Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Another CDS membership benefit: $175+


Today's post is courtesy of Dr. Adrian Codel, a CDS member and general dentist who practices on Chicago's north side. Today Dr. Codel shares his opinions on the value of CDS membership.

Today I received a $100 check from CDS and later this month expect another $75. Why? Because I attended the Midwinter Meeting as a CDS dentist. You can too.

Attending dental school in Chicago provided me with the unique opportunity of attending the Midwinter Meeting annually. CDS would hand out student tickets for lectures and provide opportunities to meet respected lecturers as a Room Chair. I volunteered as a Room Chair for several years. After graduating, I promoted myself to Presiding Chairperson, and have volunteered for this position ever since. I enjoy it so much, that I make sure to block off at least one day dedicated to volunteering as a Presiding Chairperson.

On the first day of the 2010 Midwinter Meeting, I arrived in the morning to pick up my Presiding Chairperson packet when I ran into a friend and former professor. We attended the special VIP breakfast together and had a nice conversation and found that we never even spoke of dentistry. I then had the honor of introducing a respected lecturer for an informative presentation whose lecture topics I have already incorporated in my practice. I might add that this was a fee-based lecture for those attending. After providing the CE code to participants, I had time to visit the exhibit floor and attend the CDS Meet Up before lunch. During the VIP lunch, I ran into another colleague whom I had not seen in 10 years. We caught up and, again, did not even fall into a discussion of dentistry. By the end of the day I had earned 6 CE credits from a fee based lecture and had 2 excellent meals where I re-acquainted with my friends. As if this were not enough, CDS was generous enough to pay me a per diem of $100. Talk about "membership has its benefits."

Oh, and as for the additional $75. By registering for the Midwinter Meeting early, I got the $75 rebate for qualifying purchases from any exhibitor.

Details on how to volunteer as a presiding room chair for the 2011 Midwinter Meeting will be available on the CDS Web site soon. In the interim, please contact Dr. Al Kleszynski for details.


adrian codel , member benefit ,

Permanent link  Dentist vs. parent


Please welcome Dr. Adrian Codel, a CDS member and general dentist who practices on Chicago's north side. Today Dr. Codel shares an early experience he had with parents who ignored all dental advice and thus harmed their children's oral health.

My first associateship was at a pediatric practice where I was afforded the opportunity to treat the children as well as the parents. It was a great experience. I learned that the biggest challenge pediatric dentists face isn't always the children's behavior, but the parents' behavior--like helicopter parents who won't leave the room no matter how many times you ask. In the dental setting this is the parent that stays by the child's side and convinces them that the visit is going to be a negative experience. However, the only thing negative about the experience is what they are telling their kids.

What will always stick in my mind, though, is the family where mom was a lawyer and dad was a physician. Obviously, they were well-educated with wonderful children. However, they refused to follow the hygiene recommendations made by the AAPD and ignored any dentist who advised no juice in the bottle. Instead, these parents would simply instruct us, "Let us know when it is time to go to the OR."

I saw two of their children end up in the OR for restorative care by age 6. I always felt this was borderline neglect except for the fact that they were committed to treating the kids at a fixed point in time.

I am sure anyone who treats children can relate to the parent that does more harm than good when it comes to their child's oral health and dental experience. However, I still ponder the best way to address these situations.


adrian codel , food for thought , pediatric dentistry ,

I certainly feel your pain! It is great to work with children and I really enjoy it but the parents can make it unpleasant. The one thing I have learned over the 10 years I have been in practice as a pediatric dentist is I cannot make everyone happy. So, sometimes if I feel the parent and I are not on the same page instead of trying to convince them to do something I recommend they go for a 2nd opinion. Many times they end up returning to our office and are much more agreeable, but if they don't return then it just wasn't meant to be :)

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Practicing what you preach


Please welcome Dr. Adrian Codel, a CDS member and general dentist who practices on Chicago's north side. Today Dr. Codel reflects on whether it's important for health care professionals to "walk the walk and talk the talk" when it comes to taking care of their own health.

You've already waited 30 minutes in the waiting area and another 15 minutes in a cold treatment room and finally the physician walks in to introduce himself because you are a new patient. You first notice that your new doctor is overweight, likely borderline obese. When you shake his hand and get closer you detect the smell of cigarettes. But this doesn't matter because all that matters is that you receive the best possible care. You answer some basic health history questions during the interview and are very happy with his chair-side manner. You now feel more comfortable and crack a joke. It must have been a good one because you made him laugh. That is when you notice that the entire facial surfaces his lower anterior teeth are completely covered in calculus and you know that if it is bad on the facial, it is worse on the lingual. Do you lose confidence is his ability?

Well, this did not happen to me, but I was imagining this scenario as I was cleaning the teeth of my patient who is a physician. He met the above description. He is a great person and I am sure an excellent clinician. However, his oral health is in complete neglect. Emergency care only, rampant decay and uncontrolled periodontal disease. Not to mention his non oral conditions. I was told after he was dismissed that he complained that we made him wait 5 minutes for his scheduled procedure and threatened to leave.

So which is worse? The physician who fails to take control of his own health or the one that complains about waiting 5 minutes? Either way they may not practice what they preach. But neither do we. OK. I'll admit it, I don't floss every day.


adrian codel , food for thought ,

Permanent link  Bartering for dental care


Please welcome Dr. Adrian Codel, a CDS member and general dentist who practices on Chicago's north side. Today Dr. Codel discusses how dentists can exchange dental care for other services through a bartering association.

Clean house for clean teeth.

That's right, when I clean a patient's teeth, I get my house cleaned. That is because I have incorporated bartering into my dental practice. By definition "barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, when the currency is unstable and devalued by hyperinflation." While hyperinflation may not be the case today, I believe monetary crisis is.

Now I am not talking about a handshake deal where services are directly exchanged. I am talking about bartering as a great marketing tool using organized barter and trade associations. In this case, you sign up for a trade association. Someone else who belongs to that association sees you listed and makes an appointment. They owe you $500 for the procedure. Instead of paying cash, $500 is transferred from their barter account to yours. Now you have $500 to spend on any item or service within the organization, regardless of what services the patient provides. Now, if this patient is happy she may refer you two cash-paying patients and post a nice review on Yelp! Your traditional marketing model and discounts were not needed.

So how do you spend the $500? Here are some examples of things I have used my barter/trade dollars on. For my practice: dental labs, ink and toner, document shredding, clinical equipment repair, floor refinishing, message on hold system even OSHA training and compliance. For personal use: limo service, Lake Geneva hotels, restaurants, concert tickets. That's right, I even have my own entertainment concierge that can get me sporting, theater and concert tickets, all through barter.

The income is taxable as revenue and proper documentation is received by year's end. The downside is that you need to decide how often or when you want to schedule these patients. I have noticed some dentists allow appointments during off-peak hours. Others only allow 1-2 patients at a time until treatment is completed. You can also dictate what percentage of treatment is barter and what percentage is cash. This covers lab expenses, for instance. It took me several months to figure out how to spend the "money" but now I find it fun and a little bit of a treasure hunt. There is a minimal transaction fee in order to keep the barter organization running.

Admittedly, it is not for everyone, but since the dentist can control the exposure and frequency, it is a fun, low-cost way to attract patients and reduce the amount of cash being taken out of your business bank account.

The two organizations I am most familiar with are: Art of Barter, which is restricted to the Chicago area, and IMS, which is nationwide.


adrian codel , bartering , practice management ,

can anyone refer me to a possible dental site in southern california

Posted by: rjustus4u ( on 05/16/2011

go to to do your bartering. it's safe/secure, reliable and completely free. check it out. good luck.

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011