Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Disaster Recovery, What’s The Plan? & What Is A Spirapost?

Cliff’s Notes for November 21, 2010

….. E-Blast….. 


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


“There’s no disaster that can’t be a blessing, and no blessing that can’t be a disaster” 

Richard Bach 



In This Week’s Issue 

  •  Product Review, “What’s A SpiraPost?
  • Disaster Recovery, “What’s The Plan?
  •  Coming Wed., November 24th – Cliff’s Picks – Top 3 by Merchandise Category, for the NY Show!



What is a SpiraPost…………………………………. 

I’ve liked the SpiraPost the first time I got to watch the video and understood the physical concept. Not many people use the SpiraPost because they don’t understand it or just don’t know about it. If you are attending the NY Dental Meeting, stop by the DMG booth and check out the SpiraPost and then you’ll understand. If you are not attending the show, let me know, I have samples!! Every dentist that has tried a Spirapost continues using them.

Spirapost PFS unique esthetic post from Zenith Dental – You have never seen a concept like this; it is truly a revolutionary design for an endodontic post. The Spirapost has the strength of a cast post and the esthetics of a fiber post without the drawbacks of either one. It looks like a test tube brush. It is made of surgical stainless steel wires twisted around biocompatible, natural-color polyfiber strands. This innovative design causes the Spirapost to adapt to the irregularities of the root canal by integrating the flexible polyfiber strands with the anatomy of the endodontically prepared canal. The flexibility of the twisted wires and the polyfiber strands allow the post to travel down the canal and conform to its unique shape as it goes. The strands act as a rebar for the post cement, much like steel bars that reinforce concrete in a building foundation. A solid foundation is created in the canal that remains flexible to accommodate external stresses. The cement integrates with the coronal portion of the post to unify the entire restoration. Best of all, the Spirapost does not have a long learning curve. It offers ease of use without concern for additional reduction of tooth structure. Selection is simple; only one size in two designs (tapered and parallel) is needed, thanks to its adaptability to any endodontically prepared canal. Order Spirapost from your dental dealer. Call (800) 662-6383 or visit for more information.

The innovative new SpirapostPFS* (Poly Fiber Strands), exclusively from Zenith Dental, naturally flexes to conform to the shape of the canal, to offer the benefits of a custom fit for all root canal configurations. Due to its unique design, Spirapost is able to adapt to the irregularities of the canal, so it minimizes the removal of tooth material. Non-technique-sensitive and highly esthetic, Spirapost is simply the most advantageous dental post now available.

Features and Benefits

Conforms to curvature of canal ·           Provides a custom fit for all applications ·           Does not hold memory, so there is no concern for undue stresses within the canal   Minimizes removal of tooth material ·           Adapts to the canal and its irregularities, so it is not necessary to make the canal fit the post   Highly esthetic ·           Comprised of surgical stainless steel wires twisted around natural color polyfiber strands ·           100% biocompatible materials   A structurally strong restorative system ·           Polyfiber strands create a homogenous unit by integrating with the resin cement and core material in the canal ·           Creates a strong structure that absorbs and distributes external forces, minimizing the risk of failure   Coronal portion of post can be angled intraorally ·           Once the post cement has been cured, Spirapost can be angled so that it is centered within the core. This distributes stresses evenly and provides the maximum amount of support for the restoration.   Easy to use and cost-effective ·           Non-technique-sensitive   Easy to remove ·           Can be extracted easily if retreatment is necessary

The innovative new SpirapostPFS* (Poly Fiber Strands), exclusively from Zenith Dental, naturally flexes to conform to the shape of the canal, to offer the benefits of a custom fit for all root canal configurations. Due to its unique design, Spirapost is able to adapt to the irregularities of the canal, so it minimizes the removal of tooth material. Non-technique-sensitive and highly esthetic, Spirapost is simply the most advantageous dental post now available.

Disaster Recover, What’s The Plan?…………………….

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a meeting at a really great study club. About 25 young dentists, that love their profession, gathered in a formal yet informal manner and listened to a very animated, David Goodman CPA, talk about taxes and planning. Several of these dentist announced new babies on the way and that’s great. However, what happens if something happens? And things do happen!

Today, you need to ask yourself some questions about what happens if something happens? I think we should start with the easy ones around your office.

