dental practice management Tag Archive

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Paperless Records Tip

paperless tip tracking procedures with appointments

Insurance CDT codes are set up by procedure and are designed primarily to track fees. However, in real life in the dental office we work on appointments not just codes. Many procedures require multiple appointments to complete. For example a traditional crown (not CAD CAM) includes a preparation and then a delivery. A denture requires impressions then a bite, a try in and then a delivery. Root canals are often multiple appointments. Then there are follow up appointments that have no fee and no code such as suture removal, bite adjustments and such.

Set up additional appointment based procedure codes, just for your practice, to accommodate all the extra appointments that do not have an assigned CDT code. The most obvious being the delivery of a crown. Doing this makes using the software much more efficient; you can create procedure notes for each extra code. You can assign a default appointment time and you can treatment plan it.

Once you have set up the formal CDT procedures and created your own appointment based codes you can create digital procedure or progress notes for each one. These are the notes you used to scribble in the chart after every appointment. When you write your digital notes start with what you usually hand write in the chart but keep in mind that you can now add detail that it is impractical to include in manual notes.

More Paperless Tips

Paperless Records

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ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer


The ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer is a tool meant to help you analyze the financial impact of a payer’s rates to your practice. It is based on information and assumptions provided by you regarding the payer’s reimbursement rates and restrictions as well as your practice’s goals and its financial situation.  via CPS-APP12 – ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer 12 Month

Features of the Dental Benefit Plan Analyzer include:

  • Running analysis models based on actual practice data taken from the dentist’s practice management system. The plan analyzer automatically displays the top 20 procedures based on revenue and the average number of weekly hours they and their hygienists work.
  • Saving those results for future review and comparison.
  • Analyzing preferred provider organization and dental health maintenance organization benefit plans.
  • Configuring variable inputs like practice overhead; time spent by dentists not treating patients; number of estimated new patients; number of restorative operatories; number of hygienist operatories; and the capitated fee being offered by DHMO providers.
  • Installing the Sikka Platform Utility on one computer in the office and being able to run the analysis from any other computer or tablet with an Internet connection.
  • Reviewing plan score data based on the financial impact of adopting the plan and how the plan’s patients compare against cash-paying patients.
  • Viewing a visual indicator plan score for quick analysis.
  • Seeing available staff and operatory hours as well as the hours required to handle the estimated new patients.

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Are you consistent at “The Front of the House”?


I have discovered a nice new resource called Opticall:

“…consistency is the building block of trust.  From the first phone call to the first impression when a prospect walks through the door, controlling the consistency of communication, the consistency of their experience, is the secret sauce.  It’s what makes your practice both comfortable, and memorable.”

via Is Your Practice Consistently Consistent? Part II:.

The link is to a newsletter article that compares a fine five star restaurant to a dental (or medical) practice.

I have never worked in food service so all of this was news to me. The analogy is more accurate than I might have imagined and offers some great insights into how we can improve our service.

Fine restaurants designate two primary parts of the business, the heart of the house and the front of the house. The heart is the kitchen, the chef and the actual food. The front of the house is the service, the ambiance, the experience. On the surface a restaurant is about food but we all know that if the experience is lousy it does not matter how good the food is we will probably not return to that restaurant.

We also want consistency. If the food is great one time but not the next, or the service is erratic we again will look elsewhere.

We have a very similar situation in the dental office. The heart of the practice is the clinical area, the treatment room, the equipment and the doctor. The front is the business office, the reception area, the service, the experience.

We can deliver an excellent clinical result but it is the experience -the front of the house-that people remember. The first phone call, the first impression walking in the door, consistent communications are what makes the practice comfortable. Consistency inspires trust.

If you are hungry you can grab a pre-cooked burger from the lunch truck for a few bucks. Why on earth would you pay hundreds of dollars for a meal at the five star Chez Maison Bistro? Food is food.

Of course we pay more because it is not the same. Food is not food, there is a difference in both the quality of the meal and the experience. If people think a dentist is a dentist why would they pay more for one over another? They will pay more if they believe the experience is worth more.

As professionals dentists are rightly concerned with clinical excellence and go the great lengths to deliver exceptional results. On the other hand they often neglect the front of the house. They settle for good enough when it comes to communication and customer service.

Fine restaurants actually have two different managers. One, the chef, for the heart of the house and another, the GM, for the front of the house.

If you want to be memorable, if you want to be a “professional” worth more than the “provider” down the street, clinical excellence is just the start. You also need to provide a consistent excellent experience at the front of the house.

via Emmott on Technology

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Clinical Excellence = Business Success? My story.

I worry about dental students, new graduates, and those in their early years of practice. Are they as naïve nowadays as was I a few decades ago?  I hope not, but chances are that many will have difficulty finding their way in the first few years (perhaps much longer) for lack of business knowhow.  I wonder how other dentists with extensive practice experience, looking back, would rate their preparedness for the real world of dentistry upon graduation.

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Living and Leading with Intention


When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value.

Do you have a written vision statement or intention for:

  • Your practice?
  • Your role in your practice?
  • Your relationship with your staff?
  • Your relationships with your clients, suppliers, investors, colleagues?
  • Your life? Your career? Yourself?
  • Your relationship with your family? Your role in your family?
  • Your marriage, education, livelihood, well-being, success?
  • Your vacation, the home or car you hope to buy, a conversation, an activity, a sales call, an acquisition, or a meeting?

We can set vision statements and choose our intentions and purpose for any aspect of our being. You can intend:

  • Fulfilling my dreams.
  • Helping my staff fulfill their dreams.
  • How I market, how I sell.
  • How I train, how I evaluate performance.
  • How I lead
  • The example I wish to set
  • The culture I wish to create
  • Being of highest and best service to my clients, staff, investors, suppliers, children, parents, and humanity.
  • Being richly rewarded
  •  Making a difference
  • Being a loving partner to my spouse.
  • Being a guide and mentor to my children or my direct reports.
  • Being open, receptive, and kind in a conversation
  • Using interactions as a source of learning about myself and others.

And then, before you say or do anything, ask yourself, “What can I say or do in this moment to BE my highest vision of myself?” Before you make a phone call or respond to a comment, before you join a meeting or have a conversation, or before you open the door when you come home from work, exhale and inhale deeply. Remind yourself of your intention, your vision and wonder “What can I say or do that moves me another step toward creating my highest vision of me?”

With practice, taking the breath becomes natural for you. With practice, reminding yourself of your intention and asking yourself how you can think and behave in a manner consistent with your intention also becomes natural for you. With practice, you are able to think these powerful thoughts just as quickly and naturally as your old thoughts.

When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value. We stop “re-acting” to colleagues, clients, family members, staff, and situations and start creating what we wish to create. Our thoughts, strategies, goals, plans, actions, and reactions are focused on what is truly significant. We become inspired. We achieve significant results. We transform our relationships, our families, and our organizations.

How could you live with intention? How could you lead with intention?

For more on information on conscious, meaningful living and leading with purpose:


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