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The Importance of Wisdom Over Knowledge in Dentistry

Summary:

Understanding the difference between wisdom and knowledge is crucial to excel in dentistry and life. Wisdom sees trends and prepares for the future; knowledge can hinder adaptation.

In this episode, Dr. Marc Cooper, a dental industry veteran with over 58 years of experience, emphasizes the importance of wisdom over knowledge in dentistry, highlighting the need for dentists to anticipate and adapt to industry trends. He discusses the rise of Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) and the necessity for dentists to embrace changes in the landscape of dental practice ownership. Marc also challenges traditional notions of ownership, urging dentists to consider collaborative models and embrace the inevitability of industry evolution. He addresses concerns about the lack of business education in dental schools and advocates for mentorship programs to prepare dental students for the realities of practice. Furthermore, Dr. Cooper shares insights on the shifting dynamics of the healthcare industry and the potential for dentists to play a more integrated role. Finally, he discusses his current work with the Contemporary Elder Institute, focusing on redefining aging and finding joy in life’s later stages.

Tune in and learn how to navigate the changing landscape of dentistry while embracing collaboration and wisdom for a successful and fulfilling career!

Secure Dental-Marc Cooper.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental-Marc Cooper.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental Podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Noel Liu:
Welcome back to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast, where we bring in many bright talents and individuals from both inside and outside our dental industry. Today we have a very, very special guest. But before we go on, I just wanted to bring in our sponsor. And our sponsor for this pod is DentVia. It's a dental virtual assistant administration company that assists in back-end office tasks for your front desk and managers. Visit them at www.DentVia.com. Again, it's www.DentVia.com. Now, without further ado, I'm going to be introducing Dr. Marc Cooper. This guy is a legend. Over 58 years of experience and relationships at every level of the dental industry, from working at the chair, to being chairman of a board. And also, I mean his traveling, over 1.2 million miles. This guy is a legend. He has been like a consultant for single practices to Fortune 500 companies in 17 countries, from single practice to running DSOs in both Europe and US. And his credentials outspeaks his personality. He's such a humble guy. And today I'm so honored to be joined by Dr. Marc Cooper. So, Dr. Cooper, without further ado, I'm going to pass the mic on to you.

Marc Cooper:
I don't know what to do with the mic, but thank you. All that may be true, but it doesn't matter. What matters is where you're sitting in your skin and your situation, and what is the future that you're moving into. And one of the things that I'm working on now is that we are a knowledge society, but we are not a wisdom society. And what comes with those 58 years of being in dentistry to some level, at some level, is wisdom. Wisdom is different than knowledge. It's rarely applied, and certainly not in dentistry. So that's why we make so many mistakes.

Noel Liu:
So when you say wisdom, what is your definition of wisdom, and where do you see it's lacking in this current environment of ours?

Marc Cooper:
Great question. Asked a lot and hard to answer. Knowledge is linear, and it comes in a package, and it looks a certain way. It's information and data and interpretation and assessment and judgment, and it's all wrapped into something, and you call that knowledge. But it's not always effective. In fact, sometimes it gets in the way, not out of the way. Wisdom can see when it's getting in the way and knows how to disassemble it. That's the difference. So wisdom is really powerful. It's not embraced in our culture. It wouldn't look the way it looks if wisdom were more pervasive in our culture. Knowledge is. You can, you know, I use ChatGPT every day. I think it's a wonderful tool, but it doesn't make life better. So that's the work there is for me to do now at my age. But let's talk about dentistry. What's the burning questions your audience has? What do they bother you about?

Noel Liu:
Wisdom and dentistry: these two items, right? Which is why I think you're the perfect fit to answer these questions in relation to dentistry, and how do we get wisdom in this field? Because the dental field is really rapidly changing. The landscape is just shifting.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah. You know, that's a great question.

Noel Liu:
And I wanted to see your insight.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah. Good for you. I do too if I suppose. I don't know if they're insights; this is just the way I see it, you know. And you could say I am inciting what I'm doing both, I'm causing it to look that way and I see it that way. It's interpretive. I've been around a long time. I was just thinking before I spoke with you that I used to do my recalls on five by seven cards. That was the age of dentistry at that moment in time. And then I've been engaged with it and watched its evolution. It has a long tail. So one of the things about wisdom I find really, I really appreciate, is you get to see further into the past and more forward into the future. You can see the trend. So wisdom sees the trend now. It sees the changes. That's one of the differences. And it's like, Oh, okay, of course it's going to go there. People ask me about how I generated my success, and that's because I just knew where it was going. I just got to the right station first. So it made it really easy. So I suppose wisdom is an age bound. It's a way of seeing the world. So I had some wisdom in that particular area, others didn't.

Noel Liu:
So anyone with this knowledge that you're talking about here, so with this wisdom, I mean, we can apply it any time in our lifetime, in our lifespan, right? I mean, it doesn't have to come with...

Marc Cooper:
Yeah, yeah, I know people are looking for it though. The problem is I don't know if people are looking for it. We're so knowledge-consumed. I watched your social media because I'm part of it. I am dentistry in certain ways, and it's wonderful. It gave me a huge world to live inside of; a great reality. Was it true or not? Doesn't matter. It was what I had, and it trained me, it developed me, it compensated me. It did a lot for me. And I tried to give it back. And what I brought to it was: take a look and see where the future is going and then get there. Because if you don't, you're going to be behind. So that's where I always work from. It's like, Okay, I remember I gave the first talk on computers in dentistry in 1987, and it was they looked at me like I was crazy, and then I knew what my job was: to make them crazy. So I did that. I did that for a long time. Same thing with DSOs, same thing with everything that they're doing now. The big boys have really figured it out well. And so you have to understand that's the way where it is.

Noel Liu:
Yeah. Let's dive into the DSO world since you mentioned.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah, I know, but you know, you think you don't have much to do with it. So if you take a look at the attitude you have, dentistry has towards the certainty that larger business is going to be the future. They're not generating the kind of relatedness or abilities needed to make that future happen. They're resisting it, or they're pushing against it, or they're gossiping about it, or they're assessing it. Rocks are hard, water is wet. And the title DSO is interesting because I don't think it'll be that in five years; it'll be something else. But that is the future. Okay, are we preparing ourselves for that future? And dentist says, I am, like every other dentist is, resistant to change. Like I don't want to change to do that. I don't want to become that. Well, okay. Well.

Noel Liu:
What do you think it is? Is it fear or is it ego?

Marc Cooper:
It's all. You have to not own or take or out of your vocabulary and see how big it gets, like, Oh, okay, it's ego, which is who you understand yourself to be. That is an ego: who you understand yourself to be. And then there's the, yeah, and just people have a hard time recognizing that aspect of themselves. They think it's real, but their ego determines your perception. And so your perception reinforces your ego. So the two are in cahoots to see the world they want to see. But if you look at the anatomy of an ego, it's pretty frail. It's not well-designed. And that's the advantage for a conscious person is to be able to, use a little judo here and the force of the opponent, sometimes the ego is a wonderful thing to use unless it's using you. And so there's a way to learn how to do that. Take some time.

