If you have dental “insurance”, think of it as your rich uncle giving you up to $1000. each year to spend towards your dental care.
 The truth is, dental benefits are not “insurance”. “Insurance” by its definition limits your liability. That is,no matter how sick you get, your medical insurance, for example, is designed to protect you from financial hardship. Your dental plan, on the other hand, will only pay so much per year, no matter how much care you need. It’s designed to limit the insurance company’s liability. Whether you need $200 or $2000 worth of dental care, the insurance company will only pay up to an agreed-upon annual maximum.


 One way or another, YOU are paying for that benefit. It may be through a monthly premium, or perhaps your employer is paying part or all of it for you.
 If you have dental insurance it’s a great thing to have. Congratulations. Most insurance company maximums are $1000. per year, meaning they will cover the first $1000. of your yearly dental expenses. Dental benefits have barely increased in the last fifty years. The very first dental insurance was offered in the early 1960’s, and it covered $1000 per year. Back then, that would pay for a lot of dentistry!
Doctors have an ethical and legal obligation to diagnose and sharetheir findings with you. We base treatment recommendations on the needs of the patient, not the limitations of the benefits. Naturally, we respect your right to make decisions regarding your oral health, but we want you to be totally informed.

Your rich uncle wouldn’t want it any other way.



Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 –1564) considered himself a sculptor, not a painter.  Two of his best-known works, the Pieta and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, he was persuaded by Pope Julius II, against his will, to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). The maestro Michelangelo created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling, and The Last Judgement on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Michelangelo the sculptor met the challenge presented to him, seized the opportunity, and is now also considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time.
We are living in a very complex and challenging economic time. Most businesses are feeling the crunch. There is a perception of imminent financial doom and a fear of spending money. Yet the reports show that the clever businessman is meeting the challenges and not just surviving, but thriving. How are some people doing that?
What do YOU need to do to meet your challenges?
It may be as simple as taking a training course to expand your services, or understanding your uniqueness and letting your public how you can uniquely help them. This is the time to be social. Do it through the social media and do it in person. Be active with your Chamber of Commerce, with local networking groups, religious and school organizations, and with local businesses. LinkedIn blogs will suggest dozens of ideas for you to select from.

But don’t you agree you have to do some things different?

This is the time to take some action. Keep your eyes open for the opportunities. They are always there. The next opportunity could make you a maestro.

 Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 –1564)



About the time of Henry VIII–when they first got easy access to it–the British were really enjoying their sugar. They put it on everything, from eggs to meat to wine. Even though sugar was expensive, they consumed it until their teeth turned black, and if their teeth didn’t turn black naturally, they blackened them artificially to show how wealthy and marvelously self-indulgent they were.



A Hygienist/Staffing Specialist in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio posed this question on LinkedIn to the American Dental Education Association: “…why are schools graduating so many Dental Hygienists in a field that is very saturated, with little chance of job opportunities for these new Dental Hygiene grads? “

We also interested in hearing the answer. Here in south Florida there is a plethora of well trained, dedicated Hygienists who are working part-time for Staffing Agencies, as clinical assistants, and in other industries because there are not enough opportunities in dental offices. My colleagues in Philadelphia and southern California tell me the situation is similar there.

Do you find this to be the case in YOUR area?

From The Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but will vary by geographical location. Because graduates are permitted to practice only in the State in which they are licensed, hygienists wishing to practice in areas that have an abundance of dental hygiene programs may experience strong competition for jobs.

Projection data from the National Employment Matrix Occupation:
Dental hygienists

174,100 2008
237,000 2018
36% increase


Many dentists still use them, while others would not even consider them. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE?
Here’s a study by Catherine Hughes and published by Jim Du Moran. Read the comment by the American Dental Association.


“I’m thinking of doing it…..”
How many great ideas have you had in your life that were exciting… seemed like “sure things”… that had to be done… that could improve the world….that could improve YOUR world?  You thought about it, talked to a confidant about it, and then, fssst! Gone! Forgotten, or worse, watched someone else do it and get the credit for it. You’re in good company; we are all procrastinators to some degree.  Me, too.
When there’s a good idea, it’s in “the air”. A lot of people will think of it at the same time; but the person that takes action will be called the genius.
 “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
Mark Twain
What have YOU been “thinking” of doing? Find a piece of paper right now and make the list. Were you “thinking” of getting that laser… establishing a formal STM program… writing an Office Manual… going to Italy for two weeks? Make the list and put in target dates for completion.  Then get it done! You’ll feel so good about your self.
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
Napoleon Hill



Are you in control (“at cause”) of your conditions, or believe that you have little or no control (“at effect”).  Do you believe that “the economy” has control over your success? Do the “Insurance Companies” determine your patients’ treatment acceptance?

