Confronting the Oevil menace?

This month?s editorial comes to you from the lush, sunny shores of Poipu, Kauai, where my wife and I are enjoying a few days off to recharge and renew. I am writing this at 5:30 in the morning so we don?t miss any beach time. A fresh breeze is blowing in, carrying with it the wonderful, clean smell of the ocean. It is quiet except for the ever-present sound of waves crashing into the rocky shore. It?s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

e-mail: joeb@pennwell.com

This month?s editorial comes to you from the lush, sunny shores of Poipu, Kauai, where my wife and I are enjoying a few days off to recharge and renew. I am writing this at 5:30 in the morning so we don?t miss any beach time. A fresh breeze is blowing in, carrying with it the wonderful, clean smell of the ocean. It is quiet except for the ever-present sound of waves crashing into the rocky shore. It?s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

While at the beautiful Scottsdale Princess Resort (in Arizona) last weekend, I attended a meeting of a group that calls itself OgenR8TNext.O This group of dentists hopes to represent and influence the next generation of dentists ? the future of dentistry. Of course, this is the group of dentists that everyone is interested in, including the ADA, dental manufacturers, and distributors, and dental publications. We all want to be influencers of this group of young people who are entering practice at a very exciting time.

This ODesert StormO meeting was inspiring with its many choices of speakers on both Friday and Saturday. The program was designed to help dentists plan a strategy for fee-for-service practices. Managed care, Delta Dental, and the insurance industry were viewed as the enemies of dentistry. Almost every speaker had something to say about combating the Oevil menace.O The ADA also took its share of bashing, since it has been unable to thwart this Oevil menace.O

OJust say no!O to the Oevil menace.O In other words, don?t sign up for any plans, and they will go away. I view this reaction to the forces that are impacting dentistry today to be simplistic. I am a firm believer in being proactive in everything we do and thoroughly understanding what is happening in the world around us. Many entities actively try to change the way we practice dentistry. Yet, most dentists know nothing about these organizations.

The traditional Ojust say noO resolution to managed care and insurance intervention may not have the desired outcome if an insurance company buys practices around you. Or, perhaps, a managed care company opens new practices in your community. The dental management companies (DMSOs), which are backed by Wall Street, are buying practices with a very seductive sales pitch. Many DMSOs are promising to be fee-for-service practices, but will they stay that way?

I feel that Drs. Mike Maroon and Anthony Vocaturo are doing a great service with their genR8TNext organization, and I know that they will do their best to educate the young dentists so that, armed with knowledge, they can make proactive decisions about the future of dentistry.

In this month?s issue, be sure to read the four articles on cosmetic dentistry and how to position your practice for this niche market.

Lately, your clinical assistants, hygienists, and business assistants have been telling me that they never get to read Dental Economics. There are many articles in every issue that these people should be reading. Either make copies for them or pass the magazine around the office!

The Levin Group has announced the 3rd Annual Practice of the Year contest co-sponsored with Dental Economics. I urge you to submit an entry this year. Many practices have told us that putting together the application is a great team-building exercise. In addition, The Levin Group and RDH magazine (a PennWell publication) are launching a new program, the Preventive Practice of the Year.

One of our regular columnists, Dr. Michael Miller, has received the AACD?s highest award for his OOutstanding Contributions to the Art and Science of Cosmetic Dentistry.O Congratulations, Michael!

One final FYI: Apparently, Delta Dental of Missouri doesn?t like me anymore. They cancelled their financial support of a state district dental society annual meeting when they found out that I was the speaker. The membership was not too happy!

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