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Leave Cleaning and Polishing to the PRO

Leave Cleaning and Polishing to the PRO

Prophy Paste PRO Saves Chair Time

When dental products can take on more than one task, their value in the exam room can go up exponentially.

Take Directa Dental’s Prophy Paste PRO -it can both clean and polish. The prophylaxis formula starts out coarse for cleaning and then breaks down into fine particles ideal for polishing.

You may be familiar with the niche products in the popular Prophy Paste line, all categorized by color: blue, red, green and yellow, and deliver consistent, reliable results, whether the indication is for routine cleaning or for implant maintenance. The coarsest, Prophy Paste Blue, for instance, has an RDA of 250 and uses pumice as an abrasive and works as a starter. Prophy Paste Yellow, at the other end of the spectrum, has an RDA of 40 and meanwhile delivers as a silica-based polisher. 

Prophy Paste Pro on GloveHowever, Prophy Paste PRO in the lilac tube is a universal that can serve a multitude of these niche purposes—including the one of saving you chair time.

It can be your go-to as a starter, discolored teeth, root surfaces, fillings, implants and more. It’s even safe to use for pediatric cases, and contains fluoride, which aids in remineralizing enamel.

The paste starts out as a cleaner with an RDA of 20 that delivers effective stain removal. It converts into gentle polishing, with an RDA of 5, once the particles are fully fragmented.

The paste has .1 percent fluoride, which can help prevent the development of caries, and castor oil, which aids in oral lubrication, but has a mild mint taste that patients will appreciate. The formula does not splatter, dry out, liquify or separate. It also contains a desensitizing agent to occlude dentine tubules and relieve hypersensitivity, and it can be used with chlorhexidine.

Prophy Paste PRO is conveniently available in tubes or single-dose packages.

Single doseTo easily and effectively apply the paste, try a ProphyCare Prophy Angle. Each individually wrapped single-use angle and attached rubber cup minimizes infection risk and reduces handpiece maintenance. The angle’s interior web design minimizes splatter and increases friction to facilitate stain removal, while the angle’s outer ridges also optimize interproximal cleaning. Plus, the design enhances visibility into the mouth.

 

Learn more about Prophy Paste PRO or the ProphyCare Prophy Angle

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Simplify Handpiece Maintenance with Automation

Simplify Handpiece Maintenance with Automation

MIDWEST AUTOMATE: A COMPLETE MAINTENANCE System FOR HANDPIECES 

Handpiece performance and longevity relies on proper maintenance, so why risk the variability of manual maintenance?

And why have staff members tied up for the amount of time it takes to clean just one handpiece when Dentsply Sirona Midwest’s Automate can reduce handling time on three by 80%? The manual method requires 30 steps to clean, lube, and expel three handpieces. The automated method requires just 13 steps for the same number of handpieces.

Automated maintenance is three times more efficient, so your staff will spend less time on maintenance and have more time for what’s really important – taking care of your patients.

DS Midwest Automate system for handpieces The Midwest Automate is a complete maintenance system designed to consistently and precisely clean, lubricate, and remove debris from up to three handpieces at a time, with reduced staff downtime. Using a system like Automate helps extend the life of handpieces, enabling them to deliver long-term, reliable, and more efficient performance. The Automate was designed to accommodate a wide range of handpieces, allowing clinicians to clean and maintain their current variety of manufacturer’s handpieces. Dentsply Sirona Midwest offers an extensive line of adapters and maintenance couplers for the Automate, providing clinicians the flexibility to use the Automate with their existing handpieces.

The Automate has a handpiece count sensor that enables the use of one, two, or three ports without compromising the consistency of the clean, lube, and expel cycles. It also has a dedicated chuck cleaning port that cleans and lubes handpiece chucking mechanisms. The port has been designed to promote easy insertion and extraction of rotary instruments.

The Automate waste containment system prevents excess oil spill, keeping the work area clean while reducing clean-up time. Disposable absorption pads catch oil and debris for easy cleanup. A rubber seal in the door limits odors and prevents spray fumes in the working area. 

Operation is easy and intuitive.

The control panel has a simple display, a bright array of system indicator lights, and one-touch start buttons. Dentsply Sirona Midwest stands by the rugged stainless-steel design for durability and low maintenance with a 3-year warranty.

When purchasing an Automate system, it comes with a supply of absorbent pads, an air tube with wall connector, a power connection, multiple couplers and adapters, Midwest Aerosol Spray, and an in-service instruction session and a continuing education program.

What you can expect from incorporating the Dentsply Sirona Midwest Automate into your practice is consistent performance, longer turbine life, simpler cleaning protocol, and ease of mind that handpieces are well cared for and processed consistently.

 

Click here for more information and to download the Automate brochure.

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Survival of the Fittest: The VALO Light to Space Initiative

Survival of the Fittest: The VALO Light to Space Initiative

VALO Grand Visits Space

Miles of hiking mountainous terrain. Horse-back travel through the wilderness. A thorough investigation sifting through hours of footage. Not to mention the main event: a space-travelling curing light that remained fully functional after its perilous flight.

VALO Grand Curing Light in Utah on the Mountain In May of 2019, exactly 10 years after the VALO curing light line’s debut, Ultradent celebrated its anniversary by launching a VALO Grand dental curing light into space to 100,000 feet of altitude.

Up went the cargo—consisting of a Styrofoam box, 4 GoPro cameras to record the flight, the VALO Grand curing light, and a bobblehead of Ultradent founder and CEO Dr. Dan Fischer—and the Ultradent crew used the pings of their phones and laptops to track the curing light’s journey. 

What was expected to be a short flight of a few hours became a 126-day adventure.

