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Dentistry North Texas

special issue

a business and lifestyle magazine for north texas dentists

Creating the Ultimate Dental Practice

Putting it all together


from the publisher

news & notes Another exciting addition is coming to North Texas Dentistry!

Welcome to the North Texas Dentistry Special Issue for 2012, Creating the Ultimate Dental Practice!

A host of different elements have to fit and function in harmony to create the “ideal” practice, so the individuals and companies selected by dental practices to assist and guide them are of utmost importance. Quality and expertise in their field is imperative.

The goal of the Special Issue was to assist you in creating the office of your dreams by making the pieces of the puzzle come together in a handbook for dentists, for those just starting out as well as for the seasoned veteran. Leading dental industry professionals are presented in compelling editorial, Q & A Profiles and print advertising. The guide is divided in five sections: The Building, The Finances, The Laboratory, The Practice, and The Equipment and Technology. Whether you are considering a new office and equipment, are concerned about your investments and retirement, or simply want your office to run as smoothly as possible both clinically and administratively, we think you’ll find something of interest in these pages.

Beginning in the next issue, we will offer News & Notes, a page dedicated to the latest current events in our dental community. This is a perfect opportunity to highlight dental society activities, announce a charity event or a special practice change.

Send your contribution to: lulu@northtexasdentistry.com

We are excited to share this guide with the senior dental students at Baylor College of Dentistry, and we hope it will be a valuable tool to help them in their quest for insight and knowledge as they plan their professional dental career. North Texas Dentistry is joining the Social Media world. We hope you will take a minute to “Like” us on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/NorthTexasDentistry

Your comments and feedback will be greatly appreciated. Let us know what types of features and editorial interest you!

Enjoy this Special Issue – which I believe is indeed “special”. It was a pleasure to produce and I foresee that it will become an annual issue for North Texas Dentistry! Keep smiling and have a great day!

Lulu Stavinoha, RDH Publisher

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Dentistry North Texas

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of editorial material published in North Texas Dentistry, articles may contain statements, opinions, and other information subject to interpretation. Accordingly, the publisher, editors and authors and their respective employees are not responsible or liable for inaccurate or misleading data, opinion or other information in material supplied by contributing authors. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole without written permission is prohibited.

Advertise in North Texas Dentistry For more information on advertising in North Texas Dentistry, call LuLu Stavinoha at (214) 629-7110 or email lulu@northtexasdentistry.com. Send written correspondence to: North Texas Dentistry P.O. Box 12623 Dallas, TX 75225


Dentistry

special issue

North Texas

4

building THE 7

ESA Construction

6

J. Houser Construction

11

5

8

10

12

14

44

Fast Trak Construction

MedCore Realty Group

Med-Tech Construction

Structures and Interiors Thiel & Thiel, Inc.

Med-Tech Construction

24 27

finances THE 20

AFTCO

19

Beaird Harris & Co., PC

18

19

15

22

17

16

23

McGregor & Oblad, PLLC

Bob Michaels, CLU

RT Edwards & Associates

Dental Logic

25

Reliable Dental Laboratory

25

practice

29

The BOCCE Group

32

Bullseye Media

31

28 36

Bryant Studios

Dallas Dental Consulting

Dental Auxiliary Services Dental Directions i3 Outsourcing

33

Jameson Management

30

Nexus

34

38

Destiny Dental Laboratory

THE

28

Beaird Harris Wealth Management, Inc.

LegacyBank Texas

26

35

Bank of America Practice Solutions

Higginbotham

laboratory THE

37

National Target Mailing Tina Cauller

equipment & technology THE

40

42

Burkhart Dental

Dentek Systems

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BUILDING

A THE

re you just starting out and beginning to dream about

your first office? Or have you been in practice for years and find yourself frustrated with a space you’ve out-

grown? Maybe you have a clear vision of your ideal office, or perhaps you have no idea where to begin.

Either way, the thought of creating a new office can fill a dentist with excite-

ment – and sometimes a tinge of dread.

Besides being a major investment that will likely require all your financial

ducks to be in a row, creating the ideal dental practice involves a lot of mov-

ing parts. One of them is the building that will house you and your staff and welcome your patients. A well-designed office will allow you to work less

and be more productive. It will be a key factor in your day-to-day comfort

and your successful growth. If it is done properly, it will serve you well for

years to come.

It is critical to partner with knowledgeable experts who will listen and understand your needs and can bring your new office to life. Your journey will begin with selecting them. As Jorge Fernandez of

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ESA Construction explains, “First, invest time in selecting expert help with the building process. It’s wise to do your homework when choosing expert partners in real estate, lending, equipment cost, IT and construction. The best source is going to be friends who have recently built an office. Don’t be afraid to ask them to be honest with you about their experience.” Most experts warn against trading options for promised convenience. “Choosing each element of your team thoughtfully rather than just accepting a ‘package’ or ‘one-stop shop’ allows you to maximize your options and savings,” advises Larry Minnis of Fast Trak Construction. “Dentists who make the low bid their priority or who fall for promises of lightning speed completion often find that the quality of the finished product suffers in the end. It’s important to partner with someone who will help you avoid nasty surprises than can add to your costs.” (continues on pg. 6)


Q: What is the most important advice you can offer dentists?

TW: Surround yourself with a team that has your best interests in mind and is experienced in opening dental practices. A seasoned dentist usually has had exposure to successful business practices and has also seen ideas that haven’t worked out as well as they had hoped. A new dentist is ready to break out and implement their new concepts and strategies. If the correct team is in place, they can add real life experiences with what has worked and what hasn’t. At MedCore Realty Group, we listen to our clients’ needs and implement that into a custom plan which helps develop the doctor’s ultimate dream practice.

Q: What advice do you offer in selecting an office location?

A Travis Wildeman

MedCore Realty Group

8111 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway Suite 600, Dallas, TX 75251 Travis@medcorerealtygroup.com (972) 358-5810

Q &

TW: Make sure that you not only account for what is there now, but what the area will look like in five or ten years. There is certain demographic information which is easily obtained, but those reports often leave out info on future developments, new highways, road construction and competition that might be planned next to the location that you like. Texas is an ever-changing market and you have to have a true pulse of the present and future.

Q: When negotiating the actual real estate deal, how do you stand out from other real estate companies?

TW: MedCore stays constantly informed on other real estate transactions in the area. We have the most up-to-date comparative rates in regards to rent, tenant improvement allowances and free rent periods. Many professionals focus solely on price, but we take into consideration the impact costs a dentist faces when starting or relocating a practice.

Q: Why do you think dental offices are in clusters in certain parts of the city?

TW: I think that dental practices have changed their perception of what is necessary to cater to their clients and maximize patient flow. When I was growing up, our family dentist was in a location that was tucked back in an office suite with zero visibility. With more and more people moving to Texas and dentists wanting to serve those new Texans, dental offices should not be hidden. Today, dentists go for maximum visibility in high traffic and densely populated areas.

Q: What special services do you offer that are a particular benefit for the dental practice?

TW: MedCore provides every piece of demographic information on current markets. We take pride in the way we tour real estate with our clients. We offer a handson approach to looking at the properties and getting real time feedback that is implemented to make the perfect fit.

At MedCore, we are the real estate experts for a new or expanding dental practice. MedCore specializes in assessing and evaluating the needs of dental professionals and translating them into the best real estate solution. Most importantly, we are advisers. Listening to what our clients envision for themselves and helping that dream become a reality is our most important initiative. MedCore strives to earn a reputation of being trustworthy and knowing the needs of our clients. Most of the doctors we represent end up turning into good friends – and there are not many brokers who can say that.

MedCore Realty Group Travis Wildeman

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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(continued from pg. 4) As Brian Berry of Med-Tech Construction explains, “Your contractor’s knowledge and experience will help ensure that your project stays on budget and on time, and meets your expectations with minimal stress and disruption to your practice. Look for someone who has a record of keeping their schedule and budget promises. For a busy practice, one lost day of production can be very costly.” Plan to succeed

Timing is important, too. “Don’t wait to start planning your new office until the lease on your current office is about to expire,” advises Josh Houser of J. Houser Construction. “Give your team the time required to do the job without rushing. And don’t be afraid to bring on a contractor early in the planning process who can help you control costs and help manage the project, so you can continue to focus on dentistry rather than trying to juggle the numerous different parts of your project by yourself.”

In order to make certain your plan will strike the right balance between risk and reward, you should seek expert guidance about how your new office will affect your cash flow, your existing practice, and your future growth. According to Mike Lease of Structures and Interiors, “For dentists with an existing practice, an experienced partner can help you determine whether it is better for you to remodel (and accept 8-12 weeks of slowed production) or move. It is important to understand your space

PO Box 325

requirements now and in the future. If you decide that your current space cannot be adapted to your needs, you can decide whether to start creating your new office from the ground up, or finish out a space.”

You will also need to decide how many operatories to include in your new space. Since this is a decision point where a misstep is hard to take back, most experts will advise that you “go big” here. If cost is a factor, you can leave an operatory or two to be fully finished out in the future. Although adding operatories to you plan increases the bottom line, your operatory

Canton, TX 75103

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count is probably the single most important factor in determining your future revenue potential. Location, location, location

An experienced building partner can help you figure out the physical area necessary to comfortably and efficiently house your practice and the size of the lot you will need. The next step is to find the best location. Your location will help define your patient demographic and the type of care you can successfully provide. For dentists with an existing practice, the distance between your new office and your current office is critical, since you will need to retain as many of your patients as possible and attract new ones.

An experienced commercial real estate professional can help you determine fair market values for the property you buy and ensure that you get the best value for your dollar. According to Travis Wildeman of MedCore Realty Group, “Your realtor can also help you evaluate the spaces you see, and get the information you need about what amenities come with the space you lease or buy. Your site should be thoroughly inspected (continues on pg. 10)


Your Y o u r Partner P a r t n e r For F o r The The F Future uture

(972) 250-1 250-1170 170 (972) 250-0905 fax

Jorge Fernandez cellular (214) 532-5253

jorge@esa-construction.com

Bruce C. Goodhartz cellular (214) 212-8033

bruce@esa-construction.com

www www.esa-construction.com .esa-construction.com 'DYHQSRUW6XLWHĂ‚'DOODV7H[DV 'DYHQSRUW6XLWHĂ‚'DOODV7H[DV


Med-Tech’s special emphasis on construction in the dental, medical, optical and veterinary industries has established the company as a leader in healthcare construction.

Brian Berry purchased Med-Tech Construction in 2003 and has led the firm’s rapid national expansion as Owner, President and CEO. With a strong industry presence in multiple states throughout the U.S., Med-Tech has been named one of the Top 100 Aggie-owned companies in the world by the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Under Berry’s direction, Med-Tech has earned the Dallas Top 100 Award as one of the fastest growing Dallas-based companies from the SMU Cox School of Business two consecutive years. Berry is also President of Top Shelf Millwork, Inc. and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. Med-Tech is active in local charities, including Meals on Wheels and the Boys and Girls Club.

Alabama

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Georgia

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Florida

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Louisiana

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Ready to build?

Need to remodel?

Time to relocate?

800.745.8072 Oklahoma

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Tennessee

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Texas

n

Washington


(continues from pg. 6) and tested for any problems that could cause delays or added costs to avoid unpleasant surprises. More than one dentist has chosen ‘the perfect site’ only to find that there is a buried fuel tank, hidden asbestos, a deed restriction, or some city, state, or federal requirement that ends up costing money or worse yet, makes the site completely unsuitable.” The dream team

Once you find your site, you will need to develop a building plan suited to the site.

To achieve this, you will assemble a dream team centered around an architect, general contractor, interior designer, and dental supplier.

After listening to and assessing your needs, your design team will create a floor plan that facilitates the best possible workflow. Once your office is conceived, you will need an experienced contractor, preferably one with special expertise in building dental offices. Dental offices have very different infrastructure and technology requirements than what is typical for an ordinary

commercial office space.

Creating an efficient, functional interior space is key to the success of a dental office. As Beth Thiel of Thiel & Thiel points out, “An experienced interior design professional is a valuable addition to the team and will work with your equipment specialist and contractor to help you make the best use of your available area. They can also add tremendous value to the task of material and finish selection to make sure your interior design has beauty, longevity, easyto-maintain durability, and functionality.”

Your team will help you plan a project schedule and a budget. They will also help secure the necessary plan approvals and permits and ensure compliance with ADA, city codes and other requirements. They will work in close concert with your dental supply company to ensure that your plans meet the specifications for the equipment and technology you choose to incorporate into your new office. Energy efficiency is an important part of optimizing value, so some companies are offering energy-saving technology and have begun incorporating high tech solutions like geothermal systems, which use the relatively constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool with 40% to 70% less energy than conventional systems. Your future begins

Your team should monitor progress, quality, and timeliness as construction progresses so you don’t have to. From ribbon-cutting to open house, you should expect your team to not only ensure that construction proceeds as smoothly as possible and promptly handle any issues that arise, but to stand by you through the months and years to come. Like others who have placed their trust in qualified experts to help them create the dental office of their dreams, you’ll find that your new office will re-energize you and your staff, will enhance patient satisfaction and confidence, and will mark the beginning of a bright new future for your dental practice.

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DENTAL

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MEDICAL n OPTICAL Commercial Design-Build Specialists

n n n n n

Value-Engineered Dental Cabinetry Phone, Data and Sound Systems Fast, Dependable Service Architectural Services Engineering Services for a virtual tour, visit

www.fasttrakconstruction.com

click on “LARRY MINNIS” then “VIRTUAL TOUR” Ground Up n Shell Finish Out n Remodel

Larry Minnis email: lminnis@fasttrakconstruction.com 1150 Empire Central Place #124 Dallas, TX

o 214.638.0525 f 214.638.0528 m 214.505.1319


FINANCES THE

D

ental practices come in all shapes and sizes, from asso-

ciateships and solo practices to large dental groups

with multiple owners. The dental practice is distinctly different from other businesses, and each practice has

its own unique tax and financial needs. Whether you

are a new dentist just starting out or an established professional, you owe it to yourself to get expert financial advice tailored to your situation.

The revenue of the typical dental practice demands sound financial coaching and expert financial management. “In the past few years, dental offices consistently produced the highest profit margin of any private business in the United States − ahead of accountants, lawyers, and physicians. As a dentist, you must learn to invest those profits in yourself and your own practice first,“ advises Dr. Richard Lyschik, senior analyst with AFTCO. A complete financial plan should cover a wide range of issues, including savings plans, employee pension plans, payroll management, investment strategies, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. While dentists graduate from den-

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tal school with a wealth of knowledge, they are not usually prepared to deal with the complex business issues that lie ahead as they launch their professional career. Experts advise dentists to seek financial advice as early as possible in their careers, but insist it’s never too late to start making better financial decisions. Most dentists make better decisions and build better financial security when they take advantage of the expertise of a seasoned financial advisor. Typically, one important facet of building financial security and lifetime wealth accumulation is developing a smart investment strategy. Expert investment advisors universally agree that dentists should seek an advisor who is legally bound to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. “Look for an independent, fee-only investment advisor who doesn’t sell any products,” notes Steve Lugar of Beaird Harris. “A fee-only advisor doesn’t


accept commissions on investment transactions or products, and has a legal, fiduciary duty to put your needs first. The fee-only structure allows investment professionals to earn compensation for their services without compromising their clients’ best interests.”

For day-to-day operations that enhance your practice efficiency and profitability, partner with a trusted bank that provides service geared towards busy professionals. “Banking services should be simple and convenient, so you aren’t wasting time away from the office,” notes Steve Young of LegacyTexas Bank. “Find a bank that not only offers a range of products, but one that treats you like a person rather than just a set of numbers.”

At various stages of your career, you may need to seek financing – for starting a new practice, acquiring a practice, opening a new location, or refinancing an existing practice. Also, more dentists are choosing to invest in real estate, which typically involves financing a large project, like an office building for lease. Tom Angeloni of Bank of America Practice Solutions advises dentists to keep in mind that term and loan structure is just as important as a competitive rate when seeking financing. He also warns against the trap of revolving credit, which can threaten your financial future and make it difficult to qualify for a loan.

Robert Edwards of RT Edwards & Associates explains, “Advice from a qualified tax advisor can also help you avoid paying unnecessary taxes by recommending measures you can take throughout the year to minimize your tax liability.” In the field of dentistry, regulations and tax requirements change constantly, and the evolution seems to always be in the direction of greater complexity. A qualified advisor can help you manage your finances in compliance with the tax and financial regulations that apply to you, so you won’t have to spend time trying to interpret changes or research their implications.

Using a long view and a smart plan, the dentist can and should build wealth that is separate and apart from their practice and work toward a secure financial future. Too many dentists think of their practice as their primary retirement plan and woefully under-save. Deciding what kind of retirement plan to establish and what rate to pay down debt vs. save for retirement are key components of setting a course for financial security. Tapping into strategies designed to add revenue can also help fund a secure retirement (or other financial needs you may have).

True financial security requires planning for every contingency, including loss. Things happen, and a well-designed safety

net of insurance protection including life, health, disability, workers’ compensation, long term care, and malpractice insurance can mean the difference between a bump in the road and a catastrophe. “Dentists have a variety of personal and professional insurance needs that are unique depending on their practice, and need to have adequate limits to protect exposures,” notes Rodney Johnston of Higginbotham. “We work closely with dentists to determine the best way to provide the coverage they need from day one through the day they retire.”

Experts advise that dentists should approach their business affairs with a team mentality, relying on the expertise of trusted professionals who specialize in advising dental practices, rather than trying to make decisions in a vacuum. Bob Michaels of TDA Financial Services points out, “A dentist should begin assembling a team of financial advisors early on. One should start cultivating a network of professionals including a CPA, attorney, an insurance advisor (preferably a CLU), an investment advisor (preferably a CFA), and most important, the person I refer to as the ‘financial quarterback’. This is the person who creates the financial plan and sees to it that it is implemented (usually a CFP or a ChFC).” “Sometimes, well intended professional

Advisors can look at your financials and help you determine whether it is time to expand your practice or stay the course. “Profitability and personal liquidity must come before expansion,” notes Angeloni. “Make certain you are financially stable before considering growth. To reach your goals, you need a well-developed financial plan developed by someone who understands the business of dentistry.”

Maintaining practice profitability demands that dentists identify every possible opportunity to avoid waste and find hidden sources of revenue. Most experts advise that simply working smarter can cut unnecessary costs and save thousands annually.

Global Reach. Local Touch. Single Source.

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given rise to Estate Planning Councils all over the World.”

Over the course of a dentist’s career, important events such as starting a new practice, negotiating practice purchase agreements, forming partnerships, reviewing office leases, and drafting employment agreements should be assisted by an expert attorney. Partnering with a trusted legal advisor who is specifically familiar with the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the dental field is critical during these important business transactions. Legal oversights can be costly, both emotionally and financially, and as any experienced advisor can tell you, tragic stories of transactions gone awry abound in dentistry.

“Too often, dentists enter into legal agreements without thinking through all the possible scenarios and addressing them in writing,” notes attorney Joseph McGregor of McGregor & Oblad, PLLC. “Sometimes dentists enter into partnerships or associateships with little more than a verbal agreement. This places both the relationship between the parties and the business in a vulnerable position.”

advisors try to be all things to all people,” Michaels adds. “By choosing individual professionals who specialize in just certain areas, you get a team functioning in a clinical environment, all with the same objective in mind; doing what is best for the client.

“While each professional should have strong opinions born of hard won experience, each must be assured of the mutual

respect of the other members and therefore be eager to not only make recommendations, but look forward to explaining and defending their recommendations. When a professional knows that he/she is being intensely scrutinized by other professionals, it brings out their best. This is nothing new or novel. In the estate planning profession, the estate planning team concept has been followed for many years and has

Protection is our Business Our only business is working with TDA Members and their staffs. We are committed exclusively to servicing TDA membership’s needs. www.tdamemberinsure.com 1-800-677-8644 Bob Michaels, CLU Local Associate 214-696-5103

™ Disability ™ Life ™ Health ™ Long Term Care ™ Malpractice 16 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com

Even when dentists put agreements in writing, being too vague or not considering and planning for every possible contingency can lead to misunderstandings and costly litigation down the road. An experienced attorney can help draft a thoughtful, forward-looking agreement that covers the myriad possibilities and protects the parties involved.

If there is one word that comes up repeatedly when discussing the financial security of dental professionals, it’s “planning”. Identify your financial aspirations, and then discuss them with an expert you trust so you can develop a roadmap for getting to your financial goals. Getting there is a journey, and forming working relationships with advisors who have expertise and experience working with dentists will make it easier to achieve important milestones along the way. Knowing that you are on the road to a secure financial future will pay off in peace of mind, for you and your family.

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Q: What is Dental Law?

JM: Dental law is simply the areas of law that intersect the practice of dentistry. These topics range from malpractice and standards of care, to board compliance, to purchasing a dental practice. There are dental-specific laws – like the Texas Dental Practices Act – and there are also bodies of law that frequently apply to dentists, like the law of restrictive covenants (non-competes).

Q: In what areas do you help dentists most?

Joseph L. McGregor McGregor & Oblad, PLLC

2964 LBJ Freeway Suite 414 Dallas, TX 75234 (214) 720-9555 www.mcgregorfirm.com jmcgregor@mcgregorfirm.com

A

Joseph L. McGregor represents dentists in their business matters, most often in the context of starting a new practice, purchasing an existing practice, facilitating a long-term buy-in or partnership, or employing associate dentists.

Q &

JM: I represent dentists strictly with regards to business transactions. I most often help dentists start or buy a practice, which includes selecting and forming the appropriate legal entity, reviewing office leases, negotiating practice purchase agreements, forming partnerships, and drafting employment agreements.

Q: Do you only represent dentists?

JM: Yes. This allows me to laser-focus in on the issues most encountered by dentists and their transactions. The frequency with which I see dental transactions provides a deeper understanding of the industry, and therefore a better ability to address the issues that arise most often, rather than if I represented a dentist on Monday and a trucker on Tuesday.

Q: What legal trends are you seeing?

JM: There is an increasing shift towards greater legal sophistication from clients. An increasing number of clients are interested in deploying multi-office business models, which often requires a different approach than the traditional solo-practitioner office.

Q: What mistakes do you see?

JM: There seems to be a general lack of appreciation for just how far situations can deteriorate. Many dentists will forego counsel from attorneys, accountants, and consultants on the front end, only to require these services once a worst-case-scenario

comes to pass, and when those services cost about three times as much. This seems to most often happen when two dentists work together in a partnership, or quasi-partnership, that has not accounted for all situations that may pit the dentists against each other.

Q: Do you have a general theory of dental contracts?

JM: Very generally speaking, I think no two dentists should get involved where they feel they need a contract. By the same token, each of these relationships needs a contract to protect that natural trust. When I write contracts for dentists, I try to contemplate what pitfalls might lie ahead, what challenges may face this partnership that these dentists have not yet thought through. Often this involves having some awkward conversations: What will happen if one of the dentists dies, what will happen if one of them loses a license, or what will happen if one of them saws off his hand in a freak chainsaw accident? These questions seem remote, but they come up much more often than people realize, and when they do, they need a clear roadmap of how to handle them. And it’s so much easier to have these conversations before any money is on the line.

Q: How did you end up in dental law?

JM: When I was a brand new attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, I had an inordinate number of friends enrolled in a local dental school. As they graduated they asked me to borrow my corporate knowledge base to help them buy practices, enter into employment agreements, and start their own practices. After a while I ended up liking dentists much better than the clients at my firm. After I felt I had a solid footing in the dental industry, I moved back home to Texas and opened my own practice. A few hundred dentists later, I’d have to say this is the second best decision I’ve ever made.

McGregor & Oblad, PLLC Texas Dental Lawyer

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Q: What is the most important advice you can offer dentists?

TA: For the seasoned dentist, it is critical to keep in mind that profitability is more important than production. Although the allure of becoming a multiple practice owner is tempting, personal liquidity should be achieved before expansion.

Tom Angeloni Vice President

Bank of America Practice Solutions

(800) 920-1559 thomas.angeloni@bankofamerica.com

A

At Bank of America Practice Solutions, we know that obtaining a competitive rate is essential to any dentist seeking financing. While we also understand the importance of rate, experience dictates that optimizing monthly cash flow has proven to make the definitive difference between success and failure in many practices. You can count on us to provide extensive expertise, helpful loan solutions and the attention to detail you and your practice deserve.

Q &

New dentists have different challenges to overcome. They should first surround themselves with specialists in the industry who can offer expert advice based on experience. When choosing between financing options, cash flow is “king�. New practice owners need to focus as much on term and repayment structure as they do on interest rate.

Q: What is the most common financial mistake dentists make?

TA: The under-prioritization of a well thought out savings/pension plan, from day one, is becoming a common occurrence when managing personal finances. Misplaced priorities can also be a problem in managing the practice. Dentists frequently launch too many locations too quickly or focus so much on production that they get distracted and fail to keep a watch on profitability.

Today, too many new dentists start off without clear guidance or a well thought out financial plan. Rapid growth is not always the path to financial stability.

Q: What roadblocks are dentists encountering when applying for a loan?

TA: Dentists are not immune to the problems that are rampant across our country. Many depend on revolving credit to maintain both their practice and their personal lifestyle. This can lead to a whirlpool of credit card debt that threatens their financial future and can make it difficult to acquire a loan.

Bank of America Tom Angeloni

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Many new graduates also look to open a practice with little to no experience. Associating first will provide both the clinical and business experience necessary for success. Although planning for growth is a key factor in the project phase of a new practice, starting with an oversized practice can result in cash flow issues and also hinder the likelihood of an approval.

Q: What special services do you offer that are a particular benefit for the dental practice?

TA: While traditional banks offer little to no dental-specific benefits, Bank of America Practice Solutions (a Dental specific lender) offers a number of invaluable services to the dentist. A local industry specialist is available to advise on all facets of a dental project. We have a team of business professionals to assist with budgeting, performance analysis, marketing, industry standards and more.

When dentists are setting up a new practice, we can offer demographic reports to assist them with identifying the best location for their office, as well as a complete suite of products designed to support the efficient operation of the practice – including checking, merchant services, payroll, and so on.


Q: Does your company have experience working with dentists?

Steven M. Lugar, CFP Pat C. Beaird, CPA, PFS Paula W. Allgood, CPA ®

Beaird Harris & Co., P.C.

Beaird Harris Wealth Management, Inc.

12221 Merit Drive, Suite 750, Dallas, TX 75251 (972) 503-1040 www.bh-co.com

Beaird Harris & Co., P.C. is a Certified Public Accounting firm providing tax, accounting and business consulting services to high income and high net worth individuals, businesses and healthcare professionals across North Texas.

A

Beaird Harris Wealth Management is an independent fee-only wealth management firm providing financial planning and investment management services to financially established individuals and families, retirement plans and non-profit organizations – with a particular emphasis in the healthcare industry.

Q &

A: For over 25 years, Beaird Harris has worked with dental practices of all sizes and specialties. This includes recent graduates working as associates prior to their “buy-in,” sole practitioners as they launch their practice and large dental groups with multiple owners. We provide expertise and objective financial advice in the myriad of subjects that dental school did not prepare you to deal with. Beaird Harris offers a wide range of services designed to address both personal and business issues including: Tax Planning & Compliance n Entity Selection & Practice Transition n Bookkeeping & Payroll n Financial Statement Compilation n Retirement Plan Services n Fee-Only Wealth Management n Financial & Estate Planning n

Q: When should a dentist consult a tax and financial advisor?

A: Ideally, the day they graduate from dental school. While the tendency may be to defer that consultation for a few years until they are somewhat established, that decision can result in tens, or even hundreds of thousands, of wasted dollars. The decisions that are made in the early years of a career, i.e., whether to buy an existing practice or start their own, evaluating what rate to pay down debt vs. save for retirement, what kind of retirement plan to establish, and determining how much house to buy, are really important and have a material impact on lifetime wealth accumulation.

Q: What do you most wish to communicate to new dentists?

A: After over 25 years in business, we can say with confidence that the people who get good advice early in their careers have a huge jump on those who wait. There is simply no way to overstate the importance

of avoiding mistakes that have negative repercussions for many years to follow.

This includes selecting the proper business entity structure, proper choice and design of your company retirement plan, tax-efficient strategies for building a substantial net worth separate and apart from your dental practice, and making good decisions in the areas of life and disability insurance.

Q: What do you most wish to communicate to established dentists?

A: It’s never too late to start making better decisions. While you can’t turn back the clock, you’re probably in your peak earning years. With your earning years decreasing and income taxes increasing, it’s never been more critical to get an objective, second opinion on the state of your retirement plan.

Q: What is the most common financial mistake dentists make?

A: With regard to wealth management, it’s probably a lack of understanding that their “advisor” may not be legally bound to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. It’s important to work with a fee-only investment advisor who doesn’t sell any products and has a legal, fiduciary duty to put your needs first. We have also found that a number of dentists have discovered that they relied too heavily on their practice value with regard to retirement planning.

Q: What makes Beaird Harris the right choice?

A: Most dentists find that they make better financial and tax decisions when they tap into the expertise of a seasoned advisor who specializes in healthcare.The synergy created by working with Beaird Harris provides increased convenience, a deeper understanding of your overall financial situation, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve taken care of securing your financial future.

Beaird Harris

Building Financial Security Together™

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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of Practice A New Level

Transition Services WHEN TOM HANKS WAS “CAST AWAY” ON AN UNINHABITED PACIFIC ISLAND, HE WAS FORCED TO

EXTRACT HIS OWN TOOTH USING ONLY THE TOOLS HE COULD FASHION FROM STONES AND CRASH

DEBRIS JUST TO SURVIVE, BUT THEN, HE WAS ALREADY DERANGED ENOUGH TO TALK TO HIS SOCCER BALL COMPANION, WILSON. TOM WAS HOPELESSLY LOST, SEPARATED FROM AID OF ANY KIND – NOT

AN ENVIABLE SITUATION. EVERYONE WINCED AT THE THOUGHT OF HIM GOING IT ALONE THROUGH AN EXPERIENCE THAT CLEARLY DEMANDED THE HELP OF AN EXPERT.

Go With a Guide That Knows the Territory!

If a practice transition is on your horizon, don’t try to go it alone. Richard V. Lyschik, DDS, FAGD is just the expert you need to help you navigate this uncharted territory and reach your goal. His transition solutions are simple and logical: Determine the appropriate AFTCO Program with encyclopedic knowledge, and use experience to implement it effectively. As one satisfied dentist, Dr. Danny Baird, wrote, “The AFTCO team’s experience and knowledge of accounting, taxes and state board requirements became readily apparent when they recommended and successfully justified corrections that both lawyers and CPAs had overlooked.” Dr. Lyschik’s experience goes beyond single general dental offices, including specialty practices, multiple private practices, corporate dental operation sales, mergers, and acquisitions.

Truly Exceptional Service, Without Exception!

In his dental practice, Dr. Lyschik was dedicated to providing the finest dental care to his patients. Today, he continues exceptional service as the Senior Analyst for AFTCO, the nation’s oldest and largest dental practice transition consulting firm. Dr. Lyschik’s reputation and dedication to excellence in this specialized industry have introduced him to over 3,000 dentists to date. With over 150 AFTCO transition options, Dr. Lyschik has helped dentists to acquire, expand, merge, and/or build their practices. He has guided older, disabled, and “burned out” dentists through the process of selling their practices with dignity. Numerous practices facing complex or difficult circumstances have benefitted from his expertise. For example, estate beneficiaries have received the full amounts of the practice

20 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com

• • • • • • •

Dr. Lyschik’s successes to date include: •• over $11 million sold and managed annually in the most recent year •• industry records broken with 8 practices sold in 60 days •• practices frequently sold in weeks − not months or years •• substantially higher practice appraisals and final sale prices •• full price for estate sales, protecting the survivors •• satisfied buyers who return as entrepreneurs to invest in more practices within a year or two! •• the prestigious AFTCO Analyst of the Year award appraisal value instead of pennies on the dollar when they called Dr. Lyschik immediately. Numerous dentists have been saved from imminent bankruptcy as well. Even the IRS on the dentist’s “doorstep” has been satisfied with well orchestrated transition planning. When called upon to rescue a practice poised on the brink of its demise, Dr. Lyschik deployed expert management and personal coaching services. As a result, the practice’s bottom line improved by 82% in 90 days!

Life is an Adventure – Make it a Successful One!

Seasoned dentists who are repeat AFTCO clients tell compelling success stories of achieving their long-term personal, financial and professional goals in the shortest periods of time with the help of Dr. Lyschik and his dedicated local AFTCO staff and national AFTCO network. With strategic planning, dentists have received considerable benefits from incentive programs, pension funding plans, and equity conversion of the practice value to cash with the right to still work in the practice for 10-15 years!


“In my dental practice, my Mission Statement always included the following concept: ‘Exceptional dentistry is not expensive; neglect of it is!’ My Mission Statement to my practice-transition clients is no different: ‘Exceptional transition service is not expensive; neglect of it is!’ A poorly structured transition can cost you your entire practice… one of your greatest assets! You can listen all day to other brokers ‘stories’ and try to decipher their ‘formulas’... or you can go with our proven results! There are those who take the credit in this business, and those who do the work. My dedicated staff and I would rather be in the second group – we have less competition!” – Richard V. Lyschik, D.D.S., FAGD

The Future of Dentistry Is Extremely Bright

In the past few years, dental offices consistently produced the highest profit margin of any private business in the United States − ahead of accountants, lawyers, and physicians! If you want to be sure your own practice is on that same path to a bright future, you must learn to invest those profits in yourself and your own practice first! A transition is a process, not an event, and vital lifetime professional goals should include constant transition and management planning early in your career.

On Any Adventure, It’s Good To Know When to Change Course

Exceptional service, without exception!

