Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

John Henry Holliday was a Dentist!

Cliff’s Notes for August 9, 2015

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



“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”

Will Rogers

Doc_holliday John Henry Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887). At age 20, Holliday earned a degree in dentistry from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. Soon after he moved to Atlanta and opened a dental practice..

Back in the 1800’s dentists were rare in in many of the areas of our growing country. Often dentistry was preformed by barbers, bar tenders, and even medical docs (imagine that). Treatment was often nothing more than extraction and anesthetic was either liquid ether, whisky or the recently discovered Nitrous Oxide.

I hate the title “Dentist”. How many times does someone ask you what type of doctor you are? When you say “dentist” the reply is usually, Oh! Well, we are now in the 21st Century and the medical community is beginning to understand the dentist’s role in systemic healthcare. Just to make a point, you are a physician! You specialize in oral medicine just like a cardiologist specializes in the heart mussel and a pulmonologist specializes in the respiratory system. The difference is that you can be proactive in finding systemic concerns, where as the medical community is reactive. Often that reaction is too late to prevent a patient’s suffering or death.

The diagnostic tools available to dentistry are increasing every day and insurers are looking for ways to reward preventive medicine. Insurers are also looking to “punish” healthcare providers for reactive medicine. Medicare just reduced reimbursement rates to a number of area hospital because patients needed to be re-admitted after discharge. They want diagnosis and treatment handled more efficiently. That point will be driven home over the next several years.

So, what diagnostic tools should the dental practice focus on? The first is a no-brainer, Oral Cancer! The only excuse for not utilizing OC detection equipment is that you don’t want to spend the money. The liability is still there. Now let’s be real, 2 single crowns more than covers the cost of equipment like the Identifi System. Your hygienist (I hope you have one) should be doing a preliminary exam (2 minutes) prior to you entering the room. This is also an excellent internal marketing program. On a personal note, don’t charge for the exam! Raise your exam fee if you have to, but don’t ask your patient to pay for what could be a life saving exam when you are doing what you are supposed to do.

Does your practice take and record blood pressure? Is your team asking diabetic patients to check their levels before beginning any procedure? Are you screening for systemic conditions such as sleep disorders, diabetes, and digestive issues? Why not? Insurance companies will be looking at these preventive screening and their results as the medical and dental disciplines move closer together. The train is leaving the station, it’s time to get on board. It’s time to be a physician, It’s time for a Total Health Program!

John Henry (Doc) Holliday Earned his fame in the old American west as a gambler and gun fighter. He died of tuberculosis in 1887. Doc Holliday was a dentist.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

Total Health


August 9, 2015 - 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: