Dental News

Top-Producing Practices Know These Communication Skills

By |September 17th, 2012|

Just My Opinion: Top-Producing Practices Know These Communication Skills

I have talked to hundreds of dentists during the over 30 years I have been in dentistry, asking their one wish for their practices. Over and over, almost all wish for a dental team characterized by at least 3 of these words:
*enthusiastic     *happy     *look forward to coming to work     *reliable
*satisfied     * self-motivated     *willing to grow the practice
I tell them that there are several factors that need implementation before achieving a team that meets many of the above-mentioned qualifications, based on my experience, and one of the most important factors is effective communication between the dentist and his team in 6 specific areas:

1. Communicating expectations to the team
2. Valuing contributions
3. Handling concerns properly, in a timely manner
4. Rewarding initiative
5. Fostering personal strengths of individual team members
6. Handling inevitable mistakes properly

Dentists must recognize their “Communicator” role as one part mentor, motivator, and monitor for […]

The Starting Point for Practice Reform

By |September 17th, 2012|

Every dental practice has a Wish List, but none has a Fairy Godmother. Most wish for phenomenal practice growth, some want more personal fulfillment for their hours of labor, and a few just wish team members would stop complaining. For wishes to come true, the magic wand must be loaded with effective communication skills.

What is effective communication? Most don’t define it completely. It is the exchange of ideas, verbal or written, in which the Sender gives information to the Receiver, where it is processed. The Receiver should understand the information so well that it could be not only repeated but explained as well. They then send a response back to the Sender, and that person acknowledges hearing it. It forms a cycle. If the cycle is clear and precise, there is less chance for undesirable results.

A dental office communicates with many different audiences daily, whether it is with the patients, insurance companies or fellow team members. Their method of communication […]

Advantages of Owning Your Business Property

By |September 17th, 2012|

Every business owner with a physical office at some point confronts the question of whether to purchase or lease their office space. There are many factors to consider in making this important decision. For new dental practitioners who are uncertain of future space needs and want to ensure maximum cash flow as they grow their business, leasing may be a wise option. But for new or seasoned practice owners with a strong financial profile, a clear picture of future growth, and the ability to take advantage of the tax benefits of ownership, the commercial real estate market has never been more attractive.

Historically Low Prices for CRE
The 2008 recession and subsequent slump in the residential housing market extended to the commercial real estate (CRE) market as well, sending property values significantly lower and producing more available properties than has been seen in years. Today commercial properties for dental practices are far less expensive than they were three years ago.

Meanwhile, the rental […]

Key Steps to Managing Your Financial Profile

By |September 17th, 2012|

To establish and grow your practice to its full potential typically requires periodic financing. To ensure you can qualify for a loan and get the best rates available, it’s critical to have a strong financial profile – and the single most important thing you can do to improve your financial profile is manage your credit score. Here’s how:

1. Understand Your Credit Score
Your FICO credit score distills all the information in your credit report, producing a single number that lenders, employers, landlords and others use to determine your credit worthiness. Scores range from about 300 to 900, with the vast majority falling in the 600-700 range. A score below 620 indicates “high risk” and could make financing difficult to obtain, while a score of 750 or above may qualify for the best possible rates.

The key factors influencing how a credit score is determined are shown below in order of significance:

Past delinquency: The FICO formula assumes that people who have failed to […]

How to Write a Business Plan

By |September 17th, 2012|

If you’re considering a loan to start-up, build or expand your practice, you’ll need to present a thorough business plan as part of the application process. A business plan shows potential lenders you have a well thought-out strategy for building income and profit, giving them the ability to assess risk. The quality of your plan can affect the terms you receive from your bank. But more importantly, a good business plan functions as your roadmap to practice growth, detailing how you expect to succeed and how you will measure that success.

