Hot Topics in Dentistry: NDA Seminar!

Northwest Dentistry Ad: Seminar May 12, 2016 Minnesota

This event presents FOUR different Hot Topics in Dentistry in both the clinical practice and practice management! The event is co-sponsored by the Northern Dental Alliance and the Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic. Beverages and appetizers are included in your registration.

Bring your spouses, families, and partners! The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a beautiful setting and available to explore during and after the continuing education event.

To purchase tickets: visit this link @

This evening course features four lecture topics:

Sedation–Your Answer to Practice Growth?

David A. Linde, D.D.S.
Minnesota Transitions

PATIENTS! Are they getting your message?

Travis Heimbuch
POS Professional Office Services
Gayle Christensen
Christensen Consulting

The Modern Office: What does it look like?

Jennifer Maschke
U.S. Bank
Richard Etshokin
Heritage Construction
Jane Jacobwith
Sunset Dental

Jaw Strain: Speed-to-Treat

James Fricton, D.D.S.
Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic

Two Fundamental Dental Continuing Education Credits and Two Practice Management Credits are available.  

Northern Dental Alliance is a group of independent dental advisers who assist dentists in building their practices, improving their skills, enhancing their financial success, and securing their retirement. Each member joined this informal alliance to learn from the other and better serve our dental clients. Services include:  New Office Construction, Remodeling  Real Estate & Equipment Financing; Office Safety & Compliance Training; Laboratory & CE  Dentist Wealth Management; Practice Transitions & Legal; Team Building & Consulting; Past Due Collections; Dental Refining & Refiner; Dental Staffing & Employment; Patient Marketing & Communication; Technology Services, Sales & Support.

The Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic offers a unique philosophy of care that features a multispecialty and interdisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of patients with TMJ disorders, orofacial pain, neck and back pain, and the persistent, excruciating pain associated with headaches. A dedicated team of healthcare professionals from the fields of medicine, dentistry, psychology, and physical therapy develop individualized treatment programs for each of our patients.

Regulatory Agencies – Who Must We Comply With?

Most dental offices know about OSHA. Some are even aware that Minnesota has their own state plan. After that it tends to get foggy. Unfortunately if a dental office only half pays attention to OSHA they may not be compliant with them as well as several other agencies.

Besides Federal (OSHA, EPA, FDA and DOT) there are several Minnesota agencies we need to be familiar with and know the requirements. In order for Minnesota to have their own they need to be above and beyond the federal standard. So state will always supersede federal. It is up to us to know the differences and follow them. If ever an office is in doubt always follow the strictest standard and sometimes it is the manufacturer.

leeaneMinnesota OSHA requirements:

Bloodborne Pathogen Training upon employment (before employee is put in a position of a possible exposure) and at least annually

  • Hazard Communication / Employee Right to Know Training upon employment and at least annually
  • Safe Patient Handling training and review annually
  • How contaminated laundry is handled
  • Enforces the MDH protocol for TB
    • Baseline upon hire
    • Annual risk assessment

Eyewash Station

  • Have a sign
  • Flush for 3 minutes weekly
Get to within 10 seconds
  • ANSI approved
  • Hands Free
  • Temperature Controlled

Depending on pH of chemicals we pour/mix may need to be a one step and no corners/stairs to get to station

Fire Extinguisher

  • Check monthly
  • Service annually

Sharp Safety Device Evaluations annually

SDS on all active products

Secondary container – new labeling system

Minnesota OSHA primary concern is with employees’ safety and have a safe work environment. They are not specific to dentistry. Dentistry falls under OSHA’s General Industry Standard. Inspections are compliant driven. If they are in your office – they are there for a reason.

EPA is federal and Minnesota is the MN Pollution Control Agency. They are concerned about the environment and what we are throwing in the regular trash or sending into the sewer. The 7 county metro do their own inspections enforcing MPCA rules.

