Management + Leadership

New year’s book review and giveaway: ADA’s Expert Business Strategies guide

Happy New Year, Mouthing Off readers!

The 2014 countdown has expired, and a new time clock has begun. 2015 welcomes new experiences, memories, successes and lessons to be learned. The turning over of a new leaf, the fresh or refresh, the commit or recommit, the dedicate or rededicate can be the exciting push and encouragement we need to hit the ground running in 2015.

Though many goals will be set, some may not be achieved, but the first step is to set goals. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a list of goals written down already, and one of them is to deliver a motivational and informational book review to you. You may be thinking, “Jay, I don’t have ‘reading more books’ on my list of goals.” But allow me to change your mind, especially our soon-to-be-graduated Class of 2015 dental students.

The American Dental Association provides countless resources, both tangible and intangible, to dental students. One book I’ve recently read, “The ADA Practical Guide to Expert Business Strategies,” opened my eyes to many business and practice management aspects of dentistry that we may not be exposed to in dental school. This guide is organized into 10 chapters that highlight important practice management criteria that can help your business succeed. For students graduating this spring, this guide is ideal for you to help with the transition from dental school to private, corporate or associate practice. Though targeted at readers who will soon manage a practice, this guide also has relevancy to current dental students to help manage their patients in their dental clinics. Here are brief synopses of a few chapters that I believed are critical to know of when managing a practice, though all 10 chapters are important reads:

Chapter 1: The Basics of Working with Insurance Plans

This chapter describes some of the major types of insurance plans available, how to manage insurance coverage, and advice for coding. The Current Dental Terminology Codes is quoted as being the “Bible” for dentists when reporting dental codes to insurance companies. There needs to be a means to getting paid for your work and making sure your claims are accurately recorded.

Chapter 2: Scheduling

The common phrase “Time is of the essence” can’t be any truer for a practicing dentist. Efficient scheduling and planning a calendar of appointments makes or breaks a dental practice. Balancing between keeping a flow of patients in and out of your office and the variety of dental procedures you perform will determine whether your practice will make money, stay even or lose money. This chapter focuses on how to plan efficiently with your office staff, dental assistants, hygienists and patients.

Chapter 7: Improving Patient Satisfaction and Retention

A happy patient makes a happy dentist. Without patients, dentists will be without jobs. This chapter talks about how to satisfy your patients, creating surveys to assess the quality of service and experience, and ways to increase patient retention. There was important information in this chapter about communicating well with your patients and establishing a relationship that can help your practice grow.

Chapter 8: Keeping Pace With An Ever-changing Social Media World

Being a social media addict, this chapter proved to be one of the most intriguing and important chapters in the whole guide to me. Communication is constantly evolving and keeping up with these changes can differentiate a successful business from a struggling one. This chapter introduces the social media novice to terminology they should get acquainted with, how to create a presence in the social media sphere, and how to find a social media partner that can help advertise your practice beyond your typical business cards, word of mouth and paper flyers.

If there’s one guide that a dental student, especially a D4, should pick up, it’s this one. Packed full of advice from the industry’s top dental consultants, the “ADA Practical Guide to Expert Business Strategies” will not only help you become aware of the business aspect of dentistry, but will also help you become a better, more successful business leader and practice owner. This guide is great for D1s through D3s as well. So how about you make a new goal this year and add to the wealth of knowledge you already have by reading this guide from the ADA?

Just when you thought Christmas was over, Mouthing Off will be giving away two FREE copies of this guide, our readers. Please leave a comment below of one dental-related New Year’s goal you made. Winner will be randomly chosen and notified via e-mail.

 *This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! We’d still love to hear your resolutions in the comments section. If you’d like to purchase the ADA Practical Guide to Expert Business Strategies, check out the special ASDA discount below!

You can get 25% off the member price of ADA catalog products just by being an ASDA member. Visit the ADA catalog by clicking here. Log in and use promo code 15801 at checkout to get your special discount on ADA catalog products (excluding Kindle and Nook books) through the end of 2015. ASDA member discount cannot be combined with any other offers.

~Jay Banez, Marquette ’16, electronic editor

Jay Banez

Jay Banez is one of ASDA's electronic editors. Originally from Las Vegas, Jay is a D4 at Marquette School of Dentistry. Jay is also the Media & Communications Chair for #MarquetteASDA. You can catch him walking around school occasionally with his camera in hand, posting to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. These efforts helped lead Marquette to its Ideal ASDA Chapter title at the 2014 Gold Crown Awards.

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21 Comments

  1. Brad says:

    2015 new year’s resolution: to do my crown preps in only one appointment like a real dentist!

  2. Jared says:

    One goal of mine is to floss daily. Why is it so hard to do that?

  3. Write handwritten notes more to family and friends. Who doesn’t love the excitement of receiving real mail?

  4. Jona says:

    My new years resolution is to be more proactive with things I need to complete.

  5. Andrew says:

    My new years resolution is to do less cramming.

  6. Christine says:

    One of my new year’s resolutions is to keep my teeth caries-free!

  7. Laura says:

    My New Year’s resolution is to give more priority to developing my hand skills.

  8. Cristen says:

    NY Res 2015: Get outdoors more!!!

  9. Mary says:

    Read a dental related book to expand my scope of real world dentistry while in dental school…. Oh wait! I may need this book to do so 🙂

  10. Vanessa Kristensen says:

    My 2015 goal: pass the boards!

  11. David Morrison says:

    My dental related New Year’s resolutions are to earn scholarship money for dental school and to have a very successful first semester of dental school!!!

  12. My goal is to learn more about practice management!

  13. Holly says:

    My dental related new years goal is to be a good dental role model to my friends, family and community– floss more, eat less sweets and drink less soda. This will surely benefit my overall and oral health and show good behavior not just preach about it- people need to see it in action!

  14. Marika says:

    It is never too early to plan what kind of a dentist and what kind of practice you want to operate. My new years goal would be to put much more thought into that, as well as become more informed about the financial aspect of running a dental practice, and how various health insurance changes affect it.

  15. Kendall says:

    My one dental-related New Year’s goal is to be accepted into dental school!

  16. Poonam says:

    New Years Goal: Get hired after graduating!

  17. Desseree Lysne says:

    My new year’s resolution is to start studying dentistry outside of school, for my own benefit and understanding. I do not want to cram and dump dental material for school, which is unfortunately how it feels now since I am SO BUSY!!! 🙂

  18. Brian Pearce says:

    I am working to build a business club at midwestern in AZ. We have the club up and running, some leadership in place, and thrown some decent event. With that said, I have a goal to develop my ability to delegate and lead so that the club can help more students!

  19. John O'Malley says:

    My resolution is to start something I’ve been thinking about for a while now — a blog focused on oral public health. I first found MouthingOff after searching for examples to model, so thanks Jay for your contributions.

  20. Jacob Balkos says:

    My goal is to build relations with dentists in the area in which I want to practice. I don’t have any dentists in the family, and don’t want to work for a corporation, so I think it’s time for me to start finding prospective partnership and ownership opportunities.

  21. Priscila Quito says:

    Before I begin dental school in August and after having shadowed at private practices for the past three years, one dental-related New Year’s goal I made is to shadow at a different business and clinical setting such as the Florida Health Department. Through shadowing at the Health Department, I would like to learn and appreciate the way various dentists come together to improve the community’s oral health.

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