YourClaimCareerSatisfaction Dr. David Porritt Think You Know Dental Membership Plans? Think Again! Jane Levy Assess, Diagnose, Treat and Maintenance. A Process For Life? Mona Patel Why Your Words Matter Brian Hunter & Shad Treadaway SUMMER 2022 THE FUTURE OF DENTISTRY
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We did our best to get our first summer edition out for you to read while on the beach with your feet in the sand. Yes, everyone needs a vacation. This is why we gave our seasoned authors time off to enjoy their families, friends, and hobbies. Not only is it important for us entrepreneurs to find balance in both work and life, but a bit of rest can spark new ideas, propel innovation, and allow us to return to business with a fresh perspective. With that being said, we hope you look forward to contributions by Dr. Luke Shapiro, Dr. David Rice, and Travis Rodgers as they prepare to take center stage in our Fall issue.
We hope you enjoy this issue cover to cover, wherever you’re reading it. It’s the perfect companion to wrap up your summer with and prepare for a reenergized autumn ahead.
Editor & Publisher Anne M. Duffy, CEO, RDH Assistant Editor Clare Yeo Project Manager Tari Sixpence Website Bhakti Kulmala Director of PartnershipsStrategic Melissa DeLong Editorial Board Mary Dr.Dr.BarbTravisFisher-DayRodgersStackhouseLucasShapiroDirkFleischmanDr.EarlDouglasDr.TomSnyderDerekChampangeDr.DavidRice Layout and Design Brian Rummel Summer 2022 Contributors Dr. Barlan Barrero Brian KatrinaHunterKleinJaneLevy Dr. Robert Maguire Dr. Mona Patel Dr. David Porritt Cheryl Shafer Dr. Tom Snyder Shad Treadaway Dr. James Younger Vertical HorizontalTagline
Summer 2022 Editorial Office 12233 Pine Valley Club Drive Charlotte, NC
Dr. Tom Snyder discusses the realities of practice ownership. He breaks down the statistics in the current dental landscape and why there isn’t a better time than the present to work towards practice ownership for a successful and financially rewarding dental career.
In the meantime, our Summer issue is heavily centered around the theme of intention.
Brian Hunter and Shad Treadaway highlight the importance of our words and the inten tion behind them. Mona Patel shares how taking the dental approach to life can make room for acceptance of ourselves. And Dr. Robert Maguire shares an “a-ha” moment on the power of our thoughts.
Dr. David Porritt shares his insight on why your core values are the key building blocks of career satisfaction. He bestows his wisdom on how career satisfaction comes through honoring your core values and designing an intentional life.
SPOTLIGHT 6 Claim Your Career Satisfaction Dr. David Porritt CULTURE 10 Assess, Diagnose, Treat, and Maintain: A Process for Life? Dr. Mona Patel 14 Why Your Words Matter Brian Hunter and Shad Treadaway 18 Dentistry Pursued Off the Beaten Track Dr. Barlan Barrero BUSINESS 20 Practice Ownership: Your Goal in the Near Future? Dr. Tom Snyder 24 Think You Know Dental Membership Plans? Think Again! Jane Levy INNOVATION 28 Uncovering Signs of Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders! Cheryl Shafer 32 Got an App Idea? Get Started Here! Dr. James Younger IMPACT 34 Our Battery is Draining Katrina Klein 36 Your Success in Dentistry Starts With Your Thoughts Dr. Robert Maguire Summer 2022
Dr. David Porritt
Working for someone else and thinking like an entrepreneur is termed intrapreneurship. There is power in keeping your entrepre neurial spirit alive while being employed by others. It keeps you sharp, and your focus on the endgame. Thinking like an intrapre neur gives you the filter of values alignment. Here’s a three-step process to remain fully in charge of your career satisfaction:
Consider yourself as the CEO of your career. You set the standard and expectation on how you show up. Even in the most difficult environments, you can gain satisfaction by developing the skill of influence. You might not have control, but you always have influ
• Student debt: $500,000
When you decided to become a dentist, did you imagine one day you would buy and successfully operate your very own dental practice in your community of choice? Many dental entrepre neurs experience the road to paradise is paved with potholes, creating a bumpy ride. This can look like an unfulfilling associ ateship, a partnership attempt gone south, or the purchase of a practice with hidden problems.
Faced with uncertainty, horror stories from peers, and high debt, there is a temptation to ignore deep core values of autonomy, clinical freedom, and ambition. Choose instead to embrace cer tainty postponing the dream of ownership. Stay here too long though, and the dream might pass you by.
• Practice purchase: $1,200,000
Becoming a thriving dental practice owner involves thousands of micro-steps to the summit. It isn’t always clear which choices will lead us to deep satisfaction, and which could become an unfortunate misalign ment with who we are and what we believe.
Who do you work for? If you responded with any form of abc dental, public health, military, private practice or DSO, think a little deeper. Career satisfaction is an inside-out job. You are – and always will be – your own employer, regardless of who signs your paycheck. Designing a fulfilling career begins here.
The reality is you deserve and have every right to claim career satisfaction, regardless of the practice environment you work in or the potholes you might hit along the way to owning your practice.
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• What are my top three non-negotiable core values?
• Which of these values are being challenged; which are being supported?
• Pride from living your core values: Priceless Regardless of where you are in your career, there are three pow erful ways you can claim career satisfaction while keeping an eye on the future. First, decide who you work for, secondly establish boundaries for fit, and last design your future.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR?
• What can I take away from this as I shape my career?
Spotlight Claim Your Satisfaction.CareerHow to Build Through Core Values
As part of my doctoral study1, I researched factors influencing a dentist’s decision to affiliate with a DSO and their corresponding job satisfaction. I researched younger, early-career dentists who were working in DSO and private practice environments, as well as late-career dentists in both DSOs and private practice to determine their reasoning for choosing their current practice
The values of the organization were the most influential factor in an individual's job satisfaction. Values expressed as quality patient care was consistently rated as highly important. Fostering a col legial and collaborative, rather than competitive, environment among the associates, also ranked high. Additional desired values included, mentorship, ability to make choices about staffing, and autonomy in clinical diagnosis.
DESIGN YOUR FUTURE
• Being mentored by a top-notch clinician
Dr. Bruce B. Baird, the host of The Productive Dentist podcast, puts it this way, “My top core value is integrity. With it, nothing else matters. Without it, nothing else matters. This is the first thing I teach associates. Take great care of the patients and stand behind your decisions. The money will take care of itself. That’s Standingintegrity.” in your core values guides your career and prepares you for the second key to claiming career satisfaction, determining personal boundaries and good fit.
the kid who said, "When I grow up, I'd like to be average, perhaps even mediocre"? I didn't think so. Now is the time to make sure you surround yourself with people who will challenge you, affirm your dreams, and cheer you on as you win.
Interestingly, both early and late-career dentists found common ground on the value of mentorship. Young dentists seek the input and hands-on experience of older mentors, and the late-career dentists were more than willing to share.
Oftentimes, the dissatisfaction came because of a lack of structure
interesting was that – of all the factors that influ ence job satisfaction – a person's "fit" within their work environ ment was the primary factor. Regardless of the stress levels of daily operations, the highest rate of career satisfaction was noted when the work environment and personal values aligned.
• Financial freedom • Ability to build assets for retirement Private practice is alive and thriving, and it's available for those who aspire to be in independent private practice. The DSO path does not have to be your path for the rest of your dental career. For many, it is the launchpad. Clarity around your non-negotiable core values is a great place to begin evaluating and designing your future (step three).
Who are you listening to and taking counsel from? Is it the news; a dental message board or a Facebook group? A trusted advisor? A study club buddy? Designing your future requires filtering information based on your values and personal fit. I’ve often experienced entrepreneur ship as “a choiceless choice.” There is an inner drive to build a life on your terms, to carry the risk of employing others, and to face the challenges on the horizon. I’m here to tell you that based on my research, private practice entrepreneurs are here to stay; despite the growing DSO footprint! Don't let the rhetoric drown your Somedreams.ofthe
loudest voices in dentistry today are private equity. You've probably heard guest lecturers from DSOs share these ence. Knowing what you stand for will increase your courage to speak up and gain the respect of your peers.
ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES FOR FIT
8 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com to facilitate this form of mentorship. The most cited reasons for dissatisfaction with DSO’s were noted on what was missing in the environment studied:
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F. WereHansenyou
• Pride in business ownership Independent work/life balance
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Autonomy, creative expression, or entrepreneurship Filter this same statement through values of autonomy, creative expression, or entrepreneurial spirit and you may view the fact of you have student debt merely as the price of admission into ownership. It’s a business expense, that’s it; end of story. What do business leaders do? They build a plan. In this case, your plan will include enough profit to incorporate a debt reduction strategy.
Career satisfaction comes through prosperity, honoring core values, and designing life on your terms. While today, it seems this is enjoyed by only the top five percent, we hope to change that. We've worked with thousands of practices nationwide, trans forming average teams into powerhouse producers, based on the core value of great patient experience. As the industry continues to consolidate, it will take all of us working together to level the playing field for private practitioners. It's my mission to see this through.
There is one more filter that I would offer as you read industry news and journal articles. Most are written to appeal to the “average” dentist. According to the American Dental Association, in 2020 the average general practitioner in America produced $490 an hour (gross) and their practices hovered around $666,060 in gross annual billings. If this is what you picture as a thriving dental practice, then it would be hard to imagine paying off debt and building a great lifestyle. But you are not average, and there is a different model. We call it Investment Grade Practice™ (IGP). These practices produce three times the national average and annually collect $1.6 million (or more) on a traditional four-day day workweek. IGP
Production per hour $490 $1,250 Collection $667,000 $1,600,000+ Business Profit (after owner salary) $65,000 $425,000 Hours worked per year 1,728 1,368 Time off per year (weeks) 2 10
Let’s apply strategic thinking and core values to interpret the
FilteredValue:statement. Certaintythrough the core value of absolute certainty, the lecturers' statements would make sense and seem to be true. What the speaker is doing is tying a fact (you have debt) with manufactured feelings (fear). Even the word "hope" is used in a way to invoke Value:fear.