Some things they look for:

  • Proper labeling on hazardous waste containers
  • Amalgam separator documentation
 Weekly inspection logs
  • Chemical indicator documents
  • Black pharmaceutical hazardous waste containers

Minnesota Board of Dentistry is well known by all dental professionals since they provide us with a dental license to do dentistry. Some are not aware that Board rule requires us to follow the most current CDC Guideline for Dental Healthcare Setting as minimum standard for infection control. Even though CDC is a non-regulatory agency the guide becomes regulatory through Board rule. Their primary concern is the public (our patients). So anything involving the patient is CDC or the MN Board of Dentistry.

To name a few:

  • Spore testing at least weekly on all sterilizers
  • Cold Sterilization/Disinfectant – monitor for effectiveness
  • Chemical indicators both inside and outside of all packages
  • Dental unit waterlines – treat and monitor with testing
  • Emergency kits – monitor expiration dates
  • License and Renewals posted public view
  • Wearing name tags

Minnesota Department of Health is an agency most every dental office has been inspected by. It is their radiation rule we follow. Regardless if the office is digital or traditional for x-rays we still need to have an x-ray protocol.

Besides routine test:

  • Stepwedge/Crabtree
  • Fog test
  • Mesh/Screen test
  • Program audit
  • CBCT Utilization report
  • Calibration
  • Apron integrity check
  • Shielding/Survey Plan

We also need a standing order signed annually by all dentists of the practice, training upon employment or a change in the office as well as protocols on how we handle pregnant employees/patients, apron policy and who’s allow to take x-rays.

As you can see we need to be well versed on many more agencies or we may be at risk. Having great recordkeeping will prove we are doing what is required – If it is not written down it didn’t happen. Great documentation and site specific written protocols will keep us out of jeopardy, keep our patients safe along with a safe work environment for our employees.

Leanne M. Mathieu Kramer, LDA, CDA, CDPMA

  • Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer – General Industry

  • Independent Compliance Consultant

Our Lab Is Local Across The Country


Dr. Fain’s Office, in a historic building

In the fall Renstrom attended the U of M Dental Student Vendor Fair. It is always fun to visit with the students, and you can just tell how excited they are to get out into the dental industry. One thing that caught my attention, as I heard it from multiple students, was how they were disappointed they wouldn’t be able to send to us, since they will be practicing out of state. I thought that was an interesting assumption, as we work with doctors all over including throughout the state of MN, WI, ND, IA, FL and as far as NY and TN!

But after I thought about that, it is understandable to assume you might only work with a dental lab that is local to you. It does give you the ability to run over and discuss a case if you’d like, and to get to know the technicians you are working with. We love working with our local doctors, but we are still able to build that trustworthy relationship with offices out of town as well.

When looking for a lab, make sure you are looking for one who is providing the quality of products and services you are expecting, and is willing to work on building that relationship with you, whether that is down the road, or across the country.

This September I was visiting TN for a friend’s wedding, so my husband and I were able to stop by and see 2 great offices we work with in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Fain & Dr. Evans both had started sending to Crocus Dental (before we merged), well over 10 years ago. We work with them on a daily basis, and have a great relationship with them through casework, phone calls and written messages. It was such a treat to be able to visit them and tour their office! Both offices are full of such wonderful people, it really makes you appreciate those you work with and the pleasant relationships they provide.


Randi with Dr. Evans

Plus, we got to see a bit of Knoxville and what a fun town it is to visit! Then this October, Greg & Jeff were able to go out to New York and visit a few offices. Dr. Rosenstein is a doctor that we also get to discuss cases with frequently, and are very involved with his daily casework. We even had the pleasure of having Dr. Rosenstein out to visit us in the Spring of 2014!  This time Greg & Jeff got to tour his office, and see what it’s like in his neck of the woods!

Whether you are working with a laboratory that is near to you, or out of town, the important thing is to make sure you have built a relationship with the technicians working on your cases. They are there to provide the best work possible, and to make sure your patients leave your office excited about their new smile.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, whether that be via phone, or email, and we will make sure to answer whatever it is, and to make sure all your specifications are being met, and exceeded!

