Articles From Lou's Desk
Dental Products Report - February 2018
"Putting your smartphone to work" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Ryan and Zach Hungate, founders of Simplifeye
Last month, I had the opportunity to meet with a team that is revolutionizing how dental practices use technology. In the past, we’ve told our staff to keep their smartphones away from work, reasoning that these devices would get in the way of productivity, as well as client service.
Dr. Ryan and Zach Hungate, founders of Simplifeye, have a different take. They believe smartphones are ubiquitous and have an unquestionable place in today’s dental practices.
I sat down with Ryan and Zach, to learn how smartphones and smartwatches are changing how we run our practices. Ryan is a trained orthodontist with prior experience at Apple, while Zach is an entrepreneur and private equity investor. The two started Simplifeye in 2015 to assist healthcare providers run the business side of their practice.
Why should smartphone use be encouraged in dental practices?
According to Pew Research, 95 percent of Americans now have a cellphone of some kind, and 77 percent have a smartphone. When smartphones first came into existence, they were seen as a distraction, and many dental practices introduced a zero-tolerance phone policy.
However, smartphones are everywhere, and they should be leveraged at dental practices, rather than tolerated — or worse, prohibited. These are powerful, personal computers that can enhance productivity and the patient experience. We feel there is a need to fundamentally support dental professionals’ interests in technology and provide them 21st century options. Read the full article.
Dental Products Report - January 2018
"The dental practitioner's role in the sleep disorder crisis" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Alice Limkakeng, CEO of SleepArchiTx
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Alice Limkakeng, CEO of SleepArchiTx, to discuss the state of the sleep disorder crisis and the dental industry trends that could help.
Q: Why is the prevalence of chronic sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea so high in the U.S. and what is the impact of this?
A: We have a national crisis in the United States due to chronic sleep disorders. The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) states that about 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems, with approximately 60 percent of these having a chronic disorder. This is exacerbated by the fact that 80 percent of people with severe disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, are undiagnosed. We do not have good medical channels to screen for sleep disorders because primary care physicians are dealing with so many other issues that sleep disorders just aren’t on their radar.
In addition to that, individuals may be resistant to get diagnosed because they do not want to stay overnight in a sleep lab for the diagnostic test and they do not want to wear a CPAP, which is a likely recommendation for patients if they are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The negative impact is enormous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year, and the NCSDR says that “sleep disorders, sleep deprivation and sleepiness add an estimated $15.9 billion to the national healthcare bill.” Read the full article online.
Dental Products Report - November 2017
"How technology advancements are shaping medicament delivery" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Dr. Denson Cao, Ph.D.
Exploring how next-generation technology and advances in therapeutic delivery systems are leading to opportunities for practice growth.
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Densen Cao, inventor and CEO of CAO Group, to discuss a new approach to delivering dental medicaments enabled by next-generation technology.
Q: What fundamental innovations have you brought to dentistry?
A: In the late 1990s, my research was focused on the use of LED light sources to replace halogen curing lights, which were bulky, hot and degraded quickly. In 2000 we introduced the first commercial LED curing light and almost every LED light in the market today uses that patent. With further research into the fields of optics and light we invented and launched the first compact soft-tissue diode laser for dentistry in 2002, with many of the best-selling brands today using our technology.
Recently we have developed technology for more effective and efficient medicament delivery to the oral cavity, which we see as having many important applications today and in the future. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - October 2017
"Automating practice growth with machine learning" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Dr. Paul Intlekofer, JD, MBA, CEO of MMG Fusion
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Paul Intlekofer, JD, MBA, CEO of MMG Fusion to talk about his latest innovative technology game-changer ChairFill and how it can grow practice production through an ingenious, turnkey software experience.
What motivated you to create a product like ChairFill?
The founding partners of MMG Fusion have been working in and around the dental industry for years. Our products and services have all been developed with a "by dentists, for dentists" mind-set. We saw that our individual tools and services were helping dentists to manage, market and grow their practices as intended but had the potential to do so much more. We also knew that our intelligent software mindset and our focus on automaticion gave us a unique view of problems in the dental space and how to solve them.
After evaluating the marketplace and speaking with many of the top KOLs, we saw that a practitioner's focus after providing quality care was keeping their chairs filled with the right kind of patients. And they wanted to do this while spending only a reasonable amount of money and staff time on marketing, branding, and patient reactivation.
