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Business Beyond the Classroom

Cover Contest Winners: Michelle Vaday & Sara Bustos

Scott McDonald

Dr. Tom Snyder

Dr. Rhonda R. Savage

The Biggest Lie in Dentistry (and a smaller lie)

Will A Partnership Be Your Preferred Career Choice?

If You Build It, They Will Come!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!


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For over 140 years, Patterson Dental has worked to build a name that means something special. When we hand-select pieces that are worthy to wear our logo, you can trust our recommendation. Looking for quality? Look no further than the label.


Through our expanded portfolio of CAD/CAM and Digital Imaging products, Patterson Dental is helping you add new revenue streams to your practice. These versatile solutions are a great option for any practice because they help prevent technology overhauls. Best of all, your patients will love these products too— since they cut down on return visits without sacrificing quality. TO SEE OUR EXPANDED PORTFOLIO, VISIT PATTERSONDENTAL.COM/NEW-PORTFOLIO




In our latest issue of Dental Entrepreneur: Business Beyond the Classroom, we’ve got a lot in store for you. Once again, we partnered with the incredible team of igniteDDS, and it couldn’t have happened without the vision and work that Dr. Lucas Shapiro put in to highlight, inspire, empower and connect all of you.

Editor & Publisher Anne M. Duffy RDH Associate Publisher Rebecca Paciorek Assistant Editor Michael Duffy

I asked Luke to tell me how this Cover Doc contest came about, and here’s his response:

Production Curative Group Editorial Board Dr. Dirk Fleischman Dr. Gene Heller Dr. Harold Sturner Dr. Ryan Dulde Dr. Earl Douglas Rachel Teel Wall, RDH, BS Dr. Tom Snyder Derek Champange Dr. David Rice Layout and Design John O’Connor Brian Rummel

Class of 2019 Contributors Bruce Bryen Mark Hollis Scott McDonald Vicki McManus Peterson David Rice, DDS Rhonda R. Savage, DDS Lucas Shapiro Gavin Shea Tom Snyder, DMD

Editorial Office

12233 Pine Valley Club Drive Charlotte, NC 28277 704/953-0261 Fax 704/847-3315 Send materials to: Dental Entrepreneur Magazine 8334 Pineville Matthews Road Ste. 103-201 Charlotte, NC 28226 When you have finished enjoying this magazine pass it along to a friend and PLEASE RECYCLE Copyright 2019 Dental Entrepreneur, Charlotte, NC Material herein may not be reproduced, copied or reprinted without prior written consent of the publisher. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement by the publisher.

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“igniteDDS is a large community of 15,000-plus. We asked the community for nominations of their peers and mentors. We then took to social media and a panel of four judges made up of industry experts and dentists. The premise was to highlight the dental students that are CRUSHING it beyond the classroom, whether it be community service, research, social media, etc. The idea was based off of the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list. There are so many students doing amazing things that once we heard about the opportunity to partner with you, we thought this would be a great idea to recognize those people and even make it an annual thing. So many dentists and dental students are so much more than that. They are artists, entrepreneurs, techies, community leaders and more!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Working with you inspires us to give you the information you need to continue to change the dental game. As such, we asked some of our favorite authors to contribute their expertise to these pages. They are invested in you and are here to help you navigate your potential. Please reach out to them with your questions and concerns. You will find their contact information in their bios. Remember that we have had our sponsors with us for many years. Show them a little love. They keep us up and running and are dedicated to you. Good people find good people! Thanks again to Dr. David Rice, Dr. Lucas Shapiro and the igniteDDS team for making this a very special edition of DE. Thank you to our judges – Suzanne Kump, Patrick Bernardi, Dr. Joyce Kahng and yours truly. Sincere congratulations to our Cover Docs, Michelle Vaday and Sara Bustos, and to all the igniters that competed in what is sure to be an annual event.

Finally, I’d like to encourage you to share this magazine with all of your colleagues, teachers, families and friends. Let them know what the future of dentistry looks like. I am impressed with each and every one of you and know in my heart that your integrity and drive will lead the way to amazing discoveries in our profession. The possibilities are endless! Stay ignited!

Anne M. Duffy Publisher

Contents Prologue



Business Beyond the Classroom

6 The Places We’re Going

Michelle Vaday, Sara Bustos - contest winners followed by finalists and contributors

Getting Started Cover Contest Winners:

12 The Biggest Lie in Dentistry (and a Smaller Lie) Scott McDonald

Michelle Vaday & Sara Bustos

14 Want to be the Boss? You Can, Sooner Than You Think! Gavin Shea

18 Will A Partnership Be Your Preferred Career Choice? Tom Snyder, DMD

Business Fundamentals 22 How Does Your Practice Grow? Patterson Dental

Scott McDonald

Dr. Tom Snyder

Dr. Rhonda R. Savage

The Biggest Lie in Dentistry (and a smaller lie)

Will A Partnership Be Your Preferred Career Choice?

If You Build It, They Will Come!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

The Power to Succeed 34 Empowered Leadership Vicki McManus Peterson

36 Wrap up David Rice, DDS

24 Student Debt: How to Maximize the Payments to Your Advantage Bruce Bryen

26 Mac Security and Reliability Requires Patient Information be in macOS Mark Hollis

30 If You Build It, They Will Come! Rhonda R. Savage, DDS

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 5


The Places We’re Going… Michelle Vaday AT Still - 2021 @StudentDoctorMeesh Michelle has created an immensely successful social media platform to help predents and other dental students on their journey into the field. Additionally, she has vocalized two issues that are extremely important and can be overlooked: mental health, and advocating for people who are deaf. This sets her apart from many entrepreneurs out there creating a brand. Michelle humbly opens up about the hardships of dental school, especially her own, so we all don’t feel alone and the weight of the world on our shoulders as we strive for the pursuit of perfection. She emits resiliency, and by shining her truth and light she allows others to do the

In five years, I will have completed the most difficult yet most rewarding years of my life. I will have reached my life-long ambition of obtaining my Doctorate of Dental Medicine. I plan to move back to California, where my passion for dentistry began. It all started with my dentist, Dr. Shervin. Every visit, Dr. Shervin was always telling jokes and making me smile. I wanted to be just like him. This, coupled with my passion for serving the community, sparked my love for the dental field. My heart has been in community service since I was a child as my parents raised me to always give back to those in need. Growing up, I volunteered as a children’s class coordinator and taught ethics

6 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

classes. I made sure to incorporate oral health in the curriculum in order to instill healthy oral hygiene habits that would last a lifetime. Currently, I volunteer at a variety of events throughout the year to help educate the public on the importance of oral health and oral screenings. In five years, I hope to open my own dental office in Southern California. My goal is to eliminate the negative stigma associated with dental visits. I’ve studied and utilized methods to combat anxiety such as deep breathing exercises and meditation strategies, which I plan to teach any patients who struggle from dental fear. I will be sure to accommodate the special needs community. For several years, I have collaborated with my

same. “We all know the importance of maintaining our physical health, but our mental health is just as important. I will always use my voice to bring awareness to mental health because it’s such an important topic and issue in today’s society.” She is an advocate to improve our profession’s ability to communicate for people who are hard of hearing. She posts videos with amazing and easy sign language tips, and has teamed up with her brother, @signsforhumanity, to create this incredible change, to allow greater communication with a greatly overlooked special needs population.

brother, who progressively lost his hearing at the age of three, to create a social media campaign to raise awareness for the hard of hearing. Once I have accomplished my local goals of helping underserved communities, I would like to gradually work my way up to developing countries. My dream is to establish a humanitarian organization to provide free dental care to those in need. I believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilege. No one should be denied access to oral health care due to monetary limitations.

Sara Bustos Tufts – 2021 @sarabustos Sara has shown exemplary performance throughout her career, making the most of every stepping stone in her journey to achieve her dream and become a Dentist. This dream started when she was very young. She was inspired to pursue her degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine upon moving to Boston from Colombia when only 10 years old. Despite Sara demonstrating excellent academic performance since she was a child, her advisor in school did not motivate her to pursue her dream - she thought an immigrant could never become a dentist. But that did not stop Sara. She demonstrated persistence every day, and almost 15 years later, she is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Boston University and has achieved Dean’s List recognition

It has always been fairly easy imagining myself five years into the future. During middle school, I knew that in five years I would be in high school preparing myself to apply for colleges. In college, I knew that five years later I would be taking the DAT and I would need to acquire as much experience as possible to be a competent applicant for Dental School. For as long as I remember, my ultimate goal, aspiration and desire was to be where I am right at this moment, a dental student spending countless hours in the lab working on my hand skills to be the best clinician. Two years into my Dental School career, I’ve had to reflect on long-term goals and accomplishments in a deeper level. My past experiences have highlighted that a big amount of my personal

happiness comes from helping the community. In five years I hope to grow the non for profit organization my sisters and I have established called Dreams Without Borders, in which we encourage children to follow their dreams no matter how distant these may seem. For the last three consecutive years, we have brought presents to children living in underprivileged areas who we knew their families could not afford gifts for Christmas, hoping to bring the same happiness our parents brought to us as children. I will continue creating memories and experiences with children to inspire them to reach their dreams. I want to become a powerful role model to young women who dream to be successful in STEM, who perhaps emigrated from their country of origin to

at Tufts, among other awards, working harder than anyone else I know. Sara is an inspiration to family, friends and classmates. She recognizes that opportunity and hard work are correlated, which is the reason she has volunteered many times to speak with elementary and high school students in the US and Colombia to share her story, hoping these children pursue their dreams without letting others back them down. She is focused on learning every day and excelling at everything she does from studying the dental curriculum to giving back to the community. Her mission work provides health services everyone deserves regardless of their economic status.

the United States, and who lack sources or guidance to achieve their goals. To do so, I strive to become a mentor and share my story as well as offer my advice at any time needed. In regards to my personal dentistry goals, in five years I’d like to improve my hand skills, attend CE courses, learn from other professionals, and dive into the cosmetic dentistry world. I want to develop the skill of restoring a full mouth, esthetically and functionally, because I know how much of a positive impact it can have in someone’s life. I am certain the next five years will be full of challenges but I am eager to discover the world of dentistry and contribute to it as I grow into the profession.

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 7


Nicholas Rodriguez UTSD at Houston – 2020 @nick_of_time1 Nick currently serves as the President of the National Student Research Group and is the Student Trustee for the Hispanic Dental Association. He will be the first dual degree “DDS/MPH” graduate this May. Nick hopes to one day combine pediatric dentistry, public health and advocacy in order to better serve the population he plans on working with. Eric Niles Buffalo – 2019 Presented at AADR and IADR in 2018 on implant dentistry and the effects of corticosteroids and SSRI medications on osseointegration. Outreach

Gauri Desai NYU – 2021 @Gdesai2021 Collaborated with a nonprofit organization in India and the local dental school to provide oral hygiene instructions and dental screenings for 150 kids. Oral screenings at NYU Oral Cancer Walk and Greater New York Dental Meeting.

8 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

Christy Tran Midwestern Arizona - 2020 @xchristytran 2018 president of the MWU chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), CE coordinator for the MWU Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), Current president of the MWU Dental Student Research Group (SRG), Helps to organize Give Kids a Smile, a free event offering dental care and education for children, AZ Oral Cancer Walk, AZ Mission of Mercy, International service trip in the Kingdom of Tonga.


Video Content

Tyler Brown and Tyrell Fridie Tufts – 2021 @_futuredds Created a platform to help pre dents get into school as well as show the world the life of dental students! They provide information through weekly videos as well as Instagram! Podcasts

Rebecca Lerman and Karisa Yamamoto UC San Francisco – 2020 Through the Academic Dental Career Fellowship, they have taken the opportunity to be at the forefront of advocacy for dental student wellness and mental health. Recent suicides by medical students and physicians have prompted researchers to examine the factors causing stress, depression, and suicide within this population. Dental students possess stressors that are similar to those of medical students, and in addition, they carry the burden of significantly higher educational debt, experience a higher frequency of chronic pain and injury due to the physical demands of the profession, and are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens on a more regular basis. However, little research has been conducted on the prevalence of depression in dental students. Rebecca and Karisa want to challenge this trend.

Justin Norell, Eric Rabinowitz, Onni Franco, RJ Gonzalez Florida 2020 @dentalstudentpodcast Created the Dental Student Podcast to help dental students navigate schools! Social Media

Zack Youngblood University of Florida – 2021 @doctoryoungblood. Zack’s mindset for success and daily positivity can be seen on his Instagram. His work towards LGBTQ+ visibility in the dental field is also another great quality

that Zack has. He wrote an article about his coming out story in an ASDA blog last year and it spread like wild fire. People all around the nation were inspired by his bravery and willingness to speak up. On top of that, Zack recently released his first book called Mind Blown: The Dental Admission Test where he simply explains to predental student how he succeeded to score in the top percentile on the DAT. Chloe Miller University of Washington @chloemmiller Chloe is an active member of the school community while spending her free time volunteering in her community as well as in 3rd world countries. She has been involved at her local ASDA chapter as Social Media chair and was elected this past year for ASDA District 10 Social Media chair. Patients love her because she listens.

Cyril Manchery, Brendan Gallagher, Jason Chen Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine – 2021 - @studentsofdentistry Students of Dentistry was made during our first year of dental school to highlight the journey of different dental students around the world. The account has provided students with insight not only about the rewarding aspects of dental school but ways to face the challenges that it presents as well. Our aim with this page was to provide a platform for collaboration, learning and unification where we as future dentists can grow professionally.



Jessica Rudman UConn – 2020 - @jrudman Jessica is a well-rounded dental student who is on her way to becoming a phenomenal endodontist in the future. Jessica is dedicated to patient care, exemplified in the fact that she has the highest number of patient care hours in our entire class! President of the Endodontics Interest Group Class of 2020 Honor Board representative Admissions Rep, District 1 as a Newsletter co-chair, District 1 Delegate reviewer, Volunteer at Special Olympics and CT Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic, Major research project on the value of CBCT images in diagnosing and treatment planning endodontic cases.

Raul Molina Pittsburgh – 2019 – @raul_d_3 I was born in Miami, FL and am a first generation Cuban-American. I’m the oldest of 7 siblings and spent my pre-college years being homeschooled on an avocado farm. From the start of dental school, you’re expected to absorb an immense amount of information which can easily overwhelm many. You also begin to take on exorbitant sums in loans to cover tuition for the four years in hopes that you will earn enough to eventually pay it off. These challenges along with other requirements, like having to collect teeth for preclinical, inspired me to start a nonprofit in my second year of dental school called The Tooth Bank (TTB). Our team now consists of dentists and dental students from around the country who are passionate about our mission. We hope to ultimately create an organization that will give dental students all the resources they need to succeed as a dentist.

Kevin Lin Roseman – 2019 - Class of 2019 president, AGD student chapter President, Student Council Treasurer, Roseman’s annual talent show producer for two years, Social media chair for Roseman ASDA and District 10 ASDA, Featured on the cover of ASDA’s Contour magazine. Kevin voluntarily helps other students in clinic and in classrooms. Blog Hayder Allawi “Introduces us to new materials, instruments and techniques to make our life easier & produce a more predictable result.”

Jordan Barnett University of the Pacific - @jbarssss As a Fresno, CA native, Jordan Barnett is not a typical dental student. As the owner of a private tutoring business for the last 6+ years, Jordan has acquired many unique skills. Jordan brings a unique energy to dentistry that is attracting multiple patients to him. In his 6 months in the clinic he has brought in 10+ patients to come see him - all of which are 20-40+ and have mostly only seen a dentist under 5 times in their lives. Moreover, Jordan is involved as an Executive member of UOP’s SCOPE program, Business Club, and local ASDA chapter. He is an avid member of social media most notably Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 9

LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook where he is connecting with dental professionals to increase his dental knowledge and to reach out to those aspiring to join the profession.

Dr. Joshua Lange Mini implant clinic in Southern California “Diligence to learning, commitment to staff, and talent in dentistry...”

Mentorship – Dental Students Omar Nijem Cornell GPR 2019 - @iamdromar “Knowledge is power, but only if you put it into action” Mentors - Doctors

Jacob Pleshty NYU – 2020 @jdental “He is a teaching assistant to first and second year dental students in simulation lab.” Camila Pachon Posada (Tufts) Camila puts herself before others, always thinking of events, ideas, and tools to help not only her, but everyone around her succeed. She is in the midst of implementing workshops into Tufts dental revolving around digital dentistry and 3D scanning. Her persona is inspirational, and I truly believe she will leave an everlasting impression during her journey through dental school.

Dr. Mina Kim – @drminakim Treasurer of New York County Dental Society, ADA Institute for a Diversity of Leadership, Co-founder and President of the Women to Women Dentists group in NYC, started the Give Kids a Smile Day program in New York County 5 years ago “We are so fortunate to have her in our profession as she is always willing to donate her time to others despite her busy work schedule and she is always coming up with new ways to better our profession for all generations.”

Social Media Honorable Mention Brandon Walker - @Prosthabilities Abdullah AlQaraghuli - @Dentalimpressions Dr. Adamo Notarantonio - @adamoelvis Dr. Vivi Han - @thedroolingtooth Melanie Silvestrini @melanierosaliaa -Tufts Henrik Ridder @smile_expert - Germany Dr. Miguel Ortiz @dr_miguel_ortiz Dr. Carlos de Carvalho @_carlosdecarvalho Dr. Brian Baliwas - @sfdentalnerd Dr. Sable Muntean - @dmd_sable and @ignitepredent

Mentorship - Residents

Rebecca Aminov Stony Brook Ortho 2020 @smiledontics “I am able to help change people’s smiles in a natural way- no crowns or veneers necessary! A smile is often the very first thing that people see, and a beautiful smile really creates instant confidence.” 10 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

Dr. Rhonda Savage Private practice in Gig Harbor, WA CEO of Savage Success - international dental training and consulting firm. Dr. Savage lectures and publishes on leadership and business management. “Dr. Savage is CRUSHING it as an amazing leader in the dental field. She is an impeccable business woman with amazing drive. She is exactly the kind of person many women hope to be when they grow up.”

Special Thanks to… Luke Shapiro received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Spanish. He then went to dental school at Stony Brook and graduated in May 2018. He is now an orthodontics resident at Tufts in Boston. In dental school, Luke did research, focusing on 3D imaging, with his most recent project on the application of iPad 3d imaging technology. He was also very involved in the aesthetics club and ASDA. Luke is the leader of the dental student section of IgniteDDS. He is also the founder of @futuredentists

Toussaint Crawford, DDS Clinton, MD

“In basketball or dentistry, I’m always adding new skills to improve my game.” Dr. Crawford has a new game plan for better oral health: Invisalign® clear aligners and the iTero Element® scanner. When restorative needs arise and oral health is at stake, the combination of Invisalign treatment and the iTero Element scanner is the game-changer Dr. Crawford’s patients need. Together, they empower him to correct the root cause of an issue and lay the foundation for long-term success. And with the improvements he sees in his digital workflow, Invisalign treatment and the iTero Element scanner are a win for his patients and his practice. Go beyond with Invisalign clear aligner therapy and the iTero Element scanner. Get started at © 2019 Align Technology, Inc. MKT-0003051 Rev A

Getting Started

The Biggest Lie in Dentistry (and a Smaller Lie) Scott McDonald


was only 26, and it was my duty to visit the California dental schools to evaluate what was being said about having practice success. I was the new marketing manager of the California Dental Association, and I wanted to learn what the Profession was all about. Then I heard it. It was the Biggest Lie in Dentistry. Over the next 30 years, I have heard it repeatedly in different versions. One of the dentist-professors said these fateful words:

“All you have to do is to be a great clinician, and people will beat a path to your door.” When the lie is spoken, I often see dentists nodding sagely to what they assume is common wisdom. As a marketing professional, it seemed silly to me. The presumption is that patients have some way of understanding clinical quality, as though some objective standard exists. Both experience and research have proven beyond question that patients have no way of determining how good (or bad) their dentist is due to their clinical skills. On the other hand, they judge practices, doctors and staff upon whatever criteria they CAN use. Sorry, you deserve the truth: clinical expertise does not determine financial success. In fact, depending upon it may hurt everyone involved. So, why should someone believe that your clinical expertise will mean more to patients and potential patients than your ability to communicate, lead staff, inspire compliance, manage dental care or any other human virtue? I think I know the answer. It’s vanity. But whose vanity? I am sorry to say, but clinical instructors are strongly tempted to assume that their work is what a dental student will need in order to gain success. And then there are dentists who assume a “me-Tarzan, you-Jane” attitude, where they’re always right. Patients may be ignorant, but they are rarely stupid. The entire focus of most dental meetings and continuing education seems to be upon this goal of clinical mastery. New materials, new techniques, new technologies and new tools all 12 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

sing the siren-song of the clinician. But the sad truth is that these sirens can draw the ships of practice onto the rocks of practice failure. Clinical expertise may be important, even vital. But if that is the sole focus of a practice, that practice will fail. There is a well-funded industry devoted to selling tools and equipment to professionals with the bright hope that it will make you “perfect” with “perfect results.” I count dental vendors and suppliers as my friends. But they have little to lose when it comes to your investment in things (and processes) rather than people. PLEASE don’t get the idea that I am espousing anything less than clinical excellence! High standards, including standards of cleanliness and outstanding treatment, are vital. But when the profession places the Golden Fleece of practice exclusively upon the shoulders of clinical skill, those of us who know and love dental professionals cannot help but cringe a little. That is because we know a truth or two that seems too often ignored.

