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 28, 2015

The Walls Have Ears

Every staff member needs to be aware that patients can most often hear what staff members are saying in other parts of the office.

Private conversations between staff or staff and patients can be overheard by people throughout the office.

Now that everyone has cell phones, private conversations are also heard by patients as well.

Your patients need to see the office as being professional and trustworthy. Make sure your staff fully understands that what they see is heard by others. That their behavior is being judged all the time.

I had my staff members sit in the operatories when I made a phone call from the break room and they all heard the call. My staff now goes out back if the have to make a call that they would not want being overheard by others.

Just be aware, the walls have ears.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Handling After Hour Patient Calls

What do you do what a patient calls in the evening or weekend with a problem or question?

Nothing can be more maddening for a patient (or worse - mother of a patient) than to have a challenge and have no one to talk to about it. What happens to your patients when your office closes?

Many patients will have concerns and call the dental office but not feel their situation is an 'emergency' worth of disturbing you. What does your voicemail instruct patients to do with challenges that are not emergencies?

I suggest you look at having a voicemail box that sends you a text message and email. Our patients can be told on the office voicemail that if they have an after hour challenge that they can leave you a voice mail and you will receive a text of their issue.

You receive the text and can decide if you want to call the patient back or wait until the morning to deal with the situation. If you are in the movie or a kid's school performance you can choose to wait to deal with the situation.

A call back on a patient question can go a long way into build a strong relationship with your patient. Just knowing that you are available to your patients will help set their mind at ease.

Get a new voicemail system that will allow you to set up an afterhours mailbox. The patients can leave regular messages on the normal voicemail but can also select the alert the dentist voicemail option. This option I'll send you a text and email.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

You are never private on Facebook & Twitter

Be careful what you write on your Facebook Wall and tweet on Twitter!
br/> You need to be aware that what you post for your friends and family can usually also be seen by your current and potential patients.
br/> While comments that you write may make sense to your buddies it will often sound crazy to a patient. Pictures that are fun to share with old fraternity buddies just appear creepy to a potential patient.
br/> Be aware that potential patients will often Google or Bing your name in searching for your office. This means they are most likely to see your social media accounts during their business search.
br/> I am a social media fan but I am also aware that everything I write or picture I share will be online forever. I am also aware that no social media is truly private. If you don't want your patients to see it - then don't post it or tweet it.
br/> Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Should I Buy It?

I love new gadgets! I want to have all the newest and coolest dental equipment. I am guessing that you do as well.

The real question we need to ask ourselves is what are the costs and the benefits of upgrading equipment. A new x-ray unit or imaging system might have new features but does it justify an expenditure of $30,000 when the older unit you are currently using works fine and is paid for? The answer is usually NO!

You should have great equipment that allows you to make a quality diagnosis and treatment plan for your patients. You should have equipment that allows you to deliver quality dental care. After that level a lot of what we buy is just for our ego and for fun.

If your profitability is 20% and the new piece of equipment costs $30,000 then you will eat the profit on the next $150,000 in production you just generated - and the cost is more if you are financing the equipment.

I just has a friend upgrade his sterilization systems for a cost of over $10,000. He said he will no loner need to buy test strips. The test strips cost les than $40 a month. The old system worked fine and was reliable. He will now have equally clean instruments for more money.

I may sound a lot like Suzy Orman but most times upgrading equipment is not the smart business move.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Convenient Hours for You or Your Patients

There has always been a tough decision for dentists to make (especially non-group offices), should they be open at hours that are convenient for their patients or hours that are convenient for their lifestyle. Patients like early morning hours, after work hours and weekends. These are also the same hours that dentist and staff like to have away from the office for their own family’s needs.

The choice to offer non-traditional office hours affects not only the dentist but the entire staff. A large number of staff members are working women with children which makes office hour decisions even more complicated.

For new offices, starting with non-traditional hours is not complicated as the staff that they hire understands the hours being offered. Switching from traditional operating hours to expanded hours is often difficult for an established practice because it upsets the life of the staff. This often means losing staff members and replacing them with new personnel.

Younger and more aggressive dental offices tend to have expanded hours as a means of attracting new patients. This means that offices that operate under the Monday – Thursday 9-5 model put the traditional dentist at a competitive disadvantage.

There are few decisions more crucial to your practice’s success than when you are available to your patients. People shop for offices with patient friendly hours. On the flip side, having a work schedule that allows you time with your family is also important. You will have to decide how to walk this balance beam.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Monday, April 6, 2015

Drug Addicted Dentists

Dentists are just like other people and they can sometimes wander down paths that lead them into dangerous addictions. No dentist ever went out and intentionally became addicted – it is always a series of unfortunate events and decisions that spiraled into an addiction. For dentists it can often start from legal use of prescription pain killers.

If you know an addicted dentist, urge them to seek help. Most dentists don’t seek help because they are afraid of losing their license, their practice and their income source. Most states have special anonymous treatment program for dentists just for this reason –the dentist can seek treatment without the loss of their license or public embarrassment.

Knowing an addicted dentist puts us in a difficult position – what do you do when a colleague you know is addicted. Your friend says they will take care of the problem but they don’t. What do you do? I was confronted with this situation and had to threaten to turn the doctor in to authorities unless they voluntarily sought treatment. Luckily for me – that dentist sought treatment and was successful in their therapy.

It is an awful position for you if you know an addicted dentist but it is very important for patient safety and for the long-term health and safety of your addicted dentist friend for you to make sure they get proper treatment. You must act! Go to your state’s dental board website and look up their addiction or diversion program. Most states have set up mechanisms for addicted professionals to safely seek the treatment they need.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - ACES