Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NATIONAL GKAS DAY (GIVE KIDS A SMILE DAY)

The National GKAS Day was held February 6, 2015.  More than 1200 programs registered events at the American Dental Association’s site, ADA.org/givekidsasmile.  GKAS Day was an amazing “give-back” from nearly 7,300 dentists nationwide resulting in free dental care for more than 301,000 children who otherwise would receive no dental care.  And, keep in mind that you dentists organize and volunteer in GKAS Day events in your respective communities year after year---2015 is the 13th year you have cared enough to do so!

As we are aware, the dental profession strives to educate the public about seeking regular dental care and having a “dental home”, an office where they feel comfortable and receive the oral care that is so necessary to total health.  Suggestion: use facts like the statistics from GKAS Day to educate those in your community about what the profession is doing to provide oral care for those in the community who cannot afford it. The general public will be impressed with the social conscience and the generosity of dentists across the U.S.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ADD CURRENT DENTAL NEWS TO YOUR MORNING HUDDLE

In September 2014, the American Dental Association launched a new benefit for members, the ADA Morning Huddle.  The news brief arrives via email in members’ offices by 8 AM EST every weekday morning.  The summary spotlights what the media is reporting on happenings in dentistry, dental care, oral health, etc.  Selected from thousands of sources, the daily early morning briefing provides a report on current news about the profession as it is reported by national media sources.

Sharing this daily briefing during your office morning huddle can alert you and your staff to what is in the news concerning dentistry.  When your first patient arrives, your team can be ready to discuss and answer questions patients may have about current dental news.  What better way can there be to impress patients than to be absolutely up-to-date on the latest dental-oriented topic to make national news?

To subscribe to the ADA Morning Huddle, go to www.ADA.org and visit My ADA section under the Member Center dropdown menu.

Monday, February 16, 2015

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

As I write this article, the calendar announces the last day of 2014.  Another year passed.  Happy events, sad events; gains, losses; exciting times, dull times; leisurely days, busy days; old friends, new acquaintances---all parade through my mind, and perhaps, yours too, as the year-in-review rolls past.

Earlier this year a friend emailed a piece to me that was found among the papers of Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant of Alabama after he died.  It is entitled The Magic Bank Account, author unknown: 

            “Imagine that you won the following prize in a contest:  Each morning you are to receive $86,400 deposited into your private bank account for your use.  However, the prize has rules: (1) You and you alone may spend the money.  (2) The money may not be transferred into any other account, and all that you do not spend that day will be taken away from you.  (3) The bank opens your account with another $86,400 each morning, but at any time, without warning, the bank can say, “Game over.”, close your account, and you will not receive a new one.

            What would you do?  You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?  You would spend it on those you love and care for, and, perhaps, you also would buy things for those you don’t know.  You couldn’t possibly spend all that money on yourself every day, right?  You would try to spend every penny each day; use it all, because otherwise it would be taken away.  And besides, it will be replenished in the morning.

            ACTUALLY, THIS GAME IS REAL!  SHOCKED?  YES!!  Each of us is already a winner of this “PRIZE”.  We just don’t seem to realize it.  THE PRIZE IS TIME.

            Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.  And when we go to sleep that night, any wasted time is not credited to us.  What we haven’t used wisely that day is forever lost.  Yesterday is gone.  Each morning the account is refilled, but the “bank” can dissolve our account at any time with no warning.

            So…what will you do with your 86,400 seconds?  Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount of dollars.  Think about it, and remember to enjoy every second of your life because time races by so much quicker than we realize.  Take care of yourself, those you love, and other people as well; be happy; love deeply; express appreciation, and cherish life.  Enjoy!  Here’s wishing you a wonderful, beautiful day.  Start spending.  Spend wisely.  And don’t complain about growing old---some people don’t get the privilege.”