Noel Liu:
And you're absolutely, right, because I've been seeing like these bigger, larger companies, they coming in, they are more efficient, they have more capital, they have more manpower and more resources. I mean, how is a single office or a single practitioner going to be competing against these guys?

Marc Cooper:
It doesn't really matter. I mean, I remember my cousin Harry and I have his operatory with his chain-driven, slow drill. I remember, and the spittoon. One of the things that's been very contributory to me is to be able to look from multiple directions. And so one of the bodies of work I'm working on now is I'm bringing numbers of religions together to see what's the commonality of what is the source for all of them. That's what I'm looking at. And what I'm seeing is there's an access to something that dentists can't go beyond. If they could, it's just a job to learn from. If they would add a Buddhist perspective of the job is the yoga. The job is what can I learn from it? The job is what can I see for? The job is where can I grow from it? Rather than there's some limiting factor if I don't have it my way. That makes no sense because it's going to go the way it goes. That's how life works, I'm afraid, you know? So hey, if it's going in this direction, either I make a choice to get out, which is fine, and do something else, or make a choice to really learn how to play this game because this is the game you've got. And I think it's a wonderful game. I think if dentists could really understand how to play, they could be contributory, participatory, intellectual, knowledgeable; they could have a world that's really pretty extraordinary because these guys, as you said, have the capital, have the means, have the knowledge base, they've got resources that would be, Wow, if I could get ahold of those, that would be great.

Noel Liu:
It's like if they can embrace it and just take. Kid and basically just work with it, like you said. Like making it like the.

Marc Cooper:
Well, that's what you got. Rocks are hard, water is wet. And here's the future. Okay, now choose. See, that's where you said, What are they afraid of, or what is the ego? Both. Change is really scary. It's like, Well, I designed myself to be this way in the future and that expectation will probably not get realized. And then if you look underneath that, expectations unfulfilled lead to upsets. So dentists get upset a lot. It's like they're just, they're not going to make a change that way.

Noel Liu:
Correct. And I've been seeing like data, I've been showing more and more of the dentist population that's coming out of dental schools. They are like less likely to own a practice. And I've been seeing this trend going on for the last five, six years. It's just on a decline. There are still those gung ho's that want, still want to own their practice, but I ...

Marc Cooper:
Yeah, but you know they're, but there's no reason to. It's like building your own dental school. It's like, is there a reason to do that? No. So you went to dental school because there was an existing structure that allowed you to forward a certain career objectives, and you followed it. And so then if you look at the, I just spent a lot of time at the Colorado Plateau and Zion National Park and you see the layers of rocks. And I'm that, in dentistry, I've seen the lower levels and where, you know, its accumulation to where it is right now. It's a lot of rock right now. And you guys, just haven't adapted yourselves well enough to the environment that you're in. It's just, Okay, here it is. I find dentists are really brilliant, really smart. I've worked with a lot of people. And, you know, I'm sitting in a boardroom in Nebraska, wall to wall, ..., you know, everybody with their hair parted the same way. And the red tie was just how perfect for Midwest. But this is a $11 billion company. And then I realized that, you know, they're all dentists. They all are dentists, they just don't really know who they are. So they don't grow into what they could be in the world. They'd rather see in this career path being attacked by an external force; the aliens, they're coming rather than. You know, it's the way it's going. Let me learn how to play in that water. Let me learn that game, because it's a brilliant game. It's been working for a very long time. When I began this whole conversation, DSOs were 3% of the market. I presented a future that no one really wanted to hear, and I'm still still doing that. That's, I guess that's my career path. It's like, Wow, okay, keep it up. Because, you know, you can't win at a game that isn't being played by you. It's just, you can't.

Noel Liu:
And what is it now?

Marc Cooper:
I think there's a truth about the industry. I think it's a corporate expression now. So when I began, just like you, I began with an individual expression. And then people came along and said, Well, you really need to take responsibility in a different way, which is ownership, leadership, and management. You've got to grow up. It's a business. It's not a hobby; you've got to run it. And then all the tools over time became available from the five by seven, keep your recalls on that list, to a computer system that actually can figure it out and send out reminders and do the scheduling and, you know, manage it so that you have an 82% return rate or whatever you've targeted out for. You know, all those tools are now in place. And then the bigger boys, well, you know, they have figured out how to expand that intelligence into a looking from a much different perspective because they have multiple ways to look at it. So it gives them a different view of what's available so they can see the flow and ebb much more clearly. Because you're on the ground, you're right in it. So you don't have that perspective. That perspective gives you power. So yeah, it has to go there. It's the only place it can go. And there's no, artificial intelligence is its major tool. Now once you have that in your hand, it's like, Whoa, this is a jet engine. I remember the first time I got in a really powerful car when I was a teenager, it was like, Whoa, my God, that's what's here. Now with these two practices a week or whatever they're doing, they're really figuring it out, and they're generating the revenue stream that is less expensive to produce. And that's important. So the investors see opportunity here. So now you have this dance going on in between the equity and the practices. Everybody wants to play in this arena. So it's got a lot of confusion, a lot of upset, a lot of, too many offers, there's not a lot of clarity, you have four major players that have sustained over years that have some stability. You know, it's all over the place. So it's an interesting time. It's also a great opportunity, from my viewpoint.

Noel Liu:
I'm seeing medicine going that direction, has gone the right direction. How do you think like dentistry is? How far do you think we are compared to medicine? Because I have not seen any MDs going to open up their own practices.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah, that's the exact question. You should take a look at the source of that. You speak as though you're not part of the health care system. Yeah, that's a dentist. They don't have an appreciation for the power of context with the part that they're actually playing. There's something that they don't understand about the environment, the ecosystem that they're part of. You're not taking advantage of what you really have, your first responders, and you're not using that particular position to negotiate yourself in the higher order of health care and setting it up that; that's the game you play. That would be a different intention, holding on to the past, that would be different.

Noel Liu:
Let's switch gears a little bit to dental students. Majority of the dentists out there, they are always complaining that when we were in dental school, we were not taught about finances. We were never taught.

Speaker3:
About nothing to do.

Marc Cooper:
With financing. It has nothing to everything can be outsourced. Eventually, if you understand how the game is played. There's a lot of things I am really bad at, but I've learned in my aging process to find people that are good at it and then collaborate with them to get the final product complete. I've worked with probably hundreds of thousands of dentists over my career, and you know what? They're really good people. They don't believe how smart they are. They underplay their value. They don't figure out that they can think in a new way that will allow them to see the future in a new way. And so they limit themselves to a particular view of life in themselves, which doesn't have to be that way. And that's the way I see it. Again, this is the way I see life in the way it works. Dentistry is going to have to go in this direction of larger enterprises, because the money's flowing there and the interests are flowing there. And the health care system of which you are a part is going there and wants to take dentistry with it. And we'll figure out a way to do that. There are larger interests involved.

Noel Liu:
So what are your thoughts on a lot of these dentists? They are like, is it a true assessment that dental school should be teaching a little bit more business on how to read a PNL, how to run or operate a business?

Speaker3:
What are your thoughts on that?

