Running a dental practice is a lot like being the captain of a ship. Sure, your skill in steering and navigating through the clinical waters is vital. You need a steady hand and a keen eye for the health and smiles of your patients.
But, there's more to it than just the day-to-day operations and your expertise in fillings, crowns, and cleanings.
It's about the bigger picture — managing your practice in a way that not only keeps the lights on but also ensures it thrives.
This includes everything from getting the best deals on dental supplies to learning new tricks of the trade and connecting with others in the field.
One of the best tools for this? Dental trade shows and conferences.
Yes, we get it. Your schedule is packed. Between back-to-back appointments and the constant pursuit of perfection in patient care, where's the time to jet off to a conference?
Before we jump into the why and how these events can be game-changers for your practice, let's take a moment to understand the challenge of making room for them in your bustling schedule.
It can seem impossible to peel yourself away from your dental practice. You’re passionate about patient care, and it might seem irresponsible not to be present when your practice is open.
Many owners are the only practicing dentists within the practice, so sacrificing a workday can mean there’s a bunch of potential patients (and, let’s be honest, revenue) you’re turning away.
The very notion of “abandoning” your practice for even a day might give you anxiety. This rings doubly true for dentists with young, still-growing practices. You have a reputation you aim to build and must be around, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
What if we were to tell you that growing your practice means taking time away from it?
That doesn’t mean staying home and binge-watching Netflix (although blocking off such time can help stave off burnout).
Instead, we’re circling back to the notion of viewing your role as a practice owner (or manager) beyond the clinical component of dental care. This means moving past your patient’s mouths and thinking big-picture about business growth.
Attending trade shows and conferences is the definition of being business-minded, whether you send an administrative team member or hygienist or block off time in your own schedule.
Let’s delve into the many benefits of attending dental trade shows and conferences and how they can help take your practice to the next level.
This section will explore the following five benefits of attending dental trade shows and conferences:
These benefits (the main subjects of this article) will build your practice, fine-tune your processes, and, most importantly, help sustain growth for years to come.
Dentistry is a unique industry, but running a practice has many similarities to running all other enterprises.
According to LinkedIn, networking is a core fundamental of sustained business success and growth, enabling business leaders to make and nourish fruitful connections with partners, suppliers, and clients. This opens you up to a sea of opportunities, driving profits and overall momentum.
When you network at a dental conference or trade show, you get your business and brand in front of relevant eyes. This raises awareness, informing crucial players that you’re in their ecosystem.
You have control over these interactions. You can present your practice how you want, conveying the image most conducive to enhancing your bottom line.
Connecting with other practices and industry-adjacent businesses (like suppliers) will yield many development opportunities. Whether through partnerships or making an industry connection who’ll do you favours in a pinch, these connections inevitably pay off.
Networking is often the key to the other advantages discussed in this article.
For example, the industry connections you’ll make will keep you better informed of emerging technological trends, upskilling opportunities, and more.
We spoke earlier about how clinical skills are only one part of running a practice. This statement was never meant to downplay the importance of this facet.
More to the point, you can’t legally run a dental practice without board-certified clinical skills.
Taking it one step further, a highly upskilled team is an absolute must in today’s climate. Thriving in business means distinguishing your practice from industry competitors. While streamlined administrative processes and savvy marketing skills have their role, exceptional clinical abilities will do much of the talking.
Thus, attending conferences and trade shows to earn continuing education credits and upskill your team of dentists, assistants, or hygienists will prove crucial to your practice’s future.
There’s a definitive confidence gained from attending specialized clinical sessions or hands-on workshops where new procedures and practical skills are learned.
On top of your team’s growing self-assuredness comes an enhanced skill set that ensures you’ll provide superior care to patients. When patients trust your clinicians’ abilities, word spreads, and revenues will increase.
We’ll address the topic of diversity in this section.
There’s racial and gender diversity in the workplace, which has widespread economic and business benefits.
That said, we’re discussing diversity through a different lens — the diversity of ideas.
When you’re surrounded by the same people day in and day out, you end up in a kind of intellectual loop.
This isn’t a knock on your team members. You’ve hired exceptional workers and thinkers who are constantly seeking methods to improve care.
Still, many other exceptional workers and thinkers are out there, and you can harness their fresh perspectives by applying them to your practice. These diverse ideas can be accessed and digested at dental trade shows and conferences.
There are two primary ways fresh perspectives can benefit your practice:
There’s no denying it. Tech makes us more productive and efficient. It also enables us to do things we’ve never done before.
