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“Stay In Your Lane” and Focus on Your Core Competency
We have all heard these words of wisdom – from our parents, mentors and teachers.
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Just for C
de nti sts life + leisure
march/april 2021 Publisher Linh T. Huynh
cover photo This mural by Will Phillips was part of the Vancouver Mural Festival’s 2020 #MakeArtWhileApart campaign, during which public art was painted over boarded-up storefronts during the first wave of the pandemic.
Editor Barb Sligl
Contributors Timothy A. Brown Dr. Anand Ghanekar Manfred Purtzki Dr. Kellen Silverthorn Barb Sligl Roberta Staley Catherine Tse Cover photo Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) Senior Account Executive Monique Nguyen
Account Executive Wing-Yee Kwong Production Team Ninh Hoang Annie Do Sales, Classifieds and Advertising In Print Circulation Office 716 – 938 Howe Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9 Phone: 604-681-1811 Fax: 604-681-0456 Email: info@AdvertisingInPrint.com
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Four dentists who go far beyond with their charitable care
8 Dr. Jason Adinata
Just For Canadian Dentists is published by Jamieson-Quinn Holdings Ltd. dba In Print Publications and distributed to Canadian dentists. Publication of advertisements and any opinions expressed do not constitute endorsement or assumption of liability for any claims made. The contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. None of the contents of the magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of In Print Publications.
Using social media for good
10 Dr. Izchak Barzilay Building smiles in Canada and beyond
12 Max Silver Bringing laughter to kids suffering from depression and isolation
In Print Publications 716 – 938 Howe Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9 Canada
13 Dr. Hasnain Dewji Continuing to provide dental care to those in dire need in remote areas
www.justforcanadiandentists.com Printed in Canada.
14 practice management
5 photo prescription
Looking at the bright side Funded in part by the Government of Canada.
16 the wealthy practice
Saving for the (next) pandemic
cover/top photo: Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA); dentist photos, clockwise from top left: courtesy of Dr. Adinata, Dr. Barzilay, Dr. Dewji, max silver
Art Direction BSS Creative
By Dr. Anand Ghanekar
6 March/April mix Gratitude for those on the frontlines and giving back to those in need
The feature story “High Times” in the January/February 2020 issue of this magazine won GOLD (Illustrated Story) in the 2020 North American Travel Journalists Association Awards and the cover photo in that same issue won SILVER.
March/April 2021 Just For Canadian dentists
from the editor
hat a year of lows (many) and highs (vaccines!) the pandemic has brought and wrought. It’s been a year since the last issue of Just For Canadian Dentists. The magazine, which highlighted CE conferences and travel near and far, had to halt production like so many businesses. No travel has meant no work for those making their living from tourism. And others have also seen their livelihoods enter a tailspin, whether in hospitality or teachers pivoting from inperson school to online and back again. But it’s YOU, the healthcare providers who’ve been hit with the brunt of this pandemic. Dentists like Dr. Hasnain Dewji (page 13) have had to cancel charitable missions that brought dental care to farflung places. Yet, despite being grounded
by COVID-19, Dr. Dewji has continued his work here, providing aid in northern Canada. As has Dr. Barzilay (page 10), working with the homeless in Toronto. Dr. Adinata (page 8) used his forced hiatus during the first wave to continue a food drive and start a campaign of positivity on social media (#smileTO). And dental student Max Silver (page 12) spun his comedic skills into therapy for children suffering from isolation and depression. To them and all the dentists across the country making a difference, we say THANK YOU. You are amazing. This issue is our salute to you. Contributing writer Roberta Staley tells just four of your stories here, a mere sample of what you do and a small token of our gratitude.
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
courtesy of Max Silver, dr. Dewji
Max Silver brings smiles to children who’ve suffered from isolation during the pandemic (top; page 12), and Dr. Hasnain Dewji on one of his last dental missions in pre-pandemic times (bottom; page 13).