“Dentistry is a people business. It is not a THING business or a business of TECHNIQUE.” Your ability to communicate effectively with your patients and potential-patients is the thing that will help you to fulfill your professional responsibilities. That is why those of us involved intimately in dental marketing know that if your staff is not training in good communication skills and the doctor is not skilled in persuasively explaining his diagnosis, no amount of clinical skill can compensate. The bitter truth is that unless it hurts, squirts blood or falls out, patients have no way to determine the “quality” of your clinical skills. And even if it does hurt, squirt blood or fall out, you may have done exactly what the standard clinical procedure required! Stuff happens in a patient’s mouth when you aren’t there. And if you are not a good listener, a compassionate professional and a reasoned thinker, no amount of technique will help you.

And this leads to the second Biggest Lie in Dentistry:

“Effective advertising alone will save a practice.” In fact, real marketers know that effective advertising can KILL a practice quickly if the internal marketing strategy is not in place and working. In other words, getting people to know about a practice that does not have its act together is like shouting, “We are terrible!” The word gets around pretty quickly. Therefore, dependence upon a magic formula of advertising is certainly not the only answer. We may draw patients into the office who will be convinced of your personal attractiveness and the desirability of the services you offer, but unless the doctors and staff have people skills AND

a communications strategy to help these potential patients, it’s like pouring water into a colander. It’s a waste. Worse, it is a hand grenade waiting to explode in your pants pocket. When we speak of a successful dental entrepreneur, the fallback position of lots of continuing education hours and expensive equipment for treatment and diagnosis will do little to settle the upset patient, calm frazzled nerves or extract payment from an unreasonable person. Your ability to manage the “people equation” is all-important. For all these reasons, we have to make sure that the communications policies patients will experience and will form the basis of their judgments of the practice are the first steps to successful growth. From our perspective as a company that does marketing plans for practices and has done so in every state in the U.S. and for every specialty and practice model, these lies must be put to rest if you and your practice are going to

thrive in an age when communication technology allows for the message of your practice to get out nearly instantaneously. Blind dependence upon clinical skill and advertising will hurt the practice much more than it helps.

Scott McDonald is the President and Owner of Scott McDonald & Associates, Inc, the nation’s largest vendor of demographic and psychographic analysis for dental practices in the United States. The company can help evaluate locations, provide market research, and help identify target markets. Call (800) 424-6222 or visit for more information.

Getting Started

Want to Be the Boss? You Can, Sooner Than You Think! Gavin Shea


o doubt, much of what you have been reading over the last few years about student debt paints a bleak picture for today’s generation of new dentists compared to prior generations. Be assured: This article will not provide a similar doom-and-gloom scenario. In fact, after reading this article, hopefully you see there is another — more optimistic — way to view your student debt, one that focuses on investment in your potential as a future practice owner. According to the American Dental Education Association’s website (www.adea. org), “Average educational debt for all indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 was $285,184. Forty percent of indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 reported student loan debt of $300,000 or more.” That’s more than double the average of $120,437 for dental graduates in 2000, a historical figure the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute maintains in its online infographic library. While these can be sobering statistics for today’s dental students and recent graduates, the career you have ahead of you could be long and successful, with significant earning potential over the long term. It’s quite possible you’ll earn more as a future dentist than past generations of dentists and students of other graduate programs with similar debt obligations and lower earning potential. Additionally, finding a path to practice ownership through a practice start-up or purchase loan may help you pay down student debt faster than if you were working for someone else. How, you might ask? The answer is a combination of effective debt management by taking a longer-term approach to paying off that debt with the proceeds from your business (i.e., no need for complete debt elimination right out of the gate). Selecting the right partners — such as a CPA, wealth advisor and lender for personal and busi14 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

ness management advice is a good first step to ensure you are set up for long-term success. Practice Ownership as a Debt-Repayment Strategy Student debt like we see today isn’t the same as sizable credit card debt. Student debt is an apple, and credit debt is an orange. Some lenders may view your school debt much differently than other debt and not see it as an obstacle on your path to practice ownership. One option that some lenders find appealing is the practice of lowering monthly student loans payments through loan consolidation because it improves your cash flow. Those lenders may focus on actual practice income and cash flow when considering a credit application, not just the total amount of debt and assets an applicant has. This is also one of many reasons why effectively

Helping you care for your practice and patients every step of the way Wells Fargo Practice Finance provides specialized financing and professional support that can help you: • • • •

Buy, start, or expand your practice Grow and optimize your business Deliver a better patient experience Make the most of your financial future

Download a complimentary workbook to plan your next steps. How can we help? Let’s talk



Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time


• Defining your career • Assembling your team • Developing your plan • Financing your practice

Practice Success Series for Dentists

Preparing for Ownership Wells Fargo Practice Finance

Call 1-800-326-0376

All financing is subject to credit approval and if applicable, determination of SBA eligibility. © 2019 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Wells Fargo Practice Finance is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo Practice Finance 2001 Clayton Rd, Suite 900 Concord, CA 94520 1-888-937-2321

1-888-937-2321 Concord, CA 94520 2001 Clayton Rd, Suite 900 Wells Fargo Practice Finance a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2019 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Wells Fargo Practice Finance is All financing is subject to credit approval and if applicable, determination of SBA eligibility.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance

Preparing for Ownership Practice Success Series for Dentists 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday

1-888-937-2321 Let’s talk

How can we help?

All financing financing isis subject subject to credit approval. approval. All to credit WellsFargo FargoBank, Bank,N.A. N.A.All Allrights rightsreserved. reserved.Wells WellsFargo FargoPractice PracticeFinance Financeis isa division a divisionofofWells Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2019 2018 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. • Financing your practice • Developing your plan • Assembling your team • Defining your career


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planning for and monitoring your cash flow needs is critical as you build your practice. Also, the practitioner is often the most important part of the business, and lenders are motivated to help keep the practitioner engaged, productive and successful. If you’d like to research the pros and cons of loan consolidation, Wells Fargo’s College STEPS blog lays it out clearly. Healthcare-focused lenders like Wells Fargo Practice Finance do exist in the dental space, potentially opening some exciting financing opportunities for you to consider. Additional Benefits of Practice Ownership For newer dentists who become practice owners, there are other benefits to consider that may help expedite repayment of student debt. As a practice owner, your hygiene program creates important income for you. It helps increase your practice’s monthly cash flow and creates a source of income that may help you offset your student debt expense faster. As a practice owner, you might also manage your tax situation differently than if you were a staff dentist in someone else’s practice. And that is an aspect of ownership you would want to thoroughly discuss with your tax and legal advisors early in your journey. Your tax and legal advisors could also be helpful in determining your preferred lending and credit arrangements. There Is Hope: You Can Be the Boss Sooner Than You Think Student debt is likely a stressor for many, and stress-based decisions aren’t always the best over the long term. To help make informed decisions, try the following: Be kind to yourself, do your research, talk to lending professionals, seek guidance from tax and 16 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

legal professionals, and expand your professional network to include dentists who have successfully made the transition to practice ownership. Hopefully, what you learn from them will be encouraging and reinforce the fact that practice ownership can be an option to accelerate your debtrepayment goals. Try to remember that you have your entire working future ahead of you as a dentist. And depending on your personal career strategy, that could mean 30 or more years of practice income, made possible by your initial investment in yourself: your education. Whether working 20, 30 or more years, that is a considerable amount of time to repay your debt, establish yourself in your market and build a plan for succession and retirement. Celebrate your educational accomplishments and frame the student debt challenge in your mind as something you can address with a sense of optimism: Your youth and your longevity as a dentist may be your greatest asset, which means you can likely leverage a longer time horizon to chip away at your student debt by minimizing your monthly payments and increasing your monthly cash flow. You can think about practice ownership as a vehicle to helping you repay your debt, rather than having to first repay your debt before becoming a practice owner. And while it may seem counter-intuitive, practice ownership may actually help you accelerate your student debt repayment by creating revenue streams you wouldn’t have available to you as a staff dentist. Gavin Shea, Wells Fargo Practice Finance, leads national healthcare sales and marketing strategy development and implementation. Wells Fargo Practice Finance specializes in helping dental professionals acquire, start, and expand their practices with various financing options and a signature Practice Success Program. You can contact Gavin at or 1-844-626-4317. For more helpful information, tools, and resources from Wells Fargo Practice Finance, you can also visit

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial, tax or legal advice.



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Practice Makes Perfect “Dr. Earl Douglas and the staff at ADS South have been real helpful in steering me in the right direction in the purchase of my first practice. Dr. Douglas’s experience, organization and detail-orientation, pointed out to me where improvement is needed and how to go about achieving it.” Elizabeth H. Guerrero, DDS Get off to the perfect start. Call your ADS transition specialist for AL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA today.

