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Everything Dental Blog – October 2013


This is One of Those “Do I”, “Don’t I”, “When will I” Moments

This moment in time is comparable to the mid-nineties when the masses joined the digital radiography revolution. They witnessed the adopters of the early nineties replace their old phosphorous plate systems and bulky digital intraoral sensors with the newer, more versatile sensor systems. This was the tipping point for digital radiography because the market was ready and the distribution infrastructure could now service and support the industry. Over 95% of my dental clients are using some form of digital radiography!

Likewise, the digital impressioning and CadCam market place is about to explode. We have reached our tipping point and now it is just a matter of when you will decide to become a participant instead of a spectator?

The introduction of the Nevo E4D scanner allows dentists to take impressions digitally while still using their current lab or they can mill their own restorations. Everything about this new camera/scanner makes restorative dentistry quicker and easier for the patient and clinician. From intuitive, computer-guided image capture, to plug and play technology, you have the freedom to scan and send images in just a few minutes. Other wonderful systems are on the market and they are worth your investigation. However, the size and platform of the Nevo E4D provides the dentist and their team with the most intuitive and easiest system to master!

Aspen Dental has over 400 locations and they have been investigating the acquisition, integration and revenue advantages of CadCam dentistry for several years. They had to examine functionality, ease of use, reliability and performance because their properties are diverse and implementation and utilization were key factors in their vetting process. They researched and tested several different CadCam systems before they selected the one that would meet the demands of their unique organization. According to sources close to the agreement, Aspen selected the Nevo E4D system for many of the reasons I stated earlier. The acquisition and timing of the roll out for the Aspen Dental properties will be determined by their management team. Expect to hear and see Same Day Dentistry marketed in your community soon!

I think this is the Tipping Point for CadCam, what do you think?

What kind of revenue do you get from your current phone system?


By integrating a voice over IP, cloud based phone system; you can improve your practice through increased patient satisfaction and enhancing employee productivity. The Broadview network system will provide instant access to patient data and call records with every incoming call. When the call comes in, your staff will immediately be presented with a screen showing patient information, including details about appointments, treatments and prescriptions. By automatically seeing patient information as the call comes in, you will improve patient satisfaction, identify new patients, and be more productive with collecting money and generating more revenue.


Since the world is technology driven, patients are demanding instant information. This system will allow you to meet the demands in a timely manner. At your fingertips will be Patient Details, Patient Family Details, Patient Appointment Details, Patient Balance Details and Instant Patient Alerts. With a single click in the pop-up window you can open up the Dentrix Appointment Book for the calling patient. You never have to enter the patient’s name since the information is already pulled up saving you time and reducing data entry. Call Gary Bowser | Broadview Networks at 617-801-6340 or e-mail him at gbowser@broadviewnet.com to arrange a demo. *This system as described is only available on the Dentrix G5 module.


History Repeats Itself

In 1981, I began my sales career as an independent manufacturer representative in the automotive aftermarket. Within a year, I was headhunted by Moog automotive (a market leader) where I learned many of the skills I use today. After eight years with Moog I went to TRW (O.E.M. manufacturer) and then to Allied Signal where I worked for the heavy vehicle systems group [Bendix brake division].

My career was at an all-time high when I decided to make a bold move and leave the automotive aftermarket industry for dentistry. There were many changes taking place in the aftermarket distribution chain that concerned me. These companies were engaged in private labeling, government bids and contracts and were determined to win the ever growing retail service business. They knew the independent market would shrink and like all smart businesses, they looked to own the future and earmarked resources for that purpose!

Back then, the local repair shops and fleets were struggling because of the technological and regulatory challenges. They couldn’t afford the diagnostic equipment required to keep up with the new emission control standards, proprietary computer technology and the import vehicle invasion. Most mechanics didn’t even have metric tools yet alone parts for the imports. In addition, their facilities were very basic and they did not have customer waiting rooms and all the amenities we have today to accommodate same day auto repair. Do you remember when Nissan was Datsun and how it was considered un-American to buy a Japanese vehicle?

To keep up, these independent repair facilities needed to make a huge investment in their facilities, tools/equipment, technical training and inventory. Most repair shop owners, like the dentists of today, were reluctant to join the movement and incur the debt. In the end, the corner gas stations closed their doors, sold out or converted to the quick-mart format you see today.

