desert rat

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Have you wanted to talk with a practicing general dentist without all the BS that a dental professor or specialist gives you? Fee free to ask me any questions and I will tell you how it really is.
 

TempleDMDKrazd

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Have you wanted to talk with a practicing general dentist without all the BS that a dental professor or specialist gives you? Fee free to ask me any questions and I will tell you how it really is.

1) Was it hard finding an associateship when you graduated?
2) What dental school did you graduate from and do you feel it adequately prepared you for the real world?
3) If you worked harder at something in dental school what would it be?
4) How many years did it take for you to feel comfortable practicing dentistry efficiently?
 

desert rat

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1) Was it hard finding an associateship when you graduated?
I did the Army deal. I was injured and dissabled out after two years. I purchased a practice.

2) What dental school did you graduate from and do you feel it adequately prepared you for the real world?
Iowa, no way was I prepared. They had us believing we had to send everything to specialists. In Iowa all complex work goes to residents. I learned more in 3 months of private practice than I did in 4 years of dental school.

3) If you worked harder at something in dental school what would it be?
I would have spent more time doing as much complex surgury as I could. Forget learning ortho, learn that later when you will get better instruction. Work on getting faster at everything including small fillings. Push yourself to go faster and faster.

4) How many years did it take for you to feel comfortable practicing dentistry efficiently?
It took about two years in private practice before I felt I knew what I was doing. You do OK at first, but when you finally get it things flow for you and there is not much procedures you can't do.
 
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1) would you recommend army (say doing a 2yr hpsp) as a way to become comfortable in your skills? or associateship is better for that purpose?
2) can dentists take 1-2wk vacations whenever they want? i.e. the only thing they lose are the days that they miss, or does it really hurt the practice? how about if you're an associate?
3) is it frequent that people are unhappy with your work and how do you deal with it? say you did a cavity or a root canal and they didnt like it? or if a cavity that you put in falls out 1year later?
thanks
 

aphistis

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3) is it frequent that people are unhappy with your work and how do you deal with it? say you did a cavity or a root canal and they didnt like it? or if a cavity that you put in falls out 1year later?
thanks
In addition, how frequently do you find that *you're* dissatisfied with a treatment outcome, irrespective of what the patient thinks?
 

desert rat

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I would not recommend anyone to the Army scholarship HPSP. I did that and regreted doing it. You barely make enough to live, while your friends make a nice living and gaining skills. In the Army you may or may not get to learn new things. Many dentists get placed on amalgam lines and that is all they do all day. If you go to combat, and you will, then you do little dentistry.

Debt is perspective. If you have $300,000 in debt upon graduation it can be bad depending on the payback rates. If the rate is low and the term is long, then no big deal. If you make $100,000 a year and live on $30,000 the first year or two and place the bulk on loans you will be fine.

After being dissabled from the Army two years after graduating dental school, my wife and i had about $75,000 in debt. We paid it off in one year. We purchased a property and built a strip mall on it for about $600,000. We paid that off in three years.

After practicing a few years in private practice you can make enough money to pay back any loan. If on the other hand you are slow and not as talanted as many, I would consider public health service and use their loan payback program.

For patient satisfaction issues: Some people you can never please. Some you could put anything in their mouth and they are happy. You do the best you can and are honest and patients will be OK. Fillings falling out happens rarely, but if it does within 5 years of placing them and if the patient has taken care of the teeth I will replace it for free. That is good will and it goes a long way.
 

endoking

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Have you wanted to talk with a practicing general dentist without all the BS that a dental professor or specialist gives you? Fee free to ask me any questions and I will tell you how it really is.

I'm interested to know why you think a specialist would give you BS if you asked him or her a question regarding dentistry.
 

desert rat

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In dental schools there are big turf wars. Many, not all specialits teaching like to get the students into the thought that they can't do complex treatments and need to refer to specialists.

I am not calling them liars. I am saying be careful of the BS that they seem to beleive and teach. There is not one specialty that a general dentist can't do. With some further CE and expereince a general dentist is as good and in some cases better than a specialist.