ADS South (770) 664-1982

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 17

Getting Started

Will A Partnership Be Your Preferred Career Choice? Tom Snyder, DMD


olo practice was once the predominant mode of practicing dentistry, with over 67% of dentists in 2001 choosing that option. However, the trend continues to be negative and as of 2017 only 50.6% of dentists were in solo practice. In fact, this downward trend is supported by a recent survey of the American Dental Association indicating that only one in five dentists under the age of 35 desires to be a solo practitioner. So practicing in some form of group is now the preferred choice. Maximizing income is also not the primary driver for many recent grads when measuring their professional success and satisfaction. It is achieving quality of life that often supersedes earning maximum dollars. So, partnerships can become a major vehicle to provide greater lifestyle flexibility for two or more dentists. Economies of scale with potentially higher profit margins can also certainly be achieved with multiple doctor ownership. This article reviews key points that doctors must consider when they are contemplating the formation of a partnership. TARGET REVENUE With the average general solo practitioner averaging approximately $700,000 per year in billings, it obviously takes considerably more revenue to support two doctors in a partnership relationship. This target revenue is predicated on the number of hours worked per week for each partner. Most partnerships, however, begin as a solo practice. A successful solo practice needs about 1,200 patients on a 32 hour work week to be successful. Once that target patient base is reached, hiring an associate becomes a reality. So, if your practice has been growing consistently, a full-time associate soon may become a reality and the partnership option now comes into play. BUSINESS ENTITY SELECTION Most partnerships have business entities which are either a Professional Corporation (PC) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In some states the latter is called a Professional Limited 18 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

Liability Company (PLLC). In both instances, these business entities protect the personal assets of each partner. However, it is very important to understand that each business entity has certain characterizes regarding tax issues which must be considered. As a result of the recent tax law changes, the corporate tax rate(for C Corps) was lowered substantially and pass-through entities such as S Corps and LLCs have received some substantial tax breaks as well. So it’s critical that your CPA be consulted at the outset to help determine whether an LLC (PLLC) or “S” Corp. is your best business entity option. We have not mentioned a “C” Corp. as that business format was the entity of choice years ago. Over time the alternative PC business entity, the “S” Corp., has become the primary PC choice. Once your business entity has been selected, the next steps to consider are the tax consequences of an equity transfer. For example, if the current business entity is a PC, many advisors for the

practice owner will recommend that the entire transaction be structured as a stock sale. Although this is the most optimal tax outcome for the practice owner, it can be a very costly choice for a new partner to agree to. For example, if a young doctor were to purchase a $600,000 partnership interest and it is structured as a 100% stock purchase, (assuming the new partner’s effective tax rate was 25%) he/she would have to generate approximately $800,000 in personal income to pay for this ownership interest! Fortunately, there are alternative strategies which can be considered offering a better balance of the tax benefits between the owner and the new partner. In the end, a careful review of the buy-in strategies and tax consequences must be made before the parties get too involved in discussing terms of a partnership agreement. Sometimes multiple business entities are considered in a partnership arrangement. For example, if the host doctor is a professional corporation (either an “S” Corp. or a “C” Corp.), the new partner may elect to form his or her own LLC or “S” Corp. In this case, the “partners” are the respective business entities. In this scenario, a third entity needs to be formed which becomes the Management or Operating Company. This Management/Operating Company will bill and collect patient fees, employ staff, pay rent, as well as pay the majority of the practice’s operating expenses. This additional layer of complexity further underscores the need for sound financial and accounting advice at the outset. FINANCING A PARTNERSHIP BUY-IN After addressing tax issues, the next consideration is how the new partner will pay for the partnership interest. Will it be a total cash purchase for the equity interest or will it be a combination of bank financing and internal financing, or even 100% owner financing? The good news is that many lenders are now willing to finance partnership buy-ins. As in any business transaction, affordability for

The bottom line in partnership compensation is that any income sharing formula selected has to be fair to the parties. the new partner will be paramount. Will the new partner be better off financially than they were as a former associate in the practice? The income available to the new partner to pay for his/her ownership interest as well as comfortably pay their personal expenses will be the key determinants for a new partner being able to afford the buy-in. INCOME SHARING Historically, many dental partnerships were structured as general partnerships. In this model, partners shared all profits equally, regardless of clinical performance. In today’s world, that model does not work. There are numerous ways to share partner income. The most important consideration is for partners to share a portion of their income based on their relative clinical production. For example, most partners prefer being paid a portion of their overall compensation based on individual partner clinical performance. A commonly used method is paying each partner a commission based on a percentage of clinical collected production minus lab /implant supply expenses The balance of available partner compensation, after this clinical production related payment, can be based on each partner’s ownership percentage and shared accordingly. The bottom line in partnership compensation is that any income sharing formula selected has to be fair to the parties.

PARTNERSHIP CONTRACTS Based upon the business entity that is selected, comprehensive legal documents must be prepared to formalize all terms and conditions of the partnership. In the case of a professional corporation, shareholder agreements, employment agreements, and stock acquisition agreements are prepared. For a LLC or PLLC an operating agreement and membership interest purchase agreement must be prepared. In closing, here are several key components that must be addressed ins any partnership contract. 1. Establishing Minimum Days finally A partner’s health problem may result in a reduction in work days for a lengthy time period. Conversely, based on a partner’s personal financial situation, it may create a future scenario where a partner is financially comfortable and thus desires to work less. Too much time away from the practice, however, can have a deleterious effect on the sustaining partner(s), with them feeling overworked, and perhaps feel being taken advantage of. One consideration is to require a partner to work a minimum number of days and/or hours annually, to maintain partnership status. Another alternative to having minimum number of days or hours is to establish minimum production goals for each partner to sustain to retain partnership status. 2. Premature Retirement One reason for becoming a partner is to enjoy a long term relationship with the other partner(s). If a partner decides to leave prematurely, that individual should not expect to receive full value for their partnership interest. Hence, assessing a reduction in goodwill value for a partner who leaves within in the first five years is worthy of consideration. For example, if a partner decides to leave after three years, there should be a reduction of the goodwill value that the departing partner is entitled.

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 19

3. Management Responsibilities Not all partners share management responsibilities equally, and, in fact, some partners have no interest in managing the practice, only desiring to be involved as a partner only on a clinical level. Oftentimes, the partner who manages the practice is probably spending considerable “non-chair” time dealing with the business aspects of the practice. It is appropriate for that partner to be compensated accordingly. Compensation, for example, can be a fixed salary or payment of a small percentage of practice profit or gross practice gross receipts. This payment should be considered a practice operating expense and have no ties to any ownership or production compensation. 4. Retirement of Partner In most two-doctor partnerships, this can become a major issue. Should the junior partner be required to buy-out the senior partner? If so, should there be a formula written in the Operating or Shareholder Agreement which calculates the percentage of goodwill value that a retiring partner is entitled to receive. If this is a 50-50 partnership and the retiring partner is not generating the same percentage of clinical production, then the departing partner should not be entitled to 50% of the available goodwill in the partnership’s value. Calculating the aver-

20 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

age relative clinical production ratio over the last two or three years for that retiring partner is a fair way to determine the goodwill percentage. For example, if the average ratio was 45% for the retiring partner, then only 45% of the total goodwill would be the amount to be paid. Tangible assets (i.e. equipment, technology, etc.) should, how-

In all the years that I have been consulting in this area, I have never found two partnerships that have been completely identical. ever, should be valued based on the departing partner’s ownership interest. In conclusion, it is obvious, partnerships have many “moving parts”. In all the years that I have been consulting in this area, I have never found two partnerships that have been completely identical. There are always circumstances that require careful thought and planning. So take the appropriate time in discussing and negotiating

all key points in your partnership at the outset and seek expert advice from your advisors and/or practice transition consultant. If you follow this prescription, chances are you will have a successful and long standing partnership.

Dr. Tom Snyder is a Senior Director with Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions. A former Department Chair at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Dr. Snyder is currently a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He also serves on the editorial boards of several national publications. He is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and consultant who has been advising dentists for over 30 years in dental practice strategic planning, practice valuations and dental partnership formation. Dr. Snyder received his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine and his MBA from The Wharton School, Graduate Division, at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Snyder can be reached at tom.snyder@

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Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 21

Business Fundamentals

How Does Your Practice Grow?

Your practice generates a wealth of data every day. Get the insight you need to put it to work! Patterson Dental


hen it comes to plants, not everyone has a green thumb. Growth depends on a host of factors, some in the gardener’s control and some not. Some days, it can feel like your practice is the same way – not everything is in your hands. Good news! You already have the seeds for growth, even if they’re buried deep in your practice data. And with the right tools, you can create the perfect conditions for your business to flourish. Two software solutions – Dental Intelligence and Solutionreach (both now compatible with Eaglesoft) – can help give you the time and insight you need to take your practice to the next level. Dental Intelligence dives deep into your practice management system, synthesizing everything from schedules to billing to give you a comprehensive overview of internal strengths and opportunities. Solutionreach educates, engages and attracts patients. Both can help focus your efforts to make the most of your time – and your business. DIGGING IN THE DATA Whether you enjoy crunching numbers or not, chances are you just don’t have the time to analyze all the information your practice produces. Yet knowing how schedules, appointments, treatments and billing are all connected to business performance is key to understanding where and how to grow. While you and your team are busy with the daily tasks of keeping the practice running, Dental Intelligence works in the background to identify these interactions 22 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

“Help grow your practice with better patient communications.” and translate them into action items for you. ROOTED IN KNOWLEDGE These days, getting directions to a physical destination is as simple as asking your phone and tapping into the knowledge of a global network. Why not let the knowledge in your practice management system help you take your business places, too? Dental Intelligence’s free Practice Snapshot can provide an on-demand, comprehen-

sive picture of where you are right now, from high-level numbers of how you’re doing with getting, keeping and scheduling patients to the individual details of who is up to date with their care and who needs reminding. Then the Report Card feature allows you to track your practice’s performance each month to see the trends you should follow – or not – to get where you want to go. And, yes, you can even ask your phone. Dental Intelligence’s mobile app gives you instant access to what you

“The first steps on the path to growth may be hiding in your own practice data.” need to know about your next patient, day or week to keep you on track. TIME FOR GROWTH Of course, growing a business is a team endeavor, and everyone needs to be involved. With Morning Huddle, Dental Intelligence makes it easy to quickly share a summary of the performance and practice data, schedules, patient opportunities and more that the team needs to be efficient and proactive each day. Even after the team’s morning coffee has worn off, a caller ID integration system keeps communications on point with pop-ups containing detailed information about patients who call in, including their name, treatment plan status, current balance and unsched-

uled family members. No more time-consuming searching and cross-referencing – let your team focus on people, not screens.

is a do-it-all toolkit for expanding your reach without adding to your already busy schedule.

