TikTok Key to Dental Marketing Success

If you would like to promote your products to a younger audience, there’s no doubt that TikTok provides a fantastic chance to get this done. With over 500 million global consumers, it’s amazed many with its rapid expansion. To get the most out of TikTok, you have to understand what you’re doing, and this guide will describe the best method to approach it.

Know the TikTok Platform

Just jumping on into the TikTok platform maybe not understanding precisely what you Do will turn away users so that you have to scrutinize it before getting involved. Have a peek at the most well-known movies on TikTok and workout why customers are drawn to them.

Also, you need to know how to interact correctly with TikTok users. If you receive this wrong, then you’ll drive away users in droves. You must understand that TikTok is about pleasure and amusement. There are a lot of mini music movies which do nicely in addition to entertaining films also.

There’s not any location on TikTok for pushy messages. From the United States that the vast majority of consumers are between 16 and 24 years old, and they’re not interested in sales pitches. You’ve got to be imaginative in the manner that you join to TikTok users.

Your Content Needs To Be Interesting

You Need to Be Ready to create quite fun Content for TikTok. You may create quite inexpensive videos with a significant effect on the platform when you become accustomed to doing so. TikTok users aren’t expecting high-quality Hollywood fashion videos, so it is possible to record in your smartphone, which is going to be wholly acceptable.

It is Ideal to keep it simple and never attempt to be overly bright. Produce light-hearted movies that exhibit your products utilized in a fun manner. TikTok users are going to love this and feel that you’re genuine and will trust you.

Utilize Hashtag Challenges

Many manufacturers and associations have experienced Lots of success with hashtag challenges. You produce a branded hashtag then use this to market a battle where consumers participate by making their videos with your hashtag.

A Fantastic example of that was that the hashtag challenge made by Guess Jeans. They struggled to request TikTok consumers to make videos of themselves wearing their Guess clothes” their way.” Their hashtag has been #inmydenim.

Utilize Influencers

There happen to be influencers on TikTok, which have enormous Followings of countless. This is a superb way to expand your brand to achieve the stage. Not many influencers will be prepared to work together with you. Your brand and fashion should match theirs, or they’ll turn you back down.

Influencers have to be comfier with your products. If they enjoy them, then they’ll be inclined to showcase them for your viewers. Please do your homework and use external resources to check on possible influencer bios until you devote to working with them.

TikTok Advertising

Lately, TikTok established its advertisements program. Here you can cover For various ad types that are in short type video format to expand your reach. There are four kinds of TikTok advertisements:

1. Native Advertisements (in feed)

2. Hashtag Challenges

3. Brand Takeovers

4. Branded Lenses

These advertisements strategically You’ll Have the Ability to achieve Out to numerous TikTok users. There are all targeting options that you narrow down Your viewers, and those may enhance over time. Time will tell how successful TikTok advertising is.

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Article By Jean Taylor
Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jean_Taylor/478703

3 Ways To Detect A Bad Dentist

Finding a good dentist is paramount to ensuring the health and longevity of your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, not all dentists are the same, and though there are intensive training requirements and strict regulations governing patient care, some bad dentists still exist. So how do you distinguish a good dentist from a bad dentist? Ultimately, if you have a good rapport with your dentist, you feel s/he respects you, and you trust her/him, then you have probably found yourself a good dentist. Nevertheless, these signs of a bad dentist are all clear indications that you should consider finding someone new.

Disorganized

We all learn never to judge a book by its cover, but if you enter a dentist’s office that is disorganized and cluttered you should treat this as a warning sign. First and foremost, medical environments should be sterile and hygienic and a messy office may be your first indication that things are not properly cleaned. Moreover, disorganization may be the sign of poor business and management skills. Your dentist’s waiting room should be tidy and well-organized, swept, dusted, and free of debris. Exam rooms should appear sterile in addition to organized. Staff members and dentists should wear gloves at all times when working with clients.

Complicated Bills

Before you choose a dentist, it is in your best interest to understand their billing procedures. Unnecessarily complicated billing policies are another sign of a questionable dentist. Will you be charged for cancelled appointments even with advanced notice? Does your dentist offer payment plans? Will the dental office bill directly to your insurance provider? Ultimately, you want to find a dentist that can work with you so that you can get the appropriate dental care, and their billing policies should be clear and straightforward.

Professionalism

Does your dentist take personal calls during your office visit? Does s/he delegate advanced tasks to office staff that may not be qualified for the procedure? Does the dentist suggest exorbitantly expensive treatments for seemingly minor problems? There are many signs that your dentist may be acting unprofessionally, and in the end you sometimes have to trust your judgement. For example, imagine a situation where you switch dentists and your new dentist tells you have several major dental problems to which your previous dentist never alerted you. Perhaps your first dentist was unprofessional, but you should feel comfortable asking for a second opinion when things don’t add up. Moreover, during your dental visits, you should expect your dentist to be focused on you, his client. This means that s/he does not allow their attention to be disrupted by non-work related matters. If you find yourself questioning your dentist’s professionalism, you should seek someone new.

When it comes to finding a dentist, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in her/his office. You should trust your dentist and the advise s/he gives, and you should never be made to feel a burden for asking questions about treatment alternatives.

If your dentist displays any of the above signs, it might be time to switch. Visit Signal Hill Dental Centre for trusted Calgary dentists.

Article By Alex Pupkin
Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Alex_Pupkin/464140

Benefits of Offering a 401(k) For Your Dental Practice

There are many reasons why you may not already offer a 401(k) plan through your dental practice; concerns about cost and complexity of running a plan, questions regarding whether your practice is even big enough to need a 401(k), and worries about fiduciary responsibilities are all common reasons employers cite when asked why they don’t offer a retirement benefit to employees [1]. But here’s the reality: there are 401(k) providers in the market that specialize in operating small business plans and design their services around alleviating the concerns small business owners have. Whether you have one employee in your practice or 100, there are cost-efficient 401(k) plan options out there that can be customized to fit your business needs, help minimize your administrative duties, and limit your fiduciary responsibilities.

Not to mention, as the head of your practice, your employees are counting on you to help them financially prepare for the future. You’re also going to need to replace some—if not most of—your own pre-retirement income when you reach retirement age, and offering a 401(k) plan for your practice is one of the most advantageous ways to do that.

Top three reasons employers don’t offer a 401(k) plan statistic
  • Think company is not big enough (54%)
  • Concerns about cost (42%)
  • Employees not interested (18%)
401(k) plan access for employees of small businesses

Only 60% of small businesses offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan to employees, yet 81% of workers agree that retirement benefits offered by a prospective employer are a major factor in their final decision when job hunting.

  • Tax deductions for the employer

There are a variety of tax deductions and credits dentists can take advantage of when starting up a 401(k) plan for their practice. If your practice hasn’t had any type of retirement plan for at least three years or you are starting a 401(k) plan for the first time, your practice may be eligible to receive a tax credit that covers up to 50 percent of the startup and administrative costs, up to $5,000 per year, for the first three years of the plan.* Plus, any matching contributions made to employees on behalf of the business are a deductible expense, up to 25 percent of total participant compensation. 

  • Attract and retain top talent

It’s no secret that many American workers expect to be offered a retirement plan to save in as part of their comprehensive benefits package. In fact, doctors may be missing out on top talent by not offering some type of retirement benefit to employees of their practice; more than 8 in 10 workers agree that retirement benefits offered by a prospective employer are a major factor in their final decision while job hunting [1].

  • Plan design options allow for flexibility to fit business needs

A 401(k) plan offers added flexibility in plan design compared to other retirement plan options, allowing employers to add Safe Harbor provisions, profit sharing options, etc. Plus, 401(k)’s offer enhanced contribution options for owners and other highly compensated employees—which may be especially intriguing for dentists who run their own practice—as well as payroll integration options to help streamline benefits processes. 

  • Help your staff (and yourself) financially prepare for retirement

Experts recommend saving 10-15 percent of gross income for retirement, but that can be hard to do in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other types of retirement plans that have low contribution maximums. One major benefit of 401(k) plans is that they boost the highest contribution limit among any type of retirement plan, allowing plan participants to save up to $19,500 in 2021, plus an extra $6,500 in catch-up contributions if they’re age 50 or older. 

Learn more about the hidden benefits of 401(k) plans

Five things to look for in your practice’s 401(k) provider

Dental practices can vary in size quite drastically, which may leave some doctors feeling like they aren’t qualified to run a retirement plan for their employees. But studies show that most 401(k) plans for dental practices actually contain fewer than 25 participants—and even further, about two-thirds of those plans contain ten or fewer [2]. Clearly, practices of any size can offer a 401(k) plan for employees, but it’s important to find a provider who specializes in small plans and can help take some of the responsibilities of being a plan sponsor off of your plate. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Flexibility in plan design

We’ve already mentioned how 401(k) plans allow for maximum flexibility in plan design, so make sure you choose a 401(k) provider that offers the features you’re looking for. Whether you want to add Safe Harbor provisions or are considering various matching contribution options, your 401(k) provider should be flexible in helping you design a plan that fits your practice’s needs.

2. Upfront pricing

You and your employees should feel comfortable while investing in your future—and hidden fees can make participants and plan sponsors alike uneasy. Your 401(k) record keeper should provide completely transparent and upfront pricing, so you and your employees know exactly what the plan’s fee structure is before any contributions are processed. 

3. Easy-to-use website

One of the most important parts of a successful retirement plan is participation, so your 401(k) provider should make it as easy as possible for participants to get enrolled and start contributing. Participants should be able to sign up and manage their account online, and the website should be easy-to-navigate so participants and plan sponsors can find necessary forms and account information.

4. Knowledgeable and helpful Customer Care team

Chances are you’re not a retirement professional—and certainly, you aren’t solely focused on running your practice’s retirement plan. Your 401(k) provider should offer access to a Customer Care team that’s available to help you and plan participants navigate the path to retirement readiness. Some providers, like PAi Retirement Services, will even go as far as offering first year end plan support and perform applicable non-discrimination testing on behalf of the plan sponsor.

5. Financial education available

Investing and financial jargon can be overwhelming, so many employees in your practice may not know where to start when it comes to investing and saving for their future. Choose a provider that offers robust financial education and support for both plan sponsors and plan participants—and a plan, like PAi’s CoPilot Prime 401(k), that includes personalized education, fast setup, and easy plan management. With CoPilot Prime, you can focus on running your business while PAi focuses on running the retirement plan, giving you more time to do what you do best: take care of your patients and grow your practice.

With actively managed accounts, fiduciary protections, and access to an award-winning Customer Care team, CoPilot Prime offers a viable option to dentists considering starting a 401(k) plan for their practice. To learn more about CoPilot Prime or the other CoPilot retirement plan options available, contact PAi Retirement Services at 800.236.7400, Option 1.

Sources:

[1]19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 2019.

[2] 401(k) Benchmark Report, ALM Intelligence, 2018.

* Requirements for this credit include:
– Has less than 100 employees
– At least one non-highly compensated employee must be participating
– Employer must not have sponsored a qualified plan in the last three years

Choosing a Dental Lab? Ask These 5 Questions First

Choosing a dental lab can be difficult. Communication is key to your relationship with a lab. Here is a list of questions to ask a prospective new laboratory before starting a business relationship. Narrowing the list to five questions was difficult, but as you will see, there are many additional questions within each category. While some of these questions may seem harsh, most labs will appreciate your honesty and direct approach toward forging a new relationship by addressing these issues upfront.

#1 “Do you use FDA-approved materials?”

This is important because you want to make sure all materials the lab uses are manufactured by reputable companies when choosing a dental lab. For example, some labs “brown bag” metal shot from a guy on the corner who makes his own copy of another manufacturer’s alloy for a fraction of the cost. When you ask for a high-gold crown, and the lab gives you an incredibly low price, you must question how this is possible. Quite often, nonprecious or other substitutes are used and passed off as the alloy of request to keep the costs down and increase profits. To ensure you are getting quality alloy, request the IdentAlloy®sticker from the manufacturer to be applied to all the invoices to certify what was used on the case.

In the case of brand name crowns, such as the many different zirconia crowns on the market, you want to know if the lab is an authorized lab for that product and if they are using genuine material. For example, is that a genuine Procera crown or Lava crown, or is it an imitation zirconia crown that costs a fraction of the price but is being passed off as the real thing? 

Remember, if the lab is offering a product at a much lower price than every other lab for the same thing, chances are it isn’t the same thing. The number of authorized Captek™ labs in the country could not produce the number of crowns being sold as “Captek.” Many labs will just cast yellow gold copings, bake porcelain on it, and call it Captek. You can contact any company and question whether that lab is an authorized user of that product.

#2 “Do you use genuine manufacturer parts and hardware for implant restorations?”

As with alloy, genuine implant manufacturer parts must be used on your restorations unless you request otherwise. There are many copycat implant manufacturers on the market today. Some make decent parts, while others are noticeably inferior. If you choose to use imitation parts, that is your prerogative. But if you ask for a genuine Nobel Biocare™ bridge and the lab uses a knockoff, that is a severe offense. The manufacturer’s warranty is voided, and you will be responsible for a full charge on the remake. If the implant failed, the surgeon or periodontist would be accountable for the new implant. It is not uncommon for labs to use plastic imitation components and pass them off as genuine. Just as you might question the ethics and reliability of a competing dentist who charges one-third of every other dentist’s fee in the area, you must ask how a lab can offer any implant restoration at such a low cost. If you want to save money on parts, the way to do that legitimately is to get your account, buy your parts, and supply them to the lab to use. You may even be able to get a discount on the parts.

#3 “How do you perform quality control checks on your work?”

How does a lab make sure you are getting a good piece of work? If the turnaround time is swift, you must consider when that lab owner or technician will check the result. For example, when choosing a dental lab, consider what it takes to make a single porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown: The models need to be poured, “Pindexed” (or similar system), and counter models poured and mounted. The dies must be trimmed, die spacer applied, then waxed to correct contour. A sprue must be added, then placed on a base. Since it makes more sense to group wax-ups in a casting ring, a technician will wax more than one case and invest them all for overnight burnout. Is there someone in charge of quality control on these wax-ups to ensure that the wax-up is correct?

The ring will be cast, divested, and finished. Is there someone who makes sure that the coping is completed correctly to the exact specifications and desired alloy? The coping is cut back and opaqued to the desired shade. Finally, the ceramist will apply the porcelain. A final quality control day is required. If something needs to be adjusted, fixed, or remade, an extra day is more helpful. 

An average lab will take at least seven to eight days to do this entire work, not including the pickup. If a lab is taking three to five days for a single PFM, how does quality control happen? How is the work being performed? Does the lab have full-time employees or subcontractors who come in after-hours and knock out a few units? Is the work performed at the lab? Find out how many technicians work at the lab, and ask if they all work full time. A consistent team of technicians supplies a consistent quality of work. If the lab allows after-hour technicians to come in after their workday at another lab to do a few units, consistency and quality will suffer.

#4 – “Do you send your work offshore?”

Many labs send their work to China, Korea, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica, or any other country with low labor and production costs. They do this without telling the dentist. These countries do not have the FDA or ADA compliance laws to ensure that approved materials are used. 

Lead-laced alloy and porcelain on PFM crowns have already been reported in this country in the last few years. The patient’s and the dentist’s health — who inserts, grinds and adjusts the crown — are at risk with these contaminated crowns. The labs can get crowns as low as $29 from overseas labs and resell them at a lower rate than other American labs, but still at a significant profit. Some labs advertise this fact and offer low prices to the dentist. When choosing a dental lab, ask yourself how a crown that contains palladium, gold, or silver alloy, ADA-approved materials, porcelain, and that is made with quality craftsmanship cost less than $150? Many labs do not tell you they are sending the work overseas; they pass it off as their own.

#5 – “May I inspect your lab?”

Ask, and then do it! Meet the lab owner and the quality control guy. Meet the office staff. Take a tour of the lab. Is it clean? If this is a quality-oriented lab, then the facility should follow suit. Why would you accept a dirty, pumice-covered, chaotic mess of a dental lab instead of a professional-looking establishment when you are choosing a dental lab? You should examine the work pans and look at the work coming in and going out. Are the pans covered in plaster and the models and articulators sloppy and dirty? Do the impressions look like the kind you would send? Are the work desks neat? Do the technicians take care of the equipment and respect their tools? Ask if there is an inventory closet or area where they keep their implant hardware. Take a look and see if they stock genuine parts. Ask to see all the pans. Look for a wall or shelf that has many empty pans with prescriptions in them. Ask why they are empty. Chances are the work has been sent offshore to be completed by another lab.

Talk to the owner and see if you get along. 

The key to the dentist/lab tech relationship is just that — it’s a relationship, not unlike a marriage. You will work together through thick and thin, so you must have a rapport with each other to be able to talk about anything without fear. The lab owner must be able to call and question a bite, a die, or any discrepancy in your impression or model without fear of an argument or losing you as an account. You must be able to suggest tighter or looser fits on crowns and question overall quality without fear of a fight. If you have an understanding, you will have many years of a great working relationship.

Transition Safely After Choosing A Dental Lab

  1. Don’t send all your work in one shot. 
    Send a few cases one at a time and build the relationship from that. – At Zircon Lab, we offer three free coupons for any crown to be used at any time. 
  2. Do not send failed cases from a previous lab.
    It is not fair for the new lab to be held accountable for another lab’s case, and even though you say you won’t, you will judge their work on this case.
  3. Feel each other out to make sure the owner knows what you want, and correct the lab when something is done wrong.
    It would help if you had a foundation for a relationship between the fifth and tenth case. If this does not happen, you may not be compatible; maybe you are not meant to work together. If that is the case, leave on good terms. You never know in a few years you may meet again, and circumstances may have changed; this lab may be able to give you what you were looking for the first time.

By Steven Pigliacelli, CDT, MDT

At Zircon Lab, we only use FDA approved materials and genuine manufacturer parts and hardware for implant restorations. Every case is quality checked before shipping. All of our restorations are custom designed and handmade in the USA by highly trained and experienced technicians. We are always open to any dentist visiting us to take a tour of the lab. Zircon Lab believes that quality work plus exceptional service equals beautiful results.

Retirement – Are you Planning For Your Future?

Planning and saving for retirement doesn’t just happen independently; It takes a lot of planning, commitment, and most importantly, it takes money.

It’s a proven fact that less than half of Americans know how much they need to retire. Some businesses do not offer 401K plans, which can affect your plans for saving. Whether or not your company offers a 401k plan, you must set goals, start saving and keep saving.

If you’re not currently saving, start small and work your way up. Make saving for retirement your number one goal, and remember it’s never too early or too late to start saving. You will more than likely need at least 90% of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living when you retire. Once all of your debt is paid off, and your employer offers a 401k plan, or you go elsewhere to invest, make sure you contribute all that you can.

Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate. Find out how much you will need to get the full contribution from your employer. Once you build your retirement savings, never touch it. Life happens and can become difficult at times, but never fall back on your retirement no matter what you do. You will lose principal and interest and might end up paying withdrawal penalties. If a change in jobs happens in your future, make sure that you keep your savings and roll them over into your new employer’s retirement plan or an IRA.

When you open an IRA, you have two options, Traditional or Roth. IRS’s can be an easy way to save in addition to your 401k plan. No matter what methods you choose to start planning and saving for your retirement, you must remember that it takes goals, commitment, and money.

Bill Pay – How To Collect Outstanding Debts

It’s always best to encourage your patients to pay at the time of service. Many staff members can become nervous or uncomfortable when asking patients to pay their bill. 

Recruit The Right Staff

It would be best if you had someone with a strong and confident personality to get the payments at the time of service. It’sIt’s crucial to have a system that works in your office. 

Discuss Bill Charges Before Procedures

Communication is the key to getting your payments on time. Ensure your staff is explaining to the patient precisely what services they will be performing, how much everything will cost, and most importantly, confirm that the patient is accepting your treatment plan and prices.

  • For example, Your staff should never tell the patient they are due for x-rays and perform the service without confirming that they are comfortable with the extra expense.

Active Communication is Always Better Than Passive

Display signs in your waiting room explaining to the patients to please update any insurance changes pay at the time of service, or please prepay before your appointment is not acceptable. 

These signs will ultimately take away from the communication between your staff and your patients. Inform your patients what to do at their appointments. This is why you pay your team. 

Ask & You Shall Receive 

The most effective way to receive your payment is to have your staff ask for payment after rendered services. 

The staff member asking for the payment should always be prepared to present the bill to the patient and explain all services and costs. If the patient is unable to pay in full at the time of service, always have options for a payment plan ready to discuss in private with the patient. Remember, some payment is better than none, always try your best to accommodate the patient with affordable payment plans if necessary.

Offer Many Ways To Pay 

Always accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash. Make the process as convenient and straightforward as possible for the patient.

Protect Privacy

It is crucial to respect your patient’s privacy. Make sure your office allows complete privacy between your patient and your staff member asking for the payment. Have a staff member escort the patient to the front desk after their completed exam. 

It’s never easy to discuss money, but clear and direct communication will improve your dental office’s financial situation.

Patient Referrals – Grow Your Dental Practice

Marketing your dental practice can be time-consuming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Use the resources you already have – patient referrals.

Existing patients will always recommend a dental practice they love to their family, friends, and co-workers. Still, the key is to make certain all of your existing patients are happy and satisfied for them to do this for you and your practice.

PATIENT REFERRALS – GIVE THANKS

Always let your patients know how much you appreciate them and reward them for their patient referrals. Place yourself in the shoes of a brand new patient; what are some things you would look for in a dental practice that you were visiting for the very first time?

THE WAITING ROOM

Start with the waiting area; this should be an inviting, peaceful area. Talk with some of your existing patients and see what they would change about the waiting room. Remember, the waiting room is the first impression of your dental practice. The purpose of an inviting, peaceful waiting room is not to keep your patients waiting.

BE ON TIME

Make it your number one goal to always see patients at the time of their scheduled appointment. Patients should never wait for more than 10 minutes.

GET TO KNOW YOUR PATIENTS

When seeing a patient for the first time, always introduce yourself and ask them questions to get to know them. For example: Do you have any big plans this weekend? Never get too personal at a first meeting; keep it simple and let the patient open up to you. This will allow you to feel the patient out and see how much they want to talk or not. Some patients will want to get the appointment over with and want nothing to do with “small talk.” Learn to read your patients, as every patient is different.

ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS

Make sure you never make your patients feel stupid or uncomfortable. There is no such thing as a silly question. Try your best not to call your patients out. About 50% of your patients will lie about flossing, so if the patient says they floss and you can tell they do not, then explain some tips to floss more accurately. Treat every patient the way you would want to be treated. Every patient should feel like the most crucial person in your office. If you and your staff are successful in making all of your existing patients 100% happy, then this will be your number one recourse for inexpensive marketing for your dental practice.

Pink Festive Engagement Announcement Facebook Post

Routine Appointments – The Key to Client Retention

Getting your patients to schedule routine appointments is extremely important to make your dental office successful. Having a scheduling system that flows smoothly is the key to patient satisfaction and building revenue.

SEPARATE ADMIN OFFICE HOURS FROM PROCEDURE HOURS

No matter the office’s size, the Doctor must set several hours each week he or she would like to see patients. This time is separate from office hours; this is strictly seeing and working on patients. Once the hours are determined, the Doctor can decide how to staff the office to ensure each patient is taken care of promptly. Never double-book your patients. Each patient deserves your undivided attention; this makes the patient feel very comfortable in an uncomfortable setting. If you see a new patient for the first time, allow a little more time in your schedule for them. It’s important to explain everything in detail to brand new patients; this will keep them coming back.

ORGANIZE AND APPOINT YOUR STAFF

Try and organize your day by patient type/procedure type. For example, if you have your regular patients who need a simple cleaning, schedule them in the mornings to create easy patient flow, and schedule patients who need procedures done later. Dedicate one person or a scheduling team to make appointments, avoid just any employee having the capability to schedule appointments; this will reduce scheduling conflicts.

EDUCATE YOUR STAFF

Make your staff aware of the importance of getting your patients to schedule routine appointments. Having good patient flow creates good revenue, which is what pays the employees’ salaries. Never let a patient leave your office without scheduling their next appointment, whether it’s a cleaning or a crown/bridge seat.

REMIND YOUR PATIENTS OF THEIR ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS

Cleanings are scheduled every six months, which is a long time in your patient’s busy life, so create a system to mail a postcard one month before the patient’s appointment and then give a courtesy call the week of the appointment. Your patients will love you doing the work for them. If your office follows these strategies, you can quickly get your patients to schedule routine appointments and increase office flow and revenue.

Dental Work Made In China Might Contain Lead

By ROBERTA BASKIN and SANDY BERGO

When Faye Lewis became concerned about her painful new bridgework, she had it checked out and received disturbing news: Her bridge was manufactured in China and tainted with lead. More dentists are using crowns and bridges made in China. According to the United States Customs Office, the number of dental work products coming into the United States from China has doubled in the last year. An investigation by ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV found that at least some of those dental products contain lead.

Lewis initially went to have a chipped tooth fixed, but her resulting bridgework fit so poorly and painfully, she couldn’t chew her food. The 73-year-old told her dentist what she wanted to do was chew out whoever built her bridge. According to Lewis, her dentist replied, “That will be a little hard to do because they’re in China.” As a grandmother, Lewis was aware of news reports about the recall of lead-tainted toys from China. Lead accumulates in the body and can affect kidneys, eyes, heart, the immune system, and cognitive function. So Lewis sent her dental work to a lab for testing. The results showed that it did indeed contain lead.

Ricki Braswell, co-executive director of the National Association of Dental Laboratories, said there is little regulation regarding dental work. “Because you have an unregulated industry, you don’t have standards,” Braswell said. “You don’t have standards in the domestic industry. You certainly don’t have standards in the foreign industry.”

Dental Work – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Tony Prestipino, who owns Artifex dental lab in Virginia, ordered ten crowns from three dental labs in China on behalf of WJLA. Crowns from China sell for $30 to $50 to dentists, who then can charge up to $1,200 to patients who don’t know the crowns were made in China. A Chinese lab representative told Prestipino over the phone, “We follow this military ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.” Within five days, the crowns arrived. “The first thing I see is that this is a horrible color and a horrible shape,” Prestipino said. Those crowns had problems similar to Lewis’. They didn’t match the prescription and never would fit properly. When that happens, Prestipino said, “bacteria seeps right into it. You will end up needing a root canal.” If Lewis’ bridge hadn’t fit so poorly, she never would have had it removed or tested for toxic materials. Next, WJLA had the China-made crowns tested for lead at NSL Analytical in Cleveland. Using a sophisticated process that takes days to complete, the lab did not find lead in any of the crowns’ metal portion. But in every case, lead contamination was discovered in the crown’s porcelain parts at some very high levels. “We never expected to see lead in teeth,” said NSL president Larry Somrack. In the crowns tested, the lead levels were as high as 490 parts per million. That’s five times higher than the 90 ppm a Congressional committee wants the U.S. to set for toys. Faye Lewis believes that money is behind the increased use of dental work from China. “It’s a cost factor. It’s the big dollar,” she said.

ADA Conducting Investigation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it does not believe the lead levels found pose an immediate health risk and doesn’t recommend people delay dental work or have prior work redone. Meanwhile, the American Dental Association is investigating of its own. The ADA plans to analyze up to 100 crowns blindly; about 50 percent will be from the U.S. and the other half from foreign countries. Cliff Carey, an analytical chemist with the ADA, says the organization hopes to finish the study within a year and provide the CDC results. In the testing conducted so far, Carey said that no lead was found in the crowns. The ADA is testing porcelain powders and has found traces of lead, but in minimal amounts, he said. The ADA encourages patients to discuss any concerns about the safety of their dental crowns or other prostheses with their dentists and will continue to share information on this issue.

Know What Goes In Your Patient’s Mouth

If your Dentist is using Zircon Lab located in Lenexa, KS for your crown and bridge dental work, then you are guaranteed that your Dentist has chosen a Certified Dental Laboratory to fabricate all of your dental restorations. The National Board of Certification awards its certification only to laboratories that demonstrate adherence to the highest standards. Your dental restoration is always custom designed and handmade in the USA by highly trained and experienced technicians. We use only the finest dental materials available in the fabrication process. Have your Dentist contact Zircon Lab today. 

Flossing – Show Your Dental Patients How

Most patients will either find excuses not to start flossing their teeth or see it as a very inconvenient process. Most dentists like to think this is a part of everyone’s morning and nightly routines, but this is usually pushed aside. Most dentists would say there are convenient ways to floss to address any excuse your patients might have. Some patients will only floss right before their dentist appointment and think that is sufficient to prove to their dentist that they do floss – Wrong!

A recent survey found that only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% never floss. This statistic is very disappointing to dentists since they believe that flossing is more important than brushing.

Flossing is the number one way to help prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. The number one excuse why your patients do not floss is because they think that the only time you need to floss is if you feel like there is food stuck in between your teeth, this is not true. The main reason you floss is to remove plaque, which causes tooth decay, inflamed gums, periodontal disease, and eventually, tooth loss.

A lot of patients will claim that they do not know how to floss. Make it part of your patient’s dental exam to show them how to floss their teeth appropriately. Just getting the floss in between the teeth is not the key; you must follow the teeth’ contours and form a C shape once the floss reaches the gum. Do not ignore your back molars; this is where most decay occurs. Daily flossing your teeth will not only give you a beautiful smile but will also help prevent much more serious diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.

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    Zircon Lab, LLC specializes in high end Zirconia (Bruxer), Aesthetic High Translucent Full Zirconia Crowns for Anteriors, e.max, and implants. All of our restorations are 100% made in the USA and we are the only dental lab to have an unconditional, 100% lifetime warranty.

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