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 , | 8 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

The Thriving Dentist Show!

Thriving-Dentist-ShowMy friend and dental practice consultant extraordinaire, Gary Takacs, has a podcast called, “The Thriving Dentist.”  He publishes a new show about every week and has a guest to discuss issues that affect all of us in dental practice.  It is well worth checking out.  You will definitely learn something every episode.

Gary asked to interview me, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to blab about dentistry.  Our discussion covered:

  • Managed care vs Fee-for-Service / Private Care models of practice.
  • How online dental forums have shaped dentistry today.
  • The ADA (American Dental Association).
  • Online marketing (dental practice websites).

It was unscripted and completely off-the-cuff.  It was a lot of fun.  Be sure to check it out:

The Thriving Dentist Interviews The Dental Warrior.  <—click!

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Posted in Current Events, Practice Management | 3 Comments

“Check Your Six” at Gas Stations!

check your six“Check your six” is an axiomatic phrase to live by for fighter pilots.  It means be aware of what’s behind you.  Having a “bogey” (enemy aircraft) on your six can be fatal.  If you use a clock to refer to what’s around you, 12 o’clock is in front of you, and six o’clock is behind you.

If you study surveillance video of robberies, muggings, or other violent crimes, you’ll notice that the victim is often completely unaware of the approaching bad guys.  This is the case in the video below.

A lot of people go about their day in a bubble of distraction.  Today, distraction often involves cell phones, electronic games, and music delivered by headphones.  It can also be as simple as a conversation, kids demanding attention, or just the task at hand (such as fueling up your car or loading groceries).

Being AWARE of your surroundings, and the PEOPLE lurking around you can be your BEST defense.  Continue reading

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Posted in Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

New PMS! No… Not That Kind!

open dental--6We all have a long “to do” list, both at home and the office.  One item that’s been on my list at the office has been to upgrade the computer and Practice Management Software (PMS).

I’ve delayed doing it for a few reasons.  First, my computer and PMS have been working just fine.  If it ain’t broke, why fix it, eh?  But, here’s the thing…  I knew I was working with a ticking time bomb of a computer.  Believe it or not, my front desk computer is a Windows 98 machine.  I’m not kidding.  It’s at least 12 years old, and it’s still running!  It moans and groans on start-up.

Windows 98!  Really!

Windows 98! Really!

The power supply fan is rather loud (bearings are probably shot).  But, it works!  Laugh at me all you want!  Windows 98 is still regarded as the most stable version of Windows.  My old computer never crashed.  Not once in all those years.

open dental--5

For the PMS, I’ve been running Softdent version 9.1b.  That’s many, many generations old.  It WORKED!  It served me well.  But, this old version didn’t even have a field in the patient chart for an email address or cell phone.

But, I’ve become increasingly worried that one day, I’d hear a “pop” and see a puff of smoke around the old computer.  The next puff of smoke would be coming out of my ears.  Sure, we backed it up every day.  But, it’s so old, what am I going to RESTORE it to??  This version of Softdent required a “dongle” plugged into a parallel port for the software to work.  Today’s computers don’t even have a parallel port. Continue reading

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Posted in Dental Product Reviews, What Happened Today | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

What The Dental Warrior Is Reading

books-6832I tend to read in fits and starts.  Recently, I decided to get back on the treadmill at home to get some exercise.  I get bored very quickly on the treadmill, so I need something to distract me.  And, it may as well be something that enlightens me.  I’ve got a large stack of unread books.  But, over the past few weeks, I’ve made a dent in my reading project.

Without further ado, here’s what I’ve read or am currently reading:


Reviews of each book after the jump! Continue reading

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Posted in Must Read Books! | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Do You Have an Evil Plan?

If everyone is zigging, should you be zagging?

A Vector Cute Cartoon Devil Smiling FaceI just finished reading a book, Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination,” by Hugh Macleod.  It reminded me of a thought that occasionally percolates in my brain.  What can I do (in my career and life) that is different?  Really different.  I ponder the question, and then…. “Look!  Squirrel!”  Life gets in the way. 

Routine is comfortable.  Homeostasis is comforting.  Conformity is easy.  Stretching is painful.

Just boo it.

One thing I’ve learned as I cross the threshold of middle age is that if an idea is hated by some people… even many people…. it’s probably a good idea.  If many tell you it can’t be done, then you should probably do it.  Dentists are particularly anxious to shoot down (boo) any colleague who strays from the straight and narrow.

Just screw it.

How could you micro-niche your dental practice?  How could you transform your practice in a way that would stand out?  What could you do that is “impossible?”  What would you like to do that would piss off a lot of dentists? Continue reading

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Posted in Editorial, Must Read Books!, Practice Management | Tagged | 25 Comments

I’m a Bad Businessman – Bridge Repair

We’ve fallen and can’t get up!

A new patient was referred to me by a local periodontist.  She’s in her 70s.  Her husband fell down, and in the process of helping him, she fell on her face and fractured porcelain on teeth #9 and #10.  They are part of a larger bridge, #6 – #14.  Teeth #s 8, 10, and 12 are pontics.  Teeth #s 7 and 9 aren’t so hot, as you can see.


The patient and her husband were due to return home (up north) for the summer.  Her husband is still in the hospital.

bridge repair-6763

Porcelain fractured down to the metal on the incisal.

bridge repair-6764

Metal is just visible at the incisal edge.

bridge repair-6762

Metal is visible on the incisal edge and lingual.  Apologies for the poor quality photo (scratched mirror).

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C

Treatment options discussed included: Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation | Tagged , , | 19 Comments