Dr. David Porritt is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Productive Dentist Academy and has decades of strategic dental business experience. As CSO Dr. Porritt supports the evolution of PDA's business platform so dentists can opti mize profitability, improve the patient experi ence, and align their team with the vision of the practice. Dr. Porritt received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from Capella University and his Doctor of Business Administration from Trident University International. Ready to build an Investment Grade Prac tice? Take the IGP Assessment here: Do you have an Investment Grade Practice? - Productive Dentist Academy References 1. Factors Influencing a Dentist’s Decision to Affiliate with a Dental Service Organization and Their Corresponding Job Sat isfaction. Porritt, David. Trident University International Pro Quest Dissertations Publishing, 2021. 906bdcd/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=yhttps://www.proquest.com/openview/a4afc3c2a4fa8dd50146f195f28772391.
myths, "With the student debt you carry, your best career option is to work for a DSO or a Medicaid office as an associate and hope you can pay it off someday."
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 9DentalEntrepreneur.com
Another detail the lecturer may have left out: financing your practice purchase and refinancing student debt can be easier than you imagine. Filtering business advice, be it from speakers, influ encers, clinicians, or peers, by asking these questions:
• What biases might they have?
• How are they paid?
• Are there alternatives that are a better fit for me?
Culture Mona Patel Assess, Diagnose, Treat, and Maintain: A Process for Life? Culture
By the age of 23, I moved to the States when I married my husband. I continued on my dental path studying at the Univer sity of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1995 with a DMD and moving into private practice. I practiced in the same location for 26 years, where I started as an associate, then bought the practice shortly after. I was 30 years old, pregnant with my second child, my husband constantly trav eled for work, and I had inherited a team that did not see me as the new owner. How could they when everything I said and did showed how unsure I was? You might ask, “why did you buy the practice in the first place?” My answer: I wanted to have the ability to work the hours I wanted since I was scarred from having to go back to work a mere two weeks after having my first child. I was not given an option; at that time, I did not realize I had a choice.
Looking back, I can tell you that I made every misstep in the book. Although not when it came to dentistry. I was proficient in doing a filling, a crown, and diagnosing bread and butter den tistry. What I struggled with was communication and managing a team, but more importantly, I could not manage myself. I lived hiding my anxiety, fear of failure, and worry of not being enough, all while pretending I knew it all.
10 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
I spent years using the energy I had left to be perfect, hiding my feelings to fit into this profession I had chosen. I had bought a practice previously owned by two white men in their 50s and 60s. The team was dressed in J.Crew shirts and white pants. Preppy. I was young, female, and ethnic—a trifecta for sure. I had no room to fail but instead had to be better than better.
Thirty-one years later, I found myself a successful owner of two businesses, my dental practice and Dental Snoozology, even starting my third business, Healing Light Alchemy. I stepped into the role of educator, speaker, coach, and mentor. It all happened
Ihave been a dentist for 31 years. I attended the Queen Elizabeth Dental school in Birmingham, England, at 17, graduated at 21, and started to treat patients.
What if challenges were approached with this process and not from reaction or stress mode? I see my younger colleagues with beautiful intentions, the drive to serve patients better, and build a successful practice with an amazing team and a balanced life. Then I look at their eyes, and I see the fatigue, anxiety that they may not measure up, and imposter syndrome. They want to be everything to everyone, but they forget about themselves. Here’s how I applied these four words to myself.
Small changes lead to big results. I chose one small thing to do that disrupted my routine and shook me out of the stuckness. That small thing? Meditating every day for 10 minutes in the Imorning.gaveup
scrolling on my phone first thing in the morning. Instead of looking at the phone and immediately filling my head with noise, I started the day quietly.
DIAGNOSIS In our patients, diagnose caries, periodontal disease, pathological breakdown of dentition. What are the root cause factors associ ated with this?
• Diet • Gerd • Mouth breathing • Sleep disorders • Bruxism If we apply the word “diagnosis” to my condition:
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 11DentalEntrepreneur.com
just emotions that did not get processed. They remained stagnant in the body, leading to that feeling of The“stuckness”.realdiagnosis
Ten minutes for two weeks turned into a meditation practice of 20 minutes twice daily. when I broke through my cultural, social, and ethnic barriers. I stopped labeling myself. I stepped out of the box I had put myself in. I allowed myself to be me. I listened to my intuition. I listened to my body. I listened to my soul. But more importantly, I heard the voice in my heart that said I needed to treat myself better. And that was when I knew It was time to sell my first dental practice. I had 26 years of running the business, serving patients, and looking after the team. And in December 2019, I sold high and negotiated a favorable contract because I knew my worth this time. How did I change my fear into fearlessness, anxiety to acceptance, reticence to resilience? The answers could be found in Dentistry. In our practices, we assess our patients, gathering data to diagnose. We plan and apply - we treat. Then comes maintenance. This is the core of what we do. Did you ever think of applying it to more than dentistry?
At the practice, I controlled everything to make me feel that all was well, but it drove my team crazy.
• Numbness • Imposter syndrome • Stuckness • Conditioned behaviors • Self-limiting beliefs • Following the herd • Emotional dysregulation Is the root cause of the above fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and No,resentment?theseare
Forty-eight years old, numb, empty, disconnected - I looked at my perfect house, thriving business, and my beautiful family and felt nothing. No joy, no spark, just nothing. Everything looked great on the surface, but underneath, my dis connection, resentment, and anger were simmering and affecting my relationship with my husband, children, and friends.
We phase our treatment plans, start with building good habits, and celebrate small victories for our patients to reinforce good Howhabits.do we change ourselves? How do we shift from an old mindset to a new one and make it stick?
is straightforward. The root cause is a lack of self-love and self-acceptance. TREATMENT How do we rehabilitate a patient?
This is a simple rule of manifestation. Imagine what life can be when you switch the letters in Reaction to Creation - same letters, different order.
There are many tools and modalities that we can use to heal our selves and find the spark.
MAINTAIN We have our patients come in for regular checkups as recom mended maintenance. Similarly, I check in with myself daily and ask how I am. I ask myself why I may be feeling a certain way and if that feeling actually belongs to someone else and I’m just carrying Self-awarenessaround?is key. I ask myself if my thoughts reflect facts or a story I am looping in. I ask myself, what role have I put myself in? Victim, rescuer, or persecutor? So how do I re-center and ground myself? I prescribe myself unscheduled time without guilt. Time in nature and time to play and have fun is another way to reconnect. I don’t go on social media as much; I redefine the parameters of success
12 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com and let the herd go their way. I let my inner coach’s voice sing, quieting the inner critic.
Accept that we are human, beautifully imperfect, and celebrate it. Is what I am feeling true or a story I am telling myself?
Life is an unpredictable adventure; when you stumble or fall, you learn and grow. Growth is change. It allows newness and freshness into our energies. Do not fear it; let it in, and the discomfort will pass. I promise you.
Focus on what you want, not how you think things should be.
Slowly these small daily practices created a big change. I started my day with intention, and I felt more centered. I saw that l had many people, experiences, and things in my life to be grateful for. And that’s when I started to feel again. Instead of pushing these feelings deep down, I allowed myself to feel sad, angry, and resentful. I recognized these feelings were my friends who were trying to tell me something. I started to sit with them, and they showed me that I had given so much of my power away by ignoring them. I now understand they were trying to warn me when I allowed others to cross my boundaries, when I was people-pleasing, and when I reacted in dissonance with my true Angerself.and love are so closely linked. They aren’t the same but possess the same strength and fire. Where anger is held or not released, the growth of love is encum bered. In accepting my anger, the door to loving all of me opened. I finally accepted myself. When I allowed myself to acknowledge this, I started to feel other emotions, such as joy, happiness, and Allconnection.ofthisallowed my intuition to come online. My freedom began when I started listening to my heart, allowing it to guide me to what truly gives me joy.
Treat yourself as if you are your own best friend. Embody the kindness, compassion, and support you offer your loved ones, and give it to yourself first. Love every part of yourself, the good, the not-so-good, and espe cially the parts you fear to face.
Dr. Mona Patel is a dentist, business owner, empath, shaman, change agent, and she’s beau tifully imperfect. Mona created a practice dedi cated to comprehensive and complex dentistry presented in a way that combines technology and technique to support overall health and wellness, including sleep. She is on faculty for two curriculums: Clinical Mastery Series and Awaken2Sleep, where she is the head clinical chair. She is a Dental Snoozology coach, implementing a coaching system to help dentists with dental sleep medicine in their practices. She is also training as a Shamanic Practioner to integrate ancient healing modalities into sleep and everyday life. She can be reached at Hello@dentalsnoozology.com or Healinglight firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, I leave you with parting words of wisdom:
I started a gratitude journal. I chose three things to be happy about while sipping my morning cup of tea. I chose three things to be grateful for at the end of the day. This small habit became an everyday practice. I celebrated the challenges in our day at the office with my team through afternoon huddles, where we celebrated the things that threw us off as a team, what we learned, and each other.
