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 Practice Management: Scheduling a Comprehensive Exam

Dental Practice Management: Scheduling a Comprehensive Exam
What is the best dental practice management policy on length of a new patient exam?

51% schedule a minimum of 40 minutes for comprehensive dental exams, this survey found.

Only 27% of dentists said they perform comprehensive exams in less than 30 minutes.

“Actually, I schedule an hour and sometimes it takes longer The compete exam is THE single greatest internal dental marketing technique,” offered one dentist, a subtle comment for comprehensive exams being a part of an overall dental marketing plan.

Here’s how dentists responded to this survey asking what length of time they schedule for an initial comprehensive exam:

  • 4% 10 minutes.
  • 10% 15 minutes.
  • 10% 20 minutes.
  • 3% 25 minutes.
  • 22% 30 minutes
  • 51% 40+ minutes.

Here are some further comments on scheduling comprehensive exams from dentists:

It should be one hour …

“One hour. It’s COMPREHENSIVE. That cannot be done in less than 45 minutes. It means you are looking at radiographs, perio probing, restorative, occlusion, TMJ, health history, and oral cancer exam. I defy anyone who says that a “comprehensive” exam can be done any faster.” (Georgia dentist)

“For new patients, an hour max, but if I only give them 20 minutes of my time, I don’t get the case as often.” (Illinois dentist)

“Really should schedule 50 or 60 minutes on adults.” (General dentist)

“We schedule one hour initial exam for perio charting, radiographs, photos, models, charting restoration, and for getting to know the patient.” (Michigan dentist)

“We schedule an hour, but sometimes it takes even longer.” (California dentist)

It should be more than an hour …

“We schedule 1 1/2 hours for initial medical history gathering, interview, complimentary Velscope cancer screening, necessary x-rays and comprehensive exam. NO cleaning at this appointment.” (Minnesota dentist)

“I actually spend and hour and a half for each new patient examination. Not one gets into hygiene without a NP exam.” (Washington dentist)

“My first appointment is 1.5 hours in length with a pre-paid reservation fee.” (California dentist)

“My patient is scheduled for 2 hours. In that time we take photos, x-rays, models and intra-oral images as well as the full exam, interview and charting with the doctor.” (New Jersey dentist)

“We schedule 90 minutes. 45 minutes for the exam and 45 minutes for records.” (Florida dentist)

Note: Survey sample included 100 respondents.

Dental Practice Management: Would You Hire Staff With Facial Piercings?

What's your dental management policy on oral piercings?These days, facial and oral piercings are commonly accepted among many young people in North America. Does this kind of personal adornment represent a dental management dilemma when it comes to hiring good associates, hygienists and front desk personnel?

The Wealthy Dentist wanted to know, so we asked this survey question:

Do any members of your dental team have facial piercings?

A 79% majority of dentists responding to our survey answered No, definitely not!

Some dentists responded based on health and personal preference:

“It’s enough to have piercings on ears – the face, lip, mouth are really stretching it, both from a visual standpoint and a health perspective (oral piercings have been shown to damage teeth and supporting tissues).” New Hampshire dentist

“UGLY! Especially the damage and infections caused.” General dentist

“I put up with tattoos. That’s enough!” District of Columbia dentist

Some dentists look at it from a business standpoint:

“Not the professional image I want to project.” Illinois dentist

“I do not believe it represents my practice. Save it for tatoo shop or Barnes and Noble. Attire and dress code is outlined in manual.” Illinois dentist

Despite these observations, 21% of our respondents said they had a team member with a pierced nose, tongue, lip or tongue. (Nobody reported pierced eyebrows on their staff members — but that’s a possibility, too.)

It’s cultural so I don’t mind,” answered a Sri Lankan dental implantologist who has a team member with a a pierced nose. “But definitely not any other piercing,” he added.

“Depends on the size of the jewelry. Tasteful facial piercings are acceptable. Oral piercings are acceptable for employees as far as hiring them, but we do not recommend for dental reasons.” California dentist

Another dentist, who reports staff having tongue and lip piercings, handles it in a very conservative manner: “My staff is NOT entitled to wear their piercings while they are on the clock.”

Here are the takeaways from our dentist survey:

  • You’re entitled to set your own dental practice management policy about facial piercings, but it pays to be aware of what’s culturally acceptable in your market.
  • When it comes to hiring, you also have the option to ask potential candidates to remove the jewelry while at work. That way, you don’t have to exclude someone who might otherwise be a stellar addition to your dental team!

Do you see any facial or oral piercings in your dental team’s future?

Infection Control: Dentists Make Changes To Avoid Deadly Viruses (video)

infectious disease controlThis week an article by Science Daily outlined a study published in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Breath Research, where researchers invented a non-invasive breath test to measure the H1N1 strain (swine flu).

The researchers claim that over half of the people in Glasgow vaccinated during the 2009 swine flu pandemic were already infected with the flu virus, meaning they were vaccinated unnecessarily.

Scientists hope that a breath test will allow doctors to identify those who already sick, therefore allowing them to save the vaccine for people who are not yet infected.

This latest scientific invention reminded us of a Wealthy Dentist survey where we asked dentists if the threat of deadly viruses caused them to make any changes at their dental practice.

Click on Play to hear what dentists had to say about precautions against pandemics such as the Swine Flu –

The changes the some of the dentists surveyed made were –

  1. More frequent hand washing and use of a hand sanitizer.
  2. Not treating patients who feel ill.
  3. Encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  4. Use of R95 face masks.
  5. Use of eye shields.

This fall students entering 7th – 12th grade must get a whooping cough vaccine within the first month of the school year in order to stay in school.

Have you made any changes at your dental practice to avoid infectious diseases like the swine flu or whooping cough?

For more on the swine flu breath test see ‘Swine Flu’ Breath Test Could Reduce Future Vaccination Shortages, Research Suggests.

Dental Practice Technology: 66% of Dentists Use Digital X-rays

digital xraysDigital technology has reached the dentist’s office. According to Yale School of Medicine, 10 to 30% of dentists have abandoned film for digital X-rays.

When we asked dentists if they use use digital x-rays, 66% said yes. Only 34% reported that they still use film.

“Digital x-rays have improved dentistry so much. I can’t imagine going back to the old way of developing x-rays. It has allowed doctors to diagnose a patient when they are away from the office,” said one periodontist.

“Couldn’t live without digital,” offered another.

A great investment –

“Possibly the best investment I have made in my practice.” (Kentucky dentist)

“One of my best purchases. I’ve been digital over 4 years.” (Florida dentist)

“We implemented digital about a decade ago and would never go back.” (South Carolina dentist)

“One of the most cost-effective things I’ve done. I have been digital since 2000.” (California dentist)

“Yes, who in this day and age doesn’t? It is SO inexpensive compared to what I paid over 10 years ago to do it, that it is a “no-brainer” to do. PLUS the savings in chemicals, processor maintenance, employee time to do these non-essential weekly maintenance jobs, making duplicates for Insurance etc. just makes going digital a “slam dunk” decision! This is why, once I purchased it, I realized these benefits and then lectured on going digital.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s wonderful! Less radiation the patient and staff is exposed to and the ability to manipulate the images.” (Florida hygienist)

“Higher diagnosable image versus film, no fixer, developer, film, mounts cost, lower patient and ambient radiation levels — truly a no-brainer!” (North Dakota dentist)

Too expensive for some –

“Very expensive to fully implement.” (Missouri dentist)

“Digital has improved greatly, but I am not interested in the investment at this late stage of practice.” (Indiana dentist)

“I would love to have a digital pan/ceph, but at $44K, I’ll have to pass for now.” (Oklahoma dentist)

“Too expensive!” (Nevada dentist)

“I am 67 years old in a month or so and it is hard to spend that much money.” (California dentist)

“Way too costly!” (Massachusetts dentist)

Sensors can be an issue –

“Sensors are too @#*&! expensive!” (Mississippi dentist)

“The technology finally meets or exceeds the quality of film radiology — but with some drawbacks. The cost for the sensors and viewing equipment is very high, compared to the same film-based radiology. The bitewing views are not fully closed-mouth as bitewings done with films, because of the sensor cords. And the sensors have some limitations of placement freedom due to their rigidity and thickness compared to the relative patient comfort with films.” (California dentist)

“Since no sensor has been declared superior, I believe buyers need to evaluate the software. How many ‘clicks’ needed to go through the fmx, to modify contrast/brightness for diagnosing and making notes? You should be able to do this quickly ‘on the fly’ as the patient hears you review their x-rays. The right-click menu and simple keyboard shortcuts should be available so you don’t have to mouse all over the place for everything. I also believe software using the “template” paradigm of x-ray sets is a throwback to the past and is not good use of computer power.” (Illinois dentist)

“They have to make the sensors either less expensive or more durable.” (California dentist)

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