Category: Testimonials

Thank you Stephen Novak! It was a Pleasure!


To Whom It May Concern,

I met Phil Cole from Legacy Practice Transitions at the Chicago Dental on February 26th, 2016. After meeting with representatives from three different transitions companies, I decided to work with Phil.

My wife, Robin, and I met with Phil to discuss our needs and to begin the process of doing a practice evaluation. Phil was always available by phone to answer our questions and guide us through the process. He understood that selling a dental practice I have developed over 38 years is a difficult decision so he provided us with guidance and support throughout the process. I asked Phil and the companies with whom I met how long it generally took to sell a dental practice and I was told a year to a year and a half.

Within 3 months of making the decision to work with Phil, I had 3 different offers on my practice. Phil came to Grand Rapids for the meetings with each potential buyer. He spent time with us after each meeting so we could ask questions. Our decision came down to 2 companies and we really struggled to choose between the two because each offer had different positive aspects. Phil reminded us of our original discussion as to what we needed, and guided us towards the company that offered everything we asked for even though this was the company who offered us the lower price. This is important to me because it showed me that Phil was looking out for my wife and I even though, by taking the lower priced offer, he would be making a lower commission.

Once we made our decision and began working on the paperwork required prior to the close, Phil offered help and support. He came back to Grand Rapids on the day of the practice close and continues to check in to see how the transition is going.

Robin and I are very happy with our decision to work with Phil Cole. We have had many laughs and consider Phil a friend. I do not believe that the other representatives with whom we met would have put forth the effort or offered the support that Phil did.

I highly recommend Phil Cole to anyone looking to sell their dental practice.



Stephen A. Novak

Oral Cancer is the #2 leading cause of malpractice in dentistry.

Oral Cancer is the #2 leading cause of malpractice in dentistry and #1 in terms of average payout at upwards of $1,000,000. As oral cancer becomes more prevalent, especially with the advent of HPV, malpractice for misdiagnosis is also increasing. One of the other reasons is because lawyers are specifically now targeting this patient population. Check out the picture of this bill board campaign in multiple locations throughout the Chicagoland area.

Cancer Lawsuit Ad

Oral cancer screenings a must, say malpractice attorneys
Article Thumbnail ImageMarch 10, 2011 — The patient was insistent: All she wanted was to get her teeth whitened for an upcoming high school reunion. She came in for the $99 Internet special the dentist had run and mentioned a sore on her tongue, but she said it was recent, attributing it to a tongue-biting habit.
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The dentist did the procedure but advised the patient that she needed a follow-up oral exam.

The patient eventually went to an oral surgeon who diagnosed the young mother with terminal tongue cancer. She sued the dentist who did the teeth whitening for malpractice, for missing her oral cancer.

That case, Tale of the Tainted Tongue, was dramatized at the recent Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting in a session highlighting the growing number of malpractice suits over missed oral cancer screenings.

“Document, document, document.”
— Anne Oldenburg, malpractice
Anne Oldenburg, an attorney with Alholm, Monahan, Klauke, Hay & Oldenburg, which specializes in dental malpractice cases, participated in the mock trial. Ten years ago she didn’t have many such cases, she told But that scenario has changed dramatically in recent years, she said, noting that she is currently involved in three dental malpractice cases.

The mock trial was similar to a previous lawsuit she handled, in which a young man in his 40s died. “It was oral cancer that was clearly missed,” Oldenburg recalled. The family settled for $750,000 because the children didn’t want to go through the litigation process, but many death cases can reach $1 million policy limits, she noted.

Her colleague, Linda Hay, pointed to a tongue cancer case now garnering national headlines involving noted Chicago chef Grant Achatz, who wrote a book about his battle with tongue cancer. His surgeons wanted to surgically remove part of his tongue, but he wanted to preserve his ability to taste and opted instead to undergo radiation and chemotherapy in 2007. Sadly, the treatment destroyed his ability to taste anyway, and Achatz sued his general dentist, alleging misdiagnosis. The case, which does not involve Oldenburg or Hay, will likely go to trial this year.

6-figure settlements

Publicity over actor Michael Douglas’s oropharyngeal cancer and movie critic Roger Ebert’s papillary thyroid cancer also has highlighted the growing incidence of oral cancer, especially among younger nonsmokers.

In fact, many plaintiffs who are suing their dentist for missed oral cancer diagnoses don’t fit the traditional profile, according to Hay. “It’s not the old drinker-smokers,” she noted. “We’re seeing more young people who don’t have the usual risk factors.”

Recent studies have attributed the steady increase of oral cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Today, almost half of those diagnosed with the disease are younger than 50 years old — with some as young as 20, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

About 36,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., according to the ADA, and some 25% of those people will die of the disease. Only 57% of all diagnosed oral cancer patients will be alive five years after their diagnosis, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Approximately 100 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer every day, and one person will die every hour from it.

Oldenburg attributes the growing incidence of missed diagnoses to casual patients who come in mainly for cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and aren’t planning on staying with the dentist.

