Dentaltown August 2020 - 32

office
visit

their lunch hour playing on our ping-pong
table-they stare at our office long enough
that eventually they decide to give us a try.
We also encourage our employees to
get out and mingle around the building if
they aren't busy. We are a startup and early
on there was lots of downtime-a great
opportunity to meet a friend and create a
relationship outside of our space.

You took the plunge into tech
and it's paid off. Is that success
something skeptical colleagues
could achieve if they wanted?
I'm lucky in this regard: Younger dentists
just graduating from dental school have
enough to worry about, much less trying
to learn and incorporate new technology.
Couple that with the fact that most have
huge student loan debt and can't afford to
invest in the technology, and the majority
of them can't take the risk. Older dentists,
meanwhile, are finally comfortable in their
practices, but most of them don't want to
spend the time training or money.

32

The investment is substantial and there
is no way to tiptoe-I went all-in. I figured
that because I'd worked my entire career
so far with old equipment, old cabinets,
air-driven handpieces, etc., that when I
decided to start over, I'd do it with every
cool piece of equipment that I'd always
dreamed of having. It's awesome to sit
down to stuff that works! The older docs
who have acquired an older practice know
exactly what I'm talking about.

How has this pandemic
changed things for you?
COVID-19 initially shut us down. We
were closed for seven weeks. In our area,
there were not a lot of cases and very few
deaths, but we were shut down like we were
in the epicenter of the pandemic.
My practice operates on an appointmentonly, no-waiting concept. Because we don't
have a waiting room, our normal flow was
not changed because of the virus. It was
not chaotic at all. There was an eerie feel
in the air for a few days, but once we got

back to seeing patients, things started to
feel normal again.
I don't love the term "new normal."
In other industries, they're learning a new
normal; in dentistry, viruses are normal.
We deal with all types of viruses and bacteria-some we're aware of, others we aren't
told about. That's why dentistry adopted
universal precautions; we treat everyone like
they have everything. We've started taking
temperatures and asking screening questions,
but we don't clean any more or less because
this virus is famous. We clean between all
patients for safety. We treat every patient
as if they have every disease.
We've been back at work for a month
now, and this week it seems like old times.
Our no-waiting-room and no-waiting policy
came in handy during this time for sure. We
have added the screening questions and we
take temperatures now, but the dentistry
hasn't changed. We produced almost the
same amount of dentistry in May 2020 as
we did in May 2019, so that's certainly a
positive. ■

AUGUST 2020 // dentaltown.com

DT0820_Bird_OV_V5.indd 32

7/20/20 2:34 PM


http://www.dentaltown.com

Dentaltown August 2020

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Dentaltown August 2020 - 1
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