Although the VALO light was expected to land at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, it veered off course and ended up in the middle of the Uintas Wilderness Area near the second highest peak in Utah.

The Ultradent team—including Mike Simmons, architect of the VALO Light to Space initiative, and Oliver Brown, brand manager of the VALO curing light line—wasn’t deterred by this setback. Instead, determined to retrieve the curing light, they regrouped in August and trekked through the Uintas backcountry. After a tiresome search in some unideal weather, they located the payload on a loose shale—minus the VALO light.

VALO Grand Creators found dental curing light in Utah Fortunately, the GoPros were all intact, each providing clues to where the missing curing light might have landed. Once discovering from the footage that the VALO light detached when the payload touched down, they returned to the landing site.

Not only did they finally spot the VALO light on their hike, but the moment Brown put the batteries in, it gave off a resounding "beep", confirming its survival against the elements. 

As a result of this triumph, in November, Ultradent announced a global warranty extension of five years on all VALO dental curing lights. Neil Jessop, Ultradent Vice President of Research and Development, accredited the manufacturer's focus on producing sturdy, predictable lights that set the industry standard.

 

To read the full story on the VALO curing light’s journey to space, including images from the Ultradent team’s travels, click here. 

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With a Little Effort Patients Can Maintain Teeth Whitening Results

With a Little Effort Patients Can Maintain Teeth Whitening Results

Postive Change With Little Effort: the KöR Whitening Maintenance program

teeth whitening Smile, one side yellow teeth, the other side white teeth Positive change is exciting. Whether it’s incorporating regular activity and nutritious food into daily life, moving outside of a comfort zone to pursue a new career, or taking steps to ensure a beautiful healthy smile, people feel good about themselves when they create a plan to improve their lives. The pursuit and maintenance of positive change can be fairly simple—and really quite pleasurable—when it becomes part of daily life.

Take, for example, teeth whitening.

Helping patients achieve a beautiful smile with KöR Whitening is the first step in the positive change.

Next, you want to help patients maintain the full whiteness of their shiny new smiles for a lifetime while they continue enjoying the wine, coffee, or other foods and beverages that they fear will stain their teeth.

With just a little effort by patients, the KöR Whitening Maintenance program will help them preserve—for their lifetime—the smile they achieved with your help.

All it requires for most patients is wearing their KöR-Seal Whitening Trays once a month at home to remove staining debris that builds up since they last whitened (not the lifetime of accumulation you tackled at the first whitening).

For patients with tougher staining (like those related to tetracycline use), you may need to develop a personalized maintenance program, such as KöR Accelerated Maintenance. However, Accelerated Maintenance can be used with all patients. 

Here’s how it works:

A gradual reduction in whitening is prescribed beginning immediately after the initial whitening protocol is complete. That reduction continues until the typical patient reaches once-a-month whitening maintenance.

Your patients who smoke or consume coffee, red wine, and other staining drinks and food may tell you that whitening isn’t worth their time and effort because they think their teeth will quickly darken again. Use your case presentation to explain that with KöR Whitening and maintenance, they can effectively whiten their smile and keep it that way for the rest of their lives. Reassure them that the process is simple and that you’re there to help.

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Will Your Practice Management System Optimize Patient Engagement in 2020?

Will Your Practice Management System Optimize Patient Engagement in 2020?

Evolve your Practice Management with Dentrix Ascend

Dentrix Ascend from Henry Schein One on desktop and ipadAs 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, it’s clear that practice management software has evolved to where the core conversation is changing. As a society, we’ve reached a point where young people will never know a time without the Internet. Similarly, we arereaching the time where a new generation of dentists will not have known a paper workflow. Wireless, cloud-based technologies are the future, and it’s already arrived.

Embracing this new reality, the question is becoming less about how to transition from paper to digital workflow, and more about how to leverage digital workflow in a way that optimizes the patient experience. Dentrix Ascend, by Henry Schein One, is a practice management system that’s at the forefront of this conversation. The overriding message: don’t become too distracted by the technology itself. Your practice management system isn’t just a digital filing system. When leveraged optimally, practice management software can help practices manage their digital-clinical-business workflows and reach new stages of growth.

But how do you know if your practice management system is up for the challenge?

Dentrix Ascend has identified these 4 areas of practice success:

1. Clinical care

2. Revenue cycle management

3. Patient relationship management

4. Patient demand generation

BrennanDental in Arizona What do these pillars look like in a real practice? Dental Product Shopper reached out to Drs. Jonny and Elliott Brennan, brothers and co-founders of Brennan Dental in Chandler, AZ. Both are 21st-century dentists in the sense that they graduated dental school within the last 15 years and haven’t practiced without the use of technology. When establishing their new practice, they chose Dentrix Ascend for its cloud-based functionality.

“While as owners we have a strong technology background, we recognized the specialization of labor and time required in running servers, enterprise-grade security and backup solutions, and maintenance across systems to provide an optimized practice management solution, and felt that was best provided for by leveraging the modern cloud solutions,” said Dr. Jonny Brennan. The brothers were also drawn to the cloud-based convenience, namely that the platform is accessible at any time from any location or device.

Here’s how Dentrix Ascend helps Brennan Dental achieve the 4 areas of practice success:

Clinical Care

Dentrix Ascend provides several helpful features that utilize task automation and management intelligence (TAMI) to improve clinical workflows. One of the potential gaps in a practice is the transition of clinical treatment activity to the financial or administrative side at the front desk, Dr. Jonny explains. 

“With Dentrix Ascend we value the automatic posting and tracking of images taken so that we ensure accurate representation of what actually occurred clinically and have that deeply integrated into the insurance claims process, including the quick and easy attachment of those images,” he said. 

