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Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry. Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.Scheduling

As a professional, you’re selling your time and expertise. How you manage your time is a key factor in your practice success. With this in mind, there has been a lot of study directed toward helping dental practices maximize their scheduling efficiency.

In fact, there are a number of computer programs and consultants that work with practices to counsel them on best practices for efficiency.

But before you can take full advantage of these services and products, you have to have a basic understanding of what makes an efficient practice. Here are some considerations:

1. Break things down. If your year’s goal for your practice is $1 million in revenue, consider what that means for each day’s production. Then consider how different areas within your practice contribute—cleaning and hygiene, for example. Look at your daily goals, your monthly goals, and your yearly goal, and see how you’re shaping up.

2. Time yourself and your staff. Look at how long it takes to do different procedures, and then compare that with industry averages. If you take longer than average to do something, look at why—is it an equipment issue? A staff issue? A personal preference? Use this information to determine your practice’s strengths and weakness, and how they affect scheduling.

3. Review and critique your performance periodically. That goes for everyone in the practice. Seek suggestions on ways to improve—and reach out beyond your practice to look at what other dentists do to make their practices more efficient.

Questions? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website.

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Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how Jumping for Joyshe’s doing with Invisalign® invisible braces, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

Last week I picked up trays 4-6 of a set of 12. During my visit, it has been confirmed that my stubborn canine is on the move! That’s exciting! This means, this may be my last set of revisions. So now, I really am in the home stretch of treatment.

During my treatment, I have definitely had some ups and downs. However, it has all been worth it. I am definitely more confident. I used to cover my mouth when I smiled to hide my teeth. Now, I smile wide and often! I am so pleased with the results so far.

I would be content if my treatment ended today. Knowing I have 3 more months is exciting because if I’m pleased with the results today, imagine how excited I will be when it’s all over!

Invisalign has definitely changed my life for the better. I look forward to seeing the end result. Thank you for continuing to follow my Invisalign journey. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have. AND IF you’re making your Christmas list, add Invisalign from Charlotte Dentistry to the TOP.

For those of you who may not know, Charlotte Dentistry and Dr. Thomas Armstrong were the FIRST Charlotte area dentists to achieve TOP honors for Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® orthodontics. Having treated more 2000 patients with Invisalign, Dr. Armstrong is the most experienced Invisalign Elite Preferred Provider in North Carolina and ranks in the TOP 1% of Invisalign providers in the nation!

Unlike traditional metal braces that everyone can see, Invisalign is completely invisible and undetectable. Plus, Invisalign will not hold you back because you can completely remove your aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss. You will also enjoy the comfort of not feeling irritation to your gums and cheeks because unlike metal braces, Invisalign has smooth edges.

Charlotte Dentistry also regularly has special offers on Invisalign, and these can save you money.  To learn more, simply visit our Invisalign page by clicking HERE

Oral rinses, or mouthwashes, have a variety of purposes. Some are cosmetic in nature and offer only a fresh breath. Others are used to whiten teeth. Many others are used therapeutically, to fight gum disease, kill bacteria, control plaque and tartar, and to prevent cavities.  Your doctor or dentist may also prescribe special oral rinses to deal with specific issue such as thrush or to promote healing after surgery.

The effectiveness of oral rinses is a subject of significant debate, although research shows that most have benefits.  But it’s important to remember that oral rinses by themselves are not a substitute for other oral hygiene.  It’s still important to brush and floss—in fact, these are still typically more important than using oral rinses.

And remember that most effects of oral rinses are temporary—they can mask bad breath, for example, but typically only for a few hours.  If you have persistent bad breath, it may be caused by infection or other condition, and you should promptly consult your dentist or a physician.

However, when used in conjunction with proper brushing and flossing, or if prescribed by your dentist or doctor for a specific condition, oral rinses can be a very important tool for helping you have a healthy mouth and a bright smile.

Have a question?  Use the “Ask the Expert” feature on our website, or give us a call.

Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign® invisible braces, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

Dr. Armstrong has stated from the very beginning, that canines can be very stubborn. Well, he was right! My canine (tooth #11), is definitely taking its time!

