By Joe Blaes
This past week (the first week of August), an interesting thing took place. As most of you probably already know, the ABC television network show, "Extreme Makeover," has been a great success, drawing a sizable audience. The basic idea is to bring together a group of specialists to do a makeover on a patient. One of these specialists is a dentist.
Over at the Las Vegas Institute, Mike Gergen, the marketing director, decided that this show would be a great place for a group of dentists who were interested in making over smiles to place an ad. He contacted many of the graduates of the Institute with his idea. The response was overwhelming! With the help of Ivoclar Vivadent, an ad was put together and time was bought on this nationally televised show.
Last Tuesday, the show aired and the ad was seen by millions of people across the country. The response has been far greater than Mike ever imagined. Many people have called to ask where they can go to have their smiles improved and they have been referred to dental offices.
I have talked to a number of dentists who are contacting specialists in their own communities to discuss doing their own extreme makeovers. In most instances, the medical people were unaware of some of the options that are available in dentistry. This may be something that you could try in your own community. If you are not sure how to do it, read the article on page 54 by Dr. Tom Hedge. Dr. Hedge has already done a couple of cases and has outlined the steps that you can take to do the same in your community. This could be an opportunity to actually change someone's life by changing his or her smile. Remember, an opportunity is never lost; it is just found by someone else!
You can take advantage of these types of opportunities only if you created a vision for your dental practice. It is a leader's (that's you!) job to look into the future and to see the organization (your practice) not as it is, but as it can become. The next step is bringing your team together to work toward this common vision. The leader must be able to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Kodak and PracticeWorks®
A couple of weeks ago, Kodak announced that it intends to buy PracticeWorks®. This is the biggest technology acquisition in the history of dentistry and it has huge implications for the market. In one move, Kodak has now integrated the dental division into the digital radiography market. Now Kodak can offer a complete line of dental-imaging products, along with a practice-management system for storing the images. It will be interesting to watch how this all plays out in the future. I think it will be a benefit to our profession to have a company with Kodak's reputation in the marketplace.
The travel schedule has not let up this summer. I attended an outstanding Dental Manufacturers Association meeting in Hershey, Pa., this past week. Today, I am traveling to the West Coast for a series of meetings. As I travel and talk to many dentists, I am impressed by the resiliency of dentistry in these tough economic times.
The Digital Dentist
I have felt the need to have more information on dental office management software. I am happy to introduce you to Dr. Lorne Lavine, whose new column, "The Digital Dentist," will appear monthly. I know that you will be impressed by some of his solutions to your software problems. Check out the new column on page 102.
One last thought. You can make a difference if you take the initiative and lead the way!
Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500