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Top 10 dental treatment presentation mistakes

Dr. Don Deems, a columnist, speaker and author, shared with ADA Center for Professional Success the 10 most common mistakes when presenting treatment.

Center for Professional Success“As a certified professional coach to dentists, I also know too well the myriad of differing philosophies of practices, the plethora of ‘do it my way’ treatment presenting methods and the challenges we dentists have in working with our team members, who are vitally important to our success,” he wrote.

Here are the top 10 mistakes:

  • Mistake 1: Failure to listen to the patient.
  • Mistake 2: Incomplete diagnoses.
  • Mistake 3: Herding patients in — and out — of your practice.
  • Mistake 4: “Explainitis”, better known as explaining, explaining, explaining with little feedback or time for questions from your patient.
  • Mistake 5: Rushing the presentation process.
  • Mistake 6: Delegating the treatment presentation.
  • Mistake 7: Diagnosing based on prejudice.
  • Mistake 8: Not answering patient’s questions directly and truthfully.
  • Mistake 9: Substituting media-based treatment explanations for developing a trusting relationship.
  • Mistake 10: Promising treatment you cannot reliably deliver.

To read more about each mistake, click here.

ADA Success program aims for connection

Seventeen member dentists, including several new dentists, attended an ADA Success Speaker Training program July 24 at ADA Headquarters to hone their facilitation and public speaking skills.

The ADA launched ADA Success, an all-new program for dental students offering a series of programs on topics most relevant to students today.

Each program is one-hour in length and is presented by a volunteer dentist or other subject matter expert. The programs are presented at no charge to students or dental schools by the American Dental Association and/or state and local dental societies. ADA Success helps students prepare for life as a dentist — good choices now, great dentists later. Program topics include managing debt and wealth; practice management for all dentists; all about associateships; future of dentistry; finding a job; and understanding employment agreements.

Friday’s attendees are among the total 47 speakers in the ADA Success speaker corps. Additional training will be offered in September.

For more information, or to schedule a program, contact ADA Office of Student Affairs at 312.440.7470 or studentaffairs@ada.org or visit ADA.org/successprogram.

Check out the photos from Friday’s Success program below:

ADA offers resources for new dentists, dental students

Recognizing that dental students and new dentists have different needs, the ADA offers a plethora of services, resources and benefits to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives.

“As dentist, we are professionals, and the ADA is our professional organization,” said Dr. Chris Hasty, vice-chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee. “I see the ADA as the lighthouse of dentistry, guiding our profession to a safe and ethical future, and steering us away from the dangers of outside entities.  As new dentists, we have our whole career ahead of us, and the ADA is here to help and see us prosper.”

Dental students and new dentists receive benefits all other members get, including travel benefits, health and wellness information, continuing education programs and access to care initiatives. However, certain ADA products and services are tailored to their needs.

Financial planning

CalculatorAdjusted for inflation, the average dental school debt for the class of 2000 was $118,515. For the class of 2013, it was $215,145, according to the annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors. Now add in the cost of starting a practice, and it can get overwhelming.

The ADA provides dental students and new dentists with resources to help them stay on track for a bright financial future.

Provided by Wells Fargo Practice Finance, and developed with dentists in mind, the Center for Professional Success provides business planning calculators, including a debt load calculator, which can help new dentists and dental students determine how much they can responsibly afford to borrow for personal and business use. Other calculators available are the loan payment calculator, which estimates monthly loan payment. The loan term calculator helps dentists see how much faster they can pay off an existing loan by adding an additional fixed amount to their monthly payments.

For students seeking financial assistance, the ADA Foundation has a scholarship program for those pursuing careers in dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental laboratory technology. The number of ADA Foundation scholarships awarded is dependent upon available annual funds. To learn more about the ADA Foundation scholarships, visit adafoundation.org/en/how-to-apply/education. The ADA also provides information on various federally funded scholarships.

In addition, the ADA provides information on dental student loan repayment programs and resources, including federal and state programs, that offer student loan repayment assistance, often in exchange for services in a health care shortage area. To learn more, visit ADA.org/student or request more information from studentaffairs@ada.org.

Understanding licensure

Understanding LicensureDental licensure marks the transition between dental school and dental practice. The ADA provides a free guide called Understanding Licensure, a resource to help guide dental students through the licensure experience.

The guide takes new dentists through the application process, preparing for the clinical exam, notification and appeals, licensure by credentials, etc.

To view the Understanding Licensure guide, click here.

Finding a job

The ADA CareerCenter is the official online job board of the ADA, a resource for searching dental career opportunities or recruiting dental professionals.

The resource allows professionals to search or post job opportunities for dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists and other qualified professionals who specialize in dentistry. Visit the ADA CareerCenter.

Staying up-to-date

The ADA can also help new dentists and dental students stay current on the latest dentistry news as well as scientific findings and studies.

