Dental Associations Do Battle in New York State

The New York Times is reporting on the grand battle for political control of that state’s dental associations.

New York State

On the one side, we have the NY State Dental Association. It’s run by lobbyist Roy Lasky.

On the other side is the NY County Dental Society. Based in Manhattan, it’s a local group. And they’ve just hired their own lobbyist.

That’s because the Manhattan group is fighting for its very survival. A bill now in Albany could let the state group eliminate the local group entirely.

The Manhattan-based group has raised concerns about Mr. Lasky of the statewide society. In 2006, he earned nearly $300k as the group’s executive director and another $140k as its Albany lobbyist. The local group also worries Lasky could face potential conflicts of interest.

So why is this such a big deal? Not surprisingly, the answer is financial. The Manhattan-based local society puts on an annual trade show, the Greater New York Dental Meeting, which brings in millions in revenue and is among the country’s largest dental meetings.


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Dentists Don’t Sell Their Practices, They Sell Their Leases…

dental lease advocate Lewis GelmonThe Hidden Costs of Bad Dental Practice Leases
Special Lease Feature by Lewis Gelmon

Dentists are shocked when I tell them that you don’t really sell your practice; you sell your lease. This simple but disturbing reality has become evident to me from the thousands of leases I have reviewed for dentists since 1994.

Dentists spend decades building good will and providing excellent dental care. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing, state-of-the-art equipment, and creating a comforting environment for patients and staff. Unfortunately, all the money, time and effort spent does not necessarily translate into a high sale price.

How can a dentist avoid that unfortunate fate? With a proper office lease agreement that has been carefully crafted for a dentist planning to sell his or her practice.

Over the years, I have been invited to speak at dental conferences (like the Greater New York Dental Meeting, the Pacific Dental Conference and countless local dental societies and association meetings) on this subject. However, my mission is still far from complete.

It seems that more and more dentists are finding themselves caught in a classic landlord trap. I receive one or more phone calls each week from dentists across the country who are in the process of selling their practice but have run into problems with their landlords. These calls all tend to sound the same.

The dentist sounds stressed on the phone. He explains that he has tentatively sold his practice. When he approached the landlord to assign the lease to the new owner, the landlord asked for a letter formally requesting the transfer of the lease to the new dentist. A few days after sending the letter, the landlord called. After reviewing the lease agreement, the landlord has determined that he now has the right to terminate the lease and remove the original dentist from the premises.

The landlord goes on to explain the dentist’s choices. He can give the space back and vacate the premises as promised in accordance with the lease. Alternatively, he can pay the landlord a fee for agreeing to waive the right to exercise their option to terminate, allowing the dentist to remain on the premises and sell the practice. Depending on location and the value of the sale, this fee is usually somewhere between $75,000 and $250,000.

Take a moment to process that: It can cost a dentist up to a quarter of a million dollars to transfer their lease. I’ll bet you didn’t know that, huh?

Property owners often understand the business of dentistry better than dentists themselves. In fact, many landlords pride themselves on such business practices as a way to share in the sale proceeds of their most valuable professional tenants. Buried deep in the lease agreement is an “Assignment Provision” that governs the details of how to transfer the lease (change of control) when selling the practice. These provisions are often extensive and hard to understand. Most allow the landlord overwhelming control over who you can sell, as well as the opportunity to prevent the sale or terminate the lease. In my opinion, the purpose of these onerous sections is simply to provide property owners with the opportunity to share in the sale proceeds of your practice when you sell.

But do you really want your landlord to make a hefty profit from the sale of your dental practice?

The solution is simple. I like the over-used but very true axiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you ever plan to sell your practice, you need to make sure you can first sell your lease. This requires knowing where the risks are before putting your practice up for sale. Given that there are other potential problems, the best thing you can do is to have your lease properly reviewed to ensure it’s structured correctly for sale and follows good leasing guidelines for dental offices.

Looking for more information on the topic? You can reach Lewis Gelmon at (760) 479-9704 or lewis@lewisgelmon.com. For only $495, he will personally review your lease. Plus, get a $200 discount until October 31 just for mentioning The Wealthy Dentist. All reviews are guaranteed. If you don’t feel you have received the value, he’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Lewis Gelmon is a former landlord, lease negotiator, and shopping center manager. Now a dental tenant advocate, he regularly lectures for dental groups across North America and the UK. He is the most published author on the subject of dental lease negotiations. His Good Leasing Guidelines for Dentists have been critically acclaimed by numerous dental groups. His mission is to raise awareness among dentists on the risks hidden in their office leases.

Best Tooth Whitening Methods Revealed by Dentists

Best teeth whitening methodsWhen it comes to teeth whitening, dentists say custom-fit bleaching trays for at-home whitening are the most effective option. Three-quarters of the dentists in this survey said it works great.

Dentists feel that in-office gel bleaching and laser teeth whitening work okay, but they are not impressed with store-bought teeth whiteners.

“The at-home custom-fit tray whitening method works best,” said one dentist. “Over the course of several days, the patient can control the degree of tooth whitening to her own preferences — something that cannot be said for the other methods. And once the custom trays are made, the patient can easily and efficiently perform the later ‘touch-ups’ that inevitably will be needed with the passage of time.”

“Who trusts a pimply faced kid at the mall to whiten their teeth?” asked a California dentist.

“Any monkey can whiten teeth,” said a Florida dentist. “The art is whitening to the fullest extent possible, which varies from person to person; and then to do it predictably without creating sensitivity. Sensitivity can be a real show stopper.”

Read more: Best Teeth Whitening Methods According to Dentists

Dental Marketing: Cosmetic Injectables, A Smart Economic Move for Dentists?

Dentists offering injectablesDepending on the dentist surveyed, the use of injectables in the dental office is either not a part of general dentistry, a smart economic move, or something dentists can do very well.

To dentists who support offering injectables as part of their dental marketing, they see it merely as a natural extension of the cosmetic treatments that they already provide. To dentists who dislike the idea, injectables are just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit.

One thing is for sure: Injectables have become one of the most popular cosmetic medical procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, such as injectables, has jumped 228% since 1997.

Who will fill the demand?

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have started administering injectable treatments such as BOTOX® and Dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons. 85% of the dentists surveyed responded, “No!” for a variety of reasons.

Here is what they had to say –

Not a part of dentistry…

“These procedures should not be done by a dentist.” (Indiana dentist)

“They’re cheesy and unprofessional!” (California prosthodontist)

“They’re not dental procedures. I don’t care if some dentists want to do them. I know one who does them and he says women can get their husbands to pay these bills from the dentist, but would be more scrutinizing about bills from a plastic surgeon.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s not part of dentistry.” (California dentist)

A smart economic move …

“I think I will get myself trained to be able to expand my cosmetic dentistry packages.” (General dentist)

“Patients pay up front for a quick procedure with no insurance paperwork. What’s not to like?” (Florida dentist)

“A great way to see patients several times a year since these patients need regular touch-ups. It can be added to a treatment package with routine dental cleanings.” (Arizona dentist)

Something dentists can do very well…

“Of course! This is something we as dentists could do very well. However, in California the oral surgeons seem to have cornered the market, so to speak…keeping the generalists out.” (California dentist)

Dentists give more injections than any other healthcare professional, so why not?” (Nebraska dentist)

“Who’s more qualified than a dentist that is already injecting patients needing fillings, or more extensive work every single day?” (West Virginia dentist)

Just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit …

“I don’t believe extra oral injectables are within the scope of my dental license. I believe it verges on malpractice.” (Nevada dentist)

“The liability is too high; I’d rather leave it to MD’s with higher coverage.” (Texas dentist)

“I’m not sure about the complications with state and the malpractice issues with injectables.” (California orthodontist)

What are your thoughts on dentists offering injectables?

To participate in future The Wealthy Dentist surveys, please sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.

Dental Marketing: Geo-targeted Local Search Strategies

Dental Marketing: Geo-targeted Local Search StrategiesAccording to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. A geo-targeted local search strategy makes it easier for your dental practice’s prospective new patients to find your dental website and your practice.

But what exactly is geo-targeted local search?

Local search happens when a person is searching for something specific online and they use a location with the search term. The location could be the city, neighborhood, zip code, the state, name of a street, or any geo-targeted term to help identify the location.

If a new dental patient is searching for a cosmetic dentist in a particular area, you might see search terms such as —

  • city name- teeth whitening dentist
  • city neighborhood name- teeth whitening dentist
  • teeth whitening dentist- zip code
  • teeth whitening dentist- area code

There’s also the ‘direct navigation’ method (Jupiter Research estimates that nearly 17% of users search with this method) —

  • www.citynameteethwhitening.com

This type of specific web address search behavior is said to produce more qualified leads for the business found in this type of targeted search.

What is the best strategy for a dentist to be found in a geo-targeted search?

By having dental websites with a geo-targeted domain names. Search engines place great importance on the keywords that appear in the domain name in determining where a website appears in search results. A geo-targeted location domain name helps search identify your dental practice geographically.

For example –

  • www.citynameyourbusinessname.com
  • www.neighborhoodnameyourbusinessname.com

A geo-targeted web address in today’s Internet dental marketing environment is a must for dentists who don’t want to suffer to consequences of having prospective new patients going to the competition just because they have a better local Internet presence.

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