Ken O’Brien offers guidance on where to get started in considering what business efficiencies are needed and do-able to help offset growing costs.
In this increasingly challenging economic climate, dental practice owners need to look out for themselves in as much as the status quo might not necessarily be what is best for their business.
I completely understand that, at the mention of business efficiencies, it is easy to panic, as it automatically conjures images of lowering standards to save money, but the good news is that it is not the reality.
Best practice and delivering gold standard care to patients is at the heart of what dental professionals do, and at Quoris3D we understand that cannot and should not be compromised to benefit the business’ bottom line.
What we also understand better than most in the industry is that there are various solutions to help offset growing costs in some areas that cannot otherwise be reduced.
We know this so well because, as well savvy management and a customer-focused team of product experts, we are clinician-led by Quoris3D founder, James Hamill.
Digital is not the future – it’s here and now
Impressions. Thoughts? If you have not yet gone digital with them, I’m guessing you’re thinking first and foremost about the possibility of remakes and, perhaps, having to get the patient back in if things go awry with the impression during its journey to the lab or, indeed, at any other point in its creation and use.
Lab bills are inevitably some of the biggest outlays for dental practices, simply because of the nature of the job. It’s skilled, meticulous and needs incredible accuracy. Would we call traditional impression-taking skilled, meticulous and accurate? I mean no disrespect but – come on!
Data actually indicates that almost half of impressions submitted to laboratories in the UK were deemed unsatisfactory (McCracken MS et al, 2017). Think of what that means in terms of money – it’s flabbergasting,
Yet with a digital system by your side (such as IOS technology), you will be able to reduce chair time and the number of visits, as well as eliminating significant hardware, production, and personnel costs. Our clients are telling us that the quality of their dentistry has also improved when embracing IOS.
Digital dentistry is not the future, it is the here and now and some of the benefits of using IOS include an improved patient experience and better communication with your laboratory. And yes, I accept there’s an initial outlay and a learning curve, but long term this is an incredible money saver.
Implanting new ideas
There are other ways of finding efficiencies within the practice, of course. To offer one example of how this can work, let’s consider dental implant treatment.
It is a treatment modality poised between needs- and wants-based dentistry, and, as well all know, isn’t cheap. But beyond cost there is an issue of value – the value it adds to people’s quality of life is very difficult to quantify but it’s there for all to see upon completion of treatment.
The happy smile, the ability to eat well, a boost in confidence, the list goes on.
So, in especially challenging times, financially speaking, how can you offer patients the gold standard at the same time as being value-driven, as opposed to price oriented? The truth is, there are options available that can make a significant difference.
First of all, you know the big implant names, but do your patients? Probably not. So, if they are not asking for a particular product (and actually even if they are) that is expensive, why shouldn’t you look further afield for others that perhaps have a smaller marketing budget but do the job just as well?
It is 100% worth looking around to see what other implant companies are out there and considering their evidence base and proven track record. If a value-driven implant can do the job as well as one of the big brands, why wouldn’t you consider it?
Let’s face it, the premium players have been investing in the so-called smaller brands for some time now, which is an endorsement and hat tip to them.
There is a distinct possibility that you could save time and money if you connect with the right implant company for you, and that passes on to your patients. We at Quoris3D work with them all, and I promise you that there are some very clever features that can save both time and money.
Workflow in the dental practice has improved greatly in recent years thanks to the availability of new technologies. This saves time and money and creates an improved experience for patients – a win-win for everyone.
To continue on the theme of implants, one such system that we are big fans of at Quoris3D is that of Chrome, which offers pioneering full-arch stackable guide technology and was developed for dentists who desire a pre-planned, predictable guided ‘All-On-X’ type of surgery.
Chrome delivers anchored bite verification, anchored bone reduction, anchored site drilling, accurate anchored provisionalisation, and a method for transferring all surgical and restorative information for the final restorative conversion phase.
You might find the idea of new protocols unnerving, but we have seen for ourselves time and again that the system is user-friendly and can meet the highest aesthetic and functional expectations of patients undergoing dental restorations.
Chrome is intuitive to use, less invasive, predictable and saves time. That is information from James Hamill – Quoris3D founder and a clinician who has, to date, completed over 70 Chrome arch treatments himself – that you can take to the bank.
The finances of freehand versus guided surgery
The business/financial decision on whether to conduct freehand or guided surgery is often focused solely on the material cost of the surgery. This is not a comprehensive overview of the true cost, as it does not take into account the high-cost variable of time.
A guided surgical approach should:
1. Reduce the overall number of appointments from seven to five
2. Reduce the overall appointment hours by up to 66%.
The table below provides a model to improve understanding of the complete costs associated with a full-arch surgery – time and materials. This model only considers the dentist’s hourly rate (established at £400 per hour) and not the cost of staff and operatory use.
The freehand costs and times were averaged from the feedback gathered from 18 full arch specialists.
Freehand surgery CHROME GuidedSMILE
|Hourly rate (per hr)
|Time Taken (per hr)
|Time Taken (per hr)
|First consultation (CBCT, X-ray, photos)
|Quoris3D treatment plan
|Present treatment plan to patient
|Temporary adjusted (soft tissue)
|Transition steps to final prosthesis
Taking a guided surgical approach further diminishes the majority of the time and clinical implications of unforeseen surgical complications while delivering a superior restorative outcome.
Let us support you
So, all in all, what’s the story here? It’s simple. At Quoris3D, we are on the side of the dental team and the patient. That is always at the forefront of everything we do.