Dentrix Ascend’s exit workflow compliance feature ensures that every patient is leaving with their next recare visit scheduled, and that they’ve provided the correct text and email information and resolved any payment details. This leads to the next pillar of success.

Revenue Cycle Management

Dr. Jonny has found that Dentrix Ascend operates like a helpful magnifying glass for administrative inefficiencies. 

“As we embraced Dentrix Ascend more fully for billing and insurance procedures, we recognized our own lack of structure and a defined process for working through aged receivables or patient balances and billing statements,” he explained.

The reports and dashboards in Dentrix Ascend helped the practice to form what Dr. Jonny calls a “general gold standard” for managing revenue. “Instead of feeling like we had to reinvent the wheel, we leveraged the common workflows within Dentrix Ascend and patterned our own office workflows to more harmoniously sync with them,” he added.

The practice tends to hire from outside the dental industry, and the management team likes that Dentrix Ascend was built with a modern mindset. It embraces the user experience and user interface design concepts for a minimal learning curve.

Patient Relationship Management 

Inside BrennanDental Practice, software and chair Dr. Jonny said he commonly hears that patients trust the office in part because of how clean and technologically advanced everything is. “That is by design because we TRULY believe that harnessing the latest technology makes us better practitioners and provides a better patient experience,” he reflected.

Prior to the appointment, patients have the opportunity to fill out electronic forms from the comfort of their homes. These forms are also sent by text or email, and are mobile-friendly. The practice offers online scheduling, rather than just a link that goes to a form or that calls the office.

Patients are able to choose their provider and a time/appointment type, and their appointment is scheduled right into the software.

Upon entering Brennan Dental, patients are greeted by the patient coordinator who, within Dentrix Ascend, changes the patient's status to “here.” The patient’s progress is monitored and the quality of their visit is tracked by both the software and the patient care coordinator. “The result is an optimized, efficient workflow marrying the quantitative, regimented nature of technology with the softer, qualitative human touch,” Dr. Jonny explained.

After the appointment, Dentrix Ascend provides built-in text and email communication methods for recare reminders and appointment tracking.

Patient Demand Generation

Leveraging the same patient outreach technology, Brennan Dental sends patients a link for reviewing the practice after their appointment. These Google and Yelp reviews are critical for visibility in search engine results.

A patient who discovered Brennan Dental through a positive review felt called to pay it forward, and left their own positive remarks. The cycle of patient demand is made possible only by the other pillars of practice success, which support each other and the practice as a whole.

With Dentrix Ascend at the core of operations, Brennan Dental continues its upward trajectory, as evident by the hiring of two associate dentists in 2018. Before they broadened the structure, they made sure it was strong from within. 

With 2020 on the horizon, it might be time to look at whether your practice management system can help your practice grow and succeed. Dentrix Ascend can help.  Visit www.dentrixascend.com to learn more and request a demo.   

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Difficulty with Your Teeth Whitening Business? Rethink Your Strategy

Difficulty with Your Teeth Whitening Business? Rethink Your Strategy

ULTRADENT CUTS THROUGH THE "WHITE NOISE" OF WHITENING ADVERTISMENT

White Tooth If you’ve experienced difficulty selling whitening procedures in your dental practice in recent years, you’re not alone. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s bi-annual State of the Cosmetic Dentistry provides data on the problem. 

A vast majority of dental practice, 89%, offer whitening procedures, according to the latest available data from 2017.

However, the average number of procedures performed by each practice is down about 15% for most types of procedures compared to 2015, with the number of bleaching or whitening procedures performed down by over 40%. It’s probably not surprising that the precipitous fall may indicate a change in popularity of these procedures or a shift to home solutions.

Consumers, including your patients, have long been inundated with traditional advertising about whitening. There’s usually no story in these ads—only a visual of an attractive person with a bright smile and the hook line to buy the product. This format is all too familiar for consumers, which is why it’s also forgettable.

In a recent article, Ultradent, the company behind Opalescence Go whitening products, takes on this issue. To find out why content about teeth whitening might feel like “white noise,” the company reached out to social media marketing strategist Blake Hadley, whose agency My Social Practice specializes in content geared toward dental offices. According to Hadley, a creative social media strategy could be key to improving your whitening business.

 

Download FREE marketing materials HERE!

 

Ultradent tooth whitening flyers “Dentistry is really about relationships,” said Hadley. “That’s what social media is about too— relationships—and for dentists, it’s about using social media to show the culture and how they treat patients, but also to stay in touch with patients between those every-6-month visits to strengthen those relationships.”

For instance, rather than just running an ad about whitening, why not show the experience of a patient coming to your office to get his or her teeth whitened?  By showing the process and the products you use, you’re also showing the quality of care your office provides, instead of just “before-and-after” photos.

The universal appeal of tooth whitening is an opportunity to broaden your audience.

As a recent example of strategy, My Social Practice recently implemented social media influencers to help with Smiles for Life, an annual campaign in which hundreds of dental practices throughout the U.S. and Canada professionally whiten teeth to raise money for children’s charities. Ultradent donates all of the teeth whitening supplies for this campaign and participating dentists donate all of their time to whiten teeth, with all proceeds benefiting the foundation.  

To get the word out about this charitable cause, My Social Practice worked with social media influencers who do exactly as their name describes—influence an audience. Over a fourth-month period, 90 influencers generated 3,700 website clicks, 86,000 social engagements and 2.1 million impressions.

Smart Phone screen showing ultradent social media campaign A similar strategy can be implemented to draw teeth-whitening patients to your practice.

For example, an influencer might post an Instagram story using Ultradent’s Opalescence Go whitening and point viewers to your office as a place where they can purchase the product. This can tie into a promotional opportunity to follow your practice’s page and comment on the post to receive a free sample of Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste.

