Challenges topic of lab conference

The last two weeks have been filled with the Chicago Midwinter Meeting and the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration (AADPA).

by Joe Blaes

The last two weeks have been filled with the Chicago Midwinter Meeting and the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration (AADPA). Chicago was very interesting this year. I was invited to attend a Dental Laboratory Technology Conference, along with leaders from dental manufacturers, dental laboratory education and certification, dental laboratories, and dentistry. The purpose of the meeting was:

To identify and discuss the major challenges facing dental laboratory technology, and

To develop potential solutions for the challenges.

It was a very intense day-and-a-half meeting with many different opinions voiced and discussed. The meeting ended with assignments being made for midyear reporting and a commitment to attend another session before the 2006 Chicago Midwinter.

I was excited to be invited to speak at the 140th Chicago Midwinter Meeting. My first speaking assignment was a unique question-and-answer panel discussion on the latest information regarding anterior restoration options, based solely on questions from the audience. The moderator was Dr. Gordon Christensen, and the panelists included me, Dr. David Garber, Dr. Roger Levin, Dr. Fred S. Margolis, and Dr. Clifford J. Ruddle. We spent 55 minutes on direct composites, 55 minutes on veneers, and 55 minutes on crowns. It was fast-paced, as the audience responded with a huge number of questions. I would say we answered over 200 questions during the three-hour session. When our time was up, the room was still full and the audience was very pleased with the results. The panel had a good time as well.

I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning speaking to rooms full of clinical assistants, who were extremely focused on the program. They were excited to learn about the latest products to use in their practices. They asked excellent questions and were a wonderful group of people. Another terrific Chicago Midwinter!

I arrived home from Chicago on Sunday at 6 p.m., repacked my suitcase, and Sue and I headed out for the airport at 6 a.m. on Monday. We were traveling to Orlando and the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Resort for the AADPA annual meeting. This was an outstanding meeting with some wonderful speakers! I often call this meeting the best kept secret in dentistry.

I was installed as president at the Saturday luncheon. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to next year’s meeting, which will be at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California. I can promise you an exciting meeting with something for everyone. Come hear speakers such as Nido Qubein, Dr. John Kois, Dr. Robert Cialdini, Pam Smith, Karen Reisman, Adrian Jurim, Dr. Gordon Gunn, Brian Hufford, Annette Ashley Linder, Dr. Burt Press, Dr. Arlen Lackey, Dr. Larry Emmott, Dr. Tom McDougal, Linda Miles, Lois Banta, Andrea Classen, Debra Engelhardt-Nash, Dr. Bud Sipko, and Karin Sipko. Mark your calendars now and join me for this outstanding meeting. Call Kathy Uebel at (847) 934-4404 for more information.

If you are accepting charge cards in your office, then read on. For the eighth time in two years, Visa and MasterCard have raised their rates. This rate increase will significantly affect dentists because of the new “Rewards” category. This category is for credit cards where the user receives some form of reward for using the card. Due to the size of dental transactions, consumers are more likely to use them at your practice.

The problem comes in how your processor decides to place them within your price structure. Most processors will use this increase to raise their profitability. Since most merchants don’t understand the intricacies of credit card processing, you may not realize you are being overcharged. The greatest potential for abuse is with processors who have offered rates at or below 1.63 percent before or after the rate increase - so be careful!

Let Payamerica of Illinois do a free analysis of your current credit card processing statement to be sure you are not being overcharged. I saved money with them and so will you. Be sure to mention that you read about Payamerica in Dental Economics to receive the special price. Call Leo toll free at (877) 684-5785 to review your savings.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor - email:
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500

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