The Journal of the American Dental Association and the ADA News are free to members. These publications are available on ADA.org/publications, along with the ADA Dental Product Guide, the ADA Catalog and ADA E-Communications, which include the ADA Morning Huddle, a daily bulletin of the latest news complied exclusively for ADA members.

New Dentist NewsIn addition, new dentists and dental students receive the ADA New Dentist News, a quarterly publication distributed as an insert in the ADA News as a member resource. To read the latest ADA New Dentist News, click here.

In 2013, the ADA New Dentist Committee launched New Dentist Now, a blog where new dentists can keep up with their colleagues, stay fresh on issues in dentistry and find out about events.

For scientific findings and studies, new dentist and dental student members can access full-text articles online with instant access to over 280 journals through the ADA Library & Archives website. About 95 percent are strictly dental journals. The other 5 percent have medical-dental crossover. This includes in-house access to the New England Journal of Medicine articles going all the way back to 1812. To access the ADA Library & Archives online, click here.

Leadership and Advocacy

Comprising 17 members representing each of the ADA’s regional districts, the New Dentist Committee is a national committee of the ADA Board of Trustees. Its mission: To serve as the voice of the new dentist within the ADA. The committee advises the Board on member benefits and the member experience from a new dentist perspective, as well as, on policy affecting new dentists, among other things. Committee members also provide insight on the issues and needs of new dentists through their liaison roles on the other 11 ADA agencies.

The New Dentist Network engages new dentists, develops leaders and contributes to and influences resources that add member value. It has over 800 contacts and is comprised of new dentist committees and volunteers, ASDA leaders and society staff at all levels of the ADA.

In addition, the New Dentist Committee oversees and actively participates in the Success Dental Student Programs conducted in dental schools around the country. The Success Dental Student Programs provide the next generation of dentists with ethical and practice management information and valuable ADA resources for the transition from dental school to dental practice.

“As a new dentist it is important to be a member of the ADA because we are the future of Dentistry,” said Dr. Michael LeBlanc, New Dentist Committee chair. “In order to help set policy we must have a voice. No better place than the ADA to help set policy and the success of dentistry now and in the future.”

To get involved or for more information, call your state or local dental society, or contact the ADA New Dentist Committee office at newdentist@ada.org or 1-312-440-2386.

When interacting with challenging patients, behavior awareness can help

As my patient pool grows, the dentistry doesn’t change much, but the person in my chair changes every day. I connect with most patients pretty well, but every now and then I am presented with a challenge. What I would call a difficult patient has nothing to do with the dentistry required in their mouth. The difficulty comes from the patient interaction. I know myself, I know the dentistry, but there is something missing in my understanding of the patient.

Dr. Carolyn Norton

Dr. Carolyn Norton

I received some insight from one of my attendings at my GPR program, who is also an L.D. Pankey Institute faculty member. He introduced me to the Social Styles Model, which is taught at the Pankey Institute along with the concept of relationship based dentistry. Our discussion led me to the TRAMCOM Group website. Here they elaborate on the specifics of the Social Styles Model.

In the 1960s Roger Reid and John Merrill created the Social Styles Model to help predict human interactions in business relationships. They identified three variables that determine a person’s social style: assertiveness, responsiveness, and versatility. Within these behavioral dimensions four social styles emerged: analytical, amiable, driving, and expressive.

Responsiveness is determined by how much you control or reveal your emotions. Assertiveness is based on where you fall in the spectrum of ask versus tell, or lead versus follow.

No one social style is better than the others, and each style has its own pros and cons. Once you get familiar with each social style, you will begin to pick up on clues that tell you which style your patient uses. Here are four unique behavioral patterns recognized in the Social Style Model, according to The TRACOM Group:

ADA New Dentist guest blogDriving style patients control their emotions and speak assertively. These people want to know the facts about their treatment. Be direct and practical regarding their problems and treatment options. They are focused on the end result and want to know you have a plan.

Amiable style patients show their emotions and prefer to ask questions than give orders. These patients are friendly and ask questions because it makes them feel more comfortable. Take the time to talk with them and get personal. It will definitely pay off.

Analytical style patients control their emotions and prefer to ask questions than give orders. They ask questions because they want to know all of the details. They want to understand each step, the cost, and maybe even the number of appointments. They appreciate precision and accuracy. Take time to develop their treatment plan to show that you care about these things too.

Expressive patients show their emotions and speak assertively. These patients will share their thoughts and feelings regarding their dental problems, but may need your direction. Let them speak, you listen, and then help them focus on their needs.

The next time you have a challenging or difficult patient, look at this social style chart and see where they belong. If you understand why a patient is behaving a certain way, then this may help you alter your social style to make the interaction successful and prevent frustration. This is where versatility comes in. Versatility is primarily the responsibility of the dentist in the patient-doctor relationship. A versatile dentist can alter their social style to make the patient more comfortable. This requires a certain level of awareness and compassion for the patients social needs, not just their dental needs.