Lesson #1: Don't start a new dental practice on low PPO insurance reimbursements. Download Now SCAN HERE P R A C T I C E S E R V I C E S
Meaning our words come from what is inside of us. They flow from our identity. We can’t say one thing and be another... our words tell on us! Our words not only reveal who we are to others every single day, but they actually create our environment, rela tionships, and even our outcomes in life and business.
14 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com Spotlight Brian Hunter and Shad Treadaway
There’s an ancient principle that says: “Out of the overflow of our heart, the mouth speaks.”
Why Your Words Matter Culture
To some degree, every visionary leader and entrepreneur gets this. It’s not the people that say our idea won't work that typically stops our vision; it’s our own inner dialogue we must overcome.
THE VISIONARY LEADER AND ENTREPRENEUR
The one moment we can remember when someone we valued, trusted, or looked up to said something demeaning, hurtful, or even down right evil, and it just hit us differently than any other words before it. Harsh words that deeply wounded our souls, damaged our hearts, and even changed our minds about ourselves. As a result, in some small but very real way, those words at that moment mis shaped our identity. And if we’re being honest, many of us would admit that we still hear those words to this day… they still ring in our ears. But on the flip side, most of us can also recall a time when someone truly significant spoke great things over us. Someone who mattered to us that spoke boldly and directly to the core of our identity, helped wake something up in us, and directed our life towards our true passion. Someone who believed in us and cared enough about us to stop and say the right words. We live in a society where words are often weaponized and thrown around so carelessly that we have forgotten their weight and impact. But our words matter… because they are intricately connected to our heart and mind.
ALL had that one moment.
As the leader, it’s our words that not only shape but uphold the vision. Long-term success comes from a daily commitment to effectively communicating our vision in three specific areas of our organization. We must effectively communicate our vision to ourselves, our team, and the marketplace.
And as the practice or organization grows, our words must be handed off to others or else we can’t scale. Therefore with growth comes an increase of the weight of our words and the responsi bility to get them right.
Leading a team means we have to constantly speak vision and team values. Vision leaks about every 2-3 weeks... so talking about who we are, where we are going, how we are going to get there, and why it matters is critical to speak again and again. Only when we are bored saying it, is our team actually starting to get it. Remember as the visionary, others can’t see what we see, so we have to constantly paint a picture for them with our words! More importantly, as the visionary leader, we must do what we say. We can’t speak about the future and about culture and not model it for the team. Culture has to come from our hearts.
As an entrepreneur, visionary leader, or owner of a business or practice, our words shape team culture. Culture is 100% created by what the leader celebrates and allows. We can never blame our team for where we haven’t led them.
At some point, every leader gets it wrong. But great leaders catch it when they miss the mark, own responsibility, and make the necessary pivots. There’s an incredible book we highly recommend on this topic called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. Goldsmith shares how most leaders get stuck as they move up the professional ladder because they resort to bad behavioral habits and mismanage their words and actions as a Regardless,leader.
if we are moving up someone else’s ladder or building our own, consistently speaking the right words from an authentic place is super stressful for any leader. Why? Because we know we are being seen for who we are and who we are not... it’s an incred ibly vulnerable position to be on display all the time. People are constantly judging us by our words - the ones we say and the ones we don’t. One of the greatest failures of a leader in any organization is underestimating the power of their words and not recognizing the importance of using them wisely to grow and empower people.
As behavioral science marketers who market for dental practices and dental practice groups, we help manage the communication challenge between the dental professional and the consumer every day. We spend a lot of time translating the dentist to the consumer and vice versa. Whether in our brand or performance marketing or in the sales workflows we provide our clients, everything we build is centered on synchronizing effective communication and messaging. That message flows from the heart of the leader and impacts the entire culture of the practice and ultimately deter mines whether they are effective in reaching their marketplace. From our experience, the healthiest and most successful practices are led by leaders who are not just great clinicians, but leaders who leverage the power of their words to grow their businesses and make a difference in people's lives.
WORDS WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES
There is nothing worse for a team member than a fear-based, unstable, toxic work culture where unresolved conflict, gossip, backstabbing, and unhealthy competition rule the day. One of
WORDS WE SPEAK TO OUR TEAM
The good news is every leader’s lid can be raised by choosing to do two things: Work through (don’t deny, suppress, or ignore) the negative self-talk, doubt, and insecurity that originated from painful past Stopexperiences.buying into limiting beliefs about your potential.
That means it is on us as leaders to lead ourselves out of negative Weself-talk.must change the channel in our own minds by choosing to speak to ourselves differently about who we believe we are and can Whatbecome.negative thought loop plays in your mind consistently? You have to identify it and then choose to change your mental playlist. Start today by replacing lies with truth.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 15DentalEntrepreneur.com
The most powerful words we will ever hear are the ones we hear ourselves say about ourselves every day, whether internally or out loud. Why? Because those are the ones we truly Believe.
As entrepreneurs and leaders, we must first have a vision for our own personal leadership. Every entrepreneur knows the hardest person to lead is yourself. And the most complicated and difficult leadership journey is the short distance between our head and our There’sheart.an ancient proverb that says ”As a person thinks in their heart, that is who they are.” Truth is, thoughts don’t come from our heart, but our minds. But that is how closely our thoughts and passions run together. And it shows how close our head and heart need to be connected as leaders. The implication is clear... how we think about ourselves even down to the heart level shapes how we feel about ourselves and that in turn determines who we become in life. That means the words we speak to ourselves over and over and over again in our head and heart matter because it’s those words that actually shape our identity and cap our leadership capacity. Every leader has a leadership lid. Most leaders are the lid to their own organization even though we love to blame others when things don’t grow. But the raw truth is - we are the lid. That is why we must be committed to constantly growing and improving ourselves, otherwise, our business and practice can’t keep growing. Understand we can never outgrow our own self-worth and our business or practice can never outgrow our leadership lid.
During FIST BUMP, a team member will say, ”I want to fist bump so and so...” then we all scream and carry on like kids! The team member will continue by saying directly to the person, ”I want to fist bump (you) for...” and it becomes a powerful moment where everyone gets to overhear this incredible personal exchange between team members as they celebrate the good in one another.
Everyone on the team leaves the conference table feeling valued, appreciated, and celebrated - grateful to be in a culture of appre ciation and respect. They know not only their effort and work matter, but they matter as a person.
We believe life and death are in the power of the tongue. Words can build up or tear down, add value or take away from a person. And when you talk and write for a living like us plus lead a company, there are so many chances to fail with our words. So we literally build it into our team schedule to make sure we are consistently speaking LIFE into our team culture.
So your new daily challenge: make your words count!
In the end, just about everything in our lives and business comes down to our words and our ability to express them… to say what we mean and mean what we say. And if words, or the absence of them, carry so much weight for ourselves and others, then we must become surgical at using them to grow and build up our selves, empathize with and empower our teams, and speak to the marketplace in a way that adds value to their lives.
Brian Hunter and Shad Treadaway, widely known as THE RHINOGUYS, are the founders of tinyRHINO Marketing. They have a combined 40+ years experience in marketing, entrepreneurship, public speaking, and leadership development. With the potent combination of a strong personality brand, full Brand Marketing services, and the cre ation of the most effective, behavioral-science based Performance Marketing in dentistry, The Patient Multiplier Systems, tinyRHINO Marketing has become one of the fastestgrowing dental marketing companies in the industry.
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This is why words really matter. What you say to yourself about yourself determines your ability to lead, your leadership creates a team culture and that team culture is experienced by your cus tomer, consumer, or patient. You can’t fake culture, and without a good culture - ongoing conversion and growth are impossible.
When they are done speaking they say, ”with that being said… I want to fist bump (the person’s name),” and we, as one, do a syn chronized rhythm clap together - clapping our hands and banging on the table... it is loud and so much fun!
the ways we stop conflict before it even starts in order to build healthy team culture at tinyRHINO is by catching our team members doing right! We celebrate the small and big things team members do right every week! We start our weekly All Team Meeting with what we call FIST BUMP. This opens the floor for team members to acknowledge and celebrate other team members publicly for doing something right! Team members love it so much that throughout the week, they will write down things they catch their fellow team members doing well so they can bring it up in FIST BUMP. They celebrate attitudes or actions that may seem small or even insignificant, but actually matter to the overall morale. It protects culture.
Because we work with dentists all over the world, we know the average dental consumer doesn’t understand dentist-speak. They have no lens to view or value clinical prowess or expertise. Hon estly, they just want to connect at a personal level so they can trust you with their oral health and ultimately their money. Plus, most consumers are scared, don’t want to be at the dentist, and probably have to overcome some negative presuppositions about dentists before ever showing up.
As marketers, we know the value of good copy. The right words said the right way at the right time is the secret sauce to conver sion. But let’s be honest -everybody knows when you are full of crap these days. So your brand message and ad copy can’t just be slickly written; it has to be authentic. The experience the con sumer has with your business or practice MUST match or even exceed what you’ve said in your marketing.
WORDS WE SPEAK TO THE MARKETPLACE
Successful practice owners understand the relationship dynamics between the doctor and patient. They work at it... hard. They value EQ over IQ and learn to speak at the level of the person in front of them. They take the responsibility of a leader to lead the consumer or potential patient to where they need to be by first connecting with where they are. Personal connection happens through what we say and how we say it.
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For example, when my son Lucas was crawling, I realized how much I missed grass. Yes, plain old-fashioned itchy grass that grew all around my childhood neighborhood, offering many opportunities to play ball and even provided cushion for many slip and slide adventures. The same grass that I excitedly began to mow as my first summer gig was now obsolete in the local playground of the town we lived in abroad. This forced my wife and me to plan day trips to “la Capital” every month to go play and grocery shop. The capital is also where we would find “homey” imported products that we would occasionally splurge on, like Heinz Ketchup and Coco-Puffs. Santo Domingo also had a culinary scene that included American chains, which we honestly would not frequent back home, but would do so just to reminisce and bask in familiarity.
