Dentists Discuss Teeth Whitening Recommendations

Dentists Discuss Teeth Whitening Recommendations64% of dentists surveyed selected at-home whitening as prescribed by a dentist as the method of teeth whitening they most recommend for dental patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey of dentists asking what teeth whitening method they most recommend. 33% of the respondents recommend in-office tooth whitening while 3% recommend over-the-counter whitening products.

A South Carolina dentist wrote, “I started bleaching well over a decade ago. It has become such a commodity with good products being available inexpensively, that I tend to recommend over-the-counter products when indicated or now sell an inexpensive strip from Schein almost as a loss leader that is quite effective. I have found that it holds on to the weakening level of trust sadly seen in much of dentistry these days.”

The Teeth Whitening Product Manufacturing industry revenue is estimated to increase 3.7% in 2012, totaling $382.7 million according to IBISWorld industry analyst Eben Jose which has hurt some dental practice’s bottom line.

“OTC whitening strips have hurt office revenues in this area of our practice.” responded one Georgia dentist.

Here’s what dentists had to say about teeth whitening —

“We use in office Zoom but I do more custom tray and home whitening product then Zoom in-office whitening.” (Kentucky dentist)

“There is not a ‘whitening toothpaste’ on earth that actually whitens teeth. At home whitening with custom made trays is the standard.” (Illinois dentist)

“I have a Zoom machine, but have had adverse problems with sensitivity which has created some upset patients. Even with extreme care, some patients develop thermal sensitivity. I have had fewer side effects from the take home.” (Washington dentist)

“Patients are rarely satisfied with the over-the-counter whitening products or whitening toothpaste. Eventually, they come to the office to have the prescription at-home whitening or in-office whitening. None of the over-the-counter whitening products do well with whitening the interproximal surfaces or lingual surfaces, so the teeth are never as white as they could be.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“Britesmile still gives the best results with the least side effects, at least for my office.” (California dentist)

“I do not do in office whitening anymore due to poor results that disappoint patients.” (Oklahoma dentist)

What method of teeth whitening do you most recommend for your dental patients?

Dentists Fear Obama Reelection Will Hurt Their Dental Practice

Dentists Fear Obama Reelection Will Hurt Their Dental PracticeDentists tend to be politically conservative in nature – and the results of a recent The Wealthy Dentist survey supports this belief.

When asked how President Barack Obama winning the election will affect their dental practice, 77% of the dentist respondents answered that an Obama win will hurt their practice.

In the same survey, The Wealthy Dentist also asked how a Romney victory will affect their practice, and 72% answered that a win by Romney will be a benefit to their practice.

19% of the dentists think there will be no change to their practice if President Obama is reelected, while 21% think there will be no change if Mitt Romney is elected.

Only 7% of the dentists believe a win by Romney will ultimately hurt their dental practice.

Gender seemed to be a factor in how the dentists responded, with male dentists believing Mitt Romney will benefit their dental practice and female dentists thinking either President Obama will be a benefit, or there will be no change no matter who wins the election.

A few of the Republican dentists see Obama as a socialist. “Romney is pro business. Obama is a governmental Socialist,” said a California dentist “Socialism vs free enterprise. Draw your own conclusions.” commented a Massachusetts dentist.

For more insight into how dentists see this election, check out these comments below —

“Romney’s plans for health care are incomprehensible. The man who put through universal care in Massachusetts is not clear on what he would keep and change from the Affordable Health Care Act. Under the new law and an Obama administration, more people will have access to health care and become better educated about preventative care. This will have a positive impact: more dental care insurance benefits and more people seeking dental care. Under Obamacare, we have already received tax credits averaging $800 for the last two years to help offset the expense of providing health insurance to one of our employees. These are the kinds of positive things that you never hear about in all the debates about health care!” (Maryland dentist)

“Dentistry is mainly elective. People take care of themselves when they feel good and optimistic. Another four years of fear, resignation and declining discretionary spending will hurt dentistry and the dentist whose income no longer will be his, he didn’t build it, but the states through confiscatory, predatory redistributionist power taken by Obama and the Democratic Party.” (Colorado orthodontist)

“The economic and fiscal debt problems (takers vs. the makers) may be so big and so bad that neither party (NO ONE!) can prevent a long term recession and/or near term depression.” (General dentist)

“Practicing dentists will become what the insurance industry would like if the democrat healthcare model wins out. We will be working for the fees that the government and the insurance companies permit and those fees will be much less than current fees. Prepare to run from room to room just to survive.” (General dentist)

“We should always be prepared for the worst scenario!” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“If Obama is reelected, we can expect higher taxes, further devaluation of the dollar which creates higher costs, and more patient visits with less reimbursement. Save us!” (Missouri dentist)

“A change of administration will bring about new policy and a new direction for the country. Business people are going to be encouraged and will be more optimistic about their chances of success. Therefore employment will surge and more people are going to be able to afford much needed dental services that they have been putting off because of the uncertainty.” (General dentist)

“I think dental care is going back to the 1960’s when no one had dental insurance coverage and dentists will only be caring for emergencies for the most part. Hygiene visits were the only routine dental visits. They do not talk or mention dentistry in their future.” (Florida dentist)

More rural and suburban dentists responded to this survey over urban dentists, with most of the urban dentists responding that they do not expect to see a change either way to their dental practice.

Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists’ Resistance

Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists' ResistanceIn the latest The Wealthy Dentist survey dentists overwhelmingly agree that dentists should own and run dental practices.

When asked if they agree or disagree that “only dentists should own dental practices” 89% of the dentists responding to this survey answered, “I strongly agree. Dentists should be owners, not dental management companies or private investors.”

9% responded that they “somewhat agree that practice owners should generally be dentists, but there are exceptions” with 2% stating that they “somewhat disagree and it’s okay for others to own practices, but it’s good when dentists do.”

Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists' Resistance Survey graph

A Texas dentist wrote, “The ethics of the practice become that of the management company, not that of the dentist. This is very dangerous to the profession.”

Even though dental management companies allow dentists to focus more on dental patients, some dentists are resistant to the idea of this dental practice model.

Dental practices who partner with corporate dental management companies typically serve areas where there is limited dental care and patients haven’t visited a dentist in years.

Even so, in this survey, many dentists are resistant to the corporate dental management model –

“Corporate dentistry is here but only a dentist should be allowed to own a practice/corporation as they will more likely to put the patients best interest first before corporate profits to shareholders/investors if push comes to shove.” (California dentist)

“This is the destruction of the profession–making a trade to be regulated. The younger members do not realize it. Is this what they signed up for when applying for dental school?” (Indiana dentist)

“Some dentists are just not cut out to be business people and should just stick to clinical treatment.” (Colorado dentist)

“I have worked under the thumb of an accountant in a dental mill. He had no concern for the welfare of the patients- only the clinic’s bottom line. It is OUR licenses that are at risk. We damn well better own the show. Otherwise, the corporate suits will put us and our precious dental license at risk increasing their bottom line by any and all means possible.” (Georgia dentist)

“Dentistry will soon look like Walmart. The era of privately owned dental practice will soon be over. This is a tragedy for our patients and dentistry in general!” (Oklahoma dentist)

“The dentist is ALWAYS ultimately responsible, and therefore MUST have complete control over the business.” (General dentist)

But one Texas dentist did write to sing the praises of dental management companies, “Working with a dental management company was the best decision I ever made!”

Dentists, what are your thoughts on dental management companies?

Dental Survey Reveals Dentists Hesitant To Raise Fees

Dental Survey Reveals Dentists Hesitant To Raise FeesAre dentists raising their treatment fees to keep ahead of the rising dental practice management costs?  A new The Wealthy Dentist survey aimed to find out.

The survey asked dentists when was the last time they raised their treatment fees.  One California dentist responded, “Expenses seem to keep going up. So must fees.”

In fact, many dentists have decided not to run small private practices due to rising costs and administrative hassles, but instead choose to join larger dental management groups so they can spend less time dealing with the administrative side of a dental practice and spend more time treating their dental patients.

Here’s how the dentists responded:

  • 9% raised their fees 5 years ago.
  • 20% raised their fees 3 years ago.
  • 20% raised their fees 2 years ago.
  • 35% raised their fees 1 year ago.
  • 16% raised their fees 6 months ago.

The reason many dentists don’t like to raise fees is the fear that they will lose patients. Combine this fear with the fact that most Americans don’t budget for dental care and you find a lot of dentists who need to raise their fees but won’t.

Here’s what the dentists in this survey told us:

“We are still waiting for the economy to stabilize. Too many of our patients are still unemployed or without insurance coverage. I also discount my fees more than ever before.” (Texas dentist)

“I know I need to raise them but people are constantly complaining of cost. Treatment acceptance is down. Maybe it my own fault but I worry that revenue will decrease further if I do it.” (Georgia dentist)

“It’s tough to raise fees in such a depressed economy.” (Illinois dentist)

“That’s a hard one. Our cash clients are watching prices closely.” (Nevada dentist)

“We only raised a few selected fees and decreased the amount of discounts.” (California dentist)

“I am stuck with fees for insurance plans, therefore unable to raise fees easily.” (New york dentist)

“Managed care destroys fee increases.” (Virginia oral surgeon)

“I know I should be doing it more often.” (Tennessee dentist)

“Inflation from gas and food prices is on the way, so the time to raise fees is now.” (New York endodontist)

“I do not raise fees often enough!” (North Dakota dentist)

“What is the point, if dental insurance dictates reimbursement?” (Missouri dentist)

“Fees need to be reviewed annually. Not necessarily raised but reviewed.” (General dentist)

“We do it annually right before staff reviews.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“They will probably be raised next year, but I will wait until after Presidential election. If Obama wins fees will have to go up…” (General dentist)

It’s important for dentists to take a look at their fee structure annually and make adjustments accordingly — even during a tough economy. What are your thoughts, dentists?

When was the last time you raised your fees and what impact did it have on your dental practice?

Suburban Dentists Change Their Retirement Plans Due to the Economy

Suburban Dentists Change Their Retirement Plans Due to the EconomyNew research by over 50 service provider Saga Services indicates that boomers are planning to delay their retirement through the next decade for a wide range of reasons.

Over 60% of dentists in our recent The Wealthy Dentist survey acknowledged that their retirement plans have changed for economic reasons.

Here’s how the dentist’s responded:

  • 61% answered yes; the economy has made them change their retirement plans.
  • 30% reported that they are still on their retirement track, as planned.
  • 9% responded, “Hmm… what retirement plans?!?”

In past The Wealthy Dentist surveys on retirement, the younger dentists in our surveys were more likely to say they anticipate working longer, but this time 51% of the respondents changing their retirement plans are in their 50’s and 60’s.

Said one Michigan dentist, “We find we’ll be working longer to get to where we want to be with retirement assets. What had formerly seemed to be an option (that of working longer if we felt we were still enjoying doing so) has become a necessity!”

41% of the dentist respondents who answered yes to changing their retirement were suburban dentists, while just 22% of rural dentists indicated that they are altering their retirement plans.

Here are some more thoughts from dentists on the subject of retirement:

“I have come back to pre-2008 levels and increased, but the market fluctuations and Obamacare uncertainty has made me distrustful of going out too soon. The corporate dental issues are of concern, too, if I would want to work part-time. Also, what about the Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits 10 years from now?” (Indiana dentist)

“I will work forever!” (Georgia dentist)

“There are three objectives here: One is to make money, two is to save money, and three is to know what to do with that saved money. Most dentists might do one or two of these well, but not all three.” (Virginia periodontist)

“I love what I do and I am still excellent at the dentistry I provide, so yes, my plans have changed. I will keep going as long as my health dictates!” (California dentist)

“It as been much harder to stay on track and I have not met my goals every year, but I still hope to retire at 66 only because my debt is low and I will not count on the sale proceeds to fund my retirement.” (Texas dentist)

“I have set a date May 2018. The only thing that might change that is if I decide to retire two years earlier. I did an assessment of my retirement nest-egg and it was better than I thought. Two years earlier is looking OK.” (Colorado dentist)

“I love my work and I will want to slow down and take more time off to travel, so any active work income will substantially add to my retirement income from investments.” (General dentist)

“I’ve sold my practice and will retire at the end of the year thanks to a great broker.” (Arizona dentist)

How have your retirement plans been holding up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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