The Real New Dentists of Dallas

By | March 9, 2016
From left: Dr. Alex Barton, Virginia ’13; Dr. Ernesto Trevino, San Antonio ’06; Dr. Shane Ricci, San Antonio ’06; Dr. Andrea Janik, Baylor ’08; Dr. Drew Vanderbook, Baylor ’12; Tera Lavick, ADA New Dentist Committee director.

From left: Dr. Alex Barton, Virginia ’13; Dr. Ernesto Trevino, San Antonio ’06; Dr. Shane Ricci, San Antonio ’06; Dr. Andrea Janik, Baylor ’08; Dr. Drew Vanderbook, Baylor ’12; Tera Lavick, ADA New Dentist Committee director.

New dentists from Dallas and its surrounding cities shared their experiences and perspectives with a room full of eager dental students at the 2016 ASDA Annual Session, on March 3. Tera Lavick, director, New Dentist Committee at the ADA, moderated the session.
20160303_140438_resizedThe session began with introductions and warm-up questions that asked the panelists to reflect on what they remember as dental students about to begin practice life. The floor was then open for students to ask their questions–which ranged from the benefits of doing a residency, what questions to ask during the job search, mentorship and managing debt, among others. The students continued to talk with the dentists after the session. Dr. Andrea Janik, the ADA New Dentist Committee representative for Texas, ADA 15th district, was available to interact with the students throughout the rest of the ASDA meeting. Feedback was very positive and students were excited to learn about opportunities in Texas and life after dental school.

3 thoughts on “The Real New Dentists of Dallas

  1. Dr Robert Allen

    When I attended VCU school of dentistry, every student freshman on were expected to join the ADA student dental asso…cost $10 per year. My entire school belonged….when graduating. As far as I know, all continued their membership.

    The ADA is losing the membership race. Fewer and fewer beginning dentists support the ADA and local components. The 3 tripartite fees continue to escalate.

    It is time to re think things –to think out of the box.

    If a young person comes to my component to join he/she is faced with a huge annual dues. What does it cost a local component to add that dentist to their roll? NOthing. What does it cost a state and national association to add a dentists name to their roll? NOTHING! What does it cost a professional society if a recent graduate decides to not join the organization? EVERYTHING.
    Membership decline is the most pressing issue at the ADA, State and local dental associations. Attempts have been made to stop the decline, but the steps taken by current leadership have only accelerated the decrease in interest in becoming members of ADA and local , state societies.

    I propose that any –ANY dentist (or student) who has never been a member of a local society, state association or of the ADA be invited to become a member to 10 years at no cost…well, let’s give membership some value…let’s say $100/year for the first ten years of consecutive membership …that is of all three. Local Society, State Society, and ADA.

    Membership would jump dramatically and would continue to increase as it did in the fifties. Dentists, once they are in the organization and discover the benefits will not object to paying a reasonable dues after they have enjoyed a free ride for 10 years.

    It will be the responsibility of leadership to be good stewards of the cost of the organizations and not allow them expand expenditures for ten years until the new growth is sufficient to support increased society expenses.

    Can we do it? Of course we can. It just will require some creative thinking…not the old, stale ideas that have caused the membership to decline.

    Dental Students can make this happen.

    How about it?

    Dr. Bob Allen VCU Class 1959
    Hampton VA 23664
    Life member ADA VDA PDS
    Still practicing general dentistry at age 83
    And loving every day of my life as a dentist
    Let’s try to restore that thrill to all dentists.