Marc Cooper:
Dentists are perfect for what they designed for, which is to take care of people's oral health. Let them do that, and then figure out a way to develop them in a particular way that gives them a certain level of happiness in life beyond just that, the dental chair. Give them something beyond that, which I think is very doable. Companies can afford to look more in areas of personal growth and development that would allow a dentist to live a life that's with less issues that come with a singular ownership. I think there's a viable offer out there. If the dentist could stand in a particular way when they negotiate their contracts, I'll just leave it at that.

Noel Liu:
And your thoughts on single practice?

Marc Cooper:
I think it's a great way to play. I think it's an end game. If you want to play that game, please make the choice. There's a benefit and a cost. Just know what you're buying. The benefit is your autonomy. I love that myself. I love to be autonomous. I love to be able to make my own decisions and all that, that it gives me. But then I have the cost side, and the cost sides are pretty heavy because I've worked in both arenas. The cost side is I'm responsible and I don't have a shared responsibility. I'm part of a singular game. I'm a singular cell. So, you know, if you look at the natural evolution of everything becomes multicellular. And that's just the way it was designed from the original start. So businesses have all gone that way, they have all gone that way. Can you name anyone in the Fortune 500 that is a single unit? Of course not. So there's, you know, when you take a look from a certain reality and the reality is rocks are hard, water is wet, and here we go. This is where it's going, and it can't be stopped.

Noel Liu:
No, you're 100% right. Even these big companies like Amazon's and Tesla's, these guys, the co-founders I mean they are like part owners. They're not even like, they don't own the 100%. They are like, you know, 10%-15% owners.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah. You know, I don't believe the media. You know, it's all that, I had the opportunity to work with people...

Noel Liu:
I think it's just comparing like the mindset that we dentists have, that we want to own 100% of everything, right? And it's like like you said.

Marc Cooper:
See, that's another fallacy and fantasy. You tell yourself, because you don't own anything. The bank owns it. The staff owns it. Patients own it. Your wife owns it. You know, everybody's got their fingers inside of you. It's a shared responsibility in a whole different way. There's something else that the dentists have been unable to do, which is to be able to form themselves in a way that has allowed them to sit at the table with the other players that are absolutely in the game in a way that represents themselves well and gets a better outcome than they're getting now. They don't know how to do that. All they knew was resist. That is not an appropriate strategy for this future.

Noel Liu:
What are some of the issues that you would see with this kind of attitude?

Marc Cooper:
Exactly what we're seeing now. If I took a larger view of the whole situation and look down upon it, what I would see is what's going on is aggregation. What's going on is, Oh, look at all these things that are going on, and I'm a part of all of this. There's a whole healthcare system that says we need certain things to allow us to operate better. I have the assets to be able to deliver to that, but I'm not forming my assets, so they're transferable. So you begin to see in a whole new light the industry as something more than individualistically that we do now. And people have an external viewpoint of seeing what I'm talking about in a way that they'll have the patience to bring it about. A lot of the DSO ownership is now not dentists, so that tells me something. It's like, Wow, they saw something that the dentists couldn't see, or they would have done it.

Noel Liu:
So lastly, for dental students.

Marc Cooper:
Dental students. You know, they're.

Noel Liu:
I mean, is that a career you would still say ...?

Marc Cooper:
The whole deal is set up so strangely that it's interesting. Ideally, which would never happen, but ideally, there would be a forced, not a forced, a contributory but a strongly recommended mentorship program set up post-graduation where people would get a direct experience of what it's like to be a dentist. But on the other side, would be the dentist being willing to say, I'm responsible for the future of dentistry rather than personally becoming successful. I'm responsible for its future, not just my future. That would be a significant change that would be to occur. But what they have now is go out and scramble and figure it out and take a ship for a couple of years, and if it doesn't fit, then get on another ship. And you know, their world is more mobile than I grew up in. And so that mobility will continue and the flexibility will continue. But what I see, though, is the entire opportunity for different expression coming out of the dental schools, which is more open to what is occurring, and learning to collaborate in a different setting than sitting at the lunch table with your colleagues, learning how to talk in a horizontal fashion rather than just a vertical fashion. Learning how to collaborate.

Noel Liu:
I love that collaboration is a key in these days. I've really evolved, like from a competition mindset to a more being collaborating with people, and that has helped me out tremendously. Just one thing: what are you doing now? What's your role like? I see that you're a founder of the Elderly Foundation. What's that?

Marc Cooper:
Best time in my life right now. So people have this whole conversation about aging and the issues that occur, which are all true. But there's another way of being about going through the aging process. And so I and a bunch of collaborative partners see that the trajectory of aging dictated by the culture is one that does not give you a level of satisfaction and happiness and joy. And so we've designed a different way to look at aging that has given us a different perspective of how to go through life, and a lot more joy and equanimity and peace and appreciation. So I'm having the best time I've ever had in life at this moment in time.

Noel Liu:
It seems like you're next level now.

Marc Cooper:
Yeah.

Noel Liu:
All right. Well, thank you very much. Thank you so much for your time. I know your time is very, very precious, and I appreciate that.

Marc Cooper:
You're welcome.

Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Marc Cooper:

Dr. Marc B. Cooper is a seasoned professional dedicated to transforming older individuals into empowered elders. With over four decades of experience, Dr. Cooper founded The Contemporary Elder Institute to guide late-aged professionals through the transition from older to elder, fostering greater peace, joy, and empowerment. He specializes in leadership and executive coaching for healthcare providers and organizations, providing wisdom-based guidance for navigating crises and rough waters. Dr. Cooper is also an advocate for transformative aging and elderhood, working with leaders committed to impacting the healthcare system positively. Holding degrees in Dentistry, Philosophy, and Organizational Development, Dr. Cooper’s expertise encompasses coaching, consulting, and transformative education. He is passionate about helping individuals and organizations embrace elderhood, find purpose, and contribute wisdom to enrich their lives and communities.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Wisdom sees trends and prepares for the future; knowledge can hinder adaptation.
  • Dentists must anticipate and adapt to the evolving landscape of dental practice ownership.
  • Resistance to change and fear of the unknown hinder dentists from embracing industry shifts.
  • Dental schools should incorporate more business education to prepare students for practice.
  • Aging can be approached with a perspective of joy and fulfillment, rather than fear.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Marc on LinkedIn.
  • Learn more about the Contemporary Elder Institute here.
Categories
Podcast

Expert Reveals Tips To Mastering Full-Arch Implants

Summary:

Managing complications is crucial to performing successful full-arch cases.

In this episode, Dr. Juan Gonzalez, an experienced oral maxillofacial surgeon, shares insights from his diverse career, spanning military service to private practice. Juan discusses the evolution of full-arch implant procedures and the challenges he faced transitioning from traditional methods to more efficient techniques. He is the co-creator of the PATZi protocol, a systematized algorithm for maxillary full-arch implant treatment planning. Emphasizing the value of experience over reliance on guides, Juan advocates for continuous learning and mentorship. He also delves into the ORCAA Global program, which provides comprehensive dental implant training, highlighting the importance of rigorous protocols and one-on-one mentorship. Dr. Gonzalez stresses the significance of managing complications and building trust within his surgical team. Finally, Juan concludes with a reminder of life’s unpredictability and the necessity of prioritizing patient care.

