MN Lab, Renstrom Dental Studio's: The Benefits of Photography

> Article by Jeffrey L. Benson, DDS for

Renstrom Dental Lab's Radiant Restorations - Spring 2012 Newsletter
Many of the doctors I consult with say that they would like to make dental photography an integral part of their dental practice, but many don’t have a dental camera, and many who do have one are using it only sporadically, if at all.

It's amazing to me that dental practices are investing tens or even hundreds of thousands on new dental technologies while ignoring the single most important practice building technology available, the dental camera.

The photo (side panel) was taken by Dr. Benson and submitted to The Journal of Dental Technology's annual photo Contest. It was one of the select few photos to be printed in the February 2012 Issue.

Digital technology has simplified dental photography to the point that even inexperienced photographers can take excellent dental photos.

Gone are the days of complex camera settings and waiting for the photos to return from the lab while wondering if the photos will even be of acceptable quality.

Today's dental camera systems make dental photography easy, and the benefits to the modern restorative practice are impossible to overestimate. Here are some of the benefits:

Patient Communication

Your patients are constantly bombarded by clever ads promoting the benefits of products and services which compete directly with your treatment recommendations for the discretionary spending of your patients. It's no accident that the most successful ads are highly visual. 

Today's consumer responds enthusiastically to vivid images that show how their life would be better with a particular product or service.

This response is emotional, not rational...a want, not a need. We need be aware of this as we present our treatment plans to our patients. Too often we focus solely on the technical details of treatment while providing the patient with little or no visual information about their problem and the benefits of our recommended treatment.

Most patients need to see their problem in order to "own" it, and see the benefit in order to "want" it. Dental photography is the perfect solution. Many highly successful restorative dentists use pre-op photos to engage the patient in co-diagnosis of treatment needs and follow up with before and after photos of similar cases to allow patients to imagine the benefits of the proposed treatment in their own mouths.

Laboratory Communication

Imagine, for a moment, a laboratory technician attempting to create beautiful and functional smile for your patient. Without photos, the technician never sees the patient, doesn't know where the facial midline is, doesn't know the smile line, skin color, lip support, incisal translucency, etc.

No amount of written instruction on the prescription could possibly communicate this information as well as photos could.

With just a few simple photos you can easily communicate all this information to the technician, greatly improving the function and esthetics of your treatment while reducing stress levels for both youand your technician.

Insurance Communication and Legal Documentation Dental photographs can be very helpful to communicate information about a patien's dental condition which x-rays can't. Cracks, leakage, bad margins, occlusal wear and cervical abrasion/abfraction are just some of the condi- tions that are best documented with photos.

For the same reasons, photos are of great value in showing the patient's pre-treatment condition should a complaint or malpractice suit be filed.


If you are interested making photography an integral part of your practice, I'd love to help you get started in dental photography or simply improve your existing skills.

Also check out our next newsletter (Summer 2012) for my article about dental photographic technique and how to communicate with your lab using photography.

Read Entire: Renstrom Radiant Restorations Newsletter

Written by

Jeff Benson, DDS

HOURS: M & W 10AM -4PM

Renstrom Dental Studio (MN LAB) is a NDA Member.


Story Posted by 

Dick Chwalek,

Dick is also a member of NDA @


Niche Dental Consulting Presents, Twitter~The Flew Frontier

One Idea, Connection, Impression Can
Change the Dynamic! 

Start Communicating with your public; otherwise watch us walk patiently by...

Tweets by RC and 1 By Elm
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Healthy Teeth=Sum of All Things2Smile About!

Healthy Teeth • Sum of All Things To Smile About!

Richard Chwalek  ‏@nichedental • 12m!/nichedental/status/195610288496713728

Why Would Gums Bleed When Brush/Floss?
May Be Periodontal Disease Making Run-To Strip Teeth Of Gums-No Fun! 

Know More:


Elm Endodontics@elmendodontics5h

Why Gum Diseases increases with Age -

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Richard Chwalek  @nichedental27m!/nichedental/status/195606569948430337

Dentists~NDA Members & Renstrom Dental Studio (Laboratory) 
Encourage you to attend
~Star of the North Meeting~St Paul MN


Richard Chwalek  ‏@nichedental • 22h!/nichedental/status/195270161710858242

7 Steps 2 Financial Freedom 4 Dentists/Biz Owners
~By Rick Epple~Wayzata MN
NDA Member Consultant

Richard Chwalek ‏ @nichedental23h!/nichedental/status/195256082992594945

So Why No Calls@ Your Dental Office?
OK people have fears, worries, concerns;
Then Make It EASIER NOT Harder
View video


Tweets by 

Richard Chwalek, Dental Marketing Consultant

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Dr. Kent E White's Advanced Periodontal-Gum Treatment: Soft Tissue Health~Local to Systemic

Dr. Kent E. White of Nashville regularly seeks out advanced courses and training sessions to provide the best possible care for his patients. Below is just one example.

