s almost certain you work with dental temp agencies when one of your employees is absent due to illness, vacation or personal reasons. Maybe you use a dental temp agency because it’s what you’ve always done. Or maybe you use one because you don’t think there’s a better way to find temporary staff. Whatever your reason for filling vacancies this way, it’s important you’re aware of how working with temp agencies damages your business.

And in a world where businesses develop so quickly, there are much better options open to you when you need to fill a vacancy in your dental practice.

Stop hurting your business and start nourishing it. Here are five reasons traditional dental temp agencies are outdated. You will want to avoid temp dental staffing agencies. Most dental practices find them to be a waste of time.

When you hire your staff via a dental temp agency, very rarely do you get to talk directly to the person you want to hire. Instead, you’ve often got to go through a middleman who will pass messages back and forth between you and your potential employee.

Thanks to smartphones and the internet, you can get in touch with pretty much everyone almost instantaneously. It should be entirely possible to connect with someone, have a discussion and hire them in less than an hour. Yet with traditional dental temp agencies, hiring someone can literally take days or even weeks. This setback can cost your business some serious cash if you have to do without an RDH or another valuable member of your team while you’re waiting for a third party to get back to you.


1. Expensive

Dental temp agencies make their money by adding a mark-up onto the dental professional’s hourly rate. The mark-up could be as much as a staggering 50% of the worker’s hourly rate. This means you’re either paying way too much for your temp dental staff or you’re hiring someone who’s being forced to work for less than they’re worth. Either way, you’re not getting value for money.

Instead of working with a company which takes money away from the professionals it’s supposed to help, it’s important you find a solution which allows workers to set their own rates and take it all home with them. This way, your temp staff are receiving the money they deserve and they’re much more willing to give you 100% when they’re working in your practice.


2. Don’t give you what you want

Despite technically being independent contractors, people who work for dental temp agencies don’t actually have as much control over their careers as they like. Their salaries, schedules and working locations are often controlled more by the agency than the workers themselves. This results in people working at places they don’t want to be at. And when someone’s forced to work somewhere they don’t want to be, they’re never going to give the job their all.

This seems such an antiquated way to work — and it is. You’ll get much higher quality dental professionals by opting for a solution which gives dental employees complete control over their careers.


3. Prevent growth

Temp dental staffing agencies don’t give dental practice owners much scope to show off their dental office and how great it is to work there. The best dental professionals are constantly in high demand and you need to stand out to those you want to work with to attract them. Unfortunately, when you’re just a name in amongst countless other brands, catching the eye of the right dental professional can be a challenge to say the least.

When you don’t have much means of attracting the best staff, you’re stuck with whoever the dental temp agency sends. Working with less than stellar employees means you’re not providing your dental patients with the optimal care they expect and deserve. This significantly inhibits your ability to grow your business. It’s much more in your favor to choose a staffing solution which lets you sell your practice and attract the best staff by highlighting your office’s strengths.


4. Create a never-ending cycle

Since finding the perfect staff first time from a dental temp agency is almost impossible, you’re forced to return to the agency each time you’ve got a vacancy to fill and begin the whole process all over again. The more you use a traditional dental temp agency, the more time you waste, the more money you spend, the more badly-matched employees you work with and the more you restrict the growth of your business.

It’s easy to get stuck in a never-ending cycle and professionally tread water for the rest of your dental career. It’s much more beneficial for the growth of your dental business if you find a solution which saves you time, saves you money, helps you find the best dental employees for your dental practice first time round. This will support you while you grow your dental business.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trey Tepichin, is Co-founder & CEO of Cloud Dentistry, an online company that matches dental offices with specialists, dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and dental front office–all with just a few clicks. He is a successful Boston attorney with numerous multimillion-dollar victories and former teacher of economics at Harvard.

Defining Success for Your Dental Practice in 2020

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 19, 2019

That’s the question you want to answer for yourself when you embark on year-end planning.

It always starts in November. Most dental practice owners work hard in Q4 to finish the year strong, while planning for the coming months.

