The top 20 ways to help your practice grow

29 05 2010

Every 5 minutes and 30 seconds, Discus Dental Extravaganza attendees heard about another way to grow their practice.

During the morning session, Dr. Bill Dorfman and Steve Anderson took turns sharing practice growing tips, from building professional relationships, to creating that “wow” experience for patients to ditching your morning huddle meeting for a morning opportunity meeting. In all, audience members took away 20 tips to apply in their practice.

Dr. Dorfman also took time to give out more raffle prizes from exhibitors such as Kodak Dental Systems and Jameson Management.

Saturday continued with talks from Dr. Jon Kois, Cathy and Dr. John Jameson, Kristy Menage Bernie, RHD,  Dr. Chris Owens, Dr. E. Steve Senia and Dr. John Schoeffel. The show will finish Sunday with lectures from Dr. Gary Radz, Dr. Robert Ritter, Dr. Raymond Bertolotti and Dr. Thomas Nabors III.

Fred Joyal helps attendees conquer their fears

29 05 2010

Be fearless.

That’s the message Fred Joyal, CEO and Co-Founder of 1-800-Dentist, wanted Discus Dental Extravaganza attendees to take away from his keynote address Saturday morning at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

All too often dentists fear communicating with their patients about the value of dentistry, Joyal said. People in general fear taking risk and are resistant to change. We fear rejection and failure. But there are ways to overcome these fears, Joyal said, from simply taking a few deep breaths and just relaxing to having the insight to see what’s real and what’s irrational.

You can’t let your fears control your life and keep you from your goals and true happiness, Joyal said. If you’re scared of something, it just means you have to work on it.

“I can live with failing,” Joyal said. “I can’t live with failing to try.”
Remember patients also have irrational fears that control their decisions, and many of them are associated with going to the dentist. Health care professionals have to help them see that dentistry is the greatest investment people can make, Joyal said, and instead of being afraid of dentistry they should be afraid of no dentistry.

The most important thing about fear, whether it’s your fear or a patient’s, is what it holds us back from doing. Failures are important parts of life and are the best way to realize success. People will forget your failures, but it’s the things you don’t do that you’ll regret.

“I wish for you one thing,” Joyal said to the group at the end of his talk. “The audacity to become the person you really want to be.”

Dr. Mark Hyman inspires the crowd

28 05 2010

It’s all about the experience.

That’s one of the key messages Dr. Mark Hyman wanted attendees to take away from his morning general session talk “Inspire Before You Expire: Practice Leadership.”

Dr. Hyman gave an energetic, participatory talk about what it takes to be a successful dental practice, from asking the right questions to going that extra step to let a patient know you and your team really care. The first-time talk with new patients about why they left a dental practice, taking the time to buy them a smoothie if they haven’t had breakfast before a procedure and throwing in an occasional freebee are all ways to make your patients happy and your practice more successful.  

Dr. Mark Hyman

Through his talk, Dr. Hyman stressed the importance of showing patients what’s going on in their mouths, emphasizing the key role intraoral cameras play in case acceptance. Show them what’s going on at the before, the during and the after stages. The “power of the picture” will help lead to more case acceptance.  

Offering two for one whitenings to graduates or patients who are recently engaged, asking patients if they want to know what modern dentistry can do for them and really knowing the type of patient you’re working with—whether it’s a baby boomer, a millennial or  a senior citizen—are all things successful dental practices do. Strong leadership, expressing appreciation to everyone on your team and true compassion for your patients also are commonly found in the most successful practices, as is a willingness to change.

“If you go home and do things the way you’ve always done them, you’ve wasted your time and mine,” Dr. Hyman said.

Instead, he encouraged attendees to get fired up, to make the necessary changes to keep their practice learning and growing and their patients happy.

“Change is opportunity,” he said. “Your opportunity to make a decision.”

Karaoke and CE?

28 05 2010

It’s time to get excited about what you do. It’s time to think outside of the box.

That’s the mind set Stephanie Lodding, RDH, wanted her class in as she started her talk, “Bacteria Busters: The Hygiene CSI of the Mouth,” Friday afternoon, and that’s why she got everyone up and encouraged them to sing along with her to Gretchen Wilson’s “I’m here for the party.”