This week, I picked up trays 1-3 out of a set of 12. That’s right—no typo—12 new trays.  I have a new set of 12 for this one stubborn tooth. So, it looks like we have another 6 months to go. The ride continues. It looks like my 18-month Invisalign ride has been extended to 2 years.

No complaints here though! I am willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

My sister completed her Invisalign treatment earlier this year. Her orthodontist gave her all her trays up front. I couldn’t understand why Dr. Armstrong and Charlotte Dentistry only gave me 3 trays at a time. But now I know why.

Having all the trays up front can make it tempting to change the trays sooner than every 2 weeks to get faster results. If your teeth move too fast, it can cause root damage. I don’t want root damage, so have followed—and continue to follow—the doctor’s orders and wear each tray for the full 2 weeks.

During this ride, I have become much more disciplined in my oral health. I am very diligent about flossing and brushing after every meal. I also brush my trays before I put them back in my mouth. Keeping a clean, healthy mouth is very important especially when wearing Invisalign. Invisalign fits your teeth like a glove. So, if your teeth are not clean, it is easier for bacteria to grow, which can create cavities (not to mention bad breath.)

So the road to my beautiful smile just got a little longer. However, I’m so excited to see the end result!

I hope you all continue to follow my ongoing Invisalign ride! I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.  Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.

Congratulations!  You’ve completed your dental degree and passed your licensing exam.Grand Opening

What do you do now?

Starting a dental practice is a daunting task, because you face the challenge of building a patient base, acquiring equipment, working with staff, and learning about the business aspects of a practice.

Many brand-new dentists choose to join an established practice while learning more about the business and building a base of satisfied patients.  Over the years, Charlotte Dentistry has helped many fine professionals begin their careers this way.  Some have even chosen to say to continue to contribute to our organization’s growth.  The big advantage of this is that you’re not having to invest in a whole new office (especially on top of dental school loans), and you get the benefit of being mentored by experienced dentists who have been in practice for many years.

But some young dentists may choose to build their own dental office from day one.  There are resources that can help; states or cities may provide incentives to work in remote locations where dentists haven’t been available so that residents have access to care.  In some cases, new dentists can work off student loan debt or get equipment by agreeing to work in these communities for a certain period of time.

Other organizations, such as the military and the Veterans Administration, may also provide incentives—and a starting point—for a dentist fresh out of school.

There are numerous ways to build a practice, and for good professionals, following good business models will lead to success and a rewarding career.

Need to bounce your thoughts off a successful professional, visit “Ask The Expert” to receive sound business management suggestions.

Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.

Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.

We believe dentistry to be a fantastic career opportunity (in fact, experts suggest that we may have a shortage of dentists in a few years).  For the right person, dental school can be a challenging and rewarding time.Dental School

How do you prepare?

If you’ve made the decision to go to dental school, you’re already immersed in the courses you need to qualify.  But it doesn’t hurt to also prepare physically and psychologically for the challenge.

Like most professional disciplines, dental school demands great personal responsibility, and it’s designed to weed out students who aren’t willing to put in the work and focus to become a dentist.

Most dental school programs are three to four years in length.  If you’re pursing a specialty like orthodontics or surgery, there may be additional years of course work to achieve these advanced degrees.

During dental school, you’ll spend lots of time in lab courses, building skills in biomedical sciences AND in specific practice areas like dental imaging and dentures.

In your later years, you’ll begin working with patients in clinical projects under the supervision of dentists.  You’ll perform treatments like cleaning and filling.  And you’ll be taught the business aspects of a dental practice.

Once your coursework is complete, you’re ready to take the examinations to earn your license, and begin your career as a DDS or DMD. What to know the difference, click here.

Need to know more?  Feel free to use the “Ask The Expert” feature of our website to get answers.  Or check the education section of the American Dental Association website here.

Invisalign Elite TOP 1%Taquana “Tabby” Sears: My Invisalign® Ride: And The Ride Goes On. . .

Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign® invisible braces, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

At last weeks visit, I picked up trays 7-9. HOPEFULLY these are the last trays to complete my Invisalign journey. The one stubborn tooth has finally begun to move and make some real progress! I can definitely see the positioning of this tooth improving.

