Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Please Explain That in 6th Grade English!

Cliff’s Notes for September 27, 2015

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


Please Explain That in 6th Grade English!


Q: When was the last time you checked the oil level in your compressor?

A: Oil? Compressor? What Oil?

Some of the biggest “OMG” moments in a dental office is when a piece of equipment breaks down. You know it is going to cost you money and back up your entire schedule and all you can do is wait for a service technician hoping they don’t have to order parts. You can’t predict a wire breaking in an x-ray or light arm, but you can minimize the operational expense by implementing a solid maintenance regiment. There are a multitude of maintenance tasks that need to be preformed in a dental office. Some are daily, some are weekly and some are monthly but I have yet to see any dental practice that follows a written plan for daily shut down. From the computers to the compressor and vacuum to the back-up systems, there needs to be a maintenance plan.

We started off with a question about compressors. Oil type compressors require maintenance. Once a month the oil level needs to be checked. Air filters and drain valve need to be checked at least on an annual basis. Although the newer compressors are oil free, they still require routine servicing just like your car. I see offices, all the time, that don’t understand that it is essential to use an enzymatic suction cleaner every day. I walk into offices and the staff would be complaining about a bad smell every now and then. Then I discover that the vacuum system is treated only once every other week or the amalgam separator wasn’t changed.

Maintenance instructions should be clearly printed and signed off on every day. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual service should be scheduled utilizing your practice management software. Every piece of equipment, including the phone system needs to be considered.

There is an old saying, “pay me now or pay me later”, unfortunately, later may be too late. Compressors cost a lot of money and cause a lot of down time. Well maintained quality equipment will last for years with minimum operational cost. Please feel free to contact me with establishing a maintenance program.

Here is another big thing you need to understand in 6th grade English, Disaster Recovery. A Disaster Recovery Program is strongly recommended to any business. A flood, fire, theft or any other act of God or man can put you out of business. It is not just about data back-up, it is about surviving. A good recovery plans consist of several smaller plans. You need to consider the retrieval of and access to patient data/files, continuation of services, living expenses, recovery expenses and more. Disaster Recovery also requires replacing inventory and equipment. What is the value of your inventory & equipment? I have yet to meet a dentist office that knows the answer. It is also important to review your plan with insurance carrier and a Disaster Recovery Consultant.

Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss any concerns.

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September 27, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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