March/April s t y l e + s u s t e n a n c e + t o k e n s o f a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r t h o s e o n t h e f r o n t l i n e s
Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS lens postcard from the past Dr. Anand Ghanekar took this photo in March 2017, looking towards the southern tip of St. Kitts with Nevis in the distance; the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are on the left and the Caribbean Sea is on the right. It’s a fitting shot of two worlds, and a reflection of another time, pre-pandemic, as well as the hope for renewed travel in the future.
dr. Anand Ghanekar
Sparked by his evocative photo, we asked Dr. Anand Ghanekar, who lives and practises in Toronto: Where’s the first place you want to go—no strings or obligations—once it’s feasible? “There are so many places my family and I would like to visit, but first on the list would be historic sites in Italy and Greece.”
flip & flash back
March/April 2021 Just For Canadian dentists
To healthcare heroes from top brands and thoughtful businesses across the country Written + produced by Catherine Tse
e v o l a s t or y
Frédéric and Jeanne in Montréal
let love rule
1 Love in the Time of COVID At the start of the pandemic, Canadian jeweller Bijoux Birks noticed an increased demand for diamond engagement rings. No matter how disruptive our lives became, it was clear that love is essential. Which is why they sponsored the “Love is Essential” contest last year, awarding three couples across the country (with at least one partner being a first responder or essential worker) with their dream engagement ring. maisonbirks.com 2 hats off Loungewear brand Smash + Tess used the soft, cozy fabric from its beloved rompers to make non-surgical scrub caps that helped take the pressure off healthcare workers’ ears caused by masks. And, for every $5 donated, Smash + Tess matched the contribution and used the proceeds to create and distribute these scrub caps to hospitals and other in-need groups in BC. Additionally, they’ve hosted multiple Instagram flash sales that have collectively raised over $33,000 for various COVID-19 relief efforts. smashtess.com
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
Rebecca and Andrea in Toronto
Harold and Alisa in Vancouver
pass it on
mix d b e h i ntfr on s li n e
3 giving spirits At the beginning of the pandemic East Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits distillery stopped production of their small-batch spirits and pivoted to making hand sanitizer. It’s based on the WHO-approved formulation with a tiny hint of gin, of course. They’ve produced 800 litres, of which 400 litres have been donated to local Vancouver essential services, frontline workers and charities, many of them based in the Downtown Eastside. oddsocietyspirits.com 4 cold comfort With domestic violence on the rise due to stay-athome restrictions, H&M has focused its efforts on helping women and
children in need of safety. Working in partnership with Women’s Shelters Canada, H&M Canada has made inkind donations of $300,000 worth of clothing to help this vulnerable group during the current pandemic. hm.com 5 fine print Last year, Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation launched a community response fund to support Canadians in remote and high-needs communities that might disproportionately be affected by COVID-19. The response fund received $1,000,000 in funding for books and educational resources, which so far has distributed more than 80,000 books, helping more than 150 communities
and reaching 6 more than 40,000 children. This initiative will continue through the summer of 2021. indigoloveofreading.org 6 medal of honour Through sales of its $9.95 Recognition Medal, the Royal Canadian Mint has raised $400,000 for the Breakfast Club of Canada COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Tens of thousands of Canadians bought medals to express gratitude to essential workers, and in turn have helped the club feed more than 243,500 children and youth in 1,809 schools across the country. mint.ca
March/April 2021 Just For Canadian dentists
top photos (odd society spirits): Michal Urbanek Photography (2)
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r o b e r ta s ta l e y Roberta Staley is an author, magazine writer and filmmaker, currently working on a documentary about street nursing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Social media for good
hen Dr. Jason Adinata first embarked upon an Instagram initiative in 2015, SmilesFromToronto—or #smileTO—it didn’t, as they say, go off without a hitch. Accompanied by wife Sylvia, Adinata went to Yonge-Dundas Dr. Jason Adinata practises what he preaches: #smileTO
Square in downtown Toronto to begin photographing the smiles of people who represented the 196 different nationalities who call the city home. “We started asking people to share their smile. That first day,” Adinata admits dryly, “was not successful.” Adinata realized he had to change tack slightly. He created a card explaining his initiative: for every smile posted to Instagram, Adinata would donate an oral care package with floss, toothbrush and toothpaste to the city’s homeless shelters. Adinata also started giving away t-shirts while recruiting new smiles. Eventually, “people started approaching us.” The hashtag #smileTO was inspired by Adinata’s belief that if people saw a happy