And, of course, the analysis starts.

Here we are, the end of December and you may be asking yourself, “How will 2020 be different?”

If you are asking yourself this question, you are on the road to success.

We recently ran a poll on social media asking dental professionals what they wanted to learn from me?

 There was a resounding response that dental professionals wanted to hear what my success secrets were.

Let me define success for your dental practice in 2020.


1. Create the Plan

You must take time to create your success plan. What this requires is looking at the previous year and assessing where you are today.

  • What did you do differently this year?
  • What worked well this year?
  • What did not work well this year?
2. Share Your Vision

Take time to write your vision. Plan for the next five years and break it down into bite-size pieces. What will life and your dental practice look like in one year?

Next, break this down into nine months, then six months and a ninety-day plan.

Basically, you are re-engineering where you want to be in five years and then plan down to what you will do in ninety days to get where you want to be in five years.


3. Systems

Maybe this should be listed as number 1. Having systems in place will help you STOP working so hard.

Everyone on the dental team needs to know what is expected of them from greeting, seating patients, up to handing off the patient and everything in between.

At Dental Practice Solutions, we teach our clients a Dental Practice Optimization method. Our focus is the hygiene department but with a team approach.

Everyone on your team needs to understand the sixteen systems for the hygiene department. There are a lot of moving parts. If you wish to have a hygiene department that operates like a well-oiled machine, you must have systems for each one of these 16 areas and everyone on your team must know their exact role within each of these systems.

This is a team approach.

Create and implement a strategic success plan that takes the guesswork out of how things are handled for the next year and farther.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director. Her expertise is optimizing the hygiene department by taking a total team approach; including the doctor as the leader.

Do you need systems for your dental hygiene team? Check-out our Dental Practice University which is robust in hygiene department systems as well as what your entire team will need to support the hygiene department in your dental practice.

Transition Now – Dentist Retirement Planning

By: Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

June 25, 2019

I retired from private practice four years ago.  I had a successful 40+ year run doing general restorative and cosmetic dentistry.  I had associates, and I worked as a solo practitioner. In the end, a couple of young entrepreneurs bought my practice and I worked as an associate for four years before stepping away from the chair.

This blog is about transitioning your practice now. It’s about retirement planning.

Retirement from dentistry, done right, is not just the act of stepping away from clinical dentistry but many things need to be considered first.

There are many things that need to be considered before retiring and transitioning from your dental practice.

1.  Can I get full value at the sale?

2.  Can I even sell the practice?

3.  Do I have adequate funds to be able to live well for the next 20-30 years?

4.  What will I do in retirement?

Can I get full value at the time of the sale?

This is also tied to the question, do you have enough saved to retire?  I worked with consultants about ten years before I sold to analyze my situation.  I discovered I needed to increase the value of the practice by increasing the production and collections in the practice.  Most sales are based on one of several evaluations, but mostly a three- year average of your collections. What that meant for me was the need to get another consultant to help me improve my systems, train my staff to be more productive, and save a large portion of my increases.

Values and production have changed in the ten years since I did this, but back then the magic number was to get production/collections above one million dollars.  I am sure the ideal number is higher than that now.

The proposition is that you have to create an asset that someone finds valuable.  To get top dollar, you must create something that is something of value, but also something the buyer sees as having growth potential.  This sometimes means improving the physical plant or doing cosmetic things to increase value. The biggest thing you have to do is increase the total collections.

Can I even sell the practice?

I bought the records of a practice for $5000 when the aging doctor decided to retire.  Unfortunately, he had ridden the practice down to next to nothing. His physical plant was old and the equipment was ancient.

I have seen several doctors just walk away from their practice.  For that reason, I intentionally positioned myself to sell at the peak of production and I made my office attractive and functional.  Some small rural areas may have the same problem as this dentist I bought out because it is hard to find doctors who want to live in the area.

You can discuss what you have with a broker or a dental consultant that helps with transitions to see if you have a problem practice you want to sell.

