Kit Weathers, DDS and Patrick Wahl, DMD
are the editors of the Practical Endodontics newsletter and the developers of the EndoMagic! simplified endodontic system. Their articles have appeared in Dentistry Today, Dental Economics, Dental Practice & Finance, The Richards Report and The Farran Report, and they have spoken nationally and internationally. Call 800-215-4245 or fax 770-412-8272 to subscribe to their newsletter or for information about their upcoming speaking dates, including their famous 2-day 'Root' Camps in Griffin, Georgia, where you will learn hands-on how to treat your patients in one enjoyable visit. Doctors Weathers and Wahl will also be featured speakers at The Profitable Dentist's 4th Annual Fall Seminar, September 17-20, 1997 at the Del Lago Texas Resort.
Ten Secrets of High-Profit/
Dentistry can be hard work and stressful, and doing things just because that's the way you've always done them won't change that fact. But when you discover the following ten secrets, you can make endodontic treatment more fun and improve your quality of life.
1. Raise your fees.
As Dr. Howard Farran points out, you will be held to the same standard as the specialist, so on those cases that you do yourself, you should charge the same as the specialist. Dental fees have not even kept pace with inflation, let alone technological advances, and it may be time for you to reexamine your fees.
2. Make risk-free payment arrangements beforehand.
Many companies (such as American General Finance, 800-597-5977) would love to offer long-term financing to your patients who require it. Watch your stress disappear when you work on appreciative patients for fair fees that you know will be collected.
3. Select cases appropriately.
Don't do all your own endo just to satisfy your ego. Any dentist can do endo, but a smart dentist, just like a smart lawyer, chooses his cases wisely. The following chart will remind you of situations which can make endodontic cases more difficult, and may influence your decision regarding referral.
The EndoMagic! Stress-Busting
4. Create a set-up checklist for endodontics.
5. Don't walk into the operatory until the room is set-up.
Surgeons do not work without the proper instrumentation, only dentists do. Dentists even pride themselves on being able to work with any instrument. You should pride yourself on becoming better organized and using the best instrumentation.
6. Don't hesitate to sacrifice the mesio-buccal cusp or any other tooth structure
that is in your way.
Proper access can be checked by closing one eye and verifying that all orifices remain simultaneously visible with only one eye open. In addition, the orifices should be wide open, because the orifices must be opened with files before a working length is determined and access is considered complete.
7. Use a lubricant such
However, products that save time don't cost -- they pay. Your patients deserve the best, and so do you. Learn ways to get the best for less. We use KY Jelly instead of RC-Prep as a lubricant, and it costs pennies per gram instead of dollars.
8. Open the coronal aspect of the canal before the apical aspect.
Not even nickel-titanium files can dance comfortably around multiple curvatures. Opening the orifice in a direction away from the furcation prior to working length determination eliminates the first curve, and leaves only the apical curvature for the file to manage. Apical instrumentation immediately becomes easier and more elegant. The working length remains more accurate, because the bulk of canal straightening, which occurs throughout the procedure, has already been accomplished.
Your patients will have less post-operative discomfort, because you've removed the noxious irritants instead of packing them down or pushing them through the apex. Try coronal instrumentation before apical instrumentation. You and your patients will like it.
9. Turn on to the rotary revolution.
10. Complete cases in one visit whenever possible.
No treatment is complete until you give your patient your home phone number. Our patients pay for five-star service, and they get it. No patient of ours will ever be unable to contact us. The idea of one of our patients in pain telling other people instead of telling us would stress us out. Call your patients at night to check how they are doing and to check how you did. They will be touched by your concern.
Technology available today makes endodontics more enjoyable for both the patient and
for you. Endodontics may not be as glamorous as cosmetic dentistry, but it will be just as
appreciated by a patient in need, and can be just as lucrative to your practice. We hope
this information will help renew your interest in endodontics and we'll see you at the