Selling to dentists

Jan. 1, 2013
Did you know that when a dental practice decreases 10% in gross production in 12 months, there is a 25% loss in its value?

by Ann-Marie DePalma, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

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Did you know that when a dental practice decreases 10% in gross production in 12 months, there is a 25% loss in its value? If you were downsized tomorrow from your current position, do you have a Plan B? As anyone who has been involved in dentistry the past few years should know, dentistry in today’s economy is a dynamic beast. Challenges abound, and astute dental professionals know how to handle these challenges. From selling to having a Plan B, dental professionals need to be ready for the challenges ahead.

Tony Stefanou, DMD, and Teresa Duncan, MS, are collaborating to offer two programs that offer dental professionals a look into the dynamics of selling and creating new opportunities. Tony’s program, “How to Sell to Dentists” (, offers a unique perspective into the sales process. Although geared toward sales professionals and consultants, the techniques and tools can be used in any sales conversation, from actual products to patient case acceptance. The program’s objectives include:

  • Creating a buying environment rather than a selling environment
  • Providing information for getting to the “yes” quicker in the sales process
  • Offering insights into crafting a message that is based on your specific service or product
  • Presenting effective communication tools that work in delivering your message

Tony, in collaboration with Teresa, also provides a program to explore dental careers outside of clinical practice entitled “Beyond the Operatory” ( This workshop is geared toward dental professionals who are interested in exploring nonclinical opportunities, want to create additional income, or want to move from the clinical side into the business side of dentistry. More than 20 income streams are discussed within the areas of consulting, speaking, writing, sales, and corporate positions. Objectives of this program include:

  • Exploring areas and options of dentistry that go beyond clinical practice
  • Determining strengths and interests of individuals to assist in developing a specific plan of action
  • Reviewing career areas that are in demand now and in the future
  • Establishing a marketing program for yourself, product, or service

Both programs are designed as small, interactive workshops with individual attention and focus. This intimate atmosphere is ideal for providing interactive, fun, open, and honest discussions about what people encounter. Each program is a 1.5-day seminar offering a variety of networking opportunities. Set in New York City, the programs offer coaching, workbooks, resources, meals, and cocktails. Participants are asked to answer a pre-workshop questionnaire to help Teresa and Tony determine the group’s main interests and goals for the programs. Each program is offered several times during the year.

During their careers, Teresa and Tony have accomplished almost everything in dentistry. Tony is a dentist who practiced for more than 20 years in New York. He has been a national sales director for several dental corporations, a vice president of sales and marketing for a dental technology company, a transitions consultant, a recruiter, a speaker at national education programs, and a writer for a number of professional publications. He is a member of the ADMC (Academy of Dental Management Consultants).

Teresa is a speaker, writer, and practice management consultant, and her areas of expertise include financial and insurance management systems. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers and of the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, and is a member of numerous dental organizations. She is a trustee of the DALE Foundation, focusing on dental auxiliary education. She has a master’s degree in healthcare management from Marymount University, and is the president of Odyssey Management, Inc.

Finding the right fit in today’s market is all about networking, and Teresa and Tony have the expertise and skills to help you become the best that you want to be. RDH

For more information on either program, contact [email protected].

Thought for the month: The secret for success in life is for one to be ready for her/his opportunity when it comes. Benjamin Disraeli course

This month’s course is Inculpatory Evidence: Periodontal Disease Assessment and Treatment Is an Essential Element in Cardiovascular Wellness Programs. Regular price is $49 for 2 CEs – RDH magazine readers will receive a 50% discount when they use the code ANJAN13.

The premature morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is claiming the lives and independence of millions of Americans. The key to CVD prevention is to determine if an atheroma is present in the vascular tree and minimize any opportunity for thrombus development through rupture or erosion. This is accomplished by mitigating the risk of any vascular inflammation, including the systemic impact of periodontal disease (PD). Evidence supports inflammation as a key player in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In addition, inflammation is involved in destabilizing the plaque and promoting thrombosis. A meta-analysis from the AHA Journal reviewed the prevalence and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) as being significantly increased in subjects with periodontitis and confirmed an independent association between PD and CVD with Level A evidence. Current genetic research indicates that inflammation appears to be causal for CVD, which intensifies the importance on the oral-systemic inflammatory link. Proving direct causality between oral health and vascular events proves challenging due to lack of uniformity in clinical diagnostic criteria and clinical treatment guidelines for PD. Unequivocal evidence of causality is not necessary to address PD in efforts to minimize cardiovascular (CV) risk. Any modifiable CV risk factor should be addressed in a holistic approach to decrease the impact of CVD. The plethora of evidence supporting the systemic inflammatory link with PD, along with its independent association with CAD, makes it imperative that efforts to enhance cardiovascular wellness incorporate PD evaluations and therapies. Guidelines should call for the assessment and treatment of PD not only for the patient’s oral health, but also as one of many comprehensive measures that may help maintain CV health.

ANN-MARIE C. DEPALMA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, as well as a continuous member of ADHA. She presents continuing education programs for dental team members on a variety of topics. Ann-Marie is collaborating with several authors on various books for dental hygiene and can be reached at [email protected].

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