“During these 43 years, I have worked with other brokers on two different occasions. My experiences with them were mixed, and they never could fulfill what I was looking for completely. Richard completed his job successfully, fulfilled my dreams and earned his fee. We are moving to San Miguel, Mexico and building a home.” – Cliff Avant, DDS, Plano, TX

“I have had a lot of experience with selling and buying, as I sold my first dental practice in Connecticut and purchased one in Santa Fe. This transition was by far the most stress-free and uncomplicated one mostly due to Richard’s level of competence.” – Bonnie DeBilzan, DDS, Santa Fe, NM “I want to congratulate you and your team on one of the finest transitions I have ever been involved in. Six practices sold at once – WOW!” – Chris Page, Bank of America, Vice President, Practice Solutions

“Richard has shown to be an inspiring mentor, coach, facilitator, and a truly successful match-maker in this extremely complicated transition and management business. His knowledge of this industry is one of a kind… and makes my job easier!” – Nancy Bahr, CPA “We all appreciate your hard work, expertise, and dedication.” – Dental One

Do you worry that your broker will leave you broker? Are you already working with a broker who is taking forever? Change to a premier Senior AFTCO Analyst and change your outcome! Make that one call, ask to speak to Dr. Lyschik, and in only a few minutes you will be convinced that you have found the experts in the transition industry. Get rid of the stress and confusion, discover the science and math behind a well orchestrated transition plan, and learn the common myths that brokers perpetuate to scare you! Discover for yourself why dentists all over the country who are destined for success call AFTCO every day and ask for Dr. Lyschik!

Richard V. Lyschik, DDS, FAGD retired from dentistry at age 39 after building three successful practices utilizing these various AFTCO transition models. He has lectured for over 30 years on the business of dentistry to dental societies, dental fraternities, study clubs, dental schools, state dental convention and residency programs, and has hosted numerous private “Lunch and Learns.” Dr. Lyschik has been a consultant to the insurance industry as well. He has authored dozens of articles on the business of dentistry in magazines such as Doctor of Dentistry and North Texas Dentistry. Dr. Lyschik recently received the prestigious AFTCO “Analyst of the Year” Award. Richard is a 1982 graduate of Georgetown University School of Dentistry. He has been a faculty member, has his Fellowship degree from the Academy of General Dentistry, has owned three private dental practices, served as a U.S. Air Force dentist and created the largest mobile dental service on the East Coast. Richard’s wife Becky provides anesthesia as a CRNA in Dallas and their son Henry is a physician in New Orleans.

Richard V. Lyschik, DDS, FAGD

East Coast: (443) 802-9454 Central US: (214) 893-0410 email DIRECT: lyschik@mindspring.com

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Steve Young

LegacyTexas Bank

Senior Vice President LegacyTexas Bank (972) 461-4806 Steve.Young@LegacyTexas.com

LegacyTexas is an independent familyowned bank that has been the go-to banking partner to dentists, physicians and professional practices throughout North Texas for almost 50 years. The local bank serves customers from 20 banking centers located in Collin, Dallas, Parker and Tarrant Counties. Long recognized for providing innovative banking services to area professionals, LegacyTexas is one of the largest and strongest community banks in the Metroplex. Deep roots and a rich heritage in North Texas. LegacyTexas offers an uncommon understanding and familiarity with the unique challenges that face medical practice in the Lone Star State. Banking services offered to dental and medical practices include lines of credit, equipment financing, credit card processing, wealth management, mortgage services and insurance services.

A Team Approach

Steve Young leads a team of medical/dental bankers that gives LegacyTexas a strong advantage when it comes to recognizing and meeting the unique financial

“It’s really a pretty simple concept...We just treat people the way we want to be treated.” needs of dentists and physicians. Young, a native Texan who has been in banking since 1981, came to LegacyTexas in 1996. Throughout his career, he has earned a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable bankers in the business when it comes to navigating the regulations and special requirements that challenge professional practices today. That experience and leadership enable the LegacyTexas team to develop banking services that help practices operate more efficiently.

Where Above and Beyond is Ordinary

Young knows that time is money in a dental or medical practice. That’s the reason he and the other members of the LegacyTexas team work hard to find new ways to simplify the banking process and free up everyone in the practice to do what they do best. “We are the ones who make the house calls,” says Young. “If there’s a signature card that needs to be signed or a document picked up, we get in the car and go. We see that as a way to save our customers time and money.” He says that when he sees his customers in his bank, his first thought is about what he can do to help them avoid that time out of the office. “It’s really a pretty simple concept,” he says. “We just treat people the way we want to be treated.”

Here, It’s Personal

Hundreds of North Texas dental and medical practices rely on Steve Young and the LegacyTexas banking team. One big reason so many professionals place such trust in the bank goes much deeper than services and products. “We relate well to the people we serve,” says Young. “They recognize that we have their interest at heart, we understand their business and we know how to make their practice more successful.”

Steve Young and his wife of 30 years have one child and two grandchildren. When he is not serving his medical and dental clients, he enjoys reading, running and golf. Like his LegacyTexas colleagues, he is active in his community, dedicating his time to service organizations such as Rotary International, Boy Scouts of America, Texas Health Research Institute and Texas Health PHorum.

LegacyTexas Bank Steve Young

22 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


Q: Is RT Edwards & Associates different from a typical CPA firm?

RE: In addition to offering expert tax and accounting services, our firm offers a host of other services that are highly beneficial to the dentist, including financial planning, plans for funding education, savings plans, start-up or acquisition financing, refinancing, or financing real estate projects, and preparing to sell a practice.

Robert T. Edwards

RT Edwards & Associates, PC

Accounting & Financial Planning Services 17060 Dallas Parkway, Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75248 (972) 267-9191 robert@eandassociates.com

A

RT Edwards & Associates, PC is a fullservice public accounting firm working extensively with dentists and healthcare professionals, providing accounting, tax reduction and wealth building services. Founded in 1987, RT Edwards & Associates has more than 25 years of experience providing financial services to the dental community.

Q &

Robert T. Edwards, CPA Lynn Ledbetter, CPA

We assist our dental clients with wealth accumulation, and show them how they can fund a secure retirement by finding added revenue in their current practice by working smarter without seeing more patients.

We can help set up a retirement plan that can be modified as needs change. For new dentists, we can help set up a simplified employee pension plan (SEP), and when they have eligible employees, switch to a 401(k) Safe Harbor profit sharing plan. I also advise dentists on investment strategies. We do not sell any products nor do we retain any portion of your invested money.

Q: How can you help me maximize my practice’s profitability?

RE: I am married to a successful practice management consultant, Dr. Sharon Tiger, which gives me a unique perspective when I analyze the financials of a dental practice. We will sit down with you and identify areas for improvement. We will evaluate the size of your staff relative to your production, and if you need to hire additional staff, we can help you search and screen candidates and determine the appropriate salary.

When it is time to ask for help, I can draw upon the expertise of an extensive network of other professionals I have worked with during my 30 years of practice in Dallas.

Q: You mentioned finding added revenue in my practice without working more hours. How?

RE: Most dentists are underbilling by thousands of dollars a month for services they have legitimately provided. We can perform a thorough fee and coding analysis to identify gaps in their billing practices. In one recent case, we helped a dentist add about $80K annually and increased another dentist’s annual billing by six figures, just by making sure coding on claims was being done correctly to maximize reimbursement.

Q: Can you help me minimize my tax liability?

RE: Yes, even for this year! We find that a proactive approach to taxes can make an enormous difference for dentists. We can help you know what tax liability to expect, and by suggesting five or six simple measures you can take now in the fall, we may be able to reduce your tax liability by as much as $10,000 for 2012.

Q: How can I justify the cost of your services when I am already concerned about the budget?

RE: First, you should consider this an investment in the success of your practice, rather than viewing it as a cost. Second, most dentists are surprised to find out how affordable our services actually are. Five or six crowns will pay for a year of our services, and you will see a measurable return on your investment. Our goal is to help you work smarter and be able to improve your quality of life. We can show you how to lessen your worries and feel confident about your future. We can help you increase the amount of time you have to spend with your family and find the time to enjoy the leisure activities you love.

RT Edwards & Associates, PC Robert T. Edwards, CPA

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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LABORATORY THE

O

ver the last decade, rapidly evolving technology,

overseas outsourcing and a changing market-

place have made it necessary for dental labora-

tory owners to continually adjust their strategies

to compete and thrive. In addition, the pinch

caused by the current economic climate is being felt by dental labora-

tories across the country. Laboratory owners must find a way to stay

current on materials, procedures, and technologies, and must fine tune

every aspect of their business operations to precision tolerances that

rival those of the restorations they create. For some, staying vital has

necessitated dramatic changes, while for others, it has meant staying the course and reaffirming the rigorous ethics and devotion to perfec-

tion that has provided a foundation for their success to date.

The most successful labs, regardless of their size, share some common qualities. Across the board, labs are finding that building and nurturing relationships is what keeps them going, both personally and profes-

24 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com

sionally. “When dentists have a high level of trust with their laboratory and incorporate the technician into the practice as part of the team, everyone benefits,” notes Joe Danna of Dental Logic. “Patients get more personalized care and are more satisfied with their results. Clear, frequent communication makes achieving consistently great results much easier and predictable for the dentist, too. And, I get to come to work each day knowing that I was a part of making that patient happy and giving them a beautiful smile. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Of course, successful laboratory owners earn the trust of their dentist clients on a day-by-day, minute-byminute basis, and build it over time by producing results that exceed expectations. “A good dental laboratory is an asset to a dental practice, and an important resource,” Danna explains. “We provide


one-on-one service that is tailored to the individual practice. We know what each of our dentist clients wants, expects, and prefers, down to the most minute details. We know because we make communication a priority.” Communication is the key to the kind of personalized service that sets the great lab apart from the pack. Great labs have begun offering an extensive menu of special services, like chairside assistance and personal consults with patients and dentists designed to ensure the best possible results.

Laboratory service is all about the details. What elevates one laboratory above the rest of the pack can seem like an insignificant detail, but like a fraction of a millimeter in a restoration, it can make a world of difference.“We care about every single piece produced in our lab. No matter how routine, we make sure the full measure of our experience goes into everything we create. Working in concert with a dentist who shares our passion for quality and patient satisfaction, we can create highly esthetic, natural-looking restorations that are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and really enhance the patient’s smile,” notes Danna.

Diona Brennan, of Reliable Dental Laboratory in Dallas, points out, “Modern materials and techniques allow us to fabricate restorations that perfectly mimic nature. Each one is a work of art.” She acknowledges that the artistry behind a

quality restoration requires talent, skill, experience, extensive training and close communication with the client. “We attend continuing education and study groups on a regular basis to stay current on products and clinical studies. By continuing to remain active in local study clubs and continuing education programs we are able to grow and remain current on all modern dental technology today which ultimately helps us support our dental clients’ goals more effectively. We are available for chairside support on a clinical and technical level. Every quarter, we offer our dental clients an informative hands-on demonstration, which also gives us an invaluable opportunity to interact and share any questions or concerns, which improves our ability to collaborate effectively.”

Dental laboratories in the United States have faced frustrating competition with

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overseas producers who can offer drastically reduced prices because of volume and low offshore labor costs. While there are immediate cost advantages for the dentist, Danna doesn’t see offshore labs as a threat to the American dental laboratory in the long-term. “No matter how tempting it is to cut costs, over time, there is no substitute for quality. Patients are more and more knowledgeable about their options and more discerning about the esthetics and functionality of their restorations.” Some dentists who have tried out an offshore laboratory source are now returning to American-made products, because they are concerned about the ethical issues associated with overseas labor or are pulled by their own sense of patriotism. For others, it’s simply about maintaining a trusting relationship with their patients and their own passion for quality.

Great labs have already found a recipe for success, and as demands change, they will adapt. The dental laboratory technician is by nature, a problem-solver. They are the “MacGyvers” of dentistry, finding creative solutions to whatever challenge is thrown their way, with limited resources. Little wonder they are meeting the challenges that today’s difficult economy has presented, as well as the ones that the rapidly changing field of dentistry continues to bring to their bench. As Danna points out, “That’s what keeps every day at my job interesting and stimulating, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.” n

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Does This Mean You?

New 2013 Requirements Affect Dental Labs and Dentists Do you fabricate or outsource restorations?

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act that was signed into law in May 2010 left many laboratory owners uncertain about its applicability to them. It’s a tough read – wading through the legalese leaves room to wonder. Did the law, which imposes an excise tax on medical devices, apply to dental restorations? Dental organizations hoped not, but after hearing opposition from the groups who wanted dental devices excluded, the IRS denied the request for exclusion in May. The post-game analysis? Dental laboratories must pay a 2.3% excise tax that applies when the final product is delivered to the dentist. Components provided by an intermediate laboratory will not be taxed but the lab that delivers the final product will. Labs will file quarterly, using IRS Form 720 to report the sale and pay the tax, then submit a final Form 720 at the end of the year.

But sometimes, things aren’t that simple. What about when a lab works with an overseas supplier? When restorations are outsourced

to an overseas laboratory, the U.S. lab or dental practice that ordered it is responsible for paying the tax.

What about those increasing numbers of restorations being fabricated or milled in the dentist’s office? Although many dentists are still unaware, it turns out the excise tax applies to those, too, according to the IRS.

Do the new FDA rules regarding dental devices apply to you?

Dental restorations are considered medical devices and must meet FDA requirements. In the wake of media attention to safety concerns with imported products ranging from toys and toothpaste to dog food and dental bridges, the Food and Drug Administration has focused a watchful eye on those in the U.S. who are importing dental devices from other countries. As of October 1, 2012, the FDA requires “medical devices”, including dental devices, to be listed and registered. The FDA intends to identify and track the entities in the U.S. who are importing devices from offshore sources. All business activity that involves importing dental devices will become public record on the FDA website. Offshore laboratories will have to identify their U.S. laboratory and dentist clients, even if the work is sent through a broker.

All dental laboratories that import devices, as well as those that repackage or relabel restorations or material, or fabricate sleep apnea or snoring devices, will be required to register with the FDA. Labs that manufacture certain devices, like those prescribed to treat sleep apnea will also have to file a 501(k) form (and – surprise – pay a fee). Codes and proprietary or brand names must be identified. Foreign dental labs that ship to the U.S., and brokers or agents for offshore dental labs who ship to the U.S. will be mandated to register and will have to identify the proprietary names of the devices they manufacture. Dental laboratories that manufacture products that must be registered with FDA or work with businesses that are required to register with FDA will be affected by this change, even if they have not been required to register with the FDA in the past.

Registration fees

Another change – the fee to register with the FDA has increased from $2,029 to $2,575. The registration fee will be assessed for all devices, whether they are produced in domestic or foreign laboratories. The fee for 501(k) filers has increased from $2,024 to $2,480 for a small business. 26 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


PRACTICE THE

D

entists who are passionate about their profession cite

a variety of factors that keep them excited about com-

ing to the office – that every day brings new chal-

lenges, that things are constantly evolving and

changing, that there is constant pressure to improve.

But, at the same time, meeting those challenges and sustaining a healthy

practice can require an enormous amount of energy, especially in a difficult

economy and increasingly competitive marketplace. That can dampen the

spark of the most passionate dentist, and wreak havoc on the bottom line. Running a successful business shouldn’t separate dentists from their ability to practice dentistry at the highest level. In order to thrive, dentists must seek new ways to optimize profitability without sacrificing the time and energy they have for patient care. Typically, improving

profitability means identifying opportunities to boost production and reduce overhead. “What worked a decade ago may not be the best way to keep a practice successful today,” notes Kirk Huntsman of Nexus Dental Alliance. “For a dentist to turn around an underperforming practice, it is imperative to rethink the old ways of doing things and embrace out-of-the-box initiatives. Nexus delivers proven tools and innovative strategies to drive revenue higher by improving case acceptance, attracting new patients and improving patient flow, boosting hygiene production while reducing overhead costs – all for a low monthly fee and backed by our Double the Difference guarantee.”

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Even marketing campaigns have been impacted by the need to get leaner and more efficient, and attracting business by standing out in the crowd means constantly raising the bar on creating unique, original marketing tools. Robert Zimbro of National Target Mailing offers his clients an innovative marketing solution. “We encourage dentists to eliminate the word discount from their vocabulary when discussing treatment plans with patients. Instead of that approach, which creates a negative perception that their care has a lower value, we have created personalized gift cards dentists can offer to patients that instantly create a positive perception of generosity and caring.” The cards are an example of how a small change in approach can create a very powerful result.

Savvy advisors can also serve dentists by helping them find services and merchants that mesh with the unique needs of their practice and their budget. Specialty tech consulting companies focus their expertise on the areas of merchant services, power, telecom, and IT to save the dental office time and money. Tim McCarthy, President of The BOCCE Group, explains, “We review the existing dental practice’s current agreements and statements with service providers and look for opportunities to find savings. For those dentists just starting a practice, we

review the business model and examine forecasts to determine the specific needs of the practice and negotiate with service companies on their behalf.”

Increasing the power and efficiency of every aspect of operation is essential to sustaining a thriving practice. Cathy Jameson of Jameson Management emphasizes, “Dentists can benefit from partnering with an expert advisor who can help them look for ways to reduce stress and work more efficiently. Find an advisor who will listen and help you develop a customized plan that is tailored to your unique needs. Jameson's energy and expertise are key factors in finding the very best solutions for each individual client.”

In order to run a practice, dentists must be like the plate spinning act at the circus – besides the role of providing dentistry, the dentist must simultaneously recruit, hire, train and manage staff, handle marketing, keep the computers and equipment running, keep an eye on licensure and compliance, juggle suppliers, negotiate with the landlord, stay up on the use of social media, and keep an endless number of other moving parts in motion. “Find ways to keep doing the jobs you enjoy and delegate the rest,” adds Cathy.

Successful delegating requires capable, motivated help, and staff issues are a part of the equation that can benefit from expert guidance. “An expert advisor can assist with staff recruiting, screening, hiring and training, as well as team building and communication tools that help retain great team members,” notes Bethany Petty of Dallas Dental Consulting. “With the right approach, you can minimize staff turnover and keep your practice functioning at its best. Often, dentists opt to turn these tasks over to me so they can focus on dentistry.”

Selecting a compatible team and creating a positive work environment in the office is great for staff and patients alike. “Patients notice when the staff is happy and when they aren’t, they notice that, too,” notes Blake Eaton of i3 Outsourcing. “The attitude of the staff impacts the patient experience immensely. When doctors value everyone’s contribution and treat the staff with respect, it fosters a service mentality. That translates into better retention, improved patient satisfaction, and ultimately impacts practice profitability. Patient online reviews are very influential, both for potential patients and increasingly, for job candidates, so happy patients can be your best marketing tool.”

Kelly Romans of Dental Directions advises, “Hire the best employees available to you. Interview as many qualified applicants as you can – then do reference checking and background checks. Be sure to check with your state’s licensing agency to see if all prospective employees have current licenses. Or work with a staffing agency that will do those things for you.”

When staffing gaps have to be filled with temporary employees, be sure to follow the rules regarding unemployment taxes. Nitia Morris of Dental Auxiliary Services warns, “The Texas 28 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


The BOCCE Group

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Workforce Commission prohibits temporary staff from being paid as contract labor. If the dentist pays a temp directly, he or she must pay unemployment taxes. The Texas Workforce Commission has been very proactive in auditing dental offices recently. If the office is not paying unemployment taxes on their temporary employees, they are liable for the back taxes and any penalties or interest that is applied. Our agencies pay the temporary staff directly and take care of the required documentation to avoid problems and penalties.�

For dentists starting or buying a new practice, building a clear brand will ensure that the right type of patients are being attracted to the practice. Training the team to carry out the brand will ensure that those new patients are retained for the life of the practice. A practice management consultant can help create the brand and guide decisions about key elements like location, marketing, interior design, and office policies which will ensure that the new office is up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible. This valuable help can be crucial to patient retention and uninterrupted cash flow.

Marketing is critical for all dentists in today's environment. Whether opening a new practice, relocating, or just looking to re-energize and grow an existing practice, many dentists are

turning to specialized marketing professionals with expertise in dental internet marketing, social media, and practice management software. These tools help dentists analyze the return on investment of their marketing campaigns.

Marc Fowler of Bullseye Media offers dentists guidance on leveraging the internet to attract more of their ideal patients. “ Having a strong online presence is critical. Most consumers start their search for a dentist online and studies have shown that seeing a company listed among the top results on a search engine makes the searcher believe that the company is a leader in its field. So, even if dentist A has superior clinical skills to dentist B, if dentist B is more visible online, they are going to get more of those searchers walking in their door as new patients.�

The difference between a surviving practice and a thriving practice is a matter of bringing the right people and the right ideas together at the right time. Dentistry is changing rapidly and the wise dentist will draw on the wisdom and knowledge of other professionals in order to keep pace. By connecting with the expertise you need, your practice can live up to its potential and support your goals for the future. n www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Management Services Organization (or “DMSO”). Under Mr. Huntsman’s leadership, Dental One grew to over 63 offices in four states until he sold the company in 2008. Mr. Huntsman has been active in the dental industry for 25 years and is a 1981 graduate of Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management with a degree in Finance. Dentists in his immediate family include a brother, a daughter, a brother-in-law, a nephew, and a son-in-law.

Q: Why did you form Nexus Dental Alliance?

Kirk Huntsman

Nexus Dental Alliance

1000 Grapevine Trail, Suite 229 Grapevine, TX 75061 (855) 556-3987 info@nexusdentalalliance.com

A

Nexus provides independent dentists the opportunity to achieve lasting profits and gain financial freedom in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

For the first time ever, ProfitMaX provides independent dentists with the same world-class resources and services that large groups have used to drive revenue higher and overhead lower. Xenith Practices enables dentists to invest in fractional ownership of professionally managed dental practices.

Q &

Nexus was founded in 2011 by R. Kirk Huntsman. Mr. Huntsman launched Dental One as a Dental

KH: The business of dentistry is changing – quickly. With these dramatic changes, the pressure on independent dentists to survive is immense. Our goal with Nexus is to help the independent dentist with the business of dentistry – to help boost production, reduce overhead, and help to achieve financial freedom – and ultimately to return the solo practitioner to prosperity.

Q: What can an independent dentist do to compete in today’s competitive environment?

KH: Learn to run your practice like a business — and quickly. This may mean rethinking your value proposition and doing things you haven’t done before, such as opening up certain appointment slots for early mornings or late afternoons. Work hard to maintain an effective team that can offer a consistently great patient experience. Learn how to position your practice for success by taking on new initiatives to increase new patient flow, improving skills to boost production, and adapting strategies to reduce overhead.

Q: What is ProfitMax?

KH: ProfitMaX is a new offering providing independent dentists with exclusive resources proven to drive revenue higher and reduce overhead. ProfitMaX offers the very same tools and resources used by large corporate groups! ProfitMaX is offered exclusively to independent dentists on a monthly subscription basis, and

is backed by a no risk Double the Difference Money Back Guarantee.

Q: How can ProfitMaX help me?

KH: ProfitMaX offers independent dentists exclusive resources proven to increase new patient flow, improve case acceptance, and boost hygiene production while driving down costs. Dentists who have used ProfitMaX report as much as $15,000 per month in revenue growth! Try ProfitMaX, and if after six months your increased profit hasn’t covered our fees, Nexus will write you a check for twice the difference!

Q: What are Xenith Practices?

KH: Xenith Practices are professionally managed dental practices owned by dentists for investment purposes. Xenith taps its broad network of contacts in dentistry to find underperforming practice opportunities (we unfortunately don’t have to look far). Then Xenith arranges to acquire those practices on behalf of dentists who wish to invest in dentistry. Nexus provides the professional practice management for Xenith Practices.

Q. Why would a dentist want to invest in practices such as those offered by Xenith?

KH: There are many reasons — Diversification, Familiarity, Relatively Low Risk, and Exceptional Returns. Wall Street and private equity firms have been generating high double and triple digit returns on their invested capital in dentistry for at least the past 20 years. Isn’t it time independent solo dentists had the same opportunity for their own portfolios?

Nexus Dental Alliance Kirk Huntsman

30 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


Q: Excellent dentistry is a top priority for me, but having a grand, impressively decorated office is not. Do I still need pictures of it?

Ray Bryant

Bryant Studios Photography

PO Box 93951, Southlake, TX 76092 (817) 966-2631 raybryant@me.com www.BryantStudios.com

Mr. Bryant specializes in corporate, PR, advertising and architectural photography. A large portion of Ray’s work is with the dental industry, and he has 12 years of experience creating compelling photography for dentists.

A

Q &

RB: Your office size or its décor are not the reason patients walk through your front door or why they tell their friends about you. The reason most of your patients come to your office is because of you. But a picture really is worth a thousand words! High quality pictures speak volumes about your practice and what patients can expect from you. Photos of your front entrance will help new patients recognize your office, and photos of your office interior help to make your office seem immediately familiar so any feelings of anxiety about their first visit will be minimized.

Q: I don’t think patients really care what I look like and I’m not particularly photogenic. Why do I need a photo of myself?

RB: People are visual creatures and photos are a way to make an instant connection with potential patients, as well as professional colleagues. A photograph is a valuable tool that lets you start developing a rapport before you even meet. Every doctor should have formal, casual and lab coat shots available to use in advertising or public relations articles and for display.

Q: Should I have office staff shots made as well?

RB: Definitely. Dentistry is a service business. Service is performed by people. Your office staff is an extension of you. They are the face of your practice, and form both the first impression and personality of your office. Professional photos of their smiling faces are an invaluable way to introduce your staff to your patients online and in print. An experienced, reputable professional photographer will be available to come back at a later date when new staff members come on board or other staff changes occur.

Q: Besides photos of myself and my staff, what other pictures are important to have?

RB: All specialties should consider before and after photos, both clinical and portrait

styles. An orthodontist may want to arrange for patients to be photographed after debanding. If you are a specialist, high quality clinical photos are useful for marketing your practice to referring dentists.

Q: I have a very sophisticated digital camera. Do I really need to hire a professional photographer?

RB: There’s no doubt that with today’s digital cameras you can get some great shots, and with editing software and a little practice, you can often manipulate the image to look even better. However, professionally created photos will almost always be more informative and more interesting to view. Even a great shot must meet rigorous technical requirements for resolution, color, digital artifacts and sharpness to be usable for marketing purposes. There is a place for non-professional photography, so don’t put your camera away. However, an experienced professional photographer with special expertise in dental photography is trained to represent your practice in the best possible light.

Q: How do I justify the time and expense of having a professional photographer come to my office?

RB: The rewards of getting professional photos are well worth the financial and time investment. We make sure photo shoots are a relaxed and fun experience for you and your staff, schedule when it is convenient for you, and make sure every minute is spent getting you the best quality photography possible.

Remember, you have the average website visitor’s attention for about five seconds, and your mailer is competing with a mountain of junk mail, so compelling high quality photos are absolutely essential for an effective website or successful marketing campaign. They ensure that you get the most out of every advertising dollar. They also create the impression that professionalism and attention to detail are important to you, which has proven to boost referrals and attract the new patients you need to maintain a vital, thriving practice in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Ray Bryant

Bryant Studios Photography

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Q: What marketing advice would you offer a seasoned dentist?

Marc Fowler Bullseye Media

(214) 592-9393 marc@onlinedentalmarketing.com Marc Fowler brings 20 years of hands-on marketing experience to his role as founder and president of Bullseye Media, LLC, a McKinney, TX based full-service marketing agency that specializes in helping dentists leverage the internet to grow their practices.

A

Request a complimentary online visibility and reputation analysis for your practice by visiting OnlineDentalMarketing.com.

Q &

Marc: I would suggest they first determine what they can profitably spend to bring a new patient in their door. To do this they would need to determine the average value of a new patient; one well known survey placed that number at $1,000 - $1,200 per year. However, each practice should calculate the actual number for them as it will vary based on services offered, internal marketing effectiveness, percentage of insurance patients, etc. Next, determine your profit margins and decide how many new patients you would like to see each month. Now you can make an educated decision on how much you can spend on marketing. Don’t forget about your inactive patients. A targeted reactivation campaign can provide a very high return on investment.

Q: How about a new dentist?

Marc: Don’t spend a lot on a logo and other “branding” type advertising. DFW is too large and competitive of a market and today’s media is too fragmented to try and build brand recognition from scratch unless you have a Fortune 500 sized advertising budget. Instead, spend that money on marketing that can be tracked and held accountable for providing a positive return on investment. Also, if you are a GP, be geographically laser focused in your marketing efforts. In highly populated areas, with lots of dentists, consumers aren’t going to travel more than a few miles to visit a dentist that they don’t already have a relationship with. If you are a specialist, you can expand your marketing area because if prospective patients view you as the best solution to their problem, they will travel much further.

Q: If you owned a dental practice how would you market it?

Marc: That’s an excellent question. First I would have a professional looking website that was mobile friendly, contained some video content and had Google Analytics in-

Bullseye Media Marc Fowler

32 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com

stalled. Then, I would optimize the site so it shows up on the first page of Google for my targeted search terms. In conjunction, I would be running an online advertising campaign to drive targeted traffic to service specific landing pages that were designed to convert that traffic into appointments. Additionally, I would claim and optimize my listings for the primary local directories (Google+ Local, Bing, Yelp, etc.). I would utilize call tracking phone numbers for all of my advertising that recorded each phone call into my office. This would enable me to not only determine the effectiveness of each advertising medium, but also listen to how the phones are being answered so I could provide training when necessary. Next, I would be sure and capture the home and email addresses as well as cell phone numbers for each patient that came through my door. Then I would contact them with special offers, refer a friend programs, reactivation campaigns, birthday cards, and other touch points to stay top of mind. Once I had about six months of this under my belt, I would analyze all of the data to determine the ROI of each strategy, then reduce or eliminate the underperformers and pour as much money as I possibly could into the winners.

Q: Do you work exclusively with dentists?

Marc: We do. About four years ago, we determined that our best performing and most enjoyable clients were all dentists, so we decided to begin working exclusively in the dental space. Additionally, since all of our copywriters had dental backgrounds, it was a natural fit. Because we work with practices across the country and Canada, we collect a lot of data about what works and what doesn’t in different types of markets, by procedure and by specialty. This eliminates the guesswork and allows us to help our clients achieve higher returns on their investment faster than if we had to start our testing from scratch with each new client.


Cathy Jameson

Jameson Management

(877) 369-5558 info@jamesonmanagement.com Competitive times require quality, proactive relationships – leverage a partnership with the right industry advisors at the right time.

A

Yesterday’s successful approaches to your business and patients may not be the lasting solution for you tomorrow. How do you maintain a healthy business over time; find and keep great team members; get new patients? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a place that could help you with all of these concerns and more? There is! Jameson is a full-service management and marketing company ready to help and now is the right time.

Q &

How soon would you like to be in the mix of clients like Jameson 2011 clients who boast averages of 35% production increase, 31% collection increase and 64% hygiene increase all while working an average of 2% fewer days? If you need a spark brought back into your career; if you need an expert to guide you on decisions that are healthy for your business; if you need a partner to help you with the stress of team problems, money and the daily issues that come with running a dental practice – let Jameson be the advisors for your dental career starting now. Jameson can develop a plan of action that meets the needs of your practice while also fitting within a budget that is comfortable for you.

Q: How is Jameson different from other management companies?

A: The ongoing, collective knowledge of the Jameson experienced advisory team helps your practice maintain during the rough times and thrive during the good times. There have been many spins on what dental practices need in terms of management and marketing and what that service looks like. A quick fix is never the final solution to resolving the needs your practice may have over the course of time. The scenario is ever-changing; the industry is ever-evolving. Your Jameson advisors focus personalized, comprehensive energy and expertise on your practice and make sure what is taught stays current.

Q: What’s Jameson’s story?

A: Built from the ground up and based on a passion for dentistry and a heart for service, The Jameson Method was created in Dr. John H. Jameson’s dental practice by Cathy Jameson as she worked diligently to help her husband’s practice survive economic turmoil in a small town in southern Oklahoma. The management systems she put into place helped his practice become a thriving cosmetic and restorative practice that attracted patients not only from sur-

rounding towns, but from surrounding states. Those systems have now proven effective in thousands of practices worldwide and grown in scope to maintain relevance over the decades. Dental professionals turn to Jameson hygiene, marketing and practice management advisors for increased productivity, profitability and stress control. Texas Native and Jameson Advisor Kathy Kilpatrick says “Nothing brings me more pride than working with my fellow Texans and watching their businesses grow and team morale soar.”

Q: What’s your story?

A: Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a team of dental experts to share your story with so they could help you realize the goals you have for your practice? Your story with Jameson can begin today. Schedule a complimentary call to speak with a Jameson advisor about what you love about your days and what you want to change. Together, let’s develop a plan that makes your vision a reality. Call (877) 369-5558 today or email: info@jamesonmanagement.com.

What Jameson Clients Say…

"What is different about my practice is the amount of stress I don’t have. Yet, every year we grow and remain more profitable than the previous year. Not only is Jameson there for us as advisors, but they can assist with all of our needs. They’re like a one-stop shop for everything dental."

– Dr. Kenneth Hamlett Jameson Client, Dallas

Jameson Management Cathy Jameson

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Q: I have upgraded my website and hired someone to focus on marketing, but I wish our results were better. What am I doing wrong? RZ: Even seasoned dentists often burn up lots of time and capital trying a variety of approaches without really developing a consistent brand or having any way to track the impact of their efforts. We help our dental clients establish consistent branding across websites and printed materials. We ensure that every dollar of your marketing budget achieves maximum return and will actually pay off with measurable results.

Robert Zimbro

National Target Mailing & DentistryPostcards.com

1507 Capital Avenue, Suite 103 Plano, TX 75074 (972) 424-5979 Robert@nationaltargetmailing.com www.nationaltargetmailing.com www.dentistrypostcards.com

A

Robert Zimbro has been in marketing for 14 years, and founded National Target Mailing 12 years ago. National Target Mailing creates marketing solutions specifically designed for dentists, and has created and executed effective, customized marketing strategies and materials for hundreds of dental practices all over the country.

Q &

We are more than just a printing service or a bulk mail shop. We provide a full range of marketing tools, including logos, websites, direct mail, letterhead and business cards, reminder cards, window graphics, and internal graphics and marketing items. We know the dental industry and dental marketing constitutes about 90% of our business.

Q: The bad economy has really impacted our patients. What can we do to improve patient acceptance of treatment plans?

RZ: We have an exciting new solution to an old problem that has challenged dental practices for years. Dentists used to send patients to visit with a treatment coordinator, and after some negotiation, a hesitant patient might be offered a discount. This devalues care because the patient now believes that they are getting treatment from a “discount dentist”. We have a solution that turns this around and creates a positive perception. Our client dentists are now offering elegant, high quality gift cards to get treatment started. A “gift” creates the perception that their dentist has been generous and genuinely cares about them. These gift cards can also be given out to referring dentists, so they can offer them to the patients they refer to your practice.

Q: How can you help us make sure we are taking full advantage of the most current marketing trends like Facebook, Google reviews, and QR codes?

RZ: We can help you understand how to implement these tools effectively and make sure your patients are using them to your advantage. And, since we are familiar with the constantly changing and evolving regulations, laws and conventions that affect dentists, we help you avoid costly marketing pitfalls and common mistakes.

Q: I don’t have the time or budget for gimmicky campaigns that may not work. How can you make sure I get results? RZ: Our goal is to become partners in the success of your practice, so we don’t just try to sell you another direct mail campaign. We begin by sitting down to discuss your internal and external marketing, including what has worked and what has not.

Rather than blanketing the neighborhood with unwanted junk mail created from generic online templates and wasting marketing dollars in the hopes of reaching a few interested individuals, we design custom materials and mailing plans that precisely match the profile of the target audience.

Our clients enjoy a working relationship with a single team member who provides expert, personal service. We offer a flexible, dynamic and responsive plan that can adapt quickly and easily to accommodate the changing needs of the practice.

National Target Mailing Robert Zimbro

34 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


Q: What is the most important advice you would offer a seasoned dentist and a new dentist?

BP: Running a business is a big job, so don’t try to do it all yourself. You simply cannot be an expert at everything. Pinpoint the tasks that you dread and either delegate them or seek outside help for those particular tasks.

Q: What are the most common challenges dentists face in managing dental personnel?

Bethany Petty, MA, MS Dallas Dental Consulting

(214) 551-5357 www.dallasdentalconsulting.com bethany@dallasdentalconsulting.com

A

Q &

BP: There is a notoriously high turnover in the medical/dental field, and there are several factors that contribute to this problem. First, dentists hire the wrong people. We are humans and can unfortunately be “won” very easily by a bright and cheery personality. Hiring is difficult and requires a detailed interview process, but the work is worth it when you hire the right person. Second, dentists do not establish clear job descriptions and expectations for their employees, so the team members become confused and frustrated with their position. Third, most people have an innate desire to have a career in which they can grow. If dental employees cannot see ways to advance, then they are likely to look elsewhere. It is important to create a challenging work environment with clear communication structures and accountability systems.

Q: What trends do you see in practice marketing?

BP: Social media is an obvious trend that is growing rapidly, but any marketing plan should be balanced with direct marketing, community marketing, and advertisement marketing. It is important for dentists to refrain from “throwing their eggs into one basket”. A diversified marketing plan is best. Social media should be a core aspect of that plan if the goal is to continue to grow the practice over the next decade.

Q: What services do you offer?

BP: My goal is to reduce the stress that dentists feel over various aspects of their practice. So, I can be involved in small aspects of the practice such as conducting monthly team meetings or I can be involved in larger aspects such as revamping the systems of the practice, including: n internal marketing/customer service n branding/marketing n front desk training n phone training n treatment planning, and n job descriptions.

Many of my clients are surprised that I actually offer hiring assistance. In some cases, I take over the entire process so that the headache of hiring is removed from the dentist and team members. In addition to helping existing practices, I specialize in helping new or transition practices as well. For dentists starting their own practice or purchasing a practice, a practice management consultant can be of great assistance as you make decisions regarding location, logo, interior design, office policy manual, marketing, hiring, and grand opening events. In other words, consultants are great to have in the initial stages of opening a practice.

Bethany Petty is a practice management consultant that breaks the mold. In an effort to remove herself from the abrasive consultant persona, Bethany earned a Masters in Adult Education and a Masters in Health Communication, which enables her to present information in a way that dentists and team members understand and appreciate. She customizes her suggestions and training to fit the individual personality and specific goals of the practice. Rather than approaching each practice with the same “Fix-It Guide,” she evaluates the practice, talks with team members, and listens to the dentist before making any suggestions. She truly provides a customized consulting plan. In addition, Bethany has the heart to help dentists. She has a legacy of dental field professionals in her family, and she has had the privilege of helping her father to build, manage, and maintain a successful family practice. With the heart to serve dentists, she has made a difference in practices all over the DFW Metroplex.

Dallas Dental Consulting Bethany Petty

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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Q: How can i3 consolidate all backoffice/third party solutions into one?

BE: As a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Provider i3 can maintain your accounting, HR, payroll, tax and staffing needs so you have one solution provided by one company. i3 can offer either a comprehensive outsourcing solution where information is transmitted electronically or a fractional outsourcing solution where i3 maintains an onsite presence, but whichever option is chosen i3 can help you get your back-office operating efficiently.

Q: Must I use all of i3’s services?

Blake Eaton, CPA

i3 Outsourcing Solutions, LLC 6860 N. Dallas Pkwy Suite 238 Plano, TX 75024 (972) 829-8609 www.i3outsourcingsolutions.com

A

Blake Eaton, Founder of i3 Outsourcing Solutions LLC, contributes more than 17 years of management and leadership experience directing private closely-held companies to large public companies with revenues in excess of $2 billion. Blake has led these companies through start-up, survival, turnaround, growth and acquisition business cycles.

Q &

BE: No. i3 understands it is difficult to switch providers. It is i3’s goal to compliment the existing service providers that are currently meeting your expectations. For example, if you are satisfied with your payroll provider, but would like to change accountants; you can maintain your current business with your current payroll provider and i3 will work closely with your payroll provider to ensure all processes are operating as intended.

Q: i3 provides services to the dental industry. What experience does i3 have within the dental industry?

BE: As owner, president and chief operator of i3, I have been the CFO of a private, multi-location dental and orthodontic group. This knowledge and experience has provided an understanding of the financial, insurance and operational areas of the dental industry. By having this in-depth understanding and hands-on experience, i3 can make meaningful recommendations to help make your practice operate efficiently and increase profitability. The i3 team also includes an additional accountant, who has worked as a Senior Accountant for a private dental group, and a staffing director who is a registered dental hygienist and has managed private practices and multiple practices for one of the largest dental groups in the country.

Q: Can i3 provide assistance with merger and acquisition activity?

BE: Yes. i3 can’t replace the brokers; however, we can compliment the broker activities through modeling and due diligence. i3 can model the impact of the acquisition target to determine the outcome the acquisition will have on your existing business and i3 can also perform the necessary due diligence to ensure the valuation of the company is aligned with the purchase price. As a financial service provider, i3 can introduce you to regional financial institutions and make introductions to private equity and debt groups, depending on your objectives.

Q: How can i3 improve cash flow within certain periods of the year?

BE: i3 will review your current budgets and forecasts to determine where improvements can be implemented. Depending on the results of the evaluations and the efficiency determinants needed, i3 can help in restructuring debt and aide in reducing overhead costs to improve the overall cost effectives of your company. As a financial service provider, i3 can introduce you to regional financial lenders who focus on the monetary needs of the dental industry to either restructure existing debt or provide a revolving line of credit.

Q: Can i3 help with staffing solutions?

BE: i3 can offer temporary and permanent placement depending on your staffing needs. Potential employees are professionally screened and placed with your company via our staffing solutions team.

To request further information, please either call our office or visit our website, www.i3outsourcingsolutions.com.

i3 Outsourcing Solutions, LLC Blake Eaton, CPA

36 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com


Q: How can working with a professional writer be an advantage for dentists?

TC: A writer with experience specific to the dental field can help you translate your ideas and concepts into easy-to-understand written words that can be used in all your marketing projects and professional presentations. I’ve worked with general dentists and specialists for years and keep up with developments in the field.

Tina Cauller

Writing, Design & Illustration

(214) 868-7744 tinacauller@gmail.com

Tina Cauller has more than 20 years of experience creating compelling marketing materials for professionals in the dental and healthcare fields. She offers graphic design, writing and medical illustration services that bring clarity and impact to the marketing messages of dental practices. Tina is a 1991 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She has worked in hospital, medical education and advertising agency settings. As a freelancer, she has written, designed and created illustrations for textbooks, journals, magazines, patient education and a broad range of marketing projects.

A

Q &

It’s important to hire a writer who can adjust the tone and content of your written material to suit your audience. Well-written copy can help you describe treatment options to patients, optimize the functionality of a website, or help ensure that your print advertising gets results. Having familiarity with the dental field means that your time won’t be wasted trying to explain dental terms or technology to your writer.

Q: I’m about to open a new practice. How do I go about getting a logo I can use?

TC: Your logo is one of the most visible and recognizable representations of you and your practice to potential patients. A well-designed logo has visual impact and longevity and should represent your practice now and well into the future.

I will meet with you and either help you refine the concept you have in mind or create a logo for you. After we talk about your target market, your goals and the practice ‘personality’ you want to project, I will create several proposed logo concepts to review, and then work with you to refine the idea into a final logo that will speak for you and function effectively in all your visual marketing. You will receive digital files of your logo in the various formats you will need for use in print, video, display or web applications.

Q: I would like to develop some informative material for my patients that describe treatment options. How do I begin?

TC: For more graphic procedures, simple illustrations are more appropriate for patient education and can be useful in helping the patient understand the goal of treatment and what to expect. I can also help you obtain high quality, professional photos taken in your office so patients can see exactly how you and your staff will be relating to them throughout their treatment. Once you have the visual elements you want to include, I can work with you to develop your message. Sometimes dentists know exactly what they want to say, while others have only a vague idea. In either case, I will make sure you arrive at exactly the message you wish to convey. Then, I can design a brochure, handout or presentation that communicates your information in a clear, visually appealing and memorable way.

Q: Our marketing pieces have been created over the years by different people – and it shows. How can I give them all a consistent look?

TC: It may be time to update your marketing materials anyway if several years have gone by without refreshing them. However, if they are still relevant, I can polish the pieces you have that are working and redesign what is not to obtain a consistent, harmonious portfolio of marketing pieces. Your goal should be to develop materials that relate to each other visually and help keep your business identity consistently recognizable in the public eye.

tina cauller DESIGN . ART . WORD

Tina Cauller

Graphic Design, Writing, and Illustration www.northtexasdentistry.com

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EQUIPMENT &

TECHNOLOGY THE

T

echnology in the dental office has become ubiquitous in the

last decade. There’s no denying that the most recently

introduced dental technology holds a certain attraction that

is measurable on a ‘wow’ meter. However, besides its inher-

ent allure, technological tools help dentists be more effi-

cient and find more time for the things in life that matter most to them.

Technological solutions are continually being developed and refined in

response to the demands on dental practices to be more competitive and

more productive. When technology is well-chosen and well-integrated into

the dental practice, it enhances the precision, accuracy, and ease of every

task and transforms the patient experience.

The explosion of technological advancements over recent years has completely transformed the modern dental office. Paper and film have been replaced by bits and bytes. Guesswork has been replaced with precision. Complex treatment can be performed with more predictable results and diagnostic capability has been greatly magnified.

It isn’t just the geek factor. For one thing, technology gives dentists a market advantage by setting their offices apart from the ordinary and establishing an image that matches the level of care they wish to provide. Patients like to feel confident that they are getting the highest quality care available. They also expect convenience

38 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com

and value. Dentists understand that time is money, so they appreciate the close connection between value and efficiency. Tools that save time save money – it’s that simple.

While dentists are sometimes hesitant to spend precious capital on the latest gadget, once a hightech tool has proven to have longevity and provide a decent return on investment, the decision to take the plunge becomes much easier, even for the most reluctant technophobe, because it makes good financial sense.

It’s more than a collection of gadgets. The infrastructure of the modern dental office is centered around computer technology. Servers, network cables, computers and workstations link the people and devices of the practice.

Computers in the operatory allow the dentist to directly access patient records, capture and view digital radiographs, visually explain treatment to the patient, use specialized devices like an intraoral camera or caries-detecting probe, or direct


the operation of CAD/CAM device. Information technology has also transformed the administrative areas of practice including billing, insurance processing, charting and scheduling.