Do you have adequate funds to be able to live well for the next 20-30 years?

We are living longer.  My financial planner told me we have to plan to survive until age 93.  The good news is that we are enjoying a longer life.

The bad news is that we need more money and other assets to support us for more years.  This is something I did not have the skill to project, so I found another expert to help me plan.

Hopefully you will have a paid-for home and other cash producing assets in addition to your retirement funds to help.

You also have to figure what your standard of living is and how much it will cost you to have a lasting income.   The answer to this is to start early, defer as much gratification as you possibly can, so that you can survive your extra years in comfort.

My reality was that I did not have enough money and I wasn’t on the correct financial trajectory at first, but with planning and execution, I finally made it.  At the rate I am going, I should spend my last dollar at age 93.

What will I do in retirement?

Some people are lucky enough to feel good just laying back, resting, playing golf every day and generally just taking it easy.  Unfortunately, I was not wired that way. I wanted to do something that fulfilled my need to create a legacy and create more income to do extra things around the house or for my family.

I work part-time in a FQHC clinic, teach, coach and consult, along with lecturing and writing.  I call that being “REPURPOSED”, not retired.  That is me.

What about YOU?

As long as you have a transition plan that makes you feel good and cares for whatever your needs are, go for it.

We all will retire or die first.  The sad news is that our bodies cannot continue to do the hard job of dentistry forever.  Plan, Save, Enjoy!

If I can help you in your Retirement planning, contact me at: drblack@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Schedule a call here

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

DAVID BLACK, DDS, FICD, FACD

Dr. Black is an associate coach/dental consultant for Dental Practice Solutions. He is “The go-to-expert for all dentists who are thinking about transitioning into retirement or buying their 1st dental practice.

Dr. Black owned his own dental practice for over 30 yrs. There he developed an understanding of the critical importance in development of the owner-doctor’s leadership abilities, in addition to having great clinical skills. Once he built a high-level of productivity in his dental practice, he was able to sell to a group practice; and the rest of his career

 

Does Your Dental Hygiene Schedule Include a Black Hole?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

June 20, 2019

Holes in the dental appointment schedule are a huge challenge in today’s world of dentistry.

How much does one hole in your schedule each day cost your dental practice over the next year?

The truth is that is costs your dental practice hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars over a year, if you have just one hole in your schedule.

Does your dental hygiene schedule include a black hole?

Does your dental hygiene appointment include a black hole?

How many times does a dental patient call your office to change their appointment and they tell you they will “Call you back when they have more time?”

In the video I share today, you may think, “this is not our office!.” Your’e saying to yourself we never let patients leave or change an appointment without scheduling their next appointment!

We hear this statement all the time.

THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE

Our team of consultants and dental coaches currently evaluates dental practice key performance indicators (important measurements of success in a dental practice) and I can tell you that it is all too common that we see a huge, long list of patients who left the office without scheduling a next appointment.

Until you look at your numbers, it may appear that you are scheduling every patient with a next dental appointment.

The administrative team is responsible for most of the patient schedule. It’s important that every team member who will schedule a patient appointment understands the dental practice system for scheduling patients.

Working together as a team to have strategic systems and protocols are a key component of every successful dental practice.

The best way a dental hygienist can help reduce the holes in your dental practice schedule is to create value around what is completed at a dental hygiene appointment.

● What does your scheduling system look like?

● Does your team know what is included in your scheduling system?

● What do you say when a patient does need to change their dental appointment?

● How can you reduce the number of patients who call to change a dental appointment?

Much of this relies on your verbal skills, the words you use to add value to the dental services your provide.

Words like “teeth cleaning,” scaling and root planing and even the word decay,” do not add the same value as words such as, “preventive care appointment, gum therapy or gum treatment and cavities or hole in your tooth.” Try using Portland Pothole or just the word “Pothole” next time you see a cavity.

Patients can relate to these words.

One important point to make is this, until your patients say, “Do NOT call me anymore,” continue to follow-up.

