Change your practice

Oct. 1, 2008
In your dental office, you are the CEO. You're in charge of running the practice and making sure everything happens the way it's supposed to happen.

by Louis Malcmacher, DDS, MAGD

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: CEO of the dental practice, practice consulting, Dr. Louis Malcmacher.

In your dental office, you are the CEO. You're in charge of running the practice and making sure everything happens the way it's supposed to happen. In most other industries, and certainly with big companies, CEOs change from time to time. A new CEO brings a fresh way of looking at the business, a new way of dealing with customers, and certainly uses his or her past successes and experiences for the benefit of the new company.

As a consultant to many dental companies, when a new CEO comes into dentistry, I get a chance to sit down and give him or her an introduction into the dental industry. You see, we as a dental industry are different than just about every other industry out there. We think differently, work differently, and our business structure for dental practices is different than it is in other health care professions, such as medicine. Change can be very good, and it's nice to see fresh ideas hit the dental marketplace. These fresh ideas infuse our industry with new directions and leadership and can move us all to the next level.

Biolase Technologies, the makers of the Waterlase MD dental laser, welcomed Jake St. Philip as new CEO this year. Mr. St. Philip has worked in the medical equipment industry for a number of years and is a seasoned executive who quickly grasped the uniqueness of the dental industry. Jake is committed to integrating laser dentistry into every dentist's practice. His customer-first philosophy will help dentists accept laser dentistry in rapid fashion. One of the most recent innovations is the introduction of the Waterlase C100, a new introductory level hard- and soft-tissue laser that is very affordable. Now every dentist can easily afford to get into laser dentistry, which has enormous benefits to patients and the dental practice.

Nick Teti, who has experience as CEO of companies in the medical esthetics realm, is ideally suited to bring some new ideas and a fresh face to Denmat Holdings LLC, and the tremendous success Denmat has had with Lumineers. Nick is a bright, hard-working CEO who sees dentistry as a huge growth industry through expanding esthetic dental options for the marketplace. Building on the legendary Dr. Robert Ibsen's vision of minimally invasive esthetic dentistry, Nick will create new opportunities for dental professionals to broaden their horizons with more Lumineers restorative options that will take esthetic dentistry to new heights.

You and I, as owners of dental practices, are our own CEOs. How do we create the change needed to keep our dental offices fresh and create new ideas? Let's face it — we often get into our own ruts and can barely see beyond our handpieces, and we think that our practices will always be the way they currently are. Great CEOs hire consultants to help them implement change and view their companies with fresh eyes.

Here are two powerful ways to create positive change for your dental office.

1 Continuing education is a must for every dentist. Dental technology changes so rapidly that dentists must learn about it, and integrate it into their offices. 2 A practice management consultant can be an excellent choice to get you out of your rut and take your practice to the next level. My good friend, Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management, tells me that she sees this as her company's primary function when working with her clients. You need someone from the outside with fresh eyes to crunch your numbers, give you a kick in the pants, and show you painless ways to create positive change so that you can benefit from a practice that is growing and stress-free.

You as the dentist and CEO need to work in your practice and on your practice at the same time. Learn what is new in dentistry, get some consulting expertise to build your practice, and unlock the real potential in your practice.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a practicing general dentist and an internationally known lecturer, author, and dental consultant known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. An evaluator for Clinicians Reports, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. You can contact him at (440) 892-1810 or e-mail [email protected]. His Web site is, where you can find information about his lecture schedule, audio CDs, and free monthly e-newsletter.

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