dental team strategic planning for the future

What is your future? That’s up to you and your dental team.

With all that has occurred over the past few months, many of us are left wondering what the future holds.  One way to add a degree of certainty during uncertain times is to engage your brain, and your team members in a strategic planning process.  There may be more questions now than previously, but by definition the future is uncertain, and yet we must create plans if we want to accomplish our goals.

Not long ago I oversaw a strategic planning meeting for a large dental practice. Levin Group conducted this all-day meeting, which resulted in the identification of 11 key strategies that the practice would like to achieve within the next three years. It took an entire day to work through identifying the practice’s core values, mission, vision, and ultra-specific strategies to support all their efforts.

Strategic planning days are some of my most enjoyable workdays.

Watching a group of dentists and office managers identify what they want to accomplish for their future is exciting and invigorating. Strategic planning isn’t a group of people sitting in a conference room picking ideas out of the air. These meetings create the opportunity for people, often for the first time, to look ahead, make plans, and believe that they are achievable.

  1. Strategic planning is a thorough process that starts by identifying a practice’s core values.  These are the underlying principles of the practice that will never be violated and allow the practice to make great decisions.
  2. We then perform a SWOT analysis where every pertinent practice issue is identified by the team, written down, categorized by strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and then put into priority order. The top three from each category (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) become the driving force behind the ultimate strategies that are selected.
  3. Lastly, we create a series of statements on where the practice will be in 5 years.

Select realistic strategies

With all of that “pre-work” complete, we have an excellent picture of where we stand and where we want to go, and it’s time to start selecting specific strategies to get there. The good news is that the strategies become amazingly obvious based on the work the group is already done.
One quick word of caution:  At this stage in the exercise practices often become excited and there is a tendency to try to cram strategy deadline into the next 12 months, but this will not work. It’s unrealistic and simply can’t get done. Instead, we recommend that you stage the strategies out over the next five years, establish deadlines, and then assign responsible parties.

Keep the momentum going

We conclude these strategic planning sessions by reinforcing that the practice must have a strategic plan update meeting each month to maintain accountability and keep the momentum going. The worst thing to do is to go through this whole process, stick the strategic plan on a shelf, and never look at it again. You want it to be living plan and therefore will need to update it every month to determine if you’re on track and decide if changes must be made.

About the blogger

Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.

To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com

How will the stimulus bill impact your dental office?

For dentists wondering how the Federal stimulus bill will impact their office, or searching for best practices to stabilize and strengthen a dental team in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a webinar on Tuesday, March 31 will provide answers and options.

“The Practice Interruption” hosted at 5:30 p.m. ET will offer expert advice from Dan Wicker, CPA, Cain Watters and Associates partner and managing director, and Dr. Todd Engel, owner and founder of Engel Institute. They’ve teamed with Benco Dental to present this free webinar to assist dentists today, tomorrow and when the practice doors open again.

Register here.

What are the March 31 webinar objectives for dentists?

The Coronavirus pandemic has sparked a frenzied selling of stocks and mandatory lockdowns all over the country. Businesses of all sizes have been disrupted by the virus, as a result of local and national reactions. For dental practice owners, having to close their doors for business quickly carries implications on their personal finances.

Tuesday’s webinar, sponsored by Benco Dental, Cain Watters and Associates and the Engel Institute, addresses those topics and more. Register here.

From Dan Wicker: “Overview of the New Legislation and the Impact On Your Practice”:
* How will the stimulus bill impact my office?
* What do practices need to know?

From Dr. Todd Engel: “Best Practices to Stabilize & Strengthen Your Team, Your Patients and Your Practice”.

Ready to register?

To register: click here.

Have COVID-19 questions? ADA offers extensive resources, webinars for dentists

The American Dental Association is committed to helping the dental community navigate the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19. Their most up-to-date information regarding can be found at ADA.org/virus.

On March 20, 2020, the ADA teamed with leading infection control experts from the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) to provide the dental community with practical guidance and education.

The first step: providing extensive resources and webinars. View an entire page of their recorded webinars here

An example of one of the videos: 

Dental professionals are invited to frequently check this page for additional webinars.

