The Monday Morning Quote #272

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell


Thanks to John Naughton Memex 1.1

Two Dental Sales from Hilditch

In the market for a dental suite?

Hilditch have Kavo & Belmont chairs etc for sale.



The Monday Morning Quote #271

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.

He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”

Albert Einstein

Thanks to Ray & Graeme


“On Oscar Wilde, football and dental businesses.” The current Ezine

Professional Reflections
If I had been challenged to connect football and Oscar Wilde in an ezine I think I might have struggled but in writing notes for this piece they somehow fell together.

Television is trying desperately to get me to watch the Football World Cup; sorry, but the harder you try folks the less likely I am to tune in. In a similar way it seems that every day I receive another unsought email, advertising a service that will take care of all my “missing patient” problems.

It’s the words that these marketing gurus and their systems use that amuse me. Why would you refer to patients being “recaptured” as if they were animals that have escaped from a sanctuary? But then how many of these systems promising to maximise your *ROI have been devised, trialled and worked in a properly run dental practice in the first place?

*Would you ever please explain your acronyms to me before use, ROI is the Republic of Ireland first and “return on investment” second.

So where do Wilde and football come in to this?

“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness” wrote Oscar in The Importance of Being Earnest.

The one time England manager, Kevin Keegan, in addition to his most infamous quote, “If I had a blank piece of paper there’d be five names on it” also said, “My tactics for winning a football game are very simple, just score more goals than the opposition.”

So here’s the thing, needing to keep replacing patients is unfortunate, to have practice systems so poor that you have to constantly and dramatically increase the numbers of new patients is careless or even business negligence. Why spend your hard earned money to pay a third party to acquire or, worse  still, re-acquire your old patients?

Why have a system that celebrates the necessity to keep scoring goals at one end yet is ignoring the fact that they are leaking in at the other. In football it’s great entertainment, in business life it’s a way to commit suicide.

So whats going on?

Here are some of the things that I see happening when what I call desperation marketing is being considered:

  • Face to face contact isn’t working.
  • Eye contact doesn’t exist.
  • The words that every team member uses are not thought through and rehearsed.
  • Patients are not treasured, are not loved they are merely ‘mouths on legs’ providing a short term income for the dental business.
  • The patients are made to fit whatever treatment modality is “hot” this quarter, they are not fully assessed with a plan for their long-term dental health needs and wants devised and regularly revisited.
  • There aren’t leaders in every part of the practice.
  • The owners haven’t communicated and shared their core values, their dreams or their long-term plans.
  • The team isn’t agile, adaptable and above all capable of both scoring and defending.

Now please don’t get me wrong. Marketing is one of the 7 Pillars of Successful Dental Practice Management. Whatever CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system you use and please be in no doubt you must use one. Not only must you use one, you must also understand the way it works, the benefits to your business and the weaknesses of it. Please don’t be tempted to over complicate your systems just because the nice man is selling something shiny and new. If you use a rolodex and it works then I would suggest that Infusionsoft (other systems are available) may not be the answer to all your prayers.

Success is built on continuity not panic, on evolution not revolution.

Spending money on a bigger trawler for more seagulls to follow when all you needed to do was to repair your nets is unlikely to bring about decent ROI, either in the UK or indeed the RoI.

For a no-obligation chat about the needs of your dental business give me a call.


Personal Reflections
The departure date for Tanzania to trek to the top of Kilimanjaro draws ever closer.

The training is going well, thanks for asking.

Many thanks to all those who have sponsored me, in case you need to know more about the cause here’s a link.

To pledge your support go to my JustGiving page here.

The Greatest Breakthrough Since Lunchtime #21 – Tooth-rebuilding treatment hailed

In the second book of the semi-autobiographical series describing the progress of an Edinburgh medical graduate, Colin Douglas describes his hero, David Campbell’s, involvement with medical research. The book’s title is The Greatest Breakthrough Since Lunchtime and the cynic in me always remembers it when I read headlines like this one From The Press Association

Tooth-rebuilding treatment hailed

Dentists’ drills are set to become an unpleasant memory thanks to a tooth-rebuilding treatment that could be available in three years.

The technique developed at King’s College London does away with fillings and instead encourages teeth to repair themselves.

Tooth decay is normally removed by drilling after which the cavity is filled with a material such as amalgam or composite resin.

The new treatment, called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER), accelerates the natural movement of calcium and phosphate minerals into the damaged tooth.

