Heritage Construction Joins Northern Dental Alliance

When dentists are building or remodeling dental offices, they want to make sure the process goes well. But more importantly, the building needs to function efficiently and effectively for the team, the patients and the doctor day in and day out.

As a consultant to dentists and a member and founder of Northern Dental Alliance, I try to weave everything possible into the mix to make success possible. I am excited to introduce and promote Heritage - a dental office construction company with all the tools required to build a dental practice that works for everyone involved.


Northern Dental Alliance welcomes new member Heritage Construction Companies, LLC of Elk River, MN. Heritage has developed numerous dental practices and other healthcare related offices throughout the state and region, as well as other retail and commercial sites.

Their membership in the Northern Dental Alliance shows a commitment to serving their dentist clients in a comprehensive way with long-term success as the goal. From the dental operatory and reception area design to the most efficient and cost-effective office building process, Heritage Construction has developed the resources to help dentists create their dream practice.

Heritage owner, Andy Christensen says, “What I think about first is 'service' - and how our company is focused on it. I built my construction firm around a collaborative service-oriented approach. I consider the ‘service attitude’ Heritage employees inject into the dental industry as vital to its success. And we achieve success for our dentist clients by taking this servant mindset to work with us every single day."

Heritage Construction began in 2004 when Andrew Christensen started the general contractor business to serve the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota and into Central Wisconsin to build commercial and retail buildings that fit the needs of the business, the business owner and the area.

Elk River based builder, Heritage Construction is committed to developing and building their dentist clients’ offices with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. They manage each project from start to finish and more. A parallel goal is to make the budget better. Their dental practices (and other buildings) come in many shapes and sizes. Heritage Construction can build or expand any location, bringing clients the expertise and knowledge required to meet their needs.

Heritage Construction Companies, LLC, serves clients with unmatched business professionalism. Work environments are based on respect and to be rewarding and fun. Alliances with subcontractors and suppliers are formed to enhance job site safety, productivity and cost effectiveness. Serving their clients honorably typifies their business relationships.

Again Andy Christensen, "We have been successfully building, remodeling and servicing dental clinics for the many years. With our combined knowledge, experience and skill set, we have become experts in the dental industry. Many dentists in Minnesota and the surrounding states already know about our construction company, whether we have built or remodeled their practice or not. This is because we support the Northwest Dentistry Journal and regularly participate in dental events, including attending the main three MN dental meetings every year.”

Learn more about Heritage by visiting the Northern Dental Alliance website: click here.

Visit their website,

Dick Chwalek - Dental Marketing Consultant and Dentist Coach

Call 866-453-1026

Start Developing Your Connective Communication Strategy.


Michigan Dentist Completes Fellowship Program in Dental Implants

Dental implants save smiles, transform health and rejuvenate lives.

Once you realize how many people loose their teeth by the age of 65 in this country and you quickly understand the value of this service.

I have worked with dental laboratories and implant dentists for over almost 14 years. It still amazes me how many people just don't know about or appreciate what implant dentistry can do for people who have lost teeth, which occurs very often because of untreated gum disease.

Something like 50% of adults 20 and over - who are not considered in poverty have gingival bleeding (HHS Dental Health Data). Bleeding gums are an early sign of periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

When this tooth ravager has had its run of your mouth for more than a few years, the teeth start to loosen and the jaw bone turns to mush. Dental Implants offer the only way back out of this devastating predicament.

Just read a few stories about dental implant patients and then look into the science of this treatment. Then when a dentist says it will cost a couple thousand dollars or so to replace a tooth, rather than balk at the high fee - think about what it will cost you to say good bye to your ability to chew as well as watch in high def your jaw recede farther back than your hairline.

It might bite when your dental bill knocks your saving account for a loop, but think about how no bite is is much worse...

Remember, there is very little need to spend all your health care dollars on Bob Dole's E-D remedy when gumming your food during the next candlelight dinner once again graphically diminishes that see Alice moment.

Also no good reason to plunk down all the green for Joan Rivers' plastic surgery when spitting your dentures into your girl friend's handbag occurs every time a handsome dude across the room winks at you.

NOTE: Of course, if someone has a phobia of toothpicks, it's obvious this blog is mostly barking up the wrong tree about the need for teeth. Inversely that would mean a good bite is worse than a bark.

That is Why Touting Dentists and their Training is PR EVERY Consumer NEEDS To know about. Public Relations for Public Health awareness. Bringing NEW meaning to the old Dental News adage - if it BLEEDS it LEADS to tooth loss.

Blog entry by Dick Chwalek


Traverse City dentist Dr. Brian Klym recently completed the Misch Implant Institute yearlong Fellowship training program. This comprehensive series of post graduate dental courses is recognized as the implant training gold standard.

Founded in 1984, the world-renowned Misch Institute helps set and elevate the level of implant dentistry using a hands-on training approach. Dentists attend classes on diagnosis, implant case planning and patient evaluation, and all phases of dental implant treatment. Each course includes lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions for both removable and fixed prosthodontics.

Dr. Klym started his implant hands on coursework many years ago, receiving a fellowship from the ICOI in 1998 (International Congress of Oral Implantologist). His patients are receiving an ever higher level of care and his continued implant training will help insure long-term, healthy results for his patients.

Actual Patient Results Achieved With Dr. Klym's Implant Dentistry Training:First, Dr. Klym’s patient M. H. had congenitally missing teeth - central and lateral incisor - left side and front of smile. The teeth were moved with orthodontics to make room for placing dental implants, which were restored with 360 degree porcelain veneers. The patient came in with a partial denture, which she had worn most of her adult life.

This type of denture is called a flipper because of the visual effect it produces. In online examples, Dr. Klym provides photos showing how well the gum tissue healed around the implant site.

Another patient, Tom, discussed his implant care: “About a year and a half ago my tooth broke. While it affected my chewing and eating, what had the most effect was how embarrassed I was about missing a tooth. Essentially, I quit smiling. Since I was going to need an implant, I was also glad Dr. Klym had training in oral sedation dentistry.”

After Treatment, Tom commented, “I can chew and eat just like I could before. Even though having the dental implant (with a natural looking restoration) has increased my confidence a lot, I need to learn to smile again.” His dental implant treatment photos are found on

Brian P. Klym, DDS, is the owner of Northwood Dental in Traverse City. He has certification from DOCS—an oral conscious sedation program, which means he can provide a high level of comfort to his patients during implant treatment. Visit Dr. Klym’s website to learn more about his background and the comprehensive services he provides.