On which other topics does the ADA share COVID-19 updates, webinars?

  • Current Infection Control Protocols and Procedures
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Sanitizing Operatory Rooms and Equipment
  • Aerosol
  • Pre-Treatment Mouth Rinses and Daily Hygiene
  • Protecting Patients and Dental Staff

And the presenters are…

Kathy Eklund, RDH, MHP

Eve Cuny, MS, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Associate Professor at University of the Pacific, Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California where she is also Assistant Dean for Global Relations. 

Kathy Eklund, RDH, MHP, the Director of Occupational Health and Safety, and the Forsyth Research Subject and Patient Safety Advocate at The Forsyth Institute. 

Ready for webinars and updates?

Click here.

Coping During Crisis? Join a free March 25 webinar from Dental Intelligence & Benco Dental

The Coronavirus pandemic has dealt all employers with never-before-heard-of challenges. Understandably, there are many questions and concerns, and a complimentary CE webinar Wednesday answers many of them. For starters:
* What’s the interplay between vacation time, sick leave, PTO and unemployment benefits?
* How does the new/pending legislation affect dentists?
* What should be on the checklist to shut down the office for an extended period?
* What is telehealth and how does it work?
* How should my practice shift marketing focus over the next six months?
* What is the best way to host a virtual team meeting?

On March 25, five experts in the dental and business professions — Tim Twigg, Laurie Owens, Fred Joyal, and Benco’s own Linda Anderson and Bob Zamrock — will share solutions when Benco Practice Coaching and Dental Intelligence join forces to host the complimentary CE webinar.

From 1 to 5 p.m. EST., event hosts Kay Huff and Curtis Marshall will welcome opening guest Chuck Cohen, Benco Dental Managing Director. Four Continuing Education credits will be issued to anyone who participates in all four hours of the live session.*

What can dental professionals expect to gain during Wednesday’s free webinar?

Insight on a wide array of topics, including:

  • Human Resources,
  • Legislation,
  • Leadership During Crisis,
  • Telehealth,
  • Situational Marketing, and
  • How to properly shut down your office for an extended period of time.

Don’t wait to register.

Here is a link to sign up today for Wednesday’s free webinar.

* Note: This webinar will be recorded and shared afterward.  However, only those who attend the live webinar will receive Continuing Education credits.

Midwest Quiet-Air® High Speed Air Handpiece: A powerful solution from Dentsply Sirona

The ultimate integration of design, performance, and integrity.
Dentsply Sirona Midwest presents all that and more with a new product in its line: the Midwest Quiet-Air® High Speed Air Handpiece.

As a leader in both handpiece and bur manufacturing, Dentsply Sirona Midwest designed this non-fiber optic option with dynamic speed control.

A powerful value proposition.

Though it weighs in at under 50 grams overall, the Midwest Quiet-Air® is no lightweight when it comes to power. It achieves 30 watts, making it the most powerful value solution currently offered in the market.

Reduction of noise and easier bur changes (thanks to a 10 mm push button cap for chuck activation!) are just two of the many ways this innovative handpiece demonstrates its value.

Key features and benefits of the Midwest Quiet-Air® High Speed Air handpiece:

  • Computer balanced rotor and tuned airflow.
  • A smooth grip, designed for easy cleaning.
  • Ceramic bearings that reduce friction and enhance bearing performance.
  • Dynamic speed control that manages air flow to maintain cutting power.
  • Single-port water spray for powerful debris clearing and tooth cooling.

The Quiet-Air has a 6-month warranty and is eligible for the national Midwest handpiece promotions: Buy 3, Get 1 Free.

To learn more about the Midwest Quiet-Air® High Speed Air Handpiece, contact your Friendly Benco Dental rep or shop here.

COVID-19: Connect with an expert at free 03.17 webinar

Leslie Canham CDA, RDA, shown above, has been bombarded with coronavirus questions.

To provide reliable resources and timely facts, the recognized infection control consultant and speaker is presenting a free webinar with Benco Dental. Register here.

“I’ve immersed myself in gathering facts and trusted resources to disseminate to my clients and audiences. Hopefully, we can dispel some of the myths and hysteria, and get back to the business of providing dental care to our patients.”

