Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Handling negative word of mouth


Some timely advice from GasPedal's Andy Sernovitz on dealing with negative reviews:

Build credibility before you need it

Let's say you find a bunch of bloggers attacking your products. You and your PR team could show up to post a perfectly worded response. Doesn't work. Why? Because you'll look like a shamelessly self-serving PR team that's only there to post a perfectly worded response.

When nobody knows you, you're not part of the discussion. Instead, focus on being a regular participant, a known name, and a familiar face in the room if you want any hope of responding to the negative word of mouth successfully.
Read the entire post and his advice for diluting negative reviews.


yelp , marketing , word of mouth ,

Permanent link  Chicago Tribune on dental tourism in Mexico


Earlier this week, Trib reporter Oscar Avila reported on Americans seeking dental care in Los Algodones, Mexico, a town near the Arizona border.

He reports:

The consulting firm Deloitte found that 2 in 5 Americans would go abroad for medical care if they could save 50 percent of costs and were assured that the quality of care was comparable.

Another survey, by McKinsey & Co., said most patients travel in search of more advanced technology but that the industry's growth potential lies in those seeking to reduce expenses, such as the patients in Los Algodones.

McKinsey said a new international accreditation system that certifies a foreign provider's adherence to U.S. guidelines for care will only boost medical tourism as patients feel more comfortable.

Experts say one reason for the cost disparity is that U.S. providers must guard against devastating malpractice lawsuits by securing expensive insurance-costs that are passed on to the consumer.
Avila also writes about his own experiences with a dentist in Los Algodones.


dental tourism , news coverage ,

hi, great post..ur really consistent with medical tourism.

Posted by: Dental Tourism ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Dentist wins first round in lawsuit against Yelp and yelper who posted negative review


From Dr. Bicuspid:

The dentist who sued a reviewer on won the first round of her court battle yesterday when a judge overruled a motion to dismiss the suit., one of the original defendants in the suit, will appeal the ruling and the other defendants, Tai Jing and Jia Ma, will probably appeal as well, according to Paul Clifford, one of their attorneys.

Yvonne Wong, D.D.S., of Foster City, CA, showed she had at least a minimal chance of prevailing, so the case should not be dismissed under California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) law, the judge ruled.


yelp , practice management ,

Permanent link  ADA tests dental crowns, finds them safe


From the ADA press release:

"Based on all the information to date, both from our own testing as well as reports of other analyses, we are confident that no measurable levels of lead are released from dental crowns made from dental porcelain typical of available sources," explains Clifton Carey, Ph.D., administrative director, PRC.

He added, "Moreover, we intentionally added lead to a separate sample of dental crowns and found that even up to 500 ppm of lead levels, no measurable amount was released. This was a much higher total concentration than any laboratory-fabricated crown tested."

Questions were raised in February 2008 about lead in dental restoratives such as crowns and bridges when an Ohio woman speculated in a news report that the problems she experienced with her bridge might be because of its manufacture at a dental laboratory in China. At a time when other products from China were under scrutiny, the local news station investigated the issue and sent the bridge to a local laboratory for lead testing. The station then had several dental crowns manufactured in China tested, and one crown reportedly tested positive for lead. At the time however, no accepted standardized method existed to measure lead content of dental materials such as porcelain, or whether lead is released from dental crowns in the mouth.


crowns , ada , safety ,

Permanent link  WBEZ on access to dental care


Chicago Public Radio's Gabriel Spitzer reports:

There's a little-noticed public health crisis brewing in Illinois. It's not especially sexy, but it's serious. It's connected to life-threatening ailments, nutrition and even job prospects-the problem is access to dental care. Illinois has the third largest underserved population in the country. The few clinics that treat poor people are overwhelmed. Now they're bracing for a new flood of patients, as more people lose their jobs.
Listen to the full story at the City Room.


access to care , news coverage , state of illinois ,

Permanent link  ADA launches new Web site on evidence based dentistry


From the ADA:

The Evidence-Based Dentistry Web site is a new site by dentists for dentists and their patients. It gives you access to the most current, clinically relevant information from one centralized location.

Key features include:

  • Database of systematic reviews-currently over 1,300 reviews, which will update quarterly
  • Critical summaries of systematic reviews-one-page synopses of key elements of a systematic review with clinical implications written by practicing dentists trained in critical assessment of published systematic reviews
  • Clinical recommendations-Useful tools that can be applied in making evidence-based clinical treatment decisions
  • Links to evidence-based dentistry resources-Links to outside resources including tutorials, glossaries and databases
Please keep in mind that this launch is an introductory stage and we appreciate your feedback and patience as we establish this unique resource to its fullest potential.


ada , websites ,

Permanent link  Past president of the Chicago Dental Society, Dr. Richard Kozal, dies at age 73


CDS has learned that Dr. Richard Kozal, president of the association from 1982-1983, passed away on March 11 at age 73.

The American Dental Association has posted an obituary. Services will be held in Mesquite, Nevada, where Dr. Kozal lived. Friends and colleagues may also sign the online memorial guestbook.


obituary ,

Permanent link  Chicago Tribune publishes CDS tip sheet on budget dental tips


This just in: Today's Chicago Tribune carried our tip sheet on low-cost ideas to keeping your mouth healthy.


midwinter 2009 , news coverage ,

Your teeth must be taken cared well so that it won't hamper your work. It's hard to be absent in the office and missed the work because the salary that you will be receiving will be deducted.

Posted by: Vincent ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Well, Ill be a monkeys dentist


Japanese researchers have made a startling discovery: Monkeys floss!

From the AFP story:

[The] research team [at at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute] observed seven female long-tailed macaques and their offspring and monitored how often the mothers cleaned the spaces between their teeth with strands of human hair, in a colony of 250 animals near Bangkok.

The study found that the frequency of teeth-cleaning roughly doubled and became more elaborate when the infant monkeys were watching, suggesting that the females were deliberately teaching their young how to floss, he said.

So how many of you will now tell your patients, "If a monkey can do it, so can you"?

Updated: Video of the flossing monkeys, for those interested.


toothsome ,

Permanent link  We need your advice!


The CDS Board of Directors is conducting a strategic planning process over the next year and we are seeking input from our members to help guide our future planning and growth.

The 10-minute survey will help us create a comprehensive strategic plan for the society. Your time and confidential responses are greatly appreciated!


strategic plan , cds members , survey ,

Permanent link  Midwinter Meeting Weathers Economic Storm


Attendance down 9% from 2008 meeting but 82% of exhibitors report generating new business at show

The Midwinter Meeting, the Chicago Dental Society's annual dental conference and tradeshow, consistently ranks amongst the country's top conventions, even earning the distinction as one of the top four medical tradeshows in the US last year, according to Expo magazine.

Held February 26-March 1, this year's meeting once again attracted dental professionals from around the world, including about 7,000 dentists. Total attendance for the meeting was 31,333, representing a 9 percent drop over the 2008 figures, which were an all-time high in the meeting's 144-year history.

"I think we all went into this meeting holding our breath a little," Dr. David Kumamoto, CDS president, said, "But the feedback from exhibitors and the number of sold-out courses reveal just how strong our meeting is."

Nearly one-quarter of the conference's 240+ courses were sold out, and the vast majority of courses were near capacity.

The exhibit floor, which showcased 570 companies, was completely sold out months in advance. The Midwinter Meeting was recently chosen as offering the best cost-to-value benefit of any dental tradeshow in the U.S., according to 66 percent of exhibitors responding to a post-show survey.

Read the full press release.


midwinter 2009 , press release ,

Thanks for the feedback. According to tickets sales, 24 percent of the classes were sold out, and the majority of classes had at least 70 percent of available tickets sold.