NDA Member Says Fiduciary Financial Advisor Protects Against Conflict of Interest

> Fiduciary - It Is Worth A lot!

When does a dentist know when a financial advisor is working in their best interest? Only one of these terms, fiduciary or suitability, reflects the highest level of protection for a dentist's investments.
Fee-only financial advisor and professional wealth building consultant, Rick Epple, CFP® of Epple Financial Advisors, recommends dentists know the difference and understand how to find to the best planner. The responsibility your advisor has to you and your financial interests should be more important than any other entity.

Rick has an independent perspective and believes dentists should develop a relationship with a financial planner that is scrubbed of conflict of interests. He recently found an article about this issue, which also references his focus on making sure dentists get an independent view of how to manage their money and investments and secure their financial future.

One example of his focus on working in your best interest is providing the kind of independent financial education found in the article noted below.

Lead In Article Synopsis: of Nov. 22, 2009 Article...
Paydirt: Financial advisers don't all follow the same rules
  • KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune
Normally I stay away from financial jargon in these columns. But this column is about financial jargon. With a debate raging in Washington about reforming the regulations governing the financial advice industry to better protect investors, there are some terms you need to understand.
  • The first term is "fiduciary."
  • Then there's the term "suitability"
To read the entire article, click Financial advisers don't all follow the same rules.

> Note: Articles maybe archived by Star Tribune after 14 days.

Kara McGuire. • 612-673-7293 or

Follow Kara on Twitter:

> Rick is also a founder and member of the Northern Dental Alliance (NDA)


Marketing Consulting: Wrap Your Brain Around Communication

Marketing is communication. Communication makes things work. Nothing happens or changes without a heavy dose of communication. Dental patients, dentists, and dentistry offices all work (or don't) with gears greased with communication and the marketing surrounding it.

Of course the brain is alway there to mess everything up. It falls into stereotypes. Travels down the rabbit hole of wackiness. Leaps across the logic wall.

One of the most influential tidbits of scientific information I have ever learned about how our brain works is its connection with our eyes. Basically, we make things up - because the communication between our eyes and our brain has a tenth of a second delay.

While I am not totally versed on this science (some info and links below) it has significant potential to cause us to think and do many things that are not very likely to produce the results we expect - when it is all said and done (to our wallets in many cases).

Our brains are marketing to us without our knowledge or understanding of its impact in many areas of our life. Dental patients want inexpensive care or someone else to pay for it (insurance companies) and dentists want marketing that is guaranteed, easy to do themselves, or nearly free.

Dental marketing consultants/coaches like myself wish for dentist-clients who understand all of these things and appreciate the complexities of the 'right marketing plan'. While at the same time falling into our own consulting rabbit holes.

My 'one-tenth off the mark' proclivity is the perfect symbiotic communication idea that changes 'consumerkind' and gets me that Nobel Prize for marketing science.

What can be done if we all see, believe and understand things with a different 'eye' for reality? OPEN UP our brains. Make sure what the marketer wants you to believe is actually healthy for your office revenues and personal finances.

Two online stories help illustrate these concepts - see below.

Start locating the fault lines. And, continue to navigate back to an evidence-based reality grounding in what will work rather than following the drivel of simplicity being advertised on the internet.

While my belief system is not completely science based, jumping off ten story buildings without a floatation device has long been something I avoid. My faith has never been about closing my eyes to the reality. Of course, my eyes are not something I will ever totally trust again.

Imagine if you had to rely on someone's eyewitness account to absolve you of some crime or accusation. (An article I Googled) Now think about how you are being influenced by a dental office marketing solution you have been presented. What rabbit hole is closest to their advertising pitch?

Rather than grab the next marketing rabbit that runs by, close your eyes and think about how you could move forward with an ongoing, pragmatic and proactive (not reactive) strategy.

Call Me. We can talk. Discuss what is possible.
866-453-1026 - ext 251

I work with a number of strategic marketing partners. You should have flexibility. Utilize scalable strategies. And then track it all, learn from the data, enhance the marketing, and then see real results for the long term.

Sites I've Developed, Founded, Etc.
Tenth of Second Discrepancy Information
> Two Excerpts

"Therefore, the tenth-of- a-second window may be the smallest delay that allows higher areas of the brain to account for the delays created in the first stages of the system while still operating near the border of the present. This window of delay means that awareness is postdictive, incorporating data from a window of time after an event and delivering a retrospective interpretation of what happened."

"But as we begin to understand time as a construction of the brain, as subject to illusion as the sense of color is, we may eventually be able to remove our perceptual biases from the equation. Our physical theories are mostly built on top of our filters for perceiving the world, and time may be the most stubborn filter of all to budge out of the way."

On Point Radio - Believing the Unbelievable


Midwinter Dental Meeting in St. Paul Minnesota

The Northern Dental Alliance will be at the St. Paul (MN) Midwinter Meeting. Our consultants can help you practice fearless dentistry!

Date: January 15, 2010
Minnesota and Twin Cities area dentists look for the NDA banner and booth at the show.

Talk with...
Invite the NDA to speak at your dental study club, conference or event!
Contact The Northern Dental Alliance or a NDA member.


Thanksgiving Food For Thought - Dental Marketing Reprieve

Time to eat and talk turkey. Tomorrow we have a date with the dinner table. Friday we have a date with the mall. Soon we will party till we ring-a-ding in the new year.

There is something WRONG with this picture, much like how dental marketing is unflatteringly employed. You and I need to talk frankly about how dentistry should be presented to the consumer to affect a positive and productive result.

It is time to change the rules. You need to avoid overindulgence on supposedly simple million-patients-in-a-month, fairy tale spun marketing tripe. Stop bingeing on super secret 100% money back dental advertising turkey droppings.

Following 'all the rules' and practices of yore vidal sassoon without serious reflection will too often mean ending up going in the wrong direction.

Thanksgiving dinner can turn into tummy tuck redux. Holiday shopping can trample the reason for the season. Tipping a few too many glasses of bubbly back has caused a staggering number of people to hear sirens sound rather new year's party horns blare.