Let your patients know you miss them, that you care about them and that a healthy mouth more likely means a healthy body.

No one I know has ever complained because I told them I cared about them.

I must ask, what is your scheduling and change of appointment system?

Does a dental hygiene appointment ever go into a black hole?!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Seidel-Bittke

 

 DEBBIE SEDIEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director. Her expertise is optimizing the hygiene department by taking a total team approach; including the doctor as the leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the Dental Practice University intended for dentists and the entire team.

The university has training video modules, forms and scripts for each department in your dental practice.

The video modules are created for doctor(s) and include information to create a culture to bring in new patients, keep your dental team (employees) the life-time of your dental practice, as well as re-create or create your vision and mission. Doctors receive a 90-Day goal setting journal.

The hygienists have their own training video modules that cover time management, caries risk, treating the gingivitis and perio-patient.

The front office has video modules on phone calls, new patient calls, we provide job descriptions and a lot of information for hiring and keeping employees long-term.

You receive 24 AGD CE Credits. Try the University for FREE the first 2 weeks. Then you pay $97.00 a month indefinitely. You are locked in at $97/month!

The training includes 24 AGD CE Credits over a 12 month time for one person. You can use the training for your entire team but for individual log-ins and the additional AGD CE Credits you pay $20/month for each additional employee.

Learn more about the Dental Practice University here.

 

 

Dental Practice Transition How Do You Create A Saleable Practice?

By: Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

June 12, 2019

You cannot have a dental practice transition unless you have a practice that someone else wants to buy. It is critical that you have many factors working in your favor to sell your practice.

There are both physical and esthetic attributes, along with sound business metrics and positive staffing considerations.

The question when considering a dental practice transition is, How do you create a saleable practice?

Dental Practice Transition

PHYSICAL AND ESTHETIC ATTRIBUTES

Location is always an important factor in any business or real estate deal.  How much traffic goes past your office will help drive up new patients.

● How easy it is to enter and exit your office will help get new patients?
● Are you close to a school or a shopping center?
● Are you in a new or growing part of town or are you in a tired area that is not showing growth?

Next you have to consider the appearance from the road and what the interior of your office is like.  Make sure trim is painted and not peeling.  Is the landscaping inviting?  Is the upholstery on your furniture torn and dirty or bright and comfortable.

● Do you have a physical barrier between the reception area and the receptionist?
● Is the carpet or tile in good shape?

Buyers look at all these things and it will affect their attitude about buying the office.

● Is your dental equipment modern or antique?

Both will sell, but the old stuff will bring a lower price.  You will need to calculate what buying new equipment will cost against what the buyer is willing to pay for the old equipment.

Also you need to consider whether you can recoup the cost of replacement against just reducing the price to offset buying new equipment.

● Are you digital?

Any more the standard in any modern office is to have computer records and digital x-rays at the very least. A digital Panorex is prevalent in most offices also. If this is not the case, you will need to consider buying the digital upgrades or recognize that this is a big liability when selling.

BUSINESS METRICS AND STAFFING

If someone is going to buy a business, they have one of two approaches. The first is to buy an office that is profitable with good systems in place. They expect to pay a reasonable price.

The second type is looking for a bargain basement sale. If you are not making a good profit, if your production and collections are not high, if you are not seeing many new patients or have a sizeable group of patients of record, you are not going to get a good offer.

A few years before I sold my practice, I approached an older doctor who was going to close his office without selling it. He had run it down to nearly nothing and the physical plant was old and dated. I bought his phone number and his charts for $5000. I could not activate all his patients of record because they had left because of the state of the practice, but I did activate enough of his clients to more that pay for the cost to buy out the practice and not have another doctor come into our community in his office space.

You have two choices if you do not have good metrics:

1. Sell for less or improve your metrics.

When I sold my office, I had above average numbers, but I wanted to get the maximum return on my 40+ years of practice.

2. Hire an expert to boost your performance and profitability.

I hired consultants to help me improve all the key performance indicators that create success.

