What They Don’t Teach in Dental School

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By Mr. Casey Hiers, FDC2019 Speaker

Dentistry is a unique and challenging occupation. The variety, flexibility and income potential associated with being a dentist or specialist is second to none. What most dentists don’t see coming and receive little to no training on is the business side of dentistry. A practice owner can bear the workload of multiple C-level executives, on top of providing great dentistry. This can cause a dentist to spend many late nights pouring into the business side of their practice. Too many dentists feel like they are on a hamster wheel or on an island with no one to talk to and no end in sight. Is this the best use of your time? Is this what you went to dental school for?

The No. 1 challenge in dentistry today is the business side. A dentist makes the most impact treating patients, not analyzing QuickBooks, accounting strategies, cash flow reports, etc. Making sure the proper systems and processes for your specific practice are in place to maximize your income and retirement savings is paramount.

We worked with a dentist in Texas who was just winging it when it came to the business/finance side of their practice. They struggled with insurance, income structure, retirement savings, overhead and poor tax management. They felt they were taking one step forward and two steps back. If you want an example of what getting your financial house in order looks like, then this before and after snapshot will be worth a glance. Their income went from $196,500 to $322,700 in 2 ½ years. Retirement savings went from $0 to $64,050 in that same time frame. Those are just the financial benefits. The emotional relief that comes with mastering the business side of your practice is priceless. Another example is a dentist from Florida. They were gifted clinically, adored by their patients and extremely busy. They didn’t mind the business side, but always felt like they could be doing better. Their income went from $177,106 to $318,033 and retirement savings from $14,041 to $104,023 in two years. Overhead decreased 12%, but the biggest improvement in their eyes was no more tax surprises from Uncle Sam.

Attending this course could be the difference between being financially free to retire in your 50s or worrying that your hands, neck or back will give out before you are able to retire on your terms.

Mr. Hiers’ course, “What They Don’t Teach in Dental School — The Business Side” (NC04) will be on Thursday, June 27 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Make sure to register for this course today — only 30 seats left! Go to floridadentalconvention.com to register.

Today’s FDA is Online Now!

The March/April issue of Today’s FDA is online now! Go to floridadental.org/publications to read this issue.

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21st Century Laser-assisted Dentistry

By Dr. Anthony Cardoza

Over the last 29 years, I have witnessed many technological advances in dentistry. Some of these advances have included computers throughout the office, digital X-rays, digital intra-oral photography, loupe and microscope magnification, and CAD/CAM technology, just to name a few. One of the most significant technological advances has been the evolution of the dental laser, and it’s this technology that’s really firing my passion for dentistry.

Lasers have been used in dentistry for several decades, but during the last five years they have become widely accepted and now tens of thousands of dentists in the U.S. and around the world have implemented lasers. Market acceptance of dental lasers is rapidly growing at a level where digital imaging was five to seven years ago.

In my practice we have several lasers for both hard- and soft-tissue applications, which are used for a wide range of procedures. It’s well-established that different procedures require different laser wavelengths. Wavelength is important because specific body tissues (chromophores) interact in different ways depending on the laser source. Therefore, it’s important to use the proper wavelength that is tissue-specific for the procedure.

The following are a few of the laser procedures performed in our office every day and the clinical advantages they offer our practice and, most importantly, our patients.

The near infrared diode laser has become my laser of choice for hygiene and soft tissue. It’s extremely effective for hygiene procedures such as laser bacterial reduction (LBR) and laser de-epitheliazation during scaling and root planing. Additionally, it’s excellent for soft-tissue surgical procedures such as frenectomy, gingivectomy, fibroma removal, and gingival retraction for crown and bridge impressions.

The most versatile laser I have is the erbium mid-infrared wavelength hard/soft-tissue laser. I use this laser several times a day for no-shot, no-drill cavity preps. My patients love being able to avoid having shots and post-op numbness. This laser gives me the ability to quickly and effectively remove decay, and often these restorations weren’t scheduled, but discovered during hygiene examinations. We can complete these procedures in one appointment and avoid the inconvenience of rescheduling the patient. With my erbium laser I can perform these procedures fast and often without anesthesia.

In addition, by lengthening the pulse duration, I also can perform many soft-tissue and bone procedures. Procedures like apicoectomy, gingivectomy, osseous recontouring and laser periodontal surgery are examples of treatments performed with the erbium laser.

Finally, lasers are now being used during endodontic treatment in the form of laser activated irrigation to greatly reduce bacteria and debris found in the canals without a net thermal elevation within the canal. Lasers also are now being used for snore reduction. The role of lasers in dentistry is continuing to increase as we see ongoing research in both lasers and their use in various applications in dentistry. The decision is no longer whether to add a laser to your practice, it’s just a matter of which laser will best fulfill your needs.

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Dr. Cardoza will be speaking at the 2018 Florida Dental Convention in Orlando in June. On Thursday, June 21, “Dispelling the ‘CSI Effect’ Myth” will be at 9 a.m., and “Dentistry’s Role in the Mass Disaster Scenario, Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence Recognition,” will be at 2 p.m. later that same day. On Friday, June 22, his workshop, “21st Century Laser-assisted Dentistry” will be at 9 a.m. with a repeat of the workshop at 2 p.m. To register, go to floridadentalconvention.com.