Instead of following other dentists off the cliff of same old outlandish brain-locked marketing schlock, get real and start building an integrated, consistent, scalable communication strategy. It will take some hard work and even cost more money than you think makes sense. Of course, this cheaper by mutton headed philosophy might sound like something dentists like you have heard from patients.

Stay away from the easy and the cheap, anyone can do it, buy another lottery ticket solution. Following these tired and "always about money off your valuable expertise" rules will take you down a path where you will meet patients of the same perspective.

How can it cost that much doc? Why can't marketing/dentistry be easier and done without a lot of thinkin? Can't I just watch a training video, steady the marketing drill on my own and take care of that tooth back there? Oops. Ouch! Darn. That dental marketing without a net thing is more dangerous than I suspected Skipper.

You could ask me to show you how you can actually build your practice, increase revenues, bring in more new patients and help more people get the care they need. Or not.

Just wait till things turn around. Sit there at the table and keep telling yourself eating all this food is a good thing. That some day you will get up and do some jumping jacks and calisthenics to tighten up your belly full of yesteryears when things were easier and money flowed like milk shakes and honey ham.

But when you realize no one uses the words calisthenics or does jumping jacks anymore. And figure out the milk toast selling dental marketers are shaking you down. Regain consciousness from the ham handed money scam you been hit with. Let's talk turkey about raising some revenues so you can improve the dental health of more consumers instead of navel oranges grazing.

Leave the lameness of last year's simpleton marketing ideas behind. Flush the toilet of no revenue movement. Whether it is virtual reality or real world advertising techniques, make a pact with yourself to do things in the pragmatic, continual build mode while utilizing concepts that help real people make real decisions about dentistry.

Promoting dentistry like its a sale on turkey franks at the big box grocers is detrimental to the health of your practice and us consumers. Frankly, I recommend beefing up your marketing strategy with data reality developed through comprehensive marketing tracking. I even have some grade A prime steroid infused data that will whet your "prove it to me" appetite.

Here is something the slick marketing their magic tricks group won't tell you - even in their super secret dental marketing reports... "It ain't easy to get it right, partner." And most fail because they thought it was easy and were shocked into backing off.

Of course, there is an "easy" part. It is in how THEY take your money and then move on to the next dentist waiting with fork in hand.

These marketers sell you smile whitening gel when you have periodontitis. They pull your teeth when they should have performed a root canal. Place a sold sign on the London crown and bridge when implants would have conserved even healthy teeth of a Brit.

So. Before you get sold a bill goodies again make sure their idea does not reek of LIMITED TIME ONLY marketing halitosis.

If these marketers have done so much good with their reports and deals of the century - why does this STATISTIC remind me of the movie by Dr. Even Steven Cling : "Caries" - the dental visit horror report.

"Overall, there was no change in the percentage of the population
with a dental visit from 1996 to 2004." (

Looks like my time is up. See you next week. Same bat channel. Same lame puns. Blame tame nuns. Game day runs. Claims son's name. Hum gains fame. Gun came framed.

Okay... it has gotten to be too late again. Sorry about that. Good night.

Happy Tank Living. A Marry Billie Hollandaise to You. Lappy New Beers. Dunk Murray, He My Pappy. Just scream when it starts to hurt.

Dick Chwalek
• Dental Marketing Coach • Dentistry Communication Consultant
CALL 866-453-1026


Dentists: Can A Lease Negotiator Can Help You?

> Dental Office Leasing Article By George Vaill

Bryn Mawr Dentist Bill Deal had a problem. He'd found a terrific location for his new dental office in this Pennsylvania town, and negotiated what he thought were good rental terms.

The office space would be delivered "as-is" but the landlord was to give him an allowance of $30,000 for renovations. He thought the allowance would be sufficient and was about to sign the lease when he became concerned about how far he could stretch $30,000.

Upon expressing his concerns to his dental equipment specialist, Bill was urged to contact a nationally recognized dental office lease negotiator. "They specialize in negotiating office leases for dentists all over the country." Bill was told "Why not give them a call?" So Bill contacted George Vaill of Winchester, Massachusetts to see if he could help.

Bill explained his circumstances to George and asked him how he could negotiate without knowledge of local market conditions. George explained that his services are about the lease negotiation process - not about how much the rent is on Main Street in Peoria - and that he had successfully negotiated leases for dentist all over the country because of his knowledge of landlord needs.

His concerns satisfied, Bill decided to hire George. George said he’d be glad to help and set out to establish his negotiation strategy. His first task was to educate himself as to Bill’s negotiation goals, the condition of the space, the occupancy status of the property and the history of the negotiations to date.

Next, George spoke to Bill’s contractor to learn what would be required to bring the property up to an acceptable delivery condition. George then spoke with the landlord to understand his perspective and to learn what the landlord’s needs and attitude were. Armed with all this information, George was able to determine how much leverage he could expect to exercise and then develop a negotiation posture and strategy to maximize that leverage.

Once the negotiation strategy was in place, George called the landlord and discussed Bill’s concerns. Describing the truly poor condition of the building and spelling out in detail the cost estimates for the work that was required to even to bring the building up to a reasonable starting position.

The persuasive techniques George employed with the landlord were so effective that, within three days of being contacted by Bill Deal, his lease advisor had renegotiated Bill's rental deal, persuading the landlord to triple the renovation allowance to $90,000!

Bill was thrilled. Not only had George saved Bill $60,000 and crafted a more beneficial lease, but he had made Bill's life much easier during a complex negotiation with which he had little experience.

Unusual experience you think? Quite the contrary. This dentist's experience is typical of the result many others report after they have engaged a lease negotiation specialist. More and more dentists are coming to the realization that they need lease negotiation assistance from a professional. Because it is not just a casual arrangement about dollars and dates, negotiating a lease effectively requires specialized knowledge and skill.

A lease expert applies in-depth knowledge of lease concepts and of what landlords need employing negotiation skills borne of years of experience to level the playing field with landlords who negotiate leases every day for a living.

Their involvement eliminates the acute disadvantage experienced by dentists who attempt to negotiate a complex and unfamiliar contract unassisted and leaves them free to concentrate their time and energies, providing dental care without intrusion from the lease negotiation process.

The return on a modest investment in the services of an expert includes a considerable saving of time and money and elimination of most of the hassles and anxiety inherent in the process.

© George Vaill 2001
34 Edward Drive, Winchester, MA 01890

George D. Vaill is president of George Vaill Dental Office Lease Negotiations. He specializes in negotiating the economic elements of office leases for dentists throughout the United States. Additionally, George reviews, and in many cases renegotiates, leases as part of dental practice transitions.
Call George

More Dental Consultants


Multi-Million Dollar Dental Office Results

How do you achieve the increased dentistry production levels your practice needs to help patients stay healthy? What is holding your dental office revenues in a stall mode?

Start managing success with the right plan. Claudia Walters will make sure you are 'scripted' for big time results!

Whether it is case presentation, hygiene production, team cohesion, or scheduling effectiveness, CW Dental Consulting has the tools to make your patients and office the healthiest it can be.

Michigan Dentist Client Testimonial:

Dr. Rita: "I am writing to give you some background on Claudia Walters and her abilities to help practices map out successful strategies on all levels, from the new patient experience to accounts receivable and far beyond. She took my practice from 35K per month to more than 180K now. We hope to do 2 million this year. The principles she and I set down help us to continue to thrive in a bad Michigan economy. We take no HMO's or PPO's and continue to get 20 to 30 new patients each month with our internal marketing and word of mouth.

Thanks to Claudia we have a perio recall system that keeps three full time and two part time hygienists busy. We employ a part-time hygiene recall coordinator that spends 20 hours a week making phone calls to patients that are due or over due. We have an extensive chain of command that begins with our Front Desk Manager and her three front desk co-workers that do everything according to our front desk manual put together from Claudia's scripts and financial arrangement protocols.

We do a daily fifteen minute huddle that reviews our previous days work, today's goal and patients, as well as the entire week ahead to make sure we are all on the same page. We do a weekly meeting, every other is a team meeting and then each department is arranged on alternating weeks so every area is addressed every 5 weeks. Claudia was instrumental in developing our present day blueprinting and color coding our appointment book (now computer), so that we were better able to meet our daily production goals just by plugging patients into our daily blueprint. It makes for a much better day, week, and month when we spread our needs over each day instead of the haphazard ways of the past. She was able to help us implement a successful strategy for payment options so that patients are able to choose one to four options that allows them to afford and receive the care and treatment recommended to them.

I could go on, but I believe Claudia can take any practice and guide them to be more efficient and organized from the front desk to everyday huddles. Again, she has helped many and can do so for anyone willing to listen and learn."

Find out more about Claudia's services for dentists and dental offices at

Blog entry by Dick Chwalek


Dental Lab Tip: Predictable Results with Digital Photography

Communication between dentist and dental laboratory is a critical element in achieving a desired restorative and esthetic outcome. Visual images are a key part of this communication and provide the dental technician with valuable information about the patient.

Photos not only serve as a practical case tool but also allow the laboratory technician to have a better connection with the patient and a higher level of involvement with the dentistry case. Images of the actual dental patient versus a stone model, especially in an anterior case, are a key component needed in the fabrication process.

The digital camera can sometimes be challenging for some dentists and dental practices, but with the proper training and commitment of the staff, the camera can become a part of the everyday routine. Using a digital camera dedicated to dental photography is recommended, single reflex cameras seem to be preferred for producing high quality images.

Although each type of camera has its own unique features and many guidelines to follow, here are some quick tips to remember:
  • It is important that your camera is properly adjusted to the optimal settings suited for dental photography
  • Hold selected shade tabs up to incisal edges of teeth so that the tab numbers can be seen in the photo. Photos should be taken of stump shade as well (for all ceramic)
  • Along with close up photos, also provide full face natural photos – smiling and resting position (for incisal edge positioning)
  • Upload the photos to your computer and store them in a folder that is easily accessible
  • Email the photos to Renstrom dental lab by attaching them as a file and in the message part include the patient's name and doctor’s name.
Photos can be emailed to
  • Lighting is the most important element – There should be an accurate amount of light exposure that displays detail throughout the image. – electronic flash
  • Have a good quality lens on your camera –consider the working distance and a close up lens with reproduction numbers for standardization
  • Mirrors should be used for intra oral views – the mirror should be stored at room temp and brought to body temp at time of photos, also clean and dry prior to each picture
  • Unobtrusive retractors should be used for proper retraction- to avoid a reflection use plastic vs. metal
For more information on digital photography or hands on assistance, contact Renstrom today!


An Open Letter To Dentists Who Want More From Their Vocation, Business, Life, Expertise...

  • Based On An Actual Client Correspondence
Dear Dentists,

I came up with eight general goals/categories to improve and enhance your hourly, daily, monthly, yearly and lifelong success quotient. Each one is derived from issues, concerns, or logjams - you, your spouse, your team and/or I saw and discovered in our recent interviews.

Rather than identify where someone is doing or not doing something, it makes sense at this early stage to take an overall, goal-focused approach. Then as we have the team consults - we can address specific processes and areas of concern as they relate to these goals.

Plus I need time to review the team interviews, and produce a report on them, which will be included in my monthly fees. In a couple of days – we will schedule the first team session as soon as you are available.

By using the ‘goals format’, we can proceed without disrupting dental team cohesiveness. No one is put on the spot to defend their role, responsibilities, and job critique. We will directly address specific concerns - just not in a group session. It will depend on how things go--each team member's participation level, etc.

FORMAT of FIRST CONSULT: The goals we develop, together with some examples of how you/team are already making strides, bringing up some specific areas of concern (without naming names) to show the reality of what was discussed and give everyone an ‘assignment’ so it is not mostly about me talking and talking and all of us meeting and meeting.

1. Family First – Success Is Possible Only When Priorities Can Be Honored*

2. Time Management – Higher Production Requires A Targeted Focus

3. Put Money (Fees, Cost, Etc.) in Its Place – HIDDEN BEHIND Value!

4. Think/Find Solutions – Because blame has few positive attributes; the obvious one is that blame rhymes with lame

5. New Idea Success – Prep Everyone First, Let Simmer, Then Delegate Planning, and Finally, Implement with the knowledge that changes will be needed and a new direction will be taken in (possibly in multiple areas).

6. Total Team Cohesion – Consistency, Documentation and Review (Trust & Verify)

7. Facing Reality/Challenges – Even When Some "Thing" Can't Change - Improvements Are Possible

8. Specific Goals – Achieving A $5,000+ Per Month/Per Employee Improvement How to achieve: Rethinking Old Habits (personal, patient, referral, vendors, etc.), Process/Systems Improvements and More Connected Communication

NOTE: the first goal is not just about the discussions we had about your needing to be home more - but also that your team is very family oriented - and anything that conflicts with their family time - drains them of energy you need to be successful. Basically, if we can't improve the priority - day in and day out reality - of this part of their work experience - the other things we do are probably not going to get the level of results we want either.

Dentists who want to achieve a higher level of success need to go beyond the normal make money at the cost of value concepts. Your dental expertise matters more than the money you can make from it. The patient’s oral health has more value than the money you can glean from them.

Show real concern with a consistent level of effective communication. The more they understand about the value you offer, the more likely they will increase their appreciation for the higher level services you offer.

The consumer is wary of “being sold” so dentists must go the extra mile to reach out to them proactively and strategically rather than merely as another service sold at a discount. Expertise has value; presented in a way that lessens its value only leads to more wariness and distrust.

Consumers are not afraid of large fees or high costs – they are distrustful of any slippage in your resolve to justify the recommendations you present. Trust in what you have to offer by being profitably honest about the potential your dentistry can achieve.

Sincerely, Dick Chwalek

I also did some quick searches for various value focused articles to show how common the idea of presenting value is. Dentists need understand how it applies to their services and expertise. While these articles are not dental focused, they provide a perspective on the 'value' of the value presentation.

Choosing a Dentist: Are You Looking At Their Dental Training?

Dentists who regularly improve their skills and learn new techniques are able to offer their patients the level of care they deserve. When you are choosing a dentist for any type of procedure, for your family, and just for ongoing preventive care, their level of expertise matters.

Review their website, ask their team, and look at how their colleagues compare. See if they are regularly updating their training, get them to show you the results they have achieved, and make sure you know what their patients have said about the care they have received.

While a nice and friendly dentist is one criteria to consider, how healthy, comfortable and confident you feel after treatment has much more long term valuable.

No dentist is perfect. No dental treatment is completely guaranteed. No dentistry training makes everything right. However, we as dental consumers, can take more time to determine if we are getting appropriate, updated, and comprehensive dentistry.

Michigan Dentist Completes Yearlong Implant Fellowship

Dr. Brian Klym of Northwood Dental recently completed the yearlong Fellowship training program at the Misch Implant Institute. This comprehensive hands-on program is considered the gold standard of implant treatment training.

Created in 1984, the world-renowned Misch Implant Institute helps set and elevate the level of care in implant dentistry using a hands-on approach. Dentists attend specific classes on diagnosis, implant dentistry planning and patient evaluation, and all phases of implant treatment. Each course includes lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions for both removable and fixed prosthodontics.

Dr. Klym started his implant training many years ago, receiving a fellowship from the ICOI in 1998 (International Congress of Oral Implantologist). His patients are receiving a high level of care and his continued implant training will help insure long-term, healthy results for his patients.

Brian P. Klym, DDS, is the owner of Northwood Dental in Traverse City. He has DOCS certification—an oral conscious sedation program, which means his patients can expect comfortable and anxiety-free treatment. To learn more about Dr. Klym, his background, the Northwood team, and the comprehensive services he provides, visit

Northwood Dental
Brian P. Klym D.D.S.
10748 E. Traverse Highway
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
(231) 947-7202


While Dr. Klym is one choice for you if you're a Traverse City area resident, review all your options. It is your health, your smile, and your well being.

Dentists who want to communicate with the consumer in a proactive, positive and purposeful way, can Google a dental consultant. If that does not work for you, contact me.

Dick Chwalek
866-453-1026 Ext 251


Garden City Dentist Sponsors Trade In Your Treats

Dr. Nancy Tobin of Garden City New York will pay local residents and patients one dollar per pound for their extra Halloween candy. She will then send our troops the treats residents drop off to Operation Gratitude.

Support The Troops, Improve Your Child’s Dental Health
Bring In Your Halloween Candy
on Tuesday, November 3rd From 2pm - 6pm
Will Donate Your Treats To Our Troops!

Tobin Dental Care Welcomes You!
For every pound of wrapped candy, children will receive $1.00 (5lb. limit). They will also receive a Firefly toothbrush and be entered into a drawing to win a 8GB ipod Nano!
  • Open to children 2 to 12 years of age.
  • All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Cash will be paid on first 5 pounds of candy per child.
  • One drawing entry for each pound of candy donated.
520 Franklin Ave., Suite 126
Garden City, NY 11530
For More Information, Please Call Us


We would also like to thank the Garden City News for their promotion of Treats for the Troops.

From cosmetic dentistry and dental implants to preventive care and tooth saving treatments, Dr. Tobin and her team are ready to help you achieve exceptional dental health.


Vanity Numbers: See How They Power Up Your Dental Marketing.

One Tool = 3 Steps to Grow Your Dental Practice

> by Laura Noonan

-- Presented by

Looking for a way to cost-effectively boost your number of patients, billings and profits?

Look no further than the telephone on your desk. The first challenge is to get that phone to ring. To do that you need to advertise. And, to get the most out of your advertising you should include one pivotal tool. One tool that will generate better response rates to advertising and brings in more calls – a toll-free vanity 800 number.

Just look at some of the well-known businesses that currently use vanity 800 numbers…1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-CONTACTS. These brands successfully relay to consumers what they sell and who they are, and they are now the “go to” companies for flowers and contact lenses.

By selecting a vanity 800 number that makes sense for your dental practice you are scaling one of the highest hurdles of increased ad response and effective lead generation. Numbers like 1-800-NEW-GRIN or 1-800-NEW-TEETH tell people exactly what you’re offering them. And, because it is unforgettable, a mnemonic phone number makes it effortless for people to contact your practice for implants, veneers, and other advanced restorative and cosmetic dentistry.

Now, once you have that powerful advertising response mechanism, the THREE simple steps to growing your dental practice fall into place as the vanity 800 number does the work for you.

Step One – Improve your advertising performance:
You only have seconds to make an impression and words are much easier for people to remember than a string of ten random numbers. When you use a vanity 800 number in all of your advertising and marketing you’ll see 30-60 percent more incoming leads.

In fact, a recent study from InfoSurv, Inc. shows that vanity numbers improve consumer recall in print advertising by 84 percent compared to a numeric number. And, when used in radio and television vanity numbers yield a nine times higher recall rate than a numeric phone number.

So, by using a vanity 800 number in your advertising you’re including a built-in direct-response tool that will bring more leads to your dental practice. Just make sure you have a good offer and strong message – something that will encourage prospects to call you.

Step Two – Capture the details of your incoming calls
All of your dental office advertising efforts are incomplete if you’re not analyzing how well your marketing efforts are performing. Vanity 800 numbers come with real-time call tracking reports that provide data on your incoming calls – what days and times are busiest, and where your callers are located.

Tracking reports also provide caller names, addresses, and average home values and household incomes. You’ll discover where your best prospects live, and where those customers are that may need some extra attention and incentive to commit to a consultation and procedure.

This information is immensely helpful when you develop targeted mail and advertising campaigns by geographic location and demographic profile.

Step Three – Record your incoming calls
Recording calls is the best way to monitor how your front-line staff are handing your current and future patients. Playback recordings and use them in training sessions to demonstrate how to build relationships and get people to schedule appointments and consultations.

To become the “go to” dental practice in your market, include a lead generating tool like an unforgettable toll-free 800 number in your advertising and marketing. This one pivotal tool will bring you more incoming calls and allows you to track and monitor those calls, all in support of growing your practice.

Laura Noonan has 15 years of experience in the vanity 800 number and telecommunications services industry. She coaches hundreds of clients each year on using toll-free vanity 800 phone numbers as direct marketing tools to increase advertising response rates.

For more about 800response and their collaboration with NDC: click here. Laura encourages you to contact her colleague Suzzanna for more information about 800Response.
Now! Email Suzzanna

Advanced Collaboration & Consultation Strategies...

For Dentists, Dental Health & Dentistry



Dental Office Training Session: RSO Responsibilities, X-ray Rule

Dentists and dental office team members will get the Nuts and Bolts of Radiation Safety Officer Responsibilities and X-ray Rules by attending this October training session in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

NDA member and Dental Consultant, Leanne M. Mathieu Kramer of Statements Plus Compliance Solutions will be conducting this seminar to help dental offices stay on the right track with their safety responsibilities and rules. This two-hour course will provide two dentistry CE credits.

Below are the specifics of Leanne's dental CE update course:

Seminar Location
• Ramada Minneapolis (Mpls) NW
• 6900 Lakeland Ave N
• Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

• Wednesday
• October 14, 2009

• 9:00 - 11:00 AM
• 2 Dental CE Credits

• $50.00

Presented by Leanne M. Mathieu Kramer, RDA, CDA, CDPMA

To Sign up for this training session, click link below to download sign up sheet...

PDF FORM: RSO Responsibilities, X-Ray Rule Dental CE Course

Leanne is a Registered Dental Assistant, Certified Dental Assistant, and Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator through the Dental Assistant National Board. She is authorized by the Department of Labor as an OSHA Outreach Trainer in General Industry.
Her memberships include, The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures, American Dental Assistants Association, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and ChiroCode News.

Dental Office Safety & Compliance Training Leanne Mathieu Kramer, Statements Plus Compliance Solutions, Inc.

Expertise in infection control, OSHA compliance training, site evaluations, manual reviews and office implementation.

Contact Leanne:

CALL 763-878-2150


Decline Of The ‘Cosmetic Only’ Dental Practice

A dentist recently asked me about the decline of the "cosmetic " only type of dental practice.

Here is my response with some enhancements…

Cosmetic is the icing of dental treatment - never will be much more - never has been much. See stats to back this up below.

About 50% of the population doesn't go to the dentist – while many don't because of price, they are also held back for reasons such as pain/fear/time and other worries.

Cosmetic dentistry is down at the bottom of the list – under deeply ingrained and established dental value system. If we don't think about 'fear or pain’ when we think about dentistry, we think about “basic dental concepts’ like preventive health, cleanings, fluoride, etc." – because it is often connected tightly to insurance – which means they probably go every six months and mostly because it is paid for.

And therefore, these people have little need for more than one or two teeth of restorative work, which makes them less likely to value cosmetic dentistry in any big way. The closer a consumer is to needing a smile makeover – the more likely they will “value” the cosmetic element of dental care.

Other reasons people "think basic dentistry"... fixing a broken tooth, toothaches and then dentures. This leaves very few people who think about jumping the fence of those ideas/issues to get to "beauty". So, if 50% of dentists are pushing "cosmetic" in some way (in your area) and a few are really promoting it publicly - the pickings get very small. While the economy hammered it even more – pure cosmetic dentistry marketing had little potential to be successful - whether you are "doing it right" or not.

What happens is the pipeline is narrowed too small when cosmetic dentistry is seen as the “focus” of a dental practice. While a narrow focus is good to help a specific service standout, the reality barrier needs to be given its due.

Once a dentist goes a very specific cosmetic dentistry route, they could have trouble avoiding the problem of: If you are a hammer (cosmetic focused) everything is a nail (everyone really should want a cosmetic makeover). The dentist can start seeing it “everywhere” and believing more people should want it. These dentists could get in over their head - recommending treatment without considering all the implications, doing it too fast, before the dentist really knows what is possible or even getting beyond of their experience.

What needed to happen with cosmetic dentistry was for a designation like "pediatric dentists" to develop where a "specialist certificate" could be attained. Now all parents want to take their kids to Pediatric dentists. Instead, every dentist could become a cosmetic dentist. Of course, children's dentistry has an ACE in its hand from a acceptance perspective - because parents will do a lot for their children.

Anyway, cosmetic dentistry has many benefits in promoting dentistry and for the dentist and the patient. Dentists love the effect and artistry - the consumer on a limited basis has another more positive entry point for going to the dentist. Good "cosmetic dentists" can get patients from either those dentists who don't do it or those who really aren't that good at it. But this strategy is very limited and promoting cosmetic dentistry too much changes the dynamic the other way - you get less of the other basic dental patients (which there are many – not going to the dentist as of now) and even confuse current patients.

Most people are like us. They don't do "cosmetic things" to any large extent; makeup, hairstyles and tanning are a long way from going to a doctor for a cosmetic change. As we have discussed before, if cosmetic changes were ingrained in people like us - the first thing I would need to do is get a nose trim.

So what can be done? Open up the pipeline - by talking about the overall value of advanced dentistry - make sure consumers know you do things right - get health right and then move to esthetic issues. Most dentists still do middle of the road - a few swing to the other side of the spectrum, and a few try the cosmetic boutique practice.

We need to tell people things are different overall – show them some boutique concepts - but avoid the hype, and talk a lot about comfort, health, value, lifelike, etc.

Let them know you have the "icing" services and expertise - get a few more of the "all esthetic" group of consumers - get a few more "never thought I would do something like this smile makeover type patients" – which will greatly improve the numbers of patients that want dentistry - but only if it is done well and is mostly about health.

No one thing will work – marketing or services - and some might be dead ends - but getting too far ahead of the consumer - even though your expertise is - should be avoided. You will get your cosmetic cases and your smile makeovers - more and more of them - because we will move them in that direction - but mostly you will work with people like me - who won't ever trim their BEAK - but will come to you because you are an "expert" in understanding them as well as keeping them healthy.

Think of your cheap relative (we all have them) that pays all your fees - but never really does what they should and keeps coming to you because they trust you - even though you keep reminding them that they are not flossing regularly and will probably need dentures soon and finally come around after 3 or 4 teeth fall out.

While even the cheap relatives will appreciate cosmetic dentistry, there is just no way to push them much faster than the schedule they are on. Fortunately, your cheap relatives and mine only makeup a small portion of potential patients who need all types of dentistry.

The marketing we do will be nice - but will also "coax" consumers to do the right thing, finally.

And REMEMBER - if we consistently communicate the value you, your office and advanced dentistry offer (which includes a beautiful natural looking and feeling smile) the numbers will add up.

There is NO magic marketing formula (no matter what the videos on promote) except that there are people out there that don't know about how you do things. The overly hyped cosmetic dentists crowded out dentists like you to some extent, but they also went in a direction that had only a small base to draw from. Plus these dentists also confused the consumer about dentistry – making it something that it will only be on the margins: a cosmetic service.

But if these people knew about your approach to dentistry, many of them would come to you - it just might take time to find them - or get them to understand that it is really true, which means vigorously building trust and effectively showcasing and explaining value.

For Complete Dental Marketing Consulting and Dentist Coaching Services Contact...
Dick Chwalek of Niche Dental

Cosmetic dentistry and all the other advancements in dentistry don’t seem to have done much to move people beyond the basic dentistry model most of us are aligned with.
Here is a stat that backs this up. "Overall, there was no change in the percentage of the population with a dental visit from 1996 to 2004."


Build Your Marketing Portfolio: A New Dental Office

Members of the Northern Dental Alliance sat down with Micah Taintor of Ymker Building recently to discuss the value of the right kind of dental office.

The following video - in just a few short minutes - provides dentists with exceptional reasons for creating a better dental treatment environment. Effective Dental Marketing is a comprehensive process. Micah explains how your dental practice can perform as a base for a successful "marketing" platform.

Also Find dental office "marketing" video here...

To collaborate with the best in the business, visit

The Right Dental Office Location: A Ten Step Process

> By George Vaill

Thankfully, finding a dental office location and negotiating for it is something you’ll rarely have to do. I say “thankfully”, because the process is one with which you probably have little familiarity and it can be fraught with difficulties and rude surprises.

At the very least, it’s very time consuming and generally takes you through lots of unfamiliar territory. So, when you’re faced with these challenges, having a well-thought out plan and following it deliberately will result in a substantial savings in time and money and a significant reduction in the hassles and stress normally associated with the dental office location choosing process.

The Ten Step Process

A good location search and negotiation plan is one that combines (i) thoughtful establishment of the location, site, space and lease terms criteria; with, (ii) coordinated search, evaluation and negotiation procedures and techniques. None of these elements, however, should be developed without input from various professionals who have experience in the required disciplines. Your office location plan can be summarized in the following 10 sequential steps.

Planning Stage

STEP ONE: Select professional team members. Among others, these should include equipment, finance, dental practice management consultants, design, real estate, construction, legal and accounting experts. With early input from these professionals, you are better prepared to proceed through the remaining steps. Find out at the very start when they think the best time is to bring them in.

Let professionals be your guide.

STEP TWO: Establish goals. Develop your lifestyle plan and your corresponding workstyle plan. Establish short and long term goals for your dentistry practice in general and, specifically, for the location search, evaluation and negotiation process.

Meld your personal and professional goals.

STEP THREE: Define your criteria. Where do you want to locate - geographically? What type of setting - strip mall? high rise? professional building? free standing? How large a space? Do you require any special amenities? How much parking will you require?

This is your future. Think through it carefully.

STEP FOUR: Conduct the search. Employ brokers, drive the area, search the internet, scan the newspapers, check online listings, and ask family, friends and your equipment/sales reps to keep an eye out.

Focus on and be truly faithful to your criteria.
What type of dental patients do you want to serve?

STEP FIVE: Evaluate the opportunity. Is it where you want to be? Is it the right size? Is it in the type of setting that will best project the public image you desire? Does it have sufficient parking and signage? Is it available in your time frame?

Leave your rose-colored glasses at home.

STEP SIX: Inspect the space: Do the dimensions work? Is the space handicap accessible? Are the utilities of sufficient capacity? Can you run the plumbing as needed?

Check every detail carefully.

STEP SEVEN: Gather the lease information: How long a lease term is the landlord seeking? Are there renewal options? What is the starting rent? When does it increase? What’s included and what’s not? What’s the delivery condition? How much will the landlord contribute toward your leasehold improvements?

Get it all in writing.

STEP EIGHT: Negotiate the lease: Your professional lease negotiator will negotiate the economic terms before the landlord drafts a lease document. Once the economic terms are agreed upon and inserted in the landlord’s form lease, your lease attorney will negotiate the dozens of legal concepts that define the landlord/tenant relationship.

The key is to employ an expert negotiator.

STEP NINE: Design the layout: Secure the services of a professional dental office designer. Only someone with this specific experience will know all of the ins and outs of dental office design. That knowledge will make a whole world of difference between a facility that serves you well over the course of your occupancy and one that is a constant source of aggravation for you and your staff.

