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All that's new in the world of dentistry
MAR
20
0

DDU reassured by Court of Appeal ruling that Ombudsman's decisions must be fair and just

DDU reassured by Court of Appeal ruling that Ombudsman's decisions must be fair and just

 

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has criticised the fairness and scope of the former Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s procedure for investigating clinical complaints against healthcare professionals. The GPs in the case were jointly represented by the MDU and another medical defence organisation but the judgment will also have positive implications for dental professionals.

The court considered exactly how the Ombudsman applied her discretion to investigate a complaint. It found an investigation should not begin where a complainant has another legal remedy open to them (other than complaining to the Ombudsman) unless the Ombudsman “is satisfied” that it was not reasonable to expect the complainant to use the alternative legal remedy. The Ombudsman must obtain and analyse information related to the complainant’s particular circumstances and not simply refer to general criteria. 

The court also provided welcome clarity on the standard applied by the Ombudsman to determine whether or not the exercise of clinical judgement was reasonable.

The judge commented:

The standard chosen by the Ombudsman is beguilingly simple but incoherent. It cannot provide clarity or consistency of application to the facts of different cases. There is no yardstick of reasonable or responsible practice, but rather a counsel of perfection that can be arbitrary. It runs the risk of being a lottery dependent on the professional opinion of the advisor that is chosen. It is unreasonable and irrational and accordingly, unlawful.”

John Makin, Head of the DDU said: “This judgment will have positive implications for dental professionals. When their clinical judgement is criticised, the Ombudsman can investigate what happened, reach conclusions and make recommendations if service failure is found. It is essential that the standards used by the Ombudsman to judge the clinical care provided to a patient are appropriate. Dental professionals should not be held to unreasonably high standards. It is also important that the Ombudsman stays within its legal powers and does not investigate exactly the same facts as a court would consider as this could present double jeopardy for dental professionals.  

“Those facing an investigation into their clinical practice should have reassurance that the processes being followed by the Ombudsman are fair and just. This judgment is good for healthcare professionals, and will also benefit patients who can be assured that the investigation was properly and fairly carried out.”

 

The DDU, the specialist dental division of the MDU, is a not-for-profit organisation wholly dedicated to our members’ interests. Our team is led and staffed by dentists with real-life experience of the pressures and challenges faced in practice.

 

We offer our members expert guidance, personal support and robust defence in addressing dento-legal issues, complaints and claims. Our customised services range from legal assistance to indemnity to appropriate CPD.

theddu.com

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1465 Hits
APR
17
0

Ask Auntie

Ask Auntie

  6136 Hits
6136 Hits
JAN
03

Need annuity advice?

Need annuity advice?

When it comes to pensions and annuities, the Government is constantly changing the rules and moving the goalposts. It’s no wonder many dentists are struggling to know which decisions to make in regards to their own retirement.

 

Luckily money4dentists is here to help. As specialist Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) to dentists, the money4dentists team have over half a Century’s experience in the profession and are there to help ensure you make the optimum decisions when it comes to your finances.    

 

From the economic climate to the amount in your pension and from your geographic location to your health and lifestyle; the amount you receive from an annuity depends upon a long list of variables.

 

So if you are considering retiring soon, or want to be sure to plan for a secure, worry-free future, it pays to seek out the advice of an IFA that has experience and understanding of your profession. Turn to the experts at money4dentists and take a step towards a safe financial future.

 

For more information please call 0845 345 5060 or 0754 DENTIST.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.money4dentists.com

  2185 Hits
2185 Hits
DEC
02

12 top tips for the 12 days of Christmas

 

12 top tips for the 12 days of Christmas

According to charity Addaction, 54% of men and 41% of women are expected to drink over the recommended guidelines at Christmas, and so it is important to raise our patients’ awareness of the increased potential for tooth damage at this time of year.

As we dental professionals know all too well, alcohol is acidic and therefore highly erosive, especially when consumed frequently, in large quantities over an extended period of time. It may also be that the high alcohol intake occasionally causes vomiting, which can exacerbate the damage to the dentition.

To help prevent tooth wear, advise patients to:

1. Drink still water or low fat milk between meals

2. Limit fruit juice to once per day

3. Avoid carbonated drinks

4. Swallow any acidic drinks immediately to reduce contact time with the teeth

5. Use a wide-bore straw to drink acidic drinks to limit the contact time with the teeth

6. Dilute and keep any acidic drinks chilled, as this reduces the damaging low pH potential

7. Rinse the mouth after acidic foods and drinks with water for 15-30 seconds to dilute any remaining acids

8. Snack on cheese or drink some milk following consumption of an acidic beverage

9. Wait at least an hour to brush teeth after consuming any acidic drinks

10. Use a toothpaste that is fluoridated to 1400ppm and low in abrasivity

12. Use a fluoridated mouthwash every day at a different time to tooth brushing, as well as before or after acidic drinks to help limit the erosive potential

12. Chew sugar-free gum, especially that containing xylitol, after drink to help neutralise the acidic environment in the mouth.

 

If you are concerned that any of your patients are showing signs tooth wear, simply visit www.toothwear.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7486 7180.

 

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2854 Hits
NOV
02

“I’m singing their praises.”

I’m singing their praises

“I was very happy with the service I received from Dental Elite,” says a Principal from Sussex who has recently sold their practice. “My representative was very supportive and I found it extremely valuable to be able to deal with the same person throughout the whole process.

 

“I thought the valuation process went very well and I was pleasantly surprised at just how flexibly the figures could be analysed.

“I would highly recommend Dental Elite to other professionals – in fact I’m singing their praises to all of my colleagues.”

Dental Elite prides itself on being able to offer dental professionals honest and pragmatic advice when it comes to selling their practice. With a wealth of hands-on experience and a dedication to seeing a job well done, the friendly team at Dental Elite are always ready to help.

To find out just what they can do for you, contact them today.

 

For more information and to find out how Dental Elite can value
and assist your practice sale visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01788 545 900

  7084 Hits
7084 Hits
SEP
23

Assured of Insurance - Jeremy Hedrick, Vice President of Network Development Munroe Sutton

Assured of Insurance

In general, we make provisions for the things we value; many of our most treasured possessions are insured against loss an damage. Our homes, cars, pets, holidays, through to our general health and life itself, are all typically covered by insurance plans. The amount of value we attach to these cherished articles, for various reasons, tends to differ from individual to individual.

For example, however expensive our home sound system, the equivalent equipment to a professional Disc Jockey is likely to be worth considerably more to him or her as it constitutes the tools of their trade. For many, body parts are of great value, but few of us will insure limbs like Cristiano Ronaldo who reportedly insured his legs for $144 million when he was at Manchester United.

When it comes to safeguarding dental health, the risks are high; the repercussions of poor oral health influence not only our self-confidence and relationships but are also linked to general health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, pneumonia, premature birth and rheumatoid arthritis. In this context, it seems strange that only 12% of the UK population invest in dental insurance policies[i]. Because completely free NHS dental care is only available to a few – pregnant women, new mothers, children up to the age of 18 and those in receipt of benefits – insurance policies can be the most affordable option. NHS dental care currently comprises of three different treatment bands, ranging from £18.80 for an examination, x-ray and diagnosis, through to £222.50 for treatments including bridges and crowns. Even practices offering these treatments have to charge the patient significant fees, especially for complicated work. 63% of NHS dental patients choose their practices for cost reasons[ii] so it’s prudent for patients and clinical professionals alike to familiarise themselves with dental insurance options, which can provide good value for money, particularly where several treatments will be required.