1. What happens when there is a power failure in the office?

    a. Does your staff know their responsibilities in securing the patients in the treatment rooms and reception? I didn’t think so.

    b. Does your staff know to shutdown some equipment before the power comes back on to reduce the surge? Ok.

    b. Does your staff know to shut down your computer system before the emergency battery back-up runs out? I didn’t think so.

    c. Does your staff have all the contact information for your network manager and someone other than you to make fast decisions? Good.

    d. Does your staff know that they should not restart your system until your network manager tells them? Maybe.

The little “wise guy” comments are just average truthful answers and there is no shame in not thinking about it. But now you are so don’t sit still. Start with simple answers.

    a. Establish an emergency drill. Who secures all patients in the office and who call for emergency response (i.e. fire, power failure, EMS, etc.).

    b. Have your network manager provide you & your staff with written instructions on what to do and review it with them in the office.

    c. Provide your staff with all contact numbers including your own personal emergency contact (i.e husband, wife, etc.).

Now I know that everyone backs-up their computer every day and the back-up is off-site. If you don’t, then there are a whole new set of issue. If you don’t have a computer, we need to talk.

Now let’s talk about a more complicated issue. Visualize a 38 year old dentist. He/her bought into a great practice six years ago and now it’s all paid for. He/she is well on the way to the promised land, the houses, cars and boats. On his/her way home from work, he/she is killed in a car crash. It happens! He/she left behind a wife/husband and two young children.

    a. Who takes control if the surviving spouse can’t make decisions?

    b. Does the surviving spouse have all the contact information for legal and financial counseling.

    c. Have you informed you advisors that they may be called on to execute a plan?

    d. Do you have an accurate evaluation of your business assets for fast liquidation.

What is the plan? The plan organizes your financial life for the next 90 days. You don’t want your surviving family to have to worry about regular monthly bills or ongoing patient relations. Today you need to sit down with your financial advisor and put together a disaster recovery plan for the financial part of your life. If they are good at what they do, they will have solutions for your questions. Next you need to bring the financial advisors plan to your attorney to add his/her thoughts and then bring in a practice transition specialist. Now your team is in place. With their input, you will be able to make informed decisions. Please do not put this off. I am available to address any question or concerns you may have. Please use my cell phone 201-321-7494.

Now let’s get back to the easy stuff. There is a good chance that you have or will experience a technology failure. Dental offices of all sizes rely on information technology as a crucial component of their day-to-day operations. Because data availability is a top priority, the need for a dental business to compile a thorough disaster recovery plan is essential.

According to Info-Tech Research Group, however, almost 60% of North American businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place to resume IT services in case of crisis, a recipe for possible business failure. Faulkner Information Services found that 50% of companies that lose their data due to disasters go out of business within 24 months, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor indicates that 93% are out of business within five years.

Ten Tips for Disaster Recovery Planning, by Paul Chisholm



  1. 1.      Devise a disaster recovery plan: IT disaster recovery planning can be a daunting undertaking, with many scenarios to analyze and options to pursue. It is important to start with the basics and add to the plan over time. To begin, define what is important to keep the business running – i.e., email and application access, database back-up, computer equipment – and the “recovery time objective” or how quickly the company needs to be up and running post-disaster. Other key plan components to consider are determining who within the organization declares the disaster, how employees are informed that a disaster has occurred, and the method of communication with customers to reassure them that the company can still service their needs.


  1. 2.       Monitor implementation: Once a disaster recovery plan has been established, it is critical to monitor the plan to ensure its components are implemented effectively. A disaster recovery plan should be viewed as a living, breathing document that can and should be updated frequently, as needed. Additionally, proactive ongoing monitoring and remediation of processes, such as back-up data storage and data replication, results in fewer IT issues and less downtime should a crisis occur.


  1. 3.      Test disaster recovery plan: A 2007 eWeek survey of more than 500 senior IT professionals revealed that a whopping 89% of companies test their disaster recovery/failover systems only once per year or not at all, leaving their enterprises vulnerable to massive technology and business failures in the event of a disaster. An under-tested plan can often be more of a hindrance than having no plan at all. The ability of the disaster recovery plan to be effective in emergency situations can only be assessed if rigorous testing is carried out one or more times per year in realistic conditions by simulating circumstances that would be applicable in an actual emergency. The testing phase of the plan must contain important verification activities to enable the plan to stand up to most disruptive events.


  1. 4.      Perform off-site data back-up and storage: Any catastrophe that threatens to shutter a business is likely to make access to on-site data back-up impossible. The primary concerns for data back-up are security during and accessibility following a crisis. There is no benefit to creating a back-up file of valuable data if this information is not transferred via a secure method and stored in an offsite data storage center with foolproof protection. As part of establishing a back-up data solution, every company needs to determine its “recovery point objective” (RPO) – the time between the last available back-up and when a disruption could potentially occur. The RPO is based on tolerance for loss of data or reentering of data. Every company should back-up its data at least once daily, typically overnight, but should strongly consider more frequent back-up or “continuous data protection” if warranted.


  1. 5.      Perform data restoration tests: Using tape back-up for data storage has been integral to IT operations for many years, however this form of back-up has not been the most reliable. Today, disk to disk systems are gaining popularity. With either type of system, the back-up software and the hardware on which it resides needs to be checked daily to verify that back-up is completed successfully and that there are no pending problems with the hardware. With tape back-up, companies need to store the tapes in an off-site location that is secure and accessible, while disk systems need to have an off-site replication if the back-up is not run off-site initially. Moreover, companies need to perform monthly test restoration to validate that a restoration can be accomplished during a disaster.


  1. 6.      Back-up laptops and desktops: Although many companies have policies requiring employees to store all data on the company’s network, it is not prudent to assume that the policy is being followed. Users often store important files on local systems for a host of reasons, including the desire to work on files while traveling and the need to protect sensitive data from the eyes of even the IT staff. Backing up laptops and desktops protects this critical data in the event of a lost, stolen or damaged workstation. Using an automatic desktop and laptop data protection and recovery solution is ideal.


  1. 7.      Be redundant: Establishing redundant servers for all critical data and providing an alternate way to access that data are essential components of an organization’s disaster recovery planning. Having these redundant services in place at a secure, offsite location can bring disaster recovery time down to minutes rather than days.


  1. 8.      Invest in theft recovery and data delete solutions for laptops: IDC reports that more than 70% of the total workforce in the U.S. will be considered mobile workers by 2009. Accordingly, laptops are increasingly replacing the traditional desktop PCs. Unlike desktops, however, laptops are more easily misplaced or stolen, thus requiring organizations to secure data deletion and theft recovery options for their users’ laptops. Theft recovery solutions can locate, recover and return lost or stolen computers, while data delete options can enable companies to delete data remotely from lost or stolen computers thereby preventing the release of sensitive information.


  1. 9.      Install regular virus pattern updates: IT infrastructure is one of those realities of business life that most companies take for granted. Companies often do not focus on email security until an incipient virus, spyware or malware wreaks havoc on employees’ desktops. Organizations need to protect its data and systems by installing regular virus pattern updates as part of disaster recovery planning, which may even help prevent a crisis from happening.


10.  Consider hiring a managed services provider: For small- to medium-sized businesses, it is often cost prohibitive to implement a sound disaster recovery plan. Frequently these organizations lack the technical professionals to accomplish this. Managed services providers (MSPs) have emerged in recent years to perform this role. MSPs have the technical personnel to design, implement and manage complex disaster recovery projects. Additionally, MSPs have the server, storage and network infrastructure in place to manage a true disaster recovery plan. To keep costs manageable and make disaster recovery services, such as data storage and redundant servers, available to small- to medium-sized businesses, MSPs build shared, multi-tenant IT infrastructures that host multiple companies on the same hardware and network equipment which helps keep costs affordable and advantageous for its customers.


Bottom Line
Every business is vulnerable to experiencing a serious incident, preventing it from continuing normal business operations at any time. Beyond terrorist threats, less catastrophic events such as a lost or stolen laptop, the Northeast Blackout of 2003, Manhattan’s steam pipe explosion in 2007, recent wildfires in California and numerous presently unforeseen possibilities can cause substantial business interruptions. Anticipating disaster and preparing seems both prudent and advisable, as does regular testing of IT services and back-ups.

A well-structured and coherent disaster recovery plan will enable companies to recover quickly and effectively from an unforeseen disaster or emergency, thus avoiding significant business interruption and loss.

For more information, contact me at any time. I’ve been there and understand the complexity of the issues.

Cliff: 201-321-7494 or

November 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: