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Why wait for success?

Oct. 1, 2007
American poet and visionary Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “How much of human life is lost in waiting?”

by Brad Durham, DMD

American poet and visionary Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “How much of human life is lost in waiting?” The same philosophy can be applied to updating equipment at the dental office, and maybe even altered a bit by modern dental philosophers to read, “How much of office time, money, and patients are lost by waiting?” While some offices’ financial circumstances may mandate waiting for a change, many just need a bit of encouragement to take full advantage of all the cutting-edge technology that can transform an office into an exceptional and successful practice. Make your mantra “Don’t wait.”

Technology paves the way to practice success
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Don’t wait to develop your exceptional practice! Implementing technology can be your first step, or your next step. Decide on the type of practice you want and begin building it from daydreams into reality.

Don’t wait to take advantage of tax incentives! Besides their clinical responsibilities, dentists must also wear the hat of business owner. New government incentives provide relief so that taxes don’t take such a huge bite out of the budget. Dental offices can now expense items such as dental units, digital radiography systems, computers, software, furniture, and fixtures. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations to expense the full amount of the investment in the year in which it was added to the business. There is no need to wait for a five-to-seven-year depreciation period for payback on your investment. Ask your accountant about the benefits today.

Don’t wait for developing! The new digital systems allow dentists, assistants, and administrative staff to coordinate more quickly and efficiently with each other, with insurance companies, and with other dentists. Digital radiography eliminates the need for developing traditional X-ray film. The darkroom becomes a relic of the past, and your monitors beam your practice into the future. Digital radiography offers immediate availability to images, quick retakes, and the capability to present X-rays in a variety of formats. Clean, crisp images can be securely transmitted to insurance companies or referring dentists with a keystroke, without wasting time copying traditional X-rays and mailing or faxing them.

Don’t wait for increased patient acceptance and referrals! Word-of-mouth referrals are priceless, and so is a positive first impression. Patients appreciate the shorter appointment times you can provide using digital technology. They appreciate not nervously waiting in the chair while their X-rays are being developed. When images of patients’ dentition are immediately displayed on your monitor, you can home in on individual areas of concern. Patients become fully aware of their conditions and of your practice’s high level of care. They appreciate that the appointment is focused on quickly catering to their dental issues - not just waiting around for a diagnosis. A light box and film can’t compete with the experience of viewing digital images on state-of-the-art equipment. If patients are enthusiastic about your practice, they will influence others to seek the same standard of care.

The time is now. Back to Emerson’s hypothesis - how much of your practice’s profitability, appointment time, and labor costs are lost in waiting? After advanced and affordable technologies are implemented, you won’t have to wait for positive results. Practice costs will go down, team morale will rise, and case acceptance and referrals will increase.

Quit waiting! Take the next step toward becoming an exceptional practice now.

Dr. Brad Durham has practiced dentistry for 25 years with an emphasis on the treatment of head, neck, and facial pain, dental cosmetics, and complex dental reconstruction. His practice combines art, science, and technology with personalized care. He is a clinical and featured instructor at the Las Vegas Institute, and was the first in the world to earn the LVI Mastership award for esthetic reconstruction. Dr. Durham teaches a series of courses titled “The Niche Practice” at LVI and his home in Savannah, Ga. Contact him at [email protected] and

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