Despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, there continues to be challenges across the U.S. to CWF’s efficacy. Overwhelming evidence continues to show the benefits of water fluoridation. Tooth decay continues to be the most common chronic childhood disease, and CWF reduces childhood tooth decay by 29% according to the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. CWF benefits people of all ages, from children to seniors, healthwise and financially. The CDC reports that CWF saves $38 in preventable dental treatment for every $1 invested in Community Water Fluoridation.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Ever wonder how long Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists have been part of the dental team?
The role of Dental Assistant dates to 1904 when Dr. C. N. Johnson was lecturing at the Chicago College of Dental Surgery on major factors of setting up an office. He mentioned employing what he termed a Dental Assistant.
In 2013, Dr. Johnson published Success in Dental Practice in which he endorsed the broad scope of employing a Dental Assistant. A quote from his book addresses this concept: “The Assistant has taken from practitioners much of the detail and drudgery of his daily task and left him free to concentrate on the science and technical problems of his practice, and in this, she has added most materially to his efficiency and the output of his service.
The role of Dental Hygienist began in 1905 when Dr. A. C. Fones, Bridgeport, CT, trained his office assistant to do prophys for children, making her the first hygienist in the world. In November 1913 Dr. Fones opened the Fones Clinic for Dental Hygienists in his garage. Dental school deans and professors served free of charge to train the first class that produced 27 graduate Hygienists. Today there are more than 120 schools in the U.S. for Dental Hygienists turning out about 2500 graduates per year.
Posted by Ann Page Griffin at 9:16 AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Cool Cassette instrument containers are cooler, safer, lighter, quieter than metal--- LESS EXPENSIVE too. Brand new, exclusive with Practicon, and designed by Practicon’s R & D Team, Cool Cassette is the world’s first flexible silicone instrument container. Cool Cassettes save work space, spare your hands from heat like metal containers exude, dissipate heat faster for quicker removal from the autoclave, have no sharp edges to scratch or nick, and save you money. Their cost is about 40% lower than equivalent steel cassettes. They last longer too---no hinges, locks, or moving parts to break. See Practicon’s Cool Cassette in the Spring 2013 print catalog and on-line at www.practicon.com.
Posted by Ann Page Griffin at 10:40 AM
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Historically, many dentists have chosen to give annual pay raises. Times are changing, however, as practices are forced to tighten figurative belts to survive. Besides the economic slowdown that is negatively affecting production and profit, dentists will have to pay more for dental equipment, supplies, and lab due to the new 2.3% medical device tax implemented to help fund Obamacare. Additionally, those who provide health insurance as a benefit will quite possibly absorb a significant increase in staff health insurance costs. All this may preclude annual salary increases.
With all considered, most practice management advisors are recommending basing increases in staff compensation on increased collection during a particular period compared to the same period last year. If collections increase, there will be a bonus to distribute among staff; if no increase, no bonus. Bonuses may be paid every three or six months. The six month plan is easiest with calculation made and checks written less frequently than the three month plan. And an annual distribution means such a long wait that it is less motivating than the six month plan.
Suggestion: if you try such a plan, calculate as bonus dollars the same percent of the increase in collection as staff wages are of total overhead. Example: if collection for the comparable period increases $20,000 and staff wages require 25% of total overhead, share 25% of $20,000 or $4,000 as staff bonus. Also, distribute bonus according to individual staff member’s performance; hence, rewarding high performers more substantially than mediocre performers.
Posted by Ann Page Griffin at 11:30 AM
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Many practitioners tell me they have experienced a decline in production during the last half of 2012 and into 2013. Though it is little consolation, rest assured the problem is widespread; it is not your practice alone that has taken a hit.
The two reasons most often given for the decline:
Patient acceptance of treatment is down due to a variety of economic factors with which we all are familiar.
Many people are losing their dental insurance which has been a benefit of their employment. Either they have been laid off or their employer has had to drop that benefit in lieu of increased costs in business expenses and declining profit.
What’s the answer? There is not a single simple solution; rather several actions to try, including:
Analyze all costs and cut expenses every place possible. A dollar saved goes directly to the bottom line as improved profit.
Increase marketing efforts, for example, an updated web site, a new practice brochure, more visibility community-wide through educational efforts, charity dentistry, and participation by the doctor and staff in community activities.
Open a satellite office after careful analysis of location and demographics.
Strengthen the Recare System. A realistic goal is 70% to 80% of active patients returning regularly.
Adjust fees at least annually to keep pace with inflation and rising costs.
Comb the files for patients who have dropped between the proverbial cracks, and contact them with a reminder of needed treatment and an offer of a choice appointment time
Ramp up “customer” service so that everyone in the office focuses on providing extraordinary attention, friendliness, and care for every patient at every appointment.
These and many other ideas used in combination will help to combat the decline so many offices are experiencing.
Posted by Ann Page Griffin at 3:20 PM