Design in the present. Plan for the future.

STEP TEN: Construct your facility: Secure the services of a professional dental office contractor. Only someone with this specific experience will know all of the ins and outs of dental office construction. That knowledge will make a whole world of difference between a facility that serves you well over the course of your occupancy and one that is a constant source of aggravation for you and your dentistry staff.

Build it right the first time.

The foregoing is not meant to address every single phase of the process. However, it does provide a basic outline for you to follow. As your dental office lease is one of the largest and most important contracts you will ever sign in your life, it’s critical that you employ every measure at your disposal to reduce the possibility of making choices that do not serve your long-term goals. Plan thoroughly, leave your rose-colored glasses at home when evaluating a location opportunity and, most importantly, recognize your limitations.

© George Vaill 2001 - 34 Edward Drive, Winchester, MA 01890 - 800-340-2701

George D. Vaill is president of George Vaill Dental Office Lease Negotiations. He specializes in negotiating the economic elements of office leases for dentists throughout the United States. Additionally, George reviews, and in many cases renegotiates, leases as part of dental practice transitions. George can be reached at 800-340-2701 and can be found at

To improve your practice in many ways, visit


The Tax Act Can Pay You Back... for your New Dental Office?

Rick Epple of Epple Financial Advisors explains how dentists the tax act can pay you back...

Tax Act Encourages Business Purchases in 2009

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law on February 17, 2009. The new law includes significant incentives to encourage equipment purchasing this year. You may be asking yourself, is there any benefit to me? The short answer is “perhaps”. With some quick planning and implementation, you could realize a sizeable benefit.

The Act creates an opportunity for dental practice owners to greatly accelerate cost recovery of qualifying equipment put into service in calendar year 2009. By taking advantage of the provisions, dentists can reduce taxes considerably.

The ARRA extends for one year the small business expensing levels in Section 179, which are very generous. In 2009, a dental practice can expense up to $250,000 as long as its qualified equipment purchases do not exceed $800,000, the amount that can be expensed decreases by one dollar, so that a practice that makes $1,050,000 in total purchases will not be able to expense anything (but could still claim the depreciation bonus).

The ARRA also extended for one year (i.e., through the end of 2009) the 50 percent bonus depreciation first created in February 2008. Dental practices that buy equipment in 2009 will be able to depreciate an additional 50 percent of the costs of assets placed in service this year. Only new equipment is eligible, but “new” has a liberal interpretation.

Key Points and Comments

  • Equipment and qualified property must be purchased and place in service in 2009. There is not much time to complete these types of projects without starting today.
    As happened in 2008, these provisions may be extended another year into 2010. Dentists should not plan on this, but keeping an eye on this provision could help to hit the ground running next year.

  • While the Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes investing in a dental practice attractive, it does not mean the road should be considered wide open. A well thought out analysis and plan of upgrading equipment and the office should be completed to insure the desired Return on Investment (ROI) is achieved.

  • Only equipment and property subject to a less than 20-year depreciation schedule qualifies for the bonus depreciation.

  • By increasing a dental practice’s tax deductions in 2009, the asset expense election and bonus depreciation help trim tax bills in the short term. However, because there will be less to depreciate in the future, the practice’s tax bill in later years may be higher.

  • Dentists need to work with their tax advisors proactively to determine qualifying equipment and property. This includes an analysis of taking the deductions again 2009 income versus waiting.

Section 179 Expensing Summary

  • The 2009 ARRA extended for one year the increased Sec.179 expensing limit of $250,000 and phase-out cap to $800,000

  • Expensing is phased out for each dollar that purchases exceed $800,000

  • Companies with total purchases of $1,050,000 cannot use Sec 179

  • Can be combined with depreciation bonus

  • New and used equipment are eligible for expensing

  • Applies to tax years that start in 2009

  • Sec. 179 expensing levels will drop at end of 2009 unless extended

Bonus Depreciation Summary

  • The 2009 ARRA allows additional first-year 50 percent depreciation of the purchase cost by extending for one year the bonus depreciation created by the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act.

  • Bonus depreciation helps businesses that buy qualified property this year cut their 2009 taxes. Will expire at the end of 2009 unless extended.

  • Applies to purchases of tangible personal property with a MACRS recovery period of 20 years or fewer.

  • Equipment must be new. However, the definition appears to be liberally interpreted:
  1. New qualified leaseholder improvements such as office remodeling projects to the interior may qualify.

  2. Personal property converted to the business may qualify. An example of a property that might qualify would be a car.

  3. Used rebuilt equipment or reconditioned costs may qualify.
  • Equipment must be purchased and placed in service in 2009.

  • Allowed for both regular and alternative minimum tax purposes.

  • Taxpayers need not claim the depreciation bonus, but do have to elect not to.

How It Can Work

The ABC dental practice purchases and places in service equipment (five-year property) and office furniture in its calendar 2009 tax year having a cost of $800,000, which will be subject to the half-year convention. ABC will elect to expense $250,000 under Sec. 179, leaving the machinery with a remaining depreciable basis of $550,000.

Applying the bonus depreciation provided by the Act, ANC is entitled to a further deductionin 2009 of $275,000 (50% of $550,000), leaving the machinery with a remaining depreciable basis of $275,000. Standard first-year depreciation for five-year property under the half-year convention is 20%, providing ABC with further depreciation on the machinery of $55,000.

Accordingly, dental practice ABC is entitled to a total expense and depreciation deduction of $580,000 in 2009 on its $800,000 machinery. The remaining $220,000 cost of the property is recovered after 2009 under otherwise applicable rules for computing depreciation.


In talking with dentists, the awareness level of the opportunity provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act seem to be rather low. The Act provides tax breaks for dental practice owners to create jobs by making it attractive to invest in their practices.

However, lower taxes should not be what drives the decision making process. First and foremost, the capital improvements needs to make sense from a business and return-on-investment standpoint.

There is not much time to complete the project(s) in 2009 and to benefit from the tax breaks afforded by the ARRA. Therefore, dentists should consult with their tax advisors as soon as possible to take full advantage of the provisions the Act provides.

* Rick Epple, CFP is a member of the Northern Dental Alliance. He is an NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, Epple Financial Advisors, LLC, Wayzata, Minnesota. E-mail is •