Zirconia Crowns

Improving Case Acceptance


By Dr. Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD

Helping patients have healthier mouths, doing more of the dentistry that is fulfilling and making more money as a result, are admirable goals that most practices have.  I have written a couple times about techniques that help us improve case acceptance; creating curiosity and co-discovery, listening, the learning ladder and more.  This brief construct is an attempt to see the process as a journey for the patient and to take their perspective.

Patient’s Journey; Eighteen Inches at a Time

I sat in church a few months ago and listened to an excellent sermon on faith.  It would apply to any religion, but my mind drifted to the ‘Business Case’ this construct offered for dentistry.  As Father Mike spoke about a faith journey, I envisioned parallels in dentistry with case acceptance.  I kept out a keen eye for a bolt of lightning.

It Starts in the Head

Patients first listen to the facts about dental care, their need and wants, issues or diseases that they have and potential treatment solutions.  Sadly, facts are not enough.  We all acknowledge that developing great listening skills, caring and trust help patients come to see you as their health advisor. This requires an eighteen-inch Journey to the Heart! It is there that caring and trust live. The emotional connection is very important in case acceptance and to ignore it, is to minimize your success. But that too is not enough.

The patient must schedule, keep appointments and pay for the recommended treatment. This Journey to the Wallet is the next eighteen-inch trip the patient must take.  It is the execution of the plan from their perspective.  Valuing dental care and oral health are demonstrated by their checkbook and what they spend time and money on.  Still not done?

The next eighteen-inches take us to a knee.  Appreciation helps fulfill us as caregivers.  Most rewards are best when they are balanced, financial and behavioral, money and warm fuzzies, you get the idea.  Money alone does not buy happiness (but it does help you enjoy your misery in some mighty fine places!) This is when I really kept guard for that bolt of lightning for drifting from the faith focus of the story.  I prayed for forgiveness as I created this metaphor and took out my phone to type some notes.

The final journey takes us eighteen inches to the patient’s feet.  Like a missionary, when patients tell others about your practice and refer their friends, you have come full circle.  This trust display is the ultimate compliment to you and your team.


Keep the Patient’s Perspective in Mind

Ask yourself the following and seek answers with your team to enhance patient’s health, your fulfillment and rewards.

·         Have you helped nurture the movement to the heart?

·         Did the patients accept and schedule treatment?  If not, why not?

·         Were they able to pay with gratitude and appreciation? (borrowed from Dr. Pankey)

·         Did you ask for and receive referrals of their friends and family?

Remember, it is a journey not a destination.  Enjoy the trip and check the map along the way. You, your team and your patients will all be the better for it.


“A Journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

Tim Cahill


Mark T. Murphy, DDS, FAGD Mark is the Principal of funktionaltracker.com and Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at MicroDental Laboratories and ProSomnus Sleep Technologies. He also serves on the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy and oversees the Practice and Financial Management Curriculum at the Pankey Institute. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Practice Management, Communication, Case Acceptance, Planning, Occlusion, TMD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Mark has been involved in Sleep Dentistry for over 25 years, is an AADSM member, and has trained with several of the leading sleep dentists and training institutes. He is an informative and entertaining speaker, blending a stand-up style of humor and anecdotes with current evidence based research that you can take home and use in your practice right away.

Not All Steaks Taste the Same!

Best in town.jpg

By Dr. Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD

There are several reasons that you can buy filet mignon at your grocery store or butcher for anywhere from $10.99-$25.00 per pound.  Forget the fact that Authentic Japanese Wagyu Filets will set you back $214.50 per pound, and that’s at Costco! One reason is the cost they paid and profit margin they add, the other is the grade of the beef.  Good, Better and Best cuts of meat, each have a different price when you go shopping.

The same can be said for the impression materials, composites, and other dental supplies you use every day.  There are quality differences that sometime create huge variances in performance. The raw materials used for ceramic or metal frames, copings and finished restorations made for you at Modern and MicroDental Laboratories have the same scope of quality available.  If you start with a USDA Select or Choice Steak and try to serve it at Morton’s for $45, your customers will not come back.  The quality will not match the price.  Conversely, if you start with USDA Prime, dry aged and sell it for $19, you will go broke. 

ZirCAD Pucks.jpg

The good news is the difference between Good, Better and Best Zirconia is not 2-3X.  For the small incremental cost of using the best Zirconia available like the Ivoclar materials that Modern and MicroDental use, you get a better, more esthetic and predictable restorative solution.  Cheaper Zirconia will not look or perform as well.  There is a difference in the final product when you start with a lower quality raw material.  The purity, how the pucks are pressed, and the performance characteristics can produce a wide variance that will compromise your patient care.  The race to the bottom for the cheapest monolithic Zirconia Crown carries a huge price tag.  Just like cheaper cuts of meat that will be tough to chew, the customer/patient will be disappointed.

We are proud to use the best materials available. 

The new Ivoclar eMax ZirCad raises the bar even further. It has all the quality characteristics as their other raw Zirconia solution plus incredible esthetics.  It’s the first time you have seen them put the eMax brand name onto a Zr material.  We do buy in volume and pass the savings on to you.

The next revolution in strong aesthetic restorative materials is here, you are going to love it!

People eating steak.jpeg

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” St. Jerome