Our boys also never experienced playing or drinking out of a garden hose as I did as a young boy because there was no clean running water to be able to do so. Daily scheduled and unscheduled power outages added to the challenge of adjusting to a different way of life. Frequently, I would scream out loud while showering because the water after an outage would be freezing and dwindling down to drops that were not always
Dentistry Pursued Off The Beaten Track
curiosity about the dental field and eventual passion began as a teenager when an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon told me he needed to break my impacted third molars into smaller pieces to ease the extraction. My initial reaction was a zealous “Coool!”. After the procedure, my mother, who suffers from dental phobia, sensed my upbeat demeanor and asked if I could envision myself as a dentist, to which I enthusiastically said “oh yeah!” It was like the depiction of love at first sight and I was instantly enamored.
Dr. Barlan Barrero
As a young man, my grandfather was ill with Alzheimer’s and required help to continue living out his life in his own home with my grandmother. Familial values and personal priorities steered me away from this first love and made my journey a bit off the beaten track. After receiving my undergraduate degree from Florida Interna tional University, I married my wife in 2008 and moved to the Dominican Republic (DR) in 2011 to pursue my first dental degree. The experience abroad was filled from the beginning with hands-on opportunities that strengthened my hand skills and raised my confidence to treat in the most humbling of scenarios; such as plastic lawn chair extractions in the middle of an impoverished dirt road community with minimal hand tools and no running water available. These experiences broadened my views and challenged me deeply, with one of the greatest lessons obtained being an appreciation for the “little things in life” that I had previously taken for granted. Cliché, I know, but these “little things” ended up not being so little; I simply had not realized how fortunate I was to have them.
18 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
I am a first-generation American from Cuban parents, I became fluent in Spanish living abroad and my understanding of Latin sub-culture broadened as a whole. Prior to DR, I spoke enough Spanish to have basic conversations with my Abuela (grandmother), mostly surrounding particular food requests such as Ropa Vieja with white rice and fried green plantains. I was for tunate to have a grandmother whose home-cooked aromas of sour orange, oregano, and garlic swept throughout the house and were a delight to all who gathered around her. I grew up in Weston, Florida, a small town about 20 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale. There, I have fond memories of always playing outside with the neighbors, swimming in my backyard pool, family BBQs at the beach, riding my bike both on the sidewalk and off, and getting into silly mischief with my friends.
My experience at the reputable Virginia Commonwealth Uni versity School of Dentistry was different in many ways and ulti mately polished me even more by broadening my evidence-based approach, while enhancing my scientific eye in the field. Although my journey may seem a bit untraditional, it has brought forth many valuable experiences that would not have flourished other wise, including those “little things” that may seem far-stretched for those who are privileged to live in the USA.
For me, dentistry is greater than my love for the field or the actions behind a treatment plan; it is about building and main taining long-lasting relationships with patients and the commu nity. As a general dentist, I identify as conservative in practice and am passionate about anatomical integrity. Ideally, I want to mimic nature as much as possible both esthetically and functionally. This requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding that each tooth is like a fingerprint; similar in many ways but never identical. I approach each restoration with this in mind and provide char acterization to each tooth as part of the whole mouth. This may not be seen from a conversational distance to the untrained eye, but it makes a difference in ways the patient may not be able to comprehend. In this sense, I want the dentistry that I do to be forgotten. What I mean by that, is that the patient is not scarred by the treatment or procedure, and that with every bite, smile, and family gathering they are enjoying the moment and are not
suffering from pain or discomfort that is distracting them from being Equallypresent.important is my appreciation for life and people which continues to grow. Being a dentist offers me the unique oppor tunity to serve others and with each interaction, I can sew into a moment of my patients’ life. Sometimes, that involves making a house-call visit to make sure the family of an elderly patient is at ease with home care. It may also entail my falling behind schedule because I am conversating about life, not just teeth, or offering a fellow South Floridian some “cafecito” or Cuban-Style espresso. I value and respect the time I have with my patients and at the end of the day, I care about the people and the community and want the best for those who choose to sit with me.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 19DentalEntrepreneur.com
This year I will be celebrating 14 years of marriage. My wife and I have two boys, 7 and 9, and a small sassy 11-year-old dog named Lola. As a family, we enjoy the outdoor activities this State offers, specifically seeking out opportunities for mountain getaways. Personally, I am a huge movie buff, but I enjoy experiences and creating opportunities that lend to long-lasting memories whether it be indoors or out. With my familial roots settling in the Queen City, I am excited to network with colleagues and continue evolving in the field. As former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” There is so much beauty in this field and I hope it’s something my patients, peers, and future dentist see and experi ence when we meet. Dr. Barlan Barrero is a native Floridian who grew up in Weston and completed his undergraduate degree at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Three years later, he moved with his wife to a Caribbean island and attended dental school at Univer sidad Central del Este. After graduation, he relocated with his family to Brooklyn, New York. While he applied for International Dental Programs (IDP), he worked as a math and science teacher at a private Christian academy and as a dental assistant within the beautiful and historic Chrysler Building. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University IDP in 2021 and has since been practicing as an associate in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is eager to lay down roots within the Queen City. enough to wash off the suds. The time I spent living in the DR was life-changing and in many ways, I credit my success to my wife, family, and some of the local Dominicans I befriended along the way who opened my eyes and heart to more than I could have Althoughimagined.
The extreme amount of debt accrued by many of our dental graduates are probably fueling this trend. Approximately 39% of the class of 2021 had educational debt in excess of $300,000. So it is no surprise that more recent grads join a DSO upon graduation.
First, the ever-increasing amount of student debt for many of our recent grads has discouraged them from considering ownership, especially after graduation, either in the short term or perhaps even opting for a longer-term career as an associate employee.
owning a private dental practice has been most practitioners' primary career goal. How ever, over the last 16 years, there has been a gradual decline in all dentists owning a private practice decreasing from 84.7 % in 2005 to 73.0% in 2021! When reviewing this data by gender, it tells a different story. In 2005, 68.1 % of female dentists were reported as private practice owners; in 2021 this number dropped to 59.6 %. In comparison, male private practice owners declined from 88.5 % in 2005 to 80.3 % in When2021.reviewing
This is supported by the increasing number of recent grads who elect to join a DSO as their private practice career option after graduation. These numbers have increased from 12 % in 2015 to 30 % in 2020.
20 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com Business Thomas L. Snyder, DMD, MBA Practice Ownership: Your Goal In The Near Future?
private practice ownership by age groups, these statistics become more revealing. For example, between 2005 and 2021, private practice owners in the age group between 35 to 44 years decreased from 86 % to 73 % whereas in the age group 30 to 34 this ratio decreased from 55 % in 2005 to 34.2 % in 2021!
Another factor, although more subjective, may be the simple fact that younger dental professionals may prefer to become long-term associate employees versus pursuing an entrepreneurial pathway to become a business owner.
So, it’s safe to state that younger dentists are attaining ownership at a decreased rate as compared to 2005. So, what is happening here?
There are no specific answers, but one can consider several factors contributing to these declines.
On the lending front, although we are certain to experience increasing interest rates this year and possibly next, they will be nowhere near the double-digit interest rates which were prevalent a generation ago. Purchasing a dental practice at a single-digit However, for most young career practitioners, many opportunities are available for those considering practice ownership. Our dental profession is undergoing many changes and here are a few facts to support this statement.
Practice values remain high in most urban and suburban areas of the country, with the most notable exception being dental prac tices located in small towns and rural areas where there has been an acute shortage of doctors willing to practice in these areas for many years. It is also no big surprise that hi-tech, well-managed, and profitable practices in urban and suburban areas are com manding higher sales prices due to increased competition among qualified purchasers vying to buy these practices. Higher practice values have also been driven by the “supply/demand” equation that there is a major imbalance between purchasers and less than sellers, making it a “ Sellers’ Market.” Another contributing factor to higher practice values is the continuation of DSOs still offering dentists top dollar (higher prices) for their practices than what is seen in the private sale market. However, we are witnessing a pos sible reversal in the “supply/demand” equation as more dentists are exiting the dental workforce and doing so at an increased rate. This is especially true for dentists over the age of 55. According to recent statistics from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute, there has been a significant increase in the number of doctors over the age of 55 who retired in 2021. For example, from 2017 to 2020, the yearly average number of retirees was 5,220. But in 2021, 6,641 dentists retired for a 27 % increase. This big increase in sellers shows no signs that this is a one-year fluctuation, but rather a trend of increased retirements in the coming years. For future practice values, there is a potential decrease in these values in the “Private Sale” market.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 21DentalEntrepreneur.com
THE DENTAL LANDSCAPE: Solo practice ownership was once the predominant model for dental practice ownership. Over the last decade, we have seen a major shift in this ownership preference. In 2001, it was reported that 66.5 % of dentists were considered solo practitioners, com pared to only 46.2% in 2021. According to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI), only one in five dentists under age 35 want to practice as solo practitioners! So for those considering practicing as a solo practitioner, there are many excellent solo practice purchase opportunities available. You may find yourself in the “driver’s seat” as more solo practices will come into the market over the next few years, making it more challenging for many to find an interested purchaser. Although there has been a continued growth and market penetra tion of corporate dentistry and DSOs throughout the US, there are still many practices available in most markets for a “private sale.” It's hard to predict the ceiling for corporate practice growth, as the current ratio of corporately owned practices varies between 16 to 20%. Most recent statistics from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute estimated as of 2019 that 10.4% of US dentists were affili ated with DSOs. Suffice it to say, if you are now ready to purchase a private practice, you are at a good place.
