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3D Printing & In-House Aligners: Yes, No or Maybe?

According to many sources, the first stereolithography apparatus (what we know as 3D printing) was invented in 1983 and patented in 1986. As we all know, Invisalign started using 3D printing for aligners in the US in 1999. Since that time, 3D printers have become much more affordable, and software for in-house printing has become very accessible.

Some would argue that Align’s decision to stop accepting scans from anything but iTero was a turning point in progression of in-office clear aligner therapy. They took a “hobbyist” world of 3D printing and turned it into a viable alternative to companies producing aligners.

Some practices have embraced the technology and proudly proclaim themselves “100% in-office aligners” with zero being outsourced to aligner companies. Other offices are yet to even own a 3D printer or do more than a handful of aligner cases per year.

There’s obviously no quantifiable right or wrong in this discussion, merely what you’re comfortable with. Are you comfortable paying large bills to the aligner companies or are you OK with managing more systems and more personnel?

Only you can answer that question.

There’s no disputing that 3D printing and in-office aligner production are here to stay. One can certainly “dip their toe in the water” and use 3D printing alongside alginate or use aligners printed in-house to finish traditional bracket cases. No matter where you are on the continuum, you can move more or less into the in-office aligner space.

Many have said that the “holy grail” will be when we can direct 3D print actual aligners without having to go through the lab process of models and suck-downs and the tedious trimming and polishing process. Until then, how do you see current technology being used in your practice? Keep in mind that no matter how much or how little you are currently integrating 3D printing, you should develop a technology plan for future .

It’s certainly an interesting and quick-evolving topic and I’d love your feedback.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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Do Aligners Help With Adolescent Treatment Timing?

I was on a plane with one of the most respected orthodontists in Dallas when we started discussing the age he generally likes to start treatment on adolescents. We’re talking about typical, healthy adolescents with no secondary complicating factors such as impacted teeth, sleep-related issues or significant A-P issues.

“I love to start treatment when the lower E’s are getting pretty loose or when they are just lost” the patriarchal orthodontist told me. Why? because the E space allows him that extra 3-5mm in the lower arch to unravel anterior crowding by managing the space properly and if he waited, the 6’s would drift forward, stealing valuable space for correction.

A week later I was having dinner with another respected DFW orthodontist who told me that she always waits for the 7’s to begin erupting before starting treatment on any adolescent. “Nothing drives me crazy or is more unfair to a child than having to carry on treatment because you’re waiting on 7’s to erupt. So, I start treatment when the 7’s are coming in.”

In the years that have passed, the treatment timing question is one that I’ve asked a lot of friends and peers and it’s rare when I get the exact same answer. Yes, the decision is multifactorial, but it seems that from a rationale perspective, there’s no one set time that seems to be the consensus, though within practices, there does seem to be a set timing pattern.

Of course, one of the advantages of aligner therapy versus actual braces is that one can see crowding in the lower anterior with loose E’s and drop into less than 10 aligners to correct the crowding and take advantage of the spacing, then stop for a bit while waiting for teeth to erupt in a way that’s simply not possible with braces.

To be clear, I am NOT saying that we should be treating adolescents with aligners over braces. What I am saying is that it’s been great to be able to fabricate a series of aligners to be able to treat specific problems, then pause, then pick it back up whenever I want, without having to remove brackets and go through significant bonding. I don’t do this often, but it has certainly affected the way I treat a certain age group.

How about you? I’d love your thoughts.

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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Overstaffed or Understaffed?

When I started my practice, like many of you, I had one employee. Then, as I grew, it was easy to add another and another. Now, 4 1/2 years into this practice, I have 7 team members and I’m looking to grow the team. But during my 27 years in total practice, I have always faced one question: Is it better to be overstaffed or understaffed? The benefits of each are apparent.

If you’re understaffed by just a bit, you’ll save money and you won’t burden your overhead with payroll issues. However, you’ll always find yourself and your team working at 110%. You’ll also find that many of the smaller issues in the office just don’t get addressed. Maybe your marketing plan isn’t that well established or your Instagram isn’t so well handled. But again, you’ll stay within your overhead target and bring home more money.

If you’re overstaffed by a bit, you’re able to assign more tasks to more people and hopefully increase the customer service experience as well as reduce overall stress levels. However, your overhead is going to go up a that could be a stressor in itself.

Earlier this  year I found myself at 13.3% staff overhead including all taxes, etc., however, I also found my stress levels going up. Sure, our aligner percentages had gone up which means less chair time for most appointments, and we were averaging about $700,000 production per chairside assistant. Pretty good, but with that comes issues.

If someone is out because of illness or personal issues, the days can be very tough and administrative work can go undone. Also, it sets up a dynamic where it becomes very tough to let someone go for underperforming. The leverage the team members have is great.  Compounding that last fact is that in Dallas, where unemployment is almost non-existent, finding another team member is tough.

So, I recently made the decision to add  two more assistants and one more administrative team member. Why? I expect growth and need to be prepared. I am done (for now) “playing from behind” and am willing to sacrifice some short-term profit for some long-term happiness and lower stress levels.

Of course, more team members always means more problems, but I’ll take that chance to allow better customer service and more attention to the details that run an effective practice.

What are your thoughts?

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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Who Told You To Start a Practice There?!?!?

I practice in a very “tough” area. What does that mean? Well, there are a ton of orthodontists, literally every pediatric dentist for 4 miles (as the crow flies) has in-house ortho and the local GPs pride themselves on doing everything (including ortho). Yet, in the last 12 months, 2 orthodontists have opened brand new practices within a mile of me. I’m not upset and I genuinely wish them well, but if you look at a map of the region where I live, there are literally dozens of other spaces where one could have opened and been far more successful with way less effort. It made me wonder: How do orthodontists determine where to practice and who is giving them advice?

Sure, many will say that there is a lot of “low hanging fruit” and enough orthodontics out there for all of us, but it’s easy for the big practices to say that. For a brand new practice in a low traffic area, when the phone isn’t ringing and patients aren’t coming in, it can be tough.

Not a week goes by without me getting a message or two from orthodontists wanting to move into my area, asking me “what’s it like?” I’m always thrilled that they ask me. It’s way better for them and the relationship if they reach out before committing to a space or land. But I am always honest and explain to them what I feel about the region in which I practice. I’ll always be 100% honest, but not everyone is in their corner.

A new practice is a huge investment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Nor should you ever defer the hard work needed to determine if an area is right for you. There are companies that will “do all the research for you” but is that really a good thing? It’s my opinion that it’s important to for you to really know and learn about an area if you plan on practicing there, rather than taking somebody else’s word on it, just like you would if you plan on living somewhere.  Sure, hire “experts” but in the end, you should be the one digging into the research and spending a lot of time in the area.

I’d also suggest that you reach out to local orthodontists before buying land or renting a space. Sure, some may not be thrilled, but others may be very welcoming and tell you everything you need to know. It’s a way better strategy than simply opening up and then telling them “howdy neighbor”. You’ll learn a lot about the region that can help you and foster a way better relationship if you’re open and honest about your intentions.

In most locations there are many great options for practice locations and you can figure out where to go with even just a little legwork. As long as you act the part of business owner and entrepreneur, you’ll most likely be successful no matter where you go, but your path to economic maturity and practice success should never be delegated to someone else and should involve as much due diligence as you can muster.

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

Get Up and Kick A$$

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

I’ve gotten many messages from peers asking for advice. The questions usually come in one of two forms (I’ll paraphrase):

  1. I have an issue or problem and need some advice so I can take it on and succeed
  2. I have an issue or problem and want you to hear about how bad things are and all of the reasons why I can’t succeed

Anyone who really knows me also knows that I have great love for my fellow man and woman and want nothing more than to help people overcome their problems, so please don’t think of me as heartless for listing the second category of message. It’s a simple truth. And I have a huge problem with it. I’ll tell you why.

We all face big challenges in our lives, from single parents trying to balance their work and home lives to younger docs starting their practices with huge student debt to the experienced clinician who has three team members out sick during flu season. Each of us faces issues on a regular basis. Being a small business owner can often be challenging, and it’s very common for us to need a “shoulder to cry on”. I get it and I need it sometimes. It’s called being human, but at some point we need to either overcome and succeed or continue to lament and wallow in our misery.

Keep in mind the old serenity prayer: “Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other.” It’s basically a short and sweet way to say “$hit happens. Let’s do our best to deal with it.”

You’re a business owner and it’s not easy. You may remember me once writing that over the first 25 years of my practice life I realized that bad times never last forever…and neither do awesome times. Things have a life cycle, both good and bad. Try to get out of the bad as quickly as possible and try to stay in the good for as long as you can. Simple, right? Not really.

Life will throw you curveballs and you will strike out from time to time, and it IS OK to mourn your business losses. But move on at some point. If you’re having trouble, I’m always here for you and you have a network of peers in our Facebook group who can always help you. If you don’t think you can overcome your issues, seek professional help and again, I’m always here to listen and help in any way I can.

But, if you want to continuously use your past as an example of why you’re doomed in the future, keep in mind that only you can make the changes you need to have a better life and like Jordan after a missed game-winning shot, you can get up and become the 6 time world champion and MVP (of orthodontics).

You’ve got this. 😉

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST” AND MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP.

That Team Member is Dragging You Down

I write about positivity. I espouse the virtues of giving people a second chance. I believe that we all have good inside of us and are capable of great things.

Sometimes, however, we need to just give up and move on.

Unemployment in this country is thankfully low. We have a workforce that, in most urban and suburban areas, can find a well paying job if they look for it. So, it means that finding a good team member may be more difficult than it used to be. It may mean that the ones we do find aren’t as capable, adept or loyal as we might have been used to 15 or 20 years ago. That raises issues.

So, let’s look at out teams. Maybe you have 2, 3 or 15 employees, and most are solid workers. Not perfect, nor even close, but mostly loyal and mostly hard working as well as mostly competent. But maybe one is talking about others behind their backs, or cannot follow directions or whines a lot or just generally drags you and the team down.  What do you do?

If you’re like most orthodontists, you ignore it and stick your head in the ground. Oh, you talk a great game on social media; You’re the Kingslayer when dispensing advice, suggesting that you are quick to sever anyone who gets in the way of your culture or vision, but we know better. You aren’t slow to hire and you aren’t quick to fire. So, you ignore the problem. It festers. Others start to be problems and before you know it, you have widespread culture problems.

And worst of all, you knew all along what you should have done, but simply couldn’t bring yourself to do it.

Poor employees have a real impact on our performance and culture, and in my late 40’s I learned to ALWAYS trust that little voice inside my head telling me that someone was a poor fit. But I still give second chances, with crystal clear expectations. I always give job descriptions of what is necessary to properly carry out a job. And I am no longer slow to fire. It doesn’t mean I’m heartless, because I absolutely detest talking someone’s livelihood away, and sometimes I don’t have the moxy to let someone go.

The lesson is this: Take your time getting to know possible employees before you hire and do your due diligence. Spell out exactly what you expect and DO let people go when they don’t meet your standards on a consistent basis. Don’t ever stand for insubordination and never act on here-say; You never know someone’s agenda.

But know this: When you see, for sure, that someone isn’t a good fit for your practice, let them go. Immediately. Yes, the next employee may be hard to find, but it’s way better than watching your office morale and culture deteriorate. Pull the band aid off and move forward. You’ll ALWAYS be happy you did.

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST” AND MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP.

Don’t Be Held Hostage To Your Fears

One of my pet peeves is watching capable people held back by their fears. I’m not talking about seeing someone scared by a spider that eats birds. No, I’m referring to the everyday fears that we encounter in our day to day lives that keep us from being all we can be…if we give into them.

Of course, WE can see the overreaction when we look at other paralyzed into inaction when we see it as an observer, but all too often, we fall victim to them ourselves.

At the inauguration of FDR, he said: “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Wise man.

I tend to not worry too much. I’m just built that way and I recognize and respect that we are all wired differently. But we need to keep in mind that there’s silly, unnecessary risk and then there’s calculated risk. If you’re reading this, you probably took a calculated risk with taking out student loans. But you probably didn’t buy into a Canadian gold mining company that your friend’s cousin told you to buy when you met them at a wedding. Or buy that “can’t miss stock” your patient told you about.

Maybe you want to own a practice but are afraid of the risk. Perhaps you need to hire another assistant because of long wait times, but you’re worried about the risk. Maybe you don’t want to invest in a patient appreciation party because it might cost too much. Perhaps it’s avoiding that CE course because after all, it IS a lot of money.

To be clear, I am not telling you to take silly risks. I AM suggesting that you consider taking calculated risks. Sometimes. You know which ones I’m talking about, Maybe you’re facing one right now.

You got here because you’re smart and sometimes you just need to move outside your comfort zone. Again, don’t bet the house on it, but some of the greatest things in my life have come when I’ve carefully analyzed possible outcomes and decided that the benefit outweighed the downside risk. So, don’t be reckless, but sometimes if it feels right, it is.

And you will lose from time to time and that’s OK. We are built to weather storms. Just don’t be reckless.

I once asked a mentor: “How do you get experience?”
He said: “Through failure and learning from it.”
I asked: “How do you learn from it?
His response? “Through experience.”

So true.

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST” AND MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP.

Kids or Adults: Who To Treat?

There’s a well known orthodontic practice near me that simply doesn’t accept any adult patients. You’re a parent of a current patient and want treatment? Sorry, find another practice.

There are also orthodontic practices around the US that do not accept any pediatric patients and only treat adults.

Then there are the rest of us, who treat anyone who needs or wants straighter teeth, but attracting and treating everyone can be complicated.

Do you think that adults want to be treated in a space decorated for kids or vice versa?

What about marketing?

And then comes the bigger question: Which population do you really want to treat? Each group has significant pros and cons. From home care and compliance to “pickiness”, they present totally different rewards and challenges.

If you’re set up for both populations and you’re happy treating that way, that’s awesome. My practice currently sits at 53% kids and 47% adults.  I guess I haven’t done a great job of differentiating, and I know those percentages are a bit unusual, but I’m very happy with the mix of patients and procedures.

I saw a recent thread in our Facebook group about trying to increase the number of parents being treated in a practice. My question to you, is if the population you’re currently treating isn’t what you ideally want, what steps are you taking to make the change?

You can make your practice anything you want it to be. Just plan it and do it. 🙂

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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Glenn Krieger is an orthodontist with 20 years of restorative and cosmetic dentistry experience before he returned to orthodontic residency. Dr. Krieger learned about the importance of well-designed practice policies and systems during a year at the Schuster Center for Professional Development in Scottsdale Arizona, and an understanding of general accounting practices and industrial psychology at the University of Washington Graduate Business School’s “Dentist as CEO” program. He is the host of “The Orthopreneurs Podcast” and manages the Orthopreneurs Facebook group.

Amazing Referral Program

Ever read Dustin Burleson’s book The Truth About Referrals From Patients and Dentists? I was reading it yesterday and he makes some amazing suggestions, but most importantly, it made me stop and think of all of the ways in which we attract patients.

A lot of discussions in our groups revolve around patient referral programs and whether or not it makes sense to outsource to a third party to help us with implementation. Many are in favor of such referral programs which others are staunch opponents. But Dustin’s book made me think about the referral process as going way beyond the simple rewards component.

We need to be focused on things like serving our best referrers, dentists and their teams, social media, community events and so much more.

The question I’ll leave you with today is this: Have you implemented a complete, killer referral program that focuses on all aspects of your referral funnel, focusing on every step of the referral process from the beginning until the end? If not, what are you waiting for?

If you’re one of the rare practices that doesn’t need to market much to grow, that’s amazing. But for the rest of us, referrals are our lifeblood and we need to be focused on helping that phone ring or getting people to click that “make an appointment now” button on our websites.

So, I’ll ask you again: Is your referral program everything you want it to be? If not, what are you going to do about it?

If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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Can We Be Ambitiously Lazy?

I’m in the middle of reading “Making Money is Killing Your Business” by Chuck Blakeman. In the opening pages, he uses the term “ambitiously lazy” to describe his approach to work. It means that he worked his butt off really heavily early in his career because he wanted to coast later on. In essence, he was very ambitious with his labor to grow his business so that later he could work way less.

Is orthodontic practice ownership different? We do indeed have to work our butts off to grow our practices. Gone are the days of dentistry when you could open a practice and be “in the black” (making money) two weeks after opening (yes, that’s the way practice used to be). We have to wear a ton of hats like manager, leader, entrepreneur, HR chief, PR manager, etc, etc, etc.. It takes a lot of work.

People often ask me if they should open their own office or keep working their corporate gig. I always say that owning a practice isn’t for the faint of heart. If you want to race home 5 minutes after the last patient and not work on marketing or business plans, then by all means do not own a practice. But if you want the advantages of being your own boss and setting your ship in the direction of your choosing, then practice ownership can be so incredibly rewarding,  But you must work at it, and unlike Mr. Blakeman,  who runs an online business, we must continue at it.

If you plant a tree, you need to dig a hole and work hard to water it, stake it, feed it and eventually it will bear fruit. But what happens when it’s “mature” and you neglect it? Sure, it will still offer fruit, but eventually it will start to decline and ultimately the tree will die. Our practices are the same.

We all have seen the more mature clinician who hasn’t tended to the practice the way they used to, believing that their popularity alone will gain them patients. Ask them how their FB marketing is going and they’re likely to say: “I’m not on social media” and their websites show no signs of updating in the last decade. As a friend of mine once said, they’re “riding their dinosaurs into extinction” and there isn’t a practice around that’s immune to the outcomes of neglect.

So, heed my advice and spend some extra time working on your practice every day. Focus on that extra FB post or a new system for lab tracking or maybe have that difficult talk with that team member instead of rushing home. Most importantly, if your practice is mature, continue doing the things that made you successful. Whether you plan on working for the next 20 years or retiring next year, the extra work will benefit you.

Being ambitiously lazy isn’t for orthodontic practice owners. Now go do one special task to make your practice better. 🙂

Wishing you all the best!!!

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Want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group like none other? With monthly webinars and CE courses with top speakers in the industry, there are only two prerequisites: You’re an orthodontist (yes, you can be an associate) and you want to contribute to a group of like-minded peers who have come together to share our practice ideas and solve our common business, leadership and management issues. Email me at Glenn@OrthoPreneursRD.com to learn more and to see if you’re region is available.

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