BRANCHING OUT In the end, all the metrics come down to patients: who shows up, who follows treatment recommendations, who comes back…and who doesn’t. Creating, building and maintaining relationships is a challenge for the best of practices, and it requires looking beyond internal data. Solutionreach is a technology leader in patient communication services, from online reputation management to patient surveys to practice marketing to personalized, automated appointment reminders. Now supported by Eaglesoft, Solutionreach

GET GROUNDED Whether you’re actively working to grow your practice or simply starting to wonder how, your own data can be a great source of guidance. With insight into your individual practice’s strengths and opportunities, you can nurture your business to increase patient care and have a thriving bottom line. To learn more, please visit: https://

Business Fundamentals Student Debt: How to Maximize the Payments to Your Advantage Bruce Bryen, CPA, CVA


he beginning of the debt cycle is the right time to think positively about how much you – as a dental student – will incur. When school starts, a lot of people dream of the achievements available upon graduation and how the debt will have been used to get an education for the future. It’s never too early to get some guidance on what to do with the liabilities owed to various lenders to get that dental degree. That insight might come from business courses in school or from advisors and dentists who understand the importance of the young graduate in their own practice growth. This is where the astute dental grad will separate from their classmates. They may be terrific clinicians, but may lack the business sense to succeed financially like someone who seeks advice on those topics. They use everything at their disposal for profit. This is where the issue of the liabilities incurred to graduate can be an advantage to the new dentist. What are some of these resources? Lenders who understand the future potential of dental school graduates are more than happy to provide referrals for advisory services that will pay for themselves many times over. Many specialty lenders also provide consolidation loans that may become deductible for the graduate. These loan providers will definitely give access to future resources offering a less-complicated life with lesser monthly payments and longer terms. The foundation for the graduate’s future may lie with the lenders who understand dentistry, as well as with dental CPAs and other dental financial advisors. These resources should be approached with confidence, as they want the recent graduates to assist in their growth as well. A continuing relationship will serve both the graduate and lender. Dental specialty lenders are unique compared to other general commercial business lenders. They understand cash flow and loans that are not secured by real estate or other physical assets. These loans are secured by the dentist’s goodwill and reputation.

24 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

Success with Dental Lenders Many times, a recent graduate will go to a commercial bank for assistance with student debt as they begin as an associate in an established dental practice. It may be a parent or some other relative or friend who refers them to the bank. The problem with a great deal of the financial institutions regarding lending to dentists is that they don’t recognize the income potential of the dentist and look merely at the credit history, existing debt or income of the applicant for the loan or debt consolidation. Speaking with someone who specializes in financing dentists and dental practices will save an enormous amount of time and aggravation for the graduate. There are quite a few commercial banks offering packages to dentists as a special service. They are easy to find, and on occasion they will visit a dental school to speak to upcoming graduates about utilizing their services. The soon-tobe-graduate should speak to these people, as they will help set a foundation for the financing of a dental office, in addition to addressing existing debt.

Success with Dental Advisors Those who feel they can take care of business on their own are making a big mistake. Sometimes, it’s the lack of funds that causes the recent graduate to resist retaining an advisor. There are other reasons that may exist for the lack of the use of a dental advisor. It’s an especially poor choice when no advisor is available as income increases. Errors made in this cycle of development end up costing thousands of dollars. Finding a dental CPA – and not a general business CPA – is a must for both the dentist with a mature practice and the recent dental school graduate. Dental CPAs have so much more knowledge of how things work in that world. Assisting with tax return preparation may be the first step for the graduate. They are probably going to work for someone and will need help with business expense lists and recordkeeping requirements. It’s also a must that a dental CPA prepares and reviews any employment agreement. An introduction to lenders acquainted with a dental CPA will help break down loan options. It will also assist with potentially merging current debt with a line of credit to ease the decision-making processes. This step also forges a relationship with lenders who will be there for the long term, including part interests and complete acquisitions of dental practices. Bringing Together Student Debt with the Lender and Advisor For those with the vision to employ a dental CPA or another type of dental financial advisor at an early career stage, good things are bound to happen. One of the first things the advisor will do is to assess the debt that the recent graduate has and to offer suggestions about what to do with it. Should it be combined with another loan from the dental specialty lender and packaged as a business loan to reduce the monthly payments? Should it

be renegotiated with the current lender in order to accomplish a lower interest rate and a shorter term as the graduate finally begins to earn enough to afford to do so? Will the current lender offer a discount if the graduate pays off the loan? The dental advisor can assist the recent graduate in finding a lending source that will advance new funds. That will allow a substantial reduction in the amount owed to the current lender in exchange for a lump sum payment. What tax effect does this nice early pay-off discount have to the dentist? Does the graduate know that it is even possible to pay off a $200,000 loan with a lump sum payment of $150,000, as a hypothetical example? The $50,000 reduction is a real possibility if the advisor is knowledgeable about the world of dentistry and has the banking contacts. Are there other areas in which an experienced dental advisor can help the new graduate and associate at his or her first employment opportunity? Dental Advisor and Employment Opportunities with Bonus Arrangements Can an advisor assist the newly minted dentist with an advance, such as a signing bonus, that can be used to reduce the student debt? If the employer wants to hire the graduate and the situation exists, the new employee and the employer may agree to an upfront payment that goes directly to the lender. Sometimes a reduction in monthly compensation is worth it to the owner of the practice. It may also be worth it to the new associate to ease the payment schedule for servicing the debt. The monthly salary at a lower level may be enough without the higher debt payment to live more comfortably. Trade-offs in the employment agreement terms and negotiating non-compete and non-solicitation agreements may be to everyone’s advantage by allowing the upfront payment from the dental practice

to the associate. A dental advisor can be a big help for the owner and the associate in formulating the finalization of the employment agreement. The tax ramifications or the potential to gain equity in the practice while building it is also an opportunity that can be facilitated by an advisor. The use of a direct debt payment by the practice as part of the employment agreement can also build equity in the practice. The concept would be based on a formulated concurrence between the graduate associate and the owner, with production and other job-related achievements being the focal points. Bruce Bryen is a certified public accountant and certified valuation analyst with over forty years of experience. Mr. Bryen is a principal at RKG Tax & Business Services, LLP, an affiliate of Robin, Kramer and Green, certified public accountants located in Fort Washington, Pa. Mr. Bryen specializes in deferred compensation, such as retirement planning design; the determination of the proper organizational business structure; asset protection and structuring loan packages for presentation to financial institutions. He also served as Chairman of the Board of a regional bank. Mr. Bryen is experienced in providing litigation support services to dentists with Valuation preparation and Expert Witness testimony in matrimonial and partnership dispute cases, as well as damage claim presentations. He is also a financial writer for several dental journals. You may contact him at 215-641-8300, extension 123 or 609-502-0691 as well as through his email address Also visit his website at

Business Fundamentals Mac Security and Reliability Requires Patient Information Be in macOS Mark Hollis, MacPractice CEO


hat if dentists could avoid the risk of ransomware and other malware, HIPAA and state penalties and fines, reputation damage, and patient lawsuits with a single decision that also saves them money invested in computers and spent annually for IT services? The news is good, but it requires you to “think differently.” It’s totally understandable that more than 80 percent of dental students use Macs, iPads and iPhones. After all, IBM, Cisco and other companies that offer a choice find 80 percent of employees of all ages prefer to use macOS and iOS devices over Windows and Android. Sixty percent of US companies who offer employees a choice consistently find everyone benefits, even though their decision was contrary to their IT department’s advice. As Fletcher Previn, Vice President of Workplace-as-a-Service IBM reports, “every Mac we buy (that replaces a PC) is making and saving IBM money,” and, “Mac users are a lot more satisfied than the PC users.” In fact, Previn found that every Mac saves $535 over the first four years. Adding to that, PC users typically must replace their PC every four years, but dentists commonly use their Macs for 26 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

10-12 years. Taking the longer useful life into account, every Mac used in a dental office saves the practice thousands over PCs. Where Your Data Lives Determines Its Security Everyone knows macOS and iOS as overwhelmingly the most secure operating systems on the planet. This is intentional. The privacy and security of Apple users has always been Apple’s primary and constant mission. Allianz discounts cybersecurity insurance for businesses that use Apple. Allianz actuaries will tell you the numbers don’t lie. Patient information residing on a Mac in macOS is protected by Apple’s macOS. Patient information residing in Windows is not protected, even if it is accessed from a Mac. For free, macOS includes 1) continuously updated X-Protect virus protection; 2) built-in FileVault full disk encryption for internal and backup drives; and 3) built-in GateKeeper security preventing unauthorized downloads of malware. Apple continually and promptly addresses threats and vulnerabilities with free macOS and iOS security and feature updates. In fact, Apple updates macOS and iOS annually. Unlike Windows users, Mac users enthusiastically adopt new Apple technology and secu-

rity quickly because their experience with Apple software is good, making their practice and patient data more secure. Note: FileVault and Gatekeeper can easily be turned on by you or your office manager, or your HIPAA compliance officer, in macOS system preferences, and XProtect works in the background. This reduces the need and the cost of outside IT. Ninety-five percent of practices using MacPractice spend less than $500 annually for IT support, while commonly PC users spend $500-$1000 monthly. Apple supports and updates the three most recent version of macOS, making Sierra, High Sierra and Mojave HIPAA compliant. No MacPractice user has reported ransomware in macOS on any of 30,000 Macs. Today’s Dental Cloud Solutions Are Windows Solutions While some dental cloud vendors support accessing patient information from a Mac, the patient information is in Windows, and a dentist is sharing a server with mostly Windows users whose employees are bombarded every minute of every day with email and browser phishing attempts targeted at Windows users. Google Chrome is required because dental cloud developers are Windowscentric, Chrome is the primary browser on Windows, and it can work on a Mac. Using Chrome eliminates the cost of macOS specific development and of testing with and supporting Safari. On the other hand, Apple develops Safari exclusively for Apple macOS and Apple iOS, and unlike Chrome, Safari is continually updated with every macOS and iOS release to bolster security and enhance functionality for Apple users. Windows is vulnerable to PC ransomware and PC malware whether patient information is in a dental office or on a shared remote server in “the cloud.” It is not just a risk. Ransomware and other PC malware infects thousands of business and

