The Long View—thinking long-term about your practice

“I love dentistry. I’d even do it for free. In fact, sometimes I do. And so do you. The difference is I know when I’m doing it for free.”
~ Omer Reed

To The Dentist: Thinking about your practice long-term

[dropcap3]I[/dropcap3]n a recent column in his Dental Town publication, Howard Farran wrote that in our current economy a dentist should reduce fees and join the discount dental insurance plans in order to stay busy and survive the downturn. He also recommended using low cost—read “cheap”—dental labs for work that requires a laboratory. This week, I just want to throw in my 2 cents. My opinion? Howard’s wrong on this one. Since Dr. Farran has an MBA and is one very bright dentist,

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Our Machu Picchu Adventure Included Dental Clinic Sightings

Christmas in Cusco: My wife, Andrea, and I flew to Lima, Peru on Christmas Eve and then on to Cusco on our way to hike the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. On the flight to Lima I leafed through LAN’s inflight magazine and saw plenty of ads catering to the dental tourist. Can they beat the heck out of US fees on implants and implant restorations should the patient elect to fly south? You bet.

Cusco City. The famous Plaza de Armas is on the bottom right of the photo.

A single titanium implant can be placed for under $500 and the implant restoration placed for about the same fee. So, single implant and restoration for less than $1,000. It appears that the “all on four” approach to the full arch implant restoration has not caught on in this part of the world just yet. I saw ads for 12 implants and crowns per arch.

Euro Implant Center in the “Dentel” clinic, Cusco, Pero.

Are they providing the precision of excellent 3D conebeam guided implant placement? At those discounted fees, I doubt it. This past weekend, I attended a course on the latest in 3D imaging and how that technology relates to implant placement. I asked one of the presenters, Dr. Jay Reznick, a Los Angeles oral surgeon, if he had seen any of the implant cases done at low cost South American clinics. He said he had. While not all such cases are poor quality, those done at bargain basement fees would hardly qualify as a temporary in the States: Final implant restorations done with thin aluminum shell crowns, chairside fabricated acrylic, etc. And the implants themselves were of low quality and none were from reputable manufacturers. The lesson as always is, read the fine print and beware of unbelievable bargains.

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Patient Reflections

Our patients become important members of our dental family. We care tremendously about the successful treatment of their TMJ disorders. We are thankful for their trust and commitment through the years, and are honored to share their reflections with you.

Here is a wonderful testimonial from Angela G:

Hello Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful medical treatment I received from you. You made me feel very comfortable and paid attention to my situation as if I was your only patient. I feel grateful to have known you personally as well as professionally. I think we have met before somewhere in time.

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