Of course, influencer marketing may cost money upfront and may only be reserved for special campaigns. Ordinarily, your practice may be posting on social media on a daily basis to engage with current “fans” or patients. A successful social media strategy involves both entertainment and education or “edutainment.” The staff member who posts on social media should remember to be sincere and candid, and talk to the audience as a person, not as a business.

Also, understanding the analytics of your audience is important for publishing successful content.

Be mindful about creating content around holidays and special occasions, and pay attention to the time of day you post relative to engagement. 

To read more about specific social media platforms and strategies and the importance of social media scheduling, read Ultradent’s full blog post.

Pressed for Time? 

As a practitioner of its own social media strategy, Ultradent knows that scheduling and consistency can be challenging. That’s why they created an online resource of free marketing materials for whitening, including everything from social shareables and waiting room videos to flyers and educational resources. 

Visit www.ultradent.com/opalescence to learn more.

 

Don't Forget to Download the FREE marketing materials Here!

 

Ultradent free educational resources, 3 resources

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Keeping Dental Instruments Sharp in 3 Simple Steps

Keeping Dental Instruments Sharp in 3 Simple Steps

GLEASON GUIDE SHARPENING SYSTEM: A SIMPLE 3-STEP PROCESS

Why is it important to keep dental scalers, curettes, and Gracey instruments sharp? Because it:

• reduces chair time

• improves patient comfort

• reduces the number of strokes and pressure necessary to remove calculus deposits

• improves efficiency

• reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders

• avoids burnishing calculus

Dental instruments can’t stay sharp for long. Running a sharp edge over a hard surface wears and rounds the edges of the instrument slightly with every stroke.

As it becomes duller, it forces the user to apply more pressure to make the instrument work properly. Over time, the user adapts to the gradual wear, making it habitual to push harder, increasing the chance of burnishing calculus instead of removing it while compromising ergonomics and long-term health.

Paradise Dental Technologies (PDT) designs instruments to hold their edges longer and that are easier to sharpen, as well as a sharpening system that is easy to use.

Gleason Guide for Sharpening Dental Instruments The Gleason Guide Sharpening System, a simple 3-step process, takes the guess work, and much of the elbow grease, out of instrument sharpening, which makes it less of a pain to do it more often.

The 3-Step Process

1. Stop: place the back of the instrument’s blade against the stop.

2. Rest: lower the instrument until the terminal shank is resting against the bar.

3. Glide: move the instrument in a gliding motion across the stone using light pressure.

Sharpening instruments should be done based on usage rather than time (ie, daily, weekly). It is easy to check whether an instrument needs sharpening: the visual glare test or using a test surface such as PDT’s PingRing.

The visual glare test involves assessing how light reflects off the junction of the face and the lateral side of the blade. If light reflects at that point, this indicates the instrument needs to be resharpened. If there is no reflection that means it is sharp.

The PingRing can be used to test sharpness by placing the blade at the angle you would against a tooth. Using your fulcrum, apply a normal amount of pressure. If the blade grabs the surface of the PingRing, an audible pinging sound confirms that the edge is sharp. If it slides across the ring, it is time for resharpening.

Instruments can’t stay sharp forever. The Gleason Guide Sharpening System uses ceramic sharpening stones, which are harder and do not require the use of oil or water while sharpening.

This is not only convenient, it saves time. Any scaler, curette, or Gracey can be sharpened with the Gleason Guide Sharpening System, but be sure to check whether the manufacturer uses coatings to maintain instrument edges, which would be compromised during the sharpening process and may become unsafe to use.

 

For more information on PDT instruments and to watch a series of videos on the best ways to sharpen a variety of instruments, click here

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How a Unique Composite Helps Pave the Way to Accessible, Affordable Care

How a Unique Composite Helps Pave the Way to Accessible, Affordable Care

OMNICHROMA: A Unique Composite

Omnichroma Shade Matching from TokuyamaDental care inequality is a major problem in America. According to recent reports, nearly 74 million Americans—about 23% of the population—have no dental coverage. Others are barred from access due to finances, language, location, other health needs and poor oral health literacy. Lack of access to dental care disproportionately affects certain segments of the U.S. population including low-income and underserved populations. As a result, many Americans are burdened with untreated oral problems. These conditions can significantly impede quality of life, affect the ability to find and keep a job and lead to debilitating or even life-threatening systemic health issues.

While Medicare and Medicaid offer a path to care for some Americans, the reach of these programs is limited and those that can’t obtain assistance must rely on alternate routes.

Tokuyama Dental America, an award-winning dental product manufacturer, believes that everyone deserves quality care, the best materials and a smile they can be proud of.

Through their corporate social responsibility initiative, Tokuyama Empowers, the company works closely with nonprofits, free clinics, national and local associations and volunteer dentists to identify and support the needs of providers and patients.

By innovating time- and cost-effective solutions and donating high-quality dental products, Tokuyama helps its partners offer free or affordable care to those in need.

OMNICHROMA®, Tokuyama’s latest universal composite, is one such product that enables dental health care providers to better serve large patient pools. Designed with Smart Chromatic Technology, OMNICHROMA employs nature-inspired structural color to deliver perfectly shade-matched restorations. Capable of reproducing any of the 16 VITA classical shades and beyond, the composite’s unprecedented esthetic properties allow practitioners to circumvent the often-time-consuming process of shade-matching. Moreover, OMNICHROMA further helps operations curb costs and streamline workflow by eliminating large shade inventories and their associated challenges.

Featuring exceptional handling, polishability and strength, OMNICHROMA is suitable for nearly every class of restoration and common indication.