For patients with good oral hygiene and health, a six-monthly or yearly check up can be all that is required, at a current cost of under £20 each time. However, the statistics show these patients are relatively rare. The 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey revealed 45% of the adult population with teeth displayed gingival pockets of 4mm or more, indicating that periodontal disease is a widespread issue.[iii] However, few dental practices offer hygienist services under their NHS umbrella – a British Dental Association report in 2013 showed that over half of the dental practices in the UK with more than a 75% commitment to NHS dentistry, didn’t employ hygienists at all[iv]. Dental patients with periodontal conditions are recommended to visit a hygienist at least twice a year, typically costing around £50 each time. Add to that the cost for a standard amalgam filling at £50.50 (a composite, white filling is usually a private treatment), and the necessary dental check ups, it’s clear to see how costs can escalate. For those patients requiring extensive dental procedures, a policy from a reputable insurance company – ranging from £220-276[v] for annual private cover – will pay 75% of the final bill and can end up being much more cost-effective. For dental patients who require extensive dental work but can access all the treatments through their NHS dentist, NHS clinic-only insurance options are even better – with unlimited treatment cover starting at £120 covering 100% of costs incurred[vi]. Depending on the extent of treatment required, dental insurance policies can make sound financial sense, particularly as they can sometimes cover family units, accidents or emergencies overseas, and some offer no upper age limit for new customers.

Munroe Sutton has been organising, designing and managing stand-alone, affordable dental plans for over thirty years. These plans are created by dentists, modelled to benefit both the professional and the patient with the committed provision of fair compensation for dental services and improved accessibility to quality dental care for the individual. It costs a practice absolutely nothing to join the Munroe Sutton database but inclusion reaps unlimited rewards.

Prominent insurance, healthcare and finance institutions direct customers seeking their services to your practice, constituting free marketing and a continual flow of profitable new business. With dental professionals feeling pressure to meet UDA targets and remain competitive with the use of new technology and treatment options, what could be better than a free, successful marketing tool to keep your business moving forward?

 

For more information please call 0808 234 3558

or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk
 


[i] National Smile Month Facts and Figures http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/ (accessed 23/6/2015)

[ii] National Smile Month Facts and Figures http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/ (accessed 23/6/2015)

[iii] 2: Disease and related disorders – a report from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009 http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB01086/adul-dent-heal-surv-summ-them-the2-2 (accessed 23/6/2015)

 

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3342 Hits
SEP
01
0

Delivering Better Oral Health

Delivering better dental health

  10622 Hits
10622 Hits
AUG
06

Make the most of a buoyant market | Christie + Co

Make the most of a buoyant market | Christie + Co

The dental practice sales market is experiencing one of its busiest ever periods, with growing demand for all types and size of practice. Christie + Co can help you make the most of this favourable environment.
 

Having built up a vast wealth of knowledge and experience of the dental sector, Christie + Co is perfectly suited to advise you through all aspects of practice acquisition or sale.

From guidance on preparing your practice prior to valuation, to securing funding for a practice purchase, Christie + Co have all the answers you need and can help you to achieve your long term goals.

If you are looking to buy or sell a dental practice, turn to the experts at Christie + Co. The straightforward and friendly team will carefully guide you through the entire process.

 

To discuss how Christie + Co might help you achieve your future plans please contact Simon Hughes on 020 7227 0749

  2437 Hits
2437 Hits
JUL
21

Make the most of a buoyant market | Christie + Co

Make the most of a buoyant market

The dental practice sales market is experiencing one of its busiest ever periods, with growing demand for all types and size of practice. Christie + Co can help you make the most of this favourable environment.
 

Having built up a vast wealth of knowledge and experience of the dental sector, Christie + Co is perfectly suited to advise you through all aspects of practice acquisition or sale.

From guidance on preparing your practice prior to valuation, to securing funding for a practice purchase, Christie + Co have all the answers you need and can help you to achieve your long term goals.

If you are looking to buy or sell a dental practice, turn to the experts at Christie + Co. The straightforward and friendly team will carefully guide you through the entire process.

 

To discuss how Christie + Co might help you achieve your future plans please contact Simon Hughes on 020 7227 0749

  2367 Hits
2367 Hits
JUL
19

The Taxing Side of Planning Your Retirement - Michael Lansdell

The Taxing Side of Planning Your Retirement - Michael Lansdell

Whatever you have planned for your retirement, there are many elements you need to put in place before you can enjoy your well deserved time off. Ensuring you have in place the most suitable pension scheme for you is just one of the necessary steps. With many options available, it’s crucial to understand the benefits of each, as well as your eligibility.


A welcome change for many pension holders came in the shape of the Pension Reform in April 2015, which increased flexibility and access to funds from the age of 55.

There is no limit on the amount permitted to be taken from pension pots once the policy-holder has reached this milestone age. However, only a quarter of these funds are tax-free so managing the other 75% needs serious consideration. Any amount removed from the pot beyond the first tax-free-quarter, will be added to other incomes and taxed at the relevant tax band rate – which could mean 45% for some professionals.

If the 25% tax-free lump sum is taken from the pot, there are several ways to make the most of the remaining 75%:

  • Purchasing an annuity – providing a guaranteed income for life.
  • Implement flexible retirement income/flexi-access drawdown – the 75% is invested in funds constituting a regular taxable income (as with an annuity). However, this option involves risk as income is relative to the performance of these investments and is therefore not guaranteed.
  • Take small cash sums – treating the pension pot like a savings account. However, there is little protection for yourself or dependants and three quarters of each sum is subject to a tax deduction and possible additional administration charges and limits.
  • Take the whole pot as cash –this option doesn’t offer the pension holder or any dependents a secure income for life, however, and there is also a risk of running out of money too quickly.
  • Mix all of the above options – the best combination can be determined by retirement age, income objectives, health, size of the pension pot and dependants.

It’s important to consider all options carefully – depending on your personal circumstances your priorities may vary from someone else’s. Best thing to do before you decide? Get professional advice on keeping investments high and deductions low.

 

Specialist medical and dental accountants Lansdell & Rose offer business advice alongside regular tax planning and financial accounting. Visit www.lansdellrose.co.uk or call 020 7376 9333.

 

  2925 Hits
2925 Hits
JUL
19

An impossible task made achievable with Money4Dentists.com

An impossible task made achievable with Money4Dentists.com

As small business owners, dentists encounter key business decisions daily, from day-to-day accounting to making difficult legal or financial changes. Just being able to balance all these aspects alongside the day-to-day provision of excellent healthcare can seem like an impossible task, especially for those without a formal business education or background.


Fortunately the 4dentists group is ready and waiting to help. With expects across a range of business specialities, the 4dentists group has all the elements needed to help remove some of the stresses of running a modern dental practice – making an impossible task achievable.

Across all its areas of expertise – legal, financial, accountancy, training, consultancy, insurance and setting up, buying and selling practices – the specialists at the 4dentists group are highly experienced and mindful of dentists' needs.

