Microlux Transilluminator: See What You’ve Been Missing

Posted by on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

There is nothing terribly new about the concept of transillumination when it comes to getting a helping hand diagnosing teeth. Many times we act very similar to Columbo as we gather evidence to make a solid diagnosis. Where our eyes limit our ability to detect pathology, we have employed a number of devices to remove the guesswork. Yet even today, there are those tools that continue to pose the question, “How did we ever diagnose without this?” Microlux transilluminators are just this kind of product. Let’s take a look at why they have made a transilluminator a ‘must-own’ tool for every practitioner.

Tooth Fracture

Make the hidden glow like the fourth of July.

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Piezo Ultrasonic Scaler: Take Your Game to the Next Level

Posted by on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

For years the term ultrasonic was used in correlation with the hygiene department. Ultrasonic scalers have done wonders for countless numbers of patients when it comes to debriding the most tenacious of calculus build up. With technology changing by the minute, it can be hard to keep up with new applications for familiar equipment. This is precisely why there has never been a better time to take a second look at the Piezo Ultrasonic Scaler.

Why Piezo?

Piezo in Hygeine

The reduced flow with a piezo ultrasonic scaler offers the hygienist better visibility and increased patient comfort. | Image Source: Neil L. Starr DDS

The word “piezo” comes from the Greek piezein, which means to push, press, or squeeze. In contrast with magnetorestrictive scalers such as the Cavitron, copious amounts of water are not needed to cool the hand-piece. The fine mist used by the Piezo ultrasonic scaler to cool the tip and the tooth, alleviates that water-boarding sensation our hygiene patients are not too keen on, while maintaining visibility for the hygienist as well. One other nice feature the Piezo ultrasonic scaler boasts is less vibration in the hand-piece itself which leads to happier hands and happier hygienists. If you are a hygienist running her Cavitron all day, you know exactly what I mean!

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Love in the Dental Office: Knowing the Difference Between Harassment and Romance

Posted by on Monday, May 19th, 2014

Let’s face it, romance happens. More often than not it happens in the places we spend the majority of our time. It only makes sense that so many inter-office relationships lead to disappointment more often than they result in eternal bliss. Dentists running off with their assistants isn’t just a made for TV movie, it is all but a cliche in a field where a male dentist spends his day in such close proximity to several, often young and attractive women. While I have seen many of these relationships crash and burn in my twenty years, it is still the dirty little secret many dental professionals never address.

Office Love

Harassment in the office

An episode of a popular television show mocked the dentist/assistant harassment issue by turning the tables with a female doctor and male assistant. | Image

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How to Maintain a Successful Dental Practice: Rope in Your Overhead Costs

Posted by on Friday, May 16th, 2014

As with all the other fields of medicine, becoming a dentist is a noble profession. You’re making people’s lives better one bright tooth at a time. Just because you’ve dedicated your career to improving the lives of your patients doesn’t mean you aren’t also trying to create a successful business. Building a successful dental practice should be the goal of every dentist. In fact, the more successful you become the more you’ll have to give back to your community. It’s the perfect circle of dentistry. Before any of that can happen, you’ll need to reign in your overhead costs. This is often the “thorn in the side” of many a dental practice. However, with a proactive approach to the business of your practice you should be able to get those overhead costs right where they should be. To do that you have to lower expenses and increase productivity. Here are the “to-do” items you need to start incorporating today.

Adding up numbers

Can’t crunch numbers without this. Image Source: flickr user: Thunderchild7

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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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5 Red Flags For Your Dental Practice

Posted by on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Do you consider your dental practice a busy place? Perhaps this is a constant “buzz” about the place. The waiting room is always brimming with patients. The staff is scurrying about. Lab deliveries are a constant flow. With all that happening, you would think that your practice is operating at peak efficiency. However, a closer look might reveal that “busy” doesn’t always equate to productive. As you work through your patient load without a break, you might not be aware of all the details that are playing out in the rest of your office with regard to productivity.

Too often, a busy practice is really a frantic practice in disguise and when your staff is frantic mistakes are going to be made. It might be time to step back and take a full assessment of your practice to see what is specifically working and what isn’t working. To accomplish that task, you’ll want to consider the following red flags. If any of these issues are occurring in your dental practice it might be time to make adjustments.

Patients waiting for their appointment.

Busy waiting room isn’t always a productive waiting room. Image Souce: flickr user: Tristan Bowersox

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Starting Your Own Dental Practice: 4 Tips for New Dentists

Posted by on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The moment you get your diploma from dental school, you’ll be thinking about setting up your own practice. That’s what you’ve studied for, right? Before taking the plunge, many dentists will partner up with an established practice. This is a smart way to learn the ropes while you’re learning your craft. However, there will come a time when you’re ready to make the break and start your own business. To make that transition a smooth one, you’ll want to consider the following factors.

Established dentist

Small town dental practice

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The Secrets to Dental Practice Success: Fact Vs. Fiction

Posted by on Monday, May 12th, 2014

As with any type of medical profession, you put in many long years of hard work and study to become a dentist. The goal is to have your own thriving and successful practice. However, what you do “in the chair” doesn’t automatically equate to success. There are many theories about how to run a successful business that might not apply to a dental practice. Does this mean you need to go to business school? Not at all. You just need to be aware of the fluidity of your business and be flexible enough to make adjustments as you move forward. It might help to separate the facts of business success from the fiction.

School of Dentistry

What you learn here will change many mouths.
Image Source: Flickr user William Yeung

“The more information you have about running a practice, the stronger your practice will become.”

Part of every dental school curriculum is some aspect of running your practice. You were just given the basics. Once you graduate and hang up your shingle, you’ll be inundated with seminar invitations. There will be a never-ending list of workshops and conferences you can attend to “improve your practice.” Nothing wrong with gathering up that information. The key is implementing those tools. If you’re just going to constantly read newsletters and fly off to conferences, then your practice will never grow. You have to be proactive with the knowledge you bring home from each event.

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Planning For Retirement from Your Dental Practice: How to Prepare

Posted by on Friday, May 9th, 2014

What does your vision of retirement look like? Is it sitting on a beach with a Kindle loaded with all the books you’ve been itching to read? Is it taking a long cruise around the world? Or does it just mean sleeping in? On many levels, we begin every career with an eye towards retirement. In other words, we’re all working for the day when we can actually stop working. However, in the dentistry field, retirement is often hard to come by. According to a recent survey conducted by the ADA, upwards of 96% of dentists are finding it a challenge to retire to a high quality lifestyle. Do you fall into that 96%? It is never too early to start planning for your retirement. The goal is to be proactive about your choices, and a lot of that has to do with how you run your practice.

Tropical Beach

Is this your retirement vision? How close are you to achieving it?
Image Source: flickr user: Victoria White

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Does Your Dental Staff Need a Bonding Retreat?

Posted by on Thursday, May 8th, 2014

As the owner of a dental practice, you’ve got your hands full both literally and figuratively. An average patient load is more than enough to keep you working throughout the day. However, you’ve also got a staff that needs your support. While it’s true that a decent office manager should be able to keep things running smoothly, your dental staff will still be looking towards you to set the tone and provide leadership. In some cases, nerves can become frayed and the “ball is dropped” from time to time. Does that mean it is time to clean house? You should always strive to have the best people working for you, but that doesn’t mean your top-notch staff won’t face the occasional bout of burnout. When that happens, you might consider a company retreat to reboot, refresh, and realign your staff.

Time For a Root Canal

Dental staff working together.
Image Source: Flickr user U.S. Navy

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