Tune in and learn from Dr. Gonzalez’s wealth of experience and insight into the world of oral surgery!

Secure Dental-Juan Gonzalez.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental-Juan Gonzalez.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome back to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast, where we bring in many bright dental talents from all over, both inside and outside our dental profession. Today we have a very, very special guest. But before we go on, this pod is sponsored by DentVia, Dental Virtual Administration company, that focuses on back-end dental office tasks like calls, claims, AR, etc., to assist our front desk personnel and office managers with their daily tasks. Visit them at www.DentVia.com. That's www.DentVia.com. So now without further ado, let's dive right in. So today we have Dr. Juan Gonzalez. And this guy is like the master of full arches. So Doctor Gonzalez is an oral maxillofacial surgeon and he is board certified, specialized in both full-arch rehab. And he is a co-creator of Patsy protocol. And it's one of those world-renowned for treatment of severely atrophic full-arch cases. His service in the military has, as well as his love for teaching and mentorship, has resulted in over 15 years of advanced full-arch implant experience. So Doctor Gonzalez is such an honor to have you here. Let's dive right in.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Honor is mine, doctor Liu, thanks for inviting me.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, it's great. So let's start with the first question. What's your background? Where did you get started?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
How far do you want to go?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's start with dental school.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Dental school? I went to dental school in Puerto Rico. I graduated from dental school, and then I did a one-year GPR. And then I signed up with the military, where I moved to Texas with the Army. And I did two years, two and a half years of general dentistry attached to a ground unit. It was called, Forward Support Unit, where I had a mobile truck that was a dental clinic. So we were behind wherever the people were fighting; we were miles behind providing medical and dental care. After that, I went to residency, and I did my residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Then after graduating from oral surgery, I went to Fort Hood, Texas, where I spent five years as the Chief of Oral Surgery at the hospital over there.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you were at the frontlines in the military?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
I did not get deployed. We did a lot of training, but right before getting deployed to Iraq, I got selected for residency and I was ready to go. But my, the captain that was in charge of the unit told me, Hey, we have a new dentist coming in, you go do your residency. Until we, you know, to tell you the truth, I felt a little bit shattered because I had trained with that unit for two years. I was looking forward to deploy with them. And then, somebody else ended up going instead of me. And all in all, in over 20 years of military service, I came up for deployment three times. And always something happened. Not on me, I was ready and I wanted to be deployed. I was always a player, but something would happen and that, you know, things happen in life. You don't know the reason. And for some reason, I never ended up getting deployed.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what was residency like when you were starting? Did you do any kind of like oral surgery while you were in service, or did you do everything like after residency?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Oh, everything in residency and long hours, long hours every day; 14, 16 hours. I remember one time when I was doing the general surgery rotation, I stayed up for 42 hours and I think I slept for like 12 straight hours after that. It's long hours, lots of work, lots of learning. It's very intense residency, but you learn so much. You make friendships for life too.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Now, is this because you had like very good work ethics, or was it like the military background had influenced the approach, how you did things at the residency?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
No, I think it's just in their residency training. I know that over the years now, things have gotten a little bit easier because they have clamped down on hours. They frankly, they were abusing residents back in the day. And they were, yeah, they were getting 180, 100 hours out of a resident. And then a lot of medical mistakes were being made. So they had to regulate things and put a limit on the hours that residents could work in a week.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So once you graduated residency, what was your first job or your first step in your career?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
As soon as I finished residency, I went to Fort Hood, Texas, and then being the most senior there, I ended up being the Chief of Oral Surgery at the Hospital Darnell Army Medical Center in Fort Hood, Texas, and I was in charge of three other oral surgeons where we covered everything. We covered trauma, orthodontics, cosmetics, pathology, and we also trained GPR residents. That's probably my beginning on teaching, even though that any oral surgeon that graduates from residency is a good teacher because you're mentoring always your junior residents.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's nice, that's nice. So you went back into the Army then, right?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yes, yes because you owe them a commitment. When you sign up with the military. Basically, you sign up for a certain number of years. When you do training, if you train for four years, you owe them back four years. So you had to train with them for four years and to do work with them for four years.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Gotcha, gotcha. So what inspired you to go into, from oral surgery, and you went straight to, like, even though it's part of oral surgery, the full-arch treatment, rehab? Like what got you motivated?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah, that's a long story on itself. And after, at Fort Hood, I didn't do any full-arch. In the military, back then, full-arch was not a thing. We did single implants and snap-ins and things like that. When I finished, after, well, actually, before I finished my military commitment, I started what we call moonlighting; when you're in the military and you start working part-time because, you know, military pay is not that great. So in a few days of work outside the military, in the civilian world, you can make more money than in the military in a whole month. So you basically use your days off to do some work. So at that time, I started working on a friend's office in Austin. Fort Hood is about 45 minutes, an hour away from Austin, North Austin. So I was doing some work at a really good ex-military friend of mine, ... Martin Tony, great oral surgeon. And there I was, I was doing the usual wisdom teeth, single implants, and whatnot. So fast forward a few years and I get out of the military, I open my own practice in San Antonio, the practice for several reasons. I had another part neurosurgeon, very nice guy, great surgeon. But the practice of being in a place that had a lot of competition and then we both had side jobs in corporate. So the practice never really took off and we were planning on closing it. Dental school was looking for oral surgeons to partner with and open an office in San Antonio. So through a mutual friend, we met and we got together and then we started working together. So dental practice was solely concentrated on full-arch, just basic full-arch, what everybody was doing about eight, ten years ago; you just put implants wherever you find the bone. So that combination of having a periodontist, you know, and summarizing, but that combination of having a periodontist and oral surgeon, we kind of complemented each other, and we took everything to the next level; the combining techniques and improving techniques.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Was that like a first goal towards like full-arch rehab?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
That was, I have had a little bit on corporate, the office I was working in, a little bit of full-arch experience where it was very minimal, and the first case I did was guided, and it didn't take me long to realize that you always have to, if you cannot freehand it, you probably shouldn't use a guide, because guides give you a false sense of security, and you have to always be able to be ready to take over if the guide doesn't work.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I want to reemphasize that again. You said, If you are not able to place freehand, don't even try a guide, right?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
You shouldn't. You shouldn't. Because the problem is it gives you a false sense of security and then nothing is better than experience. And that experience of drilling, of feeling the bone as you're drilling. And then as you drill, you can tell, Okay, this bone is soft. I'm going to under prep and then I'm going to place a bigger impact. So that type of thing you don't get with a guide. And then, if you follow everything in the guide, you might have the perfect position, but then you have no torque. What are you going to do after that?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it. This is coming from somebody who's like experienced, right? So I mean, a lot of guys like nowadays they're all about guides and they're like, Oh, if there's no guide, I cannot do it. And I just love what you just said.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
I've done a few arches. I might have a little bit of fun in here.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No. That's great. So tell me, what are some of the challenges that you face when you're doing like a full-arch rehab where there is no ridge and when you first started? So challenges and all the mindset thing that you went through.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
So when we first started, we were doing the usual: the putting implants here and there. But then we started realizing, you know, there's so many trophic momzillas out there that don't really have bone. And traditionally the way these were done, it was: you remove the teeth, you bone grafting to the sinus, you wait months, then place the implants and wait longer. And it was a lot of time, very unpredictable, at least in my hands. I'm an oral surgeon, so, you know, I'm not a periodontic so. I always pick on periodontics. But they're good people. I got many good friends and so. But it's more predictable. And it, over a year until the patient ends up with teeth. And then if you have failures, then that sets you back. With remote Anchorage, it's all immediate. So when we realized that, I went and did a, just a one-day course on zygomatic implants, just to be familiar with the anatomy and the technique after seeing that. Because as oral surgeons, we know all the anatomy, we know the surgical techniques, I can pretty much look at, watch the surgery in YouTube or read about something, and pretty much we can do it. So I did a one-day course and I saw zygomatic implants. I went back to the clinic, started doing them, started modifying the techniques, improving it, changing it. Then at that time, Daniel was not doing zygotes. So he just watched me do a lot of zygotes. And then, that way he learned how to do zygotes. And then one day he shows up at the clinic and says, Hey, check this out. I can't remember. He's told me a million times and I can't remember where he got the pterygoid technique, which has been around for a long time, but he pretty much kind of like, was one of the ones that reintroduced it into the US and made it popular. So he showed me that. I was like, Oh, that's a cool technique. So after that, we started combining all the techniques, and after doing hundreds and hundreds of cases, I noticed a pattern that I was always following. And that's basically the birth of Patsy protocol, which Patsy protocol, you know, a little bit of inside story, but after I noticed that pattern, I told, Hey, Daniel, you know, he had already named the ..., the adding Pterygoids to a regular ... I was, Hey, we need to name this something. And he said, Well, should we call it like the Zippy technique or something like that? I'm like, I don't know about that name. So I was giving one of my first courses in Dallas, and the night before, I was like, you know what, posterior, anterior, tilted, zygote; that's the way I do everything. So patz. But that patz sounds weird. So I added the 'i'. So patzi: posterior anterior tilted zygomatic implants, which was a way, another way I do every single case. and I have never, ever had a single case, not one case very delivery without teeth the day of the surgery. Now, that doesn't count the deliveries the next day. I'm saying, what I mean is, I've not been able to load the case at 100% success rate on immediate loading cases. And the protocol, it's not, some people think it is like I'm renaming, like I'm making my own names for everything. No, it's not a classification system. I'm not reinventing the wheel. I'm using techniques that have been around for a long time, many techniques that have been developed by many people. The only thing is that I put it in an order that if you know all the techniques, of course, you have to know the techniques. You know, some people criticize, Oh, but if techniques work only in one person. Well, that's why there's neurosurgeons. You know, not everybody can do brain surgery, but you train to do brain surgery and you can do brain surgery. So the same thing with this. If you cannot do all the techniques, or know, then maybe you should be able to recognize cases that you shouldn't be doing. Either let somebody else do those cases or learn the techniques, which is what we're doing. So it's just a logical order where I always start in the back with pterygoids, then move on anterior and in anterior, there's a lot of different techniques to obtain Anchorage anterior, and then in the middle. I end up in the middle and always follow the same protocol. And if one technique doesn't work, you look to the other one.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, that's such great insight. So did you ever have like a mentor that you went through or this is something where you just saw one day and you're like, Hey, I can do this?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Pretty much with the basic arch, I cannot like, Watch out, Dan. But for the remote Anchorage, I'm pretty much just combining techniques, figuring stuff by myself and talking to other people and watching techniques on YouTube. And like people, like many people that I've interacted with and we have a really good relationship, like ..., David Zelig, Alexander ...