I have seen in my year specialists trying to keep general dentists away from being able to do, anesthesia, implants, ortho, TMD treatment etc.

Also there is dental school way of treatement and there is alternative ways of treatment they probably won't teach and may bad mouth.
 

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What is the biggest challenge that you face in practicing dentistry and how do you deal with it?

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

You don't reccomend Army dentistry, but would you have rather gone navy/air force or do you not recommend any branch of the military?

Thanks for allowing us to ask you questions!
 

desert rat

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What is the biggest challenge that you face in practicing dentistry and how do you deal with it?
Dealing with staff, and the running of the office.


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The money is a big one, the feeling of helping people is the other.

You don't reccomend Army dentistry, but would you have rather gone navy/air force or do you not recommend any branch of the military?
The only branch i would consider joining would be public health service or air force. Do that if you are not fast or unsure of yourself or want to see the world and constantly move.

Thanks for allowing us to ask you questions!
No problem. Hope i help out some.
 

Open Wide

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How did you learn how to start up and run your own practice? As far as I know, my school doesn't offer ANY business classes whatsoever.
 
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desert rat

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When you buy a practice you can learn alot about management from the staff of the former dentist. Also a well run office will continue to run well during the transition.

i have a degree in business so for me dentistry was alot of running a business like I learned in school. the next thing to do is ask other dentists that are successful how they do it and learnf from them. Be careful about taking advice from dental message forums because many people that are not successful are eager to give advice or try to sell you something

If you ever want to ask questions fee free to ask. Also check out dentaltown.com and learn there. Just be careful. When you graduate school I can recommend some people for you to learn from.
 

BuckeyMcGee

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Wow, I know a former Navy dentist, did the 4 year HPSP, and is now making great money in private practice and loved his experience in the Navy. I think it is different for everyone and can't truly be generalized. He never saw combat once and didn't even have to go out on a ship...
 

alphabetsoup

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Did you join the Army for only financial reasons or did you want to be in the military too?
 

MnBr63

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What is your opinion of working for the Indian Health Services after dental school? Will this be an effective way of building skills while helping to pay off your loan (especially if it is in the $300,000 range)? http://www.dentist.ihs.gov/loan.cfm Thanks in advance.
 

desert rat

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Please don't take my views on the military as the only ones out there. I am a pacifist due to reasons I won't discuss.

I did 8 years Airforce enlisted 3 of wich were spent with 1st SOS in Fl as a helicopter gunner. I completed my BS in managment while in the Air Force. I left the Air Force to go get a Masters degree. After getting my masters degree I went to dental school.

While in dental school I was in financial hardhsip. I was approached by all the services and the only one offering 2 and 3 year scholarships was the Army. I would have gon AF or Navy if they had a scholarship available. I figured it could not be any harder than what I had already done. I also thought a dental officer would be treated different than a regular soldier. I learned the hard way.

I will say I loved being in the Air Force when I was in it.

I do not know much about public health service. I know they don't go to way though.

Good luck
 

endoking

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There is not one specialty that a general dentist can't do. With some further CE and expereince a general dentist is as good and in some cases better than a specialist.
You're absolutely right that a general dentist may do all disciplines of dentistry, but let me ask you something--what brand of surgical microscope do you have mounted to the wall in your general dentistry practice? I'm assuming that you must have one if you are treating molars with calcified canals or maybe mandibular first bi's with four canals--as good or maybe better than an endodontist who would use such a microscope in these or similar cases.
 

K2 Dental

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EndoKing-

You haven't even started your residency and you already sound like an endo professor. Don't think for a minute that there are not GP's out there with and without scopes doing great endo. There are also GP's doing ****ty endo. Enjoy your residency. I hope they teach you good GP communication and interaction. We are your lifeline.
 

setdoc7

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EndoKing-

You haven't even started your residency and you already sound like an endo professor. Don't think for a minute that there are not GP's out there with and without scopes doing great endo. There are also GP's doing ****ty endo. Enjoy your residency. I hope they teach you good GP communication and interaction. We are your lifeline.

