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Getting funky


January 2011 | dentalproductsreport.com products in practice Getting funky How a fresh approach to simple mouthguards can safeguard your bottom line.

January 2011 | dentalproductsreport.com

products in practice

Getting funky

How a fresh approach to simple mouthguards can safeguard your bottom line.

by Dan Reed

The Drufomat Scan works in the range of 85 to 90 psi to create appliances with high detail and strong lamination. When combined with the Funky Tool attachment, the Drufomat Scan distances itself from the competition with the capability of fabricating custom multi-colored mouthguards like the one seen above right. 

In today’s uncertain economic climate, the bottom line is always top-of-mind. We’re all looking for ways to maximize per-patient revenue, while attracting more patients. Certainly there are many ways to achieve both of these ends. However, the best ideas are usually the simplest, so we’re going to explore a single idea as a means to achieve both of these ends.

Most practices look at thermoformed dental appliances as nothing more than a pass-through expense that nets you a small percentage of the total fee. But ask yourself this, rather than acting as an intermediary between your patients and your supplier: What if you acted as your own supplier and channeled that revenue to your own bottom line? To date, relatively few practices have discovered that creating sports mouthguards, retainers, bleach trays, nightguards and other removable appliances can become a consistent profit center when performed in their own offices.

Forming protection
Offered by DENTSPLY’s Raintree Essix Glenroe Division, the Dreve Drufomat Scan is an affordable, easy-to-use and highly-precise pressure thermoforming machine that can add some punch to your bottom line. Driven by the latest material recognition software, the Drufomat Scan uses pre-programmed barcode scanning and an intuitive keypad to make the process all but foolproof for almost any skill level within your practice. It even comes with a convenient plastics guide that helps you select the type and specification for each appliance. With the Drufomat Scan, you get state-of-the-art technology, hands-on control, quick turnaround times and low out-of-pocket expense for each of the patients you treat.

So creating your own removable appliances can help you keep a bigger slice of the pie when it comes to your existing patients. The next question is: Can the Drufomat Scan help you attract additional pies in the form of new patients? Brace yourself, because here’s where it gets a little bit funky.

Adding color
In addition to convenient touchpad operation, the Drufomat Scan offers an easy-to-use accessory called the Funky Tool. This simple attachment enables you to create vibrant, custom-colored appliances using a full palette of plastic colors that you mix, match and meld however you want. The Funky Tool gives patients the ability to express their individuality by selecting their favorite color(s), the colors of their local sports teams or even school colors-then having you combine them in a virtually unlimited range of custom designs. In fact, many doctors have already cultivated a profitable niche by pairing the in-office fabrication of mouthguards with local athletic institutions.

“Sports Dentistry continues to be a strong driver of growth for my practice,” said Dr. Ray Padilla, Team Dentist for UCLA Athletics and President of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. “By assisting local schools and sports teams with their needs for well-fitting, durable mouthguards, I am able to better satisfy my patient base, as well as generate many referrals. The superior technology of the Drufomat Scan pressure machine allows me to easily fabricate a wide variety of removable appliances in office, as well as support my passion for making custom pressure-laminated sports mouthguards. And now, the availability of the Funky Tool attachment enables me to reach the next level of custom sports mouthguard designs.”

Speak for themselves
These stand-out appliances are natural conversation starters that generate envy among peers, and word-of-mouth referrals. Plus this patient-friendly customization can encourage greater compliance by turning the appliance from obligation into a fun form of self expression.

Creating these unique appliances using the Funky Tool couldn’t be easier for you or your staff. The Funky Tool attachment turns selected strips (or scrap pieces) of plastic foils into a colorful expression of your patients’ individuality. Attaching directly to the Drufomat Scan (or the earlier TE and SQ models), the Funky Tool melts together the desired plastic into a custom single plastic sheet, in as little as six minutes. This high-tear-strength foil can then be used to fabricate personally designed sports mouthguards. It’s a one-of-a-kind product for your one-of-a-kind patients.

With the Drufomat Scan and the Funky Tool attachment, you now can provide your patients with a totally customized offering when it comes to sports mouthguards. It’s a simple way to maximize your per-patient revenues, while offering you a unique way to differentiate your practice and attract more patients. With more than two million teeth per year lost to athletic-related injuries, the growth potential for the sports mouthpiece alone is substantial. Best of all, the Scan is a versatile multi-tasker that can easily handle not only sports mouthguards, but also the gamut of appliances noted above, making your investment in this machine far from a funky decision. 

Disclaimer: Dreve and Drufomat Scan are not trademarks of DENTSPLY.

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