But, I Live in a Nice Neighborhood.

Crime can (and does) happen anywhere.  I’m amused when people rest easy and say, “I’m in a good neighborhood.”  Ummmm…  That’s where criminals go, because it’s where the GOOD stuff is!

break inI talked to my dad last night.  He called to let me know he and my stepmother had returned home after a cross-country trip.  They live in a rural area that would certainly be considered a “nice neighborhood.”  Their next door neighbor is an elderly widow.  At 2pm (a few days ago while my parents were out of town), the widow heard noise at her front door.  She peered through the window in the door and saw two men unknown to her.  She went to retrieve a pistol left by her late husband (though she didn’t know how to use it).  By the time she returned to the front door, the men had broken the window, reached in to unlock the deadbolt, and begun to enter her home.  She pointed the pistol at the men, and they fled.

Another neighbor has reportedly shown her how to use the gun since the incident.

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

A pithy observation, perhaps.  But, it rings true.  What might have happened, if my parents’ neighbor wasn’t able to scare the bad guys away?  Would she have even been able to dial 911?  Even if she had time to dial 911, would help have arrived in time to save her?  The obvious answer is, “No.”

Many of us have smoke detectors and own fire extinguishers, even though the probability of a fire is very small.  We take many measures (life insurance, flood insurance, seat belts, helmets, etc.) to mitigate injuries or losses that are typically remote.  While the chances of any of them happening is small, the consequences are significant.  Why wouldn’t you take similar measures to protect yourself in the case of a home invasion?

My dad is experienced and proficient with firearms (and owns several).   My stepmother has no experience.  They are signing up for a firearms class together.  Good idea.

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Posted in Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , | 7 Comments

I Never Use Retraction Cord

Except when I do…

ultrapak-singleI rarely use retraction cord for crown preps, as I try to keep my margins equigingival or supragingival.  If I need retraction, I’ll usually reach for my Picasso Lite diode laser first.  Or, I may use the H&H impression technique (which drives impression material subgingivally without any retraction).

But, there’s one situation that I almost always use retraction cord:  Cervical composites.

Why?  First, if you’re using magnification and a headlight, you’ll be amazed at the very visible flow of crevicular fluid.  You blast it away with the air syringe, and it immediately starts welling up again.  That spells inevitable contamination of the bonded composite at the gingival margin, which can lead to early failure.  Well-placed retraction cord is an effective dam against the crevicular tsunami.

Secondly, the retraction cord affords good visualization of the restorative margin during the prep, during the placement of the composite, and while finishing.  Keep reading and see the case presentation below.  Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation, Clinical Technique, Dental Product Reviews, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Is It Safe? Yes. The Dental Warrior Is Safe.

is-it-safeMy blog got hacked (despite some pretty heavy-duty security measures).

But, it’s fixed now.  Hooray!

To my fellow bloggers and website owners, I can recommend the service provided by Sucuri to clean and protect your site from malware.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled program….

Posted in Dental Warrior Announcements | Leave a comment

The Dental Warrior (mobile) Has Been Hacked!

Fair warning, and my apologies… My blog has been hacked such that if you access it with a mobile device, you will be redirected to a porn app.

I’ve got people working on it at this time.  I hope to have it resolved soon.

Please stand by.  Thanks!


Posted in Dental Warrior Announcements | Leave a comment

Website + Email + Remote Login = New Patient

appointment-request-2I’ve had a website for my practice since 1999.  Several years ago, I added an Appointment Request Form that is forwarded to me by email.  And, for many years, when I got such a request over the weekend, there wasn’t much I could do other than send a reply letting them know we’d call them first thing on Monday to set it up.

Back in June, I replaced my very old computer at the front desk and switched to a new PMS (practice management software).  I also connected the new computer to the internet (there was no reason to do so before with the old PMS).  And, I subscribed to “Logmein,” a service that allows me to connect to the office computer remotely.

Today, I got an appointment request.  Here it is:


Added arrows to indicate key information.

Here are the emails that followed (in order): Continue reading

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Posted in Marketing, Practice Management, What Happened Today | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Spelling & Grammar Count!

Or do they?  Should they?

Increasingly, I’ve noticed poor spelling, grammar, and syntax in the media.  I see it in print and on TV.  While I suspect many don’t think it matters, and many don’t see it (because of their own deficits), it bugs me.  I believe it is symptomatic of the “dumbing down of America.”  Sadly, I’m also seeing it in dental marketing pieces.

You’re JOURNALISTS, for gosh sake!

The stock and trade of the news media is the English language (here in the U.S.).  And, they get it wrong far too often.

I pulled all of these off my own TV, watching at home.

Are the security officers going to dress provocatively and prance about the campus?