Together, these properties allow providers to efficiently and economically offer comprehensive care and create the beautiful smiles all patients deserve—without compromising strength, durability or performance.

To learn more about OMNICHROMA and request a sample for your practice, visit omnichroma.com/us.

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Boost Your Teeth Whitening Business with Social Media

Boost Your Teeth Whitening Business with Social Media

How to Market Teeth Whitening on Social Media

girl smiling infront of computer, cashing in on whitening logo In the time it takes you to read this blog, roughly 300 people in the US will whiten their teeth. Analysts say more than 38 million adults will use whiteners this year and the tooth whitening market is projected to grow annually by 4%.

Brightening smiles can be a tool to grow your practice, but a few waiting room signs and pamphlets aren't enough promotion to make the most out of the professional tooth whitening services you provide.

"Dentistry is really about relationships," says Blake Hadley, founder of My Social Practice; a social media marketing agency geared specifically toward dental offices. "That's what social media is about too—relationships—and for dentists, it's about using social media to show the culture and how they treat patients, but also to stay in touch with patients between those every-six-month visits to strengthen those relationships."

A creative social media marketing strategy could be the key to harnessing your practice's tooth whitening potential.

"Whitening ads, as we traditionally think of them, we haven't had a lot of success with just a picture of a bright smile . . . they don't feel genuine," says Hadley. "Rather than just run an ad that looks like an ad, show the experience of someone coming into the office to get their teeth whitened. Show the process. It's more about the experience than the results."

Successfully growing your tooth whitening business through social media will come down to creating simultaneously entertaining and educational posts, understanding the differences between platforms, timing, and consistency.

The Influence of Edutainment

Social media can be an effective avenue for educating patients about products and procedures through videos, linking to blogs, and other marketing materials. But—and this is a big BUT—being dry, overly-clinical, and mundane will lampoon your efforts. To successfully promote, you want to educate while you entertain. Check out this example featuring Opalescence Go™ teeth whitening

Using Lipstick Shades to sell teeth whitening: poster

Using influencers can also be a compelling and efficient tactic.

Example: Tooth sensitivity after whitening is a common concern for patients debating whether to whiten their teeth. Find a local influencer and reach out with the proposition of trading free whitening in exchange for promotion through their Instagram profile and stories. Sensitivity can be managed with a product like UltraEZ™ desensitizing gel, so the showcased treatment could use this product. The influencer will talk about their seamless pain-free experience, showing viewers that sensitivity isn't a barrier to a whiter smile.

With this strategy, the influencer is doing the heavy lifting by utilizing their skills to entertain their audience while simultaneously educating them about a common concern with the procedure—as well as promoting your practice.

Example: An influencer could post an Instagram story, while going about their day-to-day life using Opalescence Go teeth whitening, pointing to your office as the local place to purchase the product. They could also let viewers know about a promotion you're running—follow X page and comment on X post and you'll get a free sample of Opalescence™ Whitening Toothpaste.

Hadley and My Social Practice recently implemented influencers to help the Smiles for Life campaign. Over a four-month period, he says 90 influencers generated 3,700 website clicks, 86 thousand social engagements, and 2.1 million impressions.
 

Influencer Merrick White used this Instagram story as part of her collaboration with My Social Practice and the Smiles for Life campaign.  

Quality edutainment can also be created within your office, without outsourcing to influencers. If this is your approach, Hadley says you should focus on being sincere and candid. Be a person, not a business. Highlight processes, not just products. Sell potential patients on the benefits of tooth whitening, not on the service itself.

 Your posts should also address common "objections" such as price, complexity of procedure, and scheduling. If you post about the simplicity of whitening, make sure to include a direct link to your online scheduling page to simplify the process for patients. Inform your audience about how fast whitening can be done in-office and don't be afraid to showcase pricing. Tooth whitening is a simple, quick, cost effective procedure—all those areas should be reflected in your posts.

All Platforms are not Created Equal

There's no shortage of social media platforms touting massive user bases; Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, and TikTok all have millions of people actively using their platforms every day. However, Hadley says he keeps his clients' resources concentrated solely on Facebook and Instagram.

 Facebook boasts more than 2 billion monthly active users and Instagram claims more than 1 billion. Facebook is the king for text and links while Instagram content is highly visual.

Example: Instagram isn't great for linking to outside sources, so Facebook would be the better choice if you're trying to promote a blog comparing in-office whitening to at-home treatments. If you're promoting a video showing the simplicity of your whitening treatment, Instagram would be your best bet.

There's also vast differences in what's allowed on each platform. "Facebook has quite a few regulations on how much text you can put in an image . . . and they're starting to get pretty strict on showing close-up shots of teeth, or before-and-after shots," says Hadley. "We've had ads flagged for being too zoomed in on the teeth or too zoomed in on one area of the body."

"Facebook is a pay-to-play model," Hadley says. "In order to get your content seen through Facebook, you need to 'boost' it or create ads with it." With Instagram, your followers are more likely to see your content organically without you shelling out cash. "Currently, Stories are the most effective way to post on Instagram because more and more people are seeing that content. More people are watching Stories on Instagram than seeing posts. Without putting any money into anything, Instagram Stories are your best bet right now."

Scheduling Success

A patient may decide on tooth whitening due to pressures or circumstances that have nothing to do with your products or services—like timing.

Shape your messaging to reflect events, occasions, seasons, etc. when people might be interested in more photogenic smiles.

Example: During graduation season, a college student may have just spent the last few months slamming mug after mug of coffee to stay up late, study, and earn their cap and gown. Coffee stains aren't what they want to stand out in their grad photos.