Dr. White attended a vital continuing education course covering periodontal (gum) disease management and tooth loss prevention.
With about 80% U.S. adults having some form of gum disease, the need for more extensive training and education to help patients here in the Nashville area and around the country is obvious. Dr. White and his team are dedicated to providing the highest level of treatment to combat the effects of this all too common and very aggressive gum, enamel, root, bone, teeth and smile appearance ravaging disease.

Fortunately, Dr. Kent White and his team at the Center for Advanced Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee are able to help patients no matter what the condition of their smile is. While ongoing prevention and early intervention are better than later in the disease progression, patients should never worry their condition is untreatable.

Even if significant tooth loss has occurred, Dr. Kent E. White can develop a treatment plan to restore oral health and smile confidence. From replacing one or two teeth with dental implants to a complete smile makeover, there are wide range of therapies he can employ. His expertise in cosmetic dentistry and restorative dental care is something many patients have seen give them the youthful and healthy smile they deserve.

One of the most vital elements of effective periodontal disease management is Dr. White’s ability to use many non-surgical techniques to maintain the health of your teeth and even to bring a smile back from the brink. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry the focus is optimal dental health along with maintaining a youthful appearance to your smile. Totally healthy smiles are great looking smiles.

Dr. White uses state of the art periodontal technologies in treatment and for accurate diagnosis. Getting away for the surgical aspects of treating periodontal disease as much as possible insures more people will seek out care.

Some of the ‘comfort technology’ Dr. Kent White of Nashville utilizes is a piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler and irrigator that requires less pressure when removing the build up on teeth and the jaw bone. In many cases, we are able to eliminate the need for local anesthesia during the procedure. The handpiece he uses is designed to improve the his field of vision without causing an increase in heat from the instrument.

The dentistry continuing education course Dr. Kent E. White attended was developed and sponsored by Zila, Inc.

> It offers comprehensive oral care and cancer screening products.

Healthy Mouth. Healthy Patient. Healthy Practice.

Soft Tissue Management® (STM)® is a program unique to Zila. With more than 20 years of proven results, STM® incorporates the use of Zila dental products for treating patients at all stages of oral health – from healthy to advanced periodontitis.

STM® is:
  • An organized system for early detection, diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of periodontal disease, and for the early detection of oral cancer.
  • A non-surgical approach to diagnose, prevent, treat and manage the progression of early to moderate stages of periodontal disease in a general practice.
  • A program that provides comprehensive and structured practice management tools for early to moderate disease with ongoing support.

Advanced Periodontal Treatment: Soft Tissue Health: Local to Systemic 
Learn More about Periodontal Disease.

Dr. Kent E. White
Transformed Smiles Movie ONE
Transformed Smiles Movie TWO

All Smiles By Nashville Dentist Dr. Kent E. White

Dr. Kent White and our Nashville Team at the Center for Advanced Dentistry. •

CALL (615) 208.9687

2300 21st Avenue South, Suite 103
Nashville, TN 37212

Posted by Dick Chwalek,


Dentists Visit Renstrom Dental - Lab - Studio in St. Paul MN at Star of the North 2012


We are excited to be attending the annual Star of the North Meeting this year!

This will make 44 years for Renstrom Dental Studio. You will find us at a different location this year, booth #427, right next to 3M ESPE.

nda_logo_fearless_dentistry_combo2The Northern Dental Alliance will be giving away an Apple iPad on the last day of the meeting.
You can enter the drawing at Renstrom’s booth or any of the other NDA four members who will also be exhibiting.

New to the meeting this year are product display cases that can be viewed on the meeting room level.

Renstrom will be displaying our Jet Pin System (video) so be sure to take a look as you attend your classes. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Read Entire: Renstrom Radiant Restorations 2012 Newsletter

Also check out our Summer 2012 newsletter, and Jeff Benson’s article about dental photographic technique and how to communicate with your lab using photography.

Renstrom Dental Studio, Inc
Vadnais Heights, MN 

Seven Steps to Financial Freedom for Dentists, Business Owners

As you prepare for tax day, are you thinking, I have been working as a business owner for a number of years and while I make a good income, I have no idea if I am on track for retirement? How do I take control of my future? The following process can be used to start you on your way.

