When it comes to grafts in the US dental market, by far the most commonly used is human bone particulate from a tissue bank. I think it is safe to say that dentists generally know very little about the source and processing of graft materials. This article is intended to close that gap.
As many of you may already know, the use of laser and light technology is vastly altering the medical and dental industries. Many dentists have discovered the number of benefits of incorporating laser technology into procedure implementations and treatments. Lasers have been noted to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of procedures and can diminish the amount of time necessary for treatment and recovery. Whether it is used for shaping a patients gums after periodontal disease or whitening teeth, as time passes the uses of dental lasers in cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly evident and popular.
One of the lesser known uses for a dental laser is the role this technology can play on tooth decay and carries detection. Until recently, detection of tooth decay has been difficult to detect in its earliest stages. Often evidence of decay can only be seen once it has progressed and begun to permeate through the surrounding tissue causing visible damage. The primary reason for this is that decay can move into microscopic tears in enamel where it can go unnoticed. In fact, decay cannot be seen until it is one-third the width of the tooth. This can give the bacteria a chance to do damage to the teeth and dental structure that could have been avoided if detected early. As decay progress it becomes more difficult to treat and can lead to a number of dental disorders. Until recently dentists needed to take x-rays and physically probe teeth to find evidence of decay. At this point the decay has already began doing damage to the enamel of the tooth. With the use of dental lasers however, cavity detection can begin much earlier.
Picture this: your hygienist has a full day of patients. A couple of S/RPs, a couple of new patients, and some nice recalls. Ahh… it’s a beautiful thing.
But wait! What’s that I see here? She hasn’t been using the correct CDT codes for her procedures. Oh no! Poor coding is about more than just lost revenue; it can lead to benefit claims bouncing back and over- or under-treatment.
We should periodically sit down with our hygiene teams and discuss treatment philosophies, like when to refer to a periodontist or how often a full mouth probing should be done. A super important part of this conversation is which codes can be used and when.
Can dentistry be a profitable profession? Ask practice owners that question, and many will nod their heads in agreement. Like any professional services firm, however, every successful dental office started from humble beginnings.
Practice owners, at the beginning of their careers tend to stumble about running their dental offices, learning things along the way and improvising until they succeed. As they gain more experience and learn from their mistakes, many find their practices booming and patients lining up outside their door. Continue Reading
Are your front desk personnel trained to collect patient co-payments and deductibles at time of service? Do they know the amount of receivables due from each patient and their insurance company? If not, your practice could be losing a significant amount of income. Studies show that collecting payment from patients at the time of service maximizes your collection percentage and decreases collection costs. Taking steps now to collect every dollar earned will prevent your profits from slipping through the cracks. This article offers strategies to successfully collect payments at time of service and is geared towards helping your front desk staff achieve winning performance.
Attitude is Everything
A patient’s first impression of your practice is their front desk experience. Your staff should be greeting patients by name, while presenting a professional attitude and appearance. They should be polite, and possess strong customer service and communication skills. Front desk staff must feel comfortable asking for co-pays and deductibles and indicate that payment is expected at the time of service. Their attitude needs to be friendly, yet firm. The dentists in the practice need to be supportive of the collection policy and refer all discussions regarding financial matters to the appropriate personnel, rather than discussing with the patient. Your office should have a clear, written financial policy, which should specifically state when you expect payment. This will empower your front desk personnel and send a clear message to patients.