Empower yourself with the skills

April 1, 2004
You may recall my article in the March 2003 issue of Dental Economics titled "Expand Your Horizons." In that article, I chronicled my journey through dental continuing education.

by Joe Blaes

You may recall my article in the March 2003 issue of Dental Economics titled "Expand Your Horizons." In that article, I chronicled my journey through dental continuing education. My point was to emphasize how important CE was to my success in dentistry and to encourage others to do the same.

The "Office of the Month" in the January 2004 issue of Dental Economics belongs to Dr. Alan Grodin. His office building will never appear in Architectural Digest. It is a small store front in a strip mall located in Clawson, Mich. This is small-town U.S.A. Alan had built a successful practice in Clawson, but he was not doing much in the way of cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. Grodin attended my two-day, hands-on veneer course that changed his practice forever! He understood the concepts of case selection, tooth preparation, the correct materials to use for aesthetic provisionals (such as the bisacryl materials like Luxatemp by Zenith, Protemp 3 Garant by 3M ESPE, Integrity by Dentsply Caulk, Temptation by Clinician's Choice and Systemp by Ivoclar Vivadent), the correct cementation technique, the correct cementation materials (such as Nexus 2 by Kerr Dental, Calibra by Dentsply Caulk, Variolink 2 by Ivoclar Vivadent, Rely X Veneer Cement by 3M ESPE), and the correct ways to control the gingival tissues so they are healthy when the case is finished.

Alan went back to his office and gathered his team together. He told them about this exciting course he had just attended. As a team, they watched my "Vituoso Veneers" videotape series and understood what was possible. They all became enthused and began to talk to patients about the options available to change their smiles. The rest is history. The practice was quickly doing at least two large cases a month and the production nearly doubled. Dr. Grodin's office is a happy place to work because the team is changing patients' lives.

That is the power of continuing education. You can turn your practice around if you are willing to invest some time and money in seminars that teach new and exciting aspects of dentistry. Of course, the key to doing what Dr. Grodin did is in the implementation. Nothing happens until the rubber hits the road or, in our case, until the drill hits the tooth. You must follow through.

Dentistry is changing every day. New products, new techniques, new equipment, and new ways to practice are being announced at the major dental meetings across the country. In the two days prior to the Chicago Midwinter Meeting, I talked to a dozen companies that wanted me to come by their booths to see new products they were launching at that meeting. Most of them have more than one new product. If you are going to keep up with the latest advances, you must attend continuing-education courses and read the journals that come to you on a regular basis.

Speaking of reading journals, be sure to catch Dr. Matt Bynum's new column in this issue. Matt will be sounding off every month from "The Soap Box." I know he will have some great stuff for you.

Empower yourself with the skills! Make dentistry fun! Your patients will love you for it!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: [email protected]
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500
Dr. Blaes will be a featured speaker at the World Aesthetic Congress to be held June 11-12 at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. The World Aesthetic Congress features a worldwide "Who's Who" lineup of speakers. For more information, call (800) 633-1681, send an email to [email protected],or visit www.dentistryseminars.com.

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