How to Save Money on your Dental Handpiece Repairs

Handpiece_Maintenance_EZ_Banner.jpg
Photo Credit

Dental handpieces may be one of the smallest things you use in your everyday practice; however, they are sometimes the most expensive, critical, and frustrating equipment that you use. If you are having problems keeping your handpiece up and running for a time longer than 6 months, you need to first go back and read about maintenance. More than likely, you are doing something wrong, and there is a reason that it keeps breaking. Maintaining everything right? Now double check that there is no moisture in your airlines, and that your air pressure is no more than factory recommended air pressures. These 3 things will greatly increase the life of your handpieces.

Coming from dental handpiece repair, and repairing tens of thousands of different

lube
Photo Credit

handpieces, I can tell you that proper maintenance and lube really goes a long way. When it comes to a repair, properly maintained handpieces are much easier to clean, and replace, and are much less likely to cost an arm and a leg. It is the handpieces that are definitely not taken care of that are rusted, corroded, and sometimes, unrepairable. Proper maintenance of your handpiece will almost certainly save you money in the long run. They break far less, and when they do break, the parts put into them are much less than parts needed to fix rusted and corroded handpieces.

Finally, make sure your repair technician puts high quality parts inside the handpieces. If they put cheap bearings in them, well:

1) they are making more profit off of you and

2) You will not be getting the long lasting repairs that you should be.

20153241012918067-289x300.jpg
Photo Credit

Ask them to put shielded ceramic bearings in all of their repairs. This will make your handpiece last 30% longer.  I even have dentists that request new turbines every time. These can be warrantied for a full year, and is seriously something to consider. When asking for ceramic bearings, Be careful, some repair companies charge extra.

Have anything else you want to add or discuss? Or looking for a repair company that puts ceramic bearings in all repairs and doesn’t charge extra? Visit my site and shoot me a call or email.

Advertisements

Replacing Handpiece Turbines Yourself- What you Need to Know

hhc-no-product.jpg
Photo Credit

Want to save a little bit on your repair costs? Replacing your own turbines is a great way in achieving this. However, before you fully dive in, make sure you listen closely. Many people jump into thinking doing their own turbine replacement is easy, but there is actually a lot more to in than one may think.

Does it Really Save me Money? The main reason that dentist replace their own turbines is to save money. I have had people tell me before, “I just do it for fun”; That is hard to believe that you would want to fit this into your tight schedule, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Anyways, replacing your own turbines does not necessarily save you money. The most common repair in high speed dental handpieces is that their bearings break. Replacing an entire turbine when a bearing breaks can be a little extreme, and a little more expensive. If you can get your turbines for less than $100, then yes; most companies charge $100 to replace the bearings on the handpiece. If you pay more than $100 for a turbine you will actually be losing money. You’re paying more to replace the turbine than it costs to fix the bearings. One way to check if the turbine needs replaced is if it will not hold a bur. If your bur is slipping out, it may be time to change your turbine.

 

star-dental-turbines-263739.jpg
Photo Credit

Things to Watch out for- Changing handpiece turbines can actually be much more complicated than it seems. It may be a pain to successfully remove the o-rings from the head and back cap; also, make sure you know all the accessories the turbine uses, as some handpieces require washers, press plates, shims, and other things to make them work right. O-Rings need replaced every time you replace the turbine, and unless you have a Star or a Impact Air, They can be very hard to get out.

When you finally remove and install new o-rings, make sure the washers and shims (if required) are set into place inside the head and back cap. If they aren’t you can bend them and ruin them, and your handpiece will not run right without them.

Don’t use Bare Hands- This may sound strange, but it is true. The oils on your skin can cause the handpiece turbine (mainly the bearings) to fail much sooner than they actually should. Make sure to put gloves on, and work very slowly with the new turbine.

Personally, I think that replacing turbines yourself can be much harder than you have time for. What do you think?

Comment below and tell me your thoughts!

Also, looking for a new, inexpensive and fast handpiece repair service? Visit my website!

Have your Customers Find you

 

customer.jpg
Photo Credit

As anyone who owns any type of business will know, the key to making it successful is by having customers. No customers = no money = no business. Many people say, “customers make the world go round” which is absolutely true. In dentistry, it is a bit harder to find customers. With a lot of competition, and many people and their desire to stay with the dentist who “they have had for years” it becomes very hard to find new customers.

One of the keys to finding new customers, isn’t really finding new ones at all. Create relationships with families and friends. If you create strong enough relationships, you have found yourself a lifelong customer; if they are young, they will have their children come to you as well. Walaah! You have a new lifelong customer that you have done minimal work to acquire.

Another way in finding new customers can be through referrals from other dentists. This is one of the best ways of acquiring new clients.  Another way, which is also very easy, is making yourself found on Google, and social media platforms. With the internet getting larger and larger, and becoming a huge part of someone’s everyday life, let yourself be found. when they type in “dentist” on google, make sure your name will be there. Create a strong website, and start asking customers to review your practice. This way, when they find you, they can look at your reviews, and see just how awesome you are.

SocialMedia.jpg
Photo Credit

Social media is also a huge part of getting new customers. Create a social media page on every popular site: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Start posting, and sharing posts related to yours. Have customer check-in on facebook; the more activity your page receives, the more people will see it. Also, start posting and sharing blogs. It is a great way to speak to many potential customers, and attract them to your website.

Looking for Followers? Follow me on my social media listed on the side of this page, and I will follow back!

Avoiding Cancellations and No-Shows

Cancelled_FBBLog
Photo Credit

One thing that plagues dentists throughout the country is the fact that some clients will show up late, cancel last minute, or don’t show up at all. This may not seem like a problem for the average person, however, for a dentist who is trying to run their business; big problem! Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips to help everybody resolve this issue, once and for all.

I’m sure everyone reading this has had this problem, or knows the effects that persists from it. If not, I will briefly explain anyways. Schedule is stacked, completely booked for the next 4 months, what do you think would happen if someone doesn’t show up for their appointment? Well, they are going to come in with an excuse, and want to come in ASAP. They expect you to tend to their needs, even from their own mistake; a certainly sticky situation for the people involved.

Now what if they show up 1 hour early, and still want their appointment? Even worse, they’re the first client of the day! This is almost worst case scenario. Now you have to play catch-up throughout the rest of your day, but still try to make you clients (who were there on time) not wait long. This creates a very stressful scenario for the entire staff involved.

cancellation-fees-1
Photo Credit

The most common way to fix the no-call no-show is charging patients who cancel within 24 hours of their appointment, and charging for those who don’t show up. This works, sometimes; other times, they want to argue with you; the decision is up to you. Another way to fix this problem is to confirm every appointment. Personally, my dentist, and many dentists that I work for have a confirmation system of email, phone, and text. All three of these at different times, so you keep getting reminders. Many people even go a step farther and have an option to “click to confirm” This is great, but not a complete necessity.

This problem can never be solved completely, but there are many ways to help bring down the percentage.

Be_Heard_Survey_opinion_microphone_feedback_voice_talk_speak.jpg
Photo Credit

Do you have any experience of this, or any other ideas on how to help the problem?

We would all love to hear your thoughts/stories, comment below!

 

Create Relationships

One of the things about working in dentistry is the fact that everybody is very close; dentists and a lot of staff from different offices all have friendships. This is both a good thing, and a bad thing. Good, because everybody takes care of everybody, referrals can really help your business, and it can create lifelong friendships. It could be be bad in regards that you pissed someone off, well you may have aggregated more than one person, and word travels fast. However, if you’re making people angry early on in your career, chances are you are going to have a hard time throughout the rest of it.

8140264_orig
Photo Credit

Go make Friends! This can set you up with many business opportunities, and can really help you when you need advice or recommendations on what to do with your office. Many counties throughout the US have a dental society. This is a great way to meet people who work in the same area that you do, talk about similar things, and so on. The next, larger, step is visiting your State’s dental association meetings, Finally, if you are looking for something bigger, you can go to an ADA conference; they have great deals from all of their vendors, and a plethora of information. Also, you can meet many new dentists from all across the country.

Meeting new people can really be the success of your business. Everyone is friendly, and if you are just starting your practice, well, they’ve done that too. They come with a plethora of advice, wisdom, and recommendations. Plus, if you work something out, you can have a referral system back and forth, which many of my local dentists do. Whether you are working in a semi-corporate, corporate, or independent practice, go out to these meetings, and meet some new people who do what you do.

Have any other great Associations or societies I should visit? Let me know in the comment below!

