The Business of Dentistry: Success is in the Details
Hello everyone and welcome back! In my last article I discussed some key components I’ve seen, on a macro level, in the most successful practices. If you recall, those were the big-picture bits, such as your business location, the importance of a great patient centric staff, creating and maintaining a modernization plan, and setting goals.
Here, I would like to address, from a micro look, some little details that together can influence your success while making your job more enjoyable. You could call them the “micro aspects to having the most fun in your practice.”
One of the macro looks, in my last article, was the value of a plan for ongoing modernization in that today’s sophisticated consumers perceive more value in goods and services when they are performed in a modern, up to date environment.
Modernizing or updating your practice as you go is similar in philosophy to what you do with your home, over the years. You keep the surfaces fresh and renew the roof, gutters, kitchen, etc. It’s all money well spent. You don’t wait until it’s time to sell to enhance the curb appeal, you do it over time and enjoy the results along the way.
When you look at your update options you will see that all dental equipment today is very similar: chairs go up and down, they are comfortable to sit in and easy to work around. Dental delivery systems work, handpieces cut teeth. A closer look will show you that Forest/DENTALEZ is the only US maker that has dared to separate themselves from the rest, by focusing on some small things no one else has. Let’s take a closer look.
Our customers tell us that patients notice the little things--how clean and modern things look, the décor/interior design. They are big reasons why a patient would brag about their dentist. Forest customers love the simple reliable engineering, a few details of which I will touch on later, but they are quick to add that their Forest equipment is a significant factor in their internal marketing. Why? It’s all about Designer Friendly equipment.
Let me explain. When I bought then 25-year-old Forest, in 2004, it was similar to all the other manufactures in that it was offered in only one shade of white paint. Being a car nut and hot rod builder, I love color, chrome,
carbon fiber trim, contrast stitching and dual color upholstery. So, as you might imagine, it wasn’t long before we had Designer Friendly, which includes all the above. We created a pallet of 9 beautiful paint colors which use a super tough two-coat process. The topcoat is the same product used on most automotive wheels! Our dental unit arms have triple chrome-plated end caps on the flex arms vs. plastic like everyone else. Our air and water Ts are metal, not plastic, which goes a long way towards eliminating leaks. The harder you look at Forest, the more of these kinds of things you will see. I guess my pride is rather apparent here—ask your dealer to show you the beauty of Forest.
More micro. I’ve observed that putting the patient first is really what it’s all about in the most successful practices. If you put yourself in the mind’s eye of your patient some of your decisions will be based less on what’s most practical for you and more on what will provide your patient with the best overall experience. Every patient is treated as if she is your only patient. In today’s referral-driven practices, the smallest things matter the most. The most interesting and latest magazines in the waiting room. An espresso machine or a small refrigerator. The hygienist and assistant note in the chart a couple small things discussed in the last visit—how’s the new puppy, how was your trip. Can we have someone pick you up since your car is broken down?
You use most of your equipment with every patient. You are used to it and you are going so fast you don’t take time to check out what’s new. Have you tasked your favorite dealer rep to keep you up to speed with evolutionary advancements, be they - delivery system concepts, software systems, handpieces, or patient and staff seating? You may be surprised to find products that are well worth investing in as they can make your job easier and more fun.
Your most intimate piece of equipment is your handpiece—you don’t even think about how it performs because it just is what it is. You are totally used to it. You owe it to yourself to keep up to speed as technology is always changing. Equipment evolves to be more ergonomically correct, allowing you to work from a more balanced position, saving many aches and pains. Imaging systems are vastly improved from just ten years ago. Stools have come a long way. Make sure your dealer rep keeps bringing you the latest products and concepts to try out.
I have to add that DENTALEZ recently introduced the most powerful, high-speed, air-driven handpiece on the market, with torque very close to an electric handpiece, for a third of the cost of electric: the Aeras 500 Elite from Star. Ask your dealer rep to let you try it. You will be glad you did.
Here’s a point of pride I have to bring up. The 7020 Pro has been Forest’s fastest growing product over the last 5 years. It is the best made highest value North American delivery system available today! It is ultra-efficient: 90% of what you and your assistant use can be placed on the delivery system. It was created with four-handed dentistry in mind: the assistant can toggle-off a handpiece to change a bur at the same time you are in the mouth using one. The handpiece can be delivered by the assistant or the doctor can access it without taking the eyes out of the mouth. The control head doesn’t have to be repositioned for patient entry and exit and doesn’t need to be repositioned as you move around the mouth. The patient doesn’t see anything over them, the scary drills are out of sight as the unit is mounted on the 12 o’clock wall, under a counter or cabinet. As with all our delivery systems it can be ordered in one of our 9 beautiful paint colors.
Another unique product just introduced by DENTALEZ is a smart vacuum and compressor, called the Aeras. This new platform offers 24/7 remote monitoring with emergency and maintenance alerts, an automated maintenance scheduling feature and the best warranty in the industry: 6 years--extendable to 8 years when the service is enabled. When your compressor goes down, so do you!
Thank you for letting me go on about some of what I’ve learned over my years working with you and the opportunity to detail a few products and concepts that are worth your attention. My hope is, be they big or small details, that there was something that you can benefit from and have more fun while doing it.
After 23 years working as a sales representative with A-dec, Hank Barton bought then 25-year-old Forest Dental in 2004. From 2004 to 2018, he grew Forest sales dramatically, including the years he’s most proud of, between 2008 and 2012, when sales increased 30% by maintaining Forest’s reputation for plug-and-play reliability, while adding Hank’s designer-friendly concept to the line. In 2018 Hank sold Forest to DENTALEZ, where he remains as a consultant, and is thrilled at being a part of the new DENTALEZ and its innovative products.