Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Cash Flow, What’s That?-Part III & The Changing Shape of Endodontics!

Cliff’s Notes for March 20, 2011

….. E-Blast…..


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


When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.

Thomas Jefferson


In This Week’s Issue

  • Cash Flow? What’s that? – Part III – Your Silent Partners!
  • Changing the Shape of Endodontics; A Hands-On Session!
  • Product Review – Amaris Gingiva!

Don’t forget to check out the “link” section of the blog.

Check out “The Henry Schein Outlet Store”



Cash Flow? What’s That? – PART III Your Silent Partners!………………

Do you have silent partners? I’ll bet you do. A silent partner can be everything from a leaky faucet to employee theft and everything in between. A silent partner is something or someone that is causing or allowing cash revenues to be expended un-necessarily.

Something as simple and as innocent as over-ordering supplies and an improper control of your inventory, business and clinical, will slow down your cash flow. All too often an office has an assistant take over ordering supplies without proper training. The assistant does their best, but the chances are they approach it as a general consumer. You tell them to get the best deals and don’t run out of anything. It’s not their money, so the rule is usually not to run out. Also, purchases that affect office liabilities and regulatory and sales tax compliance are often not understood. Remember, you are not buying groceries and it is your license and reputation on the line.

Another silent partner is much more dangerous and elusive. Every week I hear of at least one situation that devastates a business owner, employee theft. The ADA estimates that 20% of the dental offices in this country have reported embezzlement. The other 80% never looked for it. You need to incorporate checks and balances. Ask yourself these questions;

  1. Who opens your mail?
  2. Who posts payments?
  3. Who fills out the bank deposit slips?
  4. Who makes the bank deposits?
  5. Does your software provide an audit trail and do you use it?

The following are excerpts from a training session that I offer to my client base. You may also want to consult your financial advisor for tips on prevention…….

As a practice owner (also known as a “business owner”), a dentist will face a multitude of business related tasks, issues and challenges.  However, the rewards far exceed the drawbacks to business ownership.  But there will be challenges.

One of these potential challenges a dental practice owner faces is possible employee theft.  Depending on the source checked, estimates for the number of dentists who will experience theft at least once during their dental career range from thirty-five to fifty percent (35-50%).  Estimates of dollar loss range from $100 to $500,000+.  This loss due to employee dishonesty may take the form of out-right theft, fraud, or embezzlement.

The good news:  with certain minimal protective measures, the majority of this theft is preventable.  The key is to understand where the potential exists for theft to occur and implementing the necessary strategies to prevent this loss.


Before going any further, we need to define the different terms used to describe loss by “staff dishonesty.”  Theft is simple defined as “the taking of another’s property.”  This is also referred to as “the five fingered discount.”

Embezzlement is the theft of an employer’s property while in the embezzler’s trust.  It is also defined as a misappropriation or conversion of entrusted money, property, etc. to the personal use of the employee.

Fraud is the intentional deception that causes another to give up his/her money, property, etc.  The easiest to understand method of fraud is to submit a claim to an insurance company for work that was never completed.  There have been multiple instances wherein the employee submitted these fraudulent claims, unknown to the employer.  This provided funds that in combination with other methods of embezzlement allowed the employee to divert the payments to the employee’s personal use.  

Understanding the Thief:                 

Why do dental staffs steal?  There are different reasons for different individuals.  For some it is the need for money.  For others, feeling they have not been treated fairly, it is revenge.  For many, feeling they are not compensated enough in light of how much the doctor “earns”, jealousy plays a major role.  And for some, just like gamblers who continue to “lose” but continue to bet, it is the “excitement.”

Many staff that steal, share certain characteristics.  Many have life-styles beyond their means.  Excessive debt and constant money problems accompany many.  Many are also the victims of excessive family problems.  These problems come from children, spouses or significant others, and “ex” spouses/significant others.  Many have excessive habits including alcohol, drugs, and gambling.

What does an employee who is likely to steal from you look like?  They are intelligent and knowledgeable in office procedures.  They are personable and friendly.  They are tireless, willing to put uncompensated over-time and rarely take their allotted vacation time.  Basically, the perfect employee, except for a tiny character flaw-they are dishonest!

For more information or a private discussion/evaluation, please feel free to contact me at any time. or 201-321-7494.

Changing the Shape of Endodontics: The SAF System………………..

Friday April 1 9 am – Noon VIZSTARA 300 Sylvan Ave. Englewood Cliffs, NJ

starts at 8:30 am – Lunch and Drinks provided

COST $399 (Only $99 if signed up by Mar 25) Call Cliff @ 201-321-7494!