Correct. I would like to meet endo king in 2 years when he is taking all of my fellow GP's out to expensive lunches and dinners begging for referrals. Don't think for a minute this isn't reality. The first lesson in his endo program should be don't bash GP's.
 

endoking

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Correct. I would like to meet endo king in 2 years when he is taking all of my fellow GP's out to expensive lunches and dinners begging for referrals. Don't think for a minute this isn't reality. The first lesson in his endo program should be don't bash GP's.

point taken
 

armorshell

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Maybe I'm going against the grain with all the specialty hate, but it doesn't seem ridiculous to me that someone who has spent 3 years of their life training in one specialty, and completely limits their practice to said specialty would, on average, be more highly trained to perform procedures within that specialty.

I find it funny that most of the people who would speak out against say, the ADHP program, would assert basically the same thing as the hygienists when they're talking about advanced procedures.
 
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TucsonDDS

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Dessert Rat:

How do you feel about new grads going straight into practice, or do you recommend a residency of some sort?

Where are you located?

How long did it take you to build your practice to where you were able to keep a full schedule?

What makes up the majority of your practice: C + B, restorative, perio, removable??

Do you think a new grad with a decent head on their shoulders and good hand skills could successfully buy and run a practice grossing 400-600k/year?

What would you have done differently?

Thank you so much for the info
Tucsondds
 

desert rat

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How do you feel about new grads going straight into practice, or do you recommend a residency of some sort? That all depends on your skills in dental school. If you learned the minimum and have slow speed and not sure of yourself, then you need some hand holding. A good thing for any new graduate without a residency is to find a mentor or mentor program. Do a specialty residency if thats what floats your boat, do and AGD or AEGD if you need it, but mostly get out and do something.

Where are you located? In AZ

How long did it take you to build your practice to where you were able to keep a full schedule? Bought an exhisting practice. Been busy since we started. Too busy now. There is two of us in our practice right now.

What makes up the majority of your practice: C + B, restorative, perio, removable?? We are fortunate in that we treat a ton of snow birds and people vacationing here. Most of our work is serious reconstruction. Re-making multiple crowns at a time, or repairing broken teeth, or rehabs due to meth, or ext and implants, or ext and dentures. I do a small amount of ortho for fun and because the specialist in our area does a bad job of ortho. We do our share of endo, but no endo retreats (we hate that). We also do our share of perio, but most chose to lose teeth rather than spend money to save them.

We have learned to be very efficient and utilize the skills of our assistants. A typical crown takes 5 minutes of prep each and we may do 1-10 at a time. The assistants place cords and makes temporaries for us, we prep, and impress. We actually have people coming to our office from all over the nation and chosing us to rehab them and that is kool.

My dream would be to hire a denturist or pros specialist to do the removable.

I hope to retire within the next 4 -6 years. We have already saved enough to retire, but have not met the right person(s) to handel the practice. I wouldn't mind doing ortho part time for fun in retirement.


Do you think a new grad with a decent head on their shoulders and good hand skills could successfully buy and run a practice grossing 400-600k/year?
$400-600K a year is not hard. That would be easy to do in my area. In other parts of the country like KY, or IA, CA etc. it would be hard. Remember it is not about gross it is about net. You can run a general dentist practice with a 50% overhead is you stay on top of things.

What would you have done differently?
I think I would have done everything the same when looking back. Life has been good to us. Now it's time to help out people like you and see that you have the great life too.
 

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Did you like dental school as a social experience? Like, did you make wonderful friends while you were there? Do you still talk to them now?
 

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How do you manage your employees in your practice? Do you frequently have meetings with them to ensure that you and they are in the same page? Have you ever had any serious issues with them?
 

desert rat

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We don't do the meeting thing with our staff unless really needed to deal with a problem. Our last problem we had to deal with related to hygiene jelousy. Sometimes employees bicker and fight with each other and you have to stop it.