Now, early in 2015, let these thoughts fill your mind.  Determine to spend your allotted 86,400 seconds each day being happy with positive thoughts to share with those around you.  Abraham Lincoln is quoted, “People are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”  May 2015 be a happy year for you, your family, your staff, your patients, your friends and acquaintances.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ASSURE CASE ACCEPTANCE VIA INTRAORAL VIDEO CAMERAS

The old adage, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” is never truer than when a dentist or hygienist is explaining diagnosis of dental disease/problems to a patient.  An average of over 1.3 million patients per practice day is seen by dentists and hygienists in the U.S.  These face-to-face appointments present the perfect opportunity to diagnose, educate, and motivate patients with the use of an intraoral video camera.  Easy to use and clearly understood by patients, the visual images made by the camera are the most effective tool for co-diagnosis and co-treatment planning by dentist and patient.

In today’s high-tech climate the consistent use of intraoral video cameras impresses most patients, convincing them that their dentist is on the cutting edge, technically savvy, and to be trusted.  The images become part of a patient’s record so they can be used to enhance communication with the laboratory and clarify diagnosis for insurance predetermination.

The hundredfold magnification visible on a chairside screen is an invaluable tool for diagnosis, education, record keeping, documentation of on-going treatment, and patient case acceptance.  Intraoral video cameras are now the norm expected by patients.  In order to be used on every patient at most appointments, an IVC should be set up at each chair, ready to use when needed.

Friday, February 6, 2015

HOW OLD WILL YOU BE AT RETIREMENT?

According to a report by the ADA Health Policy Institute, the average age of dentists at retirement has increased almost four years between 2001 and 2013: 
2001 – 64.8 year
2003 – 65.4 years                                                                                                
2005 – 66.2 years
2007 – 67.1 years 
2009 – 67.4 years  
2011 – 68.3 years  
2013 – 68.7 years

When asked, dentists express a variety of reasons they choose to practice until almost 69 years of age.  Some remain for pure enjoyment of the profession and the feeling of productivity in a career they still value.  Many express regret for a lack of planning and funding for retirement, excessive debt, or other financial problems that force them to stay in practice.  Some continue to practice until a son, daughter, or protégé is ready to take over the practice.  Lower annual profit in many practices due to reduced managed care fees, increased costs, and the general economic slowdown portends more years in active practice for a number of practitioners.  Whatever the reason, you may find yourself among many of your peers who will practice well beyond the average retirement age of 65.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NEARING 65 YEARS OF AGE? HELP NAVIGATING THE MEDICARE MAZE

In past blogs, I have recommended dentists subscribe to The McGill Advisory, a practice management newsletter which, in my opinion, continues to provide the most encompassing practice management and personal financial advice.  An article in the November 2014 issue entitled, Navigating the Medicare Maze as You Approach Age 65” by Brad A Kucharo, CFP, CPA and John K. McGill, CPA, MBA, JD, gives invaluable insight into the why’s, when’s, and how-to’s for signing up for Medicare coverage.  And make no mistake, the law says one MUST enroll in Medicare by age 65.

If you, Dr., are close to or over age 65 and have not signed up for Medicare, I urge you to access the above-mentioned article or talk with your own financial advisor about the late enrollment penalty.  The article includes an account of a McGill client’s failure to enroll in Medicare by age 65 as legally required.  You will be shocked at the penalties this dentist who is now 69 years old has absorbed and will continue to have to pay for the rest of his life.

To access the article which appears in the November 2014, Volume 29, Issue 11 of The McGill Advisory, inquire via email at newsletter@mcgillhillgroup.com or go to www.mcgilladvisory.com or call the company at 888-249-7537.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs) PROMOTE KIDS’ HEALTHY MOUTHS CAMPAIGN


The Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives have combined to produce a series of English and Spanish-language PSAs, Kids Healthy Mouths.  The two-minute PSAs, aimed at teaching a child good tooth brushing habits, are posted on the Ad Council website, www.adcouncil.org.  Families visiting the website can sign up for a mobile program, part of the 2min2x campaign that texts users twice daily to remind them to brush their teeth.  Additionally, a “Toothsavers” mobile game app is also available on the 2min2x.org site.

For more information about the Kids Healthy Mouths campaign, go to 2min2x.org site to follow the campaign’s social media communities on Facebook  (facebook.com/kidshealthymouths)  and Twitter (@brush2min2x).