Dentaltown March 2020 - 16

professional courtesy
column

20 Years and Counting
In 1998, I was three years out of dental school, recently
married and driving 2,500 miles across the country to
seek fame and fortune in Arizona. Two months earlier,
I'd flown out for a week to interview and find a job; I
wasn't even sure if my new state would be permanent.
I started out working for Cigna Dental. The insurance
company had the bright idea to own seven dental offices
to serve customers in the Phoenix metro area. The job
appealed to me because it was a salary position, which
would allow me to buy my first house right away. The
first 18 months allowed me to decide if Arizona was a
good move (it was) and to begin looking for a place to
practice. I was looking as construction was booming.
Before I could find a dental home, Cigna realized
that owning dental offices wasn't easy and sold the
business to a DSO. The new sheriff in town expected
some things that didn't make me comfortable or happy
in my job, so I appealed to my supervisor, a dentist,
who said these requirements were not negotiable. I went
home and updated my résumé and began sending my
information to dental practices in the area. I took a
chance to send a résumé to a dentist who wrote a book
on practice management-yes, Dr. Howard Farran.
I'm happy to share that I just celebrated my 20-year
anniversary with Dentaltown. I was hired as an associate
at Howard's practice, and watched from the sidelines as
Dentaltown grew. Seeing a site dedicated to the pursuit
of dental knowledge was a revelation. I did what I could
to get involved and when the magazine was ready for a
guiding hand, I accepted the position of editorial director.
I can't list all the wonderful experiences that followed
over the years, and I don't know what the future holds; I
can only be certain that Howard created something that
will inform and shape our profession
for many years to come.
Ref lecting on my 20 years, I
decided to share some issues that
have been a steady source of debate:
"In-office CAD/CAM will be
the end of dental labs" or, "There
aren't enough dental technicians
in the world, so you'd better learn
how to make your own in-office
crowns." These statements are clearly

exaggerations and, to their credit, the dental labs have
responded well to this new category of technology.
In fact, I think dental labs are now leading the way
on efficient crown design, precision milling and 3D
printing. The capital cost to live on the leading edge of
technology has driven consolidation of small local labs.
In-office fabrication has grown in parallel, providing a
reliable alternative to fabrication of dental devices. We
will continue to see the growth of in-office services
through several delivery models. Just five years ago,
the thought of making a denture in-house conjured
visions of flasks, acrylic and dust. Now it can be done
in a couple of clinical visits and printed without ever
making a stone model.
"DSOs will rule the world and ruin the profession."
The record number of students applying to dental school
tells a different story. Despite the high cost of obtaining a
dental degree, dentistry remains a top profession in career
surveys. If we learn nothing else from DSOs, you should
appreciate their discipline for choosing locations and the
benefit of an HR department. For example, Aspen Dental
has taken a very deliberate approach in opening new
offices in small, underserved communities. Recruiting and
retaining talented employees has become challenging, and
labor regulations are more complex than ever. If private
practice is your jam, remember that anybody can greet
shoppers at Walmart, but only a few can do an M.O. on #2.
I look forward to sharing the active topics each
month because Dentaltown will always be a place
where "no dentist will ever have to practice solo again."
If you have a favorite topic of debate, please share in
the comments section under this article online at
dentaltown.com/magazine. If you want to reach me
directly, my email is tom@dentaltown.com. ■

by Thomas Giacobbi, DDS, FAGD, editorial director, Dentaltown magazine

16

MARCH 2020 // dentaltown.com

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Dentaltown March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown March 2020

Dentaltown March 2020 - Cover1
Dentaltown March 2020 - Cover2
Dentaltown March 2020 - 1
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Dentaltown March 2020 - Cover3
Dentaltown March 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/dentaltown-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/dentaltown-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2021January
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020December
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020November
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020NewGrad
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020October
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020August
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020April
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020March
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020February
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2020January
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019December
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019November
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2019OctoberNovember
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019October
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019NewGrad
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019August
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2019FebruaryMarch
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2019January
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018Winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018December
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018November
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018November
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018October
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018October
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018NewGrad
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018August
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018July
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018July
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018June
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018June
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018May
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018May
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018March
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2018February
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2018January
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017December
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2017Winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017November
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017October
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2017october
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/NewGrad2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2017September
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2017August
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017August
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltownuk/2017July
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/February2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2017January
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2016December
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2015december
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2015november
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2014december
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2014march
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2014february
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2014january
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013december
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013november
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013october
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013newgrad
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https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013march
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013february
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2013january
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2012december
https://www.nxtbook.com/farran/dentaltown/2012November
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