A two-step process first prepares the damaged area of enamel, then uses a tiny electric current to push minerals into the repair site. The tooth is remineralised painlessly without the need for drilling, injections or filling.

Professor Nigel Pitts, from King’s College London’s Dental Institute, said: “The way we treat teeth today is not ideal. When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and re-filling as, ultimately, each ‘repair’ fails.

“Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it’s expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments. Along with fighting tooth decay, our device can also be used to whiten teeth.”

A spin-out company, Reminova Ltd, has been set up to commercialise the research. Based in Perth, Scotland, it is now in the process of seeking private investment to develop EAER.

The company is the first to emerge from the King’s College London Dental Innovation and Translation Centre which was set up in January to take n ovel technologies and turn them into new products and practices.

King’s College is a participant in MedCity, a project launched by London mayor Boris Johnson to promote entrepreneurship in the London-Oxford-Cambridge life sciences “golden triangle”.

MedCity chairman Kit Malthouse said: “It’s brilliant to see the really creative research taking place at King’s making its way out of the lab so quickly and being turned into a new device that has the potential to make a real difference to the dental health and patient experience of people with tooth decay.


The Monday Morning Quote #270

The Importance of Doubt

“Now, we scientists … take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure — that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes that this is true.

Our freedom to doubt was born of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle.

Permit us to question — to doubt, that’s all — not to be sure. And I think it is important that we do not forget the importance of this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.

Here lies a responsibility to society.”

Richard Feynman




GDC “extremely disappointed” at lack of Bill on professional regulation in Queen’s Speech

I said in a talk last week that no UK government gives a fig about dentistry – it is a nuisance at worst.There are no votes in it. I am referring to governments of all shades. Governments are more than ready to send young people into harms way with less than adequate equipment on dodgy evidence. Why would they care for the lot of the nation’s teeth and its dental professionals?

How does a bogged down GDC suits their purpose? Now what would Lidl, Sainsbury or Waitrose do Mr Moyes?

Press release from GDC dated 4th June 2014

GDC “extremely disappointed” at lack of Bill on professional regulation in Queen’s Speech

The General Dental Council (GDC) is extremely disappointed at the lack of a Bill to reform the legislation governing the health professional regulators in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Despite having pledged to legislate at the earliest opportunity the Government has failed to deliver on its promise.

Whilst the GDC continues to strive to be an effective and efficient regulator our ability to protect patients and deal with complaints is currently hampered by antiquated legislation.

At a time of sharply rising complaints, the GDC’s ability to handle patient concerns effectively is limited by outdated, inefficient and expensive processes that we are unable to reform without the permission of Parliament.

The Law Commission has drafted a Bill to reform the health regulation system in the UK but it is now expected that this Bill will not be introduced to Parliament until after the election and, even then, its fate is uncertain.  This will significantly delay improvements necessary to ensure patient safety.

We have been urging Government for the last three years to implement specific changes aimed at improving our ability to protect patients and reduce our costs. One significant change on its own would enable us to save up to £2 million a year – a cost that must be borne by the dental profession.

At present our outdated processes mean that patients  have to wait longer for their complaints to be heard, and  dental professionals whose fitness to practise has been questioned will not be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

We are urging the Government to bring forward a Section 60 order to make some key changes to improve our ability to protect the public.

Chief Executive and Registrar Evlynne Gilvarry said:

“The absence of a Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech which would enable changes that are critical to patient protection is extremely disappointing. The Government has known for years that we need legislation to improve patient safety and avoid increasing costs to professionals.  We urge the Government to act swiftly now by introducing a Section 60 Order to effect the most urgent changes so that the GDC can continue to carry out its duties effectively to protect patients.”


For media enquiries, please contact Hannah Siddall on 020 7344 3728 or

10 Ways To Be Happier at Work from “PsyBlog”

Another in the occasional “Top 10 Tips” series, this comes from PsyBlog via M.B-S./Box of Crayons.

One thing I see a lot of is “dysfunctional teams” in dental practices I hope that this Top 10 might help owners and managers who are facing challenges.

Here’s the link to the original article.

10 Ways To Be Happier at Work

Lists of how to be happy at work often implicitly blame workers themselves.
If you’re not happy, they imply, it’s because you’re not prioritising properly or you need to smile more, or some other trite rubbish.
Don’t accept this: organisations are mostly to blame for unhappy employees.
Psychological research has shown what makes people unhappy at work, and it’s not lack of smiling.
Here are ten factors truly associated with being happy at work.

