Welcome to the annual technology issue! Our cover story is a great discussion on what you should be doing today when you decide it is time to build a new facility or rehab an older one. My friends, Dr. Jeff and Pat Carter, have done an excellent job of providing some very good information about technology that you should consider installing today, or at least build in the space and proper wiring for a future installation. They have selected eight areas of technology they feel are important. For each area of technology, they will explain the usage benefits and the potential cost savings the technology will provide. I know you will gain some valuable information from a husband and wife team that has helped dentists for many years build offices that are efficient, effective, productive, serviceable, functional, and tastefully decorated.
During the years I've been in practice, I've built out five offices. One of them was a free-standing building, and the others were in leased spaces. I learned through the school of making mistakes, and then correcting them in the next office space I developed. My vision of dentistry changed over the years, and that affected the design as well. I did not have people helping me with the expertise that Jeff and Pat have. My projects would have been much better if I'd had that kind of help!
We need to consider not only the technology that we're installing today, but what we want in the future for our practices. My last office build out was back in 1992. Wow, that is 20 years ago! I've been able to install a lot of technology because I thought ahead and provided built-in channels so that wire could easily be run after the walls were closed. I also took lots of photos of what was in the walls before they were covered up. Be sure that the office reflects your values and vision.
This month marks the beginning of a new monthly feature in DE. Every month will feature a continuing education article that will allow you to take a test and gain CE credits. After these CE articles are published, they will be saved on the IneedCE.com website for easy access. The first article in this series will give you information on new esthetic "stainless steel" crowns. This is important information, since the stainless steel crown has become the treatment of choice for decayed anterior and posterior teeth. Dr. Carla Cohn has written an excellent article that will help you understand both the child's and the parent's need for an esthetic alternative to the metal crown. You will learn tooth preparation guidelines and treatment options for preformed metal crowns. Finally, you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of esthetic preformed metal crowns. This continuing education article is well documented with images of the procedure and an extensive bibliography. Now you can turn to DE to provide you with excellent run of the book continuing education articles every month.
I am fortunate that many companies in the dental industry look to me to evaluate new products for inclusion in my "Pearls for Your Practice" column. I am constantly on the lookout for new Pearls that will improve how you treat your patients. When I first joined Dental Economics, the summers were fairly quiet, but not now. I have spent the summer traveling to many dental company headquarters looking for new products to evaluate and possibly include in my column.
For those of you who might wonder, YES, I do still "work at the chair." I have what I call a "limited time practice," since I do a lot of traveling. I pick cases that I feel I will enjoy doing for people who will value the dentistry I do. This makes it a fun time to work and allows me to try many of the new treatments in dentistry. I do mostly full-mouth restorative dentistry for people who originally visit me for a new smile, but need the posterior teeth reconstructed first. I enjoy seeing the treatment all come together and the look on the patients' faces when they first see the final results. I get a lot of hugs!
We need to consider not only the technology that we're installing today, but what we want in the future for our practices.
Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
email: [email protected]