Don’t let running a dental practice become an impossible task, turn to the experts at the 4dentists group for professional, reliable guidance and advice.

 

For more information please call 0845 345 5060 or 0754 DENTIST. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.4dentistsgroup.com

 

  2804 Hits
2804 Hits
JUL
16

Dental Elite: providing “excellent and personalised sales care”

Dental Elite: providing excellent and personalised sales care

When Chris Hobley decided to sell his dental practice in Northamptonshire, he was lucky enough to have the practice valuers and finance experts at Dental Elite close by.


“I was selling because of personal health issues,” explains Chris. “Dental Elite were conveniently located for me, so I chose to work with them. Throughout the process our consultant, Alison, provided excellent and personalised sales care.

“She actually valued the practice at almost double the yield of some competitors – and we achieved Alison’s valuation!

“I think one of the biggest challenges I faced was the level of administration that was necessary for the CQC Application and the NHS paperwork but, overall, the sale took about 10 months to complete.

“My advice to professionals in the same situation would be to sell to a buyer that you like and who would be most suitable for your patients.

“I would also recommend Dental Elite; their attention throughout the sale and follow up was excellent.”

 

For more information and to find out how Dental Elite can value
and assist your practice sale visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01788 545 900

  8165 Hits
8165 Hits
JUL
13

Keep decay at bay with the Clinpro Sealant from 3M ESPE

Keep-decay-at-bay.jpg

Fissure sealants are a great way of reducing dental decay,[i] especially in high-risk children.[ii]

Clinpro Sealant from 3M ESPE is the first fissure sealant to feature colour changing technology,[iii] designed to make your life easy when it comes to application. Using the direct delivery syringe for simple application, Clinpro sealant is pink until exposed to light when its turns opaque white.

Clinpro sealant also contains and releases fluoride and is proven to deliver the long-lasting protection against caries[iv] that applying fissure sealants have been shown to deliver.[v]

Keep decay at bay with Clinpro sealant from 3M ESPE.

 

For more information, call 0845 602 5094 or visit www.3Mespe.co.uk

3M, ESPE and Clinpro are trademarks of the 3M Company.



[i] American Dental Association, 2005 (Fluoridation Facts)

[ii] Weintraub, J (2001). Pit and Fissure Sealants in High Caries Risk Individuals. Journal of Dental Education. 65(10). p.84-90

[iii] 3M ESPE Internal Data. First sealant with smart colour-change technology. Claim number 1297, 2001

[iv] 3M ESPE Internal Data. Caries Protection. Claim Number 4792, 2011

[v] Going RE, Loesche WJ Grainger Da, Sted SA (1979) The viability of micro organisms in carious lesions five years after covering with a fissure sealant. JADA (97) p.455-462.

 

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3803 Hits
JUN
17

Do you need help to recruit perfect people? | Dental Elite

Do you need help to recruit perfect people? | Dental Elite

Dental Elite are experienced dental recruiters who work solely with the dental profession to help practices find the most suitable individuals to engage in locum or permanent positions.

 

With the aim of providing an efficient and effective service to all clients, Dental Elite hopes to become a natural ‘first port of call’ for all your recruitment needs.

 

Dental Elite offers professional advice on contracts of employment or contracts for services (for self employed staff) and can help with any aspect of recruitment.

 

For advice and guidance on helping your practice grow from strength to strength, contact the experienced team of consultants at Dental Elite today.

 

For more information and to find out how Dental Elite can help to recruit the most suitable members of your dental team visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call 01788 545 900

  2560 Hits
2560 Hits
JUN
15

Delegates discover the benefits of PerioChip® at EuroPerio 8

Delegates discover the benefits of PerioChip® at EuroPerio 8

Delegates at EuroPerio 8 could see first hand that PerioChip® is passionate about supporting, educating and communicating with the dental community to highlight the importance of keeping gums healthy, and treating periodontitis effectively without the risk associated with using antibiotics.
 

By using PerioChip® you can ensure that harmful bacteria in and around the gingiva are eliminated for up to 10 daysi and, for on-going therapy, PerioChip® suppresses the growth of bacterial flora in the treated site for up to 11 weeks, giving the all-important time needed for gum reattachment and stabilisation of the periodontiumii.
 

EuroPerio 8 was a fantastic venue for PerioChip® to raise awareness amongst the dental community about gum disease the links to systemic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The speakers taking to the stage at the show to share their knowledge included: Professor Eli Machtei, Professor Arie J Van Winkelhoff and Dr Rajan Nansi, and attendees were wowed by their passion and expertise for the subject.
 

If you missed out on attending EuroPerio 8 and want to learn more about PerioChip® email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0800 013 2333 today!
 

i Jeffcoat M K et al. Adjunctive use of a subgingival controlled-release chlorhexidine chip. J Periodontal 1998; 69 (9): 989 – 997. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9776027 [Accessed 26th May 2015]

ii Summary of Characteristics PerioChip® http://www.old.health.gov.il/units/pharmacy/trufot/alonim/PerioChip_dr_1337488974840.pdf [Accessed 26 May 2015]

 

  4685 Hits
4685 Hits
JUN
15

Book them in - Carestream Dental

Book them in - Carestream Dental

Converting treatment plans into booked appointments is an area where many dental professionals struggle, but this needn't be the case anymore.
 

Some practice management systems have built-in functionality that can help you and your staff see the plans that need following up. The CS 

b2ap3_thumbnail_R4-Carestream.jpg

R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental can help you do all of this and more with its built-in features that use real time data to benefit your practice in numerous ways.
 

This will allow you and your team to get a list of the patients without appointments enabling you to contact them and discuss further questions they may have and try to book them in.
 

For more information speak to the friendly team at Carestream Dental today.
 

 

For more information on CS Solutions or any other products or services available from Carestream Dental,

please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

 

  2557 Hits
2557 Hits
JUN
15

Dentures: Quality and Care - Sparkle Dental Labs

Dentures: Quality and Care - Sparkle Dental Labs

Nearly 15 million people in Britain wear removable dentures[i], and with an increasingly aging population, the number of people requiring prostheses is likely to rise. But how much care do your patients take keeping their dentures clean? Do they require more information about how to look after them and why it’s so important for them to do so?

A recent study found that the vast majority of patients assessed (84%) had very poor levels of denture hygiene[ii]. This was attributed to the lack of hygiene instructions given by dental professionals, as after clinician led patient education, denture cleanliness index (DCI) scores increased significantly2.

Currently there is no clearly defined or regularly used standard or scoring system for determining denture hygiene in the UK. Therefore, the researchers devised the DCI scoring system prior to the audit, which ranges from 0-4. Additional studies are required to refine, test and evaluate the classification, however it could help dental professionals in the future to determine denture hygiene status of patients and highlight any areas of concern2.

Compared to dental care, denture hygiene has received little attention, yet neglecting to look after prostheses can significantly increase an individual’s risk of developing oral infections and systemic diseases[iii],[iv].

Dentures offer a reservoir for microorganisms to thrive and it is well documented that patients wearing partial sets are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and dental decay of the teeth directly adjacent to the dentures[v].

Several studies have shown that plaque biofilm accumulates on the internal surface of dentures and certain pathogens may even preferentially colonise on prostheses over oral soft tissues3,[vi]. Acting as a reservoir for bacteria and fungal microorganisms, these pathogens are involved not only in the appearance of local infections like denture stomatitis, but also systemic diseases such as endocarditis, pneumonia and respiratory track infections3.

Problems can also arise if there are any surface defects or other flaws in the denture which are either inherent and due to the fabrication process or acquired due to general use. These can cause imperfections and roughness, which increases the surface area on which bacteria can adhere and potentially colonise[vii].

Furthermore, if the finish is rough it can make cleaning the prosthesis and mechanical removal of the microorganisms difficult, as well as causing discoloration of the denture base materials. The irregularities on the surface can provide niches in which microorganisms are protected from oral hygiene measures, thus allowing the entrapped microbial cells to attach irreversibly to the prosthesis7.

Working with a laboratory, such as Sparkle Dental Labs, that complies with all of the current standards and regulations, uses the very best materials and creates dentures that fit perfectly is essential. The renowned company are able to offer complete traceability on every item and all dentures are fitted to duplicate models to ensure ultimate precision and patient comfort.

In the future the DCI scoring system could be used to help practitioners to identify patients suffering from poor denture hygiene. However, in the mean time dental professionals are encouraged to continue to fit quality dentures and offer patients oral healthcare advice.

 

For more details about Sparkle Dental Labs, please call 0800 138 6255, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit:

www.sparkledentallabs.com



[i] Health & Social Care Information Centre. Adult Dental Health Survey. Published 24th March 2011. Available online: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3894/Adult-Dental-Health-Survey [Accessed 23rd December 2014].

[ii] Mylonas, P., et al. (2014). A clinical audit of denture cleanliness in general dental practice undertaken in the west midlands. British Dental Journal, 217.

[iii] de Andrade, I. M., et al. (2014). Trial of an experimental caster oil solution for cleaning dentures. Brazilian Dental Journal, 25 (1).

[iv] Milward, P., et al. (2013). Knowledge of removable partial denture wearers on denture hygiene. British Dental Journal, 215 (10).

[v] Coulthwaite, L., & Verran, J. (2007). Potential pathogenic aspects of denture plaque. British Journal of Biomedical Science, 64 (4), 180-189.

[vi] Salerno, C., et al. (2011). Candida-associated denture stomatitis. Oral Medicine and Pathology, 16 (2), 139-143.

[vii] Govindswamy., et al. (2014). The influence of surface roughness on the retention of candida albicans to denture base acrylic resins – an in vitro study. Journal of Nepal Dentists Association, 14 (1), 1-9.

 

  2649 Hits
2649 Hits
JUN
15

Convert your treatment plans - Carestream Dental

 Convert your treatment plans - Carestream Dental

Many dental professionals find themselves in the position of having created a great treatment plan for a patient, incorporating everything they need and want, only to find that uptake of the plan never quite happens. The problem doesn't lie in the concept itself; it's more about letting that patient leave the practice without booking their appointment for the treatment.

So why is this happening? Many dentists feel uncomfortable with the notion of 'selling', not wanting to appear pushy or overbearing when it comes to getting patients to make a commitment to treatment. In this respect, it's all about changing the way you think about these scenarios. It is not unethical to want your patients to accept the dental work that they need, in fact it is quite the opposite.

Get some help

You've probably heard the term 'treatment coordinator' being used an awful lot in recent times. This is a fairly new role that has been created for dental practices to employ someone who will help the dentist convert treatment plans into paying patients. If you don't feel comfortable discussing finances and costs with patients, you may be able to use the role of the treatment coordinator within your practice. This doesn't necessarily require hiring a new member of staff, rather it could provide an excellent incentive to promote an existing team member and expand their role. If you have someone who is exceptionally good at talking to patients in a calm and friendly manner, you can provide the clinical information about the proposed treatment while they work alongside you to answer patient queries, discuss fees, explain the extra benefits like quality of life, and help convert the treatment plan into a booked appointment.

 

This can leave you to do the dentistry that you enjoy and are confident with, while providing the chance for another team member to find variety within their role through promotion. This can aid team motivation, especially when they see treatments plan conversion rates increasing and more patients booking in for the dentistry you all really want to provide.

Follow it up

In many cases, the patient will want to go home with their treatment plan and discuss it with a spouse or other family member and/or friends. In this respect, you need to ensure that the information you have provided is full and clear, perhaps with advice for extra research from good online sources if they feel it is required. Your lines of communication need to be very open to ensure patients feel comfortable contacting you and can do so in a simple manner. This will help to build up a trusting relationship with the patients before the treatment begins, as they know they will then be looked after during and after their appointments.

If a patient leaves the practice without booking their treatment, follow-ups are key. It is important not to see this as 'hassling', and more of a friendly prompt instead. Again, communication and tone is vital here, you don't want the patient to feel pestered, you want them to feel cared for. This could be a great job for a friendly member of the team to take on board, spending one morning each week contacting patients who haven't taken up their treatment plans, just to touch base and see if they have any questions that need answering to help them to make a decision. Being helpful at all stages can really boost the relationship they have with the practice and sometimes it's just a little extra reassurance that is needed.

Helping hand

All of this is great as long as you and your team are aware of what treatment plans are still outstanding. In a dental environment it can be difficult to keep on top of open treatment plans when you have patients arriving, phone calls to attend to, and everything else that comes with the day-to-day running of the practice. If the task has been delegated to another team member it is especially important that they have easy access to the most up-to-date information about each patient and their current situation in terms of treatment.

In this respect, some practice management systems have built-in functionality that can help you and your staff see the plans that need following up. The CS R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental can help you do all of this and more with its built-in features that use real time data to benefit your practice in numerous ways. This will allow you and your team to get a list of the patients without appointments enabling you to contact them and discuss further questions they may have and try to book them in.

Turning treatment plans into booked appointments is not a concept that all dental professionals find easy or natural but employing these tools and techniques can help boost your conversion rates and, importantly, your profits.

 

For more information on CS Solutions or any other products or services available from Carestream Dental,

please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

 

  2668 Hits
2668 Hits
JUN
13
0

Changing attitudes to dentistry and our approach

Changing attitudes to dentistry and our approach

The pubic perception of dentistry is not a flattering one. Recent new stories in the national press only serve to highlight this. The problem is that we don’t tell people what we do.

We don’t inform and educate the public around the benefits to their general health of taking care of their oral health. All too often they think that all we do is fix holes and extract teeth and apply expensive crowns; but of course we do much more and we should be shouting about it.

A perfect example of this is in the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. There are clear, established links that reveal how the treatment of one can positively affect the other, but when was the last time you took the time to share this with a diabetic patient?

Recently, I met Dr Leticia Casanova, a Spanish Dentist who trained as a periodontist at New York University and has a PhD in Medicine, studying the connection between diabetes and periodontal disease, so she has a particularly relevant perspective. Dr Casanova recently published an article in the BDJ entitled, Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Relationship.[i] The article says that if you can control people’s periodontal disease, you can actually see a genuine reduction in their diabetic condition.   

A measure of how well a diabetic is coping is in their glycated haemoglobin levels and this is recorded as a percentage. Every drop of 1% reduces the risk of heart disease and damage considerably. The article explains that being diabetic leads to an increased risk of developing periodontitis and that having periodontitis can also affect the body’s glycaemic index (in people with or without diabetes). So if you control somebody’s periodontitis, through delivering first class periodontal treatment, and then measure their glycated haemoglobin, it is possible to see a drop of up to a half per cent and this will really make a difference to their life.

The article from Dr Casanova effectively shows the interrelationship between the two problems and explains how we can deliver dental treatment that positively affects systemic disease. This leads back to my initial point, that we don't highlight the positives that we do for our patients enough. If general dentists were seen to take a more active lead in the medical conditions of their patients, maybe this would raise the profession in the eyes of the public?

The prevalence of diabetes is phenomenal, and periodontitis is three times more likely to affect those who suffer, and a lot of diabetics become edentulous, effecting how they eat – and this is not to mention the already well established links between gum disease and heart disease. So, if through making changes in our approach we are able get a patient’s diabetes better under control, we would be performing a far greater public service.

We should therefore take every opportunity to play a bigger role in our patients’ general well being. Not just in performing oral cancer scans, which are vital and we should all already be doing, but maybe through routinely measuring blood pressure, iron and sugar levels too, so that people will begin to see us not just as people who fix holes, but as doctors that can help with a medical condition.

 

For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

Or visit www.endocare.co.uk



[i] L. Casanova, F.J. Hughes and P.M Preshaw, Diabetes and Periodontal disease: a two-way relationship, British Dental Journal, 217, 433-437, available at: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v217/n8/full/sj.bdj.2014.907.html [accessed 14.4.14]

 

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2777 Hits
JUN
10

Grow your Practice Cost and Hassle-Free - Valerie Bostrom

Valerie Bostrom from Munroe Sutton

Many modern companies in all industries offer an array of employee benefits. There are various different schemes available, from those that provide tax incentives for employees cycling to work, to others supporting child care costs. The nature of the benefits provided will depend on each team and their individual needs.

Aside from the obvious compensations to employees, these benefit schemes also offer advantages to the employer and business. Happier staff tends to increase their engagement and maximise productivity, ultimately having a positive effect on profitability.

Healthcare benefits will also help improve the health and wellbeing of staff for reduced sickness absences. These are probably one of the most cherished schemes offered, as they entitle employees to private health and dental care, with a considerable proportion of the cost covered.

But how is this relevant to you as a dental care provider?

Most dental practices are run as a business, and an increase in new patients, higher frequency footfall and busier chair occupancy is the ultimate goal from a ‘bottom-line’ perspective. By being part of these healthcare plans and working with those who offer them, patients who use the cover will come to you for their treatment. There are businesses out there that manage healthcare plans in this way, liaising with insurance companies and dental providers to provide the highest quality of dental care for those who take out cover.

Munroe Sutton has more than 3 decades of experience in designing, organising and managing dental plans that improve the affordability and accessibility of quality dental treatment. Their dental plan was created by dentists, for dentists, so is committed to providing fair compensation and supporting the patient relationship. By working with leading financial, insurance and healthcare companies, as well as the smaller local unions and trade associations, Monroe Sutton is able to promote your practice to a huge number of new patients, all at no cost to you.

Further still, Monroe Sutton believes in prompt payment for the services provided to healthcare plan patients, ensuring a reliable cash flow.

Attracting new patients is an integral aspect of your business’ success, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to you. By getting involved with the healthcare and dental plans offered to businesses and individuals, you can not only help more people enhance their oral and general health, but also build your patient base and grow your business.

 

For more information please call 0808 234 3558

or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk

  3148 Hits
3148 Hits
JUN
01
0

Do your patients know that alcohol and oral health don’t mix?

London Tooth Wear Centre - Dental Health and Alcohol

With barbecues getting stoked up for summer, it may be a good time to help raise awareness among patients that their alcoholic drink of choice accompanying their chargrilled chicken may contribute to tooth wear.

Patients need to know that alcohol is acidic and therefore highly erosive, especially when consumed frequently, in large quantities over an extended period of time. It may also be that the high alcohol intake occasionally causes vomiting, which will exacerbate the damage to the dentition.

It’s also worth sharing with them that carbonated drinks, including sugar-free varieties, will have a similar effect on their dentition.

As well as coronal height being reduced, patients may also suffer with hypersensitivity due to the wear. In such cases, using a fluoridated mouthrinse every day at a different time to toothbrushing is an effective first line of defence. A desensitising toothpaste and/or prescription fluoride toothpaste can be helpful in alleviating sensitivity, while use of a calcium phosphate paste, applied in carriers, is an additional option if the symptoms are severe. Also, placing protective covering restorations can eliminate sensitivity and minimise further wear.

Further advice includes:

• Guiding the patient in brushing effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste low in abrasivity

• Not swishing drinks around the mouth and waiting an hour after consuming an acidic drink before brushing to avoid damaging the softened enamel

• Rinsing the mouth with fluoride mouthwash or water before or after acidic drink consumption to help limit their erosive potential

• Chewing sugar-free, xylitol- or sorbitol-sweetened gum to help neutralise acid in the mouth.

 

The London Tooth Wear Centre® offers an evidence-based and comprehensive approach to managing tooth wear. To request advice, make a referral or for further information on the work of the London Tooth Wear Centre®, please visit www.toothwear.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7486 7180.

 

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3243 Hits
JUN
01

Making your Dream a Reality - Stuart Clark

Stuart Clark - Clark Dental

If it has become apparent to you that you need a new surgery, the refurbishment of an old one or even a whole new practice, you might be unsure about how to even begin working on this mammoth task.

The breadth of elements to consider can be intimidating from the start. There are requirements to ensure you adhere to stringent clinical welfare needs, such as with cross infection control to keep your patients and staff safe, and if you are considering building a new dental practice then there are various planning and building regulations to follow too. Many dental practices are located in beautiful historic houses, so the listed building status may also be relevant.

Making it happen

Experts in this field can work with you to understand what your practice’s vision is and then help you to plan and manage every aspect of the project. They can also advise on how to create branding that will attract new patients to your practice if you need to increase your footfall and numbers in your database.

When it comes to your team, it is remarkable, how when people work in a new and immaculate environment it motivates them to work even harder. It is not only the aesthetics that can be motivating but also the facilities available to them. The staff room is an important consideration and should be carefully thought through to optimise this opportunity.

Further still, there is the health and safety of your workforce. A development project is the ideal opportunity to maximise the latest technology and design concepts to ensure your team work in an ergonomically friendly environment – meaning healthy, motivated employees that are not plagued by musculoskeletal problems, such as repetitive strain injury.

Patient Satisfaction

One of the most challenging tasks as part of the development is managing existing patients. The new surgery and practice should ensure accessibility for all patients and create a comfortable, peaceful environment, especially for those that are more anxious of a visit to the dentist. The décor and design can assist with this, such as colours used and the layout of the surgeries and waiting room. Again, experts with decades of experience can recommend the best route to take. You also need to ensure that there is minimum patient disruption during the build or refurbishment. Good communications and awareness of progress helps keep them informed and their minds at ease.

Step-by-Step

By working with experts at Clark Dental you can be assured that after 40 years of experience they will be with you every step of the way. From initial discussions to ascertain what your vision is, to managing contractors and ensuring adherence to regulations. Clark Dental offers unique design concepts personalised to your specific requirements.

 

For more information call Clark Dental on 01268 733 146, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.clarkdental.co.uk

  2829 Hits
2829 Hits
MAY
31

Facial Aesthetics – Education, Confidence and Marketing | Dr Nadine Skipp

Facial Aesthetics – Education, Confidence and Marketing

Principal and Founder of AURA Centre of Dental Excellence and Facial Aesthetics in Kingston upon Thames, Dr Nadine Skipp asks, ‘Where to begin?’ when taking up the provision of facial aesthetics.

It’s exciting times for dentistry. We have all seen the growing interest and popularity in non-surgical cosmetic anti-ageing treatments in recent years. But how do we make the most of this in our dental practices?

There is no doubt that the provision of facial aesthetics is perfect for dental practitioners looking to expand their practice and develop their businesses. It stands to reason that dentists are particularly suited to offering this, especially when you consider the years of training and experience in facial anatomy and familiarity with various injection techniques.

Of course, many dentists recognise the enhanced opportunities available through expanding into this growing lucrative market, but do not know how to bring this into their practice. It all begins with training and building up confidence. The first thing would be to explore the entire range of treatments available, considering all the areas and fields that initially appeal to you. From Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Fillers to Dermaroller (microneedling) and Chemical Peels, there are a wealth of options available and the more disciplines you can learn, the more likely you will be able to accommodate all your patients’ potential needs and requirements.

In any dental clinic, unless you’re performing a specific procedure all the time, it will take a while to build up your competence. Following my own initial training, a dental colleague told me that a great way to gain practical experience, increase my confidence and build upon the foundations of my education was to work for a larger provider of facial cosmetic treatments. So that’s exactly what I did. I worked part-time as a sessional non-surgical practitioner at a leading facial aesthetic clinic. It was perfect for building up my skill levels and completing a diversity of facial aesthetic treatments throughout each day.

Of course, it’s not always possible or practical to move into such an environment, especially if you already work in a demanding dental practice, but it is crucial to get as much experience early on as possible. This really helps to cement what you have learnt and build up your confidence.

Regardless of where you apply your newfound talents, the ideal starting point is to undergo the procedures yourself. After all, you can’t expect to be able to adequately explain, understand or empathise with your patients, unless you have experienced the procedures first hand. In fact, I still have my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures prior to embarking on my very first treatments, and I regularly use these for educating patients and marketing. This has a real wow factor for my patients and builds valuable confidence in my skills.

Also essential is to ensure that every member of staff is well educated in the treatments being offered. To help with this, it is worth encouraging staff members to undergo various treatments, where appropriate, and to use the products themselves. Your practice team can be the ultimate advert for your services and this will help to increase their knowledge and familiarity with the processes. It will also allow them to provide reliable, honest advice and assurance to patients, while also promoting the excellent results on offer.

Encouraging interest in your facial aesthetics offering is all down to your marketing and the way you spread the word about the fantastic treatments you provide. Using e-shots and leaflets that detail the procedures and outcomes patients could expect, as well as offering promotions on certain treatments will help to do this. As will talking about it during routine dental appointments. It is important not to be afraid to mention these or to hesitate when suggesting a facial aesthetic treatment to your patients. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Have you ever thought about having this done?”

Ultimately, the best way to advertise is by ensuring the provision of high quality services. Patients that are happy at your clinic will always promote you to other people, so it’s crucial to show each patient consistently high standards of care and support to encourage this right from the start. As important as any marketing technique is, a lot of the early interest comes from word of mouth. So, by nurturing existing patient relationships and with the support from your whole practice team, you can be sure to get your facial aesthetics practice off to a great start. 

 

To find out more visit www.auradental.co.uk, call 020 8549 5710, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  4259 Hits
4259 Hits
MAY
31

Car ownership - tax tips for dental professionals | Michael Lansdell

Michael Lansdell shares tax tips for dentistry

There are many costs when owning a vehicle such as fuel, repairs and maintenance, insurance, car tax, roadside assistance, depreciation, parking and lease payments. This leaves many dentists questioning the best possible way to purchase a car in order to minimise their tax bill. Lansdell & Rose have outlined and outlined factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle to maximise your tax relief.

The methods of tax treatment differentiate between different types of businesses and there are clear distinctions between how the tax of a vehicle works when trading as a sole trader or partnership, as opposed to a limited company. For most newly qualified doctors and dentists who are sole traders or in partnerships, the purchase of a vehicle can be represented as an asset to the business. Purchasing the vehicle through the business account would mean the company would gain full tax relief for all business use of the vehicle. An adjustment can then be made in the tax return to represent any proportion of private use.

For limited companies, a different approach applies and there are two main options. The first is that the company owns the vehicle and claims full tax relief, excluding fuel, as claiming tax relief on fuel may have further implications. The employee/director pays tax for their personal use for the vehicle. The second option sees the director purchasing the vehicle and claiming mileage at 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter. The company consequently claims tax relief and the director incurs the cost of the vehicle through the mileage claim. It is important to note that traveling to and from work is considered private and not business use of the vehicle.

Deciding the most tax beneficial ownership of a vehicle is largely dependent on the type of vehicle and most notably its fuel emissions. If the vehicle’s fuel emissions are less than 95g/kg then it might be more tax efficient for the company to own the car. However, if the emissions are higher than 95g/kg you could receive better tax relief if you own the vehicle personally.

 

Lansdell & Rose are specialist medical and dental accountants and tax advisers who answer questions like these for dentists and medical consultants every day. If you have a question please contact us to ensure you maximise your tax relief before making key decisions for you and your business.

T: 020 7376 9333

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5477 Hits
5477 Hits
MAY
28

Work/life balance - Tips to gain an equilibrium | Carestream Dental

Work Life Balance tips by Carestream Dental

If you are combining your role as a clinician and practice owner you will be well aware of the responsibilities you shoulder. Carrying the business risk of the surgery as well as the obligation of managing the premises, staff and equipment involves many hours of hard work, but it is imperative to keep the demands of the job under control.

Often it is necessary to work extra hours to manage the heavy workload or even just to keep the head above water. There are also outside commitments and responsibilities to manage, but it can be exhausting and even counterproductive to try to juggle too many obligations at once. It can be easy to lose perspective on what is important in our lives and feel dissatisfied; therefore, it is vital to maintain a good work-life balance to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

Top tips to gain a balance

  • Take a look at your working hours; try to find a balance that suits your home life with planned holidays and regular days off to relax and enjoy a social life.
  • Participate in an outdoor activity everyday; enjoy the fresh air.
  • Look after your body: eat a regular balanced diet and incorporate some exercise with particular emphasis on stretches or massages to take care of your back.
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve; schedule your appointments generously to prevent stress and unwelcome time pressures.
  • Listen to your colleagues; utilise their wisdom and experience. Even the most practiced clinician can learn from others and it is interesting to explore how another practitioner would approach a scenario.
  • Set aside specific time periods to complete management or administration tasks rather than trying to just grab time between clinical commitments.
  • Take full advantage of systems that make life easier; make the most of helpful technology.

Technology

The correct technology can help enormously to manage time and minimise daily stress. For example, scheduling management functions, calendar alerts and reminder applications can help you to remain organised and in control. An internal email or messaging service can also help to keep the practice running smoothly and avoid lengthy meetings that reduce productivity.

Technology that streamlines the workflow is an asset to you and the entire dental team. A reliable practice management system helps the business to run efficiently by quickly and seamlessly delivering up-to-date relevant information for both administration and clinical staff. Carestream Dental offers cutting-edge CS R4+ practice management software that is easy to use, and enables accuracy and efficiency for diagnostics and treatment planning to simplify your working day.

CS R4+ also evaluates your practice performance expediently by providing live data through the innovative Springboard feature, which allows you to monitor the core areas of your business in ‘real time’. This gives you clear, uncomplicated results at any period during the month and, more importantly, at a time that is most convenient for you.

Keeping it real

Efficient planning and organisation can really help to free up time and enable you to participate in the activities you love the most, but make sure you implement a sustainable strategy. After all, there is little point in creating a plan that is unrealistic or increases pressure. As all dental providers know, looking after your patients is imperative but it is also essential to look after your own wellbeing too.

 

For more information on from Carestream Dental,

please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

 

  3067 Hits
3067 Hits
MAY
04

Time for some good news… Michael Sultan

Michael Sultan - Endocare

It is well documented and often discussed that the professional climate we work in at the moment is an unhappy one, and there is a lot of uncertainty and disharmony with the regulators and governing bodies.

Indeed a recent news report that suggested doctors and dentists should ‘snoop’ on colleagues to ensure they are not prescribing too many antibiotics made me question the amount of negative press the healthcare professions receive.[i] We have all heard about the dangers and concerns around the over-prescription of antibiotics and the inevitable antibiotic resistance crisis, and certainly action is required to counteract the rise in the unnecessary prescription of these medicines.

However, this report appeared to be yet another negative piece designed to make doctors and dentists worry about every move they make. Rather than galvanising the profession into action, the effect that this will have will be to encourage the opposite. Doctors and dentists soon won’t feel able to do anything at all because they’ll all be too frightened to do something wrong.

It’s interesting to note that there is so much negative press in the news towards doctors and dentists, and yet at the same time, a recent report from the NHS, a Summary of the Dental Results from the GP Patient Survey: July to September 2014, showed that the majority of NHS dental patients rate their care as positive.[ii] Indeed we hear more about the failures and mistakes and horror stories form the profession than the good news stories – of which I am sure there are many. To a certain extent this is to be expected, it’s how the national media works, but who is there standing up for us? Shouting about the amazing things UK doctors and dentist do on a daily basis? Yes there can be issues in dentistry around pricing and communication, as highlighted by the Which? report, but anything positive seems to get swept under the carpet.

Of course the GDC’s job is to regulate us, not to promote the profession. So who is out there actively advocating the good things about dentistry? Who is supporting better oral health and the excellent, tireless, often thankless work doctors and dentists do?

The national media is all too quick to vilify and denigrate the healthcare professions, when what we really need is a series of good new stories. Perhaps we should all stop and consider something amazing a colleague has accomplished lately; or an instance where someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Share this story with your peers and friends and maybe we can all start to spread a little good news.

For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

Or visit www.endocare.co.uk

Dr Michael Sultan BDS MSc DFO FICD is a Specialist in Endodontics and the Clinical Director of EndoCare. Michael qualified at Bristol University in 1986. He worked as a general dental practitioner for 5 years before commencing specialist studies at Guy’s hospital, London. He completed his MSc in Endodontics in 1993 and worked as an in-house Endodontist in various practices before setting up in Harley St, London in 2000. He was admitted onto the specialist register in Endodontics in 1999 and has lectured extensively to postgraduate dental groups as well as lecturing on Endodontic courses at Eastman CPD, University of London. He has been involved with numerous dental groups and has been chairman of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity. In 2008 he became clinical director of EndoCare, a group of specialist practices.

 

 

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5594 Hits
MAY
11
0

Hygienists

Hygienists

  5455 Hits
5455 Hits
APR
04
0

Do you have a daily habit?

We all have habits. We all do things in our own way, at the time we like and at a time that is convenient for ourselves.

Social Media has become a habit in many of our lives; we look at Facebook or Twitter in the morning or the same online news page. There is one major reason behind visiting these sites; you are looking to see what is new. You visit the same pages or social media sites because it has become a habit.

This habit formation I am talking about is extremely prevalent in online communities. Reading GDPUK is a habit to thousands of dentists every day, our members want to see what is new, how discussions have evolved or discuss a piece of dental news that has caught their eye.

Members of a community want to know what people like themselves are doing, thinking, using and reading. The site is constantly evolving and changing on an hourly basis because of the four actions listed above and that is what keeps people coming back.  It is human nature to be attracted to the latest news and find out what your peers thinks about it. We can all think of examples of this, a story on Facebook, the latest football transfer gossip on the BBC sport website or a heated discussion on the GDPUK forum.

This is the amazing advantage of online communities and their constantly evolving nature. The GDPUK forum is an invaluable tool for dentists because as well as reading & learning like in traditional publications, users can also participate and share ideas. The site then becomes addictive and then of course a habit!

What are your habits? Has GDPUK become a daily habit for you? Do you have a daily social media habit?

  4030 Hits
4030 Hits
MAR
31
0

The Consequences Of Not Marketing Your Practice

What Can Happen When You Do No Marketing

The perils of not marketing

Neil Sanderson

Oh the perils of not marketing yourself. I had my first customer default on me this week, apparently he is ceasing to trade from next month. I took on this customer in good faith just before Christmas.

The customer called me early January to say that he was in financial trouble and that his creditors were letting him continue to trade, (I know its strange that he would take my services in December and then tell me he is struggling to pay creditors in January.)

Strangely I had gone to see this dentist nearly two years earlier and he had decided not to proceed with any marketing at that time as he was doing lots of other things to his practice and taking on new staff etc. etc.

I could see at that time, that this practice was in trouble and needed help. The first thing that struck me as odd was the fact that he had a practice management system that had 18,000+ patients on it of which only 3,000 were active.

Now it could be that this guy might be a rubbish dentist and just loses patients, I have no idea of that and can’t comment, but whilst I was there, patients were coming into the waiting room and he was speaking with them as friends so I have to assume that he got on well with his patients.

The second thing that made alarm bells go off was the fact that he’d done little or no marketing whatsoever over the past five years, not to existing or new patients.

Whenever I write these columns I stress the importance of saying that as part of your marketing you have to communicate regularly with your existing patients to make them feel loved, just as much as you spend time trying to get new ones. It’s absolutely imperative.

Time and again I see potential customers and they tell me that they can’t afford marketing, whilst at the same time telling me that they don’t have enough patients and the patients they have aren’t spending enough with them.

I hear this statement over and over again, don’t you think that there is a certain irony, “I don’t have enough business, but I don’t want to spend any more money getting any”. Let me say to everyone reading this now. If you continue to do what you’ve always done that’s what you’ll always get. Or even more to the point, doing nothing gets you exactly nothing.

The economy may be coming out of recession but very few of the people I deal with feel that way and patients aren’t just going to start queuing up at your door waiting for your services. Sorry I have to say this, but if you want more patients or you want to sell the higher end services you offer you have to spend money marketing them.

