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JCO has just completed the broadest practice study ever in orthodontics and we are ready to report the results to you. Beginning in this issue, we are presenting a series of articles that will use the data to answer some of the most interesting and important questions about the economics and administrative management of orthodontic practice.

Orthodontists have been magnificent in participating in this study. The number of orthodontists who completed a rather time-consuming questionnaire and the number who took the time to enter accurate data have made an immeasurable contribution to the knowledge about orthodontic practice in the United States which we now want to share with you.

We will be presenting some data about practice income, expense, fees, fee increases, employees, adults, third party, and busyness. We will also be presenting some data about sources of referral, use of management tools, use of practice building methods, and degree of delegation. Beyond that, we will be interrelating the data for you to answer such questions as: What contributes to above average income and case starts? For what reasons did many practices not grow? To delegate or not to delegate? How important are management tools? How important are many of the other factors measured by the data?

The data from the study and analyses of the data will provide orthodontists with a yardstick to measure their practices by and important tools for making decisions about the future course and management of their practices.



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