You can leverage these innovations by getting in on the ground floor at trade shows and conferences. Adopting dental technology is often game-changing for practices, whether it helps you better manage inventory, maintain your equipment, or perform procedures more effectively.
Not all tech is created equal, of course. Trade shows and conferences allow you to research and analyze costs, practical usage, functionality, potential return on investment, etc., before making an investment decision.
You can also bounce tech investment ideas off your peers in attendance at trade shows and conferences.
When you notice a new software or handpiece innovation is making waves at one of these events, you’ll have the impetus to investigate further. What’s crucial is being informed and aware of this technology instead of being in the dark because you missed out on the trade show or conference where it was introduced.
A good relationship with a supplier is like hitting the lottery in the dental industry. After all, your ability to thrive as a clinician relies heavily upon equipment functioning at its peak. It must also be readily available.
You'll have access to a near failsafe when you’re well-connected with a reliable supplier who sells top-tier dental equipment and parts.
Say your dental handpiece falters.
A thriving relationship with a dental supplier typically means a warranty and prompt solution to your issue, ensuring you’ll have a working handpiece ASAP without hindering your bottom line.
Moreover, preferred clients typically receive favourable pricing from suppliers because of the repeat business.
Budgeting for high-quality equipment becomes more accessible because the supplier will know your practice and spending parameters. They’ll do everything possible to work within those boundaries.
Suppliers at conferences and trade shows adhere to the strict compliance and regulation standards applied to dental parts and equipment. Their reliable products hold up to rigorous scrutiny, enhancing patient trust.
Anybody running a dental practice needs to make time for themselves — and their team — to attend industry trade shows and conferences. The benefits are too plentiful to miss out on.
Attending dental trade shows and conferences enables practices to upskill their teams and grow their business through networking and technological advancement opportunities. You’ll also make pivotal connections with industry-leading suppliers and gain a fresh perspective on your processes, procedures, and philosophies.
We’ll acknowledge how difficult it can be to schedule time away from your practice.
Most practice owners are dedicated clinicians who want to be there for their team and patients.
However, part of “being there” is taking measures to enhance your business — to do this, dentists, hygienists, and assistants must attend dental trade shows and conferences. From there, the sky will be the limit for your practice’s sustained success.
At Sable Industries, we're on the same journey. We're committed to not just attending but making the most of all major Canadian dental conferences. It's our mission to be at the forefront of the dental industry, connecting with professionals like you, sharing insights, and offering the tools and solutions that help your practice thrive.
Next time you're plotting your conference calendar or planning your visit to a dental trade show, keep an eye out for Sable Industries. We're eager to meet you, learn about your unique challenges and aspirations, and explore how we can support your practice's growth and success.
Navigating Canada's dental supply regulations is not just about compliance ‒ it's about ensuring the highest standard of care for your patients and safeguarding your practice's reputation.
As a dental professional, your commitment to patient safety and quality care is paramount. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Health Canada's guidelines, emphasizing the critical role they play in your practice. From understanding the classification of dental handpieces to navigating the approval process for new dental devices, this article is your roadmap to ensuring your practice not only meets but exceeds the regulatory standards set forth by Health Canada.
Discover how staying informed and compliant not only elevates patient care but also fortifies your practice against potential legal ramifications and enhances your decision-making process when selecting dental equipment.
At Sable Industries, we pride ourselves on being a leader in the Canadian dental supply sector. Everything we provide aligns with stringent industry standards, including ISO 13485 MDSAP and Health Canada's rigorous regulations. With Sable Industries, you're choosing a partnership that is committed to elevating the standards of your dental practice.
As a dental professional operating in or purchasing dental products in Canada, it is critical to understand the regulations and compliance requirements you face.
Health Canada is the government body responsible for ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and overall quality of all medical devices. They set the rules that dental professionals must follow. Knowing these rules and the process required assures dental professionals that they will have the best ability to keep their patients safe while also mitigating risks of fines and other penalties.
All dental handpieces are regulated under the Medical Devices Regulations within the Food and Drugs Act. These rules aim to make sure patients receive adequate care from proven, safe equipment and devices.
Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of dentists and other dental care providers to ensure that all of the instruments, medical devices, and chemical products used within their practice adhere to these very specific regulations. These products must be licensed through the Regulations. Dentists may only use approved products and must use them within the allowances set by this regulatory body. That can prove to be challenging in some situations.
