News From The Wealthy Dentist #45: May 16, 2007
by Jim Du Molin
Are You Sleeping Through the Oral Conscious Sedation Debate?
By now I would hope you’re aware of the raging debate on the issue of oral conscious sedation. (You can catch up by reading my editorial on the subject.) In a nutshell, the ADA wants to limit conscious sedation by general dentists.
The doctors’ group Team 1500 has been fighting the ADA on this issue. The organization has been praised by acting US
Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, who commended the group for its “dedication to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”
Moreover, the Academy of General Dentistry featured Team 1500 as the lead item on its website and newsletter. AGD President Dr. Bruce DeGinder wrote, “The Academy of General Dentistry is likewise dedicated to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”
Team 1500 can explain the situation better than I can, so I’m going to let them do the talking this week. The following article was written by the group’s director.
Are the ADA and AGD the Secret Puppet Masters of Team
By Dean Rotbart, Director
I had a contentious phone conversation this past week with a member of the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure, also known as CDEL.
It is CDEL that is recommending a major overhaul of the ADA’s existing guidelines pertaining to the practice of
oral conscious sedation (OCS) – changes that we at Team 1500 believe are wholly unnecessary and
designed primarily to protect the financial turf of oral surgeons, dental anesthesiologists and other specialists.
This CDEL member made it clear from the start that he doesn’t respect me or Team 1500. His contention was that we are working outside the established systems and are using questionable methods to promote our cause.
Our nearly 20-minute phone conversation followed CDEL’s meeting in Chicago late last month to consider the newly proposed guidelines that were submitted to CDEL by its Committee on Anesthesiology, also known as Committee H.
I had already discovered from another CDEL member that CDEL mostly – if not entirely – endorsed the recommendations that Committee H presented to CDEL’s 16 members. I wanted to confirm my facts and try to understand what rationale CDEL was using for proposing radical changes to the very same guidelines that the ADA’s own House of Delegates had praised in the fall of 2005 for their “remarkable safety record.”
There was more heat than light generated during our conversation.
The CDEL dentist, in particular, presented me with this false syllogism: Since most of Team 1500’s many donors and thousands of supporters also are members of the independent Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), then really it is DOCS who has been harassing CDEL, the ADA and others who are promulgating the new regulations.
What a non sequitur!
As I pointed out, those who are most opposed to the ADA’s proposed overhaul of the OCS guidelines are ALSO members of the ADA and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). So in fact, if the CDEL member’s logic were correct, it is the ADA and AGD – not DOCS – that are actually pulling the strings of Team 1500.
Trying to trivialize the thousand-plus dentists who at Team 1500’s suggestion wrote the ADA to protest CDEL’s proposals by suggesting they are a small group of self-interested dentists is the pot calling the kettle black.
Share your own thoughts on the issue of oral conscious sedation by posting on our blog! This is a major debate in dentistry today, and I’m curious to know where you stand!
Jim Du Molin
In this poll, we asked dentists if what type of toothpaste you use makes a difference to your oral health.
Consumers take note! Most dentists say that it does matter what type of toothpaste you use. Two-thirds of the dentists in our poll responded, “Yes; thanks to modern technology, some toothpastes are more effective than others.”
The remaining 35% replied, “No; any toothpaste you buy today will clean your teeth perfectly well.”
Here are some of our dentists’ comments:
- “In all honesty, you do not need toothpaste. The friction of the toothbrush is the most important thing! You can even use a wet washcloth or a Q-tip.”
- “New formulations clean better and have better anti-inflammatory effects.”
- “The toothpaste does not stay on tooth surface long enough to cause any significant change.”
- “One needs to assess the quality of drinking water, the age-specific needs and oral habits of patients.”
- “I have patients that have had great results brushing their teeth using Ivory soap!”
- “As long as it has fluoride.”
- “Toothpastes without toxic fluoride compounds are better.”
- “Colgate Total is still the best for gums.”
Dress for Success!
By Melinda Spitek
No, I’m not talking clothes and shopping this time around – I’m talking about dressing your dental practice for success. The buzz phrase is matching collateral.
So what exactly is collateral? It’s the sum total of the face your office shows the world. It includes (but is not limited to):
- Business and appointment cards
- Stationery (your letterhead)
- Your personal logo and typeface
- Your New Patient Welcome Package
- Recare cards and Thank You notes
- Yellow Pages and print ads
In short, your collateral is everything that represents you when you’re not there in person.
A lot of dentists with whom I consult ask me, “Stationery, typeface, logos – is it all really that important? What about the quality of my dentistry?”
Yes, it is that important! The quality of your dentistry is what you’re communicating! The fact is, 99% or
your patients can’t possibly evaluate how tight the margins are on the crown you just cemented. They don’t
have the training or the background. What they can evaluate is the esthetics of the materials they receive from you.
If your collateral is perceived as crisp, polished, and professional, then you are perceived as polished and professional.
I’m sure you know instinctively to match your socks, what colors look good on you, what to wear in the office and what to wear out to dinner. Part of the business of dentistry is also knowing what makes you look great in print and on paper. We’re all different; it’s a matter of personal style.
If I could give you a single key to developing your collateral materials, it’s consistency. It’s a fact that physically attractive people tend to have symmetrical features. That same appealing symmetry should appear in your communications.
- Consistency of typeface
- Consistency of paper quality
- A single identifier or logo that is the same throughout
- Communications that recur at predictable intervals
Dressing your practice for success is actually quite simple – and it can be fun to boot!
Melinda Spitek is CEO of Hycomb Marketing Inc. Hycomb was founded in 1980 for the purpose of helping dentists market their practices. Melinda has had plenty of hands-on experience as well, having worked 23 years in
dental offices. If you need help with marketing, just call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961 or visit www.hycomb.com.
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