Suppose we change the scenario to purchasing a $1 million prac tice with a 38% profit margin ($380,000 net income annually). In that case, your lifetime career earnings will be $9,500,000, again without factoring in any future increases in gross receipts and net Soincome!ifyou can grow both practices, the financial results will exceed what has been illustrated. In summary, practice size and profit ability can substantially impact your financial future.
In closing, for those doctors who still have substantial educational debt and by choice and have decided to place their ownership goals on hold for several years, it's never too late to own a dental Thepractice.issue at hand is the length of time you are willing to remain an associate employee, whether employed in a DSO or in a pri vate practice. I'm sure you've read articles showing that owning a dental business is usually preferable to being a long-term employee. Recognizing the fact that if you have been earning a good income, accompanied with good fringe benefits, and the freedom from any management responsibilities, it can easily put you into a “cruise control“ mode.
Unfortunately, we have seen a number of entrepreneur dentists see their dreams ruined by a lack of careful planning as well as financial monitoring. Conversely, we have assisted successful practitioners who have built a solid practice network, assembled a solid management team, then parlayed their success by selling their practice network to other corporate entities or DSOs. Many of them have reached their goal of financial independence at an early stage in their dental career!
Do the members of your management advisory team have dental experience, especially in multiple office expansions? Whether you plan to own two, four, or more additional practices, you must develop a strategic plan. Not developing a strategic business plan
A lot can happen along the way. For example, your place of employment may be sold, thus the possibility of your losing this position. Obviously, it's impossible to fire yourself for those choosing a practice ownership path! Therefore, balancing the risks of having ownership control versus having no control as an employee must be considered when choosing between career Inpaths.our opinion, practice ownership is a long-term proven eco nomic path for you to enjoy a successful and financially rewarding dental career.
Dr. Tom Snyder is Senior Director of Practice Transitions for Henry Schein Dental Prac tice Transitions. He is a nationally known speaker, author, and consultant who has been advising dentists for many years in dental practice transitions, practice valuations and strategic planning. Dr. Snyder received his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine and his MBA from The Wharton School, Graduate Division, at the University of Pennsyl vania. He served as a regular columnist for Dental Economics as well as a contributing author to The New Dentist. He is on the Editorial Board of Dental Entrepreneur Magazine. interest rate with a 10-year amortization period affords many dentists the ability to afford a dental practice with higher gross receipts. For those doctors with educational loans in excess of $300,000, dental lenders are well aware of your situation. You can qualify for a practice acquisition loan if you maintain good credit.
This should dispel the “rumor” that high educational debt pre cludes you from practice ownership.
However, the real question is, “How much control do I have to maintain my associate position indefinitely?”
So, if your plan is to become a practice owner, there’s no better time than the present to make that happen! Based on what is now happening with accelerated dentist retirement, particularly over the age of 55, many more practices will be available to purchase.
If your goal is to own multiple practices eventually, several factors must be considered beyond the geographic area you want to live and First,practice.areyou confident that your locale has the demographics to support multiple offices and the distances between locations? This may have implications for proper staffing and a drain on your personal time if you intend to practice at these locations.
22 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com for any future growth can be a major error.
Lenders will pay particular attention to the practice you plan to buy, having ample profitability, ensuring that your business and educational loans, as well as your personal expenses, can be met.
If you only consider a single practice acquisition, what size practice do you prefer, based on gross receipts? Purchasing a $1,000,000 practice versus a $600,000 practice has several longterm implications for your financial success. It is not only about what price you will pay and the debt you will incur, but more importantly, it’s about your ability to produce at a clinical level to support a larger practice size. For example, let’s say you will own your practice for 25 years and decide to purchase a $600,000 practice with a 40 % profit margin ($ 240,000 net income annually). This translates into lifetime career earnings of $6 million without factoring in any future increases in gross receipts or net income.
Will your plans to expand be based on purchasing additional practices, start-ups, or a combination of both? How will your additional practices be funded: bank loans or private investors?
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Using anecdotal evidence from our practices, here are the num bers: production from a member patient is 3x the production from an uninsured patient ($515 versus $172). This increase comes from two sources: member patients who previously visited every 18 months now pay your practice a steady revenue stream to visit biannually. And member patients accept 50-75% more treatment than uninsured patients. The numbers look good; and the recur ring, high-margin revenue can transform your practice.
Think You Know Dental Membership Plans? Think Again!
embership plans are not a new idea - modern practices know that the business value of a member patient far exceeds an uninsured patient.
Jane Levy, co-CEO, Plan Forward M
24 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com patient behavior.
While your practice(s) is benefitting from subscription dentistry, so is your patient. There is plenty of research that shows unin sured patients don’t visit the dentist regularly - the number one reason is that they fear the cost uncertainty (will I need to have an x-ray? How much will that cost?). Anecdotally, even with dental insurance, I experience this stress whenever my family or I visit the dentist. A membership plan with clear terms and pricing alleviates this stress and enables the patient to embrace a biannual visit to the dentist, in accordance with the ADA’s standard of care.
Consequently, your member patients are empowered to care for their oral health. Membership plans have enabled that change in
Here’s why: member patients pay your practice directly and on time. Since the membership plan is a subscription for a bundle of preventive services at a discount, members visit regularly for hygiene and accept x-rays when they should. Con sequently, treatment presented (and accepted) increases, and the hygiene department is no longer a loss leader. Member patients become your most loyal and lucrative patients.
With this obvious value, practices have embraced membership plans; they are not new. The software platforms that manage these plans are. These platforms support your team as they custom design and roll out membership plans to your patients. They handle all the communication with the patients, the renewals, and notifications. And they provide reporting and analysis of the business impact of your plans. Some even allow you to apply for patient financing for restorative treatment. Software that’s integrated into your PMS can help your practice make a business decision to drop the worst performing PPOs and instead offer a membership plan.
When you start your journey to evaluate the different software platforms, it can become confusing. You will find companies offering software to support membership plans, discount plans, and savings plans…what’s the difference? They all sound the same. Some companies offer platforms to the practice for the Office Manager to sell to the patient. Others are two-sided marketplaces matching uninsured patients with discounted fees offered by providers through their platform.
The net result is that hygiene recall is not optimized; in fact, many practices offering a discount/savings plan will use their hygiene department as a loss leader. An even bigger opportunity cost is that practices offering a discount/savings plan will forego the increased treatment acceptance that comes with member patients accepting regular x-rays. In sum, patients buying a discount/sav ings plan tend to be price (not quality) shoppers, and these plans do not change patient behavior in their oral care journey.
according to Jarvis Analytics. Think about this for a moment: sign 50 new discount/savings plan patients in May and only 25 will renew a year later. In contrast, sign 50 new member patients in May, and 43 will renew a year later.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 25DentalEntrepreneur.com
Here’s why: to enroll in a discount/savings plan, the patient pays an enrollment fee. Only when they have paid the fee, can they access the savings you offer a la carte. To rejoin the plan the fol lowing year, they must pay a new enrollment fee. Many choose not to renew. A gym or a tennis club may ask for an enrollment fee once, but how many would stay if they were asked to enroll every year? Here are some other things to consider with a dis count/savings plan: since services are discounted and offered a la carte, these patients still experience the cost stress I described earlier. Even though x-rays, fluoride (and all your preventive ser vices) are discounted, these patients may still decline them. And the patient has no incentive or reason to visit biannually - they are still paying for each and every preventive service, albeit at a discounted price.
Here’s a bold but true statement: a practice or group that is serious about membership plans cannot scale their plans without software. Software automates patient communications and man ages renewals automatically. Without software, patients may not renew until they come into the practice again, leading to months of lost membership revenue to the practice. And the software providers will support your Office Team to sell the plans, with collateral, scripts, postcards, texting outreach, etc.
The differences between all these plans are nuanced, but the business value is not; a member patient is the most valuable not only because they can 3x a practice’s production, but also because member patients renew 80-90% of the time. The laws of economics apply - it’s far cheaper to retain an existing patient than acquire a new one. No other plans change patient behavior and retain patients for the practice - in fact, we’ve found that patients who have pur chased a discount/savings plan renew approximately 50% of the time. This is only slightly better than the industry average of 41%,
In sum, the world is changing; we have learned to buy many things with a subscription including access to movies, news, groceries, and clothing. Why not dentistry? Now that we’ve laid out the value-add from having a membership plan, if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you create lasting business impact in your practice(s), come find us at planforward.io.
Note: membership plans give you the flexibility to price a mem bership plan by practice location or the same across all locations – you choose.
Yet another difference between membership plans and discount/ savings plans: the flexibility in pricing the membership plan is not available with a discount/savings plan structure. This is par ticularly relevant to groups with practices in different zip codes with different demographics. A practice location in Maryland may want to offer a veteran’s plan with a higher discount, which may not be relevant to the patient base of a practice location based in NYC. Or a practice location with a high retiree patient base will want a plan for this demographic, which will not be relevant for a practice with a high number of millennial patients. Practice locations offering a discount/savings plan will have uniform fees across all locations, and the individual practice loses the flexibility to cater to their particular patient demographics if they wish.
26 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
Our special value-add is how we help the practice(s) grow their plan. We support the practice to price their plan(s) profitably and at a price point where the patient too derives benefit. And the platform coupled with our Customer Success team trains the practice, provides all the marketing materials, and supports them in enrolling patients. 21PD103459 (1/20)
YOUR PARTNER TO PROSPER
Propel your practice with Patterson. Supporting your success is central to our purpose. We provide the products, technologies and services you need to modernize, grow and keep your practice running smoothly.
