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.

Dentist in La Mesa

Oregon Dental Consultant | How to Increase New Patient Production

By: admin

April 12, 2018

Written by Cindy Rogers, RDH

A potential new patient calls your office and says that he has a tooth ache and would like to be seen as soon as possible because he is in pain. Excited at the opportunity to fill a hole in your schedule, you gleefully say “we have some time available today to do an exam and x-ray and get you out of pain.” Great, that is all the guy wants, right?  Well not exactly.

This patient has to this pain because he has not had comprehensive dental care in a while; maybe even years.  His dental care has consisted of seeking relief from toothache to toothache. He would get a toothache, go to the dentist, get out of pain and then repeat the cycle of limited exams, PA’s and limited treatment. He was never offered the option of having a comprehensive exam and full mouth x-rays.

You see, this guy is a general contractor, he does not work in dentistry and does not really know much about it. All he knows it that he is in pain and he needs dentistry to help him get out of it. It is our job to educate him on dentistry and what is best for him.  It is also our job as a business to determine what is best for us. This is a win-win opportunity.

 

Why is a Comprehensive Exam and FMX Best for the Patient?

  1. The patient has an active infection spreading throughout his body and it needs to be treated. Caries and periodontal disease are infectious. If one area is infected then it is likely that others are as well.  Bacteria travels throughout the blood stream to vital organs.
  2. The patient is valuable as a person and a patient in your dental practice. They need to get as much treatment completed as possible in one appointment to eliminate returning to your office and leaving their job. A limited exam and Periapical are usually scheduled for 30 minutes in your day. A comprehensive exam is usually scheduled for 60 minutes. The patient will have a diagnosis and treatment plan for his whole mouth in one appointment instead of retuning numerous times.
  3. This patient works hard and wants to get the most out of his insurance and the almighty pocket book. The majority of insurance companies only cover two exams of any type per year, regardless if they are a comprehensive or a limited exam. Most insurance companies will cover preventative services at 100%. To the patient, with insurance, there is no difference in cost for a comprehensive or a limited exam. They will get the most savings and a valuable benefit by having insurance pay for a comprehensive exam and Full mouth x-rays.

 

Why is this best for the Practice?

True, you could possibly add a little bonus in production by doing emergency treatment. Let’s take a look at the bigger production picture. Here is a possible scenario of the opportunity to increase production.

 

 

 

 

Scheduled Time 30 minutes 60 minutes
Production $150 $300
Patient Cost $0 $0
Possible Treatment Plan $500 $5000

 

By doubling the initial appointment time, you will at least double the production. You will also be able to present him with a “whole mouth comprehensive treatment plan.” The patient will be so impressed that you took the extra time with them that they will refer their friends and family to your dental office.

What to Say to the Patient During the Initial Phone Call

Dental Office: “Mr. South, I understand that you have a toothache and it is our priority to get you out of pain. Let me explain how we can do that and prevent you from suffering again in a few months, all while saving you time and money. How does that sound?”

“Mr. South, I understand you are trying to save money by only fixing one tooth at a time. Let me explain why this is actually costing you more money and keeping you from using the insurance benefit that you pay for.”

“Mr. South, did you know that cavities are contagious? We are concerned that if we only fix the one tooth, that many others in your mouth are still infected and will be causing you pain in the near future. Let me explain how we can help prevent this from happening.”

 

Getting the patient out of pain is indeed a priority, but, let’s not forget about the big picture. The big picture for him and for your practice.

 

 

 

Your Goal: No more pain for the patient and in return you have a patient for life in your dental practice.

 

 

Cindy Rogers, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker, and author for Dental Practice Solutions. Cindy coaches in the areas of front office systems and processes as well as the hygiene department. People love the calm ZEN vibe that comes with Cindy but don’t be surprised at her “Inspiring and Motivating” ability when working with your team! Please contact Cindy for a complimentary Profit Boosting Session: cindy@dentalpracticesoultions.com or call 949-351-8741 Visit the website for valuable resources and schedule your complimentary session today: https://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com/

Dentistry: Get a Grip On Your Business and Grow Your Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 23, 2018

Date:

Fri, September 21, 2018

Presented by: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, CEO of Dental Practice Solutions

Presenting Sponsor: Doug Fettig, CPA, MBA at Aldrich CPAs + Advisors LLP

6 CE Credit Hours – Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Snack – Lots of Fun Learning!

Location:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Airport

7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97220

Time:

Fri, September 21, 2018

9:00 AM – 4:30 PM PD

Schedule:

Breakfast & Check-In – 8:00 AM to 9:00 M

Morning Session – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Lunch – 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM

Afternoon Session – 1:15 PM to 4:15 PM

Closing Remarks & Questions – 4:15 PM to 4:30 PM

Click here to register

Dental Consultant Clackamas | How Expanding Your Services Can Expand Your Dental Business

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

February 23, 2018

Written by: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

AS YOU KNOW, patients don’t just visit their dentist for bi-annual hygiene appointments, aka: Preventive Care. There are a host of services available to promote great oral health and create beautiful smiles.