We applied our unique technology and mindset to what we saw as the largest problem facing practitioners, and ChairFill was born. Download the full article here.
Dental Products Report - September 2017
"The challenges of waterline disinfection"
curated by Dr. Lou Shuman and Owen Boyd, founder and CTO of Toppen Dental Solutions
Last month I had the opportunity to meet with a company that is pursuing technologies that promise to change the game in their category. Water disinfection is an area I never thought I would be excited about but walked away incredibly impressed with the level of genuis of Owen Boyd and Al Dube.
I sat down with Owen Boyd, an expert on dental water disinfection and treatment technologies. Mr. Boyd has 25 years of water treatment experience. We discussed the challenges with dental unit waterline disfunction and breakthrough technology solutions that are on the near horizon.
Why do dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) require disinfection?
This is an issue of protecting patients and staff. Serious illness from cross-contaminated DUWL's is no longer just a theoretical possibility. In the last two years alone there have been cases in California and George where large numbers of patients contracted serious infections traced back to contamination in the waterlines. Download the full article.
Dental Products Report - August 2017
"The future of digital dentistry" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Marty Jablow, DMD
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental technology specialist to discuss the latest developments in digital dentistry, data security, social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management, marketing and more.
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Marty Jablow, DMD to discuss the future of digital dentistry, and how it will affect dental practice workflows and diagnostics.
Q: Where is digital dentistry heading in the dental office in 2017?
A: The progression continues. Front office staff are still migrating to the paperless office but are now incorporating many more online digital technologies. We’ve gone from just reminders to online reputation management, reviews and overall office efficiencies and production goals. The back office continues to evolve with patient treatment enhancements, such as digital caries detection and diagnostic devices, to digital impressions, CAD/CAM and 3D printing. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - July 2017
"Make A Difference With Freedom Day USA 2017" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Wendy Boyce, National Marketing Director, Freedom Day USA
Freedom Day USA gives dentists the opportunity to give back to military personnel, veterans and their families. If I had to pick one dentist to represent our whole profession a tthe White House or the United Nations, it would be Dr. Robert Martino - and I think that everyone who knows him would agree. Five years ago, in a never-ending quest to make a difference, Dr. Robert Martino created Freedom Day USA, an annual day of thanks that invites dental offices from around the country to provide free dentistry to military personnel, veterans and their families. It is a day that gives dentistry a great name, and for all those who participate it is a day they never forget.
This year, Freedom Day USA takes place on October 12, 2017. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - June 2017
"The Power of Website Lead Conversion" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Ian McNickle, MBA, co-founder of WEO Media
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in wbsite optimation, SEO strategies, social media trends, online reputation management, marketing and more.
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Ian McNickle, MBA, partner and co-founder of WEO Media, to talk about why website lead conversion is so important, and how it can help improve a practice's marketing ROI.
Q: I've heard you lecture on the topic of website lead conversion. Can you elaborate exactly what you mean by that?
A: The reason I often teach people about this topic is that few people understand what it is, and why it is so important. To learn about website lead conversion we need to first take a step back and discuss online marketing. When it comes to online marketing, there are two primary objectives:
(1) Generate as much relevant traffic as possible, and
(2) Convert that traffic into as many new patient leads and appointments as possible.
This second step is what we call website lead conversion. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - May 2017
"How to Ensure Your Email is HIPAA Compliant" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Robert McDermott, President and CEO of iCoreConnect
In part two of a two-part series, Dr. Shuman continues his conversation with Robert McDermott, President and CEO of iCoreConnect, on the topic of HIPAA compliance and electronic protected health information (ePHI). This column provides greater depth on the required safeguards for HIPAA-compliant management of ePHI, as well as the relative security of cloud-based systems for the dental office.
Q: Would you review all five required technical safeguards for HIPAA-compliant management of ePHI?
A: Last month, we talked about the transmission security safeguard which involves encryption. The current HIPAA encryption requirement is 256-bit. The best technology out there right now is 2048-bit encryption. A second technical safeguard is integrity. You must have a secure backup that keeps the original version of the document unaltered for at least six years.
