How do you get a raise —and increase your practice value —without working longer hours?

Jan. 1, 2008
Let Dr. Joe Blaes, DE editor, and representatives from Altadonics tell you

Let Dr. Joe Blaes, DE® editor, and representatives from Altadonics tell you

Editor’s Note: As you may recall from an article in the August issue of DE®, Dr. Joe Blaes believes he has found a true innovative company in Altadonics. If you haven’t read the article or would like to reference it again, log on to www.dentaleconomics.com and search for “Altadonics.” To help our readers understand more about the company and how Altadonics can help the dentist become more successful in his or her practice, Dr. Blaes recently sat down with Dr. Earl Douglas, MBA, and Bob Price, president of Altadonics.

Dr. Blaes: Earl, explain “value” to our readers as it pertains to a dental practice.

Dr. Douglas: Value equals benefits over costs. The features of a dental practice are goodwill, equipment, accounts receivable, location, age of practice, etc., but the value is the long-term net cash flow.

Dr. Blaes: Which of these features is the most important?

Dr. Douglas: Without a doubt, long-term net cash flow. Increased practice price is also important as well, but is far overshadowed by long-term increased net income. But be sure to consider the net cash flow, not the gross income. A practice that produces $80,000 per month with expenses of $65,000 per month will obviously create less net income than a practice with $70,000 per month income and $40,000 per month overhead.

Dr. Blaes: So, Earl, how can our readers increase the net income of a practice?

Dr. Douglas: Increasing net income can be done in three ways — working more hours, increasing fees, or performing additional procedures.

Working more hours can lead to burnout, however, and increasing fees must be done carefully to avoid losing patients, and therefore income. Performing additional procedures, however, is a safe and predictable approach with excellent results.

Dr. Blaes: Now let’s hear from Dr. William (Bob) Price. Bob, I know you and Altadonics offer a new way to add net profit without adding fixed overhead or time. Tell me how you create new profit.

Dr. Price: Joe, colleagues are already telling me Altadonics is the most exciting new technique they’ve seen in decades. Here’s the best part: with Altadonics, I can make a set of dentures a day without working any additional hours.

Dr. Blaes: Naturally, I’m skeptical! How does Altadonics work?

Dr. Price: On most cases, I start with a comfortable old denture. I pick a shade and take a bite. My assistant makes the Altadonics mold. I spend an average of 15 minutes on this appointment. The patient returns for the try-in. After this, we finish and deliver the case. Altadonics captures comfort first, but we also have simple methods to reline the tissue side if necessary.

Dr. Blaes: How is this procedure different from a copy denture?

Dr. Price: First, we capture and archive the old denture comfort with the Altadonics mold. That comfort can now be retrieved multiple times in the future. Second, it’s an exact copy of the old denture. It may be comfortable, but we also know it is infected and needs to be replaced. Third, unlike an imprecise copy, our denture is precisely the same as the old one each time we make it. We even set new teeth each time, exactly like the master. Fourth, our new denture has new acrylic, new teeth, and the old comfort. We call this the Comfortable Denture for Life.

Dr. Blaes: Bob, how does this add value to the practice?

Dr. Price: If a doctor adds two dentures per week, gross production will rise an additional $120,000 a year on average. With Altadonics, doctor time is kept to a minimum — usually 20 minutes per case.

Dr. Blaes: Earl, if a practice were to add $120,000 to its gross income, what effect would it have on its cash flow?

Douglas: An additional $120,000 of gross income from Altadonic procedures would have an incremental expense of approximately 25 percent, leaving 75 percent practice net income. Subtract 35 percent for the cost of labor (the doctor’s compensation for the procedure), and there is true profit of approximately 40 percent from this additional profit center.

In other words, the dentist just received a huge bonus! Besides the increased net income and profitability, the practice just became more valuable by an amount of 62 percent of the increase in production for the average practice.

Dr. Blaes: Earl, you’re a dentist and an MBA, and have been a practice broker since 1983. Is the Altadonics technique a viable new profit center?

Dr. Douglas: In this era, when many dentists no longer provide denture services because of the time and frustrations of old techniques that just don’t work, it’s refreshing to be able to offer such a successful service. And from a business standpoint, I see Altadonics as a very profitable, predictable, low-stress approach for dentists who want to safely increase their net income and practice value.

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