Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Spa Dentistry, The Times Are Changing (Scan-Plan-Place & Mill), Coding With Confidence

Cliff’s Notes for August 8, 2010…..E-Blast…..

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210…..E-mail:

“It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty by resolution & contrivance”Thomas Jefferson

In This Week’s Issue
• Spa Dentistry, It’s All About Patient Acceptance!
• The Times They Are A Changing – Scan, Plan, Place & Mill!
• Coding With Confidence!

Spa Dentistry, It’s all About Patient Acceptance……
When I talk about patient acceptance I am not referring to case presentation. I am trying to make a point about patient acceptance to the dental office. Let’s face it, the dentist gets no respect. Unless it hurts, dentistry is at the bottom of most people’s priority list especially in today’s economic climate. Now is the time to think outside the box and focus on the “customer experience.”

I remember several years ago when Spa Dentistry was the “in thing” (and it still should be) I experienced the benefits first hand. I was in a local office and there was a woman patient in the chair, just the kind you want. Early 40’s, 3 kids, a regular Mom and we all know that Mom usually makes the healthcare decisions in the house. It was a normal day for Mom except for the endo procedure that was just completed. As the assistant prepared to dismiss the patient, Mom said “do I really have to go?” The assistant and the doc started to laugh and doc asked her why, was the root canal that much fun? Mom replied “no, it’s just that it’s so peaceful here and now I have to pick up the kids, get them started on their homework, get them to practice and cook dinner.” Mom’s normal routine coupled with today’s economic issues and concerns creates a much bigger hurtle when trying to build a dental practice.

The doc that did the endo incorporated Spa Dentistry into his practice and it changed the way the patient viewed the dental experience. Many office offer nitrous oxide as a practice builder as well as different types of sedation therapy all at an extra charge. Hey, the products and tools needed as well as the liability are substantial expenses. Practicing “Spa Dentistry” is low cost and can elevate staff production as well as patient acceptance.

You start be taking a long look at your reception area. Remember, it’s not a waiting room. In your office no one waits! They need to relax and enjoy a quiet moment in a soft friendly environment. I am in multiple dental offices on a daily basis and as Gandhi said “you are the language you speak.” If your reception room furnishings are old and out dated, so are you. If your selection of magazines are scattered and old so are you. If you utilize a 12” analog TV that’s behind the times, so are you. You can be the best dentist in the county but as I learned in Marketing 101, packaging is 95% of the sale. Let’s face it, you are a retail business. Stu Leonard once said “retail is detail.”

As far as the extras, you need to utilize techniques like aroma therapy, white noise, neck pillows & hand soothing gloves. My wife is a regular at Yankee Candle. When you walk into my house there is always a pleasant aroma floating in the air. Why should your dental office be any different? You may like the smell of eugenol, but I guaranty it makes your patients apprehensive. These techniques will help you reduce no-shows and cancellations. Lately that’s all I’ve been hearing about. The economy has many patients putting off services or not making appointments so you need to provide additional value that they can relate to. You need to be more than a dentist, you need to be a healthcare professional that provides a little (as Bob Dylan wrote) shelter from the storm.

Employing spa techniques can change your practice dramatically. However, don’t expect it to happen overnight. All too often we expect immediate results and that is completely un-realistic with any new technique whether it be clinical or marketing. It will take 9-18 months before you will see measurable results but if you stick with it, it will work and your staff will also benefit from the change in atmosphere.

Below you will find some examples of Spa Dentistry ideas. A more comprehensive listing can be found on pages 748 & 749 of the Henry Schein 2010 Dental Catalog. For more information please feel free to contact me at any time.