Dr. Noel Liu:
You just formed a team, right?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah. No, we have a big team. We have a big group. There's about 50 of us in a group that we are constantly sharing ideas and talking and helping each other. And I think by doing this, and we have really great camaraderie, we talk pretty much almost every day. And it's not just here in the US. We have also many people internationally that belong to this group and we all talk.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, I love it. Look at this guy. I mean, one day of course, and he mastered it. I mean, this is something which is really, really amazing. Love it. So tell me something about your courses. I know you've been teaching for over 15 years, and what is one thing that you are so passionate about? And I know, like you love to mentor young guys, right, coming out. So what's your passion?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah. So it all started, and I have to give credit where credit is due. So it all started, you're gonna laugh about this, but it was a wreck, the Austin Neerden wreck. Female Casey Ingraham, she'll come to the clinic, and we kind of didn't like each other, you know? We didn't, she thought I was not nice. So one day she said, Hey, you know, how come you're not on social media? And I said, Because I hate social media, I don't like social media. And she said, Well, you should because you do good work. And I was like, Well, are you gonna manage it because I don't know anything about technology? She said, No, you have to do it yourself. So I started taking pictures of cases, and it took a while until I developed my format that, well, I started documenting everything. So once I started doing my social media, then people started reaching out. I started with zero people. And to this day, I have never paid any money. I have paid zero to increase my social media because my social media is not for profit. My social media is not, I don't own an office, so I'm not promoting anything. All I'm doing is trying to do whatever knowledge people think I have, give it to the world for free and give it to people for free. So I had the first person that reached out to social media was a guy from Florida, really nice guy, and Kenan Osman. So he reached out and I just gave him my phone number. But he called me back and he talked and he said, Well, can I come to Austin and watch your work? I was like, Sure. And he's like, How much is that going to cost me? I said, Zero, just come here and hang out. That was the first person that came and he flew from Florida. And then I decided to look, yeah, I decided to look him up on Instagram. And I saw on his post this thing that looked like a mouth condom. I was like, What the hell is that? And I asked my restorative doctor, Doctor Sarah Emory. Hey, do you know what this mouth condom is? And she's like, Yeah, that's an ... And we have them in the clinic. I was like, Oh! So I used that day that ..., and I was in love with it. I'm like, This thing is awesome. I'm using this on every single occasion. I've used it ever since on every single case. And I've promoted heavily because it helps you ...; it's protecting the leap. So the point of the story is that this guy wanted to come learn from me. But he had really taught me something before he even came here. So that was the first of many. After that, for the next like about 2 or 3 years, I have dozens and dozens of people that would come from all over the place. You know, I've had people from Venezuela, Spain, and but mostly from the US that had come just to watch procedures, and they would come to the clinic, hang out, watch procedures. I've never charged anybody a single night. On the contrary, they all cost me money because after they would come watch, I would take them to my donor range and they would shoot machine guns, and, you know, machine guns shoot a lot of ammo real quick, real fast. And it gets really expensive quick. Yeah. But I created a lot of connections. Then after that, and I work with all implant companies, so I don't have a problem talking about them. So I created a relationship with Norris Medical, and they were really good to me. And I traveled all over the US and all over the world giving lectures on remote Anchorage with them, giving also cadaver courses. Then after that, now, I work with multiple companies like NeoDent, SIN, JD, ... So I tried to keep a relationship with all of them, and then that led to ORCAA, where I partnered with Simon Oh and Eldad Drori. And I think we have the best training in the world, period.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what is ORCAA?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
ORCAA Global was founded by Simon and Eldad, and then I came in early, and it's a group that we bring some of the best surgeons in the world, and we have a partnership with the UFM University, Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. This university has probably some of the best facilities in the world way than 99% of the University of Dental schools in the United States. The personnel there, the staff, they're incredible. So we have people that train level two and level three; level two is regular arches, level three is our remote Anchorage. And we go there two weeks out of the year, and we have about 14 participants, six level three, eight level two, and a lot of observers, I can't remember the number of observers. And we have seven staff. And now usually we have two alternate staff just in case. So about nine staff. And in a period of five days, we do approaching about 30 patients and close to 60 arches. Then we also partner with restorative doctors like ... has been supporting us for the last few ORCAAs. And they do all the restorative work. So all every single patient that we do leaves with teeth the next day. It's a lot of hours, very intense work. And it doesn't end there because whenever we are done with all those patients, we usually stay behind. And we bring other specialties like ENT, microvascular oral surgeons like Doctor Stephen ... and Kathan Patel, Joe Cammarata, plastic surgeons. And we do pathology patients for free. We've already taken care of two patients with pathology, one myxoma, one ameloblastoma, one girl that gets shot into maxilla. Next month, I won't be able to go because I'm going to be in Australia with ... But we have a group of doctors that are going to be there and taking care of a nine-year-old with ... ameloblastoma. All these were free thanks to their contribution. And we're planning on expanding. So stay tuned because we might be doing these in other countries.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know, this is crazy because I've heard where there's a lot of courses out there, they do all the surgeries done, but then there's no follow-ups for those guys. And what you're doing is amazing that they're getting teeth and the restorative that's being done. That's huge.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Not just that, but in ORCAA, we cannot guarantee you that this case, you know, if we tell you, you know, you'll probably do this many, but we cannot guarantee you that a case is going to be quad because we follow PATZi. And if it's a quad, it's a quad. If it's not a quad, before doing a quad, we're going to try everything else. Before even doing a zygo we're going to try. If we cannot do tilted, we'll go with ... palatal approach, whatever we need to do to avoid the quad. But if you do decide to go, what if you decide to go to zygo in the ... anterior, we can do a lateral approach, or if we can do transnasal, whatever approach. But the number of atrophic maxillas in Guatemala is so high that usually the participants exposure to all techniques is pretty much guaranteed.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So it's like, what you're saying is: if the patient does not need it, it's not going to happen. And if they need it, it's going to happen.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
It's not going to happen. It's not going to happen. Period. But I'm not going to let anybody do a quad on somebody that does not need it. No, no.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it. So how do you screen these patients? Are you like down there? Do you have a team down there who's actually screening them for the participants?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
We have a team, Fernando and Ector Clay, Dr. Ector Clay, Doctor Fernando and I can't remember Fernando's last name right now. Doctor Rodrigo Cayarga. There is a really good team of doctors, all the residents there. So we have support of the dean there, dean Marta, with the university. They're constantly scanning for patients. They see patients and they think the patient can benefit. Then they put them on a list. And then as ORCAA approaches, which is the, every February in September. As it approaches a few months before they start getting a list of patients, and then they send us, after they have looked at all the CTs, they send Simon and I the CTs. And I personally went through 45 CTs to classify them on the ones that could be level two, level three, and so on. It's a lot of work. Let's put it this way. People have no idea of the amount of work that we go to be able to organize all of this.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And what's your standard of protocol for measuring success in these courses for the participants?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
So for level two, we vet them. We make sure they have to fill out an application. And we have to make sure that the candidate has enough experience that they're not going to waste their time or our time, because it's not a basic course, it's an advanced course. And for level three, it's ... And I sometimes have to interview them on the phone to make sure that they already have experience. Number one. Number two, they've done didactic cadaver and some of them have even done already several zygot courses in other countries before they come in, because if not, it's just a waste of time for everybody. We just don't have enough time in these five days to do any, yeah, to do much didactic work. So it's pretty much all hands-on.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So is it like taking your course first, like the didactic portion and that?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah, there's many courses. I can't keep track of them, but I have courses. Many different companies have courses that they give. My recommendation would be to start with learning all the basics of implants. Once somebody sees them at placing hundreds of implants and they feel comfortable doing full-arch, then start moving to the basics of full-arch. And there's many courses for that. And then for remote access, there's also many, many courses, like one of the best courses is in Virginia Beach, the Atlantic Implant Institute with Adam Hogan. He has many different courses from basic full-arch to advanced full-arch, and also even business aspect of full-arch.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it. So basically, guys can just go and take any of the full-arch courses or any of the zygotes, and then they can qualify with you. Okay.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah. It doesn't have to be just with me. There's many qualified people there that can do this, you know, to name a few. ..., David ..., Alexander Alam, Stephen Nelson, Alex Wayne, so many, many, many people that can do this course. Of course, I'm only biased. I give several of them. I'm going to be giving one soon in Mexico with Nestor Marquez, a really good guy, and have another one in Australia with Simon Oh. And I had another one with Clarke Damon and Rick Klein, which they give an excellent course in Dallas. So there's many courses. My Instagram is, I'm easy to reach on Instagram. I manage my own Instagram, my everything that you see there, I've posted myself, I answer phone calls, I answer messages. So it's doctor.g.dmd.omfs, and most people probably already have it. So if anybody has a question about courses, you know, I'm very opinionated, but I'm fair. If something is good and I don't like something, I say it, I don't like it. You know, I don't have a problem with that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I'm really excited because I think I signed up for your August one, the Dallas one.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
On the last one, I don't know if you saw the post, but at one point I was like, you know, ... this one a little bit bored. So while people were having lunch, I went back and I was like, you know what? There's a lot of people that like to show off that they can place three. That's no big deal, you know? So I put four on the cadaver because I would never do that on a real person. I would, I don't even think there's a need to place three zygomatic implants in a person, so I would, you'll never see me do that in a person. But a cadaver, you know what? That's a different story. Just to show the capabilities, the things that we can do with today's system.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So as far as your courses are concerned, are you, like, still like the main person who's teaching it one-on-one with the students, or do you have like a faculty team member?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
When we do the cases in a cadaver courses? Yes. It's going to be one-on-one. I'm going to be there with whoever I'm working with, whether it's like part-time or recline. We're all there like one-on-one. But in Guatemala, it's just too many participants in Guatemala. So I had to step back on this one. This was the first one that I was not actively doing. So I had to step back and let others. But every single person that I bring to teach at ORCAA is qualified. Even the level two mentors, they're all qualified to work level three. So every single one of them, I didn't have to really do much. I ended up doing a few cases just because you give them a break to some other people. And we're continuously evolving in the training. So the other thing is that people that I work with or go to my courses or something like that, I'm always open if they have a difficult case, because not everybody that does a case feels comfortable going back to do. Some of them would like to have some more mentorship and have maybe that guardian angel over their shoulder when they're doing a case. So I'll do a lot of what I call one-on-one training. Yeah. So I do that. I do it just to help because a lot of these people, they're great doctors and great surgeons and I create relationships and they might just want to have extra insurance on those first cases. And I go, I've traveled all over the country helping them. And that, frankly, is not even worth the money. I'll just do it because of the camaraderie. These are people that I develop relationships, I end up going to visit, I stay at their houses, I get to meet their families, and they treat me like family. These are friendships for life.