Posted by: Keri Kramer ( on 05/16/2011

what courses did you attend ? two of the classes i attended had less than 30% of the room filled. these were paid courses. most people i talked to also stated the their classes were low in attendence

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Red Flags Rules go into effect May 1


After a six-month delay, the Red Flags Rules will now go into effect for all health care providers on May 1. Under these rules dentists, doctors and other health care providers are considered "creditors," and must ensure reasonable precautions are taken to protect patients from identity theft.

While it's not yet precisely clear what dentists will need to do to ensure their practices are compliant, the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces these regulations, says on their Web site:

Under the Red Flags Rules...creditors must develop a written program that identifies and detects the relevant warning signs - or "red flags" - of identity theft. These may include, for example, unusual account activity, fraud alerts on a consumer report, or attempted use of suspicious account application documents. The program must also describe appropriate responses that would prevent and mitigate the crime and detail a plan to update the program. The program must be managed by the Board of Directors or senior employees of the financial institution or creditor, include appropriate staff training, and provide for oversight of any service providers.
The American Dental Association has protested the new regulations. In an e-mail today to dental society staff, Dr. John Findley writes:
Speaking for the ADA, I urged the FTC staff not to apply the Red Flags Rule to dentists....

Fellow ADA representatives also explained the special problems that dentists and physicians will face under the Rule. In particular, they may have to report any suspected identity theft both to the patient whose identity is at issue and to law enforcement officials. Reporting of this nature could raise issues under the HIPAA privacy regulations. [emphasis mine] Determining how to harmonize the Red Flags Rule with HIPAA requirements in any given case could result in yet more costs for our members in terms both of their own time and in connection with obtaining legal advice.

In response, the FTC staff expressed its intention to enforce the Reg Flags Rule with "flexibility." It assured the ADA that it sought only "reasonable compliance."
Dr. Findley notes that the FTC demurred on the ADA's requests to exempt dentists from the rules, provide formal guidance on how dentists should incorporate the rules into their practices or delay enforcement until more information was available.

Additional reading:
An overview for business owners, from the FTC
The complete guidelines, from the FTC
News coverage from the ADA ( 1, 2)
The ADA's letter of complaint to the FTC
The FTC's response to the AMA's objections about treating doctors as creditors
A brief summation by Dental Blogs


dentist , red flags rule , practice management ,

So, now what are we supposed to do?? Wait? Start working on the "written plan?"

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Chicago business owners complain about Yelp


Joining the pile-on, the Chicago Tribune covers allegations by Chicago business owners against online review site Yelp.

An excerpt from today's article:

The owner of More Cupcakes, Patty Rothman, said that last fall a Yelp Chicago staffer walked into her Gold Coast shop and "guaranteed us good reviews on the site if we catered one of their parties for free." Offended but resigned, Rothman complied. And just as promised, positive reviews bloomed for the business right after the party, Rothman said.

Says one commenter on the Tribune's site:

I've kind of suspected this myself, based on negative Yelp reviews I've seen that mysteriously disappear weeks later.

I'm done with Yelp. If reviews aren't unbiased, they're worthless.

We've covered the brouhaha about Yelp before. Thoughts?

Photo credit: Mark Saltz, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA



news coverage , practice management , yelp ,

That's terrible and that is the problem with online reviews - you don't know who is posting the review even the good ones. But it only takes one bad one to hurt you and it could just be a disgruntled employee or patient who did not want to pay their bill after services. But really what can we do?!

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious member benefit!


The world's most famous nanny (sorry, Super Nanny) blows into Chicago this month and CDS members have first crack at tickets. Members save $20 off the face value of each ticket they purchase from CDS for the Sunday, May 17th show at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

This production combines the famous Disney musical with the well-loved tales by P.L. Travers and stars the original Broadway cast.

