5 Helpful Tips To Improve Your Scheduling Practices

Posted by on Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Warning: If your dental practice scheduling is messy, then your entire operation will collapse. Too harsh? It’s actually close to the truth. On the surface, scheduling may seem like a “no-brainer.” You have available time. You have patients that need that time. Book them, right? That might work for the first week of your operation but after that, your scheduling procedures have to be equal parts rigid and fluid. How is that possible? Start with a thorough scheduling program. This should be a system that anyone in your office can easily access. If it is so complicated that even you can’t figure out how to use it, then it’s time for a new program. Of course, the best software program in the world is only as good as the people feeding it information. This is where you need to get your staff on the same page with regard to productive scheduling. Here’s how to get there:

Getting treatment from helping hands.

Working dental team. Image Source: flickr user: The National Guard

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Sugar vs. Teeth: The Latest Oral Hygiene News

Posted by on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

“Teach them while they’re young.” That’s a valuable mantra when promoting good oral hygiene. Before any child has their first visit to the dentist, they should already be on a regular brushing routine. This practice should be inspired by Mom and Dad as part of the daily rituals that keep those young bodies fit and healthy. However, more work is needed in between those brushings to ensure that teeth stay strong and healthy. That is a lesson not just for the kids, but for the adults as well. As a dentist, you are well aware of the correlation between sugar intake and tooth decay. This insightful information is valuable to pass onto your patients both young and old.

Kids staying active

Help kids keep their healthy smiles.
Image Source: flickr user: Tommy Wong

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Addressing Special Dental Concerns for Seniors, from Dentures to Dry Mouth

Posted by on Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A thriving dental practice will be able to address the concerns of a variety of patients. However, there is nothing wrong with having a specialty such as pediatric, orthodontic, or periodontal  care. A growing area of required specialty is geriatric dental care. According to census figures, the baby boomers are hitting retirement age. That means over the next several years there will be upwards of 65 million citizens who can rightly classify themselves as “seniors.” Along with the celebration of making it this far in life, there will be added health concerns. The older we get, the more we need to pay attention to what our bodies are trying to tell us, and that includes our mouths. Here are some of the top dental concerns for seniors to consider…

Staying Healthy Into Retirement

Seniors exercising for better health.
Image Source: Flickr user Salvation Army USA West

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Root Canal vs. Dental Implant: Why Can’t We Let Go of Saving Natural Teeth?

Posted by on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

I think they must drill it into our heads in dental school that we have to take every single step possible to save a natural tooth. (Pun fully intended.) While the reasons for saving natural tooth structure are self-evident, there are times when, at least in my opinion, there is no reason to follow through on heroic treatment options just to preserve natural dentition. Everyone knows natural childbirth is the best for mother and baby, but as a mother of four who has been on both sides of an epidural, I’m voting for the anesthetic. So why are we so committed to the root canal, even in our cases where advanced dental innovation has given us more reliable options for tooth replacement?

Root Canal Failures

Failed RCT is the #3 cause of tooth loss. The only question is how long this infection was present before the patient was sent to spend even more money on the re-treat.
Image Source: Javier Pascual

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Prepare Your Patients: Helping Kids Understand Cavities and Fillings

Posted by on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

“You have a cavity.” Nobody of any age wants to hear those words, but for kids, those words might be either totally meaningless or incredibly scary. Do they even know what a cavity is? It is your role as the family dentist to teach children about the different things you might find during their dental exam. Although we always hope that a child will go their whole life cavity-free, the fact is, they pop up often. If one of your younger patients is going to need a filling, the less intimidating you can make the overall experience, the better off everyone will be. Here are some tips for getting your young patients prepared for the possibility of cavities and fillings.

A kid friendly tooth doll.

Happy teeth make for happy kids at the dentist!
Image source: Flickr user Jelene Morris

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Helping Your Dental-Phobic Patients Get Over Their Fears

Posted by on Monday, April 28th, 2014

Next to an appointment with a lawyer or IRS agents, a trip to the dentist is among the most feared events a person has to contend with. If they think it can be avoided, then some patients will go years without making the trip. As a DDS, you’ll experience a variety of patients from the friendly flossers to the white-knuckle lockjaw. The goal is to put everyone at ease with special attention needed for the dental-phobic so they can still get the oral care they need. Here are some tried and true tips to help you win over your biggest ‘fraidy cats!

Getting Ready For The Procedure

Does this look scary?
Image Source: Flickr user: Wolkenkratzer

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Sofreliner Tough: Keep Your Relines Chairside and Your Patients Happy

Posted by on Monday, April 14th, 2014

Many of the services we offer get outsourced to the lab strictly because we don’t want to mess with them. Relines in particular can be an involved and time consuming procedure to do chairside. The material is sloppy, the trimming is dusty, and the patients are often frustrated. However, even if we outsource to prevent the mess of placing the reline, many times we spend a great deal of time adjusting it once it’s been returned. But Tokuyama has really given us a way to clear up many of these issues with Sofreliner Tough.


Relines get pretty messy.
Image Source:

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Prompt L-Pops Make Bonding a Snap on Your Filling Patients

Posted by on Monday, March 31st, 2014

So we have our most popular procedure stacked back to back all morning long… fillings. We love our filling patients because they usually don’t come with a high incidence of complications. Still, we do have to set up for these procedures and often our tiny counter space isn’t roomy enough for all our supplies. The most integral step in the filling procedure is etching and bonding, and the majority of self-etching primers are a two-step process. All of our bonding agents are also light sensitive, so preparing them ahead of time runs the risk of premature activation. You know that you’ve put that mixing pad over the well, hoping your bonding agent doesn’t set. But now there is an easier way: Prompt L-Pops.

Prompt L Pop

A simple all-in-one design takes away the need for all the accessories required for other bonding agents.
Image Source: 3M ESPE

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The Dental Sealant Debate: When to Use Which Materials

Posted by on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

We have been placing dental sealants for as long as I can remember. As with many things in the dental field, some of what we do is more out of habit than out of function. There is no question that when placed in the most optimal of conditions, dental sealants can be extremely effective at preventing decay in pit and fissures of newly erupted teeth; however, with only a little contamination or existing decay that went unnoticed, we can simply mask decay rather than prevent it. Dr. Gordon Christensen, a leading expert in the dental science field, said “Everybody has taken out sealants and found caries under them,” and while he was not suggesting their use be stopped, he warned against “arbitrarily placing them on kids with low caries risks.” (Taken from Dental Products Report, April 12, 2010).

Pits and Fissures

Illustration of pits and fissures that are too narrow to be effective cleaned by our toothbrushes.
Image Source: Crystal Lake Dental

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Easier Extractions with Bioplant: Making Site Preservation Grafts a Breeze

Posted by on Monday, March 24th, 2014

There are so many applications and procedures in our practices where our patients not only require bone grafting, but can also benefit from it in the long term. With the wide variety of options available in grafting, it can be difficult to decide which one is the best. I am often a fan of simplicity. For an oral surgeon, harvesting natural bone from the chin or the tuberosity is not nearly as intimidating as it would be for some of our general dentists who don’t see many involved surgeries in their practice. This doesn’t mean, however, that general dentists don’t need to place bone grafts. So the question is: what is available to the general dentist that combines the benefits of a graft without building a surgical suite?

Bone Loss

Photo depicting the extreme bone loss we see within a few years of tooth removal.
Image Source: CDE World

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