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Texas Practice Achieves Success with Total Health Dentistry Vision

Issue: Fall 2016
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Winning Smiles Family Dentistry–Alvin, Texas

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The office design was based on the results of a patient questionnaire, and it focuses on providing an anxiety-free experience that’s evident from the moment a patient steps into the reception area with its plentiful seating and complimentary beverage station.

Dr. Christopher Hoffpauir became a dentist because of an experience he had as a patient 15 years ago. As a young man about to be married, he visited a dentist for lingering tooth pain. The tooth was ultimately pulled, but what he discovered in the aftermath was the ongoing pain had negatively affected his daily life without him even realizing it. When he finally found relief, the difference was so dramatic, he decided at that moment to return to school and become a dentist himself!

That inspiring story is why Dr. Hoffpauir opened his own practice, Winning Smiles Family Dentistry in Alvin, Texas, a rural area near Houston—and it is why he is so passionate about the effect of oral health on overall health and wellness. “I wanted to practice dentistry in the way I believed it could be practiced,” he began. “I wanted to be more than a tooth mechanic; I wanted to be an oral physician.”

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Every patient is X-rayed with the i-CAT FLX Cone Beam imaging system, as part of the doctor’s total dentistry practice. Several patients have been alerted to life-threatening illnesses because of this precise imaging.

Planning For a New Office Began In Dental School
Armed with a clear purpose, the doctor did not wait to begin setting his plans in motion. While still in his first year of dental school, he began conversations with various dental companies and found Henry Schein to be the bestthey send it coded fit. Field Sales Consultant Chris Bell helped guide Dr. Hoffpauir through options and decision-making as he considered how to structure his dental career.

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“Henry Schein operated with integrity, which was important in my decision to choose them to build my new practice.” The doctor continued, “They helped me choose a realtor, a contract lawyer, and a contractor.”

“Patients often tell us that no one has ever made them so much a part of their own treatment planning. They love feeling that they know what is going on and making decisions about their health care themselves!” confirmed Dr. Hoffpauir.

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Featured prominently behind glass, the sterilization center, with a separate entrance and exit, is across the hall from the treatment rooms and attached to the onsite lab.

Dr. Hoffpauir chose to locate his practice in a highly visible shopping mall along the I-35 corridor, which leads commuters directly into downtown Houston, just 25 miles northwest.

The interior design of the 1,850-square-foot practice was based on results of a questionnaire that asked 300 patients about what caused stress and anxiety in dental offices.

“Our office interior is designed to soothe,” said Dr. Hoffpauir. “From our leather massage chairs to the coffee and juice bar, the entire design was patient guided.”

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The closed bay operatories feature plush massage chairs, LED lights, and cabinetry from Pelton & Crane. The PlanScan digital impression technology is faster and more comfortable than traditional impressions.

The waiting area is spacious, with warm earth tones and pendant lighting pointing patients to the check-in desk. A hot drink maker provides a wide array of beverage choices, or patients can help themselves to a cold drink from the beverage cooler.

Once patients pass through the doors into the clinical area, the workflow and the physical design of the space align perfectly. Each new patient’s first stop is receiving a cone beam CT scan using the i-CAT FLX imaging system, one of the doctor’s most recent technology purchases. The next stop is one of four closed-bay operatories further down the hall. Across the way, a large sterilization room with a connected lab sits in the center of the office, visible to patients through a large glass window. A spacious employee lounge and a private office are at the end of the hallway.

“I began my practice with a 3M True Definition digital scanner, DEXIS digital X-ray sensors, Dentrix Practice Management Software, and an ACTEON SoproLIFE intraoral camera,” said the doctor, summarizing his technology investments. “I recently added the Planmeca FIT CAD/CAM system along with the i-CAT FLX Cone Beam imaging system.”

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3D cone beam images are shown to patients when brought into the consultation room to discuss treatment planning. The office also chose Dentrix Ascend, a cloud-based practice management sysytem, so patient images can be accessed from any monitor in the practice for optimal productivity.
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Technology Saves Lives As It Provides Superior Care
This investment in sophisticated technology is stunning for a start-up office, but it provides the tools to help Dr. Hoffpauir deliver more comprehensive, accurate care.

“Each week [using the cone beam imaging system], we find something life changing for our patients,” explained the doctor. “In one patient, I found sinus cancer that had metastasized from the liver; the patient sent us a letter of thanks for giving her more years with her toddler. Most recently, I found a complete blockage of the carotid artery. It has truly changed the scope of our practice. We are doing good dentistry and saving lives!”

Perhaps less dramatic but just as important: the technology provides a superior patient experience. Digital impressions are more precise and easier for patients to tolerate than the traditional method.

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After a stop in the imaging alcove on the left, patients receive care in one of the four treatment rooms, equipped with Pelton & Crane 1800 chairs and Renaissance cabinets.

“We can now do guided implant dentistry and same-day crowns,” said Dr. Hoffpauir. “Patients love it. In addition, we offer sleep-apnea screening and appliances. We are truly making a difference in people’s lives!”

DEXIS sensors allow X-rays that are more comfortable and faster. And with the office interconnected through the Dentrix Practice Management Software system, all of the digital images are stored in the patient’s file and can be displayed on-screen for discussions about next steps.

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Left to Right: Michael Herrin, Regional Manager; Chris Bell, Field Sales Consultant; Chris Lee, Digital Technology Specialist; Dr. Christopher Hoffpauir; Casey Schulin, Equipment Sales Specialist; Lorin Lewis, CAD/CAM Specialist

“Patients often tell us that no one has ever made them so much a part of their own treatment planning. They love feeling that they know what is going on and making decisions about their health care themselves!” confirmed Dr. Hoffpauir.

Another benefit to the robust technology at Winning Smiles is that it has allowed the doctor to expand the services he is offering to patients.

It is not just the patients who enjoy what the technology offers; the practice has transformed from a fledging start-up to a successful, busy practice in a very short time.

“We see between 50 and 78 new patients per month,” noted Dr. Hoffpauir. “We have recently added a second hygienist because we were booked out two months in advance. We are on track to do a million in production, and much of this is due to Henry Schein. They helped us to set ourselves apart from the rest of the local dentists.”