Timing isn't just time of year, it's also time of day. Understanding the analytics for your audience is vital to publishing successful content. Posting when your followers aren't online makes it more difficult for them to see your message. If your followers aren't viewing your content, they aren't interacting with it. If they aren't interacting with it, timeline algorithms think you posted bad content and will basically bury it.

There's also the issue of consistency. You want to post with enough frequency to ensure your followers see your message, without flooding their feed and potentially annoying them to the point of unfollowing (gasp!). But, is that really a colossal concern? "Sometimes people get nervous about posting too much about one thing. We have clients ask us 'should I really be posting every day?' or 'should I really be talking about this that much?' I don't think it really annoys people as much as some think it might," Hadley says. "If they don't want to see it, they just scroll past it."

Converting Posts Into Patients

Social media is a proven medium to bolster your tooth whitening business. Properly utilizing platforms like Facebook and Instagram will allow you to showcase treatments and engage with users. Turning your social posts into real-world patients requires genuine content that entertains while it educates, posting at the right time of the year and day, and understanding the nuances between platforms.  

 

Ready to get started? Browse this selection of FREE marketing downloadables for social media and more by clicking HERE!

And while you're at it, stock up on Opalescence Whitening products today by clicking HERE!

Don't forget to follow Opalescence Teeth Whitening products on Facebook and Instagram!

 

 

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Need Helping Growing Your Dental Practice in 2020? There’s a Solution

Need Helping Growing Your Dental Practice in 2020? There’s a Solution

Streamline your practice with Spear Practice Solutions

spear education online As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time for your practice year-end financial review.  Was it a good year? Hopefully it was, and current economic indicators (i.e. 3.5% unemployment in September and an upward trend in healthcare employment*) translated to practice growth. Hopefully, it wasn’t a stagnant year, and the team took advantage of opportunities to expand the business. However, that’s sometimes easier said than done for busy practices and dentists who aren’t natural financial planners. If that’s the case in your practice, you’re not alone.

Dr. Sammi Hadad of Brownstown, MI, used to feel like her practice was cruising on “autopilot.” A dentist with 23 years’ experience, she felt good about the clinical treatment she was providing to patients, but she lacked confidence in the financial side of her work. For instance, she struggled to figure out how and to what extent her practice was losing re-care patients. Recognizing she needed help, she hired a highly recommended consultant, but the experience was unproductive, as the consultant didn’t follow through on providing actionable solutions to the staff. 

As the challenges remained unresolved, Dr. Hadad was hesitant to invest in any other consultants or programs. She wanted insurance that the investment would result in actionable steps that she and her team could implement to achieve lasting results. In late 2017, she learned about Spear Practice Solutions, a comprehensive platform from Spear Education, and decided to go for it. It would prove to be the right decision. Her practice would benefit from all four components of the Spear Practice Solutions platform: expert consultants; prescribed, self-directed learning; powerful analytics and reporting; and campus workshops. 

using spear edu online or via mobile Embracing Growth Opportunities

Immediately, Dr. Hadad benefited from the cloud-based Spear Practice Solutions dashboard, which offered an easy-to-navigate online analytics platform. This helped her visualize her practice’ data and get a better grasp of finances. She and her team enjoyed the onboarding experience with their dedicated practice solutions consultant, who helped them to define their practice vision and establish benchmarks for monthly production.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hadad began developing a clear picture of how to manage treatment planning, as the new system automatically revealed re-care opportunities by highlighting patients who had yet to confirm appointments. The consultant also discovered a data-management issue within the practice management system that had mistakenly marked active patients as inactive. Once the issue was resolved, front-office tasks became more streamlined and patient engagement improved.

At the consultant’s recommendation, Dr. Hadad began using daily morning huddles and weekly team meetings to review data. The team now discusses proposed recommendations and decides how to effectively implement changes in the practice. Staff members share the positive results they see as they exceed monthly production goals and use their momentum to continue growing.

Eventually, Dr. Hadad and her team traveled to the Spear Campus in Scottsdale, AZ, to attend the Practice of Excellence workshop. The experience furthered their skills in the Spear Practice Solutions dashboard and proved to be a useful team-building exercise. The dashboard has become an integral part of the office’s routine. Staff members use it throughout the day, and Dr. Hadad checks it in the morning and evening for an accurate snapshot of the practice’s overall financial health, production numbers, and overall key performance indicators.

Dr. Hadad’s results speak for themselves: 

+ 24% increase in overall production. (opportunity: a hygiene room was added to meet production goals)

+ $135,000 increase in revenue for first five months using program

+130% increase in personal hourly production, from $341 to $800 per hour, in less than one year.

spear education seminar The Takeaway

After implementing Spear Practice Solutions, Dr. Hadad feels like her practice’s visions and goals are clearly defined, and the team functions confidently without needing her daily direction. 

The practice is no longer on “autopilot” and is rapidly growing. Dr. Hadad is now focused on hiring an associate dentist to help keep pace with the influx of patients. Overall, she feels positioned to expand her practice for the long-term, ensuring she can work as comfortably as possible without limiting her growth.

If this story is relatable to your practice and its current financial situation, consider taking a bold step toward actionable growth. Learn more by reaching out to Spear Education at sps@speareducation.com or call 866.781.0072 (ext. 3). You can also visit www.speareducation.com/practice-solutions to schedule a free consultation. 


* https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

 

 

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Choosing Practice Management Software for Dental Practice Growth

Choosing Practice Management Software for Dental Practice Growth

Practice management software is complex and powerful

From image acquisition and procedure coding to patient re-care and scheduling. It’s fair to say that this software forms the backbone of any thriving practice, so the question is, do you have the right “bone structure” that offers flexibility and growth?