This was a huge win for the chains that borrowed money and used venture capital financing to expand and invest in technology. Little by little Firestone, Goodyear, Midas and hundreds of other regional and national chains, emerged, hurting the corner gas station/repair shops even more. This had a chain reaction for the automotive distribution business because the independent parts stores could no longer compete and that was their core business. In order to survive, most of these independent auto supply businesses joined buying groups or franchises to survive!

These large groups had special arrangements with the manufacturers (private labeling, centralized purchasing and automatic replenishment) and they bought direct when they could. They had an unfair advantage and access to a wider array of products than the private independent stores did. This changed the landscape forever as many independent auto stores joined groups like Carquest, ProParts, Big A, Napa etc…  Of course, there were independent parts stores who maintained their identity, became hybrids or entered the auto-repair business.

Likewise, many dentists will invest in digital impressioning and CadCam (same day dentistry), laser dentistry and 3D imaging and they’ll become multi-specialty practices and they’ll flourish. Others will become members of the corporate dentistry fraternity (DSO’s) and they will give up their personal preferences, and all the frills of ownership, for a comfortable safety net.

Then the most passionate group of all will be left; care givers who seek excellence and will not compromise. These Panky and Dawson… trained clinicians will continue to attract discerning patients and will invest a good portion of their profits into marketing. They will remain vital and independent but their numbers will shrink in time. The ones who remain will embrace efficiency and operational effectiveness with a keen eye on reducing overhead. Unfortunately, those small to medium sized neighborhood dental offices that fail to invest in their future and do not incorporate technology, will be marginalized just like the corner gas station over time.

How Do You Measure Production?

Production by hour is the main focus for Drs. who run their operation like a business. These practices tend to have consistent production numbers because they focus on three things – (1) proper scheduling (requires thought and morning meetings or good planning practices), (2) real time/chair-side treatment planning (need/want based mixture) and (3) a very high percentage of case acceptance.

Most clinicians measure their production by comparing this year versus last year or comparing monthly figures. I suggest we think about the business a little differently. Consider the tasks you perform and the time it takes to perform them. Evaluate the procedures you do and master the code and claim administration processes. Your business department should be as capable as your clinical department!  If your repair shop was focused on brakes and shocks/struts and exhaust your average sale would be several hundreds of dollars. If you concentrate on oil changes and car washes your average sale would be more like thirty dollars.

You can’t look to do specific treatment on every patient but you need a larger field of view. What percentage of your patients are coded properly for periodontal disease and receive routine scaling and root planning or local antibiotic treatment? What percentage of your patient base is seen twice a year for recare? How many patients have not been into see you this year? Do you have patients that need retreat ortho or have minor orthodontic needs? Are you actively discussing Implant dentistry? Are you delivering sound treatment and financing options for your patients with dental needs? Does your team have the skills to close your treatment plans?


Deadline to Register is November 8th!

Registration is open for the 2014 Give Kids A Smile Day. The national celebration is set for Feb. 7, 2014. Register online by Nov. 8 to be considered for free product donations. A list of product recipients will be posted on the website in December and recipients will receive their products the week of Jan. 20, 2014. Give Kids A Smile is made possible through the generous support of corporate sponsors, Henry Schein, Colgate and DEXIS; dentists; and other oral health care professionals who volunteer their time and services to provide needed oral health care to underserved children. For more information, email gkas@ada.org or call 1-312-440-4600.


Professional Lease Negotiations

The details in your office lease can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a career. The experts at Cirrus Consulting Group are here to protect your interests, specializing in dental lease negotiations and analysis. If you have any questions, call Cirrus at 1.800.459.3413 or e-mail them at info@cirrusconsultinggroup.com or visit their website at www.cirrusconsultinggroup.com

In closing, last month’s issue of this Blog was the most controversial issue to date. Many readers were enamored, disturbed, shocked and many wrote to thank me for interviewing Dr. Marc Cooper. The discussion about corporate dentistry has just begun but it will be a high profile topic for years to come.

I believe todays trends and movements help us develop strategies to win the future. I am excited about our future and believe dentistry will become more relevant as the systemic link is realized! To read last month’s blog, click on this link


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