Whether you’re exploring a purchase, implementing a new technology or optimizing it for improvement, our experts will offer you unmatched support.
Our HIPAA-compliant agreements define a direct relationship between the provider and the patient and drive loyalty and patient retention. With groups, depending on geographic location, each practice location in the group has the power to define its own fee schedule/plan types/payment frequency (monthly/annual), etc, to cater to its specific patient demographic. Also, our platform is white-labeled to drive loyalty to the practice. Membership plans bundle preventive care (2 exams, 2 clean ings, x-rays, fluoride, and an emergency visit are typical) for one price. As a result, hygiene stops being a loss leader, and treatment acceptance are 50-75% higher (because member patients take x-rays as they've paid for them). And the practice retains the patient 80-90% of the time. Membership plans drive recurring, high-margin revenue, and can double production from uninsured patients who become members.
VISIT OUR VIRTUAL BOOTH TO TALK WITH A REPRESENTATIVE TRUSTED UNRIVALEDEXPERTISE.SUPPORT.™
SAMPLE MEMBERSHIP PLANS
We can conclude that using software to manage your practice(s)’ membership plans is the way to go. Here is a summary of the value that we enable, with some specificity on the Plan Forward Weoffering:give the provider/practice location 100% control. The pro vider sets their own plan fees (with our guidance based on best practices), and they have their own merchant account where they collect the gross fees. At the end of the month, we will charge the practice(s)’ credit card for our fees. Collecting gross fees makes production reconciliation a piece of cake.
Jane started her career on Wall Street, in equity research, and continued investing at Flatiron Partners, in Series A stage startups. She ran a hedge fund and her own family office until she saw the light in 2017 and joined Henry Schein’s Innovation Center. Jane joined Jarvis Analytics in May 2020 (sold to Henry Schein) and Plan Forward, as co-CEO, in October 2021. Jane also serves on the Board of CareCru. www.planforward.io.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 27DentalEntrepreneur.com MakesPracticePerfect Get off to the perfect start. Call your ADS transition specialist for AL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA today. ADS South (770) 664-1982 “Dr. Earl Douglas and the staff at ADS South have been real helpful in steering me in the right direction in the purchase of my first practice. Dr. Douglas’s experience, organization and detail-orientation, pointed out to me where improvement is needed and how to go about achieving it.” Elizabeth H. Guerrero, DDS ADSsouth.com ADS.south209 2/25/09 1:42 PM Page 1
28 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
UNCOVER THE RED FLAGS OF SLEEP-RELATED BREATHING DISORDERS, SRBD
Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders, SRBD, cover a spectrum of medical conditions ranging from Upper Airway Resistance Syn drome, UARS, to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, OSA, and are frequently accompanied by snoring.
According to the Sleep Foundation, “Sleep-related breathing dis orders are conditions of abnormal and difficult respiration during sleep, including chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Some sleeprelated breathing disorders have limited health impact, but others can have serious consequences because of their potential effects on sleep and the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.”
The American Dental Association encourages dentists to screen patients as part of the comprehensive medical and dental history to recognize symptoms. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale can be given to patients to determine their level of daytime sleepiness.
Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing hyper tension, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Plus studies have shown an association between OSA and an increased likelihood of premature death. The patient’s health history can reveal signs of SRBD. As the red flags are uncovered, ask the patient about their history of snoring, daytime sleepiness, and if it is impacting their quality of life.
Innovation Uncovering Signs of Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders!
Surrounded by the sounds of sirens going off, I sat up in bed, awake with fear, listening for clues to gain insight into where there was a fire. Adrenaline rained through my body telling me our lives were in danger. “Which room is on fire?” I asked myself. Was it my 3-year-old child’s room, with the sounds of gasping and choking on his large tonsils? Was the danger in my own bedroom as my husband’s mouth was open, not breathing until he gasped to get his next breath? His deviated septum and low tongue posture were like a pinch in the fire hose preventing the life-sustaining oxygen from entering his body. I cannot sleep because I need to find solutions to restore their airways and save my family from the lack of oxygen and restorative sleep.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 29DentalEntrepreneur.com
• Noxious oral habits
As an function.healthyandthevaluewitnessedTherapistMyofunctionalOrofacialIhavetheoffindingrootcauserestoringoral
When I am asked to speak for dental study clubs, I have had dentists share with me how difficult it is to incorporate airway assessments into their busy practice.
“These days, dentists are under a lot of strain and are being pulled in 10 different directions. Give us a quick and easy guide to assess airway and make that decision to say a referral and further eval is needed. What are the red flags that should prompt the dentist to say to the assistant the patient needs a referral? The protocol needs to be fast and efficient as I am feeling pulled to get to the next patient.”
I worked in dental practices as a dental hygienist for over 30 years, however, I did not know how to recognize the red flags of SRBD.
UNCOVERING SIGNS OF OMDS THAT WOULD BENEFIT FROM A REFERRAL TO AN OMT Airway obstructions Mouth breathing habits Sleep-related breathing disorders Low forward tongue posture Dysfunctional swallow oral tissue (tongue-tie) narrow palates
UNCOVERING SIMPLE AIRWAY SCREENING SYSTEMS
ABC-2 Airway Screening© A: Airway Nasal clarity, large tonsils, tongue space, tongue posture, Mal lampati score B: Breathing Mouth or nose breathing. Habit or obstruction.
Over the last 7 years, I have immersed myself in the study of Oro facial Myology, sleep, and airway. Currently, I am now practicing as a Certified Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist. As an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist I have witnessed the value of finding the root cause and restoring healthy oral func tion. The field of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is growing rapidly due to the recognition of its value with research and demonstration of positive outcomes for those suffering from Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs). Many people have habitual mouth breathing habits that result in the muscles and orofacial functions adapting to a disordered breathing pattern, which may create OMDs. OMDs can affect craniofacial skeletal growth and development, low tongue posture, and breathing and sleep concerns.
UNCOVERING THE DENTAL PROFESSION AS BEING IN THE BEST POSITION TO SCREEN FOR SRBD
To support the dentists looking for simple solutions to imple ment an airway screening, I created the ABC-2 Airway Screening, focusing on airway, breathing, patient concerns, and collaboration with the integrative medical and dental teams.
C: Patient Concerns Snoring, sleep-related breathing disorders, OSA, daytime sleepi ness, TMJD, restricted lingual frenulum, bruxism, occlusal wear,
and resolve airway restrictions by uncovering the why! Cheryl Shafer, RDH BS COM After 30 years as a clinical hygienist Cheryl is now a Certi fied Orofacial Myologist and the owner of Facial Function. She has a passion for oral health and service to those looking for solutions for health and wellness. Cheryl has degrees in Dental Hygiene and Community Health Education, certification in Orofacial Myology from IAOM, advanced training in breathing restoration and airway. Specializing in the airway, breathing and oral function, she is helping those with orofacial myofunctional disorders at her practice, Facial Function, collaborating with an integrative team of medical and dental providers. As a National Speaker her goal is to empower the dental team to rec ognized airway and sleep disorders in the dental practice to grow their practice and healthy airways.
4. Breathing through the nose helps the facial muscles and bones develop correctly. Proper oral rest posture with lips closed and tongue resting on the roof can support healthy craniofacial development and occlusion.
Studies show many adults with sleep apnea do not know they have it. Utilizing sleep questionnaires and oral screenings including airway and oral function can have significant benefits on the early detection of airway, sleep, and OMDs in the dental office.
6. Breathing through the nose activates the parasympathetic nervous system. And at night it helps the body rest, digest, and recuperate. The Orofacial Complex plays a critical role in life-sustaining tasks, such as eating, drinking, and breathing. The orofacial muscles also play an essential role in our growth and development, as well as our dental and airway health.
There are a growing number of children and adults with sleep disturbed breathing and sleep apnea. Kids who are not getting restorative sleep can present as having a lack of concentration and attention issues.
What if we shift our focus to preventing fires in the first place in and lips are not functioning correctly, crowded teeth and underdeveloped jaws can be the result. Underdeveloped jaws can lead to a lack of tongue space in adults.
We can use positive airway pressure such as CPAP to maintain the airflow, however, I would suggest we shift our focus to include identifying and eliminating the root cause of the mouth breathing habit and collapse of the airway.
3. Breathing through the nose protects oral health. When an individual inhales through their mouth, the oral cavity becomes dried out, which can increase acids in the mouth, decay, and gum inflammation
To uncover why we are having trouble sleeping and breathing we must look for clues in the oral facial complex for where there are airway obstructions and work with a collaborative medical and dental team to restore the ability to breathe.
UNCOVERING THE IMPORTANCE OF NASAL BREATHING TO HELP PREVENT SRBD
Snoring is a siren warning us of dangerous conditions. Resolve and restore as early as possible!
2. Breathing through the nose, you harness various properties of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays a role in the dilation of the blood vessels in the lungs so that oxygen can be properly absorbed from the air.
The fire is out, my loved ones are safe! It brings me peace of mind to know my son and husband are now breathing better, sleeping better, and living their best life by eliminating the obstructions and restoring their nasal breathing and sleep. Can you think of anyone in your home or dental practice that may have mouth breathing or sleep concerns? Oral health profes sionals are a critical part of the health care team to improve health and Recognize,wellness!restore
1. Breathing through the nose filters the air, to reduce allergens, bacteria, and viruses before it enters the body. Air inhaled through the nose is both warmed and moisturized.
UNCOVER HOW TO “BREATHE BETTER, SLEEP BETTER, FEEL BETTER!”
