Dental Practice Tag Archive

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Growing a dental practice in a rural small community – Dr. Bryant Birch

Are you living under the illusion that advanced dentistry is just a big-city thing? That your success is limited because you’re in a rural area? You’ll think again after hearing Dr. Bryant Birch’s story in today’s episode. The nation’s mentality is changing, and technology is being welcomed and expected. Listen to T-Bone’s conversation with Dr. Birch for the inside scoop on how to expand your dental practice in a small town.

Dr. Bryant Birch: Small town dentist attains big success

Dr. Bryant Birch grew up as the son of a dentist, in Green River, Wyoming, population just under 1300. He took over his father’s basic dental practice and has taken it to the next level. In this episode, Dr. Bryant talks about the process of developing and expanding the practice, and a life-changing event that changed his attitude and the way he thinks and looks toward the future, including investing in dental technology. Listen in to this compelling and inspiring conversation about overcoming the odds and growing a highly successful dental practice.

Why do dental implants in-house?

One of the advanced dentistry procedures that Dr. Bryant Birch added to his practice is dental implants. In this episode, he talks about his journey of learning the skills, educating his patients, and eventually growing his practice 30% per year through offering implants. Listen in to find out why people love getting general and advanced dentistry from one doctor, and to get the tips and resources you need to grow your own dental practice.

Sleep Apnea treatment and other great ways to expand your dental practice

An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. In this episode, find out how you can help your patients get a restful night’s sleep by offering a dental appliance for sleep apnea, and what you can do to incorporate this into your practice with a sleep apnea champion on your team. This is just one of the great ways you can grow your business. As you listen to Dr. Bryant Birch talk about the expansion of his dental practice, you will discover many great ideas and resources that will encourage and inspire you to move your own practice into the future.

T-Bone talks about training the team at your dental practice

How do you train your team to have the same direction? This is Dr. Bryant Birch’s question for T-Bone in this episode. T-Bone offers a number of valuable insights into the process of getting your team to share the vision, be empowered, and accomplish goals. These ideas and many more are part of this conversation. Listen in and find out what you can do to take your dental practice to the next level!

Outline of This Episode

[0:17] Intro of this episode with Dr. Bryant Birch.
[0:43] Bryant’s story of taking over his dad’s dental practice in Green River, Wyoming.
[6:27] How Dr. Birch chose to make changes to the practice.
[8:39] How Bryant Birch went from simple general dentistry to high-tech.
[14:09] Bryant’s journey to doing dental implants in-house.
[20:29] Dr. Birch’s plans for building a new facility.
[22:26] The changing mentality toward technology in dentistry.
[24:19] Dr. Birch’s thoughts about taking insurance.
[27:16] T-Bone and Dr. Bryant on trying new things.
[29:28] Sleep apnea in the medical practice
[32:22] Dr. Bryant’s story of a life-changing experience that altered his attitude and the way he looks at the future.
[40:06] How do you train a team to have the same direction?
[45:35] Using community events to educate.
[46:32] The pre-requisites to taking it to the next level.

Listen to the entire interview


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T-Bone Speaks is a podcast dedicated to helping you achieve clinical, financial, and personal balance. You’ll love the entertaining demeanor and down to earth approach to dentistry.


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Three Paperless Forms Options


Forms and signatures are one of the essentials of record keeping. How then can you have a paperless record? There are three methods to gather the information electronically and totally bypass the paper (paperless forms).

Tablet PC: A tablet PC is a mobile computer in the shape of a slate. The i-Pad is the best known tablet but others using Android are also available and work in the dental office.  Tablets use a touch screen that allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus (a digital pen) or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse. In other words the user can simply tap the screen to check off a box on a form, and sign directly on the computer screen.

Digital Signature Pad: The tablet PC represents the ultimate computerized version of the brown clipboard. However there is a second way to fill in forms that may be easier and less expensive to implement. That is to simply use existing desktop computers and a signature pad.

Online: The third way to gather data without paper is the Internet. A web based system puts the same digital forms as you would use on the tablet onto a web site. The patient could then fill out the forms from home or office. Once the forms are filled in the data could then transfer to the dental office and eventually to the patient’s electronic record. This is by far the best option however the office needs to have complete paperless records, a PMS that can accept web based information and a well designed web page.

Look here for help going paperless.

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Performing vs. Engaged Employees


Performance management has become an over-used buzz word in the corporate world. Most companies understand the value of setting clear performance goals for employees, evaluating the employees’ performance against those goals and providing the employees with feedback on what they have done well and where they might need improvement. We value highly performing employees. But do we value highly engaged employees? What is the difference?

Performing employees give to get. Their focus is on the getting. They value what they get from the company. They get a good salary. They get to work in the town where they have social ties. They get good working conditions. They get good working hours. They value all that they get. They understand that to get all those things, they must give to the company. So, they do. They give to the company their best efforts towards the company’s goal. They do a good job so that they can get all those things they like. They are more likely to be lured by another employer from whom they can get more, than one to whom they can give more. Their focus is on the getting. Giving is the means by which they get. They give to get.

In contrast, engaged employees get to give. Their focus is on the giving. The engaged employee is proud that they help people; they save lives; they teach others; they invent new things; they work on challenging projects; they lead a team; they make a difference. Their pleasure is in the giving. Getting is incidental. Yes, they have to pay bills; so, they like that they get a decent pay to live. But they work because they like what they do. Giving is the reason. They are more likely to be lured by another employer where they can give more than one from whom they can get more. Their focus is on the giving. They get to give.

Would you rather have a performing employee or an engaged employee? No doubt, you probably would like an engaged and performing employee. Likewise, you will probably not tolerate for long a dis-engaged and non-performing employee. Those are the easy cases. How about the hard cases? Would you rather have a well-performing employee that is struggling to be engaged or a well-engaged employee that is struggling to perform? And, why is that? An engaged employee that is not performing is usually lacking some necessary skills. A performing employee that is not engaged is usually lacking necessary attitude. This brings to mind a favorite quip: If you have an employee that does not have the skill set needed to do the job, give them a year to learn the skill set; If you have an employee that does not have the attitude needed to do the job, give them the entire weekend.

Should we be evaluating our employees just on their performance, or also on their engagement? How do you evaluate people on their engagement? Does engagement change over time, just as performance does? How frequently should you give employees feedback on their engagement? These are all questions worthy of consideration. Ask yourself: Do you have performing employees or engaged employees?

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Variable Compensation: Incentive, Bonus or a Reward?


Let me start by wishing all of our readers a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, hopefully had some relaxing time with family and friends, rang in the New Year with good cheer and are back to work with a positive outlook. This month’s topic is inspired, in part, by a discussion I had with my staff on this topic at our planning meeting a month ago, as we were massaging our variable compensation program for this year. A week or so later, my friend, Gerhard Beenen, sent me an article, Why Not Give Money Instead of a Gift  that added some fodder. Finally, given that many of you might be planning your compensation programs for this year, I thought this topic might be apropos.

Is there value to supplementing base compensation with variable compensation? Do you have a variable compensation program in your company? Although the employer benefits by indexing a portion of the employees’ compensation to the performance of the company, does it drive the intended behavior in the employees? Is variable compensation an incentive, a bonus or a reward? To explore this, let us focus on the distinction between an incentive, a bonus and a reward, in the context of variable compensation for employees.

An incentive is a contractual agreement (written or verbal) between the employer and the employee in which the employer sets certain predetermined goals upon achieving which the employee is entitled to a predetermined amount of compensation. The presumption is that the opportunity of this compensation will incentivize the employee to work harder to achieve the goals. Typically, incentive compensation is not paid for trying hard or for “almost” meeting the goal; but when the goal is met the employee is entitled to the agreed compensation. So, in an incentive compensation there is an a priori contractual agreement, an expectation that the employee’s behavior will be influenced and the employee has a sense of entitlement when they meet the goal.

A bonus is a contractual agreement between the employer and the employee that allows the employee to share in the “profits” of the company. Although the amount to be shared is usually pre-determined and agreed, there is no expectation that the employee’s specific behavior (drive, motivation, etc.) will be influenced by the bonus program. Nevertheless, both the employer and the employee feel good when the bonus program pays out, and they all feel part of the team. As in the case of an incentive, if the company does well, the employee feels entitled to the bonus. So, a bonus is similar to an incentive but there is no expectation of influencing the employees’ behavior.

A reward has no a priori contractual agreement and, as such, there is no expectation of influencing the employees’ behavior. Nevertheless, the employer, ex post facto, offers the employee(s) some compensation for a job well done – e.g., completing a project, finishing the year with a bang, achieving superior business results, etc. In this situation, the employee has no expectation, and is pleased by the magnanimity of the employer.