Dr. Noel Liu:
One thing I really love about you, you have such humble personality and a humble beginnings, and you keep everything so down to earth. This is something which is so, so, so great about you.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah. Well, life is short. I've already had a lot of friends, you know, that are no longer with us. It's like you can make all the money in the world, you can work five, six days a week and make a lot of money, but something is going to be affected. And then after having a stroke at a young age, and then my dad was an E.R. physician, so he didn't spend a lot of time at home with us at the beginning, but he tried to do as much as he could on weekends with us. So after that, I learned, you know what? I'm not going to be like that. So for the last, I would say, about five years, I've been working only about 2 to 3 days a week and spending more time with my family. Now my kids are a little bit older. They're still young, 12, 14, 17, but I still do things with them. I still like to do things. I still like to do lots of trips with my wife. I would say I'm the poorest oral surgeon because I own anything, but I'm reaching in experiences and friendships and family and all that stuff, and I try to enjoy life as much as I can because people always forget that, if this is not forever, it can be gone tomorrow, it can be gone tonight; you never know. So I try to enjoy constantly learning new things and having new experiences.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. Love your approach to life. So last question for you. Any takeaways for young people coming up, like want to be surgeons and they are aspiring to do full-arches? What kind of advice or direction would you like to give them?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Well, learn as much as you can do, as much as you can, as much experience, take as many courses and find a mentor. Find somebody that can mentor you and guide you. It's like, anybody can do these cases. It's, I can train pretty much anybody to do these cases, but it's managing the complications that makes a difference. If you cannot manage the complications, then probably you should be doing these cases. And, unfortunately, everybody wants to do these cases and everybody is doing them these days. And how we like to say winter is coming, meaning that, and I'm starting to see it already all the cases that have not been done properly, they're starting to come back. And I've been pitching a lot of cases. This number is only going to increase with time. So my advice is do as many courses as you can, get as much experience, get a mentor, and always try to do what's best for the patient. I mean, ... is about, three years ago, I did my own mother's surgery. And, yeah, it was a remote Anchorage. And then I wanted to show that I trusted my whole team, so I let them place the pterygoids on her. Then I placed the anterior implants, I place azygos. Then, I let my anesthesiologist put her to sleep. Not only that, but I also let my anesthesiologist, Brett Harris, who is an anesthesiologist that I worked with, he also is a dental specialist, so I let him take out her mandibular teeth. And then I did her mandible, and then I let my restorative doctor Emery do her restoration. That showed that I trusted my whole team. And if I didn't believe in this type of treatment, I wouldn't have done my own mother.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That speak volumes, by the way, if you do all this stuff with your mom and you really entrusted your team. So that's huge, really, really huge. So last thing is, how can, besides your Instagram, any other website or any place where audience or we can find you?