Changing her mindset changed her career path, she said, and got her excited about coming to work every day. She no longer waits until her patients have 5 or 6 mm pocket depths and more destruction in their mouths before taking action and treating their periodontal disease. Instead, she encourages them to have bacterial testing so she can see what is truly going on in their mouths and what she needs to do to correct it.

The test is quick and easy to use and shows your patients their bacteria levels with color coded results—essentially doing the talking for you and making it easy for your patients to see their level of infection. The test also tells you if the patient has bacteria that are resistant to scaling and root planing.

 Not all patients agree to the test right away, she said, but you have to stick with these patients and educate them about the importance of a healthy mouth and the reality of the oral-systemic link. Once you gain their trust and they agree to the testing, case acceptance will improve and you’ll be much more effective in getting those patients to good health.

“As hard as we try, sometimes we can’t get it all,” Lodding said. “That’s why we need to have bacterial testing.”

Lodding’s course wasn’t the only one attendees had the chance to sit in on Friday afternoon. Tina Calloway, CDA, Dr. Dennis Wells, Dr. Chris Owens, Dr. E. Steve Senia, Dr. John Schoeffel and Fred Joyal round out the list of speakers.

Veteran reporter Tom Brokaw serves as Friday’s keynote speaker

28 05 2010

One of the most trusted, most respected figures in broadcast journalism began this year’s Discus Dental Extravaganza with a call to action.

“Let’s have a conversation this morning about who we are, where we’ve been and where we might be going,” Brokaw said. “Not as dentists or suppliers or onlookers, but as citizens.”

Tom Brokaw speaks at the Discus Dental Extravaganza

Brokaw talked about some of the people he interviewed for his book, The Greatest Generation, and the challenges they’ve faced and the scarifies they’ve made. The Americans featured in this book grew up during the Great Depression and World War II, and have great stories of struggle and survival. He shared some of their stories and talked about some of the many events he’s covered over his 38-year career, reminding the audience that this isn’t the first time Americans have been challenged, and the fact they overcame these challenges was no accident.  

He spoke about the young men and women who are serving this country today, and the families who worry about them from home. He encouraged everyone in the room to do their part, what he described as a “fundamental obligation,” to reach out to these soldiers and their families.  

“Every day we have to get up and metaphorically raise our hands, re-enlist as citizens once again and reach out to those protecting our national security,” he said.

He also called on audience members to serve as role models for the younger generations and to help them continue the American dream so that their grandchildren will one day, too, live to be part of The Greatest Generation.

“This is a rare opportunity to pause and figure out where to go,” Brokaw said. “To reach out to young people and share our values and a sense for a common destiny.”

The extravaganza begins

28 05 2010

This year’s Discus Dental Extravaganza kicked off Friday morning, offering attendees plenty of CE, entertainment and socializing to fill their Memorial Day weekend.

About 800 oral health care professionals and about 25 exhibitors gathered at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for the event, which continues through May 30. Attendees, which included dentists, hygienists and dental assistants, had the chance to take courses in esthetics, oral hygiene, practice management, endodontics and lasers.

E. Micheal Swan, Vice President of Crystal Mark Dental Systems, performs an air abrasion demonstration on the show floor.

“The extravaganza has a long standing history of being team oriented,” said Jennifer McNally, Vice President of Global Marketing for Discus. “A lot of people bring their families.”

When not taking in CE, attendees spent their time in the exhibit hall chatting with colleagues and learning about the products Discus and show exhibitors have to offer. This year’s exhibitors include Smile Reminder, the Eco Dentistry Association, Demandforce, Isolite, 1-800-Dentist and Novalar.

Discus founder Dr. Bill Dorfman spent part of the morning playing Oprah, giving away his “favorite things” from some of this year’s exhibitors. During the raffle, he took the time to tell crowd members what he likes about each product or services and why they should considering incorporating them into their practice. He gave away about $40,000 worth of “free stuff.”

The show floor

For the first time, the Extravaganza is a non-profit event, Dr. Dorfman said.  All of the money raised during the Extravaganza—including the speakers’ fees and money from a silent auction—will go to Children’s Dental Center and Smiles for Life.