by Christopher Piehler

Christopher Piehler

Welcome to Orthodontic Products’ Special Issue 2009. Longtime readers may have noticed that this is not our usual April/May issue. This year we are publishing in both April and May, with this extra volume fully sponsored by 3M Unitek. That means you get 10% more of the OP you know and love for the recession-friendly price of $0.

Speaking of the economy (and everyone seems to be), there’s no question that millions of Americans have been hit hard by job and investment losses. But times of turmoil are also times of opportunity. As clinicians and small business owners, right now is an ideal time for orthodontists to take stock (no pun or financial advice intended).

Just as our country is confronting basic questions about how its financial institutions should interact with their customers and their government, now is a great time for you to take a closer look at the fundamental assumptions about how you run your practice.

You can read and subscribe to our financial tips e-newsletter, Money Matters

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, “Why do I …”

  • Market my practice the way that I do?
  • Treat the number of patients that I do?
  • Set up my schedule the way that I do?
  • Offer the financing options that I do?
  • Employ the number of staff members that I do?
  • Delegate to my staff as much or as little as I do?
  • Use the same treatment philosophy or appliance that I’ve been using for decades?

It could be that, after answering these questions as honestly as you can, you decide that things are going pretty darn well and nothing needs to change. If so, congratulations.

If not, you can move on to the harder (and more fun) part: overhauling or fine-tuning your practice so that it becomes more efficient and harmonious for yourself, your patients, and your staff—and if this happens to help you earn a bit more, all the better.

I wish you all the best of luck, and if you make it to the AAO meeting in Boston, please come by our booth and say hello.

Christopher Piehler