Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

“What’s in the Sludge?-The Amalgam Seperator” / “The Team Leader is Hygiene”

Cliff’s Notes for October 16, 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.



A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”

Steve Jobs


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

 “The Hu-Friedy Sidekick”


In This Week’s Issue

  • What’s in the Sludge? The Truth behind the Amalgam Separator!
  • October 28th – Marriott at Glenn Pointe, Teaneck, NJ – 50 Exhibits – 5 Speakers – NY Convention Specials!
  • The Team Leader – It’s a Job for Hygiene!
  • The Greater New York Dental Meeting 2011 – Where’s The Beef?
  • Product Review – Hu-friedy’s XTS Instruments!
  • Commentary for Sunday, October 9, 2011 – You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!


What’s in the Sludge? The Amalgam Separator! ……………………..

About 15 years ago the Congress of the United States passed the “American Clean Water Act”. The purpose of this legislation was to protect our potable ground water form chemical contaminants. Congress was aware that the implementation and oversight was massive so it was divided into sections and the responsibility was passed on to the individual states.

In the late 90’s dental units were equipped with anti-retraction valves to help prevent cross contamination and a few years later, the State of NJ mandated backflow prevention on all new in-bound water connections. This was to prevent sewage pressure forcing a back-up into the clean water supply.

Then someone at the U.S. EPA recognized that dental amalgam contains mercury. Because your dental practice stores Hg and uses it for tooth restoration, you are responsible for handling it according to law. Even if you don’t use amalgam, you drill it out and it get sucked up through the evacuation system. However, endodontist, oral surgeons, periodontists & orthodontists are not required to protect the environment in the same way because they don’t store hg. Go figure.

Anyway, if you don’t use that much amalgam, why is that filter filling up in 6 months when you were told it would last at least a year? And, now the vacuum filter is lasting 9 months instead of 1. Well, it’s all about the sludge!

What if I told you that I could gauge the potential of your practice by how often you need to change your separator filter? If your staff uses enzymatic evacuation cleaners, the organic soft tissue that is evacuated will be broken down to pass freely through your pump but the non-organic will not. This is what gets trapped in the separator and the particle size is much smaller than your vacuum filter.

So, what makes up the sludge? Tooth and amalgam particles don’t build up that fast, but what about prophy paste and polishing compounds? Pumice makes sludge! Pumice clogs everything. A healthy hygiene department will fill up your amalgam separator, so if you’re not generating the revenue that you should and you’re going through separator filters, we need to talk!

October 28th – Marriott at Glenn Pointe………………………………..

It’s the Henry Schein “October Fest”

 – A dental meeting in Teaneck, NJ – 5 Great Seminars – 50 Manufacturer Exhibits – All ADA & NY Convention Specials. Call Cliff for more details….201-321-7494 or e-mail:


The Team Leader – It’s a Job for Hygiene!……………………………………

The Hygienist position with-in the dental team has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. I work with a lot of dental offices and the docs that have a strong front desk and a strong hygiene department are incredibly successful. Let me try to explain this with a simple sports analogy. 

Major league sports have gotten very sophisticated and high tech. Did you see the movie Money Ball? Stats don’t lie. A major league baseball starting pitcher plays in about 35 games if they stay healthy, so why do they get paid the big $$?  Because when they are playing they touch the ball over 100 times. The game is about the ball. A football quarterback gets paid because he touches the ball on every play. Now, let’s look at your team.

If the game is about the ball, keep your eye on it! Your game is about your patients. You’re the manager of the team and your success directly depends on your starting team. The 2 team members that “touch the ball on every play is your front desk and your Hygienist. Today, let’s talk about Hygiene.

Un-fortunately, hygiene schools don’t teach people skills or emphasize the educational roll that today’s dental offices require. Let’s face it, there are people that naturally know how to communicate and teach and those are the traits that get you to the hall of fame.