This has been an incredible ride. People who don’t know I have been wearing Invisalign still can’t tell. I constantly get compliments on my smile!
People always ask, “Who IS your dentist?” I proudly say with my new smile beaming – “Dr. Armstrong at Charlotte Dentistry is MY dentist and I love what he and Invisalign have accomplished with my smile!”

Since I’m an adult working in the Charlotte corporate scene, I know Invisalign was definitely the right choice for me as opposed to non-removable braces. I can conduct meetings without my braces being a distraction. Also, Invisalign doesn’t cut or scrap lips, gum and inside of your cheeks as wire braces tend to do.
This entire journey has been with almost NO discomfort. Yes, in the beginning, there were times when I experienced a good amount of tightness. This was typically on the first day I changed out to a new tray. However, the next day, all was fine again. The tightness would decrease and I was totally fine! No complaints from me. I am thoroughly pleased with the results I have today. Looking forward to continuing life with my new beautiful smile!

Thinking about getting Invisalign? Drop me line. I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
You can also get answers on Invisalign by using the “Ask The Expert” feature on the Charlotte Dentistry website. Click here.

Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign®, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

I hoped on this visit that I would be completely finished with my Invisalign treatment.  But I’m not quite there yet.

I learned that one of my upper teeth—number 11—is being very stubborn. New upper trays are needed to move this tooth into proper alignment. AlignerMy bottom teeth are perfect, so I’m very happy about that.
In the past, to get new trays, the dentist would have to take messy, putty like impressions of my teeth (that sometime make you gag). But time it was different—and really cool!

Charlotte Dentistry has a great new piece of equipment, the iTero Digital Impression machine. It takes 3-D images of my teeth. As the pictures are taken, they appear on a computer screen and even tell the operator if the tooth or area needs to be re-scanned.  It built a 3D model of my teeth right before my eyes!

VERY high-tech.

And the accuracy of the models made from these 3-D images is better than regular impressions. The new trays should arrive in 4 weeks. So the Invisalign ride goes on…..

Dr. Armstrong did some smoothing and shaping of a few teeth and also provided bleaching solution and instructions on how to use it. Now I will have a BRIGHT white, straight smile!

The Charlotte Dentistry team and Dr. Armstrong have made my Invisalign journey a wonderful experience. I’m so pleased with the result so far. I can hardly wait to see the finished product – MY beautiful smile!

I’m always glad to share my experience so if you’re considering orthodontics, drop me a line!

The 2012 Faith, Family, and Freedom Celebration concert will be held Saturday, June 23 at zMax Dragway at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Celebration is sponsored by Charlotte Dentistry and the Billy Graham Library.

The musical lineup includes Building 429, Mark Schultz, Big Daddy Weave, Sidewalk Prophets and Grammy Award winner Laura Story.

Tickets are $5 for reserved seating and $15 for artist circle. Gates open at 4pm and the concert begins at 6pm followed by a huge Fireworks show!! The concert will go on, rain or shine (but no umbrellas are allowed so be sure to pack a poncho!).

Concert goers are allowed to bring in two unopened bottles of water each. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office or click HERE.

Tabby SearsTaquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign®, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

I am pleased to say I picked up my last 3 trays during my last dental visit.  So, my 18-month Invisalign® ride is coming into the home stretch. It looks like I have just about 6 weeks left!

This has been an incredible ride! It has been a joy seeing my smile change with each set of trays. I’m so pleased when I look in the mirror at how straight my smile has become.

Through this journey, I’ve learned some valuable things about my teeth and myself.  I’ve learned to be disciplined in my choices.  No matter how much I wanted to remove my trays during the day, remembering they’re not working if they’re not in my mouth, made me more willing to keep them in my mouth as much as possible!  AND the results show that it does work.

I’ve learned to make healthier, smarter choices about the foods I eat.  I hardly ever snack on “junk food” during the day. The sugary beverages are gone. Did you realize that drinking a soft drink was the equivalent of giving your teeth a sugar bath?!? The Invisalign® trays fit snugly so it’s very important to stay away from sugary snacks and drinks. No one wants cavities!

As I move thru these last 3 trays, I feel really good about my smile and what Invisalign® and Charlotte Dentistry® has accomplished for me. Remember, follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong!

Got questions, drop me a line and I’ll respond promptly. Or Ask The Expert HERE

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