Step 1: Determine where you are at…

Gather all your investment statements, checking account statements, latest tax returns, insurance documents, business documents including profit/loss statements, loan documents, spending history, and current estate documents. From this information, a net worth statement can be generated plus cash flow and income projections.

These documents can be used to look at where you are today and make projections for the future. A Business Owner can use one of the following tools to create these helpful documents:,, Quicken, or Microsoft Money.

Step 2: Set Goal for Financial Independence

The next step for business owner is to determine how much extra savings is needed to achieve their retirement and financial independence goals. There are a number of calculators available on the web that can help identify the target savings number. Just be careful because the assumptions used in the calculators can have a big impact on the results. Another way to look at determining a target number is to use 4% “safe” withdrawal rate in retirement. The 4% rule in my opinion is a pretty good indicator of preparedness for financial independence.

Example: A business owner’s $3 million dollar investment portfolio can create a $120,000 income stream (before taxes) increasing each year with inflation. At this rate, the portfolio should last 30 years or longer without running out of money. Besides the retirement goal, other goals need to be included and can increase the amount that is required. Examples of other goals include paying for college for children or grand children, extensive traveling, charitable intentions, vacation properties, etc.

Step 3: Determine what your “gap” is

After determining the gap between the expected income in retirement and the projected expenses, a plan to fill in the gaps is necessary. Following are areas to look at and consider.

Step 4: Maximize your savings!

Business owners have a number of vehicles to help build savings!
  • Maximize contributions to your defined contribution plan. Up to $50,000 can be contributed for 2012. If you are over age 50, $55,500 is the maximum allowed contribution.
  • Explore the possible use of a defined benefit plan. This type of plan allows for higher contributions to make up ground for retirement savings if needed. The downside is that it can be very complicated to setup and administer.
  • Contribute to Roth IRA, Spousal IRA, or Non-Deductible IRAs as allowed depending on income.
  • Other possibilities – Use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) accounts, 529 college savings accounts, or build a taxable savings account.

Step 5: Review the insurance element

Conduct a thorough review of your insurance program. In my experience, business owners typically have huge gaps in their personal and/or business insurance programs.
  • Meet with insurance agents to have a risk assessment and evaluation of your insurance program.
  • Determine needs for life insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, business insurances, property & casualty insurance, health insurance, etc.
  • Shop around to verify that you are receiving good value for the premium dollars you are spending.
  • Implement appropriate and recommended coverage.

Step 6: Do some basic business planning

  • Run your business like a business. First, develop a business plan and marketing plan.
  • Determine measures to benchmark the practice and monitor progress to the plans. Might be profit, patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, new patients, expenses, etc.
  • Areas to look at:
    • Do you want to focus a niche for your business and then develop it?
    • Do you need help with Marketing?
    • Do you have the systems and procedures in place to manage the practice? Think “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E Gerber.
    • Does customer retention need to be improved?
    • Review insurance to improve value for the premium dollars spent and to protect the practice.
    • Most employers don’t realize the costs of maintaining their retirement plans. Costs can have a significant impact on account growth. If you don’t know the costs, investigate to determine you have a plan with the features you want and are paying a fair fee(s).
    • Do you have a place where the people you work with enjoy coming to work? A good working team.
    • Are you utilizing outsourcing as a tool to improve profitability?
    • Maximize all deductions available to the business.
    • Consider owning the building your business is in instead of paying rent.
    • Do you have contingency plans in place should you or a key employee becomes disabled or dies?
    • Do you have an exit strategy for your business? Buy/sell agreement or plans to bring in a future buyer of your practice?
    • The bottom line is that you want to maximize the amount you take out of the business while providing the necessary investment back into the business to achieve your goals.

Step 7: Here are other areas of your plan to consider

  • Determine personal cash flow and income needs. Planning cash flow can be very difficult. However, having an accurate picture of expenses now and in retirement can ensure a successful retirement.
  • Implementing a pay yourself first philosophy can help jump start retirement savings if needed.
  • Manage debt – Review all personal and business debt. This is often an overlooked aspect for business owners.
  • Appropriate strategies can help increase net worth in the long run. Having consumer debt in retirement can also make it very difficult.
  • Determine if your investment strategies include balancing risk, maximizing return and preserving capital.
  • Conduct a tax planning review to verify all available opportunities are being taken advantage of.
  • Do you have a plan in place to pay for your children’s college education? Utilize pre-tax dollars to pay for college.
  • Review that appropriate estate planning documents are in place.
There really aren’t any short cuts and you will need to invest time in determining where you are at and then implementing a plan to help achieve your goals. If you do so, you can take control.
Proper planning can provide business owners and their families with Peace of Mind.
Sincerely, Rick Epple, CFP®
Financial Article Originally Posted Here

Watch his video: YouTube, NDA Website

Posted by Dick Chwalek
and Member Northern Dental Alliance


Northern Dental Alliance, Star of the North, Dentists, St. Paul MN

Connect with the Northern Dental Alliance.

