Zahn Expo 2010 Day Two

23 10 2010

The energy level was sky high for the early start to the second and final day of Zahn Expo 2010 at the Marriott in Santa Clara, Calif., as keynote speaker Mark Murphy, DDS, took charge with an entertaining presentation about marketing labs in the ever more digital dental landscape. His presentation kicked off a day that moved from the hands on first day to a more conversational and educational focus.

Dr. Mark Murphy speaks during the Zahn Expo

Dr. Mark Murphy delivers his keynote presentation during the Zahn Expo 2010.

Dr. Murphy, who serves as lead faculty for Mercer Advisors and consults to dental labs with his own Funktional Consulting after a career in dental practice and then in management of the DTI dental lab group, explained that marketing as a digital lab is really not all that different from marketing a traditional lab.

“It’s about the relationship, that’s what you’ve got to own,” he said.

While he focused his presentation on the ways dental labs can work to provide better service and stronger connections to dental clients, Dr. Murphy explained that digital impression technology is approaching a tipping point, and labs need to be ready to handle work that begins digitally. But whether or not a lab is digital, lab owners need to make their decisions based on sound business principles rather than gut feelings or slashing prices to stay less expensive than the next guy.

Rather labs need to decide what type of service they want to provide, what type of customers they need to be serving and then they need to work hard for their existing dentist customers rather than always looking for new accounts. He provided concrete steps to strengthening relationships with clients and stressed the importance of showing dentists what goes on in the lab so they understand everything that goes on when they send out a case.

“The crown has to be good, but it’s not about the crown, it’s about the experience,” he said.

Sessions then split up and former DLP editor Pam Johnson spoke to a smaller, but still crowded room about trends moving through the dental lab industry and how they could impact labs. While things started slowly, and a bit dry with all the numbers and charts on her slides, the lecture opened up and turned into a freeflowing discussion about issues such as the need for more definition in the educational requirements for lab technicians, worldwide standards for dental lab work and the growing impact of offshore competition and digital workflows.

Attendees including DLP contributor Peter Pizzi, CDT posed questions and shared personal experiences of lab quality and technician education overseas, as well as discussed the ways their labs were doing some offshoring of their workload or competing with labs offering dentists cheaper offshore options while trying to keep everything in house. No conclusions may have been reached, but the discussion felt productive and comprehensive.

In a Saturday session titled “Removeable Prosthetics: Practical Fabrication Tips, Techniques, and Products.” Thomas Zaleske, AS, shared some of the tricks he’s learned in his more than 20 years of involvement in removable prosthetic technology.

 

Zaleske showed how to fabricate esthetic and functional products in a consistent and accurate manner. He explained and demonstared a number of products and techniques that attendees can now impleent quickly and easily into their removable laboratory mode .

Stating he hasn’t “had a remake in nine years,” Zaleske described basic steps and techniques to troubleshoot problems with heat cure acrylics and covered the benfits of some of his favorite products including a variety of Keystone Industries products.

Mark Jackson, RDT, co-owner of DAMAS certified Precision Ceramics  Laboratory, used his Saturday afternoon course to offer tips and advice on a number of topics to help give attendees a competitive edge.

The DAMAS (Dental Appliance Manufactures Audit Scheme), is a pre-packaged quality assurance system geared for the dental laboratory to help raise the standards within the industry.

He shared a detailed process that covers things like quality control and corrective action, calibrating equipment , product labeiling, customer complaints and even the identification of products and materials that work best with your laboratory.

Following these steps to form a “new partnership” and deliver consistent products, Jackson said, can help your laboratory gain a competitive edge.

 

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DPR honors AADOM founder Heather Colicchio

23 10 2010

Even though Heather Colicchio didn’t begin her career in the dental industry, she sure has made an impact during the last seven years she’s been part of it.

She is the founder of the AADOM and works to bring education, support and a feeling of community to its members. Her efforts earned her a spot as one of DPR’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

During the afternoon portion of Saturday’s conference, all the past and the current Office Manager of the Year gathered on stage to honor Colicchio while Lorie Streeter, VP of Business Development, read the nomination letter she submitted to DPR. Advanstar Dental Media Director of Content Thais Carter also was on hand to congratulate Colicchio as well as Adrianna Manning, an office manager who also made this year’s Top 25 list.

Carter talked to the group about why DPR developed the Top 25 and the importance of looking beyond the products to the people who make them and this industry successful. She also encouraged the group to think about who they might want to nominate for next year’s Top 25.

After the awards ceremony, the AADOM charter fellowship class members were inducted, complete with cap and gown.  The afternoon continued with a raffle and prizes from exhibitors, including a Kindle, cash, an iPad, gift certificates and an iPod nano. This conference wrapped up with attendees breaking into roundtables by specialty for discussion, and with a lot of enthusiastic members looking forward to next year’s meeting in Nashville.





An AADOM update

23 10 2010

 2011 is going to be a busy year for AADOM.

During the meeting Saturday morning, President Heather Colicchio outlined what’s coming up for the organization next year, and there’s plenty to look forward to.

Here’s a rundown of what’s coming:

Consultants will be part of the popular member forum to help answer the many questions office managers post.

The website, which houses a jobs board and an article library among other features, will be revamped so it’s easier to navigate. There also are plans for a form book that will be easy to access from the website. Each form will be customizable.

Virtual Study Club Session 2 will kick off in 2011, and this interactive learning will cover topics from the art of hiring to communication skills for dealing with difficult patients. Teresa Duncan, MS, will teach these classes, which will be available in the afternoon and evening.

AADOM also will be working with local associations next year to form state chapters. They are looking for volunteers to help make this happen.