Most of the time the office runs itself. Insurances are always a hassel to deal with, but thank God we don't take PPO, HMO, or Access.

About my dental school classmates. I keep up with just a couple and we visit each other and go to continuing education together. Most of my classmates and i did not get along well. There were cliks in my class and because i didn't party I did not fit in with many of them. I was the old man in class, the only ex military person. One classmate did stalk me and scare my wife. We had to take legal action against him and his slander.
 

tamkhan

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We don't do the meeting thing with our staff unless really needed to deal with a problem. Our last problem we had to deal with related to hygiene jelousy. Sometimes employees bicker and fight with each other and you have to stop it.

Most of the time the office runs itself. Insurances are always a hassel to deal with, but thank God we don't take PPO, HMO, or Access.

About my dental school classmates. I keep up with just a couple and we visit each other and go to continuing education together. Most of my classmates and i did not get along well. There were cliks in my class and because i didn't party I did not fit in with many of them. I was the old man in class, the only ex military person. One classmate did stalk me and scare my wife. We had to take legal action against him and his slander.

:eek:
 

blankguy

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We don't do the meeting thing with our staff unless really needed to deal with a problem. Our last problem we had to deal with related to hygiene jelousy. Sometimes employees bicker and fight with each other and you have to stop it.

Most of the time the office runs itself. Insurances are always a hassel to deal with, but thank God we don't take PPO, HMO, or Access.

About my dental school classmates. I keep up with just a couple and we visit each other and go to continuing education together. Most of my classmates and i did not get along well. There were cliks in my class and because i didn't party I did not fit in with many of them. I was the old man in class, the only ex military person. One classmate did stalk me and scare my wife. We had to take legal action against him and his slander.

How long ago did you graduate from dental school? Did you go to dental school in west coast, east or midwest? What is the employee turnover like at your practice?
 

Case2010

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What took you to Arizona?
Did you have a family during school?
How did you choose a practice to buy?
Did you buy a successful practice already or did you increase the production after you bought it?
Do you have time/opportunities for pro bono work?
How old are you?
How many employees do you have?
What are your yearly production goals?
What are you looking for in a potential buyer? Maturity, speed, GPR/AEGD?
Will you stay on for a year or two with the buyer?
Is your partner set to retire soon?
Sorry for the long list. And just a note: You seem like a grateful person since you would not go back and change your life. You accept both the good and the bad and accept them and use them for your benefit and the benefit of others. Thanks for giving honest answers to these questions. Also thank you for serving our country since you did what many won't do or cannot do.
 
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desert rat

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Wow! so many questions to answer.

I am older than dirt. Actually I am 46. My partner is my wife a general dentist as well.

I moved to AZ because I could not stand the cold anymore and AZ has the hottest temps in the USA and that attracted me. Also there was less competition and fast growing part of the nation. There was no dental schools or resprocity when we first started out.

Our yearly goal is over 2 mil production with less than 50% overhead. We are on target for this years goal. When we bought our practice we paid $200,000 for a practice producing $500,000 a year. It took us about 3 years to get over 1 mil and then it took another 3 to get to the 2 mil mark. We don't high sell, nor do we have a consultation room. Our fees are low for our area and we don't advertize heavy. We don't do PPO, HMO, or access.

My wife wants to retire in about 4 years as well. She does a ton of removable and has traveld teaching people from all over the world on all aspects about removable. I have taught implants, air abrasion, dentures relines and repairs, and some practice management.

Even with our schedule, I have gone to elementary schools and conducted dental screenings for many years. I have volunteer taught at the local hygiene school, and my wife was a part time adjunct professor at a dental school. I am involved with Civil Air Patrol, and my son's high school. I love politics and almost ran for US congress, but backed out because my son is still in high school.

Our staff usually stays with us for more than 6 years because we treat them well. We take them on a vacation each year, we often buy lunches and snack. We do bonuses, give healthcare, and retirement benefits. We have 8 staff.