For all dental practices, new or established, choosing the right software platform is important not only for a seamless transition of data, but also for your ability to realize growth goals.

Right now, all practices are likely thinking about their 2020 growth goals. As the practice expands, the staff should be able to lean into their software more for improved efficiencies. This is exactly what practice software solution provider XLDent has taken into account with its phased implementation and why, if you visit www.xldent.com, “Getting Started” is a key prompt. Practices select whether they’re an established practice or a new startup practice, and that ultimately informs their course of action.

Established Practices

For established practices, switching practice management systems comes down to transition and implementation. This process relies on 4 steps: Prepare, Implement, Review and Succeed. XLDent takes a “teach-a-bit-practice-a-lot” approach, not only training the staff on the software but also helping them to apply the tools within the XLDent Suite for maximum efficiency and productivity.

XLDent Practice management software cartoon Learn more about the XLDent Suite.

XLDent begins with a personal Implementation Specialist that guides the practice through the preparation process. In this stage, XLDent discusses software implementation goals and customizes a training plan to best suit your needs. Meanwhile, XLDent’s conversion team begins working to ensure that the practice database transfer contains as much information as possible and the data is converted accurately. Part of the implementation phase is helping the practice to identify administrative and clinical team leads as “go-to-staff” immediately following the training. XLDent also suggests job responsibility adjustments and offers guidance for optimal electronic workflows.

During the review phase, XLDent will assess the staff’s software competency and follow-up needs, and confirm that core business systems transitioned and are functioning efficiently. The practice will define its growth goals and identify supplemental XLDent resources to ensure success. Throughout and even after training, the team will have access to self-guided resources and toolkits, on-demand webinars, and live technical support.

xldent practice management software on computer as exampleNew Startup Practices

For startups, the phased implementation includes 5 steps: Plan, Build, Implement, Review, and Grow.

These steps are similar to the course of action for established practices, except the process begins with a Getting Started Coach and XLDent’s How-to Guide, which will help the practice personalize the software. During the Build phase, XLDent works with the practice to build a valuable EDR (electronic dental records) database, and select eSolutions best suited to the practice. Practices who chose XLDent likely did so for these cloud-based solutions, which offer the advantages of paperless workflow that’s mobile- and tablet-friendly. 

During the review process, practices will review XLDent reports to manage and track key metrics. In the final phase, XLDent helps the practice define 12-month business goals, create a plan to achieve these goals with milestones to keep the plan on track, and identify supplemental XLDent resources to ensure success.

Learn more about XLDent’s eSolutions.

When Dental Product Shopper conducted a current-user evaluation of XLDent, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, resulting in a DPS “Best Product” designation. The current users included established practices as well as startups.

Established practice: “When we converted to paperless operatories, it was a huge undertaking, and XLDent was there to help us in every step.” – Office Manager Lisa Meyer

Startup practice: “[Moving to XLDent is] “the best decision we made when doing a startup. [The] software is excellent, but the company behind the software is also excellent—a very winning combination.” – Office Manager Heidi Holeman

Read the full XLDent evaluation here.  

Learn more and request a live demo at www.XLDent.com.

 

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Can You Trust the IT Service Provider for Your Dental Practice?

Can You Trust the IT Service Provider for Your Dental Practice?

The Right IT Service Provider for Your Dental Practice

cyber security logo As far as IT services are concerned, dental practices are currently preoccupied with the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows 71, Windows Server 2008, and 2008 R2.2 The January 2020 deadline is fast-approaching and as I predicted in a previous article, we at TechCentral by Henry Schein One are seeing an end-of-year rush to upgrade operating systems. 

The sense of urgency is not misplaced. When Windows support ends, no updates will be released for these operating systems, and hackers will be waiting in the wings to exploit vulnerabilities in unprotected systems. However, what dental practices may not realize is that hackers are ready to attack your IT service provider right now. The general school of thought among cyber criminals is, “Why waste my time on a single practice when I can go after the managed services company?”

Two recent targeted attacks on service providers were well-publicized: 

1. In a July attack in Oregon, hackers gained access to several dental practice networks through their IT consulting company.3 The consulting company was not optimistic about a full or timely recovery. 

2. In an August attack in Wisconsin, hackers gained access to a company that backs up digital data for dental offices across the U.S. About 400 of those offices have been affected by the ransomware attack.4 Recovery was a lengthy process, and according to updates posted on the company’s Facebook page, the attack had a potentially devastating impact on the business.

These incidents raise an important question: how can you be sure your dental office is protected beyond your in-office network and hardware, and that you won’t be attacked through your IT service provider? 

At TechCentral, we can only answer that question based on the services we provide to our customers. We aim not only to educate our customers about the firewall, antivirus, and backup protections we offer, but also to provide transparency about the security measures we’ve taken internally to prevent hackers from infiltrating our systems and reaching protected health information. 

Protecting the Entire Network 

Henry Schein Tech Central on a Desktop ComputerTechCentral offers many IT products and services, including computers, database servers, Wi-Fi access points, backup systems and update/patching services.

We use a layered security approach, including firewall security appliances; anti-virus and malware detection; centralized credential management; BitLocker server encryption for data at rest; wireless intrusion prevention; storage redundancy; encrypted local and cloud backups; and automated centrally managed updates. 

Many of these IT services are provided through TechCentral’s “hardware-as-a-service,” including OmniCore, our all-in-one dental office network. OmniCore comes complete with a virtualized server, network-attached storage (NAS), a business-grade wireless access point, and firewall and hybrid data backup, all contained in a mobile, low-profile rack that can be rolled easily into an office. 

But what about our internal “checks and balances” to protect our systems from hackers? 

