By Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS
Imagine spending $1,500 on new loupes and then developing neck pain—or your existing neck pain worsens. This is an all-too-common problem that I frequently encounter in my dental ergonomic consultations and among my dental students. On the other hand, I have repeatedly seen well-designed ergonomic loupes that improve or completely resolve neck pain. So how do you know if your loupes are improving or worsening your health?
Of all the criteria for selecting loupes (working distance, frame size, scope position, declination angle, co-axial adjustment), declination angle is the most important ergonomic factor that can make or break your health.
Studies show that working with the neck flexed forward only 20 degrees or more for 70 percent of the working time has been associated with neck pain. While no loupe systems provide completely neutral head posture (ear-over-shoulder), loupes with a steep declination angle may significantly improve operator working postures in dentistry, thereby lessening risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improving clinician comfort. Therefore, to prevent musculoskeletal injury, loupes should enable you to work with less than 20 degrees of neck flexion.
By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.
To some people, “time-out” implies “sporting event.” To others, it means “parenting strategy.”
Time-outs have been used in medicine for several years. In surgery with the surgical team, time-outs verify such areas as:
- Patient’s name
- Date of birth
- Consent form had been signed
- Drug allergies
- The kind of surgery being performed
In our practice, we use time-outs as a planned pause before the start of treatment to focus on safety and patient communication. Continue reading
By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.
Can the design of your medical and dental history forms affect efficiency? Yes, definitely. In fact, a well designed form not only saves time, it can facilitate diagnosis and motivate your patients.
Today, most practice management systems have online forms, which enable patients to register and complete their medical and dental history in advance. This can streamline the appointment—but only if the forms are designed with the patient in mind. If you discover that patients are filling out the forms incorrectly or if they are omitting information, it’s likely time to rethink your forms.
When you develop the medical and dental history section of your forms, develop questions so that a “yes” answer requires the doctor’s attention. For example, change the question “are you satisfied with the color of your teeth?” to “would you like whiter teeth?” This approach can speed your review process, because you can quickly decipher where to focus your attention. Continue reading
By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.
Looking for ways to systematize your dental office? In the book “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande, M.D., Dr. Gawande talks about the advantages of using discipline in our work day. Let’s face it, we’re human and prone to mistakes. Gawande reveals how systems and checklists can decrease mistakes, boost efficiency and reduce stress.
Even the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) agrees. In an article published in August 2010, Harold M. Pinsky, D.D.S., a part-time dentist and part-time pilot, states, “To enhance safety, practitioners must implement forward-thinking strategies. Because human error is inevitable, threat and error management techniques are needed to help identify and trap error before it develops into unexpected outcomes. Risk analysis heightens situational awareness for possible dental error. Efficiency increases with early error detection.” Continue reading
by Dr. Mark Hyman
A young dental student was working with me in my office years ago. All day long, he repeatedly said, “How can your team get patients to say yes to so many cases? What’s the secret sauce?”
His questions astonished me until I realized this: what is obvious to me isn’t obvious to everyone. My way of practicing dentistry involves the use of fundamental human relations principles, and a lot of practitioners out there just don’t realize the importance of this. Here’s the premise: Stop telling people what they need; instead, listen to what they want.
We try to never use the word need in our practice. You need a crown; you need to floss; you need to stop smoking. Need is punitive. Let’s face it: for the most part, dentistry is elective. The better four-letter word is want. After all, it’s not enough to buy CBCT systems, or digital sensors or intraoral scanners. What good is that state-of-the-art technology if your patients don’t want you to use them? Continue reading
by Eva Grayzel
What new tool can you use to market your business, or articulate what makes you stand out among the competition? TELL A STORY!
In business across the board, story is a buzz word. People don’t buy products; they buy stories—and emotional connections. Storytellers who can share their narrative in an engaging way have a leg up on the competition.
In the program I am presenting at the Global Oral Health Summit this November in Orlando, Fla., I will inspire you to understand the value of a great story: how to find the story that you—and you alone—are meant to tell and how to craft that story to build rapport and instill trust.
You can build relationships by tapping the power of story to evoke a connection and foster patient loyalty. Find the story that exemplifies your values and differentiates you from the practice around the corner. Continue reading
By Dr. Leon Klempner
No matter where people go these days, their mobile devices bring the power of the internet with them. What does this mean for you, the practitioner? You have an open-ended opportunity for making an impression.
Imagine converting patients while they stand in line at the grocery store or while having brunch with friends. Why should they choose your practice? If your services are not the least expensive, why would they pay more?
Our marketing consultancy, People & Practice, has helped doctors across the country take advantage of digital media to grab the attention of potential patients at these very moments. We do it with a mix of marketing strategies that include reputation management, social media engagement and Facebook advertising. Our focus is positioning your practice to compete on value, not cost.
When a Google search for local orthodontists/dentists reveals your website, you’re only halfway there. What actually entices a user to click on your practice over another? Google search results that include your business listing with five-star reviews and positive comments. That’s the kind of exposure that makes all the difference. A reputation management system can help capture positive reviews as well as intercept possible negative experiences before they end up online for all to see. Continue reading
By Judy Kay Mausolf
The first fundamental of showing your patients how much you care is “Know Them,” followed by “Don’t Judge” and “Show Empathy.” In the third and final installment of this blog series, I’d like to share the fourth fundamental: Resolve Complications!
4. Resolve Complications! Occasionally even the best teams have patient complications arise. It is important to address complications ASAP by being mindful of the energy and attitude you are bringing to the conversation. Focus on coming from a place or mindset of curiosity, care and concern. It is never about proving you are right and they are wrong. We never win by making a patient wrong. Regardless of what the concern is, start out by asking the patient “How can I help you?” Then stop and listen to what they have to say. Please don’t try to feel in the blanks or be defensive. Continue reading
The Four Fundamentals of Patient Care: Part I
By Judy Kay Mausolf
You may have heard the phrase, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” I am blessed to work with dental teams nationwide to help them cultivate a happier, healthier and higher performing culture while delivering care with more focus and passion; however, the care part can often be vague and confusing. To better customize workshops to meet the practice’s needs, I send teams surveys for feedback on where they feel they excel and where they would like to grow. Most team members score themselves high at delivering excellent care—yet when I observe the team, I often find the opposite to be true. I have found this disconnect often stems from a difference of opinion or understanding about the meaning of care, which is why it is important for leadership (Doctor/Practice Administrator/Team Leads) to be on the same page and clearly define and model what it means to deliver exceptional care in their office.
Here is the first of four fundamentals that show our patients how much we care. Continue reading
If practice owners can take their team to only one educational event each year, how do they decide between the dozens, if not hundreds, of dentistry conferences and trade shows offered? Obvious reasons to attend one event over another include a strong educational program or valuable networking opportunities…maybe even a fun location that can fuel teambuilding. But what about technical support? Prioritizing a conference that offers technical support for the solutions already being used in a practice can help decisions makers narrow the field of which conferences to attend.
At Carestream Dental’s Global Oral Health Summit, being held Nov. 10-12, 2017, in Orlando, Fla., attendees can visit onsite support rooms for personalized one-on-one help from technical CS OrthoTrac, CS PracticeWorks, CS SoftDent, CS WinOMS and imaging software experts. The support team can address users’ biggest concerns and answer their most pressing questions in a casual setting. Software users can also attend software-specific hands-on courses led by certified trainers for additional insight into their practice management systems. At the end of the first day of programming, teams can reconnect with their peers in their specialty and hear directly from Carestream Dental leaders about what’s new for their specific software and also have their questions answered. Continue reading