This is what you need to make the practice very attractive to the buyers.

I had long-term employees that had good relationships with our patients. This makes a buyer feel better about patient retention after you are gone. We had put in place many systems so that the team knew how to run the office without me micromanaging each and every thing going on in the office. I had many long-time patients that created the base for a smooth transition. The result of these efforts was to increase the sale price by about 30%.

The choice is yours:

Create a great, saleable practice, or bail out of the practice with less return on investment than you could have realized.

If you need help with your transition, give me a call for a free thirty- minute consultation, or engage us for coaching you all the way through your TRANSITION. Also you can get my free E-BOOK at our website, dentalpracticesolutions.com/resources

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

DAVID BLACK, DDS, FICD, FACD

Dr. Black is an associate coach for Dental Practice Solutions. He is “The go-to-expert for all dentists who are thinking about transitioning into retirement or buying their 1st dental practice.

Dr. Black owned his own dental practice for over 30 yrs. There he developed an understanding of the critical importance in development of the owner-doctor’s leadership abilities, in addition to having great clinical skills. Once he built a high-level of productivity in his dental practice, he was able to sell to a group practice; and the rest of his career as a dental practice owner is history.

In 2015, Dr. Black decided to share his knowledge to help other dentists duplicate his level of success, so he became a leadership coach and practice management consultant. His niche is treatment planning and case presentation.

Dr. Black is currently an associate coach and consultant, for Dental Practice Solutions, one of the leading consulting firms for nearly twenty years. As a seasoned practitioner, Dr. Black adds to the proven hygiene profitability coaching that Dental Practice Solutions is well-known for providing, to dental practices around the world.

Dr. Black’s expertise as an EQ and DISC trainer, makes him the best person to help more patients to say “YES!” to your patient care, as well as to enjoy working together as a team and loving what you do for your patients!

Want to have Dr. David Black speak to your study club or dental association?

Click to know more about Dr. David Black’s courses: Speaker Packet

Thinking about taking your dental practice to the next level?

We are looking for a few dental offices to beta-test our Dental Practice University training.

The training has video modules for the doctor, front office, dental hygienists and the entire team. There are scripts, forms and written processes.

You get information about Creating your culture, vision, team huddles that creat big productivity, hygiene video trainings on time management, treating the gingivitis and periodontal patient, CAMBRA, Lasers, phone skills, time management for the front office, handling cancellation calls, reactivating overdue patients, treatment planning, case acceptance, presenting financial arrangements, etc, etc.

There is a lot of training you receive over the next year. There will be hundreds of training video modules. You will also receive 24 AGD CE Credits for participating.

As a beta-tester, you pay nothing. We do ask that you provide feedback and give your opinion and ways to improve the University trainings.

To learn more about the University and to see if your dental team qualifies to be a beta-tester please TEXT: DPU to: 949-351-8741. Please text us: your name, your office name, your best email address and phone number. We will schedule 15 minutes to share more and let you know what we need from you and your team should you be chosen as beta-testers.

The Dentist as a Player-Coach

By: Peter Vanstrom, DDS

March 12, 2019

Consultant, Facilitator of Profit and Communication for Dental Practice Solutions

The National Basketball Association was founded as the Basketball Association of America in 1946. Throughout the many seasons of the NBA, some 40 players have served as both coach and player at the same time. Since the salary capwas instituted in the1984-85 season, the NBA has prohibited teams from employing a player-coach.

In 1948, Buddy Jeannette, of the then Baltimore Bullets, was the first player-coach to win a championship. Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics is the perhaps the most famous player-coach of all time.

He was a dominant player and an effective coach, winning two National Championships in the dual role.But that completes the list of player-coaches who won National Titles. Only 2 of 40 were champions.

It is not difficult to figure out why so few were big winners. It is extremely difficult to be a coach who is making all of the line up decisions, game time player substitutions, game time play call decisions, disciplining poor play, motivating players during the game and, of course, arguing with the referees, while being at your best playing in the game.

