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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Spark Plug Employees

Every once in a while I interview a person for a dental job and that person has a BIG personality. They are happy, smile, make jokes and generally are vibrating at a higher rate than the typical person. I almost always hire this kind of person on the spot.

I love to have employees that are simply fired up and give off positive energy – that smile and laugh and make the entire office more fun – more fun for the staff and more fun for the patients. I can teach an RDA to become better at some of the technical aspects of their job but rarely can I teach a highly skilled person to have a bigger personality.

I look back upon my many decade career and can point to the years where I had spark plug employees as some of the most fun and highly productive segments of my career. I know some offices that try to shy away from hiring employees with big personalities and tend to hire more vanilla/quite types. I say – GO BIG! Hire people that have personalities and like to chat with the patients. Yes – the person has to be mature and know the bounds of professional conversation – just set ground rules

I have been blessed with having a good number of spark plug employees over the years. I want to surround myself with employees that are fired up, alive and happy. I want that energy permeating my practice.

Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Monday, December 5, 2016

School Fairs and Local Events

I LOVE doing school fairs, city events and participating in all the local happenings in my community. We buy booths, hand out tooth brushes, healthy candy and all kinds of fun things that people actually like. We educate, we participate we are part of our community.

I know a lot of offices that don’t participate in these types of community events because they do not see a direct path to a revenue source. They do not see where the short term ROI on investment is going to come from.

Yes – events cost money. You spend to sponsor the booth, you hand out free items and you might even need to pay your staff for their participation. All this takes time, money and planning. If you are looking for a short term boost in revenue this would not be your promotional vehicle. These community participations are about LONG TERM office building. You are making an investment into the community and building your reputation as a member of the greater community.

My office was always known for doing all the elementary school hygiene instruction courses and giving out goodies – the local principles would know they could count on our office to be a willing participant. We could be counted to participate in every street fair, park event, local race, just about any event that had booths or needed volunteers. We were physically a present member of our community.

Over time, we became known as the ‘dental office’ of our community. People thought of US first because we were a friend to them over the years. So my advice, you can’t participate enough in your community events – do them all. They are fun and over time you will become the dentist of your community – that is amazing long-term ROI.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

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

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Praise in Public

If you want to develop a loyal, respectful  and compitent staff, make sure that you take time to praise their accomplishments publically. Just as important, make sure that when you need to speak to a staff member about correcting behaviors or mistakes – that you do this discretely and privately.

As dentists and CEOs of our businesses, we are all very busy. We often just expect our staff to do things right. We don’t stop to think about praising them for correctly “doing their job”. We only notice our staffs when they make mistakes or act out of step with our practice philosophy.

Try to catch your staff doing things right and publicly praising them for doing their job as you expect. Your staff will feel very positive about being praised in front of patients and other staff members. It might feel foreign to praise people for simply doing things as expected but it will start to feel good to do. Your staff will love you for noticing them and for telling others that they are good at what they do.

On the other hand, try with all your might not to criticize your staff in front of patients and other staff members. Keep your cool when things go wrong and make note to talk to the staff member privately later about the mistake or issue that needs to be corrected. Never talk down to your staff, never make your staff feel incompetent – rather reinforce that you like them as a person and just want to work on one area of their performance to help bring it up to the expected level.

After advising a staff member on how to correct an area of problem, look for reason to praise them in their performance in the next few days. Especially look to see if they are working to improve the area you spoke to them about. Make sure you mention you notice the improvement and appreciate the effort.

Staff members are people with feelings. We all want to feel we are doing a good job and appreciated. We all want to avoid being publically embarrassed. As dentist/CEO it is up to you to set the tone for your practice. Look for things your staff are doing right and let them know you notice and appreciate their competence and professionalism.
Dr. Corey Gold
President  - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Don't Worry be Happy

It is very easy to get lost in minute by minute activity in our offices to lose the enjoyment of our chosen profession. We often focus on the late patient, the grumpy patient, the accounts receivable, the lab work that needs to be redone, the staff members who are squabbling and all the other daily noise of our offices and miss the big picture that we enjoy the work we do and the people we work with.

I hear from so many colleagues that they used to love going to their office but now dread it. It is easy to get worn down by daily challenges and miss the good things that happen each day.
My advice to all my burned out friends – try to remember why you became a dental professional and the fun you had when you first started treating patients. Try to take a moment each morning before you start your first patient to set a goal to smile more, do exceptional work and find satisfaction in your daily accomplishments.

Don’t worry – be happy!
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Educaiton Systems

Monday, January 11, 2016

Private Practice vs Group Practice

There was a time when all physicians were private practitioners, today most doctors work in groups to be cost effective. Is this same phenomenon headed towards dentistry?

Today you see more and more dental groups. Often these groups contain a few general practitioners working as a collective. More recently you start to see dental groups that include a few specialists with many general dentists.

The trend is that there are and will be fewer single dental offices and there will be more groups and mega-groups in the future. The economics of dentistry is driving this model at warp speed.

Why would a single dentist want to rent 2,000 square feet and put in 5 dental chairs when a team of five dentist can use 3,000 square feet and 10 chairs. By grouping the dentist in the group is only paying for 600 square feet and 2 chairs - but has access to everything.

Why would a single dentist want to hire 4 staff members when a group can function with 10 staff members - thus paying for only 2 staff members?

Why would the Brits want to have live phone hours 40 hours a week when the group phone will be manned 70 hours a week?

With the complexities of insurance continually increasing, the group can afford to hire a t quality person to handle this area.

Dental groups is the direction that delivery of dentistry is heading. It is not a better direction or a worse direction - it is just the more economically feasible system.

Sad but the day of the sole practitioner is going the way of dial up Internet and fax machines - they will still be around and work but you will see less of them each year.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems