Good news from the exhibit hall

I have just returned from two major dental meetings that have revealed that dentists are once again traveling to meetings and, judging by the activity on the exhibit floors, they are once again buying. That is good news for all of us in the dental industry!

I have just returned from two major dental meetings that have revealed that dentists are once again traveling to meetings and, judging by the activity on the exhibit floors, they are once again buying. That is good news for all of us in the dental industry! Once again, dentistry is showing the rest of the economy the way. I realize that there are still areas where there are some problems, but, in general, it is simply a great time to be a dentist.

The Hinman meeting was a great success with many wonderful speakers and workshops. The attendance figures were terrific as well and another record was set. Visiting Atlanta in the spring is always such a treat. The trees and flowers uplifted our spirits. Hospitality has always set this meeting apart from all the others, and it still does. Nobody does it like the Hinman.

Two weeks later, I was in Anaheim for the California Dental Association meeting. This meeting was also a major success. Pre-registration for the meeting hit an all-time high - 5,000 more than normal. Judging from the lines on Friday morning, I would say that the on-site registration was high as well. The exhibit floor was very crowded on Friday and Saturday. Chairman Dennis Shinbori and his Council of Scientific Sessions did a wonderful job of planning the program, and all the activities went off without a hitch. Anaheim is always a special place to visit!

As I travel the country, I continue to hear upbeat dental success stories. These success stories are from start-up practices and established practices in big cities and in rural communities. The stories come from dentists who are just out of school and from dentists who were ready to retire but found a new passion for dentistry in a new technique or treatment. They are all finding that this can be a fun time to be a dental professional. Dentistry can be more fulfilling than ever before!

Instead of retiring, many older dentists are choosing to limit their hours and continue to practice - treating the people and the cases that their new vision supports. A young dentist emailed me the other day wanting to know where to start in his quest to open a new practice. I told him to get his vision in place first and then do his business plan.

The Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 has given us some special tax advantages that you should definitely examine. There is a new 30 percent First-Year Special Depreciation Allowance. If you acquired depreciable property after September 10, 2001, with a recovery period of 20 years or less, you may be able to claim an additional 30 percent first-year depreciation allowance. If you acquired, after September 10, 2001, a passenger automobile used more than 50 percent in a qualified business use, you may also be able to claim the additional 30 percent first-year allowance. More generous depreciation rules apply to certain property acquired after Septem-ber 10, 2001, and used in the area of New York City damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The above will apply to assets purchased up until September 11, 2004!

If you have already filed your 2001 tax return, consider amending it using form 1040X. This information was supplied to me by Rick Willeford, who writes a monthly tax column for Dental Economics.

You may contact Rick at www.rickw@willefordcpa.com for more information. Thanks for the heads-up on this, Rick!

I hope that you have all made some plans for family vacations by this time. One of my favorite vacations is to go sit on a beach somewhere and read while the waves lap at my feet and the sun warms my body. However, this year Sue and I are taking all the kids and the grandkids to Walt Disney World. All 18 of the Blaes clan are going - the park will probably never be the same. My 15-year-old twin grandsons are already planning what rides to take me on. I hope I survive this vacation. I will keep you posted.

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