To drive home the distinction between the three, let us highlight a subtle point. When an incentive is paid out the employer thanks the employee. When a reward is paid out the employee thanks the employer. When a bonus is paid out they both thank each other.

What works best – incentive, bonus or a reward? Do incentives work? Do people’s behaviors really change? Are people motivated by money to the extent that their behavior can be affected? The article mentioned above has some interesting insight into these questions. Is there value to a bonus? If it is not intended to change behavior, why create the sense of entitlement? Do rewards have long term value? Are they forgotten the next week? Do you have to reward everybody? Do you have to reward every year? If you do, do they become an entitlement and degenerate into a bonus?

These are all questions you should ask yourself. You should have clear convictions and expectations in setting up a variable compensation program. As a proponent of intentional leadership, I posit that at a minimum, having clarity of intent and purpose creates intentionality.

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Is Your Practice a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?


The recent Labor Day holiday got me to thinking—We have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

To succeed, we labor. We strive, do whatever it takes, put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears—no pain no gain!

And our heads are filled with all the things we need to, have to, should, and must do.  We even do things to force ourselves to get motivated!

We believe that doing, forcing – laboring – brings results.  I wondered – what if we approached our work and life as a labor of love?  Here are stories of those who took the labor of love challenge.

  • A stay-at-home mom dreaded bathing her two year old. Forcing her child to take the bath, scolding her child for making a mess, and mopping up after made bath time a labor. When she made the bath a labor of love, she took the opportunity to enjoy being with her toddler. They splashed, giggled, and squealed with delight. Bath time became an anticipated event and cleanup became a joyful reminder of quality time with her daughter.
  • A runner realized she’d lost the enjoyment of running. She had to motivate herself to run and force herself to run great distances. She criticized her performance, continually pushing herself to do better. When she chose to run as a labor of love, she went back to her original routine—enjoying the sights and smells of nature as she ran through parks, enjoying the landscaping, and seeing kids play and adults chat as she ran through neighborhoods. Running became fun again, effortless. She looked forward to it and started running marathons.
  • The sales and production team at a firm that publishes several monthly magazines found it hard to meet their sales targets and production deadlines and they struggled financially. Their mantra: You get burned out in this business. You finish a magazine and move on to the next. Your work is never done.  They celebrated hard work and motivated themselves to work harder. When they changed their approach, instead of producing thousands of magazines, they made a difference in the lives of those who read the articles, attended the events listed in the calendar, and utilized the products and services that were advertised. Instead of selling ads, they helped their advertisers grow their businesses and fulfill their dreams. Instead of increasing sales by a certain percent, they were of highest service and in return received dollars, which they used to pay the team for their talents and contributions, who in turn spent their earnings on who and what they loved. They no longer NEEDED to make a sale or a deadline. They were inspired to make a difference and contribute the livelihood, education, well-being, and joy of others. Exhaustion turned into energy and creativity.  Struggle turned into flow and survival turned into thriving.

Deadlines, needing to or having to do something, and making a number are, in and of themselves, not inspiring. They are about doing. Not about being.

We get inspired by helping others so I could get inspired by working together to meet a deadline or to achieve a number – maybe once, twice, or three times.  Meeting deadlines month after month and year after year becomes a burden and uninspiring if the objective is just to meet a deadline or make a number.

I become inspired and achieve significant results when my goals are meaningful, when I truly know that I am being of service, contributing, making a difference, helping – when I do what I love and love what I do.

What’s your M.O.?

Telling your patients that they should floss Asking what favorite tunes they could floss by
Doing a procedure for a patient Asking Mr. Jones whose day he gets to brighten with his smile?
Having to make a post-procedure call Helping Mrs. Smith to feel pampered, cared for, and appreciated?
Telling the patient what needs to be looked at Helping Mr. White identify a larger health issue, vitalize his life and enjoy more years with his grandchildren
 Putting braces on a teen Celebrating the hopes and dreams being fulfilled
Have to train a new staff member Wondering how I could help Susan feel welcome, confident, helpful, and inspired
Needing to measure numbers of patients, procedures, and dollars Acknowledging the difference we are making in the lives of our patients, our staff, and everyone who is impacted by every dollar we earn and every dollar we spend

I invite you to take the Labor of Love Challenge.

Notice when you are operating from a love of labor—when you are in a state of force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.

Change it to a labor of love – Wonder what difference you are making, how you could help, how you could make it fun.

See what happens.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

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