Worst mistake you can make in case acceptance

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Avoid making assumptions — Dr Mark Hassed from Dr Mark Hassed on Vimeo.

I’m excited!

Today I launch The Relaxed Dentist video channel. From time to time I’ll deliver my weekly content in the form of a video.

I hope that you like it.

Today’s video is about one of the worst treatment planning mistakes a dentist can make.

Yet, it’s an incredibly common error. Of the dentists who I’ve watched while they wrk with patients, I reckon about 80% fall into this error.

If you like the video please subscribe on my channel. Click here to subscribe.

Small apology — it sounds like I am speaking from the bottom of a coal mine. Hope to have that ironed out in the next one.


Dentist

Upcoming Seminars

The Art of Case Acceptance
(1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.

Efficient Dentistry – Dates to be advised.


therelaxeddentist.com | Facebook/TheRelaxedDentist

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Saving money — the wrong way!

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Dr Mark Hassed

Most dentists live pretty well.

They generally drive nice cars and live in nice houses. They drink quality wine. When they fly it’s often business class. If they play golf they use expensive clubs with graphite fibre shafts.

But, there’s one area where many dentists like to save money — instruments.

I’ve been into office after office where the hand instruments are old, blunt and worn out. They look like they were bought at a garage sale.

I was in an office a while ago where the ultrasonic scaler tips were so worn down it was no longer possible to get them between the teeth. It was like trying to scale teeth with a knitting needle.

In another office the probes are so blunt it’s impossible to accurately diagnose occlusal caries.

Why would you want to work like that? Every day. Day in, day out.

Beautiful instruments are enjoyable to use them and make you more efficient. They pay for themselves. The cost is tax deductible.

When you could be using beautifully balanced instrument with ergonomic handles it’s such a shame to do otherwise.

Have a look through your instruments and get rid of the rubbish. Do yourself a favour.


Dentist

Upcoming Seminars

The Art of Case Acceptance
(1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.

Efficient Dentistry – Dates to be advised.


therelaxeddentist.com | Facebook/TheRelaxedDentist

Please “Like” me on Facebook. Thanks!

Team meetings can be fun. Really!

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Dr Mark Hassed

Many dental staff members dread team meetings because they often turn so negative.

What’s gone wrong in the past month and who is responsible? This creates a climate of confrontation and blame. People scramble to cover their own backs and little productive is achieved.

The most productive meeting you can have is working on the systems in your business.

By all means identify areas where problems are occurring but don’t assign blame to individuals. Instead say: “How can we alter our systems to stop this problem occurring again?” Then all look at the problem together as a group and come up with answers.

For example, let’s say it’s taking you 8 minutes to set up for a root filling. That’s a total waste of time. The whole staff should brain storm – How can we get set up faster? Let’s see if, together we can work out a way to set up in 10 seconds.

Or, for example, some patients are wasting the doctors time by turning up late or failing appointments. What systems can we, as a team, put in place to prevent patients wasting the doctor’s time?

Or, accounts receivable is growing. What can we do as a team to cut AR? What systems can we implement to make sure people don’t slip out without paying?

Or, last month we had 2 crowns that didn’t fit. How can we change our impression taking technique so it doesn’t happen again?

It’s fun solving problems. People love it.

This mind set converts meeting from negative blame laying sessions to productive, exciting problem solving sessions. I’m sure you get the idea.

Fix systems. Solve problems. Don’t hammer the team members.


Dentist

Upcoming Seminars

The Art of Case Acceptance
(1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.


therelaxeddentist.com | Facebook/TheRelaxedDentist

Please “Like” me on Facebook. Thanks!

Who writes your treatment notes?

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Dr Mark Hassed

The notes within a patient’s chart should represent everything that was said and that occurred during the treatment of that patient. Nothing should be left out and nothing that didn’t occur should be added.

The notes are vital for remembering what has been done and said and, from a legal perspective, they are what you will rely on if there are ever problems with treatment. Treatment notes are important!

That makes the dentist the very worst person to record the notes.

The dentist is busy consulting with and treating patients. In the midst of a conversation with a patient the dentist doesn’t want to say “Hold everything while I type this into the computer.”

In practices where the dentist does the notes what I often see is that the notes are done in a rushed fashion, well after the event, maybe even at lunch time or after work.

By then the dentist’s memory has faded and the notes represent what is remembered, not necessarily what actually happened. Consequently the notes are often very abbreviated and incomplete. It is so much better to have a well trained team member write down all that is said and done as it actually occurs.

Nothing is left out and nothing that didn’t occur is added. The notes are made exactly at the time things are said and are a perfect record of what went on.

A useful by product of this approach is that the dentist will save an hour a day that can be devoted to treating patients.

One problem I often hear dentists raise is that the team cannot do it right. That’s what training is for! Train your team and coach them until they do it right. Also, create fast notes in the computer system so that things you say often can be added with a single key stroke.

If you spend 2 weeks training the team on proper note taking from then on you will save hours. A real win. You become more productive and get more accurate notes.


DentistThe Art of Case Acceptance (1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.

Efficient Dentistry – Dates to be advised.


therelaxeddentist.com | Facebook/TheRelaxedDentist

Please “Like” me on Facebook. Thanks!

Be ready for anything

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Dr Mark HassedHaving worked in dentistry for coming up on four decades I realise how unpredictable things can be.

A “broken tooth” can turn out to be almost anything — polishing, filling, endodontics, crown, bridge, extraction. You just don’t know until you see the patient.

And, if you’re not sure and your team is not sure then setting up is difficult.

You can get ready for what it might be but what do you do if it turns out to be different? You team was expecting a filling but it turns out to be endodontics.

That’s why you need to design your office around rapidness and flexibility of set-up. You need to be a speed boat not an aircraft carrier.

Modular setups for procedures is the key.

A box for endodontics. Open it and you are ready to go. Same for rubber dam. Same for crowns and bridges. Same for fillings.

If it takes your team more than 20 seconds to set up for any procedure then you are doing it wrong.

The worst office I have ever been in takes over 15 minutes to set up for endodontics. But even good offices take 5 minutes.

Practice, think and modify your setups until you can be ready for any procedure in 20 seconds.


DentistThe Art of Case Acceptance (1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.

Efficient Dentistry – Dates to be advised.


therelaxeddentist.com | Facebook/TheRelaxedDentist

Please “Like” me on Facebook. Thanks!

Don’t be mean

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Dr Mark HassedI travel a lot and go into many airport lounges.

My favourite airline has lounges that are 5-star — the best of everything. A lesser airline has lounges that are like a budget 3-star motel — quite mean.

Of course, I always fly the airline with the 5-star lounges whenever possible.

In dental practice there are things you can do that patients perceive as mean and that might drive them to your competitors. Let me give you a few examples.

  • When a patient needs a special tooth brush do you give it to them for free or do you add it to the bill?
  • When a patient pays with credit card do you add a surcharge?
  • Do you have tatty old magazines in your reception room?
  • Do you make patients wait without offering them a cold drink or a coffee?

If you want to inspire patient loyalty you need to be perceived as generous. If necessary increase your fees very slightly and then treat patients well. Treat them with grace and generosity.

There is no doubt that acting in this way will inspire patient loyalty.


 

DentistThe Art of Case Acceptance (1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.

I hate to tell you this but…

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Dr Mark HassedOf the dozens of practices I’ve visited over the past ten years the number that were set up for high efficiency were two — mine and one other.

Most ranged between moderately inefficient and very inefficient. A few were almost unbelievably inefficient.

Maybe it’s how my brain works but being efficient has never been hard for me.

What you have to do is set up the systems and staffing so the dentist can spend all their time working with patients and zero time on duties that can be delegated.

To achieve this there are three prices to be paid. You need sufficient, well-trained staff. You need sufficient equipment and space. You need to think through what you’re doing and plan your procedures.

But, if you are prepared to pay those three prices, the rewards are enormous. You can produce huge amounts of high quality dentistry in a short, stress-free work week.

A thirty minute crown preparation is not out of reach for any dentist.

Over the coming few weeks I will expand on some of these aspects of efficiency. I hope you enjoy the series.


 

Dentist

The Art of Case Acceptance (1-day Masterclass)

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need. For e.g. How to present expensive treatment without the risk of losing the patient to the dentist down the street, and so much more.

Brisbane 1 July – click here for details.

Melbourne 22 July – click here for details.

Sydney 26 August – click here for details.