Native macOS software like MacPractice is constructed with Apple’s development tools to take advantage of innovations in macOS and iOS. individuals using Windows daily. Some of the largest US cloud vendors’ cloud servers and millions of patient records have been held hostage by ransomware, for example, Allscripts and Greenway in 2017-18. Practices and hospitals have lost temporary access to all their patients’ information. Some data was unrecoverable. The Cost of a Breach Is High and Worth Avoiding Every practice involved in a breach – and a ransomware attack is a HIPAA breach – must 1) publicly report to prominent media; 2) notify every patient possibly affected; 3) place a notification on the practice’s home page; and 4) listing on HHS’s public, permanent wall of shame. A US shortage of 350,000 cybersecurity experts will grow to 3,500,000 in 2022. Who can you trust to protect your patients’ information in Windows, in your office or in the cloud? (Nearly all malware, ransomware, and viruses target Windows and Office software.) With all-in-one MacPractice that features built-in network word-processing, integrated digital imaging, fully integrated eclaims, integrated network fax, built-in secure messaging complying with

HIPAA, etc., and encrypts data at rest and in motion, a practice can qualify for HIPAA’s Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor exempts a practice from reporting a breach to HHS, patients, and the public. However state breach laws and fines go beyond HIPAA, and more states are proposing legislation. Patients and lawyers are suing doctors, hospitals that have been unable to protect their patients’ data from cybercriminals. No vendor can relieve a doctor of the responsibility to secure Protected Health Information under HIPAA. HIPAA fines can reach $1.5M. State fines may be levied in addition. Most practices that report a breach close within 18 months. macOS Native Software IS SECURED BY macOS Native macOS software like MacPractice is constructed with Apple’s development tools to take advantage of innovations in macOS and iOS. MacPractice does not require a dedicated server, which means it can be used for data entry and is often located at the front desk in a small or medium-sized practice. Nor does MacPractice require a server operating system. However, all patient data is on the MacPractice server, making it possible for a practice’s HIPAA security officer to use macOS to secure all patient data without IT assistance. Multi-platform software developed for Windows cannot take advantage of functionality in macOS that does not also exist in Windows. Remote Connectivity with macOS Native Software Thousands of MacPractice users remotely connect to their office daily, and hundreds of multi-site practices use MacPractice and have for 15 years. Also, hundreds of MacPractice users have communicated with their office using MacPractice (Web) Interface for iPad and MacPractice (Web) Interface for iPhone, which also works on a Mac desktop.

Access Patient Information in macOS Using a Web App in Safari Spring of 2019, MacPractice released a new MacPractice Web Interface for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The initial release offers all the functionality of MacPractice Interface for iPad, iPhone, and Mac plus more. In 2019 functionality will be expanded to make it possible for MacPractice users to use either or both MacPractice’s native and web clients to access and work with their patient’s data, protected by macOS. (A Linux option for hosting is in the works for 2019). MacPractice Will Offer a Hosted Solution Simultaneously with web client development, MacPractice is making it possible for current users to keep patient data ‘in office’ in macOS or Linux and access using either a native client or web application (or both). MacPractice is also making it possible to place the database on a separate drive from the server and client applications. In the future, MacPractice users can have their data hosted in Linux (NOT Windows) on a remote server in the cloud if they prefer and do not wish to host their data themselves.

Even More Options for Dentists with Remote Needs In the future, MacPractice plans to help remote users in an office or clinic without an Internet connection to their home office or hosted database to work independently and sync the data when they reconnect at a later time. NONE of MacPractice’s plans require the inconvenience and cost of data conversion to a new software program. ALL MacPractice’s plans enhance the value of their users’ software investment, streamline and enhance the user experience, save money and increase productivity. Register at to learn more. Mark Hollis was a practice management consultant and IT support to more than 600 practices in the New York Metropolitan for 25 years before cofounding MacPractice. As a recognized industry authority and a member of HIMSS Electronic Records Association, Mark has written and lectured extensively on security, ransomware, HIPAA compliance, all-inone design, paperless practice, mobile, and integrated online services. • Demo videos -


ADS companies are each independently owned and operated.

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MacPractice beats Dentrix, Eaglesoft, and Softdent in CR Reports User Satisfaction Survey* - Read full report at * CR Choice designation in the March 2017 issue of the Independent Clinicians Report

Practice Builders

If You Build It, They Will Come!

Doing the Right Thing, at the Right Time, to Meet Your Patient’s Needs Rhonda R. Savage, DDS


he letter came at the perfect moment. It lifted me up, reminding me of the important work that we do and filling me with joy during a time I was feeling down. My down moment: We had several miscommunications with a husband and wife, both patients. Lovely people, but there was a cultural and language barrier. She’s a fearful patient who braves her way through treatment. He was also nervous and needed extensive dentistry. Money was not a problem for this couple. But still, the issue was financial. They had previously had a 5-percent cash courtesy, but when they obtained dental insurance, the courtesy wasn’t given to them. Not only was it withheld; the wife, who’s in charge of finances, said she wasn’t told about the change. In addition, in our practice, sedation patients pre-pay and sign consent forms two weeks prior to treatment. Because the payment was due, the couple drove quite a distance, while she was ill, with two little children, to pay so her husband could keep the appointment. They paid by check not knowing they didn’t get the cash discount. When she brought her husband to the surgical appointment, she questioned the front office about the courtesy. It didn’t go well. The patients felt we didn’t trust them. The wife felt that she was talked down to by my front office, as if she couldn’t understand. What the situation taught us, as a team, is that we need to first apologize for how the person feels and then listen carefully. Anytime a patient is frustrated or feels a dental practice lacks customer service, it typically involves money. He said, “If I’d known we weren’t getting the cash courtesy, I would’ve paid with 30 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

a credit card. We wouldn’t have driven across town when my wife was ill, and I would’ve gotten my airline miles.” I personally apologized to both patients individually and together, listened intently and said, “I’m so sorry. It was never our intention to have made you upset or unhappy. Here’s what I’d like to do for you, if it’s OK with you: We can write you a refund check today, and you can pay when you’re ready with your credit card, to get your airline miles; or we’ll honor the 5-percent courtesy for this treatment, the past treatment and future treatment.” I felt it was the right thing to do. In these times, it’s best to listen to our gut, our instincts. As this was happening, the letter arrived:

Greetings, Dr. Savage, It’s Tim. I doubt you remember me, but you helped me so much when I was in the Navy. See, I was terrified of dentists, but you listened and helped me through my treatment. You were kind, encouraging and gentle. Here I was, in a senior enlisted status, and my teeth were horrible. How could I lead my men and make them realize how important their health was, if I didn’t take care of myself. My breath was awful. I could tell by how people would step away from me when I was talking. My teeth had big, black cavities and I had gaps in my mouth from having to have teeth pulled when they hurt. The Navy didn’t have laughing gas and wouldn’t let me have sedation. But you made the shots so easy; they barely hurt at all. One step at a time, by the time I retired, you had my mouth looking great! I’m writing now, after 14 years, to tell you that you made a difference in my life. My wife and I are now living in Las Vegas. If there’s anything we can ever do for you, please drop us a line. Thank you so much. Chief Petty Officer Tim …… U.S. Navy Retired What we do is tough. We’re providing a very personal service to sensitive, often nervous patients. For many, we’re changing their lives, just as they can change ours. Tim, the Chief Petty Officer, didn’t need to pay for his services. But how he felt came through in his letter. How people feel in your office is important; listening carefully and not interrupting is critical. Let’s talk about the value of building authentic relationships that keep patients coming and also help keep team members on board. When you engage patients in the decision-making process, they don’t feel sold. Your team also appreciates being engaged in the dental practice decision-making process because they then feel that their voices matter. If there was one phrase I’d like you to remember and focus upon, it’s this: “No one likes to function in a void or absence of communication.” To that end, I’d like to discuss the patient first and then the employee second. Patients appreciate knowing their options, presented in a way that’s simple, easy to understand and clear. Patients don’t understand our dental jargon. There’s a book written on this topic, in a general sense, entitled The Art of Explanation. The author states: “We let our vernacular, our phrases, our professional jargon, get in the way of people understanding your products, ideas and services.” To illustrate this, please pull out a blank sheet of paper and do the following exercise: • Draw a small house • With a front door • Two windows on each side of the door

• Smoke coming out of the chimney • The sun is shining • There’s a nice sidewalk • A tree • A dub • A bird • A chimney Wait! What’s a “dub?” Did your hand or mind stop and not move on? A dub is a pond or a small body of water. If your assistant tells the patient, “We need to take an FMX,” the patient’s mind stops; everything turns into blah, blah, blah as he or she tries to figure out what you’re saying. Keep your words simple unless you receive a complex question. Secondly, there’s a huge value in a complimentary consultation appointment for patients with complex needs. What I’ll do is first connect on a personal level. Prior to going into the operatory, my team will give me a few personal bits of information, so I can easily connect on common ground. This can be about sports, travel, hobbies, work, children, grandchildren, etc. I can easily walk in and say, “Hi Tina. It’s very nice to meet you. Thanks for coming in today. I understand you have a daughter who plays soccer. What position does she play?” Then I’ll share a bit about my daughter, Kaitlyn, who’s had a career as an international soccer goalie. I recommend that the dental assistant, the hygienist and the dentist have two or three personal connections prior to sticking their hands in the patient’s mouth. Remember, there’s no other more personal service than OBGYN and proctology! I’ll review the health history and x-rays, and my hygienist will obtain periodontal charting. After looking in the patient’s mouth briefly, I’ll simply chart clinical decay. I don’t identify the need for a crown, implant, denture, etc. Instead, I’ll say, “Tina, I know you realize you have a number of dental needs. If it’s OK with you, what I’d like to do is ask my dental assistant to take some impressions of your mouth to create study models. “With your models, I’ll spend some time and think about a few different treatment options that would be best for you. Then we’ll have you back for a chance to talk about your options. We will have researched your insurance and put together treatment estimates. There’s no fee for all of this; I’d just like to have time with you to explore options that can best fit your needs, your time and your family’s budget. Will that work for you?” Rarely do they fail this appointment. They may proceed slowly with treatment, but the patient understands, from models and our discussion, what the end result will be. Clear communication, honesty, empathy and concern for feelings builds strong relationships. The same is true within your team relationships. I recommend you clearly define your values as a doctor. A job description is one thing; clear values are another. Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 31