Dental handpieces are considered medical devices. As a result, any dental practice device must be licensed by the Health Canada Medical Devices Bureau.
For today’s innovative dental professionals, utilizing dental devices and solutions as soon as they become available can enhance patient care and strengthen overall patient outcomes. Yet, only approved devices can be used under the country’s laws. Health Canada looks at all products, devices, and chemicals to ensure that the product is safe and effective.
It then classifies all products into one of several categories. This is done through a risk-based approach, with each medical device receiving a category ranging from Class 1 to Class IV. Most dental handpieces fall under Class 1, the lowest risk level expected. This falls under the non-In Vitro Diagnostic Device (non-IVDDs) category. Handpieces within this specific category do not necessarily have to have their own license. However, the manufacturer, distributor, or importer must obtain and maintain an establishment license.
For Class 1 products like this, dental handpiece manufacturers, distributors, and importers must maintain accurate and detailed records documenting any type of perceived serious problem with the product. They must then update Health Canada with this information at least once a year. Should there be a cause for it, there must be a recall and complaint procedure for the products, which would remove the defective devices from access and, as a result, protect consumers.
That may seem like a complicated process for dental handpieces, but it must be followed. Dentists should research a product extensively to determine its licensing status.
The ultimate goal of these standards is to ensure that Canadians remain protected from unnecessary risks while also receiving maximum protection for their needs. Most dental care providers want to ensure this is the case for their patients. Yet, there are other key benefits to understanding this regulatory framework yourself as a dental professional.
Providing a high level of care to patients is essential from the perspective of all dental professionals. The primary goal of the regulatory framework described here is to do just that – to ensure that the product is safe and effective and that ineffective dental handpieces do not cause harm to patients when it can be avoided.
As a dentist, you must be certain that the equipment you use, of all types, including dental handpieces, meets the standards provided by Canada Health. This ensures that you are doing what is necessary and possible to avoid harm to patients and still provide them with a reliable level of care for their dental needs.
It is true that, even in the ideal environment, approval and licensing of new dental products and devices can take time. Yet, dentists must ensure that they are only using items that are, in fact, approved for us in the way they are applying them to their patients. Not doing so means risking non-compliance risks.
Canada Health has specific regulatory standards in place. Failure to follow them can lead to legal repercussions for you, a dental practitioner. Suppose you are using unapproved or substandard equipment. In that case, there is an increased risk of injury to the patient, which means that Canada Health will seek penalties. This can include fines or other legal actions.
From this viewpoint, consider that using an unlicensed dental handpiece could translate into fines and legal actions and damage to your reputation. This could impact your dental practice, translating into a significant financial loss for your business as a whole. Even if the device used never causes harm to a patient, patients may not be comfortable coming back to a dental practice with noted compliance and regulatory actions against them like this.
Also important is simply the process of creating the best outcome. By understanding the regulatory framework here, you can make the best decisions for your dental practice when purchasing equipment. The dental equipment, including dental handpieces, approved through this regulatory process, is proven effective and safe. That means they work as desired and can provide expected outcomes.
When you need to purchase new equipment or products, choosing those that meet these regulatory requirements means you are buying quality, safe, and suitable dental handpieces for your specific needs. This makes it easier to compare products on the market to find the best possible options.
Also notable and certainly impactful to most dental practices is the level of safety in purchasing these products. Knowledge of these regulatory factors and processes can assist you in managing the risks associated with equipment failures or malfunctions.
When purchasing new equipment and dental handpieces, buying items that are compliant means, without a doubt, that they are less likely to fail. That reduces the risk of unexpected downtime and the costs associated with repairs and replacements. That saves you time and money overall.
It is critical to understand the Canadian dental supply industry and its related regulatory requirements, especially in relation to the dental appliances, equipment, and hand devices you use within your practice. Compliance within this area assures your organization less financial strain and reputational loss when failures occur. Take the steps necessary to ensure you can continue to provide high-quality dental care delivery within your practice.
Sable Industries is a trusted name in the Canadian dental supply market, offering quality dental products at value-driven prices. We bridge the gap between manufacturers and North American dental professionals, ensuring every product meets strict quality and safety standards like ISO 13485 MDSAP and Health Canada's regulations. With a wide range of high-speed and slow-speed handpieces, repair parts, and other essential dental items, Sable is committed to enhancing your dental practice.
Choose Sable Industries for a partnership that prioritizes excellence in every aspect of your dental service.