Dentistry needs a facelift

Feb. 1, 2010
In times of a recession, there are certainly a number of things that you should be doing for your dental practice.

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: practice facelift, continuing education, Botox, no prep veneers, Dr. Louis Malcmacher.

In times of a recession, there are certainly a number of things that you should be doing for your dental practice. As the economy finally recovers, hopefully we can look back and say there was a silver lining for dentistry and your office in 2009.

What is essential is that you take the time during this economic turnaround to give yourself and your practice a facelift. Dentists often ask me what to do during a recessionary time. To me the answer is obvious. They should have extra time on their hands because they're not as busy as they were before. Unfortunately, many dentists have squandered this time and just kind of folded their hands hoping for the best.

Smart dentists are the ones who took the opportunity to attend continuing education so they can offer their patients new services and train themselves and their teams on how to become better dental providers. What we have seen in the past is that during a recession, dentistry as an industry takes two steps back and 10 steps forward. Most of you will remember the market crash in 2000, and then the boom years between 2001 and 2007.

What areas should you concentrate on now to give your practice a facelift?

Here are some suggestions:

1 Learn faster, easier, and better restorative techniques. Restorative dentistry is the bread and butter of every dental practice and has kept us going during more difficult economic times. Self–etching bonding agents such as G Bond by GC America or One Coat Bond 7.0 by Coltene Whaledent are just a couple of examples of excellent self–etching bonding agents that can be used for a myriad of applications. You can get great posterior composite contact with the V3 Ring by Triodent. One of the fastest and strongest LED lights, the new Valo by Ultradent, will drastically reduce your curing time. With the right equipment and materials, you won't have to do these restorations over and you'll save a lot of time.2 A laser in every practice — Laser dentistry has been growing as more patients have found out that dentistry can be done without the dreaded shot. Consumer demands for minimally invasive techniques will push most dentists to incorporate some kind of laser into their practices. I've been using the Powerlase AT Laser by Lares Dental very successfully, as it has the two proper wavelengths for excellent hard and soft tissues. 3 Botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal filler therapy for every dental practice — Over half of state dental boards are allowing dentists into the arena of total facial esthetics. This presents a tremendous opportunity for dentists to expand their dental practices and the services they provide to enhance and complete esthetic dental cases, and adjunctively treat TMJ and bruxism like they have never been able to before. 4 No prep/minimal prep veneers — Esthetic dentistry has had its ups and downs, but in this economic recovery esthetic dentistry will grow quickly because so many patients are aware of the esthetic dental options available. New advances like Aurum Ceramic Cristal Veneers will rapidly expand this market, as most patients look for conservative ways to permanently receive great looking smiles.

Now is one of the most unique times we have had in recent dental history to receive training in new areas that can add to the services we can provide our patients. The trend is definitely toward more conservative and comprehensive dental and facial esthetic restorative treatment. If you missed this opportunity to get retrained, you can still have a good dental practice if you take the time to seize this opportunity now. Only then will you have a dental practice of the future instead of a dental practice of the past.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a practicing general dentist and internationally known lecturer, author, and dental consultant regarded for his comprehensive and entertaining style. An evaluator for CLINICIANS REPORT, Dr. Malcmacher is president of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. Contact Dr. Malcmacher at (440) 892–1810 or send him an e–mail to [email protected]. Sign up for a free monthly e–newsletter on his Web site at www.commonsensedentistry.com.

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