Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

“Risk Management, Beware the Shades of Grey!” & “Marketing is Changing”

Cliff’s Notes for September 25, 2011


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


One of the reasons we do what we do, is so that we can to do what we want to do, when we want to do it!

It’s a tongue twister, but working as a team and making informed decisions, will get us there.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin



This Week’s Feature on the Cliff’s Notes Channel

 “Icon by DMG America”



In This Week’s Issue

  • Risk Management – Beware The Shades of Grey!
  • Product Review – Intraoral Cameras, The Starting Offensive Line!
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Websites – The Market is Changing Again!
  • Commentary for Sunday, September 25, 2011.

Risk Management – Beware The Shades of Grey! ………………………

In these tough economic times, everyone’s looking for a good deal. While dentists may be tempted by ads in dental magazines and on the Internet offering products at discounts of 10% to 50%, they should be aware that the old maxim very likely applies: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Did you ever look at a pre-owned car and wonder why it’s so cheap? Just maybe it was parked in a driveway during the hurricane. As the commercial say “Get the Fax”.
Deeply discounted products are often imported gray-market goods or even counterfeit materials that could endanger patients or expose dentists to legal liability for using dental materials that are not approved for sale in the United States by the FDA and/or the original manufacturer. John O’Neill, vice president of sales, GC America responded to a question about un-authorized distribution by saying “This is healthcare, not a pair of socks. This stuff is going to be used in peoples’ mouths. These are medical devices that require proper handling and storage and are regulated by the laws of the United States government.” 

Patient risks – Counterfeit materials that haven’t gone through proper protocols and testing could fail in the mouth, resulting in cracks or leaching of material in a patient’s mouth, according to Napier. “It may not jeopardize a patient’s life, but you’ve cost them money and inconvenience so that’s an important thing to consider. Do I hear “pain & suffering” and higher malpractice insurance rates? Then again, it will never happen to you, right?

For the next few minutes, forget you run a small business and look at this from the outside. Think about this from a legal point of view, pretend that you are a paid business consultant. Would you advise your client to avoid paying taxes or dropping health insurance because they are healthy and not using it? As their legal or insurance advisor, would you suggest they purchase clinical product though a licensed and authorized distribution network or from the place with the cheapest price? By the way, don’t forget about O.S.H.A. If an employee is injured or their health compromised in any way by a chemical base product that was obtained through a source other than the authorized distribution channel, you are on your own.

Now, as a business owner, if you had to think about any of those answers, I suggest you consult with your advisors. If their answers are anything other than “legal protocol & protection” look for a new advisor. A good advisor will tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Gordon Christenstsen, D.D.S., M.S.D., Ph.D., recently wrote in the Journal of the American Dental Association (June 2010, Vol. 141:6, pp. 712-715). “What if these discounted products are expired, altered, or even counterfeit, and you have a material failure — such as postoperative tooth sensitivity — in a group of patients?” To avoid the problems potentially related to purchasing gray-market or counterfeit products. Dr. Christensen recommends contacting the material manufacturer and obtain product only through the authorized U.S. distribution channel. Most manufacturers are well represented.

Gray-market products often zirconia, ceramic materials, composites, and glass ionomers — are showing up more and more, according to industry experts, and dentists may not even know they’re using them.

For example, most manufacturers offer some type of zirconia, which is used in ceramic restorations and implants and can be obtained from only a few sources in the world, according to Bennett Napier, co-executive director of the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). “If the price point of the raw material is significantly lower, then there’s got to be a question asked: ‘How did you do that?’ There’s not a lot of price variation in the marketplace,” he said in an interview with “It’s a supply-and-demand issue.”

Gary Price, CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance, which represents 200 manufacturers, distributors, and labs, said he has discussed the issue with the FDA and is producing a report for the agency on how to combat the proliferation of gray-market and counterfeit product. Some states have passed laws requiring the disclosure of consumer product information, including queries about where products are obtained and what ingredients they contain.