Access control is a third technical safeguard that comes down to making sure only those with legitimate need and permission can access patient data. Automatic logoff after a certain period of inactivity satisfies access control. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - April 2017
"Can Email be HIPAA Compliant?" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Robert McDermott, President and CEO of iCoreConnect
In part one of a two-part series, Dr. Lou Shuman and Robert McDermott discuss if email can satisfy HIPAA regulations - and how you can ensure electronic protected health informaiton remains secure. Dr. Shuman sat down with Robert McDermott, President and CEO of iCoreConnect, to talk about HIPAA compliance and electronic protected health information (ePHI). Here, in part one of a two-part series on the topic, they discuss the importance of safeguarding ePHI- and how to ensure your practice stays HIPAA compliant.
Q: Is it true you have personally spoken to over 2,000 dental professionals researching their needs regarding HIPAA compliance and ePHI?
A: It is true. It took about five months, but what we learned was very interesting.
There's really a lack of education on the ePHI side of HIPAA... a lack of understanding at the practices level of what needs to be done and what can be done. A lot of the practices had actually stopped emailing altogether because they thought it was against the law to email electronic protected health information. The truth is that email can be a tremendous advantage to a practice, but it has to be implemented in a HIPAA-compliant way. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - March 2017
"The Top 5 Dental Marketing Scams" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Cory Roletto, MBA, partner and co-founder of WEO Media
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management and more. This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Cory Roletto, partner and co-founder of WEO Media, to talk about a few of the less-than-reputable marketing practices plaguing the dental industry. Here, they outline the top five dental marketing scams that you should be wary of.
Q: Your domain is expiring and needs to be renewed
A: This letter may look very official and many have the word "domains" in the company name. The form asks you to fill out information about your domain, give your approval to renew the domain and send payment. The payment request is often $100 or more. With rules established by ICANN, the governing body for domain purchase and transfer, you are unlikely to actually lose control of your domain,
but you may not even notice your money didn't go to pay for domain renewal. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - February 2017
"How SMART technologies are impacting dentistry" curated by Dr. Lou Shuman with Paul Intlekofer, JD, MBA, CEO of MMG Fusion
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management and more. This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with the CEO of MMG Fusion, Paul Intlekofer, JD, MBA, to talk about the impact of SMART technology in dentistry.
Q: What is SMART technology and how can it be generally defined?
A: SMART technology is Self-Monitoring Analytics and Reporting Technology. As it relates to the dental industry we are referring to autonomous patient acquisition and practice growth tools. This is technology that integrates into practice management software and simplifies, centralizes and creates efficiencies within a practice. These various tools communicate with each other and serve as an "automated practice manager" for the dentist. Read the full article here.
Dental Products Report - January 2017
"Mobile Websites and the Dental Practice" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Cory Roletto, MBA, cofounder of WEO Media
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management and more. This month, Dr. Shuman consults with Cory Roletto, MBA, cofounder of WEO Media, about the importance of mobile websites.
Q: Why are mobile websites important?
A: Most people realize mobile devices have become an integrated part of our lives in a very short period of time. According to ComScore and Morgan Stanley Research the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users around 2014. Although mobile devices and desktop computers connect to the same internet, the experiences are very different. Beyond the apparent screen size difference, when people are using mobile devices they tend to have shorter attention spans, and are looking for different information. Optimizing the mobile experience is essential to marketing conversion and increasingly important and increasingly important on even being found in search. Read the full article here.
Business of Dentistry - November 2016
"The Hidden Value of Adding Sleep-Disorder Dentistry to Your Practice" by Dr. Lou Shuman
When Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, became an orthodontic specialist, he pictured the course of his career as most dentists do - a way to improve the quality of life of the patients he would see and earn a living. Saving lives was the furthest thing from his mind. But his introduction to sleep-disorder dentistry changed his perspective. Now, he, along with others, are encouraging colleagues to look closer at the typical patient in the dental chair because adding this service might provide more value than one might think. "Screening for and treating airway disorders give the dental profession the opportunity to save lives," he says. Read the full article here.
Dentistry Today - November 2016
"FOCUS ON: Social Media" by Dr. Lou Shuman
Lou S. Shuman, DMD, CAGS, highlights the importance of a dental practice's Web presence, outlining online rules of engagement.
Q: How should a dentist prepare to maximize an online presence for their practice?
A: Let's break this great question down into what I call the 14 Online Rules of Engagement. Rule 1. Treat your dental practice website as your online hub. A dentist's website is still the single most important tool for creating an online presence. Here are 5 things every dentist's website needs... Read the whole article here.
