Thursday, April 17, 2014


Seldom do I repeat information or ideas in blogs, but Dr. Robin Wright whose expertise I recommended to you via a blog several months ago is an exception to my do-not-repeat rule.  Dr. Wright, founder of Wright Communications in Evanston, IL, enjoys a national and international reputation for credibility in her field of expertise.  In short, she is a pro in communications within the dental profession, advising and training those in private practice, those working in dental schools, spokespersons for professional dental organizations, lobbyists for the dental profession, and so on.  One would be hard pressed to name a type of practice or dental organization she has not influenced with her writings, her seminars, or her direct interactive training.
Dr. Wright has presented over 500 seminars, speaking to all the major U.S. dental professional organizations, often for consecutive years; and she is a featured speaker in the ADA Seminar Series.  With a PhD in healthcare communication, she has taught communication courses at four universities and two dental schools, and written books and numerous articles about communications in the practice of dentistry.
Consider Robin as a speaker for a C.E. seminar which you may help plan or think about hiring her as a consultant for your practice.  She will work with the dentist(s) and team members to evaluate the current mode and style of communication, verbal, non-verbal, and online, in your practice.  She will then customize a training session for your team that will immensely improve the communication and interaction between dentist-staff-patients-potential patients.  Her training of staff assures increased case acceptance, smoother financial arrangements clearly understood and accepted by patients, more effective marketing of your practice, and proper handling of any problems that may arise from misunderstandings with patients or among team members.
Contact Robin online at or by telephone at 847-864-5266.  You’ll be glad you did!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


“WeCare.”  Obviously almost all dentists and staff members want patients to know and sense a “WeCare” attitude in every aspect of each appointment.  Such an aura is key to keeping loyal patients who recommend your practice to others; patients who accept treatment plans and return regularly for Recare.

The “WeCare Program” I want to describe for your consideration, similar to one we have at Practicon, is a step beyond the sensitivity shown to patients during each appointment.  Practicon’s WeCare Team meets regularly to address opportunities for serving others in our community and to consider Practicon staff members’ needs including such things as help during a family death or other crisis, a loan to meet an unexpected financial need, or ways to find a professional counselor if a staff member is seeking that type of care.  Obviously, confidentiality is maintained by Team members involved in such personal assistance. 
For out-of-office activities, the Team manages Practicon’s charitable efforts, choosing, organizing, and scheduling our out-of-office “give back” work to help various causes and organizations in our area.  Additionally, the Team plans fun, fund-raising events in which all 65 employees participate so that the WeCare Team has money with which to help individuals and organizations.  Practicon often matches the money raised by the WeCare Team, and some Practicon employees choose to have a small donation deducted from each of their paychecks that goes into the WeCare Team fund.

You get the idea…the entire Practicon staff supports and participates in a variety of ways in the projects that the WeCare Team undertakes, whether in-office or community-wide.  Everything from ringing the bell for Salvation Army’s Christmas kettles to hard physical work helping to refurbish an old school to become a badly-needed Community Center, Practicon staff members tackle a wide variety of out-of-office give-back efforts.  And they also support one another through the WeCare Team, helping to alleviate personal crises individual staff members may be experiencing. 
Suggestion:  consider implementing some form of such a program in your practice.  Whether a practice employs two or three staff members in a single office or several dozen in a multiple-dentist-multiple-location practice, a WeCare program can boost morale, pride, fun, and teamwork far beyond expectations.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


IT will be in your hands soon!  Practicon’s new-look catalog will be mailed to you in April.  The website has undergone redesign also to become more user friendly with new navigation features, fully integrated, and reformatted to match the print catalog design enhancements.
Even with changes to the overall look of Practicon’s catalog, it will still be packed full of new, cutting edge products, many designed or suggested by you, our loyal customers.  Incidentally, we always welcome your emails or calls to discuss your product needs and/or ideas with our Research and Development Director, Brad Griffin.

During the 31 years Practicon has been in business, we have worked to make the catalog a valued resource for you, filling it with new, different, and superbly useful products.  Our goal is to help make your practice surpass even YOUR expectations, help you deliver care and serve patients with unsurpassed quality dentistry, and help you increase your profit and enjoyment of the profession we respect.  The catalog has grown and evolved, reflecting our shared passion for dentistry and the innovative products that make it better.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The American Dental  Association defines childhood caries as “the presence of one or more decayed, missing, or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a pre-school age child between birth and 71 months of age.”  Further, the ADA states that early childhood caries is found throughout the general population and is an even-more significant problem in high-risk populations including minorities and the less affluent.  Although early childhood caries declined from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s, it has increased since then.  The latest studies show that almost 44% of five year olds have or have had cavities, and 23% of young children have untreated caries.