For example, when TechCentral acts as your external IT company, we need to access your server in order to do maintenance tasks, meaning we start a remote session. It’s imperative that we make sure these remote sessions are secure. Our internal security layers include physical, technical, administrative, backups, updates/patches, audits, and reviews. 

Here are some of the specific security measures we take:

Strict Vetting Process for Partners 

One of the most important things we do is vet our software partners who help us provide the aforementioned services. We want to make sure their security measures are up to our standards, and they’re doing the right thing by our customers. 

Private Cloud for RMM Tool (Managed Services) 

Our remote management tool (RMM) is hosted in a private cloud. It’s not a public cloud-based offering, which would be more prone to attack. 

Geo-Blocking 

Hackers from around the world have learned how to spoof IP addresses. If you’re going to access our RMM, you must have a U.S.-based IP address. If you’re overseas and don’t know our IP addresses, you can’t get into our system. We go through great lengths to hide our IP addresses so it’s harder to find out where we are to attack us. 

Centralized Credential Management (Domain-Specific) 

TechCentral has restricted access to tools and portals in our internal Henry Schein domain. If you’re not an authorized user on one of our building’s networks or through VPN, you’re not getting access to the tools. We block the connection, preventing hackers from accessing our network and attacking our customers.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Before our team members can access the RMM, they have to provide multiple credentials through a process known as multi-factor authentication (MFA). According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, MFA, sometimes referred to as two-factor authentication or 2FA, is a security enhancement that requires you to present two pieces of evidence—your credentials—when logging in to an account.5 Credentials fall into three categories: something you know, like a password or PIN, something you have (smartphone), or something you are (fingerprint). Your credentials must come from two different categories to ensure security, so entering two different passwords would not qualify as multi-factor.

Job & Tool Segmentation and Credential Refresh

Say an employee is managing imaging for a customer, but we’d like to move him/her over to work on a customer’s network. To improve security, we create a segmentation of duties and network-access control of passwords. When he/she moves jobs, his/her credentials are refreshed.

Customer Segmentation

Let’s say an IT service provider gives one of their employees access to all of their customer-service sites. Hackers often search the Internet for username and email credentials. They then set up servers and run programs to see if you have a complex password. In some cases, it may only take them a couple of hours to hack credentials. If a hacked account has access to all customers, that’s a huge problem, as the hacker is now able to encrypt all customer data.

This is why at TechCentral, as a national service provider, we have employees that work on Dentrix Enterprise, imaging, solo practices, backup, and server maintenance, and we segment their duties. If one employee’s credentials are compromised, the hacker won’t gain access to our entire installation base of thousands of dental practices. 

Storage Redundancy and Encrypted, Local, Cloud Backup

One of our hardware customers, who is not an IT customer, was recently attacked by crypto-ransomware. In this case, the customer didn’t have historical backup, which surprised me. In fact, all of this customer’s copies were bad. It was apparent that the IT service provider didn’t vet their partners properly and didn’t keep up-to-date with security measures. At TechCentral, we make sure our customers have backups on the machine, locally in a hard drive, as well as in the cloud, and there’s also a fourth copy that’s stored in another remote location. 

Multi-Step Patch Management Approval Process

Microsoft can make mistakes with Windows Updates. Recently, Microsoft released a Windows Update patch that triggered the BitLocker encryption feature within Windows and prevented some practices from accessing their own data. This is why TechCentral uses a multi-step patch management approval process to ensure patches are tested before being released to our customers.

Cyber threat on computer Random Vulnerability Testing and Continuous Process Improvements

We ask a third-party security company to come in monthly and do random testing so we can improve our security features on all fronts. 
As I frequently tell customers concerning their IT, “don’t be complacent and don’t get arrogant.” If you get complacent about IT security, you become lazy. Meanwhile, cybercriminals are becoming more intelligent about who is most vulnerable. Dental practices, as well as their IT service providers, must continue to take precautions and review processes to ensure that their network security can properly defend against these hackers

That’s exactly why TechCentral developed OmniCore, our all-in-one network infrastructure solution, which provides all essential network hardware and IT services to make sure your office network is always up to date. With OmniCore, you can focus on delivering excellent patient care, without having to worry about your IT solutions. 

you’re not certain of where your dental practice IT security stands, give TechCentral a call and get a free assessment. We’re a one-stop IT partner for dentists, able to take care of all your network needs, from upgrading your OS, to replacing old workstations and software, to setting up IT equipment and remotely monitoring it. If your network is at risk, we’ll work with you on an upgrade plan to ensure your practice is protected, sooner rather than later. Visit www.henryscheintechcentral.com or call us today at 844.206.1228.  

About David Broom

David Broom is Senior Director of Product and Business Development at TechCentral by Henry Schein One. David has a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT) from the University of Texas in Dallas and has more than 35 years of experience from many global companies, such as Hitachi Vantara, Methode Electronics, and Keane Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product management and field service teams at TechCentral, which identifies the ideal advanced technologies to meet the unique needs of the dental market and ensure that dental offices are using the right IT to be more efficient and effective.

This article is paid for by Henry Schein TechCentral. Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein Inc. and its affiliates are not responsible for and expressly disclaim all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.

1. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-will-end-on-january-14-2020

2. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-new-options-for-sql-server-2008-and-windows-server-2008-end-of-support/

3. https://tdn.com/news/local/local-dental-offices-hit-by-malware-forced-to-cancel-appointments/article_d4a6fc1e-f4c4-5ef0-9974-3b7bee11bab8.html

4. https://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Wisconsin-dental-company-hit-by-ransomware-attack-558881071.html

5. https://www.nist.gov/itl/tig/back-basics-multi-factor-authentication

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