Dental Products Report - October 2016
"Getting Real about Social Media Marketing" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Rosalea Peters, Senior Operations Coordinator & Trainer at WEO Media
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimation, online reputation management and more. This month, he sits down with Rosalea Peters from WEO Media, to talk about social media marketing in dental practices.
Q: We read and hear quite a bit about social media in dental practices. What's new in social media?
A: Facebook is still on an active growth trend. It's still the most popular social network worldwide, bringing the total audience to 1.71 billion users. Read the whole article here.
Dental Economics : September 2016
"The 2016 Best of Class Technology Awards" by Chris Salierno, DDS and Dr. Lou Shuman
This is the closest thing dentistry has to the Academy Awards. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, president and CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, launched the Best of Class Technology Awards eight years ago. A panel consisting of Drs. John Flucke, Paul Feuerstein, Parag Kachalia, and Martin Jablow review the latest developments from dental companies and determine the best of the best. I sat down with Lou to get an idea of what trends he and his panel are seeing.
CS: There has been an explosion of dental technology and material science over the past 15 or so years. You and the Cellerant Best of Class review committee members are some of the most knowledgeable on trends for innovation in dentistry. What's your sense for where we are right now? Are you still seeing a lot of exciting new technology coming out of the pipeline? Continue reading the full article.
Inside Dentistry : Special Issue
"2016 Cellerant Best of Class Winners"
An Interview With Lou Shuman
2016 marks the eighth year of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards (formerly Pride Best of Class Awards). Inside Dentistry’s Editor-in-Chief, Bob Margeas, DDS, sat down with Cellerant Consulting President/CEO and founder of the Awards, Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, to discuss these unique laurels.
BOB MARGEAS, DDS: Lou, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. I think the first question on everyone’s minds is, “Why Cellerant?”
LOU SHUMAN, DMD, CAGS: So it’s important to know that the award is exactly the same; we’ve just changed our name. I’m honored and privileged to have been the president of the Pride Institute and to have had the Award start there. As most of the audience knows, the Pride Institute is a steeped-in-tradition, 35-plus-year-old practice management company dedicated to the growth and development of the individual practitioner. Once there, I was approached based on the success I’d had at Align Technology and was asked to help develop a growth strategy for a company. Pretty soon that turned into four, eight, 14 companies looking for help with growth and development. At that point I sat down with my partner Amy Morgan and said, “I think it’s time to spin this off.” She was wonderfully supportive, and I launched Cellerant Consulting, which is dedicated to growing companies at every level. Since I was the founder of the Best of Class Technology Award, it transitioned with me to Cellerant. Again, it’s the same process, the same everything, just a different name. Read the entire interview.
Dental Products Report : Tech Alert
"7 things your practice needs to know about the new Facebook business page" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Ian McNickle, MBA
FACEBOOK HAS MADE SOME CHANGES to business pages, which could mean changes for your dental practice's social media marketing strategy. In our column last month, we discussed several updates related to Facebook, including the Newsfeed algorithm for getting seen, and a new search feature being tested. This month we are continuing with Facebook since they just rolled out a big new change.
Have you looked at your Facebook business page lately? If not, you should take a look. Facebook quietly rolled out a new business page design that will impact the layout of your page. It is essential practices keep up with the constant changes in social media, and this is the latest example of why people need to stay on top of their social media marketing efforts. Read more...
Dental Products Report : Tech Alert
"How to use Facebook to successfully market your dental practice" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Ian McNickle, MBA
IN OUR COLUMN LAST MONTH, we discussed the importance and impact of using videos in your online marketing. We reviewed options for hosting videos, which types of videos are effective for dental marketing and how to extract the most marketing value from your videos. This month we will discuss recent developments and trends on Facebook.
It should be no surprise that the largest social media site on the planet continues to change and innovate at a rapid pace. It has been very interesting to monitor recent developments, and understand their impact for dental practice marketing. Read more...