However, it isn’t enough just to throw money at a collection of nifty tools. (Dentists who have made that mistake eventually find their tools gathering dust in the store room, sometimes before they are even fully paid for.) The various technologies must all work together, speak to each other, and interact seamlessly in order to be fully functional and useful. The technological elements of the dental office come together as systems, comprised of independent but interrelated elements that must function together as a whole.

And it isn’t only computer hardware and software that must work together in order for the office to perform at peak efficiency. Equipment must be ergonomically designed and positioned to allow the dentist and staff to work comfortably in tight quarters without becoming contortionists. The placement should enhance workflow and should keep the necessary clinical tools within easy reach. Cables should connect, not clutter, the clinical environment. In a truly integrated environment, the technology should “disappear”, so the dentist can concentrate on the task at hand, rather than being distracted by the technology. It should support good clinical decision-making, not interfere with it.

“Technology and equipment for a dental office should be chosen based on how it will impact workflow and practice connectivity, and how well it will serve future practice needs,” notes Jim Lout of Burkhart Dental. “Dentists should look to build a long term relationship with a trusted advisor who is not financially motivated to sell a certain product or brand. A technology supplier with integrity will listen and analyze the current and future needs of the practice and then provide comprehensive insight based on knowledge and experience. They should offer a broad range of options, make recommendations, and be able to clearly explain the relative advantages of each solution so the dentist can make an educated decision.”

Invest in proven solutions. “Your IT consultant should provide a system that balances functionality, performance, and budget,” explains Raymond Chang, CEO of Dentek Systems, Inc. Understanding the multitude of choices in the dental industry, is a fundamental requirement when making decisions tailored to fit the needs of your business, and your advisor should be able to provide that direction based on best practices.” He adds, “Utilizing proven solutions and products will optimize a practice’s overall functionality.The initial investment is only a portion of the equation. A well designed system will save you time and money, in the long-term, by keeping your office functioning smoothly without downtime or unpleasant surprises.” However powerful, technological systems only function, as well as, they are designed and integrated. A system that is not inte-

grated correctly will result in poor performance and eat up valuable time rather than saving it. In a poorly integrated system, software upgrades can create compatibility issues that are frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive to resolve. The primary goal of your advisor should be to develop an environment that allows for flexibility, performance, and efficiency. To achieve this type of working environment, your IT consultant needs to have the experience in proven solutions and the expertise in integrating the various options available in the dental industry.

Time is money. Equipment and technology experts help dental practices be more productive and efficient by designing systems and deploying a broad range of technologies, from computers, networks, peripherals, phones, audio, video, imaging, backup, digital security, physical security, WiFi, and more. You should expect an expert provider to offer their expertise from the design phase to installation to integration, and then provide reliable, responsive long-term support.

Now an indispensable part of the dental practice, technology has the power to shape the patient experience and create an efficient, productive and less stressful clinical environment. And, as technology migrates from manufacturing and other industries to applications in the field of dentistry, the dramatic impact technology has had over the last decade will be eclipsed by even greater and more surprising developments. The industry continues to evolve toward greater power and complexity. More dentists are partnering with an expert resource to help them define the role of technology in their practice, leaving them free to focus on dentistry and stake a claim in the highest quality of personal and professional life. n www.northtexasdentistry.com

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If you are considering building a new office,

call Burkhart first.

Burkhart is committed to serving you with complete integrity. We have the best options in office design, financing, contractors, real estate, equipment and technology. Our experienced team will support you from beginning to end. You deserve to be treated as a business professional.

469.242.4000 www.burkhartdental.com R 09/12 WA


Q: In your field of expertise what would be the most important advice you would offer a seasoned dentist and a new dentist?

Jim Lout

Branch Manager

Burkhart Dental

8400 Esters Blvd., Suite 100 Irving, TX 75063 (800) 324-4868 (469) 242-4000

A

Dentistry is alive and well. Technology is reshaping our industry. Now more than ever you need to have a trusted advisor. An advisor that will challenge your thinking, provide you valuable insight, not force you into a “one size fits all” purchase. An advisor that conducts business with integrity, and offers proven solutions that will not handcuff your success and ability to choose future technology. An advisor that offers programs that holds them accountable to provide your practice the best results.

Q &

The dental industry is advancing at all levels at a very rapid pace. Never before has it been more important for a dentist to be actively learning how technology is reshaping the patient experience, clinical diagnostic ability, clinical results, lab relationships, practice profitability and workflow. Use your resources in the industry to educate yourself on all of the possibilities, so that you can make an educated decision on what is best for you.

Q: What do you think is the most common mistake dentists make when selecting and purchasing new technology and equipment?

Too often purchases of technology and equipment are made with no consideration of how they impact workflow, practice connectivity, and future practice needs. Having a long term technology and equipment plan is key. This is best accomplished by working with a trusted advisor that is not motivated to sell you a product or brand, rather they provide comprehensive insight and many product options. Unfortunately there are thousands of practices today that purchased a digital sensor (based on a good deal and the fact that the salesperson was motivated to sell a single product) not realizing that they were being handcuffed because the software sold with the sensor does not allow most other sensors and technology to connect with it. The salesperson never shared how the purchase would limit the practice’s ability to choose the different technology in the future.

Q: What trends do you see in new dental technology and its effect on the dental office?

can include passing through the intraoral cavity in 3D, modeling treatment results virtually, minimizing risk, and providing more effective communications among your referral network. Technology is creating new paths to perform complex treatment with predictability.

Q: What kind of assistance do you offer the dentist in the selection and purchase of new equipment?

Burkhart has helped dentists build successful practices for over 124 years. Our approach is based on integrity; we offer proven solutions based on careful analysis of our clients’ current and future needs. Most dealers today push a product or brand, a limited “one size fits all” offering – we don’t. We share insight and build understanding. Our products and services are designed to ensure clinical excellence, better patient care and smart business results. After the integration of our services and products, we measure our clients’ success to ensure they received what we promised.

Q: What special services do you offer that are a particular benefit for the dental practice?

One service we offer that is beneficial to our clients is our “Practice View Program”. This complimentary program provides a comprehensive look into how their practice is performing – what is working and where there is opportunity to improve. It is performed by a team of experts and it provides key insights and sound recommendations to help the practice grow. We have performed hundreds of Practice Views over the years and our clients will tell you that this has significantly impacted their practice success.

Digital technology continues to expand its reach within the dental practice. No longer is it just a way to obtain a digital image, it

Burkhart Dental Jim Lout

www.northtexasdentistry.com

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inc. solid solutions for your ever-changing business needs

OPTIMIZED NETWORK CONFIGURATIONS FAST AND RELIABLE COMPUTERS DIGITAL PERIPHERALS HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO AND VIDEO

making I.T. easy. We provide “one stop shopping” for our customers’ computing, phone, audio, video, security, and cabling requirements. DSI specializes in new office build outs and digital upgrades to your existing office. Our focus is on speed, stability, and security in all our network designs, so you can have the peace of mind that your

NETWORK MONITORING HARDWARE INSPECTION COMPUTER MAINTENANCE DATA BACKUP ANTI-VIRUS REMOTE SUPPORT PHONE SUPPORT ONSITE SUPPORT

data flows seamlessly and securely.

Dedication to Quality

FREE

Our pro-active approach and responsiveness to your every need will reassure you that DSI is the only choice. We will work with you step by step from the design phase to integration and be there to support you when you need it most – the first day your office opens. We also offer a wide variety of managed services to meet your needs and budget.

COMPLETE OFFICE EVALUATION

Customer Focus

We believe in building strong, lasting relationships with each of our clients and strive to earn your trust with our straightforward, honest approach to your questions. By working with you to help make the right decisions, we will make your project a success and your vision a reality.

identify any potential business risks in your office!

Integration

main:

Digital Upgrades

email:

DSI provides complete, full service integration for your IT systems. From architecting your systems to deploying your network, we’ll build your office out the way you want while saving you frustration and hassle.

With multiple solutions to choose from, we will provide you with what you need to make your office faster, more productive, and reliable.

STRUCTURED CABLING OFFICE NETWORKS DIGITAL UPGRADES PHONE SYSTEMS TECHNICAL SUPPORT SECURITY SYSTEMS

fax:

online:

972.499.0588 877.289.1524 Sales@MyDentek.com http://www.MyDentek.com

999 E. Arapaho Road, Suite 100 Richardson, TX 75081


RESULTS

Working With the Right Team Brings

What can North Texas Dentistry do for you?

If you work with or sell to the dental industry in North Texas, promote your business in North Texas Dentistry!

PRINT ADVERTISING CUSTOM PROFILES “Our company has worked closely with LuLu and North Texas Dentistry magazine and I am very impressed with the professionalism and quality of the publication and the exposure has been excellent. I know our target audience is reading it, because each time a new issue goes out we get calls telling us they saw us. I would highly recommend the magazine to anyone who wants to put their message in front of the North Texas dental community.” - Marc Fowler, CEO, Bullseye Media “I have worked with LuLu Stavinoha and her team for almost a decade while she was publisher of Doctor of Dentistry magazine. AFTCO has continued to support her publishing efforts with the launch of North Texas Dentistry. In fact we increased our ad size to a full page! The professional response from my advertising and articles in North Texas Dentistry continues to be very rewarding and we foresee many additional years of commitment to LuLu and her new publication.” - Richard V. Lyschik, DDS, FAGD Senior AFTCO Transition Analyst “On July 13, 2005, an ad consultant sent us our 1st proof for our 1st ad in our 1st issue of a local publication serving dentists in the North Texas area. We continue to work with LuLu Stavinoha, the rep we met some seven years ago, although her role is much more than just selling ads. Today, LuLu owns and publishes her own magazine, North Texas Dentistry, and she continues to deliver the A+ service she delivered the day we met her. North Texas is just a part of the country we serve, but it’s where we started. Thank you, NTD.” - Brian Berry, President Med-Tech Construction

A FEATURE COVER STORY CAN: n n n n

Introduce a new practice or office location Present practices using the latest technology Increase referrals to specialty practices Create high quality marketing materials with the benefit of a third party endorsement

“We have looked forward since last year’s publication to being featured again in the 2012 North Texas Dentistry Convention issue. Monarch Dental has been a highly recognizable brand name for many years in North Texas and the opportunity to keep us in the forefront to a targeted audience of dentists is very important to us. Working with LuLu Stavinoha and her artistic and editorial team is always satisfying and the end result is an excellent presentation of our “Smiles For Everyone” message. Our goal is to be a regular contributor and partner with North Texas Dentistry as they highlight our future plans for growth and continued success.” - Mike Duda, Doctor Recruiter Smile Brands Inc./Monarch Dental “LuLu is a lulu! The entire North Texas Dentistry team is a dream to work with. They couldn’t be better!” - Lorin Berland, DDS “LuLu Stavinoha and her staff at North Texas Dentistry magazine produced an outstanding article with incredible photos about our office. Our referring dentists and new patients love the professional and in-depth brochure that they received. This has been a wonderful way to grow our practice, and the quality of their product truly sets itself apart from other companies. I would highly recommend North Texas Dentistry magazine!” - Melissa Rozas, DDS

Dentistry North Texas


North Texas Dentistry Special Issue:Creating the Ultimate Dental Practice  

The goal of this Special Issue is to assist dentists in creating the office of their dreams by making the pieces of the puzzle come together...

North Texas Dentistry Special Issue:Creating the Ultimate Dental Practice  

The goal of this Special Issue is to assist dentists in creating the office of their dreams by making the pieces of the puzzle come together...

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