To sign-up please RSVP to Rosie Tolin:

e-mail: or  tel: 631.501.4462

The cleaning, shaping and disinfection of the root canal system is the most important step in endodontic treatment. Currently, endodontic procedures are performed with hand and rotary instruments that do not adapt to the canal walls. The irrigation steps are intermittent and deliver limited amounts of irrigant to the apical third of the root. Unfortunately the literature is replete with examples of instrument breakage, poor results with chemo-mechanical preparation, canal transportation, and over-thinning of the canal walls. Since hand and rotary files are round in cross section, they leave more than half of the canal walls untouched – and require multiple sequences of filling and irrigation.

The new SAF instrument actively adapts to the shape of each canal, moves in a new oscillating up-and-down motion, and allows simultaneous irrigation. After the proper glide path is established, only one SAF instrument is required to finish the entire 3-D instrumentation of the canal. This revolutionary technology has been proven in numerous peer-reviewed, published articles to contact more canal surfaces, improve canal disinfection, and provide better results. SAF technology provides a virtually unbreakable instrument and is changing the way we perform endodontics.

At conclusion, participants should be able to:

1. Describe the shortcomings of present rotary driven endodontic systems

2. Compare the benefits of adaptive technology and simultaneous irrigation vs. rotary techniques

3. Describe the components and steps for using the SAF Endo System

4. Discuss their hands-on experience with the SAF System

* Note: Participants are encouraged to bring along extracted teeth (prepared to a 20/.04 glide path) and dental loupes to enhance the hands-on experience.


Dr. Stephen Cohen, M.A., D.D.S., F.I.C.D., F.A.C.D., Diplomat, American Board of Endodontics is one of the foremost endodontic clinicians in the country. He completed his studies in the Endodontic Postgraduate Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and began his private practice in San Francisco. Dr. Cohen served as the Chairman of the Endodontic Department, University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, and has continued his involvement with the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Endodontics. Dr. Cohen is also a Professor of Endodontics at the University of California, School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the Director of the Endodontic Post-Graduate program in the Riyadh School of Dentistry and Pharmacology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Cohen is the Senior Editor of all nine editions of the definitive endodontics textbook, Pathways of the Pulp, co-editor of the renamed 10th edition Cohen’s Pathways of the Pulp, and a co-editor of A Clinical Guide to Dental Traumatology.

Dr. Cohen has held leadership positions in many of the major professional and academic organizations in endodontics. He is a board-certified endodontist and maintains a full-time endodontic practice in San Francisco. He is a member of the College of Diplomats, dedicated to mentoring new endodontists to attain Diplomat status.

Product Review – Amaris Gingiva……………………………………….

Highly aesthetic, light-curing restorative in gingiva shades.

For the highest standards in aesthetic dentistry, Amaris Gingiva is the only restorative that permits chair side gingival shade matching. This new gingiva-shaded, composite-based restoration system facilitates individual shade-matching using a combination of a base shade (nature) with three mixable opaque shades in white, light and dark. The result is a representation of the gingiva that appears natural. Through this principle, behind which the proven Amaris-know how stands, extensively exposed cervical areas caused by gingival recession and wedge-shaped defects in the cervical area can be controlled in the future, both functionally and aesthetically. With Amaris Gingiva, the high standard placed on the capacity of modern composites no longer has to end at the cervical boundary. This new material permits the reconstruction of the “red-white” boundary with a predictable result.

Suitable for multiple indications

Amaris Gingiva is also suitable for other indications. Reconstruction with gingiva-shaded composite thus represents an important extension of therapeutic measures after mucogingival surgery.  In addition, the so-called “black holes” induced by the loss of interdental papillae as a consequence of periodontitis or gingival recession can be quickly and easily treated with Amaris Gingiva to provide an aesthetic restoration. Amaris Gingiva can also be used to significantly extend the lifespan of in situ crowns with visible and exposed edges caused by natural gingival shrinkage.

Outstanding material and handling properties

Amaris Gingiva is not only impressive with its material properties, but also by its handling. It models extremely well and can be polished to high gloss. And thanks to the new non-dripping, non-running NDT® syringe from VOCO, applying the material is just as economical as it is hygienic. Amaris Gingiva has outstanding translucency and shade stability and it exhibits a very low shrinkage with a high filler content of 80 w/w % as a modern composite. Amaris Gingiva provides long-lasting, aesthetic restorations with its low abrasion values as well as its high compressive and transverse strength.



Sunday March 20, 2011………………………………………………….

Spring has arrived! Enjoy the day and please be safe.

March 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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