Embrace change!

This month's cover story is about one of the winners of the 2013 Dental Office Design Competition, which is sponsored annually by Wells Fargo, Dental Economics, and the American Dental Association.

By Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

This month's cover story is about one of the winners of the 2013 Dental Office Design Competition, which is sponsored annually by Wells Fargo, Dental Economics, and the American Dental Association. There are a number of winners in different categories.

The Outstanding New Dentist Practice is the best new, remodeled, or expanded facility for the first practice owned by a doctor or group of doctors who have graduated dental school since 2003. The 2013 winners in this category are Jennifer Parrish, DDS, and Charles Parrish, DDS, of Parrish Dentistry in Llano, TX. They impressed the judges with their effective space planning and the use of the square footage available to meet the practice needs and objectives. I congratulate Drs. Charles and Jennifer Parrish (husband and wife) on their well-deserved award.

I know you will get a lot of great ideas for your practice by reading this article. I also encourage you to enter your office in the 2014 Dental Office Design Competition. You can get complete details at https://wellsfargo.com/dodc.

Don't delay! All entries must be postmarked by July 31, 2014. You could be a winner and appear on the cover of Dental Economics!

I attended the Chicago Midwinter Meeting in February and saw many new products that you will be hearing about in the coming months as I get a chance to use them in my practice. I have attended this meeting every year since I started practicing in St. Louis after spending two years in the U.S. Navy. In November of my first year of practice, my mentor called to ask if I was planning to attend the Chicago Midwinter. I told him that I could not afford to go. He said, "You cannot afford not to go." So I began my annual February trip to the Windy City. I have lost count of the hours of great CE credit I earned, but some of the best CE was at the bar after dinner. I always came home with lots of notes on bar napkins. I have a lot of good memories and some life-long friendships that were made during those cold winter nights in Chicago.

April is ORAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. I urge you to read our feature article, "Oral Cancer: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," by Lawrence A. Hamburg, DDS. Larry is an oral cancer survivor and has had a great learning experience. This is his opening paragraph:

"Six years after being diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma, I'm not dead! I don't believe it's a miracle that I beat a 22% survival rate (so far ... I do have prostate cancer now), but it is a miracle that I can speak www.icanspeakseminars.com, and for that I am very thankful. I've had time to think about what I could have done differently. During that time, I've become intimately acquainted with the issues limiting the success of dentists and other health-care providers in preventing oral cancer and have created the Oral Cancer Awareness Foundation www.4OrCA.org and its mission."

Also, check out the Oral Cancer Foundation at www.oralcancerfoundation.org.

I teach dental assistants and hygienists to be an asset to the dental practice and to question everything that they do. I want them to think outside the box and ask a lot of "what if" questions relating to how procedures are done. Many times that person sitting across the chair from you is smarter than you think. I have implemented a lot of ideas from auxiliaries that have made the office run smoother and chairside procedures faster, better, and easier. This reduces stress in the office and everyone goes home happier.

Over many years of practice I have found, without fail, that every time I have made a change, my production and collections have improved. Sometimes it has been by as much as 20% or 30%. This happened when I stopped seeing patients on Saturday, went from five days a week to four, opened a new office, went to a 13-day month, referred out services that I did not like to do, introduced veneers into my practice, gave my hygienist six veneers free (she remained in the practice 11 years and referred at least three or four veneer cases a week to me), and began placing mini-implants. (I urge you to check out a simplified implant system from OsteoReady. Go to http://osteoready.com .)

Take it from me: Learn to embrace CHANGE!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
email: joeb@pennwell.com

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