Frequently when I lecture, I am asked an interesting question about the title of my courses. The two most popular courses that I give are called “Advanced Esthetic Dentistry for Every Dental Practice” and “Advanced Practice Management for Every Dental Practice.” I then go on to teach what I consider fairly simple and easy techniques to accomplish esthetic dentistry procedures faster, simpler, and better. The same is absolutely true for practice-management topics, such as overhead control, financial management, and motivating patients to proceed with treatment. I believe we have so overcomplicated some of the issues in both of these areas that we have really lost sight of what we are trying to accomplish.
Let’s take some examples from the practice-management arena. I have read so many articles over the past 25 years that have told me the “best way” to set up accounts receivables in my office and how to extend patients credit. This has led to nothing but trouble in the dentist-patient relationship.
Dentists should do the work and patients should pay us - I really do think it should be that simple! If patients need to pay it out, then we can help them get some outside financing, such as CareCredit®. My life and the patient’s life are much easier when money is removed from the equation. I was never good at being a banker, and when I tried to be a banker, I was very poor and miserable. Dentists always ask me if it’s really that easy to use outside financing and the answer is yes. Advanced practice management does not make practice administration more difficult. Advanced techniques are designed to make your life simpler and easier.
When it comes to advanced esthetic dentistry, two things come immediately to mind. First, Crest Whitestrips®Supreme is an easy solution to your patients’ whitening needs. Where it fits in best in my office is the cases where patients have lost their trays and now want to rewhiten after they have had some relapse. Another important area is giving a box of Crest Whitestrips Supreme to every patient who has a one-hour whitening.
Instead of making patients trays to help boost the one-hour whitening and take it over the top, Whitestrips is a much easier solution to those who think one-hour whitening isn’t giving them the best results. There is no question that Whitestrips can easily take the place of tray-whitening. The kind of whitening that patients will want from your office is one-hour whitening, so it is imperative that you offer some kind of system, such as ZOOM 2 or the Lumineer’s Smile Beautification System.
Certainly, one of the most visible areas of esthetic advanced dentistry is learning how to do no-preparation or minimal preparation veneers called Lumineers™. By doing some cosmetic contouring and preserving as much enamel as possible, most of these Lumineer cases are now being done without any injections, temporaries, or the complications or sensitivity involved when you cut into dentin. I tell dentists all the time that if they prepare teeth for veneers, this will be the easiest and most dramatic change they will make in the way they practice esthetic dentistry. Every dentist has the skill set to do Lumineers because they are the easiest way to do veneers. When you do advanced porcelain veneers, you make your life and the patient’s life much easier. Lumineer cases will continue to increase exponentially as more and more patients learn about this easy and beautiful way to do porcelain veneers through DenMat’s consumer advertising.
You can certainly tell from my articles and lectures that I am bent toward a conservative and minimally invasive approach, whether it is veneers, lasers, whitening, or any area of dentistry. One great place to learn about what is new, advanced, and minimally invasive is the World Conference of Minimally Invasive Dentistry meeting Aug. 16-19 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Seattle, Wash. There you can learn from the best and the brightest in dentistry about how to change the way you practice and your patients’ lives with the new techniques available today. The future is definitely here, and you can learn about the many advancements at the WCMID meeting. Check out the Web site at www.wcmid.com. Hope to see you there!
Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988. For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810, or via e-mail at email@example.com.