Orthodontics for the General Practitioner


“Dr Kevin Coughlin discusses Orthodontics for the General Practitioner”

Dental and Implant Technology

Dr Coughlin & his guest DIO Implant’s Jonathan Bubar discuss the latest & greatest of dental and implant technology that DIO is bringing to the forefront.

Competing with Management Service

“How are we competing with management service organizations & dental service organizations? Find out in today’s episode.”

Podcast: Are team meetings valuable?

How do we conduct these meetings? Should we even waste time with these meetings?”

Podcast: Gary Wilson talks The Business of Corporations

Mr. Gary Wilson chats with Dr. Coughlin about the business of corporations – when and where to invest in your practice, passive income, and how to achieve a little bit more financial freedom besides the clinical aspect of dentistry.

Podcast: How to Hire

Dr. Kevin Coughlin believes you can offer an incredibly high level of care and service in a very efficient and effective way if you’re willing to invest in the technology, the training, and the team. This episode explores hiring – when, how, and most importantly why looking for the right team fit is key.

Podcast: The Jiffy Lube Experience


Dr Kevin Coughlin ruminates on the excellent customer service he received at the oddest of places – a Jiffy Lube – and connects the dots on how that kind of customer satisfaction can be applicable to the dentist industry.

Podcast: Motivation

After 35 years, I’d like to share with how I keep my employees motivated.

It’s a combination of things that will work based on your team members’ personalities. I think it’s critical as “the leader” of your team that you lead by example. If you come in with an angry demeanor, if you come in upset and aggravated, you’re not leading by example, you’re leading by failure. Somehow, you have to get up every single day, put your best foot forward, and provide the best example you can to your team.

I also think it’s critical that you offer your team members the opportunity for advancement – make the training and the time available to discuss with them their personal wants and needs. You have to physically make time in your schedule to meet one-on-one with your team members. I suggest you do not delegate to the management team. I suggest you take the time to meet with your individuals one-on-one.

Podcast: When is Enough…Enough?

The entire Dental profession realizes approximately 5,000 dentists will be graduating in the next few weeks and entering into the market force. Most of these young men and women will have very little clinical experience, but some wonderful educational background. The vast majority of these individuals will be bypassing specialty programs, bypassing residency programs, and going directly into the dental market or job and career areas. The question is: When is enough is enough?

Today the incredible debt of private education and the downward forces from insurance companies and DSO’s and MSO’s make it extremely difficult for these individuals to make it in the real market place. I would strongly recommend negotiating your best contract but be realistic in what you ask for.

My personal opinion is in those first 12 to 24 months focus on education training, development of process and procedures, and make sure you have a mentor in the practice that can work you through the difficulties that all of us, as dentists, deal with when we first start our career.

Podcast: Becoming More Efficient and More Effective Without Burning Out

Kevin:This is Dr. Kevin Coughlin. You’re listening to Ascent Dental Solutions with a focus on knowledge, education, training and development. I want to give special thanks to VOCO dental supply company for their expertise in training and providing the supplies to allow dentists to provide the highest level of care and service in the dental profession. I also want to give special thanks to Mr. David Wolf for his expertise in developing these podcasts.

Tonight’s topic is how do we become more efficient and more effective without burning out? I am getting prepared for a meeting of approximately fifty team members in my organization this week, and what we’ve done is we’ve taken a cold, hard look at really what the bottom line is. It’s something we all talk about, but very seldom ever do. There’s a big debate and, like most debates, there’s some truth in all parties, but do you accept all dental insurance plans? Do you only accept certain dental plans? How do you decide? And basically, I think every healthcare professional would love to see one thing: control of their fees.

Right now, most dental plans, and certainly medical plans, there is absolutely no control of our fees. It’s almost laughable that you would be in a business, and a business owner at that, and have zero control of the fees. The insurance companies are dictating what fees we have. We’ll take a cold, hard look. And in the real world, most general dentists or specialist dentists accept most dental plans out of necessity. It’s nice for the few that can say they have concierge practices and they only accept fee for service. But I think for the bulk of healthcare professionals, we accept what comes in the door. To me, the real question is how to manage it. And I strongly suggest that you consider some simple approaches that may make your life easier.

In the state of Massachusetts, it amazes me that under government-subsidized programs, such as Common Care Alliance or MassHealth, sometimes the reimbursement for restorations, composites particularly, can be somewhere between $60 and $90. I think most dentists know that when you’re doing a composite and you want to do it at a high level with high level of materials and expertise, it is almost impossible to do these restorations for that type of fee schedule and stay in business. I personally pay our dental hygienist $40 an hour plus approximately $8 to $9 in benefits and all my dental assistants or team members are paid $30 an hour with, again, approximately $8 to $9 in benefits. So if you just add up the two assistants assisting me plus myself doing a restoration for thirty minutes that’s going to give us a reimbursement of between $60 and $90, you can immediately see that you either have to see a hundred patients an hour or you’re going to go out of business.

The simple fact is, the following things, it at least helped me in the state of Massachusetts and perhaps may help you manage your practice and take the stress and reduce some of the financial pain. As you know, many states allow dental hygienists to (unclear 04:01) locally anesthetic. I can tell you for the last six months, in almost all cases, my floating dental hygienists, which takes walk-ins, call-ins, people who are behind in their hygiene recall or recare program, are doing my local anesthetic. I can also tell you that with the Triodent Matrix System, the matrix systems are set up, everything is prepped and ready, the DryShield, which I’m using as a rubber dam, is ready and set, that I have been able to reduce my composite times down in, I believe, a high degree of success, very little to no sensitivity, and very little occlusal adjustments, down to about eight minutes.

What that means is the patient is still booked for twenty or thirty minutes, but the actual clinical chair time that I’m in there, providing that service, is about seven to eight minutes. Although I’d still like to see a compensatory return on my training and expertise, somewhere between $300 and $400 for a posterior or anterior composite, many times, insurance companies have dictated the fees closer to that $60 to $100 rate, and perhaps the techniques of delegating and providing a system for your composites along with other areas of dentistry will help your bottom line.

If you find these topics and other topics interesting, please contact me at Ascent Dental Solutions. My name is Dr. Kevin Coughlin. I’m still practicing full-time. I’ve been practicing for thirty-six years. I grew and built fifteen general dental practices, sold to a managed service organization, and now currently have fifty team members in three offices here in Massachusetts. I want to give special thanks to VOCO for their expertise in providing the supplies and trainings to provide high level of care and service in our practice, Ascent Dental Care, and I want to give special thanks to Mr. David Wolf for his expertise in producing these podcasts. My name is Dr. Kevin Coughlin. I look forward to chatting with you in the near future. Thanks for listening and have a great evening.