Hey, doc, does this sound a bit familiar?If you own a dental practice (or a few), and you practice in that dental practice as a dental care provider, then you are a dental player-coach. And, it is not easy wearing both hats, is it?

How many days have you been working hard all day, just a stride off schedule, only to find the time crunch at days end is forcing you to skip another work out, miss another of your kid’s soccer games, or cancel out on a gathering with friends. Being a dental player-coach is not only difficult; it is, in fact, almost impossible.

One of the toughest aspects of being a dental player-coach is when you are in the clinical area, working on patients, producing for the office, how do you keep track of the rest of the practice? For example, who is keeping tabs on the front desk? Is the receptionist answering the phone quickly and correctly? Is the financial/treatment coordinator closing those cases with solid financial arrangements? Are patients being greeted properly and seated in hygiene on time? Oh yeah, what is happening in hygiene?

Exhausting isn’t it? We dentists know why only 2 out of 40 NBA player-coaches won championships; it’s absolutely draining. It is in fact, almost impossible to fulfill both roles and be successful. In dentistry it is so very difficult to act as the owner of the practice, managing all business, staffing, training and financial affairs while practicing at the same time. The rare “Bill Russell of dentistry” needs no sleep, has no social life and loves to live at the office.

So what is the solution for dentists who are placed in the practitioner-owner mode? Well, a few options I do not like. To relieve yourself of the ownership headaches, you could sell your practice to a corporate entity and simply become an employee. Or you can sell to a management or DSO type group and give up control and possibly work for them. Or you could sell to an associate and hope that you are kept on to work as long as YOU like.

Frankly, for the potential profitability, retirement potential and autonomy, I have always chosen outside coaching for my team and me. I have practiced for 30 years and have utilized the talents of a number of different practice management groups, individuals and advisors to help me build and sustain a very profitable practice.

With the proper outside coaching for you and your team, you can own your practice and maintain all of the benefits of ownership. And, you can still be a player, enjoying the financial rewards, challenges, achievements and fulfillment of the clinical aspects as a practitioner.

An outside coach, or consultant, can be the fresh set of eyes and ears that can help redirect focus, refresh systems and keep staff members (and you) accountable for the actions that make your practice successful. It is tough to be a player-coach in any sport and in any business. If you are a dental player-coach, open yourself up to some outside coaching and watch your practice grow.

How about we sit-down and chat more about your position?

Please contact me if you are open to chatting about this. I have solutions.

To schedule your free profit-boosting session, click here or call to schedule: 949-351-8741. You can also email our office to schedule.

ABOUT DR. PETER VANSTROM

Consultant, Facilitator of Profit and Communication for Dental Practice Solutions

Dr. Vanstrom has thirty years of clinical practice delivering high quality dental care.

He teaches other dentists across the USA how to provide outstanding care in areas such as cosmetics, implant dental surgery, implant restorative care, oral cancer, and non-surgical periodontal treatment.

He also teaches other dentists about how to run a team-driven and patient centered practice like his.

Without A Strong Foundation The House Will Fall

By: Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

March 5, 2019

The young associate dentist evaluates a new patient.

This patient is a 50-year-old woman, who is a type II diabetic, and taking medications for both diabetes and high blood pressure.  She is missing her lower right first molar (#30) and has several old amalgam fillings that are breaking down plus, they all have recurrent decay.

The woman has periodontal probing’s measuring 4-6 mm’s in depths. The periodontal infection is localized to the posterior quadrants and includes a 6 mm distal pocket depth on #31.  All of the periodontal pockets have BOP.

Excited, the young doctor immediately discusses and schedules a three-unit bridge to replace the missing #30, with abutments on #29 and #31.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

To use the analogy of building a house, this young doctor placed the roof before he poured the foundation.  I can still remember from many years ago, when I was in dental school, they gave us a sequence that we were told to never violate.  Oral surgery, endo, perio, restorative, and finally; prosthetics.

