Monthly Archives: August 2013

Listening and Educating

Dental Ventures’ Success Based on Listening and Educating – Yours Can be Too

We’ve been providing superior products to the dental restoration industry for thirty years now and we’ve been able to carve out a very special niche for ourselves. Our customers know that we save them steps and thus save them time which increases profitability.

But our successful position in this industry didn’t just happen. It was largely the result of many years of listening. We listened as we stood next to dentists in their practices and technicians in labs. We listened in trade show booths. We watched and analyzed the steps involved in making a single restoration. And then we went home and analyzed them further. We found ways to create new materials that would eliminate some of those steps.

Then came the educating steps. We went back to our friends and colleagues and showed them the new materials and educated them on the way they make their jobs easier. And we listened again as they pointed out things we had missed or flaws in the processes. And we finally ended up with products you can count on to increase your productivity.

The Same Tools Work at the Other End of the Business

At the production end of this line, we know our subject so well that we can forget that the patients do not. By taking a little more time to listen and educate, you can make your practice more popular with your patients and that means more word of mouth.

Your patients accustomed to multiple visits to fit a restoration may have concerns about getting the same quality product in just one visit. Training your staff to take a few minutes to listen and then educate can turn their concerns into praise and word of mouth.

There are other channels of listening and educating. Provide an email address your patients to ask questions or air concerns. Don’t forget to assign a staff member to acquire and relay answers. Also answer commonly asked questions in printed or emailed newsletters. Schedule workshops in the evenings to cover these same points. You don’t have to do the workshops yourself if you have an experienced staff member who knows the technical side of your business.

Things are Moving Fast in this Industry

You and your staff may be having trouble keeping up with the speed of change happening all around you. You’re not alone. Whether or not to invest in CAD/CAM, what system to invest in, which materials will give the result that is satisfactory to you. You’ve probably been hard pressed to keep up and to train your staff in all these new procedures. Don’t overlook the fact that your patients have not been had the advantages you have had. Especially older patients have been accustomed to very different methods of dentistry.

When you or key, trained staff take the time to familiarize your patients with new methods of manufacturing restorations, their precision and speed, you build loyalty and even word of mouth. When you excite your patients with your advanced technical skills, some of them will pass the word along to friends.

CAD/CAM is a big decision and big investment, and I figure our job is to help you recoup your investment by lowering your steps and speeding up your delivery. We do it well.

Outsource to China

In-House Labs Eliminate Possibility of Covert Outsourcing to China

I don’t know if you have come across this news yet, but some dentists who use dental labs are discovering that the products they ordered were being sent to China for manufacture. The dentists were never notified that their orders were being outsourced out of the country. Manufacturing standards are different in China. If a lab doesn’t provide notification, then you may not know what you are getting.

I’m sure there are some labs in China that do fine work but the point is that your quality control weakens when you are not in the loop. You don’t know if the lab who is selling you the product you need is working with a carefully controlled Chinese business or one with a sweatshop mentality.

I was reading one report that noted two specific problems with Chinese lab products. One was a crown that was contaminated with lead and the other was an implant that was contaminated with fecal matter. One dental tech complained that when his lab began outsourcing to China, they lost 50% of their customers due to the number of remakes needed.

Another report stated that Chinese manufacture may use the material you would expect, like Vita, on the outside of a restoration and a cheaper material for the core. This saves them money but it’s not what you intend to buy for obvious reasons.

Looking at the comments flying back and forth online, I would say that international outsourcing is a highly emotional subject. Some people claim it’s great and some say the quality degrades harm patients.

The good news is that when you have your own in-house lab, the products are fully under your control. You know exactly what your patients are getting. No one is sending out your work and getting back a crown that cost them $13 from a Chinese manufacturer. You’re never told.

I am proud that we contribute to your being able to control your quality by giving you dental lab supplies that enhance your lab speed and quality control. When our dental lab products streamline your procedures, reducing the number of steps to product a restoration, for example, the more viable you are.

You’re also free from quality or contamination concerns because you know exactly what materials are being used. I know that in-house labs are considerable investments and that it takes some work for you and your staff to keep up with changes in this industry. But the fact is, you know what you’re getting and know what you’re giving your patients. They love what they see – which is getting the job done in one visit. And if they knew more about the quality control you offer, they would love that too.

Simple and Efficient

The Common Denominator of Our Products

If you are familiar at all with our products, you may have noticed that there’s a few remarkable qualities they have in common.