What I would like in a potential buyer would be honesty, conservative treatment, minimum invasive dentistry, well rounded in skills, hard worker, good personality for patients, tolerant of all races etc. I would prefer someone to work awhile and let me see if they like the practice and fit the practice.

As to skills we can teach a person removable that is profitible, and also implants, and other tricks. If they want to do ortho I would suggest the tip edge course with Harry Green and they could do that early on their career.

We tried an associate that only lasted 1 month. He cried out thinking he would hit nerve and he was only in dentin. He left caries under all the composits, could not understand how to make a bridge abutments paralle, and could not do basic ext. We had to redo about $10,000 worth of dentistry. I recommended a GPR or AEGD for him.

We have had many worst patients, one that bit my assistant and laughed. Young ladies that tried flashing me, some that offered sex for services, people throwing up or peeing in the chair. One having an angina attack in TX, people coming in drunk or drugged up. But the worst are the ones that won't pay. We have had a patient's friend in a car waiting for the patient to get an ext and as soon as the tooth came out the patient ran out the door without paying. Some try to con us (does not work anymore). Have had bad checks, but the county goes after them with a felony or they pay, we always get paid. It has it's ups and downs like any business, but what other business can you make so much on a 30 hour week and actually help peopel?
 

TempleDMDKrazd

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Wow! so many questions to answer.

I am older than dirt. Actually I am 46. My partner is my wife a general dentist as well.

I moved to AZ because I could not stand the cold anymore and AZ has the hottest temps in the USA and that attracted me. Also there was less competition and fast growing part of the nation. There was no dental schools or resprocity when we first started out.

Our yearly goal is over 2 mil production with less than 50% overhead. We are on target for this years goal. When we bought our practice we paid $200,000 for a practice producing $500,000 a year. It took us about 3 years to get over 1 mil and then it took another 3 to get to the 2 mil mark. We don't high sell, nor do we have a consultation room. Our fees are low for our area and we don't advertize heavy. We don't do PPO, HMO, or access.

My wife wants to retire in about 4 years as well. She does a ton of removable and has traveld teaching people from all over the world on all aspects about removable. I have taught implants, air abrasion, dentures relines and repairs, and some practice management.

Even with our schedule, I have gone to elementary schools and conducted dental screenings for many years. I have volunteer taught at the local hygiene school, and my wife was a part time adjunct professor at a dental school. I am involved with Civil Air Patrol, and my son's high school. I love politics and almost ran for US congress, but backed out because my son is still in high school.

Our staff usually stays with us for more than 6 years because we treat them well. We take them on a vacation each year, we often buy lunches and snack. We do bonuses, give healthcare, and retirement benefits. We have 8 staff.

What I would like in a potential buyer would be honesty, conservative treatment, minimum invasive dentistry, well rounded in skills, hard worker, good personality for patients, tolerant of all races etc. I would prefer someone to work awhile and let me see if they like the practice and fit the practice.

As to skills we can teach a person removable that is profitible, and also implants, and other tricks. If they want to do ortho I would suggest the tip edge course with Harry Green and they could do that early on their career.

We tried an associate that only lasted 1 month. He cried out thinking he would hit nerve and he was only in dentin. He left caries under all the composits, could not understand how to make a bridge abutments paralle, and could not do basic ext. We had to redo about $10,000 worth of dentistry. I recommended a GPR or AEGD for him.

We have had many worst patients, one that bit my assistant and laughed. Young ladies that tried flashing me, some that offered sex for services, people throwing up or peeing in the chair. One having an angina attack in TX, people coming in drunk or drugged up. But the worst are the ones that won't pay. We have had a patient's friend in a car waiting for the patient to get an ext and as soon as the tooth came out the patient ran out the door without paying. Some try to con us (does not work anymore). Have had bad checks, but the county goes after them with a felony or they pay, we always get paid. It has it's ups and downs like any business, but what other business can you make so much on a 30 hour week and actually help peopel?

thanks for answering our questions

another question from me

1) when you first enter private practice how much did you take home and was it enough to cover your living expenses + loans?
2) how many hours a week were you working when you first enter private practice?
 

m-dmd

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I would not recommend anyone to the Army scholarship HPSP. I did that and regreted doing it. You barely make enough to live, while your friends make a nice living and gaining skills. In the Army you may or may not get to learn new things. Many dentists get placed on amalgam lines and that is all they do all day. If you go to combat, and you will, then you do little dentistry.