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Unfortunately, I need to figure out how to transfer all my Instagram to Facebook. So now, basically, Instagram is the easiest way, and from there, because I don't have a website and I don't have a Facebook or anything else, and I'm still in between clinics, I still have not decided where my next home is going to be. So I'm still doing a little bit of like on the road, you know, like going to multiple clinics. But as soon as I have a clinic which might be coming soon that I'm going to be mostly at, I'll post it. And I'll always continue to teach. I always have people come visit it because that's just part of what I do.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it. Love it. Well, I think we're going to land the plane, and that's pretty much it for now. So if you had any other last-minute advice, otherwise, you know, we are good.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Okay. Sounds good. No, that's about it. And, now, when people come visit me, can I take them, shoot machines like I did with a really nice guy from Australia, David Aria. But he was brave enough to also go fly with me at night.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know what? You offer that to me. I think I'll take that upon that offer once when I'm down there with you someday.

Dr. Juan Gonzalez:
Yeah, yeah. Come visit me, anytime.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks a lot, Doctor Gonzalez. Well, I think we're going to land the plane. Once again, I'm going to check out. This is your host, Doctor Noel Liu. Make sure to like and subscribe and follow us on our next episode.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Dr. Juan Gonzalez:

Dr. Gonzalez is an experienced surgeon certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He has been practicing various types of surgeries related to the mouth and face for the past twenty years, including complex dental surgeries, removing wisdom teeth, correcting jaw alignment, treating facial injuries, placing dental implants, performing cosmetic surgeries, and addressing jaw joint issues. Dr. Gonzalez is skilled in administering anesthesia and has performed over 14,000 sedations. In the last seven years, he has specialized in a procedure called “All on X” for full arch surgery, particularly for severe cases where patients have thin upper jaws, using special implants like zygomatic and pterygoid implants. He is recognized as one of the top specialists in these procedures globally. Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez travels internationally to teach advanced dental implant techniques and serves as an editorial member for a prestigious dental journal. Originally from Spain and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Gonzalez completed his dental education and underwent a hospital-based residency before joining the United States Army as a dental officer. During his military service, he completed a four-year training in oral and maxillofacial surgery and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After transitioning to the Air Force Reserves, he has held leadership roles, including supervising other physicians and educating surgery residents. Outside of work, Dr. Gonzalez enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, flying planes, hunting, wakeboarding, running half marathons without shoes, and socializing with friends over wine.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Managing complications is crucial in performing successful full-arch cases.
  • Trust and expertise within the surgical team are vital for successful outcomes.
  • Continuous learning and mentorship are essential for young surgeons.
  • Focus on developing relationships with patients and their families.
  • Experience trumps reliance on guides in full-arch implant procedures.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Juan on LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Learn more about the PATZi protocol here!
  • Browse the ORCAA courses here!
Categories
Podcast

Redefining Standards in Implant Dentistry

Summary:

Precision and innovation are key to minimizing complications in dental implantology.

In this episode, Dr. Gerald Niznick, a pioneer in American implant dentistry, discusses the evolution of dental implants, and explains how his companies transformed the dental industry. From his early innovations like the Core-Vent to today’s advanced systems like Gen-five and NizPlant, Dr. Niznick shares insights on implant design, emphasizing the importance of smooth necks and precise connections to minimize complications like peri-implantitis. He discusses the challenges he faced in his career, including legal battles with other implant companies, and highlights the need for thorough research before choosing implant systems. Dr. Liu and Dr. Niznick explore the philosophy behind implant placement, advocating for techniques that prioritize bone preservation and soft tissue attachment. Gerald also touches on the importance of education in implant dentistry and cautions against blindly following sales pitches. Dr. Niznick’s Paragon system offers a cost-effective solution for implant placement, with the Gen-five Plus featuring a smooth neck to prevent bone loss.

Tune in to learn more about the future of implant dentistry and how innovations like the Paragon system are reshaping the industry!