grin on their Instagram feed first thing in the morning, “they’d start off their day on a positive note. We know smiles are contagious.” It was also a way to celebrate Toronto multiculturalism, with immigrants from the globe’s 196 nations giving the city the moniker, “Crossroads of the World.” Plus, being a dentist, Adinata is admittedly a bit obsessed with smiles, and he’s devised many unique approaches to the practice that honour this most universal of human gestures. COVID-19 and social distancing protocols signalled the end of #smileTO. It also meant lockdown on March 13, 2020 of Adinata’s Toronto practice IVIVI Toronto Dentistry. (Or, 416 Dentistry, acknowledging Toronto’s area code, but in Roman numerals.) At first, says Adinata, the closure was devastating. But an end to the daily grind allowed creative tendrils to sprout, and he developed new outlets to focus on. “I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Then all of a sudden, the world stopped. This gave me time to reflect and work on myself.” This included creation of a fiveminute YouTube video, One World United, shot in collaboration with dental company Ivoclar Vivadent. In it, a camera follows Adinata as he jogs through a largely deserted cityscape, passing iconic Toronto landmarks, while reflecting upon the challenges posed by COVID-19. “I promise, after this storm, the dentist I was on March 13, 2020, he’ll not exist anymore, because rain brings growth,” Adinata states in the short doc. Adinata also began overseeing construction of a new dental office during COVID-19 shutdown—something that would support the brand of artisanship he began cultivating upon graduating from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry. Adinata approaches dentistry as a collaboration with his patients, while dental staff are regarded as “personal trainers” who optimize a client’s oral health. “You’ll tell a fitness coach what your fitness goals are that you wish to achieve. So, similar to a fitness coach, oral health personal trainers will help bridge that gap of where you are today
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
and where you want to be in the future.” Adinata is adding other creative touches, such as a collaborative round table in a “discovery room”—in lieu of the consulting room—with the focus being proactive and preventative, rather than reactive, dentistry. Another initiative Adinata undertook during forced hiatus was helping feed the hungry. At the end of 2019, Adinata launched a food drive, gathering nonperishable food items for The Scott Mission shelter in the city’s downtown. As the severity of the pandemic increased, and businesses shut down, there was growing concern about hunger. Not only were more people going without food, but there was a reduction in public donations. Adinata helped spearhead a drive to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank, which by last summer reported a 50% increase in visits compared to 2019. He collaborated with the family-owned gourmet grocery chain, Pusateri’s Fine Foods, to raise money and donate supplies. He also teamed with Toronto catering company The Edible Story, which created appreciation lunches for food bank workers and volunteers. When Adinata was able to re-open his dental office last June, he found that some people, such as those more vulnerable to the virus, were reluctant to come into the office. So Adinata pivoted slightly once more, connecting with media-savvy Toronto influencers to help get out the word about good oral health, while promoting flossing and brushing on his own Instagram site. Like everyone, Adinata is looking forward to the day when he can strip off his heavy Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), chat and smile with his patients, and see them smile back. But with COVID-19 always hovering in the background, he finds he’s maintaining a reflective state of mind. “I did quite a few things in lockdown and discovered that, in order to help others, it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a lot of money. It’s just a willingness to want to help, and you can definitely make a positive difference in your community.”
courtesy of Dr. Adinata
When things went sideways, this dentist doubled-down on sourcing SmilesFromToronto
Sydney, Australia 26-29 September 2021 Broadcast from the International Convention Centre 4 day Streamed Scientific Programme 200+ sessions on-demand for an extended period of 60 days High quality International and Local presenters Europe, America, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia & New Zealand Extensive virtual Exhibition with product demonstrations Meet exhibitors in their virtual showroom Interact live with speakers, ask questions Passport competition with great prizes
Australian CPD Requirements Dental practitioners in Australia are required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of CPD activities over a three-year CPD cycle (current cycle ends Wednesday 30th November 2022).