Leslie Canham CDA, RDA

On March 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) she’ll present a free webinar, “Coronavirus: What Dental Professionals Need To Know,” hosted by the nation’s largest independently owned dental distribution company.

Attend a free coronavirus educational webinar for dental professionals

Register here. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2272256632991403277

Leslie Canham will present a free webinar March 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) , “Coronavirus: What Dental Professionals Need To Know,” hosted by Benco Dental.

Need to manage exposure now?

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued revised interim guidance on how to manage exposure to a person who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19.

Learn more about the expert

Leslie Canham is a Certified and Registered Dental Assistant with over 48 years of experience in dentistry. Leslie sought to continue her career by exploring the continuing education needs of dental personnel. Her research led to OSHA compliance training for dental offices. Dentists, astounded by Leslie’s expertise began referring their colleagues to her. Soon her outstanding reputation spread throughout the dental community.

She is authorized by the Department of Labor as an OSHA Outreach Trainer in General Industry Standards. Leslie’s memberships include:

  • The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention
  • The Academy of Dental Management Consultants
  • The Speaking, Consulting Network
  • The American Dental Assistants Association
  • The California Dental Association
  • The California Association of Dental Assistant Teachers
  • National Speakers Association

Leslie is listed as a “leader in consulting” by Dentistry Today. She is a Certified Speaking Professional, which is a designation conferred by the National Speakers Association. Fewer than 10 percent of speakers worldwide hold this professional designation.

It is earned by a proven track record of speaking experience, expertise, a commitment to ongoing education, outstanding client service, and ethical behavior. 

Anne Duffy comes full circle to uplift women in dentistry #InternationalWomensDay

There is nothing like a circle of women. A circle of women is healing and inspiring. A circle of women is powerful. When women join together with intention and purpose, mighty things are at hand. During this short life, some of us are fortunate enough to be welcomed into one of these circles.

We are lifted up. We are encouraged to spread our wings and set out to achieve our wildest dreams by other driven women. One woman in dentistry is creating the ultimate circle and giving women in dentistry a voice, a purpose, and a platform for success.

Anne Duffy, Founder and Owner of DeW (Dental Entrepreneur Woman) Life Magazine

Anne Duffy is the owner of DeW Life Magazine (Dental Entrepreneur Woman), also known as DeW Life.  To be a part of DeW Life is a special way of being.  It is not only a magazine, it is a culture, a lifestyle, and a trusted space for entrepreneurial women in dentistry to join forces in uniting their individual strengths.  After realizing her own strengths and falling in love with what she has to offer, Duffy began falling in love with other women’s gifts. This led her to the idea that we are all here to build on one another’s talents as long as we do it with great love. 

Duffy is a stunning statuesque blonde that can light up any room with her smile and personality. To have a phone conversation or be in the presence of Anne Duffy is inspiring and invigorating. She has a gift of encouragement that leaves you feeling like you can move mountains.  She is no stranger to dentistry and hard work.  As a long-time practicing dental hygienist of 46 years, Duffy presses full steam ahead to get women in dentistry their deserved recognition.  She has a “no scarcity” mentality meaning that she believes that there is room for all of our ideas in dentistry and business.

Duffy began to realize that women, in particular, were not loving and staying in the profession of dentistry.  This caught her attention and she began to wonder how she could get women to love dentistry again and feel fulfilled. 

“At age 42 is when I started to have a vision to dream outside of the operatory. The next 20 years have been a rocket ship.”

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

The First Step: Recognizing Achievements

Duffy’s passion for working with women began several years ago when she had the opportunity to take on a leadership role with a large dental-based company. As she acknowledged the slip in passion for dentistry and that women were not being properly recognized for their achievements and efforts, she decided to take a stand and started DeW Life.

The DeW Life is grounded in owning and working from your natural strengths.

“I wish I owned my strengths when I was younger. Now it is time we grab the arm of the person next to us and go together.” 

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

As dentistry grows and becomes more female influenced, Anne Duffy will stand proud with her DeW Life community that promotes love, accomplishment, empowerment, and connectedness. 