I can easily recall patients that fit each social style. Seeing them through this lens makes me like them better as people, and I will definitely change how I interact with them at our next appointment.

 

Dr. Carolyn Norton is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and a 2014 graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry. She is in a 12-month general practice residency at the North Shore University Hospital in Evanston, Ill., affiliated with the University of Chicago. Dr. Norton was a contributing editor for the American Student Dental Association from 2012-14.

Customize, share your own 2015 World Oral Health Day poster


Celebrate and promote this year’s FDI World Oral Health Day on March 20 with your own customized poster — which can include your own smiling faces. The poster is available at the event’s website: worldoralhealthday.org/picture.

Then share your customized campaign poster with colleagues and friends worldwide on Facebook or Twitter. The FDI created a kickoff Facebook post to get things started. Or simply print your poster and display it in your dental practice or dental schol.

WOHDMarch 20 is World Oral Health Day, an opportune time to raise awareness for dentistry worldwide.

All the individual posters will be incorporated into a collage to create a giant WOHD logo. A video promoting this app will be displayed on the NASDAQ screen in Times Square.

This year’s rallying global tagline is Smile for Life, urging dentists and patients of all ages to get involved.

Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day encourages FDI member dental associations — including the ADA — schools, companies and other groups to celebrate the day with events organized under a single, unifying and simple message: “It’s time to …,” with the rest being customized to each participant’s campaign.

Interested in promoting good oral health care routines? Then an adapted call to action might be, “It’s time to rinse after brushing your teeth.” Or, “It’s time to chew sugar free gum after every meal.” How about pointing out the importance of visiting the dentist? The campaign could be, “It’s time to visit your local dentist for a checkup.”

According to the FDI, 106 countries participated in 2014’s celebration. Help make sure it’s an even bigger success than last year.

 

10 steps to Medical-Dental collaboration

Looking to work and collaborate with local physicians? Seeking to encourage members in the medical field in your community are the importance of oral health as part of the overall health?

NegotiationHere are 10 steps to help you with your outreach effort, courtesy of the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending the dental health crisis facing America today.

  • Step 1: Contact a local physician or county medical society director to attend a meeting of the local medical society. Discuss with the medical society officers the possibility of an opportunity to present dental issues to the membership.
  • Step 2: Contact your local hospital continuing education coordinator to offer a “Grand Rounds” or “Dental 101” CE offering. An alternative is to have an introductory “Dental Issues” CME course for local physicians and chiropractors.
  • Step 3: Invite the president of the local medical society and/or hospital board president to a local dental society meeting for communication/networking opportunities.
  • Step 4: Invite the dental director and executive director of the local community health center to a dental society meeting to meet local dentists and specialists. Discuss the possibility of local dentists serving on health center committees to ensure cross collaboration between medical/dental departments.
  • Step 5: Schedule a dinner meeting with local OB-GYN physicians/staff to share information about the importance of oral health for pregnant women. Offer written materials and support to encourage their patients seek dental care during their pregnancy.
  • Step 6: Visit a local pediatrician’s or family practitioner’s office and schedule a luncheon in-service with office staff. Bring oral hygiene educational materials to reinforce the opportunities for medical staff to encourage the importance of oral health as part of overall health.
  • Step 7: Schedule a luncheon in-service with hospital Radiation/Oncology staff. Discuss the role of oral hygiene with restorative/rehabilitative needs for patients with cancer.
  • Step 8: Schedule a luncheon or dinner in-service with local periodontists and internal medicine specialists. Discuss the role of periodontal disease in maintaining optimal hemoglobin A1C levels for diabetic patients.
  • Step 9: Meet with local physician assistants/nurse practitioners to perform a “Dental 101” type continuing education meeting. Discuss dental emergencies/oral cancer and the role they can play in collaboration with the dentist in facilitating resolution of patient’s dental pain needs.
  • Step 10: Attend a hospital ER department/senior nurses’ meeting to discuss dental issues. Advise them on the role they can play in collaboration with dentists with regard to dental disease management.

To read the full 10-step process, click here. For more information about the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, visit ADA.org/action.

Editors’ Pick: Favorite New Dentist Now blog posts of 2014

It’s been an eventful 2014 for New Dentist Now as it continues to feature resources for new dentists and dental students, along with news and insight on the dental profession and beyond.

Just in case you missed them, here’s a look back to some of our favorite and most popular blog posts of the year.

Get ready for NCDHM 2015

Dentists nationwide can help their young patients “defeat monster mouth” by participating in the ADA’s 2015 National Children’s Dental Health Month.

For the 66th year, the NCDHM campaign brings thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others together to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, adults, caregivers and teachers.