When we presented our dental treatment plans to our instructors, we always had to follow this same sequence.

FOUNDATION- FLOOR- WALLS -ROOF

The Foundation refers to removal of infection and any non-restorable teeth.  If there are teeth that cannot be saved, get them out of the mouth first!  Stop pain and take care of any abscesses.  Either treat teeth with endodontics or extract them.  This is important to eliminate systemic infection because we know that infection in the mouth causes infection in the does body.

There is one exception to this rule: you must address the patient’s primary need first, IF, it does not seriously violate the rest of the sequence.  An example could be, a missing filling in a front tooth, and the patient was self-conscious about the esthetic problem.

The Floor can be built.  The floor is built on the foundation and is similar in function.  Our next step is to control or eliminate any periodontal infection so the patient will have a strong foundation that will not become progressively worse after we build our fine restorations.

This is the rule that the young dentist in the above story broke.  He constructed a bridge before he had cured the periodontal problems his patient had.  I can’t imagine trying to locate where the margin on the abutments will be with the pocketing present, the over extension into a sick periodontal pocket, and trying to have a dry field when trying to cement the bridge.  This treatment can include debridement, scaling and root planning, any grafts and surgery that may be needed, and maintenance to be sure our house will be strong and healthy.

The Walls can now be placed on a healthy, strong foundation and the floor.  The Walls can be compared to doing the necessary removal of decay and broken fillings present in the patients mouth.  This will make smoother margins and will often uncover decay that may be present. Now we must go back to our foundation. If there is a pulp exposure this requires treating the nerve before going any further.  When a tooth needs a crown later in the process, sometimes a core filling will be needed to make sure the tooth is strong and will retain the crown.

The Roof comes next.  This can include a number of procedures, including the bridge our young doctor immediately decided was the most important project; the shiny thing, the high priced project he wanted to get completed in the first sequence of the treatment plan.  Unfortunately, this sequence of treatment is the case too often.  We hear of all the total restorative make-overs, the implant retained prosthesis that are done in one day, and also the twelve veneer cases that are done on the second visit in some offices. My prayer is that when you place the roof on your cases, you have made sure the foundation, the floor and the walls are all solid, so that the roof won’t collapse, a few years after you have placed that last nail to hold the shingles in place.

            

FOUNDATION, FLOOR, WALLS, ROOF.  Make sure you follow the correct treatment sequence and work through each needed step to insure your patient’s dental house will be strong and last for many years to come.

About Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

Dr. Black is currently an associate coach and consultant, for Dental Practice Solutions, one of the leading consulting firms for nearly twenty years. As a seasoned practitioner, Dr. Black adds to the proven hygiene profitability coaching that Dental Practice Solutions is well-known for providing, to dental practices around the world.

Dr. Black’s expertise as an EQ and DISC trainer, makes him the best person to help more patients to say “YES!” to your patient care, as well as to enjoy working together as a team and loving what you do for your patients!

To schedule a No-Cost Profit Boosting Session Contact Dr. Black Here

AMP Up Your Implant Profits in 2019!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 15, 2019

There is a lot out in the world of dentistry for the General Dentist to take advantage of.

Most dentists in 2019, want to AMP up their ç by placing more implants. A few weeks ago, I sat down with Dr. Peter Vanstrom, to talk about how you can AMP up your implant profits in 2019!

Keep reading to learn more about our conversation and click the video below to listen in to our conversation.

Dr. Vanstrom and I, will be hosting courses in 2019 so you doctor, can AMP up your implant profits this year!

1. How can a dentist learn about implant services?

There are various dental implant companies as a resource to learn how to AMP up your implant placement in 2019. Look at these companies first.

This is a start to get a great education about placing dental implants.

2. How do patients feel about implants being placed in their mouth?

Patients do feel nervous about implants being placed in their mouth. It is surgery and they get worked up about placing a screw in their jaw.

I know that would make me nervous! What about you?!

 

Compassionate Confidence

Especially when placing implants, you have to feel confident.