In my world, the hygienist job is to make sure that the mouth is 100% textbook perfect. No one has a textbook perfect mouth so when you walk in the room observations such as old restorations & receding gum lines have already been communicated to the patient. Now, the patient is waiting for your diagnosis before you sit down.

A Hygienist that can lead your clinical team is an All Star. When selecting someone to fill the position, be choosey. Next week we’ll talk about your Team Captain, The full charge office manager. 

The Greater New York Dental Meeting 2011…………………

Exhibits open at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on Sunday November 27th @ 9:30 AM and remain open until Wednesday November 30th, 4:30 PM.

Attendance at dental shows has dropped off dramatically since we entered the “great recession” because dentists, just like their patients, are holding off on investments. However, is this smart business? In most cases, the answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, you just can’t go buy the latest and the greatest, but you need to continually look for ways to invest in your business in ways that will provide a healthy & measurable ROI.

The NY Dental Meeting is a great place to look at new technology and actively seek advice from multiple sources so that you can make an informed decision. Having a plan for your day of research will help you organize your time and better understand what’s available.

As an example, if you want to look for a digital pan, don’t go to the show with a “let’s see what’s available” mentality. Do your homework and narrow your search to 3 models that are capable of doing what you want to do. Quality and serviceability should be the key issues in your search regardless if it is for a pan or a curing light. Serviceability should be considered from the production point of view and also for anticipated down time.

A dental trade show is a great place to “touch & feel” before you buy. To help you pre-view some of the more interesting things or if you can’t make it to the show, starting on Sunday 10/30/2011 there will be an attachment to the Sunday morning Cliff’s Notes that will be a continually up-dated virtual tour of the NY Show. Every week there will be more added to it as manufacturers supply their promotions.

For more information or to schedule an appointment during the meeting, please feel free to contact me at any time @ 201-321-7494 or

Product Review – Hufriedy’s XTS Instruments!………………………………

Advanced technology and innovative design have enabled Hu-Friedy to produce a superior instrument – one that allows for perfect non-stick placement of composite materials without discoloring the restoration.

XTS Instruments Feature:

• Exclusive AlTiN coating has a hard, smooth surface that resists sticking and scratches

• Distinctive black finish enhances the contrast between instrument, tooth and composite

• Unique smooth, large, lightweight handle offers easy clean-up, reduced hand fatigue and an increased level of control.

Log onto:

This Hu-Friedy pdf is complex and may take a momunt to load.


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Sunday, October 9, 2011 ………………………..………………………..

You just can’t make this stuff up! This was in this morning’s news paper. I love the quote “it’s something you don’t expect to lose”. Anyway, enjoy.

Written by: Associated Press

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Two brothers have been charged with stealing a western Pennsylvania bridge in order to sell the metal for scrap.

Police allege that Benjamin Arthur Jones, 24, and Alexander William Jones, 25, of New Castle, used a blowtorch to break up the 50-foot long by 20-foot wide Covert’s Crossing Bridge between Sept. 27 and Oct. 5. They face felony charges of criminal mischief, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

Authorities allege in the criminal complaint that the brothers sold 31,000 pounds of steel grate and I-beams and received $5,179 for the scrap, or approximately 16.5 cents per pound. They were arrested after the recycling company contacted police.

The privately owned and rarely used Lawrence County Bridge was in a wooded area along a railroad line about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. According to the criminal complaint, Alexander Jones allegedly told a recycling company employee that he had permission to carve the bridge for scrap, and then showed photos of the bridge that were on his cell phone.

“It’s something you don’t expect to lose,” New Castle Development Co. spokesman Gary Bruce told the New Castle News. “It’s hard to understand why someone would put in that much effort.” Bruce said the 31,000 pounds sold as scrap doesn’t represent the entire weight of the structure, and the company plans to rebuild, but not immediately.

The replacement will cost approximately $100,000.

The defendants remained in custody pending a preliminary hearing Thursday; listed numbers for them could not be found Saturday and it was unclear whether they had attorneys.

Enjoy your day and your family,


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




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October 16, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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