Welcome to the Dentist's Office

Welcome to the Dental Office blog. On this site we will share information on how we conquer the real-world challenges that we each face in our pursuit of running high-quality, successful, profitable and harmonious dental offices.

The Dental Blog invites you to share your knowledge, successes, failures and crazy stories with fellow dental professionals. Sharing our combined knowledge, we can each create our own unique dream practices.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Who Makes Financial Arrangements with the Patient and Who DOES NOT!

In a typical, well-run dental office treatment planning is the responsibility of the dentist and the financial arrangements are made by the front office staff members. It is vital that these two areas stay separate and neither side encroaches on the others area of authority.

As a dentist, I would not be happy if my front office staff changed my treatment plan for the patient – in fact – I would be mad. If a patient had financial challenges and could not arrange for the treatment we had agreed upon, then I needed to be brought back in to re-explain the treatment plan or plan an alternative approach that solved the patient’s issues. The treatment plan is not to be set by the front office staff – that was not their area of expertise or responsibility.

Likewise, the dentist should never be involved in setting fees, insurance, payment plans or other financial issues that are the front office staff’s area of responsibility. The dentist should be the passionate dental professional and not involved in the money matters (from the patient’s perspective). The staff are the people who know the insurance and understand the office’s financial policies. It is their job to set the plan and then execute it. They talk money and payments – you the dentist do not.

It the patients believe that they can go around the front office staff to change the financial arrangements with the dentist then you have taken all the power and authority away from the people tasked to collect the money. The staff cannot set plans or collect moneys effectively if the patients know they can ignore them and go straight to you – the dentist.

Your staff will resent you usurping their responsibility and complicating their job. Your daily life will be harder as the dentist/CEO if the patients are asking you to make financial arrangements and are asking you for special considerations.

Do yourself a favor and just say “NO”. Tell the patients that you are awful at all the financial stuff and would most likely just screw it all up. Tell them you are the wizard of the oral cavity but that your staff is people who know the insurance and other financial stuff. Tell them the staff can help you the right way and that you don’t even know how to turn the computer on. Kid around and point them back to the front office staff.

Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advanced Continuing Education Systems
www.aces4ce.com

Monday, September 5, 2016

Who is in Charge of YOUR Practice?

The dentist as a CEO is a strange arrangement. As dentist you are often the boss and co-worker at the same time. This places many dentists in the role of wanting to be a liked co-worker more than wanting to be an effective CEO.

If the dentist CEO worries too much about being liked by the staff then they cannot effectively run the office as they truly wish. They are always afraid of making changes that the staff won’t like and are worried about losing their popularity with the team. They are also worried about the staff making their day more difficult or giving them the cold-shoulder treatment.

I am NOT suggesting that the dentist CEO act as an authoritarian and not take into account the effects of change on the staff members but I am saying that ultimately the dentist CEO must make business decisions that let them reach their business goals. As the dentist CEO, you are responsible for setting the business strategy for your business.

Most dentist CEOs are sole practitioners, they have spent considerable time and money to go to school, purchase and build a practice. The success of this practice directly influences the financial future of their family. Being a wise CEO and looking at the long term success of the dental business is absolutely necessary.

Although it may be difficult, as dentist CEO you must be willing to make strategic business decisions that you know are good for the long term health of your business, even if they are not popular. Your dental staff depends upon your business to be successful for their employment, they will either get on board your decisions or in unusual cases – they will have to leave your practice.

Being CEO is a big responsibility. A lot of people depend upon your decisions – your family, staff, and others. You cannot delegate the success of your practice to staff. You should ask for input, access the pros and cons of change and then decide how best to proceed for the long term success of your business. Don’t be afraid to build the practice you desire – be bold – chase your vision – make your dental office one you are truly proud of. Charge!

Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advance Continuing Education Systems
www.aces4ce.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get Excited!

As the leader of your office, you set the tone. If you are not excited about your mission and goals, why should anyone else be. If you are fired up and excited abut making each day and case great then your staff will follow your lead.

Come in with energy and passion each day. Ask your staff to be their best. Try to do your best work each patient.

I see so many offices that appear to be zombie land. Everyone is just going through the motions. Ground Hog Day offices that aren't passionate about their work.

I would want to be treated by a doctor and staff that are highly motivated to do their best work. I would refer patients to an office that I thought was devoted to their craft.

Patients are more likely to accept your treatment plan when they believe you are really giving it your best.

You owe it to yourself, staff and patients to lead with your enthusiasm, energy and passion.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems
www.aces4ce.com

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Take CPR and Emergency Response Courses as a Team


One of the best ways to build a friendly, professional and competent team is to build trust within the group. Trust and respect within the group is a key element of building a dental team that will work well together over a long stretch of time.

A key to building team spirit and a tight bond is doing things outside the office a group. Learning proper CPR technique and how to handle medical emergencies as a team is an important safety component for your practice as well as a requirement for licensure in most states. Use this opportunity to grow your team unity.

CPR and hands-on medical emergency response courses give an opportunity for each team member to learn the same materials and to each assume an important role within the team unit in the case of a crisis.

I believe that these type courses should be attended as a team in a classroom setting (not via correspondence course) and the team should practice as a unit. It is fun to go through the materials together, to laugh at each other and to master the material together. Taking the material separately or online does not provide for this important interaction.

On a safety note, it is important that one team member be responsible for checking the emergency response equipment on a regular schedule and report back to the team the condition of the materials and remind everyone where the equipment is stored. All materials should be up-to-date.

One last thought – Some offices pay for their team’s continuing education and others do not, regardless of your office policy on paying for dental continuing education, I would suggest that the office pay for the CPR and emergency response course fees.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems
The largest provider of Live, Dental Continuing Education Webcasts in the world
www.aces4ce.com

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Looking for New Patients - Door-to-Door

When I first started my own private practice, I was short on two important things: cash & patients. I knew I had to do networking to help develop relationships in the community but that was going to be a long-term project. In the short-term I needed to do some form of advertising to get patients in the door.

Short on money, I used the one resource I had plenty of – time. I decided to print a free check-up and X-ray coupon and walk door to door in the area near my office. My marketing plan was not to just leave the flyer on the door but rather to knock on the door and personally deliver each flyer to the occupant.

Every day after work I would walk for about an hour and knock on doors. I would tell the people that I was a new dentist in the community and if they did not currently have a dentist that I would be happy to give them a free exam and X-rays for their entire family.

I figured I could knock on lots of doors each day but I found that I wound up talking to a lot of the people and only got a couple of dozen out each day. I had moms & dads ask me all kinds of questions and about dentistry for their kids. I had seniors ask about dentures and implants. I got all kind of questions. I started to hand out tooth brushes (with my name and office number on them) at the houses I visited.

The door-to-door marketing was working great and I was getting a lot of new patients. I even had a few dentists call me and ask me to stop soliciting their patients. I politely told them what I was saying as I went to each door and that I was truly not trying to take patients away from other dentists rather reach the 50% of people who did not have dentists. I also pointed out that other dentist flyers and other advertising went to my patient’s homes and that they did not seem to be bothered by that. I was marketing my practice – they were free to walk the streets too.

Although no other marketing project ever brought me more solid, long-standing patients than my walking campaign, I only did it that one year. Although many years have passed since my street-walking marketing campaign – the marketing would still work today. People WANT TO KNOW their dentist and people love to ask questions. If you are short on patients you might want to consider going door-to-door looking for them.

Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advanced Continuing Education Systems
www.aces4ce.com