During a routine hygiene exam, if a dentist discovers marginal decay underneath a zirconia crown the obvious next step is to cut off and replace the crown. Without the right instruments at their disposal, this procedure could become lengthy and less predictable.
The dentist has one of two choices; choose to do the replacement and delay their appointments for the remainder of the day or have the patient schedule a second appointment. In today’s world of emphasized convenience and time, this is the opposite of a great patient experience and can lead to patient turnover and loss of revenue for the practice.
Quality Matters: A Difference in Instrumentation
With proper armamentarium and instrumentation, the dentist would have been able to section the zirconia crown in 60 seconds, take an impression, and replace it with a temporary crown on the spot.
The dentist can confidently offer the patient same-day dentistry, knowing that their high-quality handpiece and burs can successfully complete the procedure. The efficiency of this procedure generates immediate and guaranteed revenue while providing a better patient experience. A win for both the dentist and the patient.
The Tesla Experience
In my experience with air-driven and electric handpieces, I compare it to a stick shift car versus an electric Tesla. Air-driven handpieces are the equivalent of needing to manually shift through gears to gain speed and torque. With an electric motor, you get that instantaneous Tesla torque that takes you from 0 to 60 faster than a Ferrari.
Today, dentists studying at universities are learning on high-quality instruments like Bien-Air’s electric handpieces and Komet USA’s burs. Yet, when they graduate, they often end up in a practice that has settled for generic instrumentation, making the primary goal of taking care of patients unnecessarily difficult.
What’s interesting is that when we look at dentists who own a private practice, they are more likely to invest in a high-quality instrumentation system than DSOs. So, why have DSOs and private equity investors been slower to adapt?
Is Cheaper Really Worth it?
C-suites of DSOs look at surface level profit and loss statements. And if all looks “fine,” they continue to buy cheaper instrumentation, feeding into the illusion that they’re saving money. Upon a deeper analysis of long-term costs, you will notice a significant amount of money spent on frequent and costly handpiece repairs and bur replacements. Thus, proving that investing in quality has a positive impact on your bottom line while also saving the dentists valuable chair-time.
For example, a generic handpiece may get 500 uses, whereas a Bien-Air electric handpiece may get 1200 uses. In comparison, a white-label bur could be used 1-2 times, where a Komet USA bur can be used 6-8 times. Both high-quality instruments allow for longer lifetime use and more efficient and predictable procedures, saving time and money for the practice.
Another loss for DSOs is that dentists at their practices slowly become disenfranchised by using inferior instrumentation. The practitioners deal with the ground level work of communicating delays with a patient and know they can’t do their best work without the right instruments. Soon, these practitioners leave to find other opportunities or start their own private practice.
Uncover the Truth
It’s time to take a closer look at this issue. Examine your year-to-date profit and loss and calculate how much you’ve spent on repaired or new handpieces and bur replacements. Better yet, talk to your dentists and give them the example of the zirconia crown. Ask them if they honestly feel like they could execute that procedure with the current tools they’re using on the same day without rescheduling. The answers may shock you.
Bien-Air Dental and Komet USA are leading global manufacturers and innovators of air-driven/electric handpieces and rotary instruments. If you’re ready to improve your clinical efficiency and solve the challenges your clinicians face in today’s complex restorative environment, these two trusted brands come with decades of research and they can help you emphasize patient care and realize better returns on your instrument investments.
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Written by Dr. Roshan Parikh (Dr. Ro)
Dr. Roshan Parikh (or “Dr. Ro”, as he is known in the industry) is a proud graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) – College of Dentistry. In addition to his DDS degree, he also obtained a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Loyola University with dual emphases in finance and marketing. He later capitalized on the opportunity to utilize all three when he purchased his first practice in the south suburbs of Chicago in 2008, where (despite a historically difficult period in the country’s economy) he led the practice on an exponential growth path from three employees operating in 650 square feet of space into a 20+ network of multi-specialty dental group practices with north of 75 dentists and dental specialists.
In 2019, Dr. Ro founded the dental consulting firm DSO Strategy, LLC, which was created to help entrepreneurial dentists strategize a growth plan for their dental group practices that would transform each not only into a thriving DSO, but also an investable platform for institutional capital.
Dr. Ro’s passion lies in building functional and strategically patient-centric business models that help providers to be both first-rate caregivers as well as successful businesses, and he is thrilled at the opportunity to help that philosophy come to light in a nationwide operation as he joins the team at Walmart Health as their Head of Dentistry.
“Good medicine is good business and by doing things the right way (by always putting the patient first), success will follow. In my dental practices, I work to maintain relationships as a reputable clinician and do right by the patients and people I work with each day. My passion for dentistry runs deep, which is why mediocrity is never an option.” – Dr. Ro
In his free time, Dr. Ro enjoys traveling, biking, basketball, tennis, and running through the park with his Goldendoodle, Jordy.
Click here to read Dr. Ro’s article, Leverage Clinical Management with Metrics and Qualitative Data.
Click here to read more about Walmart Health and their new dental clinic.
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