The scholarship fund, run by members for members, will help office managers get to next year’s conference. That conference will be Sept. 9-11 in Nashville. Registration for next year’s meeting has already begun.





AADOM fills day two with more education, fun

23 10 2010

Find your inner leader.

Keynote speaker Katherine Eitel began Saturday’s AADOM conference with “Lioness Leadership: Awaken the Instinctive Leader in You,” encouraging attendees to tap into their potential as well as to look for potential in the people around them.

“The greatest leaders I’ve seen in my life, it’s not about what they’re doing but how they’re being,” she said. “Leadership is really personal growth. You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself.”

Eitel talked about the importance of making mind shifts to become better leaders and the way great leaders think, speak and act. It’s important to challenge your belief system, she said, because that opens up so many great possibilities both personally and professionally.

The day continued with industry sessions with a variety of manufacturers, including Lighthouse Management, CareCredit, Patterson Dental and The Consulting U. During lunch, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of the expert panel, which included Eitel and Lois Banta of the Speaking Consulting Network.  Questions about oral cancer screening, insurance and getting doctors more excited about the morning huddle were among the many topics the panel addressed.





Hands-on beginning to Zahn Expo 2010

22 10 2010

The hallways seemed quiet as the 19th annual Zahn Expo got underway Friday morning at the Marriott in Santa Clara, Calif., but the calm exterior was really covering a deep focus as attendees took part in a range of intimate hands-on sessions that provided the chance to put the latest materials, technologies and techniques to work.

A Day In the Life of a Digital Crown

Students work on digital designs while learning about the DDX digital file communication system during the Day in the Life of a Digital Crown course at the Zahn Expo 2010

While half-day and full-day sessions with notable educators covering a wide range of benchtop skills were available, the real highlight of the opening day was a session simply titled “The Life of a Digital Crown” which put attendees in front of a computer and set them to work from the very start of a digital CAD/CAM workflow. The session gave them the chance to try out equipment and systems including 3M ESPE’s Lava C.O.S. digital impression system, Dental Wings scanners and software, the envisionTEC HD DDP 3D printer, Wieland’s ZENOTEC T1 milling unit and E4D Technologies’ D4D milling unit .

During the course attendees also were introduced to the DDX platform for online communication between dentists and dental labs that is available as a stand alone web application, currently integrated into software from Dental Wings and soon to be a part of the next update to the Dentrix practice management software platform.

When learning about output options for digital cases, attendees heard about the ability to do more than just produce CAD/CAM copings and crowns. Systems such as the envisionTEC printer can be used to produce resin models, shapes for casting and soon will be capable of printing surgical guides, bite guards and eventually new glass ceramic composites that can be used for long-term provisionals. By the end of the day-long session, attendees had a good picture of Zahn’s various CAD/CAM workflows available today, and new features soon to arrive.

Other hands-on sessions provided opportunities to try ceramic systems from GC America and Pentron Ceramics, as well as courses on techniques and materials key to improved results with removable prosthetics. PFM sessions were presented in the afternoon, giving attendees the chance to learn about the latest techniques for achieving highly esthetic results when layering porcelain on top of metal copings.

After the day’s education came to a close, the exhibit hall became the main attraction with Zahn’s latest lab offerings on display alongside a range of materials, tools, supplies and furnishings from more than two dozen companies. Among the product launches was a novel approach to adding characterization to milled restorations from newly launched Hilla. The company’s Porcelain Appliqué adds instant detail to the edges of milled crowns by applying specially printed porcelain decals to the milled restorations to produce highly detailed results.

Day two of the event moves from hands-on to a lecture-based educational format with an early keynote on marketing digital laboratories from Dr. Mark Murphy. Check back tomorrow for a run down on the day’s events.





Office Manager of the Year Announced

22 10 2010

Melissa Meredith of Central Arkansas Dental Associates is 2010’s Office Manager of the Year.

Last year’s winner, Kay Valentine of Indy Smiles Family Dentistry, announced this year’s winner during lunch Friday afternoon.

“This is a great honor,” Meredith said as she accepted her award and thanked the doctors and owners of her practice for nominating her and for sending her to this weekend’s conference. “I have worked very hard.”

This is the sixth time the AADOM has given this award to an office manager. Meredith received a $1,000 check courtesy of CareCredit as well as a life-time membership in AADOM.





The dentist/office manager relationship

22 10 2010

 Though they may not always say it, the dentists you work with do appreciate what you do.

During the lunch break Friday afternoon, Chicago dentist Dr. William Simon talked about all the important things his office manager, Adriana Manning, has done for his practice over the years and how vital she’s been in the practice’s success. He also took the time to give attendees advice on how they can build stronger relationships with their dentists and see even more success in their offices.

 “If I could sum up in one sentence what an office manager means to me, I would say my office manager improves my quality of life,” he said.  “As the Mastercard ads go, that’s priceless.”

Dentistry has evolved into a more complex business over the years, he said, and office managers have become an essential part of making a practice successful.  Knowing this, there are plenty of ways to improve the relationship between office manager and dentist.  Communication is critical, and goals should be set for the doctor, the office manager and the practice. The office manager and the doctor should know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Let the doctor know what you’re doing every day and make sure you understand your doctor’s definition of success and that it’s something you can get excited about.

 At the end of the talk, Dr. Simon read a letter that he wrote to nominate Manning for AADOM’s annual Office Manager of the Year award. He talked about all she’s done for his practice over the years, from helping him modernize his office to helping him rebuild twice—once  after a fire and once after a sudden notice to vacate. The letter nominating Manning, who was chosen as one of DPR’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry, shows how much dentists notice and appreciate what their office managers do.