  1. They are simple.

  2. They are efficient.

  3. They save you time.

  4. They therefore save you money.

Last week, I wrote about Hy-Brite. I know exactly how much faster and easier it is to polish restorations made of hybrid materials with Hy-Brite compared to the other products on the market. One fast step, less than a minute. I don’t see why anyone would use anything else.

And then there’s something as simple as our Waxie-Paste. Rather than having to hold a strip of paper or ribbon or focus a spray marking solution on just the right area, Waxie-Paste goes on cleanly with a small brush. It stays right where you want it. You don’t need to grow a new hand to use it. And when you’ve made your adjustments, you just wash it away. You won’t have remnants of a marking solution dirtying up your restorations because it washes away clean.

All Our Products Have the Same Simple Basis

Take a look at our ULTRA Twin-Tray System. This product also combines what used to be multiple steps into one fast operation. We’ve got one lab that told us that their speed at producing models increased more than one-third. You’ll see when you add this system to your lab – there are just fewer steps involved. Since some of our products involve a whole new way of operating, we have provided many demonstration videos that help you grasp your savings. Here’s the video for the ULTRA Twin-Tray system: https://www.dentalventures.com/ultra-twin-tray-model-systems/#demo

We like to help dentists and labs work smarter, not longer. With economics the way they are now, working smarter is a sheer necessity.

I Want to Add You to My Testimonial Page

I am collecting stories from dentists and labs that are using our products and I’d like to add yours. Here’s the page on which our testimonials appear: https://www.dentalventures.com/testimonials/

If you are already a customer, send your testimonial to us at matts@dentalventures.com.

Whether you are a customer or not, you can become a product evaluator for us. We’re not stopping with the product line we’ve got. We always have new products in development and to ensure they are as simple and time-saving as the ones we already offer, we need people to try them out. Fill out the form on this page to apply: https://www.dentalventures.com/index.php/become-a-product-evaluator.

We are very proud of the track record we’ve accumulated over the last several years. We’ve repeatedly had products selected as top dental products of the year and we plan to win this recognition in the future as well.

Baby boomers

The Right Offering at the Right Time

For dentists with labs providing restorations, it’s really the right time to be in business. Some people might not be so convinced but there is one major reason why.

Baby boomers are some of the best educated people in the country when it comes to knowing how to take care of their teeth. So many of them have maintained their teeth all their lives and realize that they may need a little more work done as they age. Statistics reported by the ADA note that despite lower spending across the boards, when it comes to the older Boomers, they are spending more.

One of the reasons for this is that these older patients often need more restorations than younger ones. And that is where you come in.

Don’t neglect this public when you are working on your marketing. I know that so much of today’s promotion is electronic but sometimes printed materials and a purchased mailing list still work wonders. At any list broker’s, you can purchase a list within nearby zip codes, with an age specification. Since this older demographic is so very often in the market for crowns, bridges and other restorations, this is a prime group for you to promote to.

A simple mailing to this list could enable you to zero in on a group that is ready for the kind of service you offer.

Keeping it Real

My suggestion though – feature a photograph of work you have actually done. And say so on the postcard, brochure or whatever it is you mail. Why?

Because if you go to a shop and have them prepare a mailer for you, chances are really good that they are going to pick up a stock (purchased off a website inventory) photo and drop it into your mailer layout. There’s two problems with this that would be improved by using a photo of your own work.

  1. Stock photos usually LOOK like stock photos. Too polished, too perfect.

  2. And sometimes the same stock photo is used for multiple dentists in your town. If you have the same photo in your mailer as the fellow a few blocks away, it could give people a poor impression.

Restoration dentists are normally equipped with good cameras already, so call in an attractive patient, male or female, and take a nice smiling shot. Maybe one of your staff has had restoration work done and will stand for a photo. Just make sure they fit the age bracket of the type of patient you are trying to appeal to.

Then make sure your brochure or postcard clearly states that this image is from your practice, that this image shows your handiwork.

If you also make some kind of appealing offer to get people in the door, you will see more results from your investment. If you are comfortable educating a group, offer to explain the kind of care an older population needs. This age group usually knows that they have dental issues that need to be taken care of.

An offer of a free workshop can give them something they really value – a way to end their mystery about what might lie in store for them as they age. And of course, it puts them in your practice so you can consult with them about what you offer. A good result for both you and your neighbors who come to your workshop.