Designed from the ground up as a total practice growth platform, Spear Online enhances a dental practice from the inside out, from the long-term practice goals to the ins and outs of better clinical techniques.
Dr. Brian Dennis is just one of thousands of dentists across the country who have put the tools to work and achieved incredible results. Like any tool, Spear Online is more than the sum of its parts - Dennis has utilized every part, and the effect has been a multiplier. In this interview, Dennis shared his experience with each section individually to highlight the potential of each feature. Dr. Dennis explained how he improved patient outcomes, gained new clinical skills in order to take on more complex cases, helped his team grow and improved case acceptance.
Better patient understanding, increased case acceptance
Dr. Dennis has experienced the benefits of Spear Online on a variety of levels, from the most nuanced clinical techniques to his greater practice philosophy as a whole. One of the most significant things Spear Online has impacted in his practice is case acceptance.
"Since I've been listening to the Spear model, both with myself and my staff, we've increased our presentation acceptance by 20 percent," he said.
Interestingly, prior to joining Spear, Dennis said he had tried different types of patient education platforms, none of which compared to the results and value he has seen with Spear's Patient Education. He expressed its utility when implemented alongside other skills learned across other Spear platforms - but skills are only theoretical if you cannot get a patient to value treatment by utilizing patient education animations and lobby videos teach them in a clear and understandable way. This has ultimately led to increased case acceptance.
"I used to have another computer program to do what Spear's Patient Education does." he explained. "I was able to actually drop the other one and save myself over the course of years several thousand dollars using Spear Education. The videos are very understandable and makes it easy - most people are visual anyway, so they can see what's actually happening. And it explains the treatments proposed in layperson's terms."
Team building and skill strengthening with Spear Curriculum
Though our new Spear Curriculum platform has only been live since February 2018, Dennis and his team have already begun seeing results from the team-based lessons the platform provides.
Curriculum has been a great way for Dennis to introduce new team members to a Spear philosophy of dentistry as well as reaffirm the entire team's commitment and familiarity with that foundational philosophy.
"I have some pretty new staff members in key positions that have a lot of experience in dentistry, but have never really had the foundation that Spear gives you for our whole office philosophy," he said. "What I like about it is there are flow charts to follow and people are held accountable."
Curriculum offers team-building while also enhancing each specific team member's skills and expertise, resulting in increased dental acumen, better presentation, more success and increased patient satisfaction. When combined with other Spear features, such as patient education, Dennis’ practice has been more efficient and successful than ever.
"One of the things that [Curriculum specifically helped] was a complex implant case," he explained. "I went through the implant videos to refresh myself. We also played some of the patient education videos (for the patient), but with the whole staff coming together, it became a whole team effort. The treatment planning made everything flow together. And then finally with the patient education videos, (the patient) could see what we were proposing and accepted it."
Building dental community through Spear TALK
Though Dennis has taken time to immerse himself and his practice in almost all of Spear Online's unique learning opportunities, he says he spends most of his time in Spear TALK.
"What's really amazing is the number of brilliant minds and people that are on Spear TALK, with all sorts of specialists giving their experiences," he said. "I have used some others ... but for me, Spear TALK is the most comprehensive."
Dennis said he appreciates the fact that Spear TALK not only offers the opportunity to connect with dentists from around the world, but also share case struggles and questions and get quick, comprehensive solutions.
"There was one time I had a dental implant that I had restored and that was failing pretty quickly, and I wasn't sure exactly what the problems were beyond the obvious," he said. "After posting it in several different responses, we found out it was a medical problem."
A synthesis of online learning and campus immersion
Dennis has also used Spear Online to enhance his campus experience.
Most recently, he experienced that powerful dynamic between online and campus learning for himself when he attended our "Airway Prosthodontics" seminar in May 2018.
"Pretty much everything that's presented here in Spear lectures and workshops is available online as well," he said. "So you're able to go back and review things if you miss something and pick up where you left off. To be able to really preview some of the information before taking the seminar gave me a step up."
How does someone start with Spear Online?
For clinicians on the fence about getting a membership or current members wondering how to get started, Dennis offered this advice:
"There's so much there and it's overwhelming, but I think first you need to start with what drives you, what are you interested in and look at that," he said. "If you're having problems with teeth breaking or restorations, start with the occlusion. If you're having trouble with specific procedures, go to the implants or the prosthodontic section, but start with the basics and work your way to the more advanced features."