Do you know people who continually place themselves at effect and feel they are  a victim of circumstances?  The idea that other people are responsible for how they feel and act : “That  patient made me angry.”, or “My  lab is costing me money.”, or “People don’t want to spend money on dentistry today.”  Those who live their lives at effect often see themselves as victims with no choices whatsoever. The irony is that they do have choice and they have chosen not to choose but to be responsive to whatever is given to them.

Putting yourself at cause is about taking responsibility – recognizing that you have the ability to respond rather than just react to whatever life throws at you. You can make things happen; you have the power to change things.   You always look for the opportunity and you move towards achieving your desired OUTCOMES. If things are not unfolding as you would like, you take action and explore other possibilities. Above all, you know you have choice in what you do. This is the time to do something different- stand out from the crowd.

People who think they are at effect use words like “can’t” and  “I tried.” When you say “I can’t,” the computer in your brain steps right up and supplies you with lots of reasons why you can’t, and it also blocks the creative part of your mind from figuring our how you can. Thus, the fact that you can’t comes true, further reinforcing your belief that you really can’t.  Instead of saying “I can’t”,  begin to ask “How can I?” and keep asking until your brain supplies you with the answer you want.  I once heard a “motivational speaker” say, “After you think you tried every possible method, and still haven’t succeeded, try another method.” You could have asked Thomas Edison about that.

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”

“I tried” is another favorite of people who feel they are at effect. The entire presupposition behind “I tried” is failure. No one who succeeds ever says “I tried.” They say “I will do it.” Trying begins with the belief in failure. To try, you must make pictures in your head of failing. My suggestion is to make pictures in your head of accomplishing whatever it is you want to accomplish. When you do this, you give your brain a signal to figure out how to do it. When you “try,” you give your brain a signal to figure out a way to fail.


In the 1st of the Star Wars episodes, Yoda instructed Luke Sky Walker (Harrison Ford), “There is no ‘try’. There is either ‘do’ or ‘do not.”

Why would someone focus on what they don’t want, and see themselves as being at effect of causes over which they have no control?   Fear. Scientology and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming are controversially at odds with each other on this issue but it remains that you can take control of your responses to whatever situation you find yourself in.  And you can consciously control the choices you have in any situation. Choose to be successful.

For further reading:

Psycho Cybernetics,  Maxwell Maltz, MD

Introducing NLP, O’Connor and Seymour

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.




You can kill a good presentation by trying to explain too much. You know what the patient needs and he/she probably knows too.

 Most of your patients will be “Big Picture” processors. They will want to know the BASICS-  how long, how much, and the result. The few “detail oriented” patients will be the accountants, engineers,… and other dentists.  If you give too many details in your presentation, you will open Pandora’s Box for even the “Big Picture” patients to start a litany of questions.  Avoid such statements as, “…then the Hygienist will scale, root plane and irrigate….”, or “… after I prepare your teeth, I’ll take some impressions, and….”                             [ She is “removing disease” and you are “creating a great new smile”.]

 There’s a time and a place for those detail explanations, but it is not during the case presentation.  For now just concentrate on the value and the benefits. KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.

 Make your presentations well planned-out and concise. Picture your desired OUTCOME, then trim away the excess like a Michelangelo:                                

A 15th Century admirer looked in awe at one of Michelangelo’s sculptures and asked the maestro how he could create such a magnificent sculpture from a block of marble.  Michelangelo said, “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved away the excess until I set  him free.”                     

Here’s a humorous example:

The young doctor had just completed his first Treatment Plan Presentation for a big cosmetic makeover. He followed all the rules given by his  coach.  He demonstrated with study models, radiographs and photographs, and clearly detailed to his patient every situation requiring treatment. His presentation was planned, orchestrated and smoothly presented.