Are the security officers going to dress provocatively and prance about the campus?

Continue reading

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Posted in Marketing, What Happened Today | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Insurance Salesman: “Dental Plans Are Crap”

I wish I could have recorded the conversation I had with a patient’s husband yesterday.

Sometimes they leave.   Sometimes they come back.

boomerangThis was a new patient… sort of.  She first came to me about 3 years ago.  We did an initial exam and noted multiple (10 – 12) carious lesions.  She saw my hygienist twice and then disappeared.  Earlier this week, I got an email from her (through my website) saying that several teeth had broken and she’d like to come back.  I promptly replied to her email and passed it on to my office manager who contacted her to make an appointment.

During her visit yesterday, we took a new FMX and did a comprehensive examination.  Remarkably, her hygiene had improved quite a bit.  All the decay was still there (go figure), and two teeth had progressed to the point of needing endo and crown restorations (or extractions).

This patient was pretty nervous, so she came in with her husband.  It turns out she was nervous that I would be “judgmental” of her.  I easily put that fear to rest.  Her husband sat in the room with us as I reviewed my findings.  We chatted a bit back and forth, and the discussion turned to costs.  I mentioned that we have an in-house dental savings plan called Quality Dental Plan (QDP).  Hubby says, “Yep… I already signed up with Jo-Ann (my office manager) while you were doing the exam.”

It IS better than dental “insurance!”

QDP Brand LogoI extolled the virtues of QDP and how it’s better than so-called “dental insurance.”  Hubby then informs me that he sells insurance!   He went on to say, “Dental insurance plans are crap!  I sell them.  But, they are crap.  People think they HAVE to have a dental plan, so I sell them.”  He also mentioned Continue reading

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Posted in Practice Management, What Happened Today | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Dentist Formerly Known as Prince

Some Patients Just Make Your Day

lisa and me-The title will make more sense as you read on.  A few weeks ago, we got a new patient by referral from a pediatric dentist (about 45 minutes away).  The patient recently completed orthodontic treatment and desired some improvement in her upper anterior teeth.  She is an 18 y.o. with Down’s Syndrome.  Her 1st premolars are transposed into the lateral incisor positions in the upper arch.  This made for a very challenging case.  But, any improvement was welcome.Lisa-occlusal-

Her concern (and Mom’s) was the front four teeth.  She wanted the “spaces” closed.  I took a photo and drew directly on it with a white Sharpie Marker to rather crudely simulate what I thought I could accomplish.  The rest of the story (and photos) after the jump. Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Why You Shouldn’t Carry a Gun Every Day… Three Good Reasons.

Click here to read this fantastic article!I don’t often post links to other blogs here.  But, this article on The Truth About Guns is so good (in my opinion), it’s worth sharing.  I know a lot of people who are licensed to carry concealed that do not actually carry often… or at all.  I’d bet a majority virtually never carry.

This article by my friend, Robert Farago, is clever in that it pulls double-duty.  First, it does a great job of addressing the concerns of those people who have considered carrying a concealed weapon but just haven’t found a way to do it conveniently… or, they just aren’t convinced it’s “needed.”

Secondly, the article is a great essay that answers the concerns of those people who are reflexively opposed to concealed carry, are frightened by the concept, or simply don’t understand the “need.”

Check it out!  Click the image above or on the title:  Three Good Reasons Not to Carry a Gun Every Day, And How to Overcome Them

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Posted in Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Mr. & Mrs. America… You Are Being Ripped Off!

Check this out:  Obamacare pays for dental clinic for uninsured

taj mahalObamacare built a 6,000 sq. ft. clinic to house only 10 dental chairs in New Jersey (big surprise).  And, they’re PROUD of it.  That’s a CRAZY waste of space.  Ten chairs??   Six thousand square feet??   A private office that size (would be a very large group practice) would likely have (by my estimation) at 15 – 20 chairs.  If there are any dental office design experts reading this, feel free to correct me.  I might even be low.

And, then they also proudly tell us they spent $3.4 million dollars to build this 10-chair clinic!!  Holy shit!  Did they line the walls with gold leaf?  Who bid this contract??   Who got kick-backs?

Any dentist who has built an office (me included) will tell you that something is VERY amiss with the amount spent.  It comes to $566 / sq. ft.!!  Good gawd!  Again, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s at least DOUBLE what it costs the rest of us to build a VERY nice office.

“The ERs are overflowing!”  Not.

From the article:  <<The law is trying to put the brakes on the skyrocketing cost of health care in part by changing the habits of consumers who visit expensive hospital emergency departments for maladies that aren’t emergencies.>>

That statement would be funny if it wasn’t such a provably blatant lie.  Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments