J&S Davis' Steve Brown: Efficiency in Practice

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J&S Davis' Steve Brown ponders ways to maximise efficiency in the dental practice

Increasing efficiency is essential to improving practice performance and remaining competitive in the long-term. It’s a key principle for change, but the truth is there’s no single magic bullet that increases efficiency; but it can be improved by just making a few small changes.

But what are they? That’s the rub.

Generally, you will want to strive towards fixing the biggest time and money-sinks first, but if you see relatively quick and easy fixes along the way, these might be worth patching as you go along. It might be something as simple as streamlining the number of composite materials you use across the practice.

However, reducing the number of products you use, without losing effective treatment options can be a challenge. Finding materials that are effective across a range of clinic needs is really helpful. For example, Panavia V5, available from J&S Davis, is the strongest dentine bonding cement Kuraray has ever developed.

Featuring Kuraray’s original MDP monomer for strength and durability, this cement also offers superior colour stability and a simple streamlined cementation procedure. It is an excellent aid to making restorations faster and more efficient across a wide range of indications.

The sticking point for change

And yet, sometimes it’s more efficient to stay with what you already have. For example, updating IT can lead to a short-term loss of productivity which might prove a sticking point for change. It takes time to install new solutions; old software and accessories may be rendered obsolete, aging systems may run slower under the demands of newer software, and it can take time and training to get fully up to speed. You have to find a balance.

Early adopters will seize opportunities to work with brand new products and technologies and drive their professions forward. In dentistry, where new innovations are being introduced at a rapid pace, early adopters are integral to testing, research and feedback.

If major adjustments are needed the early adopter may be caught out (Betamax anyone?) Making the right call about when to engage with a new approach or technology is ultimately a matter of judgement. However, you can stack the odds a little more in your favour by taking a few simple precautions.

Spend some time determining where your practice is at its most and least efficient. Knowing where things are going well is just as important as recognising where there is room for improvement. Let’s take an example, many businesses, including dental practices, now rely on just-in-time (JIT) supply chains, which often work brilliantly but can be vulnerable to disruption.

For example, before JIT, practices would have to estimate in advance how much anaesthetic they would require before restocking. If they over-estimated they ended up with a surplus that reached its expiry before it was used, wasting money.

However, if they underestimated, they might run low or even run-out before the next batch arrived – resulting in delays to patient treatment, rescheduling and a loss of productivity. Prudent practices often opted for the former option, because, when treatment is time-sensitive, it’s better to have something and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Simplifying procurement and inventory management is a great way for practices to make major gains in efficiency, but it’s crucial not to let it compromise quality. By using a trusted product supplier such as J&S Davis, and implementing a few small changes, you can enhance efficiency while still continuing to provide the highest standard of patient care.


Steve Brown is the Director of sales and marketing with J&S Davis. He adds: “J&S Davis is a UK distributor dedicated to only supplying best in class solutions to the dental profession. The collective team has more than 100 years’ experience and has been formally trained by each manufacturer to deliver exceptional support to clinicians using the products in practice.

“J&S Davis is also a key supporter of professional organisations such as the BACD, BDA, BDG, BSDHT and BDIA – Managing Director of J&S Davis, Daniel Davis, is the current BDIA President. For more information, visit www.js-davis.co.uk.”