What I learned at Yankee Dental

Dental Practice Management Ideas from Yankee Dental

As a dental office manager, I enjoy checking out dental marketing, dental technology and dental practice management booths at the shows. Here are a few that caught my interest this year at Yankee DentalYankee Dental:

  • Dentrix Ascend – I took a tour of Henry Schein’s new cloud-based dental practice management software and I like how it fills in the blanks when I type and the concept of the dashboard fits my “measure everything” attitude. Offered on a subscription basis, I can see the allure of eliminating all the tech support for a server, backups, updates, etc. plus the benefit of incorporating the e-services.
  • Mopro – A website company that caught my attention thanks to their cute blue octopus logo – they offer to create beautiful images & videos for your site on a subscription basis.
  • 3D printing – I’ve been waiting to see this at a dental show and Stratasys offers both $50k and $100k options. I asked why these were so expensive when I hear about personal 3D printers costing about $3k and they said the speed and their FDA approval for dentistry. I think it will be exciting when these come down in price and they’re a regular part of our equipment.
  • Canary – A new caries detection technology that can check under sealants and crowns for tooth breakdown. I asked for a comparison to the Diagnodent and it sounds like the Diagnodent measures bacteria on the surfact of the tooth while the Canary measures the breakdown of the tooth. Very interesting.

Dental Practice Benchmarks

I heard a couple new benchmarks that were new to me at this show as well.

12-15 years
Lifetime of a dental hygienist based on her hands
(Heard from a Dentsply rep as we discussed cavitron vs. instruments)

Average recall effectiveness
(Heard from a practice management consultant)

Dental Patient Reviews

And, an example of “Do your homework” – I chatted with a very nice fellow at a booth focused on selling the ability to stop negative patient reviews from being shared publically. Their patient survey was 3 questions and if the patient ranked less than a 4, the next screen popped up to ask “Please tell us how we disappointed you.” and requested their name, address, phone, as well as a box to fill in more details about the visit. The cost was $800 set up plus $350/mo.

Now, I know that both Demandforce and Dentrix offer a very nice email survey feature that invites patient feedback – both for far less, and both offering far more than a 3 question survey. But the kicker here was the idea that if a patient ranks you a 3-star (which on a scale of 1-5 most people would consider average) that you would immediately suggest that the patient was disappointed?! I’ve studied enough psychology to know that this is considered a leading comment – if the patient originally answered this survey because they felt it was an average, regular visit and ranked it a 3, then once they read this language, they most likely will begin to think about how the visit was disappointing! Moral of the story: Do your homework.

Learning about new products and technology at trade shows is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

Feel free to email me.

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
1 Comment
  • C. Smith dds

    I pay for demandforce, but I never used [or understood] all the features they offered. Thanks Jill, I’ll make sure I get my money’s worth now!

    March 9, 2014