SEE YOU @ Star of the North

Register for a FREE iPad!

Visit members (booth #s next section) or ... 

Make Connections to a Higher Level of Success with NDA Members

While the climb may be difficult...

There are superior ways to begin the ascent, as well as move onward and upward to discover a higher, wider, better, stronger, safer, more plentiful summit.

Then, when you’re ready, hand off the next generation flag, and retire to the most favorable plateau possible.

Probe your route particularly. Practice it precisely. Prep elements productively. Proceed forward prudently. Pitch all tents protectively. So You Can... Plant your flag propitiously!

By assertively working, advocating and strategizing
in Your Best Interest, NDA Consultants, 
consisting of independent businesses, 
help dentists like you rise to the occasion...

@ Star of the North/NDA Member Booths

~ Register for FREE iPad*

Booth #s & Direct Member Listings/Links below


Gayle Christensen Booth #535
Practice Management Solutions
Christensen Dental Consulting Booth #535

consultants_color_NDA_NW_MN_Dentistry_March_Ad_TPV_version_2012_03_07 Randy Renstrom, CDT Booth #427
Laboratory Quality & Consistency
Renstrom Dental Studio, Inc. Booth #427

Jen Maschke Booth #233
Practice Financing & Commercial Real Estate
U.S. Bank Booth #233

L. Richard Etshokin Booth #208
Dental Office Construction & Service
Heritage Construction Companies, LLC Booth #208

Leanne Mathieu Kramer
OSHA & Infection Control
Statements Plus Compliance Solutions, Inc.

Charlie Steingas
Retirement Plan Design and Administration
consultants_color_NDA_NW_MN_Dentistry_March_Ad_TPV_version_2012_03_07 Cash Balance Actuaries, LLC

Kim Smythe
Temporary, Temp To Permanent, Permanent Placements
Dental Staffing Services

Rick Epple, CFP®
Fee-Only Financial Planning
Epple Financial Advisors, LLC

Dick Chwalek
Marketing Consulting & Development
Niche Dental - Marketing for Dentists

SEE YOU @ Star of the North

Register for FREE iPad!

• ONLY One iPad to be given away at this event. 

Maintain your competitive edge: Contact a NDA Member Today!


Article Also @

Northern Dental Alliance Mail to:
c/o Rick Epple
1000 Twelve Oaks Center Dr
– Ste 101
Wayzata, MN 55391


Video Testimonial: 3 Years of Results = Connective Communication© Approach


TIME to Change. Change

This Niche Dental video demonstrates the value of all the elements of Connective Communication©, especially creating new patients.

The new patient communication video includes a testimonial from a Niche Dental client in Michigan:
  • He talks about his three years, YE$, 3 $OLID YEAR$ of practice revenue growth, which was made possible using the Connective Communication© Approach. 
  • PLUS Oli Gonsalves, a co-consultant, who worked to helped me refine a succinctly powerful campaign that was vital to this success discusses with me the creating new patients element. 
  • Finally, the client ends the short video with an anecdote of how he came to realize the value of this element (direct mail), while I provide other details of 'why' his consistent postcard campaign worked. 

Connective Communication© Approach • ALL THREE Elements 

  • Improving recommendations, acceptance & value appreciation of both internal and external prospects and patients... 
  • Creating new patients: moves your audience to act sooner and/or helps then find the 'right' dentist first, rather than highest on search engines for example... 
  • Gathering all searchers: new patients on the fence, 'already out there at play'... 

VIDEONiche Dental Location

VIDEOYouTube Location

VIDEOMetaCafe Location


Richard Chwalek, 
Niche Dental President

Dentists, prepare to...
  1. Hand over the reins to consistency and professional depth: then
  2. Watch the revenue-rain gauge fill up; and
  3. Enjoy a reign of ongoing financial success! 
Niche Dental Co-Consultant 
Oli Gonsalves 


Oli can answer many of your questions. 
Then set up a meeting with me - depending on your needs/requests 
Oli also runs The Other Office and

Direct Mail, Postcards... Create Action

Communication is Health 
Communication is Expertise
Communication is Revenue 

Integrated Dental Communication Consulting
11765 Bishop Ave NW • Monticello MN 55362