Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
In early August, I attended the grand opening of a state-of-the-art, 22,000-square-foot learning center - the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. My hat is off to Dr. Bill Dickerson for having the vision and providing the leadership necessary to bring his dream into reality. LVI`s new facility is a center that was designed solely with dental education in mind. The ambience of the building reflects the institute`s mission to teach "profitable, fee-for-service" dentistry. I am a believer in providing our patients with the best and finest, including getting the metal out of restorative dentistry. If you want to provide this service to your patients, you won`t find a better place to get the training than LVI. Call them today and get started making your dreams become a reality.
By the time you receive this issue, we will know who holds the new record for home runs. As I write this, the question is not whether or not the record will be broken, but by how many and who will be the record holder - Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals or Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs. I will be rooting for the "Big Mac" whose father, John, is a dentist from Southern California. This competition has been great for baseball. The baseball hero has returned.
Many dentists seem to think that they compete with one another. There seems to be a great urge to compare our practices with others in our own city or across the country.
How many times can you remember a colleague asking what you charge for a crown? Do you tell the truth? Do you make it higher because you want to feel good? Does this increase self-worth? After you have disclosed your fees or your monthly production, do colleagues disclose their fees? Do you believe what they told you? What is the point anyway? For too long, dentists have been setting fees based on what the competition is charging. We all should be evaluating our fees at least annually (hopefully more often than that), based on sound business principles of time and cost to provide the service.
Since most of the services we provide are discretionary, our real competition is other discretionary services like a face lift, a tummy tuck, a new car, a vacation, a new diamond, or a digital camera. I know that if I visited most of your offices, I would find a copy of People magazine in your reception rooms. This magazine is crammed full of advertising for your patients` discretionary dollars, and you pay to have it delivered to your office on a weekly basis. Amazing!
In my practice, I have found that most of the problems I have had over the years stem from a lack of communication skills. It took me a few years to figure this out, and then I began to seek out courses that would teach me the skills I was lacking. I have attended tons of communication and behavioral courses. I have applied much of what I have learned and have seen a tremendous amount of change in my relationships with my patients. In short, I am a firm believer in learning as much as you can about the process.
Two weeks ago, I took a terrific communication course from a great teacher. I attended Dr. Paul Homoly`s "Speaking of Den-tistry" course with the specific idea of improving my seminar presentation skills; I was not expecting any connection to the dental practice. Paul had a mixed audience of speakers and practicing dentists. He was able to help all of us become better speakers no matter if our audience was a large group or a single patient whom we were presenting a case to. Paul is an extremely gifted person who can help anyone become better at communication. Even the most gifted speaker could benefit from Paul`s coaching. Call Paul at (800) 294-9370 and get the details on his next course. It was a life-changing event for me! Be sure to see Paul`s article on "Mars and Venus in Dental Office" on page 28.
Stop by our booth at the ADA meeting in San Francisco and say, "Hi." Or, better yet, attend one of my lectures. I will be speaking on Friday afternoon at the High Tech Day and on Monday morning. I hope to see you there!