American Dental Association CERP The FDI World Dental Association is an ADA CERP Recognised Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between FDI World Dental Association and the Australian Dental Association. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at ADA.org/CERP.
Educating for Dental Excellence
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Building smiles around the world
he Ugandan, standing barely five-foot tall, had been treated the previous year by Dr. Izchak Barzilay at the same outreach clinic in the country’s Kabale district. Looking up at Barzilay towering over him, the man pointed an accusing finger. “Last year,” he said, “you took out my tooth. You took away my smile, and I want it back.” Barzilay happily obliged, sending the man away with a new denture that same day from the temporary clinic that was set up by Toronto-based Build Your Smile Dental Foundation in
revolutionary process creates dentures in four to five hours, with the team churning out upwards of 20 in one day. First, moulds are made of the patient’s mouth, creating a template for casts. Composite resin is adapted to the cast, then light cured, followed by a fitting in the patient’s mouth. The patients are “absolutely thrilled,” says Barzilay, who is the former president of the American Prosthodontic Society and owner of a private prosthodontic and implant practice in Toronto. Last year, Barzilay’s Uganda mission occurred in February, with the team returning to Canada just before COVID-19 shut down international travel. (During the visit, they saw more than 3,000 patients, young and old, and created about 100 dentures.) This summer’s planned mission to Uganda is almost certainly grounded, delayed to January 2022. Build Your Smile, however, is still carrying out its education initiatives in Uganda. Normally, a two-day “I’m surrounded by symposium for Ugandan good people willing to dental students is held help,” says Dr. Izchak at the end of each Barzilay of his continued eight-day clinical visit. work to rebuild people’s During 2020, online smiles and provide partnership with the symposia were held dental care Ugandan NGO KIHEFO. in Kampala, Uganda’s For Ugandans, “their smiles capital city, providing are important,” says Barzilay, basic to advanced continuwho is the foundation’s CEO. “If ing education in such areas as they don’t have their front teeth, they denture removal and construction and can’t get work, they can’t get married.” implants, with an eye on building a susBuild Your Smile was founded in 2018 tainable dental system that is accessible to as a way for Barzilay to provide added sup- all Ugandans. This year’s symposium will port to the international dental missions be held virtually in the late spring with an he first began in 2014. During five ensuing additional symposium planned for 2022. visits to the East African nation, Barzilay Build Your Smile also works in Toronto, undertook extractions, restorations, denproviding dental care to residents at tures and, later, limited implant treatment. Street Haven at the Crossroads, a shelIn its first outreach initiative in Uganda, ter and support for homeless women the Build Your Smile team served not only and survivors of abuse. Barzilay and a the people of Kabale but patients at the team of hygienists, dental assistants and United Nations Nakivale Refugee Camp, volunteer dentists and specialists from located in the south. Prosthodontic Associates in Toronto “creA major component of Barzilay’s is create smiles for this population, so they can ating same-day denture fabrication. This feel comfortable returning to work and the
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
community,” says Barzilay, who heads Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Division of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry in Toronto. Due to COVID-19, care at Street Haven has been “scaled back,” although patients are seen on an emergency basis. Another group of Torontonians who have come under the care of Build Your Smile are Holocaust survivors. Barzilay teams up, once again, with Prosthodontic Associates to provide care, including dentures and implants, at no cost to these octogenarians and nonagenarians. “These people are at the end of their lives, with some amazingly vibrant and healthy. They need to be able to smile,” Barzilay says. Despite COVID-19, Build Your Smile is extending its reach even further this year to other needy groups in Ontario as well as other countries. “I’m surrounded by good people willing to help,” Barzilay says. Barzilay is feeling optimistic about this coming year, despite another COVID-19 wave threatening on the horizon. The dental community on the whole has adopted enhanced safety protocols and improved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which has allowed for work to be on the rise once again both privately and with volunteer initiatives, Barzilay says. “We have developed safe methods and a very secure environment. I don’t believe there has been a case of COVID-19 in Ontario that was contracted because of a dental procedure.” Quality PPE and rigorous safety procedures only came into effect after COVID-19’s virulence became apparent, and Barzilay knows several colleagues who contracted the disease early last year. This emphasizes the need for individuals to continue to stay within their social bubbles, and ensure they are cognizant of measures to preserve the safety and good health of others, whether that’s family or strangers, says Barzilay an adventurer who loves, when not under COVID-19 restrictions, to travel to places like the North and South Poles. “When someone close to you gets COVID, it makes the whole situation very real. Be patient and this will all be over soon.”