 He pointed out that the two classes of alloys are also tied to insurance reimbursement. “If somebody asks for high noble but gets base noble, they get a higher insurance reimbursement. But if somewhere in the supply chain base noble is substituted, it could result in insurance fraud,” Napier said. Although he has seen such cases, they are hard to uncover because it’s difficult to track down the source, he said. “It’s a needle in a haystack.”

The NADL, the ADA, and dental manufacturers have pledged to work collaboratively to make sure dentists know what questions to ask and what to look for to ensure they’re getting what they asked for, Napier said.

 1:35 Add to

video lang: en

Counterfeit Toothpaste

 Counterfeit Dentsply Spectrum TPH

Product Review – Intraoral Cameras, The Starting Offensive Line! ….

When shopping for new clinical technology, an intraoral camera needs to be on top of the priority list. Below is information on 4 brands that have proven success. The best is the one that works best for you! For an in-office demonstration, please feel free to contact me at any time (201-321-7494 or 

2:00 Add to

Air Techniques | Spectra caries detector| Dental Product

2:37 Add to

Dr. Flucke demonstrates the Spectra Caries

2:27 Add to

Air Techniques | Polaris Intraoral Camera | Dr. Flucke Demo

 Acteon Sopro Life Intraoral Camera w/carriers detection

 Digital Doc IRIS Training Video

DEXcam 3 features a seven-element glass optical lens, four bright LEDs and an internal prism that provide optimal lighting and a Sony® CCD sensor for sharp, high-definition image quality.

Camera controls are conveniently located on the lightweight handpiece. Freeze images with a simple press of a button, then save the image into the patient record with a two-second press.

High quality imaging:

Live video display with freeze and capture capabilities – Precision-ground glass optics virtually eliminates image distortion – Slide switch focus mechanism allows viewing both intra-oral images (capture up to three teeth) and extra-oral images (smile, arch, and portrait) without a lens change – State-of-the-art 4-LED lighting system.

FaceBook, Twitter, and Websites – The Market is Changing Again!….

If you think your clinical technology is change at a speed that you can’t keep up with, take another look at the internet and how people are communicating. In marketing, the new time frame is “right now”. Every morning I get a “today” special from Groupon, the Demandforce contact program e-mails or sends a text to your patient within minutes after they walk out of the office thanking them for the visit, your patient are surfing the net while they are in your chair, and a video treatment plan is e-mailed to the patient before they get home. So, what is the easiest and most effective way to engage this technology to grow your practice? Facebook & YouTube, because that’s where your patient is.

 You spent thousands developing a website and more $$ trying ways to drive people to it. Now remember, the website is a necessity but the method in getting people to view it has changed. Getting involved with the social network is not rocket science and can be created (in basic form) in about 1 hour. The trick is to get your patients to “friend you” and “like” or “favorite” your postings. We can talk about that.

 You want to have a YouTube channel where all your recommended videos are available and the content needs to be geared towards the market you are addressing. In general, people have short attention spans and advertising philosophy has always been to attract them and get noticed in the first 3-5 seconds, and that has not changed. What has changed is what is attracting them.

 For the last 5 years I have been telling my clients to collect their patients e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers, now you know why. If you are meeting resistance in getting that information, please let me know so that I can review some simple methods with your staff. Internal marketing is a staff driven issue. Think about this, I have your e-mail address and you are reading my e-blast and may even log onto my channel,, it’s that easy!

For help is setting up an internal marketing program, please feel free to contact me at any time ( video lang:

Sunday September 25, 2011………………………………………………..

For those getting ready to celebrate the coming of the new year, I wish you health and happiness and as Mr. Spoke says “live long and prosper”.

As always, I am available at any time for any of your questions and concerns.

Enjoy the day,


Cliff Marsh

Henry Schein Dental

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

Pine Brook, NJ 07058

Cell: 201-321-7494

Fax: 201-262-2210




The Cliff’s Notes Channel http://

September 25, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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