I just want to give a different perspective. I am finishing up my 4 year committment and I am happy that I did it. There were difficult times, when I wished I hadn't (my husband and step son lived in another state and our daughter and I lived here and this went on for the entire 4 years. Being a single parent in the military is not the easiest;)...so I know hardship).

I did not make just enough to get by on and dh and I were supporting 2 complete households. Right now I think I make $65,000 or so, but remember, I don't pay for any health care costs and about $15,000 of that is non-taxable. Even with my dh's income we do not have to pay AMT and we actually make over the limits but because of the non taxable we are not in that bracket.

I worked in an amalgam line for 2 years, but I worked hard, took on extra duties and was "promoted," ie given a better job. I am now the sole staff general dentist at the very large hospital at the base I am at. A weighty job, with lots of extra duties, but I have learned a lot. If you are a go getter, you can do well and learn, but you have to go after it.

I have taken many CE, all FREE. I am now going into a specialty residency. When I applied I had 3 great recommendations from Colonel's which look a heck of a lot better than a professor saying how great of a student you are, LOL!!!! Actually when I applied I only applied to 2 schools. I just was not willing to move anymore. I got accepted to my first choice and then withdrew from match, so I don't know what would have happened with that.

And lastly, I am and always will be a solider. There is something to that. I have served my country and if you haven't done it, or experienced some of the stories of the men and women of this country you could never possibly understand about REAL sacrifice. A huge part of my patient population are the wounded soldiers (called wounded warriors) returning from "downrange." I have seen amputees that want to go back to Iraq to be with their unit. The stories that I have heard will always stay with me.

There were many things I hated, like 4am pee pee tests, the twice a year PT test, and having to say "Yes sir" when I was scolded about my messy signature, just to name a few. But I am leaving this place very soon, and I will receive the GI Bill which is $1250/month non taxable money that I will get as long as I am in residency. Not too bad if you ask me.


I am happy that I did it and stuck it out. I just wanted to offer all of you another perspective.
 

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Dr. Desert Rat, where did you get your implant training? Did you train with real patients? Or did you train with pig jaws and models before placing implants on your own?

How easy ( difficult ) is it to accidentally perforate into a vital structure/nerve when placing an implant?

I, for myself, have completed a gpr. I can do surgical flaps and can do most extractions. I never placed implants on a live patient but have done so on models and have taken CE courses. Is this enough? Do you recommend that I train myself in something else before placing my own implant on a real patient?
 

pietrodds

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FYI EndoKing- you haven't practice a day in private practice yet you speak like a seasoned vet. Seriously, don't forget where your patients come from. Even if you feel like you can do better work than them, careful how you present it or better yet just keep it to yourself. I know I personally could not be a specialist because I could not deal with having to kiss a$$ for referals on top of biting my lip when I saw GPs doing crap work. You can have a nice living as a specialist but choose your words wisely or better yet keep your words to yourself. Plus, after working with a number of specialists I've see my fair share of crap work from their offices and know better than too say you're automatically better because you have scope. Just extracted a #2 today after endo saw her twice for re-exam with scope after a fill. After I took it out, palatal root was extended past apex about 5mm probably into sinus with thermafil none-the-less and distal root was not filled altogether. I wish I could say that it's only happened a few times with this specialist. We also have a periodontist in the area who puts implants in that are unrestorable 25% of the time. On average, yes a specialist is better but not because they have a freaking scope or CAT scan in their office.
 

b333b

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should i go to dental school or med school? i am interested in some kind of surgery(or using my hands to do work). but i also dont really want to go through a residency(it's so long). and also i like hot women.
 

