A team of three American periodontists has developed and refined a practical method for professional success that has made it possible for their referral-based practice to consistently increase revenue—at a remarkable rate of 10 percent per year—for decades. Drs. Crosby, Kolinski and Trahan have been able to do this despite an evolving market that is challenged by increasing numbers of dentists placing implants, a national trend toward corporate-based dentistry, and attrition of the referral base due to the retirement of referring doctors.

When he started his periodontal practice in 1980, Dr. Martin Kolinski had the insight and good judgement to establish three important ground rules.

  1. He would build strong interdisciplinary relationships with well-educated, referring restorative dentists.
  2. He would commit his practice to unparalleled customer service for his patients and their referring doctors (which, as it would turn out, would ensure a flow of new and continuing patients for the lifetime of his expanding specialty practice).
  3. As implants were to become a significant part of his new practice, he would choose to work with a company that had a well-established reputation for excellence.

He needed to find a company that could become an integral part of the practice’s reputation and professional development. Nobel Biocare proved to be the perfect match. Looking back, it now seems all but inevitable that the practice Kolinski founded would become a Diamond partner with the company, a status he and his colleagues have maintained for over 25 years.

From the outset, Kolinski began providing continuing education programs for his referring doctors while, at the same time, serving as a clinical professor at the University of Illinois School of Dentistry. It was there that he met his future practice partner, Dr. Tricia Crosby, who began as an associate in 2007 and established partnership in the practice in 2010. Together, they formed a strong clinical team that greatly increased the scope and size of their practice and enabled the delivery of continuing education programs that far exceeded what either could have achieved individually.

Continuing education is key

Through diligent documentation of his cases, Dr. Kolinski had developed years of clinical material that he prepared and presented for programs and seminars held by the Chicago Dental Society, the American Academy of Periodontology and the Academy of General Dentistry.

According to Kolinski, “Dr. Crosby brought not only outstanding treatment planning and surgical abilities to our practice, she also brought finely-honed lecturing and demonstration skills that were immediately used to refine and improve our presentations.”

The long-term successes and versatility of Nobel Biocare implant systems significantly contributed to the materials that Drs. Kolinski and Crosby were able to develop. Within three years of joining the practice, Crosby had contributed an impressive repertoire of cases to their joint educational effort and achieved professional recognition of her own as a certifying examiner for the American Board of Periodontology.

From the beginning of their collaboration, these two periodontists have committed themselves to developing new topics each year for the continuing education programs they organize.

“We do our best to create presentations with timely relevance in the areas of implantology and periodontics,” explains Dr. Crosby. These presentations are based solely on their own clinical cases and related experiences. “We typically present our programs to over one hundred doctors and dental hygienists each year, and our seminars serve as a basis for enduring collaborative relationships that provide stability and growth for our practice.”

Dr. Kolinski adds, “In order to ensure optimum results, we always emphasize the importance of using original Nobel Biocare components. Many of the problems with screw loosening, for example, can be attributed to using substandard parts.”

Always interested in staying at the cutting edge of his profession, Dr. Kolinski was one of the original investigators for the NobelActive implant. He was also the lead author for the ongoing, prospective NobelActive 3.0 study, recent results of which were just published.

Opening doors for referring dentists to provide new or improved collaborative procedures has resulted in beneficial growth for the referring dentists as well as for the periodontists’ office, which allowed them to bring a new associate, Dr. William Trahan, into the practice over two years ago.

“Our practice now has three doctors,” says Dr. Kolinski, “each of whom are working hard to document cases in order to contribute to the literature and the profession.”

The two senior partners also serve as adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Dentistry.

Essential collaboration

Over the lifetime of the practice, Drs. Crosby, Kolinski and Trahan have placed over 20,000 Nobel Biocare implants, which renders them among the most experienced of implant surgeons and provides excellent experience and credentials for their teaching endeavors.

For the foreseeable future, these three will continue to collaborate with the lifeblood of their practice, the referring doctors. Facing mounting pressure by insurance companies and corporate institutions to drive down the cost and, in some cases, the resulting quality of implant therapy, the practice will continue to place emphasis on the expertise and quality that they will always make available to a patient base that demands optimum treatment.

Back in 1980, Dr. Kolinski was just a young visionary who was determined to build a successful practice based on three simple premises. Well-established today, he and his colleagues enjoy the fruits of developing professional relationships that continue to ensure quality care, delivered through interdisciplinary rigor, and supported by well-conceived continuing education.

Their emphasis on state-of-the-art, quality treatment, combined with impeccable customer care has paid high dividends and created a template for longevity that grooms each doctor from associate to partner, fostering mutual achievement. Together, Crosby, Kolinski and Trahan have developed a solid, well- proven, specialty practice model that bodes well for the future of their enterprise.

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Posted by Richard M. Sullivan