Think organized dentistry first

During the ODA’s Leadership Institute in March, ADA President Dr. Joe Crowley and ADA Director of Practice Management Resources and Strategy Dr. Betsy Shapiro gave a well-received presentation on the ADA’s Center for Professional Success. The Center is designed to provide practice support to help member dentists succeed. Attendees of the Leadership Institute rated the session very highly. Several attendees commented that they “had no idea that organized dentistry had so many practice support resources available.”

Well, word must be spreading because the Center’s website is now getting more than 17,000 visitors per month.

The Center’s website,, provides user-friendly information and materials on dental practice-related issues, including complying with various regulations, including HIPAA and ACA mandates, and “demystifying marketing” for dental offices. The Center provides dentists with resources related to dealing with difficult patients, including a checklist for terminating a patient from a practice, and dealing with difficult employees, including a checklist for terminating an employee. The Center’s resources also include materials on leadership development and strategic planning to help dentists get the most out of their practices and staff.

The Center has sections on strategies for holding effective dental team meetings and developing a good business plan, including providing online business planning calculators to help dentists calculate loan payments, debt load, overhead and return on investment.

Through a series of videos, webinars and written articles, dentists can get most of their practice-related questions answered through the Center’s website.

Shapiro also discussed that the ADA offers a contract analysis service, which reviews third-party payer contracts and translates them into plain understandable language. By translating these contracts from the legalese into plain English, dentists can make informed decisions about whether a particular third-party payer contract is right for their practice.

The ADA’s contract analysis service also analyzes dental management service organization contracts. To utilize the ADA’s free contract analysis service, member dentists can send the ODA (c/o Denise Boltz) a complete copy of the unsigned contract and an analysis request to 1370 Dublin Rd., Columbus, OH 43215.

Shapiro also introduced the ADA’s new credentialing service, which will allow dentists to submit their credentials in one place. The credentialing service is accessible for updates by the dentist and can be made accessible to the dentist’s chosen participating third-party organizations. Relatedly, Shapiro also explained that the ADA can provide dentists with assistance in coding claims to ensure submissions are done properly and paid by the third-party payer in a timely fashion.

The ADA’s resources dovetail nicely with the state-based resources on the ODA’s website. For example, the resource library on includes articles and guidance on dozens of the most commonly-asked regulatory compliance and risk management questions, including:

  • how to avoid patient abandonment when terminating the dentists-patient relationship,
  • what should be included in a sound record-retention policy and how long should patient records be retained,
  • how to classify employees vs. independent contractors,
  • what are strategies for preventing embezzlement in dental offices,
  • how to comply with the myriad of new opioid prescribing regulations, and
  • what are the dentist’s obligations related to reporting suspected abuse and neglect of minor patients.

I sometimes hear of member dentists paying consultants hundreds and even thousands of dollars for information that is readily available through the ADA’s Center for Professional Success and the ODA’s Member Resource Library.

Every ODA member should remember to “Call Organized Dentistry First” when he or she has a practice management or regulatory compliance question. Chances are we have the information readily available, and if not, we would likely be able to provide direction on where to get the answer.

Contact the oda first!

Resources for your practice