Calling All Dentists:

Is it Time for an Insurance Check-Up? By Burt Szerlip, President, B.C. Szerlip Insurance Company Whether you are starting a new dental practice, or already in one, you know that your day will be hectic. Protecting yourself, while protecting your patients’ pearly whites, is the last thing on your mind. It is critical to have a comprehensive and economical insurance plan for the unexpected. Below are just a few of the most important plans. • Malpractice Insurance: Malpractice insurance is the most common insurance for any medical practitioner to have. Under the pressure of your reputation and the health of the patient. But even if you assume that you will never make a mistake or a wrongful act, it’s often better to be seen with malpractice insurance than without. A patient will often prefer a professional with malpractice insurance, as it insures the patient that if malpractice were to occur the proper outcomes would follow. It is an insurance policy that insures the patient just as much as it insures you. • Worker’s Compensation: As any hygienist will tell you, the human mouth is riddled with germs. Couple that with sharp metal tools, and the occasional anxious and squirmy patient and a proper worker’s comp plan is almost a necessity. Most states require businesses to offer worker’s compensation. Even if your state doesn’t have that requirement, there’s no reason to not prepare, as workman’s comp will cover medical care and disability payment while an employee is unable to work. • Disability Income Insurance: A good disability income insurance will cover 50 to 65 percent of your base salary. This is enough to keep you and your loved ones comfortable, and your medical bills paid, as you get back up on your feet. • Office Property and Liability: Anything that has value can be insured, from computers to medical equipment, and even the building itself. It’s important to protect your most valuable and least easilyreplaceable assets from threats like fire, vandalism, and theft. There is also the liability of someone tripping and falling on premises. A good insurance plan will give you all the coverage you need. • Cyber Liability: In this day and age, threats aren’t always just physical, but electronic. Because most offices are unequipped to handle these kinds of incidents, it becomes a liability. A liability that, on average, costs over half of a million dollars to recover from. Luckily a good cyber liability insurance policy will help protect you from these damages by covering liabilities arising from loss of data, cyber extortion, business interruption, regulatory fines and law suits against you on loss of information. • Employment Practices Liability: If you have a large business, odds are you have a legal team to help mitigate any legal claim made against you. However smaller businesses are at a much larger risk. Good employment practices insurance can help to give peace of mind against a careless mistake, purposefully predatory lawsuit, and wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment claims. While these are some of the key insurance policies dental offices can hold, it’s important to consider the risks, the costs, and what the best policy would be for you and your practice. Contact your insurance provider and see what they can do for you.

34 Sycamore Avenue • Little Silver, NJ 07739 732-842-2020 • •

32 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

My values include timeliness, hard work, honesty and integrity, which means doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Have you defined your values? Are you holding effective, dynamic team meetings, performance reviews and merit reviews? Do you have clear expectations of behavior? Mine are simple. I let my team members know that they don’t have to be friends, but they have to be nice, friendly, respectful and responsive. Exploding in anger, the silent treatment, gossipping and negativity have no place in my practice. Most importantly, these values have to apply to me, as well. Patients and staff members are attracted to a practice where they feel valued, important and cared for, and where communication skills are strong. No one likes to function in a void or a vacuum of information. Rhonda Savage, DDS, CSP is an internationally known author and lecturer. She is the owner of Uptown Dental and CEO of Savage Success, an international dental training and consulting firm. She lectures and publishes on leadership and business management. Dr. Savage is a Past President of the Washington State Dental Association and was an Affiliate Faculty Member of the University of Washington School of Dentistry. She is also a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists. A former dental assistant and front office staff member for 14 years, she understands the dynamics of success in a dental team. A dentist in private practice for over 18 years, she knows the demands of quality patient care and leading a winning team. Dr. Savage brings a unique energy to her work. A lieutenant commander in the Navy during the years of Desert Storm, she received the Navy Achievement medal and an Expert Pistol Medal, earning her the nickname of “The Beast.” She’s a “straight shooter,” aiming at the critical issues that dental practices face today. Rhonda Savage, DDS CSP 3519 56th St. NW, Suite 260 Gig Harbor, WA 98335 877-343-0909

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550,000 kids in need didn’t have to suffer from the pain of untreated dental disease thanks to the safety net dental clinics and programs we support.*

*Members of our Dental Resource Program provided oral health education and/or clinical services to 558,394 children between 7/1/17-6/30/18.

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Power to Succeed

Empowered Leadership Vicki McManus Peterson


ook around. Everywhere you search you can see old systems breaking down. The old political guard, rigid business models, discriminatory racial and gender barriers… they are all being chipped away. This is great news for the leaders emerging into dentistry to lead us into 2020 and beyond. For over 2000 years, our societies have been run from the top down. Leadership was essentially, “I say, you do.” The social foundations that supported this hierarchy taught us to find someone or something that we believed in and then devote ourselves, and perhaps our life’s work, to it. The keys to life were hidden in the halls of political power, monasteries and ashrams, and within the family structures of the wealthy and privileged. Most people rarely had a choice about occupations and were grateful for what came their way. Children often followed in the footsteps of their parents. Bakers became bakers, miners were miners, farmers were farmers, etc. Individualistic or creative thought as to occupations simply wasn’t something most people pondered. This social backdrop highlights the leadership that led to the industrial revolution. Some of America’s largest companies of today were created in this top-down, hierarchical form. In 1790, the first American factory, Slater Mill, a Rhode Island cottonspinning factory, triggered the boom of the textile industry. DuPont Chemical (founded 1802): This chemical manufacturing giant holds trademarks on goods ranging from dyes to Teflon and Kevlar and has stood the test of nearly 218 years. Atkins & Pearch (founded 1817): A Kentucky-based textile manufacturer that has produced materials for the Civil War and both World Wars, still stands today. Ford Motor Company (founded 1908): Brought us the invention of the assembly line – arranging machines, tools, and people into efficiency groups. There are hundreds of other examples of highly successful companies with stories like the above. The point is that in the history of business in our country, society supported an authoritarian style of leadership. For the most part, people “went along to get along.” Leaders were chosen through financial/political connections, charisma, and first to market. Most business school education from the 1950s until today has focused on Six Sigma lean-efficiency training, military tactics or sports metaphors. People are viewed as cogs in a wheel. The input needed to gain a certain output. 34 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

Empowered Leadership The foundation of authoritative leadership is breaking down. It has taken incredibly courageous rabble-rousers and union busters and spiritual leaders to start breaking through on issues of equality amongst races, sexes and religious persuasions. Are we fully sovereign in our being, embodying all the natural traits of equality and emotional satisfaction work can provide? Not quite. But the leaders of tomorrow are embracing these traits now! The key to success in this next evolution of business leadership will be to continue breaking down the silos of power through networking. All the information is out of the shadows and readily available thanks to the internet. This equalizer has leveled the playing field and opened opportunity for the masses. The focus is no longer on finding a singular guru or religious affiliation, a business leader, a political party to believe in and attach one’s self to. Instead the focus is on becoming your own leader; a seeker of wholeness and emotional satisfaction from within! We’ve witnessed a surge of motivational speakers, personal transformation workshops and a deeper understanding of what makes us tick. Societal shifts now accept the exploration of world religion, yoga, meditation, spirituality, alternative healing, holistic nutrition, inclusive political views and business that empowers the soul. Stop the train! “Business that Empowers the Soul?” How does one lead towards this? Suffice it to say, with a more self-aware and educated workforce, leaders have their work cut out for them. Not only do you shoulder the vision and financial health of the business, but also the emotional health of your workforce. Navigating the soft-skills of leadership is an exciting new communication challenge that this next generation of leaders are embracing with enthusiasm. These shifts in society are bringing out both the best and the worst in people and systems. While we see the rise of equality, we are also experiencing a global rise in terrorism, and a local rise in anxiety, depression, and suicide. Bringing calm to the center of chaos is a new tool in a leader’s tool kit. Here are a few other traits leaders of the new paradigm need to embrace: Inclusiveness: With four generations in the workforce, now is a great time to learn how to embrace diversity and build a culture of open communication that includes the wisdom and talents of all age groups.

tice. His benchmarks for empowered leadership include low team turn-over, year-over-year business growth, and high case acceptance with patients. Bruce’s core team has been with him for more than 10 years, some as long as 25. He has been a pioneer in helping other dentists increase their diagnostic skills and productivity per hour from a national average of $425 per hour to more than $1200 per hour. I’ve stood witness to his practice growing from $1.4 million to $4.2 million in the previous fifteen years. There is only one way to achieve this kind of quality growth – Empowered Leadership. Dr. Baird’s core philosophy is to inspire team loyalty and fully delegate ownership of each area of the practice. He doesn’t focus on “how” the team gets things done, but rather on the “commitment” to a shared outcome. Here are key leadership take-aways that highlight the difference between authoritative and empowered leadership:

Authoritative – The Old Model

Empowered – The New Model

I’m in charge and dictate action

Team in charge – work through collaboration

Instills fears and requires perfection

Instills trust and inspires faith in people

Micro-management is exhausting for leader

Mentoring engages leader and team

Life Balance Benefits: The standard two weeks’ vacation and stingy maternity benefits won’t cut it in the future. Companies are getting creative in their benefit packages and offering alternative work options and arrangements such as remote work or partial remote work. Consequences & Boundaries: One of the downsides of technology and mobility is the breaking down of common courtesy. Younger generations are vocal about their rights, yet sometimes don’t see the impact of their actions on those around them. Leaders who take a firm stand on the cultural values and behaviors will create a healthier environment for all. Leading Through Teams My business partner at Productive Dentist Academy, Dr. Bruce B. Baird, is a remarkable clinician and leader in his dental prac-

The Business of the Future Bill Gates once said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” Now is the time to respond and step up. I invite you to take the Empowered Leader Challenge and join progressive thinkers around the world. For the next 21 days, focus one of these Empowered Leadership Habits. Choose an accountability partner and text them at the end of each day for three weeks. You earn a point each day that you “put forth effort” toward the habit. Don’t judge how effective, how awkward or how successful the effort is. The win is in the focus and attempt to change. Empowered Leadership Habits: • Delegate ownership of outcome • Mentor skill sets to prepare for delegation • Show gratitude • Celebrate daily wins • Communicate driving values • Reinforce excellence • Make corrections in private  • Be clear on priorities  • Smile! Make this fun by choosing a new trait every three weeks until you’ve integrated them all ... then make up your own list! Vicki McManus Peterson, Co-Founder & CEO of Productive Dentist Academy, a four-time recipient of Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies. Vicki is a twice-published author, celebrated public speaker, and has owned and operated several successful dental practices over the span of her 30-year career in dentistry. Looking to take your leadership to the next level? Contact vicki@productivedentist. com or 800-575-6077. Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019 35

Power to Succeed

Clarity…Culture…Create David Rice, DDS If I had to pick an all-time fave DE issue, this would be it. From the cover to the stories inside, there are superIGNITERS everywhere. With that, although each contributor shares a different story, there are three words that unify them: Clarity, Culture and Create.

it will be worth it.

I know your “real life” can seem far away. As a dental student, you’re not alone in that feeling. That said, as crazy and time constrained as you are, deep down, you know you have an hour or two a week. You could use that time to invest in yourself. Don’t overthink this. Find a comfy spot and do a little dreaming. In your most perfect of worlds, what do you see when you wake up in the morning and look out your window? Where are you?

The first isn’t going to be all that hard for most of you. The second is where the good become great. If you’re anything like most dental students we work with at igniteDDS, you will be presented with countless distractions that look a whole lot like amazing opportunities. But translate that to your personal life for a hot minute … FOMO. (Fear of missing out) How many times have you: Gone out on a random night because of it? Jumped on Instagram too many times for the same? What you choose not to do is as important as what you choose to do! Let me say that again. It may be the most important lesson in this piece.

Create By investing time answering the above, you’ve created a roadmap – your roadmap. You know where you are – trapped in school. You Clarity now know where you’re going – living your life. And the last part From @studentdoctormeesh to @sarabustos and all the talented will be by design! dental students and young dentists in between, clarity of purpose is All that’s left is creating great habits that get you there. With that, crystal-clear. You see, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your passion there are two big picture items to know. is. It doesn’t matter what your personal and professional vision is. 1. Say yes to habits that support your culture and your clarity What matters is how vivid that vision is and that you focus all of of purpose. your energy on it. Knowing where you’re headed is the single most 2. Say no thank you to everything else. important piece of starting strong.

• • • •

On a beach? In the mountains? Big city? Tiny town?

What you choose NOT TO DO is as important as what you choose to do!

There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s only right or wrong for you. Once you have a sense of where, the next question is, with So here’s where each C – Clarity, Culture and Create – come together. If you don’t have clarity of purpose, how will you recogwho? nize the distractions disguised as opportunities? If you don’t have a • Married? culture and a team of people around to support you, how will you • Kids? stick to that clear picture you created when times get tough? And • Single? in true 180-degree fashion, I’m going to flip the formula and read • Pets? it right to left. If you don’t constantly create with intention, how • Parents? will you support your culture and fulfill your clarity of purpose? • Siblings? Friends, you have chosen the greatest profession there is. Choose to Think about it. Choose a path. And don’t worry, you’re allowed to do what our cover model competition winners have chosen. Spend change your mind. You just have to start somewhere. time getting Clarity of purpose, building a Culture that supports it and Creating the life you’ve always dreamed of. Culture Once you know who you want to be when you grow up, you get to And when you have any question at all, use my favorite three-letter build a culture around it. You get to choose whether you’re going word in the English language, “ASK.” I am always happy to help! to be:

• • • •

Adventurous Laid back Serious Silly

What suits you best? Who do you need on your personal team at home to help ensure you’re living your life, your way, every day? Who do you need on your professional team to do the same? Clarity + culture = your motivation to press on during the tough times. I’m not saying your path will always be easy. But I am saying 36 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur

David Rice, DDS, is on a mission to improve our profession by leading the next generation of dentists to grow successful lives and practices. The founder of igniteDDS, Dr. Rice speaks to over 35 dental schools and residency programs a year on practice building, team building and wealth building. Dr. Rice is a private practitioner, educator, author, and mentor who connects students, young dentists, and professionals from diverse dental-related businesses - “fueling passion beyond the classroom.”

Fortune Management

extraordinary practice. extraordinary life.



See it, Plan it & Do it. Don’t wait another second…your future depends on it!

Do you understand where you are going? Can you see the lifestyle you want? Don’t wake up 5 years from now wondering what you should do with your career. I wish I had this available to me as a young dentist. - David Rice, Founder of Ignite DDS

Enroll in the Fast-Trak Program & Accelerate your Journey to Success. As your vision for your dental career continues to evolve, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. You are not alone.  It doesn’t have to be a daunting, complicated process filled with hard lessons learned along the way.  This is why igniteDDS and Fortune Management have teamed up to build a program tailored for the young dentist, guided by mentors and practice success coaches. Join the Fast-Trak community and begin your journey with a defined destination, and a clear, direct route paved by the experience of those who have traveled the same path. We’ve built a program help you Fast-Trak your success. Meet with us and your peers for three live workshops and stay connected throughout the year in the private on-line community.

Fast-Trak Online With enrollment in the Fast-Trak program, you will gain access to the private Fast-Trak Online community. It’s designed to prepare you for the live workshops, reinforce curriculum, and provide access to success coaches. • Private Forum • Access to practice success coaches • Resources: – Articles – Blogs – Case Studies

Fast-Trak Live

Attend the Fast-Trak Workshops in Charlotte, NC May 10-11, 2019 | September 27-28, 2019 | January 10-11, 2020 Re ce i ve 2 4 C E C re d i ts

Course 1

Course 2

Designing Your Future

The Business of Dentistry

• Determine your career path • Develop leadership skills • Build your personal brand • Create your business plan • Financial goal setting • Debt analysis

• Financial statements • Scheduling productivity • Hygiene – lifeblood of the practice • Successful recruiting & hiring • Develop team culture • 3 ways to grow your practice

Course 3

The Marketable Patient Experience • Develop clinical diagnosis criteria • Handling objections • Making care affordable • 5 steps to treatment acceptance • Experiential marketing • Effective treatment planning

Interested? Enroll at

Dental Trade Shows Speakers Consulting Network June 7 – 9, 2019 Kansas City, KS Be Boundless A-Dec Corporate Headquarters June 20-22, 2019 Newberg, OR

Spring 2019

It’s Not a Straight Line Rachel Wall

GOTT Summit July 18-20 Denver, CO Use our promo codes: DEW10 for 1 person from your practice (10% off), DEW20 for up to 4 ppl from your practice (20% off) or DEW33 for 5+ ppl attending from your practice (33% off). An Oasis of Collaboration Arizona Grand Resort & Spa September 26-28, 2019 Phoenix, AZ

Bringing More Home Dr. Christina Blatchford

Navigating Your Practice Direction Dr. Lori Trost

Correcting Employees with Gratitude and a Focus on the Future Dr. Laura Mach



ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Thank you for supporting us!

Index of Advertisers

AAWD......................................................................................................................................... 21 ADS Dental Transitions South…………………………………………………………….......................... 17 ADS Dental Transitions……………………………………………………………................................... 28 America’s Tooth Fairy................................................................................................................... 33 BCSZerlip................................................................................................................................... 32 DeW.Life . .................................................................................................................................. 33 Henry Schein Nationwide ............................................................................................................ 39 Ignite......................................................................................................................................... 37 Invisalign.................................................................................................................................... 11 MacPractice................................................................................................................................ 29 Orascoptic...................................................................................................................... Back cover Patterson Dental........................................................................................................................ 2,3 Patterson Dental......................................................................................................................... 21 Pulpdent..................................................................................................................................... 21 20 Wells Fargo................................................................................................................................. 15

38 Spring 2019 Dental Entrepreneur



PREPARE TO FIND AN EXCEPTIONAL DENTAL ASSOCIATESHIP! Our top 10 recommendations for a successful search: 1. Determine your goals, objectives, and priorities (e.g., What are your financial needs? Do you want a practice ownership opportunity?) 2. Start early (i.e., Start 6 months to 1 year prior to availability.) 3. Prepare a professional curriculum vitae and cover letter (Check spelling and grammar) 4. Reach out to potential references (i.e., Ask their permission, confirm contact information) 5. Before an interview, research the practice and owners/principals (e.g., Social media, website) 6. Prepare questions for the interview (i.e., You are interviewing them too, you want to show interest) 7. Make sure the practice is ready for an associate (e.g., Do they have the space, equipment, support staff, and a sufficient number of patients?) 8. Ask for next steps and timing at the end of the interview 9. Send a “Thank You� after the interview! (Mailing a personal note is best.) 10. Align your resources. Be ready for an opportunity. (i.e., Find an attorney for employment agreement review)

To find the best dental opportunities, contact: HENRY SCHEIN NATIONWIDE DENTAL OPPORTUNITIES

866-409-3001 or Nationwide Dental Opportunities service is 100% FREE to candidates (job seekers)!

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Profile for Dental Entrepreneur

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019  

Including the Ignite Cover Contest of dental students/grads.

Dental Entrepreneur Spring 2019  

Including the Ignite Cover Contest of dental students/grads.