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Growing Practice in the “City of Fountains” Always Ahead of Its Time

Issue: Spring 2016
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North Kansas City Dental

Kansas City, Missouri

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North Kansas City Dental is located in the heart of the city, and is a good neighbor to those in the community. The now 3,000 square-foot practice provides patients with same-day restorations and more opportunity for specialized treatment.

When Dr. Bill Busch opened North Kansas City Dental in 1991, he had a clear vision of what he wanted the multispecialty practice to be: a completely high-tech, paperless office. In fact, while he was still in dental school and long before the technology was fully developed, he wondered how he could centralize everything, including patient X-rays, into an electronic format. Additionally, he felt it was essential that he spend time with his patients and develop lasting relationships with them so they truly felt their concerns were being addressed. Little did he know that his forward-thinking investments in technology would actually be the driving force behind delivering more personalized care to his patients.

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In the modern reception area, patients can help themselves to beverages or relax in comfortable upholstered chairs and watch the flat screen television while they wait.

Dr. Busch expanded his practice gradually and upgraded the technology, piece by piece, as it was introduced into the industry. He owned one of the first rudimentary practice management systems, and he purchased DEXIS digital sensors as soon as they became available in 1993. Over time, as North Kansas City Dental grew, patients often waited as long as three months for an appointment. As satisfying as it was to be successful, it was also frustrating to Dr. Busch that he could not provide more timely, individualized care to his patients. Additional technologies, including a CAD/CAM system, streamlined his workflow and freed up more of his time, but they also attracted new patients interested in the conveniences and comforts they offered. It became obvious that the only way to ease the long wait times and increase capacity was to expand the space and add treatment rooms.

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Dentrix practice management software brings together patient data and digital images into one central hub that can be accessed from any room in the practice.

The doctor owned the vacant land next door and in 2014, he built an addition to his existing building and added five more operatories, increasing the square footage of the practice to 3,000 square feet.

When he made the decision to move forward with construction, he contacted his long-time Henry Schein team, Equipment Sales Specialist Kevin Crawford and Field Sales Consultant Tim Griffin.

“The process was fast, efficient, and I didn’t have to close the office once during construction,” recalled Dr. Busch.

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The five newly added operatories are used as hygiene rooms, and they are outfitted with Midmark chairs, rear and side cabinets, and lights.

Mr. Crawford described the new space: “There are five hygiene rooms in the new addition, and it has its own reception area and front desk for easy check-in and checkout. The rectangular space is fully functional and designed so beautifully.”

Dentrix practice management software brings both the existing and new sides of the office together in a single, powerful hub of patient information, accessible to every staff member, regardless of where they are working. Dr. Busch estimates he and his team use only about 20% of Dentrix’s many features because it is so robust and powerful.

“There are five hygiene rooms in the new addition, and it has its own reception area and front desk for easy check-in and check-out. The rectangular space is fully functional and designed so beautifully.”

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A separate check-out area gives patients greater privacy to discuss treatment and billing matters and streamlines the workflow, so the front desk can help both arriving and departing patients more quickly.

Expansion Features Compact, Efficient Layout
The new addition, awash in warm tan hues, is as elegant as it is efficient. The stacked-stone accent wall serves as a focal point in the reception area, and the varying shades of brown with touches of blue in both the upholstered chairs and tiles embedded in the reception desk create interest. A frosted door that leads back to the treatment rooms adds a sleek, modern touch while ensuring privacy for patients receiving treatment. Five open-bay treatment rooms line one side of a long corridor in the new addition with the business office and staff lounge located across the hall. In the back hall, a walk-by sterilization area holds the practice’s Planmeca CAD/CAM milling unit. A private office is tucked behind the sterilization area.

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The walk-through sterilization area makes the most of a compact space with a Midmark M11 and M3 autoclaves built into fitted spaces. Across the hallway, the Planmeca PlanMill 40 is used every day creating in-house restorations for same-day dentistry.

The operatories are inviting, with luxurious massage chairs in neutral metallic gold leather. The chairs, side cabinetry, rear-delivery units, and lights are all by Midmark, and monitors allow patients to see X-rays and digital images as they learn about their treatment plans.

Greater Square Footage and Technology Drive Up Productivity
Dr. Busch already owned most of the cutting-edge technology that filled the office before the build out, but with more space available, he can now offer supplementary services to patients using that technology. He points specifically to three pieces of equipment that have had the greatest impact on his practice: the i-CAT FLX Cone Beam CT system, the Planmeca FIT CAD/CAM system, and the 3Shape TRIOS scanner.

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Dr. Busch’s digital impressioning scanners have increased his efficiency and shortened workflow, and additionally attracted new patients who can’t tolerate traditional impressions. For multiple-unit restorations still fabricated by an outside lab, Dr. Busch uses Digital Dental Exchange (DDX) to send the scans electronically.

“With the i-CAT FLX, we can now offer airway studies, and I believe it can add $2 million to a practice if it’s done right,” the doctor noted.

Another in-demand procedure is same-day restorations. Patients love the option to have a permanent restoration placed in a single visit because it fits into their lives more easily. It is also a smart way to practice dentistry because it frees up chair time, allowing the office to see additional patients.

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The i-CAT FLX is one of three key pieces of technology that Dr. Busch credits with the growth of his practice. He now offers sleep studies, facilitated by the cone beam unit, and believes this service can boost a doctor’s profitability significantly.

“With same-day restorations, you recoup 16 to 24 hours each month because patients aren’t coming back for a second visit that you aren’t being paid for,” said Dr. Busch. “We do 75% of our restorative work onsite with the Planscan CAD/CAM milling unit, and we send the other 20% of cases to our lab over the web using Henry Schein’s Digital Dental Exchange (DDX).”

The latest piece of technology the doctor purchased for North Kansas City Dental is the 3Shape Trios intraoral scanner, which captures exceptional digital impressions without the need for traditional impressions. “The digital scanner has shortened up our workflow by at least 35%,” confirmed Dr. Busch, who is in the process of building a plasterless dental lab.

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Left to Right: Dr. Bill Busch; James Harris, Equipment Service Technician; Tim Griffin, Field Sales Consultant; Patty Yeater, Equipment Coordinator. (Not Pictured: Kevin Crawford, Equipment Sales Specialist)

“Technology integration has definitely increased everything about my practice—from collections to production—by at least 30%,” he continued. “The new expansion has also helped us to grow to 8,000 active patients, and we’ve seen a 15% boost in referrals.”

When Dr. Busch, the official dentist for the Kansas City Chiefs, is asked what he is most proud of, perhaps, not surprisingly, he answers it is the technology he offers. He admits he feels lucky to be a dentist in a time in which so many advances have been introduced, and he is especially grateful for the experience that technology provides to his patients.

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Everything in the operatories, including the plush Midmark dental chairs with massage, is designed to enhance patient comfort and operational efficiency. Monitors on the rear delivery allow Dr. Busch and the staff to efficiently view patient charts and X-rays while working on patients.

“From the minute they walk into North Kansas City Dental to when they leave, our patients are wrapped in an unbelievable paperless, digital, friction-free experience,” Dr. Busch determined. He has accomplished what he had envisioned for so long: owning a thriving high-tech, high-touch dental practice in the heart of the Midwest.