  2. Dr Robert Allen

    Dr. Howard Farran, Dentaltown publisher, writes about how dentistry is
    practiced in Asian countries and how it compares to the U.S. by Howard
    Farran, DDS, MBA, Publisher, Dentaltown Magazine I had the luxury of
    spending 18 days in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia with two of my
    boys, Greg and Ryan. We had a blast visiting the Townies behind so many
    posts on and meeting the people behind the posts—which can be
    hilarious, because they’re not always who you expect. Sometimes you think
    the dentists are older (or younger) than they actually are, or extroverts
    when they’re really introverted. One time I mistakenly assumed a Townie was
    a woman, but the poster turned out to be a dude! No matter who they are,
    Townies are always beyond-perfect hosts. They pick you up at airports, play
    tour guide for their home countries, take you to dinner and explain
    everything to you like you’re sitting in class taking notes from the
    professor. I absolutely love it. They always say you need to “think outside
    the box.” Watching dentists practice in different countries makes it clear
    which variables affect which outcomes. Albert Einstein said you can’t solve
    today’s problems with today’s thinking, because your thought process is
    what’s creating the current problem. When you’re born and raised working and
    living in only one country, it can seriously affect your objective thinking.
    They also say, “Never make predictions, and if you do, don’t put it in
    writing” … so let me make a few notes. The older I get and the more
    countries that I’ve seen, the more the economics seem to become clearer.
    Worldwide, there’s a robust growth in the number of private dental schools:
    Malaysia has gone from four schools to 18 in a single decade, and it’s hard
    to even get an official count of the number of new private dental schools in
    India, China, Africa and Brazil. Singapore has one publicly traded chain,
    Q&M Dental Group (SGX:QC7), and Australia has two: 1300 Smiles (ASX: ONT)
    and Pacific Smiles Group (ASX: PSQ). Simultaneously, there’s been an
    increase in class sizes for existing classes. This increase in (mostly
    private) dental schools, and the supply of dentists, will be very good for
    consumer patients and for anyone hiring dentists, such as big-box corporate
    dental chains. But it also will put downward pressure on the earning power
    of dentists and decrease the number of jobs for dental hygienists as
    dentists start doing their own hygiene. U.S. situations, global alternatives
    Dentists in America complain about debt, yet continue following a 1970s-era
    U.S. business model of big staff-expanded duties and taking new age PPO
    dental insurance plans for which the fee for the cleaning barely covers the
    cost of the registered dental hygienist. Dental insurance is virtually
    nonexistent in Asia, Africa and South America. U.S. dentists also continue
    to complain about overhead, but hold their hours to 32 per week. They won’t
    extend their hours to include weekends because they’re afraid patients won’t
    show up, and they’ll end up paying their massive staff overhead to stand
    around without production. In Asia the average dentist works 45–52 hours per
    week with only one dental operatory, and one assistant who helps with both
    front-office and back-office chairside assisting. Most Asian dentists enjoy
    doing cleanings so they can spend time with patients, and wouldn’t consider
    paying an oral-health therapist to do it for them. Many American dentists
    are going to wake up to the realization that the PPO rat race on a spinning
    wheel is not worth the hassle. Many dental offices have full-time
    front-office people who spend all day on the phone verifying patients’ PPO
    dental insurance. If a patient is verified (by your high-cost receptionist),
    now you have the honor of discounting your posted single-crown fee of $1,300
    to the PPO price of $800. You actually paid an employee to verify a $500
    discount. If your labor overhead is 25 percent, does it really make sense to
    pay staff to give your patients a 40 percent discount? The math on the
    hygiene department is the same. Most American dentists could drop all their
    PPO’s and lose two-thirds of their patients and staff, and actually net more
    income with a fraction of the hassle. See the United Kingdom and its low-fee
    National Health Service (NHS) for a case study that hits close to home in
    America. When I first went to London more than 25 years ago, almost every
    dentist participated in the NHS program, which is sort of like Medicaid in
    the U.S. Today, out of the 19,000 dentists in the U.K., more than 5,000 have
    opted out. Meanwhile, in Japan, the government dental insurance basically
    sets the fees for any dental disease-treating procedures, including
    fillings, crowns, cleanings and endodontics, but doesn’t cover orthodontics
    or implants. Any private dental insurance uses the same fees as the
    government option. Japanese public health insurance pays 70 percent of the
    set dental fees, and patients pay 30 percent. Molar endo in Japan is $100;
    in the U.S., it’s $1,000. So Japanese dentists will see patients for
    10-minute appointments more than a dozen times just so they can bill out an
    exam fee. It’s why many Japanese general dentists have to see 70 patients a
    day. Japanese physicians are in the same boat, and many have to see more
    than 100 patients a day. When I got out of school in 1987, you submitted
    your fees to insurance companies and they paid you a percentage. Today,
    almost all insurance companies tell you the fees, and you have to work
    backward from that with a low-cost budget. But when was the last time you
    actually lowered your cost? The business of dentistry is always evolving.
    When was the last time your dental business model evolved? What year was
    your current dental office business model developed? When was the last time
    you cut any cost? When was the last year your overhead actually went down?
    Does it make sense that a dentist doesn’t blink when giving patients a 40
    percent discount by taking their PPO, but never has any money to spend on
    advertising to attract fee-for-service patients when half of America doesn’t
    even have dental insurance? For more thinking outside the American box,
    listen to my Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran podcasts at or via the Dentaltown app, YouTube or
    iTunes—including more than a dozen podcast interviews we did in Asia! My
    guests were all beyond epic, and will make you rethink your current American
    dental-office business model. – See more at:


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