Keys to being Efficient

save-money
Photo Credit

Being efficient has been talked about in more depth earlier. I explained the difference in efficiency and effectiveness, and discussed what to achieve first and how to make them work together. In this, it was discussed that effectiveness will bring the customers, but efficiency will bring you profits; this can be viewed here. By this time, most of you are wondering, “well, how do I become efficient?”, so let’s discuss some key steps that can be made to allow this to happen.

Look into your books: First of all, you must be willing to work; both on patients, and in your office. It is best to set out some time and get into a routine. Personally, every morning I get the books done and manage everything before I start working, every Friday I run reports and make sure everything is looking good, and at the end of every month, I look really hard and in depth into the books. As mentioned before, saving yourself 1% doesn’t sound like much, but when it comes down to it, it saves you lots. What you are looking for is your number 1 expense, go into depth and see if you absolutely NEED to have those expenses, or if some things are a waste. Once you have your largest expense figured out, start moving down the list on the next ranking expenses.

Buy things in Bulk: When you are looking at your yearly expenses, start looking at how many certain things you bought. Maybe throughout the year you used 100,000 sterilization bags, and 1000 burs (just making numbers up), now why not buy those all at once and get a larger discount? usually, the more you buy, the less you spend per piece. This can save you some money in the long run, and drop your costs.

CL01.jpg
Photo Credit

Make sure you Operatory is running great: There is nothing worse than having a busy day, but not being able to work due to equipment failure. Now, listen up, a lot of people do not want to properly maintain handpieces or equipment, THIS IS THE CHEAPEST AND BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR PRACTICE. It ensures that everything will be running at the highest level it can be, for the longest time possible. Always have a backup plan, especially with small equipment. Whether it be old handpieces that you use for emergency scenarios, or a local dentist friend who has an extra that they loan you in case of emergency, you need something.

istock-639318984.jpg__970x545_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
Photo Credit

Be prepared: Stuff happens, and there is sometimes nothing you can do. To help in these situations, build a good strong relationship with a dental equipment repairman. The better the relationship, the more likely they will drop things in order to get you back up and running. Remember, the faster the better, the longer it is broken, you are losing on profits. Also, make sure you have a handpiece repair technician who is also fast. It may not seem like it, but having broken handpieces will build stress on the currently working handpieces. You want to get them fixed ASAP and get them back into the operation.

Want some help on who to use for handpiece repair and equipment repair? Visit my website, and give me a call.

 

Efficient or Effective?

measuring-effective-website
Photo Credit

Effective: “successful in producing a desired or intended result.” Being effective allows you to get what you want out of something. Refer back to the example above, “I grossed 1 million this year!” If you had a goal to gross 1 million, than you achieved it, you are effective! It doesn’t matter what you spent to get there, all that matters is you got there.

Efficient: “achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.” Being efficient allows you to get the most productivity as possible, without wasting money or time getting there. I’ve talked to people saying, “I grossed 1 million this year!” Yes, great, that’s awesome, but unless you know how efficient they are, it doesn’t really matter. They may have grossed 1 million, but they spent 2.

Now one isn’t more important than the other; they are both unique in their own ways. They can exist without one another, but the best way to utilize them is having them work together. This is something that can take a lot of time and energy to figure out, but once you do, your business will be ran and operated better than anyone else’s. Lets look back at the previous example, “I grossed 1 million this year!” now let’s assume that the goal was to gross 1 million dollars and spend less than last year. This shows that they were 1) effective, as they achieve their goal. and 2) efficient, as they increased productivity without wasting expenses.

The key to becoming efficient and effective is first becoming effective. If you can achieve the results that you strive for consistently, then you can start working on efficiency. Start cutting unnecessary cost, start buying things in bulk, start cutting your unneeded bills. Even if you save 1%. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but 1% of 1 million turns out to be $10,000 that is instantly added to your profit. You can save 1% and many things that will show up on your income sheet. Also, being effective, and focusing on efficiency will allow your staff to become more productive. 

 

profit.jpg
Photo Credit

Once your business is effective, and efficient, it will be hard to compete with you, and easier for you to successfully run your practice. You’ll make the most profit in any situation, and you will use the least production possible while still having the same results. It’s basically just a smarter way to look at “work smarter, not harder”. besides, who doesn’t want to make more, but work less?

What do you think? Comment below on what is holding you back, and I can help!