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Pearls for the New Practice

Aug. 1, 2007
I have often been asked by new graduates about what they will need to start a practice.

by Joe Blaes, Editor

I have often been asked by new graduates about what they will need to start a practice. Here are some ideas to make plans for a good start on the way to a successful practice.

From left: Gendex, Dexis, Schick, Kodak, Suni
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1) At some point you will need a digital radiography system. This technology is great for instant radiographs displayed on a computer monitor. These images can be enlarged and enhanced by the computer software. They can then be saved to the patient’s electronic record or e-mailed to a specialist for treatment or for consultation. Shop carefully - remember that many high-tech items tend to have a lot of hype associated with them. Talk to your mentor or other dentists who have systems before you start looking for a system. Contact companies such as Dexis Digital X-ray (, Gendex Imaging (, Kodak Dental Systems (, Schick Technologies (, and Suni Medical Imaging (

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2) One of the big problems in clinical dentistry is isolation. In order to properly restore teeth you need light, suction, something to keep the tongue out of the way, and something to help the patient stay open. The Isolite dryfield illuminator ( does it all for you with a soft, single-use mouthpiece that provides a bite block, a tongue and cheek retractor, upper and lower suction, and an LED light source all built into a compact, easy-to-use device. Isolite will allow you or your hygienist to work alone comfortably.

From left: Surgitel, Designs for Vision, Orascoptic
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3) If you have used magnification in dental school, continue to use it in your practice. It is imperative that you see what you’re doing. I believe one of the biggest problems in dentistry is prepping teeth without magnification. How can you do it correctly if you cannot see the tooth? If you are looking for magnifiers, I suggest you contact Designs for Vision (, Orascoptic (, or Surgitel (

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4) Few things in dentistry are more critical and yet more frustrating than taking excellent diagnostic-quality radiographs. Far too often the dentist is faced with the choice of retakes or compromising with radiographs that are cone cut, overlapped, foreshortened, or elongated. The ADA estimates that 25 to 40 percent of the radiographic images taken by general dental offices are retakes! What a blessing it would be to take an X-ray knowing that it will be perfect each and every time. For the first time, dentists can easily and quickly eliminate alignment errors in the production of radiograph images with the Tru-Align Positioning System. This is a fail-safe system for taking accurate radiographs 100 percent of the time with no mistakes! Moreover, this Tru-Align unit produces much sharper images, containing more diagnostic information, faster than ever before. To top off these achievements, the system reduces the radiation you, your staff, and your patients are exposed to by 70 to 80 percent. These remarkable benefits - superior diagnostics, perfect alignments, and dramatically reduced radiation exposure - are achieved by the Tru-Align system regardless of whether you use film or digital sensors. For more information, go to or call (866) 343-9729.

Protemp Crown
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5) You and your assistants will be thrilled because Protemp Crown will forever simplify making posterior temporary crowns. This temporary material is made of a new class of composite material that will amaze you. This material is preformed into a single-unit composite temporary crown for permanent teeth. The impression for a matrix, the dispensing guns, and the messy smear layer are all things of the past! This is a fast, simple, and easy technique. Pick a Protemp Crown from nine size choices. They are sufficient to cover upper and lower molars, and bicuspid and cuspids with good fit because of wax-like malleability and easy adaptation process before light curing. With a little practice, Protemp Crown Temporization Material allows you to fabricate a single-unit temporary crown in less than four minutes. Order from your dealer or go to for more information.

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