The following are the key elements of an effective business plan. For a more thorough description of how to develop a business plan, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website at

Executive Summary
Perhaps the most important section for lending institutions, the goal of the Executive Summary is to convince the reader that you have a viable business proposition. Here you introduce your business strategy and provide a concise summary of […]

Equip Your Practice Now and Save with 2011 Tax Incentives

By |September 17th, 2012|


The next few months are perhaps the best time we’ve seen in decades to invest in your dental practice. Thanks to the Tax Relief Act of 2010, the 2011 IRS Section 179 tax deduction for equipment purchases is bigger than ever at $500K. But it declines significantly starting next year. So if you’re considering purchasing equipment or software for your dental practice, do it now!

Incentive for Small Business
Section 179 is an incentive created by the U.S. Government to encourage business owners to invest in their companies through equipment purchases. The goal of the legislation is to provide genuine tax relief for small businesses, and since its introduction millions of small businesses have taken advantage of Section 179 and are gaining real benefit. Under the code, if you buy or lease qualifying equipment, you can deduct the full purchase price of the equipment from your gross income, saving you potentially thousands of […]

Interview with Dr. Steven Beuligmann

By |September 17th, 2012|

Interview with Dr. Steven Beuligmann from The New Dentist

We recently spoke with Dr. Steven Beuligmann of Carlsbad, California about his practice expansion project. Here is his personal story.

You had a successful practice for over 20 years but wanted to change your location to a larger facility. Why?

My practice was originally located in an old office complex; it was small and antiquated with no room to expand. There was no space for new equipment, parking was inadequate, and there were too few operatories to meet our patients’ needs. We found we were occasionally turning away emergency calls because we had no place to treat the patients. So overall, I found my practice potential was limited unless I could find a way to upgrade my systems and increase traffic flow. But because I live in a small beach community, ideal locations were typically taken by residential zones or smaller office complexes with similar limitations.

About 2-1/2 years ago, a new complex in downtown […]

Great Time to Build a Dental Practice

By |September 12th, 2012|


If you’ve been thinking about building your own dental practice, now’s a great time to jump in. Market conditions continue to support favorable mortgage rates and construction costs, while the U.S. government has reached out to small businesses with even greater tax deductions for equipment purchases in 2011. In addition, owning your commercial property still appears to be a reliable and potentially profitable investment for your future.

Favorable commercial property values
Commercial property values are at their lowest level in decades, providing purchasers an opportunity to obtain far more for their investment than they could have just a few years ago. Plus, property values are likely to increase over time as the economy recovers, making commercial real estate a relatively secure long-term investment. Commercial property can also become a potentially valuable source of retirement revenue – either through outright sale of your practice and the underlying property, or through sale of your practice […]

Expand with a Second Practice for Real Growth

By |September 12th, 2012|

As a dental practice owner you continually look for ways to grow your business and expand on your success. But have you considered literally expanding your practice by opening a second location? Assuming your current practice is well grounded with a solid patient base, good management practices and steady cash flow, expanding to a second location can be one of the most dramatic and effective ways to build business success as well as create options for long-term security.

Build Your Business Assets
Just as buying a second home increases the value of your assets and provides profit opportunities for the future, expanding your practice to a satellite location provides several advantages in building your business.

New Market to Tap. At some point your current dental practice will reach a threshold beyond which it cannot grow without additional space, services and clientele. A new market provides an entirely new foundation for growth. Opening a second location to tap into an existing, underserved market with […]

Chart Audits: Key to Income Growth

By |September 12th, 2012|

One of the surest ways to increase patient traffic and practice income is to improve your chart auditing system. A chart audit is a systematic review of patient records to identify those who have not kept up with appointments. Ongoing chart audits combined with proactive phone calls to reactivate idle patients offers one of the most efficient, valuable tools for increasing cash flow.

“Not a chart audit!” you might say. Many practices find it burdensome to complete regular chart audits as they’re a time consuming endeavor that entails patient record reviews, phone calls and scheduling. Yet former patients who are not being tapped for needed dental treatment represent lost income, and contacting these patients to schedule an appointment is nothing less than responsible follow-up care.

Steps for Conducting a Chart Audit

Following are the basic steps for creating an effective chart audit system:

1) Chart Audit Report. Start with a Chart Audit Report to avoid the post-it notes, computer reports and files that […]

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