courtesy of Dr. barzilay
And continuing to boost oral health and confidence online and on city streets in Canada
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f all dentists were as engaging, quirky and fun as Max Silver, kids worldwide would be lining up around the block for their annual checkups. What makes Silver so uniquely appealing to children? A puppeteer with a chameleon voice, Silver effortlessly imitates such beloved Disney and Sesame Street cartoon characters as Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and the Cookie Monster, as well as Gru from Despicable Me and Fireman Sam from the British animated children’s TV series. As a third-year student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry, Silver hasn’t had much opportunity (especially with COVID-19 restrictions) to test his mimicry on young patients, but he does have a growing fan club. “COVID has taught me to truly cherish relationships, whether that be with your family, your friends, or your patients,” says Max Silver, a dental student at the University of Toronto Silver has used his artful impersonations for the greater good, helping kids navigate the jarring emotional potholes of COVID-19. It started a year ago, when it became obvious that life as we knew it was over due to COVID-19 prevention measures. A friend connected with Silver to ask him if he would call his son, who was growing ever-more despondent over the strain of lockdown. Could Silver “raise the boy’s spirits” by imitating one of his favourite characters? Silver connected with the youngster over Zoom, pretending to be Elmo. The boy “just loved it,” Silver re-
calls. “A light bulb went off and I thought, ‘why don’t I do this for more kids?’” Thus was born CallsforKids. “Children are going through rough times and a fun call really brightens up their day,” says Silver, adding that every phone call is personalized for each child. Silver created a CallsforKids website, which showcases short sample blurbs of various cartoon characters, from Bert and Ernie to Count von Count, Kermit and Mickey Mouse. A portal allows parents to book five or 15 minute sessions via the phone, Zoom or Facetime. Any topic is up for grabs—parents can suggest one that might be causing a bit of conflict in the home—and Elmo might come on the phone to offer some Sesame Street wisdom about the benefits of, say, eating salad. Often, children listen to someone like Elmo rather than their parents, says Silver, viewing the fluffy, scruffy, red imp as a friend. “Kids trust Elmo because they see him as someone who’s their own age.” On other occasions, Count von Count might call a child to congratulate him on his new bicycle that he might be reluctant to ride. One of Silver’s puppets might join a child’s virtual Zoom birthday party and charm all the young guests (and parents). CallsforKids doubles as a fundraiser, with Silver donating the money raised from calls to children to various charities and children’s hospitals. No fee is charged for underprivileged children. “I’ve done calls with children in hospitals who are dealing with chronic illnesses,” he says. “For such children, even just the small-
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
est moment of happiness amongst days and months of darkness is really special for them.” Often, says Silver, the parents will call him in tears afterwards and say, “I haven’t seen them smile or laugh like that in a long time.” Sliver’s penchant for impersonations first revealed itself when he was a youngster, earning him the title of class clown as he mimicked the voices of cartoon characters. A more “analytical, scientific side” eventually emerged, and Silver went on to study biomedical sciences at the University of Guelph, developing a special affinity for genetics and molecular biology. Silver combined fun with studying, taking on a job as a varsity sports announcer. Eventually, his vocal abilities netted him an acting agent and voice-over bookings for a host of businesses ranging from Rogers to Disney and Peoples Jewellers. Silver’s transition to dentistry following his science degree was inspired by his mother, Dr. Simi Silver, who runs a dental practice in Ottawa. He wasn’t simply following in maternal footsteps, however. The social side of dentistry appealed to his gregarious nature, along with its many facets: social, scientific, medical and creative—with communications at its central core. “It just works for me,” Silver says. Silver will graduate next year from U of T’s dentistry faculty. The past 12 months, he admits, have been a struggle, with classes and lectures being held online as part of U of T’s COVID-19 protocol. Clinical work on live patients is being limited, with only two students in a room at a time along with one supervisor. Even this has proved challenging, with patients being reluctant to come in for dental care due to coronavirus concerns. CallsforKids has been a way for the budding dentist to make COVID-19 a little more tolerable not only for youngsters, who often don’t have the words to express their confusion over things like missing school or hanging out with friends, but Silver himself. “COVID has taught me to truly cherish relationships, whether that be with your family, your friends, or your patients.”