Dental Products Report : Tech Alert
"How videos improve online marketing" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Ian McNickle, MBA
IN OUR COLUMN LAST MONTH we reviewed tips on how to get the most out of your web presence. We explained how to optimize elements of your website code, the importance of a website sitemap and fresh ongoing content updates, understanding backlinks and why you should be active on social media. This month we will explore the importance and impact of videos on your online marketing performance. Read more about how videos improve online marketing result
Dental Products Report : On The Cover
"Bring On the Change" by Dr. John Flucke
EVERY YEAR, THE MEMBERS OF THE BEST OF CLASS voting panel get together in Chicago during the Chicago Dental Society’s annual Midwinter Meeting. The idea is to discuss the “latest and greatest” our profession has to offer and then vote on what we feel is truly the “Best of Class” in our profession. The meeting is always fun and the discussions/debates are frequently spirited. In many cases, a member may believe strongly in a particular technology category, but also feel very strongly about support of a certain manufacturer. This can lead to debates about which features are most important, which devices are worth extra costs, etc. Since all of the panel members are also friends, it means we’re not afraid to speak our minds and/ or clash a bit over topics. This helps make the process more genuine and helps ensure that you, the reader, get the best possible results when it comes time for us to issue our final decisions. Read more on page 5.
Dental Products Report : From The Board
"New Name for BOC, same great honor" by Dr. Lou Shuman
IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE that this is the eighth year for the Best of Class Technology awards. Before the big news, let me start by thanking DPR’s Editorial Director Kevin Henry and former Editorial Director Thais Carter for their unending support, which has allowed me to realize a vision in trying to make a difference in dentistry. In this case, the creation of an award that’s priority is its integrity and reputation defined by a selection process that is rigorous, unbiased and nonprofit. Driven by a selection committee that truly defines THE leadership in technology in the field of dentistry, Drs. John Flucke, Marty Jablow, Paul Feuerstein and Parag Kachalia, the award’s significance has grown dramatically over the years. Most importantly it’s an award that has become the trusted “go-to” list for dental practices seeking technology products that provide the greatest benefit to the practitioner and their patients. Read more on page 14...
Dental Products Report : Event Exclusive
"The Best of Class advisory board announces the 2016 recipients." compiled by Stephanie Skernivitz
THE DEVELOPMENT, ENHANCEMENT, AND ADVANCEMENT OF NEW PRODUCTS and technologies is happening at a rapid pace on a daily basis, and innovations in the dental industry are no exception. Products in this market are designed to make your job easier, ease practice management burdens and boost patient care and treatment. As with anything, there are always products that stand out. In this case, we’re talking about recipients of our eighth annual Best of Class awards, this year renamed the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. The name change reflects the vision of Dr. Lou Shuman, Best of Class founder and Dental Products Report Advisory Board Member and his commitment to his new business, Cellerant Consulting Group, which is dedicated to the corporate consulting sector.
Accompanying the name change is a sponsorship and logo change as well. We recognize 18 products in this issue, with a spotlight on each product, as well as testimonials from users, many of whom are likely your peers, who can attest to these products’ viability and functionality in practice. Dental thought leaders, according to Dr. Shuman, have revealed what they deem as best of the best on the pages that follow. We invite you to spend some time perusing what he describes as this year’s “go-to” list of tech products that offer high value to the practitioner and the patient —products that in his words, “will truly make a difference.” Read more on page 38...
Dental Products Report : Tech Alert
"6 simple steps to great SEO" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Ian McNickle, MBA
IN OUR COLUMN LAST MONTH, we wrote: “Over the next few issues we will provide specific takeaways in reference to: 1) optimizing videos 2) creating proper title tags and meta descriptions, 3) Facebook tips; 4) Improving your SEO performance thus raising your Google rankings; and 5) Provide tips on getting better performance in your pay per clicks. In keeping with that plan, this month we are going to focus on numbers two and four.
In order to raise your Google rankings through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance, you need to have a clear understanding of what SEO is. To do this, we’re going to divide SEO into its two parts: Search Engine and Optimization. Click here for the full May article from Dental Products Report.
Dental Products Report : Tech Alert
"The role of the dental team in online marketing" by Dr. Lou Shuman and Ian McNickle, MBA
IT IS WITH GREAT EXCITEMENT that we announce the initiation of a new monthly column featuring Dr. Lou Shuman, the President and CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group known for his expertise in Internet strategy, strategic relations, emerging technologies, digital marketing methods and operational practice management. Also contributing on a regular basis is Ian McNickle, co-owner of WEO Media dental marketing firm. Throughout the year, the column will focus on online marketing, social media and website tips, to help readers learn the true definition of online success and gain a clear understanding of what an online marketing company should be providing. Additionally, we hope this information will help give readers the knowledge to confidently commit a monetary investment to both grow a new patient base and maintain a strong relationship with an existing one. This information will be provided in this column and in Dr. Shuman’s blog on our website, “The Social Media Minute.” Click here for the full April article from Dental Products Report.