“They’re swooping in and getting cosmetic procedures, and they’re done,” she explained. “The dentists are missing an opportunity to do detailed follow-up and comprehensive exams. Had the patient [in the mock trial] come back, the dentist would have seen it [the lesion] was still there, and he would have the opportunity to take steps.”

Most cases settle out of court, with amounts averaging six figures, Hay said. Settlements also depend on the patient’s age, their occupation, and whether they have children. The number of malpractice cases involving oral cancer has risen dramatically in the past few years, the attorneys said.

Million-dollar settlements usually occur only when the patient dies, they added.

Hay recounted a malpractice case involving a man who developed an infection that spread to his brain following an extraction. The patient, who claimed he had permanently lost a lot of brain function, sued his general dentist, the oral surgeon who did the extraction, the family doctor, and the hospital where he had been taken. The oral surgeon’s insurance company paid the approximately $500,000 settlement.

Some policies have settlement clauses that limit a dentist’s ability to litigate such cases, according to James Carney, who specializes in dental malpractice claims for Southpoint Insurance Agency and humorously portrayed a bored judge in the mock trial. For example, if an insurance company wants to settle a case for $250,000 but the dentist insists on going to trial, he would have to pay the difference if he loses in court.

“With the downturn in the economy, there’s more pressure to earn a profit, and some companies are re-evaluating how to defend such cases and how they settle claims,” Carney told

He, too, has noticed a marked increase in dental malpractice cases. “I’m seeing more and more of them — two to three claims a year, where before we didn’t see any,” Carney said. The standard policy limit is $1 million, but some carriers provide $5 million to $7 million coverage, he added.

Carney agreed with the attorneys that patients often bear some responsibility in such cases, although other factors can be relevant as well.

“You can have a patient who is complacent in following the dentist’s treatment plan,” he said. “Technology comes into play if the dentist doesn’t have the appropriate technology to detect or diagnose some of these issues.” And patients are sometimes untruthful with the dentist about symptoms, he said.

When it comes to the dollar amount of a settlement, life expectancy is a significant consideration, Carney noted.

“If the patient is a successful businessperson with three young children, you can just fill in the number you want,” he said.

Dentists can avoid malpractice suits by doing simple things, such as documentation, taking the time with a patient, and doing a thorough oral exam — “things they teach in dental school,” Carney said.

Oldenburg agreed.

“Document, document, document,” she said. “And do your oral cancer screen even if they’re only coming in for a $99 special.”


Call or Email me if you would like a demo or a local MI seminar.

Philip Cole

989-233-4200 or

It Is Now Law!!!!

The DEQ has proposed and now has had it signed into law that extensive record keeping will need to be done for all Amalgam Separators.  This is not the case if you use a containment system “holding tank” such as the one produced by ANTERIOR QUEST.  Here is the law that was voted in on November 29th, 2012.

2010-002 LR – Dentistry Dental Amalgam – Final Rules (8-23-12)


2012 Dental Advisor Editors’ Choice.

BRAVO (2012 PPL)



Consultants’ Comments

  • “Dries instruments and pouches better than any other sterilizer.”
  • “Easy to use; easy to load/unload.”
  • “I like the auto fill and auto drain features.”
  • “Somewhat noisy.”
  • “Make chamber diameter larger.”


BRAVO is a fractionated vacuum sterilizer that incorporates both pre-vac and post-vac cycles designed for optimum steam penetration and uses only fresh distilled water for every cycle.BRAVO runs self-diagnostics upon initiation and has four pre-sets for the most popular cycles. It is available in two capacities (17 and 21 liter); both units are available in two voltages (120v and 220v), single-button operation and a two-year warranty. Cycle times are in the range of 33 minutes for wrapped cycles to dry. Special features include single use “Pull’n Push” water system; double locking door mechanism; intelligent closed door drying with Dri-Tec technology; and optional internal printer or external data logger. Consultants evaluated both sizes ofBRAVO sterilizer with three stainless steel wire instrument trays, stainless steel rack, one container with quick connect for adding distilled water, tubing, and an extra bacteriological filter.BRAVO was evaluated by 10 consultants over a 6-month period and it received a 92% clinical rating.

Suggested Retail Cost

$9250.00/21L Unit w/ printer

$7800.00/17L Unit

Equipment Features

BRAVO produced sterilized instrument pouches that were described as “bone dry.” The unit received high ratings for ease of operation, readability of the display, and accessibility to controls. One of the units evaluated was plumbed for an auto-fill/auto-drain feature which increased the convenience substantially. The smaller unit is appropriate for a small, low volume dental practice; all of the consultants preferred the larger unit. The ability to rotate the rack inside the chamber to accommodate cassettes (vertically) or pouches (horizontally) increases its versatility. Fifty percent of consultants ratedBRAVO better than their current sterilizer. Fifty percent of consultants would switch to BRAVO and 70% would recommend it.

Soaring Eagle Casino – Mt. Pleasant, MI

Here are some pictures of the seminar Mark and I put on called the “Communication Toolbelt.”  We also had a customer appreciation party afterwards.  We had just shy of 200 attendees and the party was a blast.  Thanks to Lisa Philp, our speaker, for making it such a success and also our customers!  The Cole customers really know how to burn up the dance floor!