NileBDS

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When will bashing GP's for bashing specialists for bashing GP's ... for bashing specialists, for bashing GP's end ?!
 

blankguy

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How do you get patients who refuse to pay or try not to pay to cough up the balance of their treatment? Do you give them a friendly reminder first? I've been reading about cases like these in dentaltown.
 

dente per dente

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We don't high sell [...]
What does this mean?

[...] nor do we have a consultation room.
How does this help you? Simply more space for another chair?


We don't do PPO, HMO, or access.
The only things left are cash, checks, and credit cards. These are the only forms of payment you accept? I'm guessing you believe that declining insurance as a form of payment does not hurt a dentist's income. I'm clueless about this, so any thoughts on this would be appreciated.



We tried an associate that only lasted 1 month. He cried out thinking he would hit nerve and he was only in dentin.
It seems like this is the kind of insecurity that a dental student should work out while still in school.
 

loved

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desert rat, your posts have quelled many of my fears as I prepare for dental school in the fall. thank you for answering our questions.
 

Frederico Albin

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Im not a dentist but I just want to add something that I was told my VCU's asst. dean.

Only .001% of students who graduate from dental school don't pay off their loans.
 

rkamsterdam

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Desert rat,

I'm a business finance grad starting dental school in the fall. I guess you can say because of my educational background, the business end is what I can relate best with dentistry at the moment (surely things will change when I start school).
I read that you are producing roughly 2mil a year with about 50% overhead between you and your wife.
Is this correct or do you have other partners contributing to this revenue number?
Does this include hygeine production?
How many hygienists do you have?
how many dental operatories do work out of?
Do you own or lease your building?
Also, what do you think are the major factors that allows you to keep your overhead at such low numbers?

Thanks in advance.
 

desert rat

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I started my implant training in dental school with a nobel pharma course and pig jaws. I then received an NIDR research fellowship and studied the longitudinal analasis of dental implants that i later presented. I read over 600 journals relating to implants during that time. I studied Misch's book and every implant article on every implant I could. I talked with as many implant companies I could. I worked hard to learn oral surury techniques. I also attended courses on occlusion and easthetics.

I then went to an advanced nobelpharma courses, some imtech courses, and then Bicon intistute, Las Vegas Implant institute. I have tried to do as many different implant techniques as possible so that I could learn.

Much of implant learning is from trial and error.

When discussing insurances, we accept insurance payment, and we bill for the patients. We do not however sign as a prefered provider for any PPO or HMO. This way we get our fee and not a fee that an insurance Co deems best.

by not doing the consultation room we find our treatment acceptance increased. We do not try to sell anything. Often times people using consultation rooms come accross as a pushy sales person like a care salesman. That works for some, but is not our style.

we have 3 part time hygienists and it is just my wife and I as dentists in the practice. We work about 30 hours a week. when we work, we work hard and run 8 chairs.

we own our building. We built a strip mall and paid the loan off in just three years. This was a great win for us. We also have a defined benefit pension plan (IRS approved0 and put away about $400,000 a year. DB plans are for older people.

Keeping overhead low has a lot to do with the dental supplies being kept low. Not buying every new piece of equipment that comes out, and not switching materials often. Also don't waste. Our employee costs are low because we don't have too many employees. The larger the volume of work the lower the overhead costs. Speed of work will keep overhead low.

Don't get me wrong here, we are not the highest earning dentists in the nation. We are in top levels, but I how of many that ear more than we do. I am just an average dentist in a good cituation.
 

blankguy

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How critical is your front office person? I've just had a chat with somebody working as a front office person for a dental office and she mentioned that it is extremely important and you are not taught the significance of your staff in dental school.
 

samdds

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1) Do you recommend fresh grad who are $300,000 in debt to open their own office right away?
2) How is practice different in different state. California and Arizona for example, how does this affect the business and what other factors should we consider?

Thanks
 
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