1. Get control
Psychologists have consistently found that people who work in jobs where they have little control find their work very stressful and consequently unsatisfying.
The more control people perceive in how they carry out their job, the more satisfaction they experience.
Look for ways of taking control of your job.
Even exerting relatively small amounts of control can make you feel happier with your work.

2. Fight little hassles
Coffee machine doesn’t work? That same information needs to be put into two forms?
People’s job satisfaction is surprisingly sensitive to daily hassles.
Those little hassles all add up.
People don’t mind working hard when the task is difficult, but when it seems like a pointless inconvenience, they get unhappy. Quickly.
Talk to your manager about getting rid of these little hassles.
Also, build a consensus with your colleagues that the little hassles are worth addressing.

3. Fair pay
The bigger the difference between what you think you should earn and what you do earn, the less happy you’ll be.
The question is, who do you compare yourself to: the other people in the office or other people with your job?
Both comparisons will likely affect how happy you are with your job.
It’s perceptions that are very important here, along with the absolute levels of pay.
You may be able to live with small differences, but big disparities tend to eat away at you.
If this is the case, it could be time to move on.

4. Address family problems
Having a child may be wonderful, but it’s also very stressful.
According to a study of almost 10,000 people in the UK, those who had children became significantly less satisfied with their jobs afterwards (Georgellis et al., 2012).
Professor Georgellis explained:
“People are less happy at work for up to five years after their first baby is born, though the effect seems to be stronger for women, especially those in the public sector.”
It’s a reminder that outside events affect how happy people are with their jobs, not just aspects of their jobs.
Are you sure it’s really your job that is getting you down? Perhaps there is a situation at home that needs dealing with.

5. Feeling of achievement
To feel happy in their jobs, people have to feel they are making some progress.
In some jobs achievement is obvious, but in others it’s not.
As smaller cogs in larger machines, it may be difficult to tell what we’re contributing.
That’s why the next factor can be so important…

6. Feedback
When it comes to job satisfaction, no news is bad news.
Getting negative feedback can be painful, but at least it tells you where improvements can be made.
On the other hand, positive feedback can make all the difference to how satisfied people feel.
If you’re not getting feedback, then ask for it.
The right feedback can help satisfy the need for achievement.

7. Seek complexity and variety
People generally find jobs more satisfying if they are more complex and offer more variety.
People seem to like complex (but not impossible) jobs, perhaps because it pushes them more.
Too easy and people get bored.
This won’t be possible for all employees, but look for ways to add complexity and variety to your job.
You might think more complex work is best avoided, but the challenge will likely make you happier.

8. Ask for support
Workers often complain that the big bosses communicate little about the overall direction of the company.
People want to know their organisation cares about them, that they are getting something back for what they are putting in.
We get this message from how the boss treats us, the kinds of fringe benefits we get and other subtle messages.
If people perceive more organisational support, they are happier with their job.
If this area is lacking, try asking your manager for more information and support, and point out why it is needed.

9. Honeymoons and hangovers
People experience honeymoon periods after a month or two in a new job when their satisfaction shoots up.
But then it normally begins to tail off after six months or so.
The honeymoon period at the start of a new job tends to be stronger when people are particularly dissatisfied with their previous job (Boswell et al., 2009).
But what about when the honeymoon period is long gone and you’ve entered a long hangover?

Sometimes the only way to be happier at work is to find new work.

10. Happy in life, happy at work
People who are generally happy find it easier to find happiness at work.
That’s according to an analysis of 223 studies on the connection between job satisfaction and life satisfaction (Bowling et al., 2010).
Lead author, Nathan Bowling said:
“…if people are, or are predisposed to be, happy and satisfied in life generally, then they will be likely to be happy and satisfied in their work.
However, the flipside of this finding could be that those people who are dissatisfied generally and who seek happiness through their work, may not find job satisfaction.
Nor might they increase their levels of overall happiness by pursuing it.”

This is worth remembering for those people who never seem to be happy with whatever job they are doing.

Sometimes the kind of happiness you are looking for cannot be achieved through work.



The Monday Morning Quote #269

“Play the game for more than you can afford to lose… only then will you learn the game.”

Winston Churchill

The Monday Morning Quote #268

“In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice.

But in practice there is”

Yogi Berra


Thanks to Michael Bungay Stanier

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