He explained an ideal treatment to his patient which the doctor had estimated at $22,500. The young doctor did not yet have a financial coordinator and had to present the investment himself. It was his first case over a few thousand dollars. He went into great detail then froze and could not give the fee.
The patient seemed impressed with the understanding that the doctor showed of his dental condition, and the benefits from the proposed treatment and told him that.  “Doc, I realize that I neglected my dental condition for a long time and that I need a lot of work………..but honestly, I have no insurance and I can’t go over $25,000.”
With that the doctor snapped back, “That’s exactly what it will cost!”


Sending your patients an End of Year Benefit Reminder now will give you time to send any PreTreatment Estimates needed and still have time to seat any crowns before the end of the year.  

With just a few months left in the year, it’s time to remind patients of their unused benefits…to use or lose.   Your patients may have also forgotten about those unused insurance benefits that have been deducted from their salary all year and they will be lost if not used!

Don’t let your patients throw their money down the drain!

 Remember to Tweet and post on Facebook. New prospects looking for a dentist have unused insurance benefits, too,  and you just let them know where they can use them…in your office!

Here is a sample notice:

Subject:  You Could be Losing Benefits You’ve Already Earned.

Another year is winding down!  We wanted to remind you to make sure you take advantage of any unused dental insurance benefits you may have remaining since most companies do not allow you to carry these over to the next year. 

Not sure if you have benefits remaining? No problem!  Call us at (office telephone number) or email (office email address) to schedule your appointment, or if we can be of assistance in any way. We’re here for you!

Look forward to seeing you soon!

(Doctor’s Name)

Sample Tweet or Facebook post – Reminder: Take advantage of any unused Insurance  benefits before the end of the year. They don’t carry over. Call us. (phone) (124 characters) 

Don’t let your patients leave your office satisfied!

Satisfied is not enough. Make them leave you ENTHUSIASTIC, and eager to tell the first person they see about their great experience.
At the end of each dental visit a closure is needed to leave your patient with a WOW! feeling. A five part, one minute DEBRIEFING.
Such a communication, while the patient is still in the treatment room will produce the following benefits:
  • enhance the patient’s dental I.Q.,
  • result in a higher treatment acceptance, 
  • demonstrate to the patient the importance of the next visit,
  • minimize cancellations,
  • increase respect for the professionalism of the Team,
  • create better patient health.
 and some scripting suggestions
[The scripting examples are just some starting points and can certainly be customized to your style and comfort.]
(One example)
 1. WHAT WAS DONE TODAY:    “Today we did a complete exam. We took a lot of  measurements  and recordings.”
 2.  WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TODAY’S VISIT:    “I will sit down and dedicate some uninterrupted time to study these results. Then I’ll develop a course of treatment.
 3.  WHAT WILL BE DONE AT THE NEXT VISIT:   “At that time I’ll present you with a plan of treatment that will be based on your needs and on the desires you told me about.  I need to see you back in a week to ten days and we’ll  review my findings. At that time we’ll also give you costs and alternatives for payment.”
 4.   WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PATIENT TO RETURN:  “This plan is only effective at this time. Conditions in the mouth change rapidly, etc.”  “If we let this situation continue past that time……………can happen.”
5. “WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE TODAY?”  [We need to be certain that the patient is not leaving with any questions.]
Add some words of encouragement and enthusiasm:  “I feel good about what we can do for you. I’m excited about getting started on this. Next visit I’ll show you some great results we had in other cases just like this, and what your results will look like.”
Another example
1. WHAT WAS DONE TODAY:    “Today we shaped three teeth for your cosmetic porcelain bridge. We took impressions and a lot of measurements  and recordings. We placed temporary crowns on those teeth”
 2.  WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TODAY’S VISIT:    “When the anesthetic wears off in a few hours, you may have a little tenderness. Here are some written post-treatment instructions.”
 3.   WHAT WILL BE DONE AT THE NEXT VISIT:   “In your next visit I will try in your finished bridge, and if everything is perfect I will cement it in place.”
4.   WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PATIENT TO RETURN:   “We’ll make you an appointment for 2 weeks from now.” “If the bridge is completed before your next appointment, may we call you to come in sooner?” “Conditions in the mouth change rapidly and we don’t want the teeth to shift, etc.” 
5. “WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE TODAY?”  [We need to be certain that the patient is not leaving with any questions.]
This debriefing can be done at the end of every dental visit. The patient can receive this closure from the dentist, the chairside assistant, and the administrative coordinator, each in his or her own style.  The objective is to have every patient leave the office ENTHUSIASTIC, and eager to tell the first person they see about their great dental office experiences.