This is a summary of the webinar, hosted by Henry Schein Dental with featured speaker, Dr. Justin Moody. You may watch the webinar here.
If you’re like many dental practitioners, you may be keen to seize the opportunity to add implant dentistry to your practice. But what do you need to do to prepare? How do you get your staff up to speed? And what does it take to succeed with this practice model?
To answer these questions and more, Dr. Justin Moody recently shared his firsthand experiences transitioning to implant dentistry. As one of the owners of Prosmiles Dental Studio, founder of Implant Pathway, and a diplomat of the American Board of Oral Implantology, Dr. Moody is a strong advocate of continuing education in the field. “My mentor, Dr. Roger Plooster, believed that implant dentistry should be in everyone’s practice and that it was best done in private practice where we know restorations,” explained Dr. Moody. “He recommended that I take CE courses. I started delving into dental implants back in 1998 and attended Carl Misch’s course two years later. It was off to the races from there.”
By 2006, Dr. Moody brought in new associates so he could transform his practice to focus exclusively on dental implants. This visionary practitioner explained the central elements he found necessary to adopt this model.
Building Blocks of Dental Implants
- Education. “Start with a good foundation of education, grounded in technology,” said Dr. Moody. “Don’t just take a weekend course. Look for a comprehensive educational program with ongoing support. For example, American Academy of Implant Dentistry members are truly advocates and will help you along the way. These communities help put like-minded people together.”
- Hands-on experience. Live implants are also an essential part of training. “At Implant Pathways, we have a live surgical session where the doctor places about 10-20 implants over two days,” noted Dr. Moody. “We highly recommend that you also have a case lined up right when you get back to work after you finish training, so you can put what you learned into practice. Repetition is important to increase speed, efficiency, and mastery.”
- Implant products. “Intraoral scanning revolutionized my practice,” said Dr. Moody. “I practice in a small town of 1,500 residents, but they shouldn’t have to go outside of town to get the best dental care.”
- Technology. “Cone beam CT is the standard of care for keeping patients safe and being able to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into,” exclaimed Dr. Moody. “The technology is so much easier than when a first started in implant dentistry.”
Moving to Guided Implant Dentistry
Dr. Moody invested in intraoral scanning to get started in guided implant dentistry and to better communicate with his in-house lab. “The ability to send accurate data to your dental lab is imperative,” he said. “We had a desire to move some of the lab work in-house with a mill. Even though our lab today has a variety of machines, we still have our original E4D mill. It’s been a real workhorse and allows us to produce products for patients much faster.”
Transforming Dentistry with CBCT
In 2006, Dr. Moody bought one of the first CBCT machines in the state of Nebraska. “A lot of dentists in my area thought I was crazy back then, but the system paid for itself in less than 18 months. It’s transformed my practice and is the cornerstone of our fully digital workflow.”
Dr. Moody realized numerous benefits from this investment, including:
- The ability to look at every case differently, and to assess every edentulous patient as a candidate for implants
- The confidence to offer a treatment plan, without guesswork
- A new revenue stream for the practice
Investing in Implant Dentistry
Incorporating implant dentistry requires investing in your own education, as well as equipment, such as a CBCT machine, a dental implant system, as well as a surface scanner for guided surgery. “The payback will more than take care of your initial investment,” Dr. Moody concluded. “The ability to provide treatment right out of shoot is priceless.”
The business growth can be quite significant. In Dr. Moody’s case, his practice was growing so fast that he saw the need to build a new clinic, bringing in an associate who focused on restorative dentistry and hygiene. He has since grown into an implant-focused operation.
Dr. Moody outlined common challenges faced when transitioning to a dental implant model, and shared tips for overcoming these challenges.
- Invest in your team: Recruit tech-savvy staff who want to be a part of this
- Spend time becoming proficient at placing implants: “That’s where you see the real benefits, when you become the expert and go-to person for these procedures in your region.”
- Explore multiple financing options: This will give patients the flexibility to cover the cost of implants
- Explain to patients how the technology impacts them: “I wanted to give patients the best education about what they could have and let them choose for themselves. Patient perception is everything, especially when it comes to large, mostly out-of-pocket expenses like dental implants. We’re in a customer service business and when we prepare patients, they find value in that and there is an increase in case acceptance.”
Conduct a Practice Analysis
Dr. Moody also advises practices to contact a Henry Schein representative to conduct a practice analysis. He recently shared the financial analysis on his Horizon West Dental practice in Alliance, Nebraska.
The practice had roughly $900,000 in full-fee production in 2017. In the first full year of performing dental implants, the practice experienced an increase in extractions, grafting, and implants. In 2018, the practice grew 35%, going from $907,000 to $1.4M in production. “Do a deep dive on your own numbers and find out what you can do with your own practice,” said Dr. Moody.
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