courtesy of max silver
A dental student uses his comedic skills to alleviate isolation and depression in kids
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This dentist is still getting on a plane, providing dental care to those in dire need
courtesy of Dr. dewji
ike other dental clinics across Canada, Dr. Hasnain Dewji’s pediatric practice was shut down mid-March 2020, re-opening nearly three months later at the end of June. The closure affected the young British Columbian patients at his two clinics: ABC Dental in Mission and Abbotsford Children’s Dentistry, as well as clients in the Northwest Territories, where he is an associate pediatric dentist. Dewji resumed his 10-day, monthly trips up north last October. Each trip was an odyssey of byzantine proportions with flight cancellations, delays of up to three days, overnight stays in places en route like Edmonton, then mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival. Early this year, Air Canada suspended flights to Yellowknife, and Dewji had to source flights through airlines like Inuit-owned Canadian North and the ultra low-cost Swoop. “Flights,” Dewji says dryly, “are a nightmare.” It’s a bit of a nightmare for Dewji’s patients as well, who often have to fly into Yellowknife for dental care from isolated northern communities across Canada. Delays caused by COVID-19 have resulted in a backlog of patients and “what teeth we could have saved six months ago are now un-saveable,” Dewji says. A brother and sister pair, for example, spent nearly a day in the dental chair. One sibling needed 16 fillings and two extractions while the other one required 12 fillings and one extraction. The lengthy procedures were anxiety-inducing, but “everybody was really happy afterwards,” Dewji says. Like clinics across the country, Dewji and his dental staff are making other adjustments to ensure COVID-19 isn’t transmitted within the office. Pre-COVID, a trip to the pediatric dentist might mean an outing for the entire family, including grandparents. Now, a parent and child must wait in their vehicle to be buzzed in only when the preceding patient is gone, and fresh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is donned by workers. COVID-19 has significantly curtailed Dewji’s other passion: providing health care to children and orphans in war-torn
countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Dewji into action, even if it is from afar. Iraq through his charity, Global Kindness Early this year, Dewji began arranging Foundation (GKF). His 17th GKF trip to Iraq to send ventilators to help COVID-19 in March 2020 was derailed by COVID-19; patients in Lebanon. Following a surge he and 72 volunteers (dentists, physiin COVID-19 cases in the Middle Eastern cians, optometrists and support staff) had country after the Christmas holidays, to cancel plane tickets. Most of the tickets Lebanon (with a population of 6.8 million weren’t refundable and Dewji lost people) was in a state of economic $9,000 in cancelled flights. and medical collapse. More than Another trip, set for June 1,000 people died of COVID-19 2020 to Syria—the first in January and hospitals were Dr. Hasnain time GKF had organized running out of medicine as Dewji during a mission to that warhis last mission ravaged nation—was to Afghanistan also cancelled. Dewji’s just before the team had planned to pandemic hit treat preschool kids in a suburb in the capital of Damascus, travelling by road from Lebanon into Syria with equipment and personnel. Through GKF, Dewji has also led dental, medical, optical and hearing clinics in Peru, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Haiti and Cambodia. The volunteers often work 14hour days, ensuring each young patient benefits from the highest Canadian dental and health standards. Many of the children from places like Afghanistan and Iraq are also suffering chronic psychological well as equipment like BiPaps, a positive problems from war, something GKF is not pressure ventilator. “There’s quite a few yet able to assist with. export restrictions on ventilators right Dewji’s international work hasn’t now, so it’s been a bit of a challenge, but completely been curtailed. He managed I think logistically we’re getting somein early 2020 to travel to GKF’s clinic in where,” Dewji says. India, arriving one day before the southDewji is looking forward to late 2021, east Asian country closed its borders to when he can (hopefully) resume his incoming travellers. Dewji and his staff international endeavours alongside dental returned to