The problem is that most businesses view marketing as a cost not an investment. This week I am spending £3,000 on a 3 x 2 stand for two days at the Dentistry Show. But I know that this will generate me business (without fail).

Unless you start to look at marketing as an investment and not a cost your practice will continue to perform exactly the way it is. Here’s another saying I love to quote “If I gave you £10.00 for every £5.00 you gave me at which point would you like me to stop?”

This is effectively what marketing is about, if you don’t do it, don’t expect your business to grow.

If you would like help marketing your dental practice, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website, www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk

 
  3752 Hits
3752 Hits
MAR
20
0

The Single Best Way To Market Your Practice

What is the best marketing plan for your practice?

best marketing

Neil Sanderson

I’m often asked what is the best marketing I can buy or do. Let’s face it there are now dozens of ways to market you and your practice.

Not very long ago you really only had two choices 1. You could place an advert in the Yellow Pages or 2. You could send out a mail shot. Those of you who were a bit more ambitious might try telesales too.

Today you have literally dozens of ways to market your practice, but which is the best marketing?

But out of all these different types of marketing e.g. Direct Mail, Social Media, Posters, Leaflets, Text Messaging, Email what really is the best marketing?

So if you said to me I can only do one form of marketing which would you choose, the answer would be Google Adwords (or pay per click). This is without doubt the most cost effective and best marketing for  you and your practice.

Why do I say this. Because unlike Search Engine Optimisation which may or may not get your website to the top of Google rankings. Google Adwords can pretty much guarantee this.

What makes this even more the best marketing, it that Google will only show your ads when someone searches for it. So just think of it this way. If you could place an advert in a local newspaper and only pay when someone looked at your advert and took action would you buy that ad, you bet your life you would.

Google Adwords does exactly this, they only show your advert when someone searches for whatever it is you are advertising e.g. implants or teeth whitening etc. But you don’t pay anything to Google until someone actually clicks on your advert and goes through to your website.

It is the ultimate form of “best marketing” and Google gives you hundreds of tools to test and hone your marketing. They are the only advertising provider that encourages you to get better at your advertising, and rewards you with cheaper ads and better rankings.

Quite literally the better you become at pay per click, the less you can spend and the more your ad will be shown. That’s why we spend so much of our time at Dental Marketing Expert, making sure that we are the ultimate experts in Google Adwords pay per click.

On average all our clients are normally in position 1 or 2 on the search and the amount we are paying Google for the ads is a fraction of what people who don’t know what they are doing are paying.

If you don’t understand how wot work Google Adwords, you can spend an awful lot of money for very little reward. In fact Google’s default settings are generally design to get you to pay them as much as possible. This is why they are now the second biggest company by value in the world.

I have spent the last two years honing my skills the best marketing (Google Adwords) and as a result I would say that I probably know more about this form of marketing than anyone in the dental profession.

I have personally spent thousands of pounds with Google, but last year I grew my business by 100% and this year we are aiming for 400% growth, using this best marketing technique.

So if you want to make a massive difference to your dental practice’s fortunes and start to benefit from the best marketing on the planet, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk

  4213 Hits
4213 Hits
FEB
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Treatment Planning

Treatment Planning

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4069 Hits
DEC
02
0

Whistleblowing and responsibility

Whistleblowing and responsibility

The UK law related to whistleblowing changed significantly at the end of June with the result that legal protection for employees who report wrong-doing by their employer is only now afforded to those raising allegations of public interest. In other words, now the element of “good faith” required previously has been removed, disputes over personal issues, such as pay or performance management which lack a public interest element, will no longer be protected under the legislation.

So perhaps you should ask yourself; should I be blowing a whistle and what is the purpose?

 

Team members are often the first to realise that there is something amiss within the practice. However, they may not wish to express their concerns as they may feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the practice.

 

Whistleblowing should primarily encourage and enable team members to raise serious concerns within the practice rather than overlooking a problem or 'blowing the whistle' to an external body. It is important that every organisation, whether it be a dental practice or even a body such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) itself recognises their responsibilities and takes them seriously and intelligently.

Raising awareness of serious concerns when you work within an organisation asks a lot of the individual and this is the reason why it is necessary to emphasise that they are protected in law by taking appropriate actions. It should be a clearly stated Policy that the practice recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make. If what you are saying is what you believe to be true, you should have nothing to fear because you will be doing your duty to the practice and the patients alike. Furthermore the practice will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation and will take appropriate action to protect the team member who raised a concern in good faith.

 

Sometimes circumstances have a habit of being rather more intertwined don’t they?

Whenever there is a problem within a dental practice, whether this relates to patient care directly or working relationships; it is wise to attempt a locally agreed solution. Usually a discussion of the circumstances involving all relevant team members will itself point to the correct solution. However sometimes the problem may be so serious or the reaction of the management so ineffective that as a GDC Professional Registrant you feel compelled to take matters further. Whilst doing this, it is extremely wise to examine one’s own position carefully. A thorough investigation will include all parties. All concerns will be treated in confidence and whilst every effort should be made not to reveal the identity of the team member who raised it; at the appropriate time they may need to come forward as a witness.

So that’s clear is it?

 

I want to encourage everyone to re-confirm the legitimacy of their intending whistleblowing and to be certain that they have:

·         Disclosed the information in good faith.

·         Believe it to be substantially true.

·         Not acted maliciously or made false allegations.

·         Not sought any personal gain.

 

These points could have a significant bearing if you are shown to have decided to speak to the Press or acted in connection with another practice or organisation which work in competition.

 

There may have been a number of situations where organisations have been subjected to malicious whistleblowing. I imagine that it’s not a pretty sight and I’m afraid it would have a habit of rebounding badly on the perpetrator as well as the victim. Some of these people may even have found it necessary to leave Dentistry.

 

The more one thinks about it; the more one can see that whistleblowing can be used in a positive way for the general good, but equally it can be used in a negative malicious way.

 

One may envisage a situation where a regulatory body has experienced ‘difficulties’ with a Provider and has then approached another regulatory body to re-examine the Provider. This used to be referred to as ‘double jeopardy’, although now it could even be triple jeopardy. You may possibly feel that such things could never happen in this fair Country of ours; I couldn’t possibly comment.

 

How to raise a concern in your practice

 

As a first step, anyone with a concern, should raise it either verbally or in writing with the Practice Manager or the Principle if it involves the practice manager.

All concerns must be taken seriously and the team member treated with respect and dignity.  The matters involved should then be investigated and the team member advised of what is happening at all times.

 

Thank you

 

Thank you for reading this and whichever of the R’s you feel you may be; Registrant, Regulator or Registrar, I would like to remind you that the use of intelligence, proportionality and responsibility are not your exclusive rights.

 

Our Commitment

 

RightPath4 is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability. In line with that commitment we look forward to working with all dental practice teams to help them be the best they can be and be justifiably proud of their achievements.

RightPath4 will continue to work on behalf of those in peril on the C, whether that be CQC or GDC and you may be interested in inviting us to visit you. We hope that you will find that you can spend a small amount of money, very wisely!

 

You could arrange a practice visit from me for as little as £275.00.

 

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