A Giant in Dentistry
by Chelsea Knorr, Associate Editor, Dentaltown Magazine
Dentaltown Magazine talked with
active Townie and restorative dentist
Dr. Richard Rosenblatt to find out
about his newly remodeled bread-and-butter practice, his teaching
escapades and what Dentaltown
has done for his personal and
Name:Dr. Richard Rosenblatt
Graduate From: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dental School
Practice Name: Forest North Dental
Practice Location: Lake Forest, Illinois
Practice Size: Four operatories
Staff: Five staff
First off, what drew you to dentistry?
Rosenblatt: My father is a dentist. He is one of the best clinicians
I have ever seen. Once I saw the amazing things he was
doing to help his patients, and how much he loved doing it, I
knew I wanted to do the same thing.
What is your practice philosophy?
Rosenblatt: My practice philosophy is to treat every
patient in my practice like a close friend or family member. For
those who know me, it is pretty much the way I live life. I like
to have a lot of fun and make people laugh. I want people to
actually enjoy coming to the dentist and I'm blessed to have
people who work at my practice who live by the same principles
I do. My employees were working here before I joined the
team, and my patients love them. I actually bought the practice
because when I met the seller, Yolanda and Connie (staff )
were in the room to see if they liked me. I fell in love with them
immediately and when I walked out the door, I called my
accountant and told him I needed to buy the practice because
of the staff!
My dad taught me a few very important things about dentistry
before I even got into school. He told me to 1) talk to
your patients like they are your friends or family and gain their
trust, and 2) learn how to give a great painless injection. At the
end of the day most patients only know two things about us -
the dentist was nice and it didn't hurt.
You just remodeled your office. Tell us about the
process. What steps did you take?
Rosenblatt: My office decor, especially the front desk, was
a bit dated since I purchased it almost six years ago. It started
with my landlord wanting to expand a bit into my existing space, and also, I wanted to add cone beam. It worked out that
my landlord made it easy for me to make this happen, so I
decided it was time to update the office. The design of the office
matches the high-tech options we give patients.
What was your inspiration?
Rosenblatt: I wanted the place to look clean and up-to-date
without patients having to constantly ask me which room they
paid for! I'm not a flashy person and I just wanted some earth
tone colors and such to give the place a relaxed feel.
What is your favorite office feature now?
Rosenblatt: Believe it or not, the walls. When I bought the
practice, the walls had this extreme texture to them in a dark
color, and I never liked it. During the remodel, I had the contractor
remove the texture. Now they're just basic walls and we
accented them with new molding along the floor. It made all the
difference in the world to me. We also needed to update our
front desk. Our office is the first place people see when they
walk into my office building and we had a Formica desk from
the 1980s. The combination of that, the old metal filing cabinets
and the weathered carpeting made the office seem out of
date. The other thing I like is the bathroom. We put in a granite
countertop and a new sink along with a fresh coat of paint.
It just did wonders.
What would you do again?
Rosenblatt: I would do the entire project again in a heartbeat.
Makes me smile every day when I walk in. I had the greatest
contractor in the world. He did two things that you never
hear in a remodel - he finished on time and under budget!
What advice do you have for other dentists who
would like to remodel?
Rosenblatt: If you are going to remodel, have a plan for
exactly what you want to do. Get some referrals from other docs
who have had remodel work done and whose opinions you
respect. Find a contractor with whom you mesh.
How did you learn about Dentaltown?
Rosenblatt: It has been so long that I've actually forgotten
how I learned about it. I've been a very active member
since I started in 2001. My 10,000 posts show how often I'm
on the site!
You're a very prominent Townie. What has Dentaltown
done for your professional life?
Rosenblatt: Dentaltown is the driving force for anything
and everything I do in dentistry. I learned how to bond and how
to do endo on Dentaltown. I learned about CEREC. I learned
about all the tips and tricks for various procedures that I incorporate
into my daily routine. I could go on and on about what
it has done for me clinically.
It has also allowed me to flourish in an area I never thought
I would, and that is on the teaching side. Early on, when the
office I was working in purchased a CEREC, I was on
Dentaltown all the time trying to get info. I became good
friends with the people who were posting about CEREC. My closest friendships have been created
from this amazing online community.
It is weird to tell my kids
that I met my best friends in the
world on the Internet (the place
that I don't want them meeting
people). I fly all over the world to
hang out with strangers I met
online. A lot of what I've accomplished
I owe to my relationship
with people like Dr. Sameer Puri
and Dr. Armen Mirzayan.
|Dr. Rosenblatt's Top Five
|Designs for Vision Loupes
and Portable Headlight
|Isolite Dryfield Illuminator
XG3D Cone Beam
|Schick 33 Digital X-rays
|When did you start using it?
|Why can you not live/work without it?
|I would cancel patients if I didn't have my loupes and light! I'd be afraid I might kill them!
||It makes every procedure I use it for faster and more predictable.
||My patients and I never want to go back to PVS impressions or two-visit crowns.
||It allows me to better diagnose pathology in my patients. I can't believe all the things I have found that I would have missed with PAs.
||The improved resolution is amazing and I hated having to develop film. I have been using Schick for about 14 years, but I just got the new sensors and there is just an amazing difference!
|When do you use it?
|On every single patient
||On every restorative procedure I do and on surgeries
||Any time I need indirect restorations done including partial coverage, veneers or cases I send to the lab
||Any time I do an FMX, and when a patient reports with pain
||Any time intraoral PAs and BWs are necessary
What is a typical day in your
Rosenblatt: I have a very small,
quiet practice. I'm a one-patient-at-a-time kind of guy, a
monogamous practitioner, if you will! I used to work in a practice
that saw 60-80 new patients a month. I felt like I had to
practice on roller skates at times. I don't have that kind of
practice here. We see emergencies as they happen, but they
tend to be only on occasion. I'm basically a bread-and-butter,
quadrant dentist. I do a lot of restorative and CEREC.
How has the economy affected your practice?
Rosenblatt: The economy really hurt my practice. I'm in a
very affluent area and thought it would be bulletproof, but
boy, was I wrong. I was shocked at how many people were
going to leave because we were not on their plans. I was really
getting nervous. We had very few new patients, and the
patients I did have were really reluctant to get treatment done
unless they hurt bad enough. Dr. Tarun Agarwal gave me some
savvy business advice about joining PPO plans. It may not
work for everyone but it saved my practice.
What is your favorite procedure or part of dentistry?
Rosenblatt: My favorite procedure is doing CEREC restoration
on patients. I love the "wow" factor and the one-visit aspect. I don't miss temporaries or seat appointments. What has me
really excited going forward is my purchase of the Sirona
XG3D cone beam and getting more into guided implant surgery
and integrating the technologies to allow me to do prosthetically
driven implant placement and restorations. I'm just
blown away by cone beam technology!
Describe your most successful or rewarding experience
in your professional life.
Rosenblatt: I think of these as two different things for
me. My most successful was speaking to an overcrowded
room at the CEREC 25th anniversary meeting in Las Vegas.
I could not believe how many people came to hear me speak.
I don't know if I've ever been that excited, nervous and thankful
all in one moment.
The most rewarding was doing a charity event at
Chicago Bears training camp a few years back where my
good friend Tracy Durrett asked if I wanted to do a day of
dentistry on under privileged kids. What a fantastic feeling
it was to get hugs from the kids and parents who just could
not afford dentistry. I got to bring my son along to help and
he got to meet a bunch of players who had come out to support
it. It was a really cool moment for me as a dentist and
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Rosenblatt: I'm all about family when I'm not working. I
have a wife, Aimee, who does it all. When the economy went
bad and the practice slowed down, I had the opportunity to
ramp up my speaking opportunities, but this meant being
away from home. My wife didn't even bat an eye. She is so
supportive. I have three kids - Alix (14), Jack (12) and Olivia
(5) - and I try to spend as much time with them as they will