30 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com impact of lack of sleep on health C-2 Collaboration Sleep physician for sleep studies and CPAP, sleep dentist for Oral Appliance, Orthodontist for expansion and occlusion, ENT to evaluate nasal clarity, tonsils, adenoids, Oral surgeon, Frenectomy provider, Allergist, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist to restore nasal breathing and oral function.
5. Breathing through the nose lessens the chance of snoring by reducing open mouth breathing and allows for proper tongue to palate posture.
Thanks to support from Septodont, our nonproﬁt program members can help families in need access dental care, connect with a dental home, and learn healthy dental hygiene habits. No child should have to su er from tooth decay! Join our movement AmericasToothFairy.org.at Together, we can create a future where every child has a healthy smile!
Maybe you woke up with a potentially billion-dollar idea, or maybe it was your friend, spouse, co-worker, cousin, neighbor, or someone else who has told you excitedly about theirs. And now you might be wondering about the best way to turn that glimmer of an idea into the kind of billions you read about!
Of course, you don't have to reveal every aspect of your app idea to everyone or divulge any insights or research you've come up with, but talking about the “problem and solution” element of the app with others can be incredibly helpful during the early stages of development.
If someone can actually steal your idea and launch a successful business on the back of it, there’s a chance your idea or its execu tion is seriously flawed, to begin with. Let's face it, there are many copycat apps with a “fast-follower” strategy, cropping up soon Thisafter.
Here are some essential tips you should know before you get started:
GET FEEDBACK BY SHARING YOUR IDEA
I know what you might be thinking - your idea is so genius that you really don’t even want to tell anyone for fear of them stealing your idea. I’ve been there, I had the exact same paranoid thought myself. But without feedback, your idea is likely to stay just an idea.
James Younger, DDS Got an App Idea? Get Started Here!
the rapid growth of TempStars in recent years, it seems nearly every week someone reaches out to me seeking advice about how to bring a new app to market.
The truth is that the idea is only 1% of the success formula. Feed back can help you identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of your new app idea and it can also help inspire you to develop it further. Asking for feedback will bring you valuable insights, criti cism, opinions, and more on your app idea. The risk of somebody stealing the idea and transforming it into a successful business is too tiny to even worry about.
The reality is that most dental professionals are not tech gurus or seasoned app developers - so it's definitely worth familiarizing yourself with the dos and Don'ts to hopefully get you started off in the right direction.
32 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
is just how competition in business works - if you have a good idea, someone is going to copy it at some point. As well as the idea itself you will need to come up with something special about it which is going to keep your app head and shoulders above the competition.
This is just a brief look at what steps to take if you have an exciting app idea in mind. It’s definitely not a comprehensive step-by-step guide to building a successful company around a mobile applica tion. But I hope this gives you a few gems of advice and perspec tive - things I wish I had known at the beginning of my journey - and I’m happy to share them with my fellow dental professionals. So if you're venturing down this path, know that you’re not alone.
It might sound daunting to bring an app to market but it's been done so many times. There are literally millions of apps available from the Apple App Store, meaning a lot of people have trodden the same ground as you, and all of these apps started as a simple idea in someone's mind. In nearly every city, you will find start-up incubators and other resource centers, which are hubs you can use to find coaches, men tors, and other like-minded folks working on their own apps. The start-up community is thriving and full of energetic entrepreneurs who love to discuss business and technology.
It is important to think of the development of an app and the business that supports it as an ever-evolving journey. Launching that first version is just the beginning. The app will never be “fin ished” because you are going to be making improvements to it based on feedback. And there is a possibility of making tweaks as the marketplace and/or competitor landscape changes.
Best of luck! James Younger, DDS is a practicing dentist and the Founder/CEO of TempStars, North America’s fastest-growing dental temping and hiring service. Using cutting-edge mobile and web technology, TempStars connects over 16,000 dental hygienists and assistants with more than 5,500 dental offices. Dr. Younger is pas sionate about bringing technology solutions to his fellow dental professionals and loves discussing entrepreneurship and technology. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
A COACH OR MENTOR CAN BE HELPFUL
I had a great experience with Haltech, MaRS Innovation Center, and Oakville's RIC. Through my experience, I found the mentor ship, coaching, seminars, and connections incredibly helpful on my entrepreneurial journey. Although you might have come up with your app idea by yourself, you don't need to go at it alone when there are so many like-minded people and resources avail able for you.
DON'T HIRE A DEVELOPER AT THIS STAGE
It's tempting to go and find a developer, coder, or programmer right away but don’t do it! At the idea stage, it’s too early to be hiring a coder/developer. It’s a common mistake, and one I made Developersmyself. are expensive and there is a lot of work you can your self do to optimize and refine your idea before you need to hire and pay someone anywhere between $50 and $250 per hour to build it. This brings me to my next point: BUILD A PROTOTYPE Figuring out and developing your idea by yourself is going to be much easier if you use software to build your own prototype. There are many great options you can choose from since so many people have ideas for apps. You will be able to quickly build a clickable prototype to represent your idea closely and a lot of rapid-prototype software services don't cost a cent. Personally, I like to use “proto.io" but there are other options too including Figma, Invision, and Balsamiq, to name a few. Once you've spent a while getting used to how your chosen app works, you shouldn't find it difficult to use. A prototype you build yourself can be tweaked in real-time, which is hugely important since you will be able to tweak things once potential future users of the app submit feedback. So watch a few YouTube videos, invest a couple of hours in learning how to build a prototype, and it will serve you well for the entire life of your Althoughidea.
a prototype is simply, well, a prototype, it will feel real to potential users who are trying it out. It also functions as a com munication tool between your developer (when you do hire one) and yourself. By this time, you will have ironed out any issues and made improvements, so you can clearly show your developer what you're looking for. So figure out the screens, functions, and solutions yourself quickly and easily using prototyping before going to a developer - you’ll save yourself a world of headaches (and money).
So do talk about your idea with people you trust who are inter ested in helping you with it, even if you decide to withhold some of the important details. You will find that the insights gained from such conversations outweigh any risks of another person taking your idea and using it as their own.
YOUR JOURNEY IS NEVER OVER
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 33DentalEntrepreneur.com
Wrapping Things Up
So it’s critical to make sure your idea is a solution to a problem and you are passionate about it, otherwise, you’ll likely lose interest and give up at the first (or tenth!) sign of trouble. Also, even if everything seems to be perfect and your app is run ning smoothly and becoming popular, this isn't necessarily going to last. Being passionate about your app and the solution it offers to users means you’ll have the energy and motivation to overcome all the hitches that will inevitably come up.
Patients in 2022 are now being given more thorough screenings and medical history reviews. They have more general healthrelated medical issues and questions. As general health becomes commonplace in the dental operatory, the more questions/con cerns patients have for the one health care provider they spend more time with than any other: their dental hygienist. They have burning desires to discuss the Covid19 situation before we ever get
stroke of the scaler on the surface of a tooth begins draining the lifespan of our career but it’s not just scaling that causes injury. It’s the entire clinical enchilada. The leaning over, the forward head posture, the contracted wrist flexion, the straining of the eyes, the chronically dehydrated bone, brain, and muscle tissue, and let’s not leave out the notorious chicken arms that plague our industry with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Let’s face it, we typically don’t suffer from acute injury in dentistry. We most often suffer from MSDs, which in dentistry, are from cumulative injury.
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Impact Our Battery is Draining
It’s 1 o’clock and you’ve got your post-lunch pep talk going strong. “Only 3-4 more. I can do this.” You know that pep talk, we all do. It starts earlier and earlier in the day as the week progresses until it starts happening on Sunday night. Your battery is draining fast… but it doesn’t have to be that way. We all know that a lithium battery only has so many charges (300500 charges according to Battery University). There are ways that we can use our devices that will drain the life of a battery faster and ways to preserve it, but at the end of the day, there are still only so many charges. It’s time we start thinking of our body as a lithium battery with an undetermined number of charges and consider the ways in which we can make our most valuable asset Everylast.
Let’s say that a normal healthy patient requires 1,000 scaling strokes and a periodontal maintenance requires 3 times that (3,000). If 25% of our 8 patients a day were PMT’s, that histori cally put us at 12,000 strokes of a scaler per day. Fast forward to August 2021. Patients were finally returning to dental offices (after 18 months of not getting care), others had changed to at-home work schedules where home care habits were lacking, rendering them significantly heavier in debris, unhealthy gingiva, and needing more care… in the same number of minutes. Those nor mally “healthy” patients became 25% of the day and the rest of the day was with patients who were either launched into periodontal care needing scaling and root planning with more frequent PMT recare appointments. The workload of our day got significantly harder with less help for the increased demand. Using the same fictitious numbers, we went from 12,000 strokes per day to 20,000 strokes per day. That was quite a hit on our internal batteries, and most of us felt it.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 35DentalEntrepreneur.com into the mouth and these questions take up more of our precious minutes and zap our battery further.
Use the tools available to us. Yes, there are the obvious ones: mechanized scaling, intra-oral cameras, ergonomic tools (saddles, loupes, lights, sharp instruments, cordless) that help keep the body neutral so that we aren’t as physically fatigued. There is also alternative practice management protocol like gross debridement, SRP, Prophy 1/Prophy 2, more frequent recare, etc. Don’t be afraid to use them. Put your oxygen mask on first. That means properly preparing for the job ahead of you. Get adequate sleep, hydrate, stretch frequently, foam roll daily, and strengthen the body to meet the demands being put on it. For Pete’s sake, get out of the office for some fresh air and a lunch break!
