Thursday, March 26, 2015

WHO SAID THAT?


WHO SAID THAT?

“Here’s the approach I use to encourage and lead others:  (1) Value people. (2) Praise effort. (3) Reward performance.  I use that method with everyone, including myself.”
- John C. Maxwell                                                                                             New York Times bestselling author of Leadership: Promises for Every Day, a Devotional; world-renowned expert on leadership.

 “If a man (woman) for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he (she) has no right to keep it to himself (herself).
- Jacque Cousteau                                                                            
French explorer most noted for maritime expertise

“The first half of life has to do with getting and gaining, learning and earning.  The second half is more risky because it has to do with living beyond the immediate.”  (Explained as “living for others, for causes beyond yourself”.)
Bob Buford
Author of Half Time: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance


“It takes two years to learn to talk, and the rest of your life to control your mouth.”
 
Mark Twain
American writer, philosopher, and humorist

“Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent.”
Proverbs 17:28

Friday, March 20, 2015

DID YOU KNOW?

The consequences of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) include the loss of employer-sponsored dental benefit plans for millions of employees.  While many now have no dental benefits whatsoever, those who still have access to some dental benefits are finding that most dental plans are now embedded within medical plans, resulting in significantly lower third party reimbursement rates.

Most new dentists now graduate with an average debt of $221,000.

The average number of non-dentist staff per dentist in private practice was 4.9 in 2012, the last year such statistics are available from the ADA Health Policy Institute.

In the 2012-13 academic year, 91.6% of first year dental students were U.S. citizens.  2.2% were from Canada with 6.2% from other countries---this according to the ADA Health Policy Institute.

A 2014 survey of adults in the U.S. reported by the ADA Health Policy Institute showed that 77.1% of respondents planned a dental visit within the next 12 months while 13% were unsure and 9.9% said they would not schedule a dental appointment in 2015.  This means that one in five adults will not see or are unsure about seeing a dentist this year.  What can you and your staff do to attract this pool of potential patients?

 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

GROWING EDENTULOUS POPULATION NEEDS YOUR CARE

In 2001, a survey of Americans estimated that 31.8 million people were edentulous in at least one arch.  By 2010, a similar survey under the auspices of Oral Health-Healthy People 2010: Objective for Improving Health, raised that number to 38.6 million and reported 26% of the U.S. population between 65 and 74 years of age are completely edentulous.

Many of these people remain without teeth due to lack of information, simply unaware of advancements in denture and implant technology that could vastly improve their physical and emotional well-being.  Others are fearful of dental treatment while some believe they cannot afford prosthodontic care.
 
Millions of denture wearers suffer with old, bacteria-ridden, ill-fitting dentures that are unattractive and dysfunctional.  Researchers report that at least half of all denture wearers have problems with their dentures, yet they simply do nothing to remedy their situation.  New denture technology plus implants can vastly improve the aesthetics and function of dentures for millions of Americans.  Talk about an opportunity for dentists to affect the health of all these people and grow a practice in the process!

Organized dentistry can certainly help educate the public-at-large through national campaigns via various media outlets.  Additionally, you can reach these patients and potential patients through your own website and social networking sites and through professional marketing done in-office and community-wide.  Such marketing efforts should focus on education of the lay person about the amazing aesthetics and improved function of their dentures available through prosthodontic treatment.

Monday, March 9, 2015

ONE WAY TO SOOTHE AN IRRITATED PATIENT

A frequently-asked question during my years as a practice management consultant has been, “How can my business staff give a courteous, consistent answer to the irate patient standing at the front desk demanding to know why another patient who arrived later has already been called to the operatory?” The question can be avoided altogether by informing all new patients that appointments are made with different providers for various procedures, and the arrival time for an appointment may not necessarily dictate the order in which patients are seated for treatment.

This seems a minor point to those of us who work in a busy dental office, but I have seen it magnified in the lay person-patient’s mind to the point of losing a patient if not properly explained.  The following note of explanation can be given to new patients in a “Welcome to Our Practice” packet of information during the initial appointment.  Additionally, business staff can give a similar verbal explanation when necessary.

Dear Patients,

Because some patients have asked why they and others are not seen in order of arrival, we offer this explanation about the order in which patients are called to the treatment area.  We schedule visits by appointment in order to respect your time and to serve you most efficiently.  Several types of appointments are scheduled simultaneously:

- New examination appointments and treatment appointments for restorative or aesthetic procedures are scheduled with Dr. Doe                       

- “Look-See” appointments for observation following an emergency, surgery, or other treatment may be scheduled with Dr. Doe or a dental assistant. These are very short appointments scheduled to fit between longer procedures.                     

- Emergencies seen by Dr. Doe are often unscheduled because a patient may have been injured or be in severe pain.  We try to see these patients as soon as they arrive without inconveniencing other patients; and you can rest assured that if you ever have an emergency, you too will be worked into that day’s schedule as quickly as possible.

- Hygiene appointments for routine x-rays, cleanings, oral hygiene instruction and    such are scheduled with the hygienist. Appointments for sealants may be scheduled with the hygienist or a dental assistant with Dr. Doe seeing the patient prior to or following the procedure.

Patients are called to the treatment area in the order in which Dr. Doe, the hygienist, or a dental assistant are ready to seat them.  Therefore, though you arrived earlier, another patient who has an emergency or has been scheduled with the hygienist or dental assistant may be called first.  Please be assured that we are aware of the value of your time, and we make every effort to remain on schedule.  We welcome questions concerning scheduling or any other matter related to your dental care.

Thank you for selecting our office for you dental care.  Our practice continues to grow primarily by word of mouth, and we appreciate the referral of your family and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. John Doe and Staff 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

MONSTER-FREE MOUTHS MOVEMENT


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s consumer awareness campaign, Monster-Free Mouths Movement, has a new consumer-friendly content hub on the site mychildrensteeth.org.  The hub has resources to educate parents and caregivers in ways to maintain oral health for children; and the children themselves will be taught ways to banish “mouth Monsters” as they learn about oral hygiene techniques and regimen. 

The hub will be updated throughout the year so that it remains current, attractive, and relevant for young viewers and their adult caregivers.  For more information visit www.mychildrensteeth.org.