September / October 2017

Preview Issue

Publisher’s Note

We’ve been working all summer on a new way to deliver the information, ideas and inspiration you’ve come to expect – in a more real-time, interactive platform that’s accessible by the entire team. Welcome to the all new, enhanced online edition of The Progressive Dentist!

This is no old school, flipbook magazine that requires you to pinch and zoom to read tiny print. There’s no cheesy faux flip effect to get to the next page. This is, as you would expect, a more modern, user friendly way to read and USE the content. There’s no waiting for the mail to arrive or wondering who took the printed magazine home before you had a chance to read the article you had earmarked. It’s right here, any time and there’s a new edition every other month. You’re gonna love the new experience!

Haden Werhan of Thomas, Wirig, Doll, Greg Beck of Dental Practice Services, Inc., and our friends at Forward Science and I LUV MY DENTIST have generously sponsored this edition to make it easy for you to read and share with others. To our preferred partners, I so appreciate you!

If you’re a current paying subscriber, thank you. We’ve built the ProDentist community together and your support and participation have contributed to making this possible. So, my forward-thinking friends, if you’ve paid to subscribe, you now have full access to ALL of the new online ProDentist Community resources that pick up where the magazine leaves off. Our sponsors, preferred partners, authors and expanded network of business experts continue to work closely with us to develop action steps, videos, online Q&As, even live simulcast events to help you take what you read and put it to work in your business and your everyday life. Watch your email for the free weekly Wisdom & Wit from the ProDentist Community newsletter for details, along with action steps and updates between magazine editions. After all, it’s not what you learn but how well you implement that matters.

If you’re new to The Progressive Dentist, welcome! I hope you’ll join the ProDentist Community, where words become action. We can help you find inspiration and offer implementation assistance to get you from where you are today to where you want to be.

To your success,
Bonnie & The ProDentist Team


Bonnie Hixson
Owner / Publisher

Additional Resources

PROactive • PROgressive • PROdentist
The – for industry news and highlights between magazine editions.

The – online learning community for progressive dentists and teams.

Network Expansion / Mastermind Community to help you find the resources you need, when you need them.

We help patients receive the treatment they deserve

Dental Practice Services, Inc.

Call us TODAY at

The purpose of the self-administered Private Dental Plan:
To help the patient receive immediate and personalized service
To allow the dentist to keep more of the fee for their services.

Start promoting YOUR self-administered dental plan today!

In This Issue



Going the extra SMILE


Expressing our gratitude to those who have stepped up to support those affected by the devastation.


Leveling-up your social media efforts.

by rita zamora, bds


featured progressive practice

Having a competitive advantage in a commodity business.


by daryl johnson


featured progressive practice


Do you ever wake up at night worrying about your practice?

by j. haden werhan, cpa/pfs


People + Systems = Practice Success

by melinda heryford, mba


Dr. Jensen was not having a good day. There had to be a better way…

by chuck blakeman


In different times or circumstances, you’ll need experts in your corner. We can help.

by bonnie hixson


Creating a happier, more successful service culture.

by judy kay mausolf


Take care of YOU.

by uche odiatu, dmd


The 5 components to successfully treat OSA in your practice.

by scott pope, dds


As our education and awareness increase, we are realizing that sleep disorders are more common that once thought.

by scott pope, dds



featured progressive practice


Patients unaware that general dentists can be their first line of defense against array of health issues

Cover photo by William Ingalls | [email protected]

The ideas, views and opinions in each article are the opinion of the named author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Progressive Dentist®, its publisher, or editors. The Progressive Dentist (“Publication”) DOES NOT provide any legal or accounting advice and the individuals reading this Publication should consult with their own lawyer for legal advice and accountant for accounting advice. The Publication is a general service that provides general information and may contain information of a legal or accounting nature. There is no guarantee or warranty regarding the information contained in the Publication and we are not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage (“damages”) related to your use of the information contained in the Publication or from errors or omissions in the content of the Publication. While we have worked to make our Publication and all the features in the Publication as helpful as possible, the Publication does not endorse any content provided by any feature, nor does it assume any responsibility for the interpretation or application of any information originating from such content. In addition, The Progressive Dentist does not endorse any content contained in any advertising in the Publication, nor does it assume any responsibility for the quality or integrity of such work. All content contributed to The Progressive Dentist magazine becomes the property of Hixson Media. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or other content. Your satisfaction is important to us.

On the Cover

6471 Transit Road, East Amherst NY 14226

Founder: IgniteDDS

Dr. David Rice is one of a growing number of entrepreneurial dentists whose reach goes well beyond the confines of his private, 4 doctor practice in East Amherst, NY. Being a mentor to younger dentists through IgniteDDS is one of his greatest contributions. Here’s a glimpse into what he’s doing to connect others who share a passion for the profession and a drive to educate and serve a broader patient community.

We’d like to express our gratitude to these companies and the many others who have stepped up to support those affected by the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. #TogetherWe’reStronger

UPDATE: Ultradent Increases Donation to $250,000 for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts and Launches Special Discount Program to Help Affected Dentists Rebuild Practices

In response to the catastrophic devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Ultradent Products, Inc. has upped its donation to the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) from $50,000 to $250,000 as damages from the storm continue to devastate the communities in its path. The Saint Bernard project will use the funds to aid in the rescue, relief, and rebuilding efforts of all those affected by the storm.

Additionally, Ultradent is launching a discount program to help dentists whose practices have been damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Beginning Monday, August 28, 2017, Ultradent will offer dentists negatively affected by Hurricane Harvey $500 worth of free product, with 40% off all consumable products and 15% off all equipment purchases exceeding the initial $500, in the hopes of providing some aid in the rebuilding efforts of the dental community.

Ultradent’s president, Dirk Jeffs, says, “Hurricane Harvey, with its wind and flooding, has caused unprecedented, catastrophic damage in Texas. Care is an important core value at Ultradent, and we want to extend a helping hand and show our care for the people who have been affected by this devastating storm.”

Ultradent has a strong culture of giving. The company contributed to relief efforts associated with the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Sandy, and the earthquakes in Haiti and Ecuador. Additionally, Ultradent donates over 1.6 million pounds of food over the past nine years to the Utah Food Bank. Ultradent also contributes to various national and international dental humanitarian missions. To find out more about Ultradent’s disaster relief efforts, please visit

marketing & social

10 Social Media Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Part 1

by rita zamora, bds

The social media marketing landscape continues to evolve and shift. Among the major changes I’ve noticed lately is the influx of late adopters; those not familiar with or disinterested in social media are realizing it’s important to get started or up-level their social media efforts.

Whether you are well-established on social media or just getting started, there are a number of challenges I continue to hear practices voice. Here are the most common issues and tips for how to overcome them.


How can we get people to like our Facebook page?

A few years ago, it was easy to grow your page likes. You could put a sign up in your office, or simply ask people to like you, and they were happy to oblige. Today, the Facebook marketplace is crowded and people are more protective of their Newsfeed real estate. The good news is, there are still several techniques to grow quality likes and followers for your page. Here are a few options…

I LUV MY DENTIST helps patients share the LUV

I LUV MY DENTIST is a unique ONLINE word-of-mouth referral program

I LUV MY DENTIST works seamlessly with Dentrix and other practice management marketing systems to automate referrals

800.596.0133 |

by Michael DiFrisco, CAE

Meet Dr. Jay Patel.

He’s a dentist from Calgary, Alberta, and he loves the outdoors, living a healthy lifestyle, and taking advantage of being situated just east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.

Get Stellar Healthcare Reviews Online Without Violating HIPAA

by daryl johnson

For most business owners, responding to negative reviews left online by irate customers is simply a matter of replying directly to the reviews themselves. For medical practitioners, this process is complicated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA requires medical professionals to go through a lengthier medical reputation management process to manage and maintain their reputations online.

While dealing with negative reviews can be a little hairy, the good news is there’s a right way to respond!

Why Should I Care About HIPAA When Responding to Reviews?

We all know HIPAA protects the confidentiality of patients’ medical information. Under HIPAA, medical professionals cannot share a patient’s protected medical information. This includes medical history and identifying information, unless the patient provides explicit written consent. To disclose this information without consent constitutes a HIPAA violation.


My name is Dr. Janice Doan and I’m a general dentist in San Diego, California. I work with my older sister, Justene, and her husband, Roger. Our practice is A+ Family Dentistry, and it really is a family affair. We have 2 locations: San Diego and Poway.

What makes us unique:

We all graduated from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California (USC) , which adds harmony in our practice. We share the same philosophy of caring, high-level communication and the pursuit of advanced education.