Many providers are practicing with additional PPE/sterilization protocols that suck even more minutes from the available time to deliver the same standard of care. All this while dehydrated, due to the lack of ability to easily remove it to get a drink of water – despite the side effects of dehydration (headaches, diz ziness, fatigue). As we fatigue, we run behind, make errors, and advocate for our patients less – because, let’s face it, by 4:00 pm we’re resentful that our patient (now seen as an energy vampire) walked in the door. These issues all lead to mental stress, physical exhaustion, and an emotional toll that leaves many considering an exit strategy from hygiene during an unprecedented hygiene shortage. A hygiene shortage that is leaving offices asking for us to see more patients a day, work more days per week, and leave dentists frantically searching for ways to get dental assistants into a hygiene scope of practice to get care to patients.
If we compare our physical battery to a phone battery, it’s as if we are walking around at 3% with 45 windows open while streaming a movie and attempting to charge on our lunch breaks with a broken charger. The harsh truth is, that we are failing. We are in pain and headed for burnout. But I believe it’s not an inevitable ending for us. There are ways to balance the needs of the patient and practice with the needs of the providers. Work smarter, not harder. This means being attentive during assessments to what the patient's needs are before a scaler goes in the mouth. There is nothing like getting ¾ of the way through and running out of time. Take 30 seconds to put an explorer in the mouth and see what is present sub-gingivally. Let them own their mouth. The patient owns their mouth and all of the disease or health therein. We’ve all heard this before. “Don’t presume a patient can’t afford treatment or isn’t interested in options.” That’s all fine and dandy until it’s no longer an assump tion. How about that part where not letting them own their issues becomes enabling behavior on our part? Kindness, compas sion, and an oral camera go a long way when guiding patients to owning their situation. Don’t be a martyr. Hurting ourselves to get a non-compliant patient “clean” in 65 min (because let’s be real, now we’re running over) so that they can be done in a single visit isn’t helping them and it’s hurting us. We know it and they often do too. “I really made you work today!” is not a compliment, Mr. Jones.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Seeing 9 patients a day (or 15-20 in assisted hygiene schedules) burns out the body faster than seeing 8. Every stroke and awkwardly held static position matters and cumulatively drain our battery. Communicate! The last thing our doctors want to do is have to replace us right now, so it’s imperative that we speak up when we are in pain or are super stressed. Getting an ergonomic assessment is much easier than finding a replacement. Covering a massage therapy visit is better than losing a day of hygiene production. Get an ergonomic program in place for the office. Implement stretches into morning huddles, incentive programs for obtaining ergonomic equipment, find ways to get water breaks in for clini cians donned with multiple layers of PPE, and consider a yoga or strength training class for a team-building experience. The sky is the Givelimit!yourself grace. It’s ok to say no thank you when that red light is showing at >10%. We are human. Dentistry is not assembly line work. We have a responsibility to our patients, our doctors, and our families to take care of ourselves! Katrina Klein is a full-time practicing regis tered dental hygienist of 15 years who knows, firsthand, the struggle of working in a sta tionary, inflexible environment. As a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, national speaker, author, and competitive bodybuilder, Katrina has attained a unique understanding of the bio mechanics behind clinical ergonomics which has given her the exper tise and training to help provide safer means of delivering dentistry, through proper ergonomics and fitness. Contact her at: ErgoFitLife@gmail.com, @ErgoFitLife_Katrina, Facebook Page/Group; ErgoFitLife, www.ErgoFitLife.com
The mistake I had made was that whenever I talked with his patients, I just “talked dentistry.” I assumed that “tooth talk” was all I needed for patients to say “yes” to my recommendations. Often, the senior dentist would talk with the same patients, and every time, like clockwork, they’d accept his recommendations.
Now I understand that the most important part of the action step process is to evaluate your thoughts, your results, and adjust, if Afternecessary.graduating from dental school, I became a Navy dentist. I spent three years at the Naval Dental Clinic, Parris Island, SC, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (i.e., boot camp). While at Parris Island, I was able to hone the clinical skills I had learned in dental school. At Parris Island, I was one of fifty dentists, and each year we treated 22,000 recruits. Boot camp lasted twelve weeks. Every three months, we were treating a new batch of patients.
With this revolving door of new recruits, I realized that the den tistry I was doing was a “geographic success.” Whether my work succeeded or failed, it moved. Because of that fact, I was never able to see the long-term results of my work.
Now I understand that, as a professional, we learn and improve the most when we see our clinical dentistry fail as opposed to when it works well. During my years of practicing dentistry, I never liked seeing my failures. However, I always felt fulfilled when I could improve my technique and as a result, achieve a better outcome.
Now I understand that practicing dentistry involves more than just being a “great dentist.” Dentistry is a people business and establishing trust with your patients is the first step you need to take for your patients to regularly accept your treatment
Forrecommendations.me,thismeant that I needed to soften the “let’s just get down to business attitude.” Essentially, I had to “lighten up,” focus less on dentistry, and focus more on getting to know my patients as people, rather than teeth. I learned that I needed to first seek to understand their needs, desires, and their goals, before proposing treatment recommendations.
This past week, I had an “aha moment.” As I looked back over my professional life, I could see that every action step I took along my journey, regardless of a good or bad result, first started as a thought or an idea.
36 Summer 2022 Dental Entrepreneur DentalEntrepreneur.com
Impact Dr. Robert Maguire Your Success in Dentistry Starts With Your Thoughts
After Parris Island, I worked as an associate for a dentist who was firmly established in his community, a great dentist, wellrespected, and loved by his patients. During my early days in his practice, I’d present treatment to his patients and immediately get that “deer in the headlights” look.
Now I understand the importance of taking the time to first ask patients questions, and listen to their answers, rather than just jumping in and telling them what I think they need.
Eventually, I reached out to friends and colleagues for their wisdom and guidance. After bringing me down off the cliff, they helped me see that I could, if I really wanted to, have my own Theypractice.gave me lots of great insights and were a huge emotional help. After a few months, I was able to purchase my own practice, a place where I successfully and happily practiced for the next 28 Iyears.now understand the importance of having colleagues to help us sort out the thoughts in our heads, to help us see things from a different, often better, perspective.
In truth, my first few years in private practice were a bit rocky. The practice I purchased was very busy; I affectionately called it “my hamster-wheel practice.” At the end of most days, I would return home to my family brain-fried, physically, and emotionally Thingsexhausted.got
• Develop your dream team. Hire great people, treat them with respect, clearly define their roles, support them, seek their input, and reward them for their efforts.
Once I figured out my purpose and how to better practice den tistry, I needed to learn how to lead and develop a team. I’m ashamed to say that during my early years in private practice, I became obsessed with the “numbers.” I focused way too much time on money and not enough time on building a team. I was a manipulative micromanager; not only did I make myself miser able, I made everyone else around me miserable.
With the help of my consultant, we developed detailed job descriptions and easy-to-understand systems. I started seeking input from my team and most importantly, I listened to their input. In truth, their ideas were often better than mine. We insti tuted morning huddles, weekly team meetings, and collectively made decisions. As we started to work better together, the practice production started to increase, one year, by twenty percent. And to think, it all first started with a thought.
• Spend time getting to know your patients, their needs, their goals, their fears, their dreams, and their desires.
I now understand that having a great team is a very important part of having a successful, profitable, and fulfilling practice.
• Always do your best dentistry.
• If you are focusing first on money-STOP. Remember that your thoughts have power and lead you to action. Remember to evaluate your results and make course corrections. Remember to take care of your team and your patients. Because when you do, you’ll learn, you’ll grow, and be able to Nowsay…I Wishingunderstand.youmore joy, more fulfillment, and greater financial success! Dr. Maguire is a dentist who practiced den tistry for 34 years. He had a successful solo pri vate practice for 28 years in Wolfeboro, NH and retired from that in October 2018. He received his DDS from Georgetown University and has a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University. He is also a past president of the NH Dental Society and is a Fellow in both The International College of Dentists and The American College of Dentists.
In my heart, I knew I had to leave his practice. Unfortunately, I had worked myself into a frenzy by drowning in negative thoughts. What if I fail? With my dental school debt, how can I pay for this?
• Get clear about your mission, who you are, and what you are about.
Dr. Maguire is now a speaker, coach, and consultant, devoting himself full-time to helping dentists find more joy, more fulfillment, and more financial success in their lives and in their dental practices. He is also a certified instructor for the DiSC Personality Assessment.
tice, and how to create a great team.
I know “jack squat” about managing a dental practice.
better once I figured out what was important to me and how I wanted to practice. Again, it all started with taking the time to think about what I wanted and what I valued, and then finding a way to make it happen.
Also, I now understand the power of positive thoughts and the importance of taking risks. Had I continued to live in my nega tive thoughts and my fear of failure, I probably would have made less money, and practiced unhappily as an associate for many more years.
Thanks to the great teachers in places like The Pankey Institute and The Dawson Academy, I was able to morph my practice into one with a more manageable pace, one that was more fun, more fulfilling, and one that was more profitable.
I now understand that… having a practice that is fun, fulfilling, and profitable, begins with the right thoughts, a passion for den tistry, and a passion for your team and for your patients. Here are a few steps to get you started.
• Know that when you focus more on your patients and team, the money will follow.
After three years as an associate, I decided to purchase an existing solo private practice. For about a year, I agonized over that pur chase. After practicing as an associate for two years, the promise of a partnership was progressing nowhere. According to the senior dentist, who I still call my friend, “the timing just wasn’t right.”
Again, after some struggle, I admitted that I needed help and hired a consultant. They taught me the skills I never learned in dental school, how to be a leader, how to better manage my prac
Now I understand that once you are clear about your purpose, you can accomplish great things.
I now understand how detrimental solely focusing on money is to a dental practice.
Dental Entrepreneur Summer 2022 37DentalEntrepreneur.com
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