Defeat Monster This year’s two-sided poster features the NCDHM campaign slogan “Defeat Monster Mouth.” The free posters are available in English and Spanish thanks to a grant from the ADA Foundation.

Information regarding how to order or download posters can be found at ADA.org/ncdhm.

Also available on the website is the NCDHM Program Planning Guide, which provides program coordinators, dental societies, teachers and parents with resources to promote the benefits of good oral health to children.

The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample NCDHM proclamation and more. Other free campaign materials, including publicity resources and activity sheets — many in both English and Spanish — can also be downloaded.

For answers to questions regarding NCDHM, email ncdhm@ada.org.

A variety of brochures, videos, activity and coloring books for children are also available from the ADA Catalog. Visit adacatalog.org or call 1-800-947-4746 for more information.

Working with a marketing firm

After buying the practice where he had been an associate in a few years ago, Dr. Ash Vasanthan wanted to start from scratch when it came to rebuilding his brand.

“I had a client base and an active website, but I wanted to rebrand myself,” said Dr. Vasanthan, a periodontist who has been practicing for 5 years in Roseville, California.

Dr. Vasanthan  In January 2013, he started working with PBHS, the ADA Business Resources-endorsed website design and practice marketing firm.

Working with a graphic designer, one of his first decision was choosing colors, which led to the creation of his practice’s logo. Both colors and logo are used throughout his practice, from his website and stationary to letterheads and coffee mugs.

Meanwhile, PBHS also built Dr. Vasanthan’s website — which, for people searching for periodontists in his area, is now the top result online.

“Everything had to be very precise,” he said, when it came to working with PBHS. “Building my brand was a defining moment for me because I was a new business owner.”

Dr. Vasanthan spoke with ADA New Dentist News to share some suggestions and advice for making the most out of working a marketing firm.

Call around

“PBHS isn’t the only marketing firm around,” Dr. Vasanthan said. “But dentists need to do their research to find the best firm for their needs. I really wanted a company that would take me and say, ‘We can brand you, we can start from scratch.’

“I zeroed in on PBHS because I felt they would be able to provide me with what I was looking for. It’s also a good idea to just call around. I partly chose PBHS because their customer service was great. I never reached a machine.  Jay Levine, PBHS president, was always available and accessible to answer any questions despite being the very busy.”

When it came to building a website, which Dr. Vasanthan considers his top marketing tool, he compared the construction of a house.

“If you want a beautiful, sturdy house, you have to find the best builder in town for you,” he said. “I called a few places, visited several websites and asked friends for recommendations before I found the one.”

Consider your budget

“For new dentists starting a practice, you have to spend money on so many things on top of trying to repay student loans,” Dr. Vasanthan said. “For me, I didn’t go for PBHS’ top tier offerings. I went with somewhere in the middle. I would tell new dentists to really look at what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Sometimes, you don’t have to choose the most expensive package or service to be happy and to get the results you want.”

Get a website

Dr. Vasanthan said his main focus when he hired a marketing firm was to increase his Web presence.

“My website is my number one marketing tool. It’s my face on the Internet,” he said. “When starting a new practice, it’s important to have a website immediately. I would say it’s only second to having a phone number set up for the office. A potential patient can only reach you 8-5 on the phone. A website allows them to access you 24/7.”

Make things easier for patients

Just because a website or a successful marketing strategy help potential patients find you easier, it should also make things more convenient for them, Dr. Vasanthan said.

“The simplest thing a new dentist can do is to have a responsive Web design with a fill-able patient registration available online,” he said.

Dr. Vasanthan’s website allows potential patients to fill out and submit new patient registration forms when making an appointment. This way, the patient doesn’t have to fill it out at the office and it helps his practice track how many new patients are coming in due to his Web marketing.

Stay involved

When it came to the designing your brand, you have to be very involved, Dr. Vasanthan said. He worked exclusively with Alejandro Salazar, a PBHS graphic designer, who translated his vision into art and helped design his logo, business cards, letterheads, etc.  Dr. Vasanthan said he is extremely proud to hand out his business cards just because of the many times he gets complimented on the design and the quality.

“I put my logo on everything. I’m very proud to show it off. To me, being able to explicitly express what I wanted or looking for was very, very important,” Dr. Vasanthan said. “What you’re doing should reflect who you are.”

Have ideas for the ADA’s Center for Professional Success?

The Center for Professional Success is a members-only Web resource that provides practice management information, online education and support tools to help you manage your career.Center for Professional Success

They are currently seeking new members for their Center for Professional Success users group. You will help determine the direction of the Center’s content. What are your major practice concerns? What tools do you need to improve your practice?

If you are interested in learning more about the user group or becoming a member, email Sarah Hughes at hughess@ada.org. The deadline to apply is Dec. 19.