It’s important to know deep down, that you are trained, and you are an expert in placing implants. You and the patient must understand that the implant will result in a tooth. This is a tooth that will last indefinitely in their mouth. At least this is our goal when placing an implant.

Patient pays one time and it will last a lifetime.

Patients must understand that you will place a beautiful crown over that implant. For patients concerned about aesthetics this is important information to discuss with them.

Possibly, you will place two implants on the mandible and then snap a denture into that. Patients need to know that this denture will fit comfortably, it should be something that lasts the rest of their life. They pay one time for this service. It lasts the rest of their life, unlike a denture which needs to be relined and can become uncomfortable, causing pain and sores in their mouth.

Doctor, you have the specific education and special training to do this. You are going “Beyond what you learned in dental school!”

Also important is your level of confidence. You must also be compassionate.

Sometimes, as dental professionals, we may not deeply understand what it feels like to lose a tooth. It can feel very traumatic for our patient. It’s a big deal for the patient to lose their tooth!

Patients want to feel confident that you, their dentist, can put their teeth they lost, back into place. Many patients won’t say this to you but, losing a tooth feels traumatic. It may feel like they lost a limb.

If you are confident, compassionate and understanding of your patient losing their tooth (teeth), you patient will also feel more confident having you replace their tooth.

Yes, it costs a lot of money to replace teeth and implant dentistry is expensive, it usually goes outside the insurance box (Yes, your patients put themselves into that “insurance box” …. right?!) where the doctor and the team, must offer “flexible financial options.” The dental front office team must have various options for third-party payments that assists patients with payment for implant services.

DENTAL PATIENT CASE ACCEPTANCE

A very important piece to know if you want to AMP up your implants in 2019, is for the back-office team and doctor, to know the valuable words to say to your individual patients, how to overcome the potential patient objections and so much more.

Each patient will respond differently so you must understand each patients “hot-buttons,” their motivators and also their objections, even before they tell you what those are. AND, patients may not even understand their true objection, but they are letting you know they do not want an implant.

It’s our role as the dental professional, to sift through all the non-verbal communication and get our patient to want what they need. This is part of the “art in dentistry.” This is the active listening we must understand thoroughly.
Case acceptance is working with your patients to help them understand the value of completing implant dentistry. You must create a collaboration with your patient and help them make the best decision for their total health.

You can listen in to more of our conversation when you click the video below.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

NEXT IMPLANT COURSE

Peter Vanstrom, DDS and Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

JANUARY 26, 2019
ATLANTA, GEORGIA
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8 AGD CE CREDITS

REGISTER HERE

You can also call our office for more information: 949-351-8741 or Email Us

How to Grow an In-House Membership Program

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 9, 2019

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, talked to Jordon Comstock, founder and CEO of Boomcloud about their membership program.

Dental Practice Solutions niche is teaching hygienists how to talk to patients about necessary treatment and Boomcloud is a great adjunct to helping patients pay for the dental treatment they need.

dental-practice-solution-inhouse-membership-program

During this short podcast, Debbie and Jordon talk about:

1. A predictable, recurring revenue stream for your dental practice.

2. They talk about a specific tool to help market your dental practice.

Attrition is a part of every business so this is one important tool you must learn about to help market your dental practice and create sustainable profits.

3. They also talk about reducing a dentist’ dependence on PPO’s.

4. When you listen to the podcast you will learn the benefits of a “subscription system.”

a. Think Amazon Prime but for your dental practice.

We are in a new age of dentistry and this information will bring you into a forward-thinking world to grow your dental practice.

How can we help you grow your dental practice in 2019?

Please call us @ 949-351-8741 or Email Us  to schedule a No-cost profit boosting session Click to Schedule and discover the easiest way to make 2019 your best year ever!


Debbie Seidel-Bittke

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is one of Dentistry Today’s top dental consultants. She is an international coach, speaker and author. Debbie is the CEO of Dental Practice Solutions.

Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable dental hygiene departments. She is a well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director.

Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 16 years.