Information about the show and other CDS special events, such as baseball games and a summer evening at Ravinia, is available at our Web site.


special events , cds members ,

Permanent link  Investing in baby teeth


Vanessa Hand from Medill Reports posted an article today about early dental care for children. She covers the reasons why parents should take their child to the dentist by one year of age and how a health diet is just as important as regular brushing. From the article:

"Early visits will prevent cavities, prevent pain, and prevent a whole snowball of effects," said Dr. Cissy Furusho, spokesperson for the Chicago Dental Society and dentist at Dentistry for Kids Ltd.


pediatric dentistry , midwinter 2009 , news coverage ,


Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  If you provide care to a workers compensation patient


Susan Piha, manager of research and education for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, asked CDS to share the following news release with members.

The commission has an exhaustive FAQ that should help answer questions. For more information on the fee schedule, follow the links on the commission's home page. Otherwise, call the commission at (312) 814-6611 for more information.

By law, all medical treatment provided to a workers' compensation claimant on or after February 1, 2006 is subject to a fee schedule. A provider is still free to contract with payors for different payment terms but, in the absence of a contract, the provider will be paid according to fee schedule.

By law, a fee for each procedure was calculated for each three-digit zip code in Illinois....

When the IWCC lacked sufficient data to calculate a fee, the law provides that such bills shall be paid at 76% of the charged amount. Dental services that are billed with ADA codes, for example, are paid at 76%. Services that are billed with CPT or HCPCS codes may have fees. Refer to the online fee schedule.

The fee schedule amount is considered full payment. Providers may not seek to obtain the difference between the charged amount and the fee schedule amount from the injured worker or the employer. Balance billing for workers' compensation claims is now illegal pursuant to 820 ILCS 305/8.2(e).

The law also provides that the payor shall pay the medical provider within 60 days of the date the payor receives a bill that contains substantially all the required data elements necessary to adjudicate the bill. The provider may charge interest of 1% per month. If you cannot resolve disputes regarding payment with the payor, you should ask the patient/injured worker to request a hearing before an IWCC arbitrator regarding unpaid medical bills.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission operates the court system that resolves disputes regarding workers' compensation. It does not pay the benefits. In most cases, insurance companies pay benefits on the employers' behalf.


dental benefits , dentist , practice management , state of illinois ,

Permanent link  Doctors try legal waivers to quiet patients online chatter


Just last week I posted about allegations that Yelp manipulates reviews to entice companies to advertise with site.

Now in today's Chicago Tribune, Associated Press reporter Lindsey Tanner explores the legal tactics some doctors are using to keep their patients from posting reviews to sites like Yelp, Angie's List and RateMDs.

How effective are their efforts? John Swapceinski, co-founder of, says that he has refused to remove negative reviews, even when provided with signed patient waivers.

While HIPAA does hamstring a dentist's ability of to respond to negative online criticism, there are actions you can take.

Simply setting up a Google Alert with your name will help you track any online chatter about your practice. If you have a common name, adding "DDS," "DMD" or "dentist" to the search terms will cut down on unrelated links.

If you do get a negative review, make sure to read over the site owner's policy about removing or responding to criticism. (We'll have more on this in a future blog posting.)

If all of this has you rattled, take comfort. Many are predicting that anonymous online reviews will be going the way of the dodo, and users will turn to their trusted social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) instead.


news coverage , patient , practice management , yelp ,

Permanent link  Chew on This


Today's Chicago Sun-Times Health section features some of our budget-saving tips to take care of your smile during these tough economic times.

Do you have any other cheap tips for teeth that didn't make our list? Leave a comment!


at home , budget , dental care , dentist survey , economy , midwinter 2009 , news coverage ,

Permanent link  More blog coverage from Midwinter Meeting 2009


Thanks to all who tuned into to our live coverage of Midwinter Meeting 2009 on Friday. For more, check out Marty Jablow's blog and The Dental Implant Blog - both have photos and news from the event.


blog , midwinter 2009 ,