~ Randi James is a representative of Renstrom Dental Studio and a member of NDA.


Originally on Renstrom’s Blog: From Minnesota to Tennessee! We work across the country!

9 Tips to Building a Strong Financial Policy

It’s a fact: Collection laws are set up to protect consumers. But as a business, you have to protect yourself. Having a strong financial policy can make all the difference should one of your consumers break the terms of your contract, find themselves past-due, or even require collection activity.

However, if you want to reinforce your financial policy, it’s important to ensure your policy aligns with current laws. Adherence to federal and state laws is monitored closely by regulators, consumers, and their attorneys. Any gaps in your financial policy could result in your business being unable to reinforce it or, worst case scenario, become the target of a lawsuit.

Dentist Collect (IC System) is here to help. Our infographic 9 Tips to Building a Strong Financial Policy offers a few simple pointers your office can follow to develop a strong financial policy. Review this with your staff and determine if your office is using these best practices, and if not, how you can ensure your business is protected.

Download Full “9 Tips” PDF

Dentist Collect is a NDA member.

Post originally published here.

Dentists Submit Your Dental Debts Before Holiday Hoopla

The holidays can be stressful and crazily busy. It’s so busy that surviving the holiday season requires an almost endless list of lists. You have shopping lists of who to buy for, where you’re going to do your shopping, what food you’re going to serve, what you’re going to bring to this or that party, and what groceries you need. You have To Do lists of what needs to be tidied up before guests arrive, errands you have to run, and appointments you can’t miss. And that’s just your personal life. Throw a busy dental office environment into this mix and sometimes the holidays feel like utter chaos.

Dental Debts Holiday Hoopla, DentistsIt’s easy to forget things around the dental office in this atmosphere, easy to let things pile up or set them aside. More than one of IC System’s dental clients has mentioned being “just too busy” to deal with their past-due dental accounts during the period between October and December. But now is perhaps the most important time of all to make sure your past-due dental accounts are getting placed with a collection agency sooner.

In our experience, dental debts are most collectable within the first 90 days of delinquency. After the first 90 days, our chances of recovering the balance decrease dramatically. Even more after 120 days.

So let’s say there’s a new past-due dental account that just came across your desk. It’s 30 days past-due. Normally, you might make a few calls on it, send a letter or two, and then send it to a collection agency, like IC System. But now the holidays are coming. You’ve got a few days off here and there. End-of-year workloads begin to stack up. And let’s face reality—your productivity isn’t what it should be, because you’re spending an eyebrow-raising amount of your workday daydreaming about presents and food. Hey, we all do it.

By the time mid-November rolls around, you meant to call on that past-due dental account but got caught up in the holiday hoopla instead. It happens. But if you’re not submitting your past-due dental accounts by this time, chances are you won’t get your accounts submitted within the ideal 90-day delinquency period. At this point, the one or two calls you’re able to make aren’t going to produce much. After all, you don’t have all day to make collection calls, and your past-due customers have busy holiday schedules too. And so, already your chances of recovering the dental debt are decreasing more and more.

All the more reason to get past-due dental accounts to IC System now. If we start collecting on your delinquent inventory today, we can make payment arrangements before the busy (and expensive!) holiday season arrives. We can negotiate plans before your consumers begin their holiday shopping and may get accounts paid off before the holidays, or certainly just after the holidays when people start receiving their tax refunds—we coordinate smaller payments during the holiday season, and schedule a payoff for when refunds are received. Better yet, it’s one less item you have to think about this holiday season.

Here’s the thing: It’s already hard enough to collect past-due dental accounts. Why make it harder by waiting? Make it easier on yourself and your office. Get the debts to a collection agency early. Check that box off your To Do list. Clear the pile on your desk. Get your boss’ email titled “What’s going on with our accounts receivables?” out of your inbox.

Do this, and we’ll be able to collect better for you, and you’ll be able to concentrate on what’s important this holiday season.
– See more at: dental debts holiday hoopla PDF

Dentist Collect is a member of the NDA, find out more.