There are some programs working to fight this epidemic.  A successful example of such programs is the DentaQuest Institute, active since 2008, which developed the Early Childhood Caries Collaborative in conjunction with Boston Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital for Specialty Care in Providence, R.I.  Their efforts have reduced new cavity development by 69%, pain by 50%, and utilization of operating rooms for dental treatment by 55%.  The program has evolved to include five additional health centers across the country plus 40 other sites including private practices.  For additional information about ECC (Early Childhood Caries), go to or simply Bing or Google “percent of young children with dental caries” to read some interesting studies and articles about ECC.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Knowing how much I read, a friend recently gave me a copy of a small book, How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell, the New York Times bestselling author and expert on effective leadership who trains leaders of diverse organizations around the world.  The book’s tagline is “Change your thinking.  Change your life.”

Maxwell writes of eleven essentials for thinking like a success, including such concepts as focused thinking, creative thinking, realistic thinking, strategic thinking, shared thinking, and so on.  I highly recommend the book as a quick read full of ideas and ways one can learn to think like a successful person thinks.  Published in 2009 by Center Street, a division of Hatchette Book Group, New York, NY, it is available in many book stores or can be ordered online.

The last chapter of the book includes several quotations worth sharing:

            Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life consists of what a man (person) is thinking about all day long.”  James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you.  You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”  And Paul the Apostle said, “Whatever things are true…, noble…, just…, pure…, lovely… are of good report.  If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; think on these things.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Feature Finds gives us the opportunity to call your attention to new products which are in high demand by many of your colleagues.  You may want to try them also.

PARABAND TOFFLEMIRE MATRIX BANDS with a more conical form save time and improve the quality of restorations.  With Parabands, often no wedges or separating springs are required for direct Class II restorations.  For Class III, IV, and V composites, Parabands which work with any Tofflemire retainer, provide better isolation of the prep and a stable matrix for condensing composite.  Bonding to subgingival preparations is simpler due to the isolation and access provided.

UNIGLOSS CELLBRUSH quickly polishes all aesthetic restorations to an unprecedented high gloss with no added paste.  With cellulose, diamond-filled brushes, the UniGloss Cellbrush softens when wet with water so that it adapts to all tooth morphologies while releasing ultra-fine diamond particles.  Additional good news, the Cellbrush is atraumatic to gingiva while operating at 5000 RPM with zero to only slight pressure.

FOGSTOPS really work to keep your glasses, loupes, or other magnifiers fog free.  Peel and stick Fogstops can be applied to glasses, surgical loupe lenses, even microscopes, for fog-free, crystal clear vision.  No more stopping every few minutes to wipe away fog.  An adhesive film, Fogstops UV-activated, polymer matrix coating is anti-bacterial and self-cleaning.  The film will not distort vision, and it is easy to cut for a custom fit on any lens.  No residue is left when the Fogstops are removed, and they are heat, disinfectant, and bleach resistant.

To read more about these and hundreds of other cutting-edge products, many unique and available from Practicon only, see our print catalog or go online to to peruse an electronic version.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


CareCredit is a third party company that provides payment plans with no interest charges for up to 12 months for treatment in excess of $1000.  The company also offers six month payment plans for treatment costs in excess of $200.

CareCredit uses the tagline, “The credit card for your health, beauty, and wellness needs.”  Credit is extended to patients seeking those services in healthcare offices.  Most enrolled healthcare providers allow patients to complete an application in the office so that dental staff can help with questions and submit the data to CareCredit or encourage patients to apply online using their home computer.  In summary, this Card offers shorter financing terms than most other cards with options that range from six to 24 months with no interest charged on amounts of $200 or more as long as the patient/consumer makes minimum monthly payments and pays the full amount due by the end of the contract period.

Over 175,000 healthcare providers nationwide accept the CareCredit healthcare credit card.  CareCredit is part of GE Capital, a financial organization with a reputation for quality service.  Go online to for more information as you consider whether to offer your patients this viable financial choice.  It is a payment option that encourages many patients to begin treatment sooner rather than later.