Dental Care: Are Mid-Level Practitioners a Threat to Dentists?

Dental Care: Are Mid-Level Practitioners a Threat to Dentists?Can mid-level dentist practitioners give the same quality of dental care as a dentist?

This question is being raised in the Northwest where a Washington state dental practitioner bill passed through the Senate Health Committee.  The Senate version of this legislation moves out of committee and can potentially be considered by the full Senate.

If this bill passes in the Senate, Washington will be the next U.S. state to adopt a mid-level dental provider model to create both dental hygiene practitioners and dental practitioners, who will be supervised (offsite) by a dentist.

These practitioners will be allowed to provide various levels of dental care “pursuant to a written practice plan with a dentist.”

Dental hygiene practitioners would expand the scope of practice of the state’s hygienists, who can now place fillings after a dentist has done the prep work. They would receive specialized training to do extractions, handle medical emergencies, and administer some drugs.

Dental practitioners would be permitted to do everything that hygienists can do except scaling and cleanings. They could also do restorations, administer anesthesia, and extract primary teeth as well as loose permanent teeth (+3 to +4 mobility).

Both types of practitioners could work with offsite supervision if approved by their supervising dentist, but neither could do dental crowns, bridges, or complicated procedures. (Dr Bicuspid)

The Washington Academy of General Dentistry and the Washington State Dental Association oppose this bill siting, “insufficient training for diagnosis and a lack of direct supervision.”

What are your thoughts on mid-level dentist practitioners? Are they bad for dentistry?

For more: Washington Lawmakers Mull Dental Therapist Bills

Dentists: Do You Offer Laughing Gas? (video)

laughing gas survey videoNitrous oxide sedation at the dentist office is no longer the mainstay it once was, but laughing gas is still around. The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they still offer laughing gas.

We received a variety of responses from dentists.

A Texas dentist replied, “Nitrous should be available in all offices. This is just good customer service. It is not the dentist’s decision whether or not a patient needs it. All patients should be asked if they would like it. Charge a reasonable fee and it is money in the bank!”

A Washington dentist disagreed, “I think it’s nuts to use nitrous…the dentist and staff are breathing it (which has been shown to cause miscarriages and neurological problems, along with who wants a “high” dentist), it’s takes tons of time to set up, and it’s expensive!”

We found that specialists are significantly more likely than general dentists to offer conscious sedation. Since specialists often perform more intensive procedures than general dentists, they may have need for more sedation dentistry options.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about nitrous oxide, please click play and watch the following dental survey video

Do you still offer nitrous oxide? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Would you like to take part in our dental marketing surveys? Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter in the right sidebar of this blog.

Our survey question newsletter is emailed each Friday.

Dental License by State Drives Many Dentists Crazy (video)

universal dental licenseAs we all know, dentists are licensed by state dental boards and they can only practice in the state where they are licensed.

And this drives a lot of dentists crazy like the one who complained, “This is SUPPOSED to be a free country where people can relocate as desired. this current system is just regional protectionism. It sucks!”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if once a dentist is licensed in one state, should he or she be allowed to practice anywhere in the U.S.

Watch this video to hear what dentists had to say on universal licensure

What are your thoughts on universal licensure? Should dentists be allowed to practice anywhere in the U.S. under one license?

Dental Safety: BPA Exposure and Dental Sealants (video)

Dental Safety: BPA Exposure and Dental Sealants (video)This week Campbell’s Soup Company announced that they are phasing out bisphenol A (BPA) in their canned food linings.

BPA is a chemical that can imitate human estrogen and is thought by some health care providers to be harmful to health.  BPA is commonly used additive in food packaging and dental sealants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reported that they will make a decision by March 30th on whether to the ban the use of bisphenol A in food and beverage packaging.

Dental composites have revolutionized dentistry, especially cosmetic dentistry. But composite resins and dental sealants also contain BPA.

Warned one dentist, “It’s a dangerous chemical that we are placing in a sensitive area, free to leech out 24 hours a day.”

Another dentist said, “The cumulative release of BPA from composites appears to be minimal from the available research.”

Recently there’s been a lot of negative publicity about bisphenol A being linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In light of these recent reports, The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have dental safety concerns over dental composites.

Click on Play to hear how the dentists responded to the survey —

What are your thoughts on the use of BPA in cosmetic dentistry?

Dental Hyigienists and Dentists: Financial Considerations

Turning a Profit on Your Dental Hygienist Investment
Editorial by Jim Du Molin

Once again, I’m putting my capitalist hat on and analyzing the economics of dental hygienists. (I started by discussing the economic aspects, and last week I talked about how you can turn a profit.) The dentist needs to begin by preparing an operatory for a hygienist, then actually hiring one. Done properly, the dentist will then start earning a healthy chunk of passive income. At this point, many hygienists may view the dentist as a fat capitalist who is getting rich off the sweat of their labor. They fail to recognize the cost of capital and risk.

As a capitalist, your risk is the cost of equipping the hygiene operatory. If you have to add a staff member in administration to schedule hygiene, that cost would also have to be considered.

In our example, we’ll assume that your cost is a $554-per-month loan payment on equipment for the hygiene operatory. When we subtract this cost from the previous increase in profit, the net return is $5,799 per month, or about ten times your risk. As the number of hygiene days per month increases, your return on investment continues to grow. And that’s what American Capitalism is all about.

Profit on Hygiene Investment

Number of hygiene days per month 4 8 12
Profit on hygiene production* $1,169 $2,338 $3,506
Profit on dentist’s production* $5,184 $5,184 $5,184
Less: capital investment – $554 – $554 – $554
Total Net Profit per Month $5,799 $6,968 $8,136
* before indirect overhead costs

If you’ve got comments on the economics of hiring hygienists, feel free to post them below!

Disclaimer

© 2017, The Wealthy Dentist - Dental Marketing - All Rights Reserved - Dental Website Marketing Site Map

The Wealthy Dentist® - Contact by email - Privacy Policy

P.O. Box 1220, Tiburon, CA 94920

The material on this website is offered in conjunction with MasterPlan Alliance.

Copyright 2017 Du Molin & Du Molin, Inc. All rights reserved. If you would like to use material from this site, our reports, articles, training programs
or tutorials for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission first by email.