Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Digital Impressions, Inventory Management, Give Kids A Smile!

Cliff’s Notes for September 19, 2010

….. E-Blast…..


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

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”  

Mother Teresa


In This Week’s Issue

  • It’s Time to Start Looking at Digital Impression Systems, Like it or Not!
  • Inventory Management, it’s About Just-In-Time Reducing Cost/Sq!
  • Give Kids A Smile!



Digital Impressions, It’s Time to Start Looking……………………………………

We all get up in the morning and go to work every day for 2 reasons, Fortune & Glory. I passed the glory phase when my oldest son started collage. I understand what expenses are and I also know that if you have a retail business you need to invest in the future with a plan to increase revenue. We have to pay for college.

My father, who is was my hero, always told me to pay attention to my overhead. Hey, everyone is looking to reduce overhead in a time of rising costs, but guess what, the only way to reduce overhead with an effective long term result is to increase production and cash flow. Ask your financial advisor. You can control overhead by space and time utilization and reduce its footprint on your balance sheet, but you can’t reduce the dollar cost without adding costs in other areas. This is a debate that I will have with anyone at any time.

Now, I hope you understand that I tend to be as frugal as you, so let’s talk honest about digital impression systems. I’ll start by saying that the dollar cost of use between a standard impression (including trays & mixing tips) and a digital impression are about the same. As a matter of fact, unless you finance and market it correctly it may be a little more. But (there’s always a But) digital systems will reduce chair time, eliminate a second impression, reduce clean-up time and have perfect margins every time. The impression data and your notes will be captured and kept in the patients’ file in your practice management software as part of a permanent record. Although your immediate dollar cost has not changed, your overall production cost has. You will be able to treat more patients thus increasing production without increasing costs and that’s how you reduce your overheads footprint.

Generically, this is how it works. You prep the tooth as you normally would and prepare it to take an impression. You use a special intraoral camera (laser or inferred) to capture the image of the prepared tooth. Pictures are taken at different angles and a digital image appears on the screen. You then outline the margin and view it from all sides. Now you take pictures of the opposing arch. After you like the way it looks, and you will, you send it off electronically to the lab. If your favorite lab doesn’t have the same system as you, some manufacturers offer a service that will send a computer generated model to them. That’s part of your due diligence. The turnaround time will be about the same as sending out case, 7-10 days.

These systems require an investment. Plan on spending $25k so you need to do your due diligence. You also need to consider milling crowns and veneers onsite. By doing a Practice analysis based on your production, you’ll be able to see the true numbers and potential of your business. The analysis costs about $100.00  for licensing rights through the national reporting agencies but it will be the basis of your practice’s future. A set standard to gauge production and growth in all “Profit Centers”. We’ll talk about Profit Centers at another time. If you need information about the analysis, please send an e-mail to me at

So let’s take a look at some popular units. You need to do your due diligence and choose the system that gives you that warm & fuzzy feeling. They all have their pros and cons. Powder or no powder, big camera or small, cost or speed of processing, etc. I hope the following information will help you get your feet in the water. However, please don’t buy anything at a dental meeting until you know exactly what you want. In-office demos are the way to go. This technology is in your very near future, start doing due diligence, and please, look at purchase price last, production and ROI are the priorities.

Lava™ COS Chairside Oral Scanner – Digital Workflow

3M ESPE Dental Products introduces the Lava™ COS Chairside Oral Scanner – Digital Workflow.

3M/ESPE’s Lava COS website:


Introduction to Cadent iTero

An accurate impression is fundamental to a successful outcome in restorative dentistry. Watch this video to learn more about iTero.

Cadent’s website:


D4D Unit Presentation

Live software demonstration E4D Dentist


Inventory Management is all about Cost /sq ft & Just In Time………. 

An inventory management system is difficult to set up and maintain. That’s why most dentists that own practices defer the task to a team member. Well, in most cases you may as well let them sign the check. I’m not saying that your staff isn’t competent or loyal because I see many great staff members that stock the shelves from a consumer point of view. It’s no one’s fault, not theirs or yours, it is not what you were trained in. However, it holds a lot of value, maybe 35%, to your bottom line. You need to manage it.

Business inventory serves 2 main purposes, a sale profit & production. In a dental office the bulk of the inventory is for production, however, you need to understand that it is an asset and should be monitored closely, treat it like it was cash. Small differences in cost of product are greatly outweighed by the increase in production and cash flow. The magic words are “cash flow” and your inventory directly effects it. A long time friend of mine, a retired industry icon, once said “don’t fall in love with your inventory.” Truer words were never spoken. If it is sitting on your shelf, it is costing you money. That super 12+2 deal may be a bad investment if it is not off the shelf within 90 days. Over 90 days it is considered “lost inventory” or “lost cash flow.”

In the perfect world inventory should turn over 12 times per year, well, that’s impossible for a dental office, so you need to look at an average 60-90 day cycles. If that’s your goal and you get 3 turns per year, you’re ahead of the game. Paying a dollar more is worth the cost of money and shelf space. Inventory software that tracks purchase and usage rates is a valuable tool when used correctly, but you will never get there until you engage the technology and look for long term value. This is a conversation you should have with your business advisors.

Henry Schein is very focused on inventory control and has the experience and free management software to assist you in a “Just-In-Time” format. Consultations are free as are computers and scanners for qualified privileges members. The following YouTube video will help you understand how important an investment in inventory control is and how it leads to increased cash flow and retained earnings. There’s that phrase again, “retained earnings” don’t you just love it?

This video (click on distribution) will show you how Henry Schein works from the inside. We are experts at inventory management, so please don’t try to re-invent the wheel, we can make it easy and help increase your cash flow. Ask your financial advisor about the value of cash flow.

Henry Schein Distribution

Distribution / Warehouse


Give Kids A Smile………………………………………………………

On Friday February 4, 2011 the ADA will hold the 8th annual National Give Kids A Smile Day. To participate in this program you need to log onto the ADA website and register your office. You need to then contact Cliff because Henry Schein Privileges Club Members may qualify for as many as 50 free exam kits. The kits are limited so you need to get your request in as soon as possible.

These videos were produced in conjunction with the American Dental Association. Henry Schein Privileges Club Members enjoy some of the most competitive prices on supplies and equipment (not catalog prices) as well as the knowledge that their supply chain constantly gives back to the local communities through Henry Schein Cares.

For more information on Give Kids A Smile, please feel free to contact me or the American Dental Association.

Give Kids a Smile 2009 – Henry Schein Cares

Give Kids a Smile – 2010

Henry Schein joined the American Dental Association (ADA) to open the NASDAQ Exchange for trading in celebration of the ADA’s eighth annual Give Kids A Smile.



Cliff’s Notes Blog Sunday September 19th……………

Copyright: Cliff Marsh & Cliff’s Notes Blog – 2009

Today the weather is great! I love the fall and I think I’ll go fishing. Please enjoy your day, when its gone you can’t get it back.

Cliff Marsh

Henry Schein Dental

P.O. Box 663, 45 Rt. 46 East, Suite 605

Pine Brook, NJ 07058

tel. 201-321-7494



September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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