Bring on those dazzling smiles!

In June, I had the great pleasure of lecturing at the Discus Dental Extravaganza in Las Vegas.

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Th 187344
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In June, I had the great pleasure of lecturing at the Discus Dental Extravaganza in Las Vegas. This is a great meeting! Dr. Bill Dorfman and Robert Hayman do a wonderful job of bringing everyone together and making them feel right at home. Dr. Phil, of TV fame, was the keynoter and spoke with enthusiasm to a group that was already energized and raring to go. As a speaker, it is sheer joy to participate with dynamic, well-informed, dedicated dental colleagues who continue to strive to be the best and do the best for their patients.

How do you achieve this level of excitement from a dental team? The “I can’t wait to get back to the office and do it better” attitude? One of the ways is to attend a dental meeting with the entire staff. If you have never taken your team to a dental meeting, you might consider starting a “trip fund” to achieve this goal. The team building, coupled with the opportunity to really get to know one another outside of the work environment, translates into high energy and super productivity back at the office.

During the meeting, there were ongoing demonstrations of Zoom!® in-office whitening. Of course, everyone at the meeting had a dazzling smile - we would expect nothing less. Whether they choose in-office or take-home whitening treatments, patients want whiter teeth and a brighter smile.

The hygiene department is a huge “driver” for production increases in this area. When recall is operating effectively, the hygienist sees the patient over time and, as a result, personal and professional relationships develop. Patients often look to the hygienist for help in decision-making and will often ask for feedback. “What do you think? What would you do?” are frequently asked questions.

With this in mind, here are some ideas for initiating and prompting conversation to set the stage for smile enhancement.

First and foremost are the visuals. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Before-and-after photos visibly displayed in the treatment room have a tremendous impact. In addition, audio visual aids, such as CAESY patient-education programs, tell it all. I also recommend that clinical assistants use the “wait” time after the doctor has given the anesthetic to turn on or open the “picture book.” Allow patients to ask questions, be prepared to present the fee, and discuss any “specials” you may have that might make it easier for your patients to receive a beautiful smile.

Create special offerings and advertise them. For example, as fall approaches, people begin to think about holiday gift giving. Create signs announcing gift certificates now available for tooth whitening - i.e., “Give the Gift of Love. Ask us about tooth-whitening gift certificates.” Add this gift suggestion to all statements and any correspondence sent from your office. In my consulting travels this summer, I was pleased to see the following announcement running across the computer screen in a treatment room, “Ask us about our Summer Tooth-Whitening Special Offer.”

Dr. Tom Novak in Weatherford, Texas, offers complimentary tooth whitening to every patient who refers a new patient. This has become one of the driving forces behind his 65 to 75 new patients per month.

Should you decide on a trip fund, consider using a portion of the increased production dollars generated from tooth-whitening procedures as the basis of the fund. Discuss these ideas with your team and if they get excited (as they should), then pick the meeting and the place ... and most of all, have fun!

Annette Ashley Linder, BS, RDH, is a recognized leader in the field and an award-winning speaker and consultant. She is a featured speaker at dental meetings and provides in-office consulting services with her team of business and clinical consultants. She may be reached at her Web site at, via e-mail at, or by phone at (772) 546-2207.

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