Canada by the skin of their assistant wife Fatemah, who spends 400 teeth, arriving home two days before or so hours organizing each GKF mission. international borders were shuttered. “I’m addicted to volunteer work,” says the Since then, he has tried undertaking telefather of five, one of whom is also a denmedicine with the caregivers of young tist. Dewji is motivated by a devotion to Iraqi patients, looking at photos over the children who, no matter where they are in phone and making recommendations the world, want only the same two simple about whether the child might need things. “Kids want to be happy and playantibiotics or more invasive care from a ful. And the other thing I’ve noticed? If you local dentist. hand them an iPad—even if they never The dire situation wrought by have seen one before—they can figure it COVID-19 in other countries has spurred out. It’s hilarious, and mind boggling.” March/April 2021 Just For Canadian dentists
practice management Timothy A. Brown Timothy A. Brown specializes in dental practice appraisals, brokerage, consulting, locum placements, associateships and practice financing across Canada. You can reach Timothy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite 2020 not turning out as we expected, the dental profession has persevered
he past year did not work out as any of us planned. Many of us had great expectations for 2020 and then watched as they came to a grinding halt. The world changed, as did the way we do business. And some of these changes will become permanent. As difficult as this pandemic has been, we must believe we will come through this. Because history tells us that we will. Our parents and grandparents persevered when they experienced extremely challenging times—the Depression, two World Wars, other pandemics and tragedies—and then celebrated once these challenges were overcome. So let’s choose optimism and hope. As Canadian dentists, please realize how
fortunate you are. Your businesses are open and data shows that you’re financially stable. Your patients trust you and continue to make appointments. dental practice revenue landscape (past, present + future) 1. June to August, 2020, dental practice revenues recovered quickly and many reported record production levels due to backlog. 2. From September to November, 2020, record production levels continued in many practices nationwide—a pleasant surprise to everyone in the dental industry. Why? Canadians have a high dental IQ and they trust and respect
what dentistry has done to make it safe for staff and patients. Well done dental community! 3. December saw appointment schedules booked full as patients typically “use it or lose it” by the end of the year. 4. In January/February of 2021, in areas where kids hadn’t returned to school, families with open schedules thought: Why not take them to the dentist? A few hours at the dental office doubled as free time for parents (if a child could be alone with dental staff). The dental appointment inspired a family outing! 5. Now it’s spring of 2021 and forwardlooking schedules are filling up quickly. Most patients are still working from home, meaning they have more flexibility and time for personal care. (And some people may need to just get out!) With serious limitations on many other healthcare services (and a loss of confidence in other wellness spheres, such as gyms, spas and massage therapy, aesthetics, etc.), dentistry remains at the top of Canadians’ self-care regimen and mind-set. Looking back Throughout this past year, across all markets, dental practices have stayed connected with patients—educating them with objective and science-based information. Most dental practices even improved their technology skills via social media, Zoom and teledentistry. Many of us had considered ourselves “too old” to keep up with constantly advancing apps and yet we’ve embraced all things tech to stay in touch. 2020 has taught us that we can’t always be in control and that we must be willing to adapt. Most importantly, on the whole, the dental profession exhibited a positive attitude. Yes, we can all agree that we need more positivity, joy and happiness in 2021. But we can also continue to be a beacon of hope and contagious positivity as we all get through the pandemic together.
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021
t h e w e a lt h y p r a c t i c e M a n f r e d p u r t z k i Manfred Purtzki, CPA, CA, is a principal in the Vancouver office of Purtzki Johansen & Associates. He can be reached at: Manfred@purtzki.com or 604-669-7558.
Another challenge in 2021
Besides all the other issues, healthcare practitioners need to save for the next “rainy day”
he year 2020 is one that everyone On the other hand, if the yield drops One solution for Dean and Cheryl to wants to forget. The pandemic to 2%, your investment would then shrink consider is accessing the equity of their disrupted our lives in unimaginable by $400,000 to $1.2 million. That’s a drop home to supplement their retirement ways. It brought our economy to its of $700,000! income. With a Home Equity Line of Credit knees and forced the closure of many The sharp decline in the interest rate (HELOC) they can enjoy a fun retirement thriving businesses. Medical and dental particularly affects those investors who without having to worry about money clinics were not spared either, and many are nearing retirement. (like the high-up-on-their-bucket-list clinics had to shut down entirely for a few Consider the situation of Dean and dream of taking an Oceania cruise on the months during the first wave. Cheryl. Dean retired from his practice Baltic Sea…eventually). The disruption in income this year when he turned 65. Many The HELOC accomplishes the best had a lot of practitioners years ago, the couple set a goal of two worlds: tax-free income and worried about how to pay to have an annual investment continued enjoyment of their present Everything, the bills. Many did not income of $80,000 for the home. There’s no need to downsize to including your have cash reserves and next 30 years. Their advisor take the equity out of the home. savings plans, has had to resort to a line of suggested a 4% investment Suppose Dean and Cheryl own their changed with the credit to pay for ongoing withdrawal rate, which $2-million home mortgage-free. It’s clinic costs and personal meant an investment target expected to appreciate by 5% annually. pandemic living expenses. With no of $2 million. They arrange for a HELOC at 3% with money coming in, many The 4% withdrawal rate for interest accumulating on the line of credit. practitioners learned the hard investments has been the gold Suppose they want to draw $50,000 lesson of why they need to have standard for many years. Previously, per year for the next 20 years. The table enough cash on hand to last at least six the 4% withdrawal rate was always (below) shows the impact of their draws months in case of an emergency. In one considered very conservative. It assumed on the equity remaining in their home. survey, 25% of the top income earners that a risk-averse couple at age 65, with To illustrate, in 10 years they have stated that they did not have enough cash limited stock market exposure in a drawn $500,000 plus the interest owing, put aside to last even three months. portfolio, was able to provide funding for for a total of $573,194. The value of their There was a collective sigh of relief 30 years of retirement. $2 million home increased to $3,257,789 when clinics were allowed to reopen. This all changed with the pandemic. in Year 10. Their equity in the house Revenues eventually recovered to preHaving reached the investment goal would be $2,684,595. Despite taking COVID-19 levels. Many practitioners in the of $2 million, Dean and Cheryl counted $500,000 of draws, the home value still sunset of their careers decided to opt for on receiving $80,000 per year for the rest increased by $685,000. early retirement instead, much to their of their lives. It colleagues’ envy. came as a shock to To get the economy back on its feet, them when their AT END OF HELOC HOME VALUE EQUITY the Bank of Canada used its monetary financial planner YEAR 1 $ 50,000 $ 2,000,000 $ 1,950,000 tools to lower the bank rate to the current cautioned them to YEAR 5 $ 265,457 $ 2,552,563 $2,287,106 0.5%. This created a significant drop in the withdraw only 3% yield of interest-bearing securities. You’re annually from their YEAR 10 $ 573,194 $ 3,257,789 $2,684,595 lucky if you can find a secure investment investments. With YEAR 15 $ 929,946 $4,157,856 $ 3,227,910 today for 2%, and the government is not the majority of their YEAR 20 $ 1,343,519 $ 5,306,595 $3,963,076 concerned about the inflation rate of 2%. portfolio invested Therefore, you can expect this low-rate conservatively at investment climate to continue for the the current 2%, the next few years. likelihood is that they’ll run out of funds The home equity line of credit is a Here’s an illustration of how the lower in their lifetime at the 4% withdrawal rate. fantastic tool that lets you enjoy your yields on your investments will impact It’s a bitter pill to swallow to drop their retirement years to the fullest without your ability to save. expected income of $80,000 to $60,000. worrying about the pandemic and its If you invest $4,000 per month for While the $60,000 per year takes care effect on your investment portfolio. And 20 years at 6%, you’ll have accumulated of their basic needs, it does not allow for maybe take that dream cruise—when almost $1.9 million in your portfolio. much else. such bucket-list travel is possible again.
Just For Canadian dentists March/April 2021