By the time you read this, spring will be in full swing in most areas of the country. The temperatures in St. Louis are slowly beginning to warm now (mid-March), and you can tell the winter is almost over. Having said that, some of our heavy snows have been in late March ... so we are not out of the woods as yet.
It really is amazing how much the weather can affect how we feel. The last few days have been sunny with the temperature in the low 60s, and everyone seems to have a new lease on life. I hope by now that the snow has melted for you folks in the Northeast.
This is a remarkable issue of Dental Economics in many respects. We feature the winner of the Matsco Office Design of the Year competition on the cover and in the magazine. This is a wonderful office that shows the value of vision and goal-setting. This office did not just happen over the period of a few months. It was planned over a long period of time, and the results show the fruits of that planning. I could practice in this office and I know that many of you will feel the same way! Our congratulations to Dr. Munholand and his great team.
I am proud to say that Dr. Jim Pride and I are good friends. Over the years, we have shared many conversations about practice management. Some times we agree and sometimes we disagree on what is the best way. Jim sees lots of practices every year and he is able to help a great many of them to thrive, rather than just survive. One of his crusades has been to get dentists to fund their pension plans so that they can retire when they choose. He teaches practitioners how to do this in his courses.
Many people do case studies on businesses to analyze why they were successful or unsuccessful. A case study looks at everything - cash flow, expenses, production, marketing, etc. Have you ever seen a case study on a dental practice? Since I became the editor of Dental Economics, I have been trying to convince Jim to write a case study on a dental practice. That case study begins in this issue and will continue for another five issues. My advice would be to tear these out to save them, because you will want the whole series.
Be sure to catch the Dr. Bill Dickerson interview with Dr. Jim Garry. Perhaps you have read about the controversy surrounding occlusion in some of the other dental magazines. There have been many claims put forth that have placed people in either the "CR" camp or the Neuromuscular camp. Through out my dental career, I have tried to avoid the groups that claimed that they had the only "truth." I have taken a lot of occlusion courses and have found good points in many of them. Those "good points" have formed my philosophy of occlusion. Keep an open mind when you read the article.
Dr. Dickerson recently has finished changing my bite relationship. There are many deadlines in my life today, and I find myself clinching more. I began to develop symptoms that required my taking medicine to alleviate the pain. I went to Bill for a solution. He seated my new upper posteriors in late December, and it was early February when I finally returned to have my bite adjusted. I was not hitting correctly and told Dr. Dickerson that the problem was in the left bicuspid area. He hooked me up to the Myo monitor and said the problem was that the upper right second bicuspid was high. I said, "No way!" (After all, I am a dentist.) He took a few microns off that area and asked how it felt. I put my teeth together and knew immediately that he was right. I told him it must be some kind of voodoo! Amazing stuff.
I will be speaking at the Arkansas State meeting in Hot Springs on April 20, at the California Dental Association meeting in Anaheim on April 21 (for the clinical assistants), and I will do a temporary workshop at the same meeting on April 22. I will be speaking for two days at the Texas state meeting in San Antonio on May 4 and 5.
I hope to see some of you at these upcoming meetings. Stop by and say hello.