1. Spa Gloves are a 20-minute spa treatment for your hands – easy as slipping on a pair of gloves! A unique way to pamper and treat the hands of every patient while helping them to relax and to keep their hands away from the face during dental procedures. Each glove contains a high quality serum that is activated by body heat, allowing the serum to permeate the top three layers of the skin. Unlike messy paraffin treatments that seal the surface of the skin and create a mess for the office, these disposable gloves go cleanly and directly from the assistant to the patient and are bio-degradable for safe disposal. (part #108-2322).
2. Here are our CD’s of “white noise” – made up of the entire spectrum of frequencies the human ear can hear. Digitally created, the soothing sound signal known as white noise is created by audio engineers, sound technicians and composers. Any of our white noise CD’s can be played softly ‘behind’ any music selection the office or home environment enjoys on a separate CD player. The calming effect of the CD sounds will be available ‘invisibly’. Sounds of the Sea (part #108-1742) & Wind through leaves (part #108-0951).
3. Spa Neck Wrap– Lavender scented and can be heated in a microwave or stored in the freezer. Relaxes tense shoulders and neck muscles with a washable cover (part #528-5228).
4. Diffusion Scent in a non-aerosol spray. Immediately refresh any room as well as linens. Handmade, highest quality essential and fragrant oils. 8 oz. Lavender, Verbena or Orange Amber.
• Handmade aromatherapy for home or professional office
• Pure and Natural Scents
• Highest quality Essential Oils and Fragrance
• No Fillers or Enhancers
• Cosmetic Grade for use as Personal Scent

The Times They are a Changing – San, Plan, Place & Mill……
Bob Dylan was right then and now. Technology is advancing technology on a faster pace than most of us can keep up with. It is hard enough to keep up with the curve let alone stay ahead of it. It was just 4 years ago that I witnessed 3D Cone Beam Imaging first hand. It wasn’t cutting edge, it was bleeding! Today every dentist knows about the technology that medical docs have been using for years.

As we all know, implants are taking over the dental market. The techniques are advancing on a continued basis as more manufacturers and practitioners develop new concepts and implement them. There are so many that it makes your head spin. However, dental implants have become a major part of oral healthcare and reconstruction. As we have witnessed in endodontics, it is getting faster and more precise. Welcome to the 2nd decade of high tech advancements in dentistry.

Then there is the E4D System that advanced CadCam dentistry with laser technology and the animated “rubber tooth” (you have to see it to understand). Now the industry’s leading technology innovating companies are bringing it all together. From the initial 3D scan you can initiate the entire clinical procedure.

Scan & Plan and Place & Mill using scan data from the GXCB-500™/500 HD™, i-CAT®, and Scanora® 3D systems within the E4D Compass™ software. It allows dentists to simultaneously plan the implant and restoration, mill a surgical guide, place the implant, and then mill and place the permanent implant restoration—all within the office in as little as one appointment.

D4D Technologies has developed the software that will become a dental office standard. The only question is how far behind the curve do you want to be? If you plan on practicing dentistry for more than 10 years, you need a plan and this technology has to be considered. The following link will let you experience D4D Technologies and give you an idea what the 2nd decade of the 21st Century will look like.

Coding With Confidence…..
The new insurance coding book for 2011 is arriving in October of this year. Improper coding is one of the most common errors made in dental offices. If you are not doing it correctly it will cost your practice a lot of “lost revenue.”
• Goes beyond the typical “list and describe” coding handbook.
• Developed using information compiled from thousands of interviews with doctors.
• And uses PREDICTIVE ERROR CORRECTION™ technology to help predict common mistakes before you make them!
• Utilizes reader-friendly graphics, like the Coding Correction Warning and Watch icons, illustrations, flowcharts, and more, to ensure you know what to look out for. Spiral bound.
Item # 367-7233 Coding with Confidence EA. $99.95
Orders for Coding with Confidence will ship October 2010.

Sunday August 8, 2010……
Today is Sunday August 8th and I just returned from the Henry Schein National Meeting. Once again I got a glimpse into the future and I also realized that the future is has arrived. In next weeks blog I will be introducing you to the most revolutionary endodontic system ever created. It’s not at all what you expect. It’s not a new technique. It’s not a re-invention. It’s a revolution in design.

Please be safe and enjoy your family and the day.

Cliff Marsh
Henry Schein Dental
P.O. Box 663, 45 Rt. 46 East, Suite 605
Pine Brook, NJ 07058
tel. 201-321-7494

August 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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