Become a member of the DeW Life Crew at https://www.dew.life/

DeW Life joins The Lucy Hobbs Project
in celebrating women in dentistry

Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Guest Panelist Amanda Butterworth, RDH, pay tribute to Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female to earn a dental degree in the U.S. at Benco’s 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Last October at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Anne Duffy supported women in the profession at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration hosted by Benco Dental.

Nominate an outstanding woman in dentistry for this year’s Lucy Hobbs Project Awards: https://goben.co/2tMwjv3

Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, who in 1866 became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, the project brings women together from all facets of the dental profession — dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events focused on “Mind+Body+Soul” with panel discussions, C.E. credits and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members — and all women in dentistry — to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home and Work.”

As a high point of the three-day event, the project honored six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession. The recipients:

  • Industry Icon Award — Linda Miles of Estero, Fla., speaker, consultant and author with AskLindaMiles.com.
  • Clinical Expert Award — Deborah V. George, DDS, of Miami, executive vice president and chief dental officer with Jessie Trice Community Health System.
  • Humanitarian Award — Tesa Jolly, DDS, of Jolly Family Dentistry in Pulaski, Tenn.
  • Innovator Award — Cathy J. Grinham, RDH, of Assonet, Mass., public health dental hygienist with Visiting Dental Associates of Massachusetts.
  • Mentor Award — Carole Ann Palmer, Ed.D., RD, LDN, with the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston.
  • Woman to Watch Award — Charmaine Ng, DMD, of Healthright360, San Francisco.
Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Benco Dental Director of Coaching, Kay Huff, right, celebrate their friend and colleague Linda Miles, recipient of the 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Industry Icon Award, at Benco’s Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Join The Lucy Hobbs Project today at: TheLucyHobbsProject.com

About the blogger

Kandice Swarthout, RDH, LPC is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She is a full-time dental hygiene educator in Texas. Kandice is the owner of Inspired Education & Wellness where she is a speaker and writer and combines her clinical dental and mental health experience to help other healthcare professionals have a fulfilling work-life experience.  Contact Kandice at kandice@inspirededucationwellness.com  

AERAS 500 Elite Handpiece brings streamlined power, safety to the dental practice.

In an increasingly complex world, smart devices simplify the intersection between technology and life. From the evolution of the smartphone, to the smart home revolution, smart is simplifying the way we live, streamlining the way we work and enhancing the way we play.

When the tools of your trade can communicate with each other, that’s smart. When they can communicate with you, that’s Aeras 500 Elite high-speed air-driven handpiece from DentalEZ.

To create an environment of patient care and practice efficiency that will revolutionize the way you interact with your dental office, the new Aeras platform from DentalEZ can:

  • collect data,
  • share information, and
  • streamline the standard of care processes.

10 ways Aeras is a dental changemaker

  1. Delivers power safely. The Aeras handpiece features an industry-leading 39 watts of power that rivals the performance of electric with the confidence and safety of air.
  2. Stability minimizes fatigue. Greater in-hand stability with exceptional balance minimizes effort and fatigue.
  3. Minimal maintenance. Exclusive lube-free technology makes it easy to maintain. Maintain control with in-office turbine replacements to ensure readiness and maximum performance is always within reach.
  4. Timesavings that benefits the entire team. Patent pending embedded RFID technology can reduce the burden for office staff by automating tracking and recordkeeping (when used in conjunction with a compatible RFID reader system).
  5. Prepared for the future. Adopting the latest technology makes customers’ future ready with new possibilities down the road.
  6. Powerful. The 39 watts of power help users cut through the latest in high-strength ceramics.
  7. Clean and cool. The multiport spray keeps the bur cool while whisking away debris.
  8. Optimum Visibility. LED fiber optics feature cool spectrum LED illumination of the oral cavity for eye-opening visibility.
  9. Patient comfort. The modern form has an optimal head size for patient comfort and posterior access.
  10. Immediate updates. The patent pending RFID technology can tell the user exactly where the handpiece is, where it’s been and when it has last visited the autoclave. Plus, it can let you know when it’s visiting somewhere it shouldn’t. This handpiece can protect you and your staff with verifiable sterilization data, track inventory and help combat loss & theft.

