Dental implants good but only in specific situations

Dental implants have grown in use over the years and for good reason. In an ideal scenario, an implant can replace a problem tooth quite well.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal procedure for all patients. There are many mitigating factors to consider before recommending an implant.

First, check the condition of the teeth next to the implant area. If they’re good, then I would recommend proceeding. If not, I would think a conventional crown and bridge treatment would be better.

Here are some common questions and answers that arise during treatment planning:

  • How long will the implant last?
    • Typically ten years or longer.
  • Does implant surgery hurt?
    • In most cases, implant surgery is less painful than having a tooth removed. 
  • How long does implant surgery take?
    • Most of the time, placement of a single implant will take less than fifty minutes.
  • Do dental implants fail?
    • Yes, about 10 percent fail on the lower arch and 20 percent on the upper arch.

Many factors increase the failure rate, but the most common are smoking, diabetes that is not under control, and poor patient home care.

A dental implant cannot get a cavity but it can develop periodontal disease. Other failure factors include poor quality and quantity of bone and putting the implant into function too soon.

Can you place the dental implant immediately after you extract a tooth? Yes, but you have to be able to remove the tooth with as little trauma as possible to provide the implant with the best bone available.

If the dental extraction is completed with little to no damage to the surrounding bone, than in many cases, the implant can be placed immediately.

When discussing the cost of a dental implant with your patient, make certain they understand that at least three different fees may apply.

  • The first fee is the surgical placement of the implant.
  • The second is for the implant abutment.
  • The third covers the placement of the implant crown.

Your patient should be aware of the total cost before treatment.

An implant is a good way to handle a problem tooth in the right circumstances. But a truly successful implant experience includes involving your patient in the entire process, from rates of success to the cost.

This is just one of the best practices I talk about when coaching other dentists. If you want to talk to me about coaching your practice, please contact me.

Being a coach to your patients the best dental strategy

When working with my patients, I’ve come to see that aside from fixing their teeth, I’m also a consultant and at best, a coach to them.

If all I did was fix their chompers, that would get old rather quickly. Helping them change their habits and become proactive in their own care is a very fulfilling process for both them and myself.

As a dentist, I’m looking to establish a relationship with my patients much like a medical doctor.

Your physician talks to you about your health and what you can do to improve it. Same with dentists.

Short term thinking would have it that a dentist should allow poor patient habit to continue in order to profit off of their bad decisions.

But most of us are in the long game as dentists. We want our roles in their lives to be meaningful. We want them to change their bad habits and learn better dental hygiene.

Here’s the odd twist. Despite the seeming financial benefits of letting a patient worsen in their habits, it’s not at all true. If a patient’s dental health deteriorates one of two things will happen. They will either stop going to a dentist or only show up when they need a tooth pulled. Eventually dentures will enter the picture, another one-time solution to dental care. In short, they won’t be a patient of you – or any dentist – for long.

Keeping a patient by coaching them to better personal care will result in a fulfilling long-term relationship, one that, circumstances permitting, will see them as your patient for many years.

So if you want to bring greater purpose to your role as a dentist, become a coach to your patient. It will bring dividends both personally and financially for that matter.

If you want to learn how to be a better dental coach please get in touch. I can be your coach too.

My spring break: going to ‘Excellent’ and talking profitabilty

Even dentists need a spring break. But I’m going to be working during mine!

It’s a good kind of work though: I’ll be talking at the Excellence In Dentistry Spring Break Seminar taking place April 27 to 29 in Destin, Florida.

Even better I’ll be speaking about one of my favorite topics: Process and Procedures to Improve Profitability.

When it comes to building a more profitable dental practice, cutting corners is a short-sighted strategy. Better to invest in processes and procedures that drive the growth of your practice.

Over the course of my 90-minute talk, I’ll outline how I did exactly that in my 14 practices and outline the simple but crucial changes you can implement to make your practice S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

These include:

S scheduling tips that make a big difference to profitability by increasing efficiency.

P production improvements to provide better care and service to patients.

E employee or team member management that drives everyone to want to deliver better results and perform at higher levels.

C collections improvements that will show you how to reach a 98% success rate.

I internal controls to help you manage your practice

A Associates and accounts receivables as a tool for growth

L liability and asset management to protect yourself and your business

So please join me on April 27th at 1:30pm at Destin for my talk and make certain to reach out to talk while there or in advance about how to improve your practice.

See you there!

Every member of your practice team is in the sales and service dept.

Selling your practice: when, why and how

Although I often speak to young dentists about the ins and outs of setting up their practice, I also enjoy talking to my contemporaries about the process of leaving their practice.

Dental-consultant-Kevin-CoughlinAt the Excellence In Dentistry conference taking place April 27-29 in Destin, Florida I’ll be giving a number of talks including one on the steps to take when preparing to sell a dental practice.

Here are a few of the points I’ll cover:

  1. When should you start the process?

This requires some finesse but in general, the sooner the better. It’s a two-way dance between you and any potential buyers. You want to sell to someone who’s going to be successful and will treat your patients well. The buyer will want to evaluate all aspects of the practice from the demographics of your patient base to the vintage of your equipment. They may even want you to stay on awhile to help them learn the ropes of running your practice.

  1. How do you know if you’re ready and able to sell?

This is a very personal decision and there are many factors involved. Discussions with your wife or husband come first, then your partners in the practice if there are any. More importantly you need to answer the big questions, are you ready to hang up the drill? Are you ready to let your practice go?

  1. Can I use a simple formula to determine what I might sell my practice for?

There are so many factors that go into determining the selling price of a practice. Some include the actual dental office.  However many extend far beyond that to demographics, client base and the location of the office.

There are other factors of course and I will cover them in my talk at the conference.

I look forward to discussing this with my colleagues at the Excellence In Dentistry conference. If you haven’t already registered I encourage you to do so by clicking here.

If you can’t make the practice and you’d like to speak to me about the hows and whys please get in touch.