Is It Time to Expand Your Services?

Expanding the services, you offer can be a great way to improve value for your current patients and pique the interest of prospective patients as well. Have you considered expanding the services in your practice?

Here’s a few simple value-add services to consider:

April is oral cancer awareness month so offer your patients a no-cost screening using the latest technology such as the Oral ID. Does your hygienist understand how valuable sleep apnea screenings are for all patients (even children)? Another simple service your dental hygienist can offer is a TMJ exam. This is easily administered during the oral cancer screening.

 

 

Other simple, same-day, adjunctive services are: fluoride varnish and whitening services, just to name a few.

I just had my teeth whitening using a 4 minute system called Uphoria. It was created for hygienists to use after the hygiene appointment. It was a simple ultrasonic device that added a hydrogen peroxide to my teeth. It was simple, no sensitivity or awful taste in my mouth.  My teeth lighted by 3 shades in those 4 minutes.

We’re Here for You at Every Stage of Your Business

It’s never wise to bite off more than you can chew, but strategically expanding your services can yield huge dividends—for your patients and your business. If you have any questions about expanding the services your practice offers, let us know! We can guide you through all of your options and help you select the best solutions for your unique needs.

We’re grateful for our clients!

 

AUTHOR Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions

Debbie can’t remember life without dentistry. She has worked in the dental field as a dental assistant, hygienist, former assistant clinical professor, hygiene department program director and for eighteen years as a coach, consultant, author and speaker.

In 2000, Debbie founded Dental Practice Solutions and she has helped thousands of dental offices world-wide share the important message that oral health will help people live a longer, healthier life.

When a dental office is able to share this message with their patients they will discover patients are most likely to continue returning to their office. These are patients for life when they understand how much you care about them.

Email us or call to schedule a Profit Boosting No-Cost Training with Doctor your Hygiene Department. Email: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Call to schedule a training: 949-351-8741.

Dental Hygienists Role in Maintaining Dental Implants

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 10, 2017

Dental Hygienists Role in Treating Implants

Dental Hygienists Role in Treating Implant Patients

Dental Implants are an expensive alternative to tooth replacement and they must last a lifetime. This is our ultimate goal when placing implants.

If our desire is to keep implants for a lifetime of the patient, it is important for the dental hygienist to understand the morphology of the peri-implant mucosa, the attachment between the mucosa and the titanium implant. This area comprises the junctional epithelium, about 2 mm high, and the connective tissue zone of greater than or equal to 1 mm in height. This is the zone that protects the osseointegrated surface from environmental factors, such as plaque in the oral cavity.

It is this zone where the health and longevity of a dental implant is imperative and it is a major role for dental hygienists is to maintain dental implants.

Dental Implants

Dental Implant Maintenance

An important role of the hygienist is to assess if their patient as a potential implant candidate. Many people know about dental implants but choose not to inquire about them and they choose not to consider them for tooth replacement.

It is the open-ended questions, a smile evaluation and communication with a potential implant patient will begin a foundation for case acceptance of dental implants. When you allow the patient to complete a smile evaluation, you allow the patient to be the one asking about the area where a tooth is missing.

Allowing your patient to be the one inquiring about treatment will put them in the drivers seat and you are only there to offer answers to the area the patient has checked off in their smile evaluation that the are not 100% satisfied with.

You can now lead this conversation into a discussion about the consequences of not having an implant. You now have an opportunity to discuss why  implant therapy a good option for a particular patient.

Continuing with your conversation you may talk about adjunctive or alternative forms of therapy/treatment that can be utilized.

It is very important for all the auxiliaries to understand why implants work, how well they work, and everyone on the dental team must understand all aspects of implant care so communications and explanations to the patient, that based on the doctor’s diagnosis, is a seamless process. This means that you have had role-play sessions as a team about “what to say,” “Who are the patients that doctor considers a good implant candidate, etc.”

When your patient accepts treatment, it’s the hygienist who will be responsible for educating the patient about oral care during the surgical and prosthetic phases of treatment. It is important for all the clinicians to understand the surgical treatment your patient will undergo and the types of restorations that will be placed. It is imperative that you recommend the appropriate oral hygiene techniques during healing phases.