We strive to make our patients comfortable and have an amazing experience in our practice. We spend to talk with our patients about their dental concerns and together, we provide solutions for them. We have found that partnering with our patients to fight against gum disease and cavities is the best way to go. When our patients win, we win too!


STRESS and the Solo Dentist

BY j. haden werhan, cpa/pfs

Do you ever wake up at night worrying about your practice? There are fewer new patients knocking on my door. Should I spend money on advertising? Insurance reimbursements are going down. How do I figure out how to maintain my profit margin? Big dental groups and corporate practices seem to be taking over the world. Should I join a group practice? After a long day, you wake up at 3:00 a.m., worrying about the future of dentistry, your practice, your family.

I find myself worrying about clients in the wee hours of the night and can empathize with their concerns to some extent as there are similar pressures in the financial services industry. In addition to these and other big picture worries, there are plenty of “close to home” opportunities for dentist clients to face significant tax and financial dilemmas. Here are a few examples of things that I like to help clients deal with.

Minimizing Your Taxes
Maximizing Your Wealth

management & leadership

HOW do you solve a problem like MILLENNIALS?

BY melinda heryford, mba

Talk to any dentist over the age of about 40,and you’re bound to hear a common complaint about trying to staff a dental practice today: Those darned Millennials!

Am I right?

But you know what? When I hear folks criticize those born between 1981–1997 when it comes to their work habits and ethic, sometimes I can’t help but wonder whether they think this newest generation was hatched from alien eggs or raised by wolves.

After all, if the complaint is, “Millennials don’t want to work hard because they all grew up getting participation trophies, “well…somebody went out and ordered all those participation trophies and handed them out. To every. Single. Child. Who was that? (It wasn’t the kids. It was Moms and Dads, who mostly belonged to Generation X, latch-key kids who were determined to parent exactly the opposite way they were raised and became Helicopter Parents).

management & leadership

STOP MANAGING. START LEADING, and Build a Great Practice

BY chuck blakeman

Dr. Jensen was not having a good day. He had told everyone exactly what to do at the beginning of the day and yet some staff members didn’t seem to be engaged, others were doing only what they had been told and nothing more, and with a few others, he frankly had no idea what they were doing. He always felt torn between doing what he loved – helping patients – and having to run the practice. There had to be a better way.

The problem was that Dr. Jensen had been doing exactly what he had learned from countless business articles on how to manage a business. But it was just making him tired. In short, he had been taught to manage, when what he should have been doing is leading, a very different thing.

Managers, the way we know them in business today, were invented in the Factory System of the Industrial Age. The assumption was that workers would always work better if someone was standing over them telling them what to do. Or even worse, they’re not smart enough to figure things out without a manager.

management & leadership

Being an entrepreneur is tricky business and we often and unwittingly make things more complicated than they need to be.  The difference between working through and overcoming challenges or being swallowed up and defeated by them comes down to this one thing­­­ – who you know.

My number one goal throughout my 25 years in business has been to build a network of knowledgeable experts in a variety of fields who aspire to help others succeed. Today, we launch “Find Your Five”.

Jim Rohn has said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” I’ve found this to be true to an extend and here’s what else I’ve learned…

team development

Routines That Reap RESULTS

by Judy Kay Mausolf

I have the privilege of working with dental teams nationwide to help them create a happier more successful service culture. I have observed that most teams do a great job turning it on for their patients. They know it is show time regardless of how they may feel at the moment! However, they don’t necessarily do the same for their coworkers.

Many actually believe it is acceptable to turn it off for each other. After all we wouldn’t want to be fake would we? We frequently even turn it off for the people we love the most like our family. Think about this morning’s routine. How did you treat your family? What would you have done differently if they were your patients? I find it thought-provoking that we put filters of kindness and respect on for strangers and acquaintances and don’t for the people we care about and love the most. Something seems a little backward with this behavior.

Many non-morning team members believe that because they are a non-morning person others should just understand their mood. I am a morning person and so I was curious to uncover the mindset behind a non-morning person’s behavior. Here are few consistent responses I receive when I asked non-morning team members how they treat their coworkers when they first arrive at work.

Self-care is not selfish for a busy dental professional. It is a busy life. We are drawn in multiple directions in our many roles as dental professionals, parents, community leaders, students, and friends. A quote from American author, Ralph Waldo Emerson rings in my ears: “Health is our first wealth”. In order to maintain our impact, competence, and relevance, we need to maintain our health and energy.

Looking deep into our cells, physiologists will note that mitochondria (the body’s key energy factories in every cell) slowly shut down with age. Michael Colgan, PhD reported in his book “Saving Your Brain”, that by age 60, almost half of our mitochondria are no longer functioning well.1 This often translates into feeling tired faster and sitting down watching life versus being immersed in it.

Exercise scientists have discovered that a regular exercise program can epigenetically turn back genes for aging mitochondria. You will no longer have to rely on coffee and energy drinks for artificial fuel. Cardiologist, Dr. Mehmet Oz is correct – “Genes might load your gun, but it is lifestyle that pulls the trigger.”

health & wellness

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

by scott pope, dds

In case you missed it…

Part 1: The 5 components to successfully treat OSA in your practice

Getting a good night’s sleep is a critical component of good health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, this is a very real challenge for many Americans and a serious health issue for over 30 million individuals in the US suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

The duration and quality of sleep play a significant role in one’s health, and sleep insufficiencies have been linked to motor vehicle accidents, depression, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, type 2 diabetes, impotence, as well as having reduced quality of life and increased mortality.

Over the next few issues, I will be discussing the 5 components you need to have to successfully treat obstructive sleep apnea in your practice. These components include education for the doctors, staff and patients, effective screening protocols, tools and technology to help identify sleep disorders, how to proceed once a diagnosis of OSA is made, reimbursement and working with medical insurance, and what is involved with delivery of oral appliance therapy, titration and follow up testing.

health & wellness

Part 2

As our education and awareness increase, we are realizing that sleep disorders are more common than once thought. As I mentioned in the last article, obstructive sleep apnea affects over 30 million Americans and has numerous ill effects on one’s health and wellbeing. Providing dental sleep medicine can be a great asset to your dental practice and a great service to your patients.

The conversations should be educational and informative discussing what OSA is, the related health concerns and the treatment options available, including CPAP and oral appliance therapy (OAT). Patients that have been prescribed a CPAP machine have less than a 50% compliance compared to a 90% compliance with OAT.

Screening questionnaires help bring awareness that the practice treats sleep disorders and are great at starting the conversation of obstructive sleep apnea. Additional tools include signage within the practice, website and social media content. But probably the most effective is a motivated and well-trained team.

Call Us: 855.696.7254

Mention Ad & Pro Dentists Will Receive The First Month FREE.

© 2017 Forward Science. All Rights Reserved.

The Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Award has been acknowledged as the most prestigious and coveted award that a dental manufacturer can receive. The selection process is rigorous, unbiased, nonprofit, and transparent. The companies below underwent intense scrutiny for the products they put forth as the best in their class. Please join with us in congratulating them for their accomplishment.

Lisa Knowles DDS

Haslett East Lansing Dental Health & Wellness

2024 Lansing Rd,
Charlotte, MI 48813

A favorite recent community involvement:

We were looking for a way to promote our new practice and wanted to find a way to target people who are into health and wellness. We knew of a local 5K race being held a few months from the date we completed our search. We inquired about the radio sponsorship and became the lead sponsor for the family race day. It was a 5K race designed with multiple inflatables to run and bounce through during the course. We achieved our goal of getting our name out to the community and supporting an event where people were getting healthier.

Favorite thing about owning a practice:

Being able to teach others about their own bodies and overall health. We don’t get enough of that in our school systems, and I feel like there is a real need to help educate people in communities about ways to avoid health problems like cavities and diabetes.

Sadly, most patients don’t realize that general dentists may be the first, if not the best line of defense against health issues such as diabetes, oral cancer, heart disease and bulimia since the first signs of these disorders often are revealed in the mouth.

In a recent study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) shows that many Americans don’t realize their dental wellness checkups cover much more than hygiene.* Only a quarter (25%) of respondents said they associate going to their general dentist with getting screened for oral cancer, and even fewer (14%) reported viewing their general dentist as being an expert in making broader connections to improving or maintaining systemic (or overall) health.

Subscribe to our Weekly Wisdom & Wit Newsletter to stay up to date on what’s happening in dentistry and for exclusive downloads and action steps to put the ideas you’ve just read to work for you!

PROactive • PROgressive • PROdentist

Thanks for reading our preview issue!