Together, this valued vendor partner Star DentalEz and national distributor Benco Dental, drive dentistry forward.

Click here to order yours today.

Deadline extended for America’s best young dentists to nominate for Incisal Edge 40 Under 40

02.10.20 is final day to enter in 2 categories: Dental Specialists and General Dentists.

Brilliant. Exceptional. Dazzling. Apt descriptions for America’s finest young practitioners, the smiles they create, and their commitment to oral health care. Annually, Incisal Edge, the premier lifestyle magazine for dentists nationwide, applauds this excellence with its signature award – the 40 Under 40 honor.

For the 10th consecutive year, the magazine—published by Benco Dental since 1997—will celebrate the 40 Under 40 in its fall editorial coverage, including a series of informative profiles. Nominations will be accepted in two categories, General Dentists and Dental Specialists, through February 10, 2020 at: IncisalEdgeMagazine.com

Nomination deadline extended to February 10, 2020.

Incisal Edge’s top 40 Under 40 recognizes innovative and passionate young professionals in dentistry across the U.S. Whether renowned for their medical innovations, volunteer work and philanthropy, or simply a commitment to outstanding patient care, these honorees—nominated by industry experts from around the country and vetted by an independent panel—represent the best of dentistry today, and the promise of even better dentistry tomorrow. Visit IncisalEdgeMagazine.com, where previous year’s winners are spotlighted.

Published by Benco Dental, Incisal Edge, the leading lifestyle magazine for dental professionals nationwide, will honor America’s finest young practitioners for the 10th consecutive year. Nominations for this year’s top 40 Under 40 will be accepted through February 10, 2020 at: IncisalEdgeMagazine.com Shown, the opening page of 2019’s editorial coverage.

“Recognizing the achievements of America’s brightest rising stars is at the heart of advancing the art and science of dental medicine. At Benco Dental, we’re proud to provide technology and solutions that help doctors drive dentistry forward, so it’s especially gratifying to watch as the best of the best are first nominated by their peers, and then selected by our panel of judges for displaying the highest levels of excellence among young practitioners.”

Chuck Cohen, co-founder of Incisal Edge

Ready to nominate?

To nominate a dentist, visit: IncisalEdgeMagazine.com. Submissions must be completed on or before 11:59 p.m. EST on February 10, 2020. Dentists are welcome to self-nominate and to nominate a colleague or peer.

Can high production and excellent customer service go together at the same time?

The answer is…absolutely! Production is the key factor in any business because without it there is no profit or income. At the same time, dental practices are service businesses. And excellent customer service—or as we at Levin Group like to call it “Five-Star” customer service—can be the factor that sets your practice apart and catapults production to another level.

According to the Levin Group Data Center, most practices score themselves much higher on customer service than patients do. Why? They feel that they are always very nice to their patients. And while they are, the kind of customer service that makes a lasting impression—Five-Star customer service—involves much more than being nice.

Five-Star customer service requires a specific program that is followed and continually reinforced. Take the Ritz Carlton for example. They have 21 principles that every employee is taught to follow. They review these principles regularly, almost daily actually, with different employee groups. They are so dedicated to customer service that they empower employees to spend up to $2,000 when necessary to solve a guest problem.

“Of course, dental practices are not hotels. But they are a service business that should have principles of customer service that lay the foundation for the patient experience. When patients have an ultra-positive experience they equate that with excellent clinical care and their trust level goes up. Trust is the key factor in case acceptance and practices with outstanding customer service typically have higher case acceptance and, therefore, production. This is why production and customer service go hand-in-hand.”

Five-Star customer service also leads to increased production through high patient retention and referrals. Patients become so enamored with the service they receive in the practice that they never want to leave and are always motivated to tell other people about their great experiences.

I was recently on an airplane headed out to a seminar when my seatmate realized I was a dentist. She spent the next 20 minutes raving about her dentist and how incredible he is. She had been with him for 35 years and said that she never wants to go to any other dentist for the rest of her life.

So if you’re wondering about how production and customer service fit together it doesn’t get any clearer. Outstanding customer service always leads to outstanding production.

About the blogger

Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.

To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com