Clinical hygiene and routine home-care procedures need to be effective but non-invasive so the healing tissues are not disturbed. It is also important for the patient to be aware that gentle debridement will only be effective while tissues are healing. Once healing and restoration are complete, a new hygiene routine will need to be established, learned, and complied with.

It crucial for the hygienist to educate their patients about the need for routine, maintenance. This is not an option if the patient has a desire to keep their implants for the rest of their life. Explain to your patient what can happen when their implants are not properly cared for at home and maintained by their dental hygienist.

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

 ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is 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. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: https://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Be sure to check out the live CE Events for FUN, Educational learning and AGD CE Credits.

To Charge or Not to Charge. Oral Cancer Screenings

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 13, 2017

Oral Cancer Screening

Video: Oral Cancer Screenings. To Charge or Not to Charge

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO

Years ago, the dilemma that most dental professionals faced was regarding whether to use advanced technology to screen for oral cancer.

Today’s Facts: The occurrence of oral cancer has continued to rise and has begun affecting a younger demographic, due to a staggering increase in the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV). Fluorescent technology for early discovery of this growing epidemic has continued to evolve. Adjunctive devices have been simplified and very cost-efficient. My preference is the OralID because of the light weight and small size of the device. This technology makes oral cancer screening a no-brainer.

The questions that continue to repeat in the dental clinicians mind is:  “Should we charge for this or not charge?”

Once the dental team has decided to charge the next questions are:
“How much do we charge our patients for this enhanced oral cancer screening?”
“Do we only bill insurance, or do we screen for free as a service to our patients?”

The great news is: With the latest device having zero cost per patient use, you can incorporate the technology with whichever answer to the question fits your practice best.

Below, I will outline a few examples on ways to incorporate enhanced oral cancer screening into your practice.
To Charge
Charging for services performed is standard in health care. As you invest in your practice, in terms of both time and money, it is natural to assume compensation will allow you to make a return on your investments. Enhanced oral cancer screening is a service you provide, and it is perfectly acceptable to expect an increase in revenue in return for the service.
How to charge for enhanced oral cancer screening can vary from office to office. Here are a few options for charging:
Charge an annual fee: You can simply charge a flat fee for your enhanced oral cancer screening. Set a fee of around $20 (or within a range of $10 to $35) per patient, per year. If you educate your patients properly, you should see fairly high acceptance rates in your office. But if you just hand a patient a consent form and ask for a $65 fee, you will not have any success. So, if you decide to incorporate this method, make sure that the fee is reasonable and that you have educated your patients about the importance of what you are doing. Explain that you have invested in the technology because it could potentially save their lives. OralID offers Lifetime Team Training by our in-house hygienist, so you can get help with ideas on how to best educate your patients and maximize screening acceptance.
Charge one fee for life: In the spirit of the “whitening for life” campaigns that some offices offer, you can charge up-front for participation in an “oral cancer screening for life” program. Charge $35 to $100 at the first visit and then screen the patient at no additional charge during future visits (as long as he or she does not miss any hygiene appointments, of course).
Raise your fees: Increase your exam and/or prophy fees to include the service and do not charge the patient directly for it. This allows you the freedom to screen every patient and compensates you for your time and for your investment.
Not To Charge
Dental practices are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Offering advanced oral cancer screenings is a proven method for increasing marketability and gaining new patients. Performing free oral cancer screenings for every patient is a service that will be appreciated by patients and that will not only get you more loyalty from current patients but also motivate them to refer friends and family-and this is the ultimate marketing goal.
You can hand a card to each patient that reads, “Has your loved one been screened for oral cancer?” or a coupon for a free oral cancer screening. Doing so will certainly differentiate your practice from the others, building value in the practice by maintaining and growing the patient base. The days of “whitening for life” are unfortunately over, but offices can now incorporate “oral cancer screening for life” for their patients due to the latest technology finally being affordable enough to make it possible.

CDT Code to Bill: D0431
A change in thinking
Patient care should be the focus for all offices. Given that, you may eventually change the method you choose in regard to charging or not charging. It’s not uncommon for offices to begin screening by charging for the service, only to decide not to charge after finding a lesion that might not have been discovered without the device. For many practices, a situation like this one is a practice changer that leads to the realization that enhanced oral cancer screening is important for every patient.
So, when you are thinking about the new screening decision, whether “to charge or not to charge,” remember that there is no right or wrong. By making the simple choice to incorporate this technology into your practice, you could be making a life-changing decision for your patients.

For more information on the OralID go to: ORALID MORE INFORMATION