Celebrating Our Diversity

By Yolanda Marrero, SFDDA Executive Director

The South Florida District Dental Association (SFDDA) boasts one of the most diverse communities in Florida — and we love it! One needs only to travel US 1 from the Southernmost Point in Key West to South Broward to experience the various foods, music and entertainment that make up our district. The cuisine includes an amazing mix of Floribbean and Latin fusion from the islands of the Caribbean, including: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Haiti, to name a few; and foods ranging from South and Central American to French, Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern Greek and Jewish fare. And our languages, religions and pastimes are as varied as the foods above.

Consequentially, the SFDDA membership is comprised of several cultures, ethnicities and religions, and almost is equally divided in gender and age. It is rich and wonderful, and has provided us with opportunities to become aware of each other — giving us a sense of pride for the diversity in which we thrive and an understanding of how important it is in our personal and professional growth.

The SFDDA leadership reflects this diversity, and that is “powerful stuff.” To have a great understanding of the community and to be able to forge a strong bond between the public and the association is a benefit of embracing our diversity. Each day, we are eager to welcome dentists who have not yet experienced the value of this wonderful organization and know we can learn a thing or two from each other.

We have many events and dinner lectures where you and your colleagues can experience the diversity of our district. We invite you to attend and experience what membership in the American Dental Association and Florida Dental Association through the South Florida district is like. There truly are many benefits for everyone.

Visit our website for a complete listing of events and meetings at www.sfdda.org.

Scary Good Web Design Tips from Officite

By Kevin Rach

Beware, dear reader, and steel your nerves before continuing further in this article. The stories contained herein are the unfortunate tales of dentists and patients attempting to connect with each other through mismanaged and long-neglected practice websites. Let this be a cautionary tale, and take heed, lest a similar gruesome fate befall your own practice …

“It Came From 2005!”
It took almost half a minute, but when the dentist’s website finally shambled out from the darkness of the loading screen, the patient gasped. It was … hideous.

The unsightly configuration of mismatched and outdated design elements shuffled forward on two poorly constructed footers like an HTML Frankenstein’s monster. “Welcome to my website,” it croaked, its cobwebbed mouth opened wide, revealing teeth in much need of a good dentist.

The patient nearly gagged as the unresponsive mass lurched forward, oversized images dragging behind its lopsided gait. It was almost enough to make her pity the aberration, but there was no time. She had to escape, to find a dentist with a modern Web presence. After all, if this is what the website looked like, there was no telling what outdated horrors lay within the practice itself.

“In Cyberspace, No One Can Hear You Tweet.”
Dr. Igor had nothing but good intentions when he set out on his new experiment. The goal? Using social media to promote his practice and start generating referrals. He set up a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, and started regularly posting. All might have gone well had he not made two crucial mistakes — failing to integrate social media buttons on the main website, and never encouraging a patient to “like” his practice in person.

Dr. Igor has not been seen by a patient online since 2011.

Legend has it that on some clear nights, if you turn up your speakers and listen very hard, you can just barely hear the whimper of his social media posts mumbling about the importance of semiannual exams.

There is still time, dear reader. The horrors described here need never haunt your own practice. With the help of a company like the FDA’s official Web presence provider, Officite, your practice will be safe and sound with cutting-edge responsive mobile design, integrated social media and search engine optimization — the tools your practice needs to survive.

Visit www.officite.com/dental, or call 855.208.9124.

 

Personal Disability Insurance: The Topic No One Wants to Talk About, But Everyone Needs to!

By Dan Zottoli, Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast, FDA Services Inc.  

 

Choosing the right personal disability insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you will make. So much time, money and effort was spent preparing for your dental career. What if you became ill or injured, and could no longer work in your chosen profession? This question is the basis for the decision and the very reason for the need for personal disability insurance. Now that you have come to the conclusion that you need a policy, what policy do you buy?

I always say that the “devil is in the details” with personal disability insurance. Two policies may appear to be similar at first glance, but will have very different paths should a claim arise. One of the most important aspects of a personal disability insurance policy is the definition of disability. This definition will tell the policy when you are disabled (to them) and under what circumstances the insurance company should pay a benefit. The most comprehensive definition will read as follows (with small variations from company to company):

1. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation.

This definition, referred to as “own-occupation,” is the most desired definition and obviously the most liberal. A disabled dentist that meets the requirements set forth in the above definition can return to work in another occupation and still receive their check from the disability insurance carrier. Now, here comes the “devil of details” — some companies will promote their policy as “own-occupation,” when it reads as follows:

2. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation AND are not gainfully employed.

3. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation DURING the regular occupation period.

The word “AND” in the second definition above is substantial. This type of definition essentially states that you will not receive a benefit if you go back to work in any occupation. The term “regular occupation period” in the third definition above will specify how long they will honor the “own-occupation” language. When the regular occupation period ends, the policy will base your qualification for benefits on what you can do based upon your education, skills or experience.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when looking at personal disability insurance. The most important factor is finding the right agent to assist that can explain and clarify the details of each company. The FDA Services’ experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. For more information, contact FDA Services at 800.877.7597 or insurance@fdaservices.com.

 

If a Tree Falls in the Forest and No One is There, Does it Make a Sound?

By Graham Nicol, Esq., Health Care Risk Manager, Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist (Health Law)

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? I don’t know, but if a person gets hurt in the thicket of unlicensed practice of dentistry, is someone going to get in trouble? In Florida, you bet. But, is it a misdemeanor (fines and county jail) or a felony (state prison) if convicted?

It used to be a misdemeanor back when my license to practice law used to be new; but nowadays, it is a felony — the most serious category of crime. Felonies include murder, rape, what that Madoff dude did and unlicensed practice of dentistry. So, what should you do if, as a licensed dentist, you see someone selling grillz in a flea market?

Let me be clear — that is unlicensed practice of dentistry. Obviously, most FDA members are not doing grillz as a large part of their practice because they’re too busy losing money treating Medicaid kids or they have something called ethics. So, most dentists don’t think grillz are “dentistry.” But from the perspective of law enforcement, it’s dentistry, just without a license. So, if you see it, report it!

Call 877.HALT.ULA (877.425.8852) as soon as possible before the criminal hightails it from the flea market to a back room in some sleazy bar next door to the unlicensed tattooist and illegal bookmaker. Not that we would know anything about that.


This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have a specific concern or need legal advice regarding your dental practice, you should contact a qualified attorney.