Secure Dental-Dr. Gerald Niznick.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental-Dr. Gerald Niznick.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental Podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast, where we bring in many bright talents from all over, both inside and outside the dental profession. Today we have a very, very special guest. But before we go on, this podcast is sponsored by DentVia, a dental virtual administration company that focuses on back-end dental office tasks like calls, claims, AR, etc., to assist our front desk and office managers with their daily tasks. Visit them at www.DentVia.com. That's www.DentVia.com. Now let's dive right in. Dr. Niznick, it's such an honor and a treat to have you, and I'm very excited to be with you today. I mean, you are considered to be the godfather and a pioneer of American implant dentistry. And with over 35 US implant patents, I mean, is that more than 35 right now or?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
I have three new pending patents that I'll share with you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love it. I mean, ladies and gentlemen, this man literally needs no introduction in the implant and dentistry world. He is the backbone and the man behind the scenes for what we know today as Zimmer Dental Implant and Implant Direct Implant Systems. Actually, he founded Core-Vent bioengineering and Paragon dental implant companies. Doctor Niznick is responsible for the so-called the price shift in the dental implant world, making dental implants more affordable than its competitors and ultimately for our patients through its innovation and unique talents in marketing. I mean, graduated from University of Manitoba in '66 and then obtained his master's from Indiana University in 68. Doctor Niznick has had many achievements throughout his career, and one of the main ones is his philanthropy, including giving back to his dental school where he graduated from. And I'm so proud that that school is named Doctor Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry in Manitoba. I mean, you're such a blessing to our profession; I don't even know where to start. So Doctor Niznick, welcome, and thank you for doing this, and let's dive right in. I would just like to ask you, like, what inspired you to enter the field of dental implantology and become the pioneer in this industry?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
They say necessity is the mother of invention. And I finished my master's degree in prosthetics in the late '68, started a practice in Los Angeles, and I was the only prosthodontist in a geographical area of a thousand dentists. So everybody was sending me their denture problems. I wanted to do Crown and Bridge, but I was getting all kinds of referrals for dentures, and there's no good way to stabilize the lower denture. So I sent them a case to a dentist that was doing some periosteal implants at the time. That's where they do a chrome casting that gets trapped under the tissue. And he never sent the case back to me to restore. And he says, Oh, I never let anybody restore on my implants. So I said, Well, I guess I didn't need to know how to place them. So I started placing implants. And all through the 90s, all through the 70s, I was placing subperiosteals, blades, I went to all the symposiums, training courses that I could. Every other year, I'd spend a week in Doctor Lenny Lincoln's office in New York. And by the end of the 70s, I was somewhat disenchanted with the predictability that I was getting. But I had good experience. If I could just save a couple of teeth, do root canals, cut them down so that there was not much leverage on them, and use a overdenture attachment, I could stabilize the denture. So I said, If I could only come up with two implants in the symphysis to hold the implant and hold the denture, I'd be happy; that's all I really need from implants, I thought. So from that came the Corbin system, which was an implant with a hex hole that you could cement an overdenture abutment in it, and did the first case of two free standing implants to hold an overdenture. And I found that the implants, if I did the surgery a certain way, the implants would become ankylose, very firm. You could tap on it with a mirror, that ring. If I did something else, they wouldn't. So I figured out what that something was and that was not overheating the bone and not prematurely loading the implant. So that was the development of the Core-Vent I launched in 1982, the Core-Vent, and by that time I had developed other abutments that could be cemented. So what the Core-Vent introduced is implant prosthodontics, the ability to have an implant with a variety of application-specific abutments. If you want to do a single tooth, there was a tapered abutment for that. If you want an angled abutment, you could bend the abutment. If you want to do a screwed-in case, there's an abutment that received a screw. So that, the Core-Vent was launched in '82. By 1990, it was the largest-selling implant in the world. It was everywhere. I had offices in different countries, distributors around the world. I traveled and lectured everywhere. That got me to 1990. '91, Dense ... came along and they wanted to distribute my product. So they took over the distribution and I just did the manufacturing for six years. But then I took back distribution because they were not focused on education. And I thought education was really critical. So I thought education was critical. So I took it back in '97, renamed it Paragon, launched a bunch of other Do implants, including the tapered Screw-Vent in 1999. I forgot to mention, in 1986, I developed a second implant called the Screw-Vent, and that one had a lead in bevel, internal hex, and internal thread. So the core meant you had to cement abutments, but the screw bends was all screwed in abutments, and I developed a whole series of abutments for that. That became the conical connection. I got a patent on that which I licensed to many companies, and that became the first conical connection that patent covered, whether it was 45 degrees or whether it was 78 degrees. Nobel Active really popularized it even more in 2007. When the patent expired, Nobel Active launched with a, it's conical connection.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So it's fair to say that you were the first one.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Yeah, I had the patent on it. They couldn't sell in the States until that patent expired. And I licensed a number of companies. In 2000, a company called Calcitek came along and wanted to buy my company, and they did. And that later became Zimmer Dental, which became ZimVie. And the Screw-Vent, tapered Screw-Vent is the flagship product today, 20 some years later of ZimVie. It's, they called it the tf tapered Screw-Vent and TSB. Now they've come up with a newer version called the TSX. They just made the threads a little deeper at the bottom. That's about the only difference in the implant. So then moving forward, once I sold that company in 2001, I was under a non-compete for five years. But fortunately, my attorneys advised me that I gave up my right to compete, but not my right to prepare to compete. So in 2004, when Zimmer Dental, Zimmer Dental by that time, decided to move out of the factory that I had built, that I was renting to them and consolidate with their San Diego office and all these employees that I had were going to be let go, I started a new company called Implant Direct and hired 90 of my former employees, went back into my factory, and spent the next two years waiting out the non-compete and developing what became Implant Direct, ultimately the most popular implant in the United States, especially among GPs. What I did with Implant Direct is I did all-in-one packaging. To end the confusion and give more value, I would include the implant and abutment, the healing collar or transfer to cover screw at one reasonable price; $150 it started out, and went up to $200 eventually over many years, over six years. And that created what they called the value segment in the implant industry. Because another company started lowering their price. It was not a discount company because I never discounted the price. It was the same for everybody. You ordered on the internet. So if you're going to have internet sales, you can't be messing with the price, giving everybody a different price. So I had one low price. So that was Implant Direct. 2010, Sybron came along and wanted to buy the company, and at the end of 2010, I sold them 75% of the company, and I stayed on for three years as the president, and I became Implant Direct Sybron. And then, at the end of 2013, they bought my remaining 25%, and I retired. The next year, the company that owns Sybron and old me, bought Nobel. So now you had Nobel and Implant Direct owned by the same people, which was a tricky thing because we were competing with them, and I even had compatible implants to their implants. So they really did not help Implant Direct growth for many years. Now, they finally figured out how valuable it is that they're focusing their marketing attention on it. And it's back to growing mode. So that's Implant Direct. Now, when my non-compete expired from that, which was March 2022, I still have the factory. Factory building was sitting empty because they had moved out. My other three, two facilities, the customer service facility, and the shipping facility were sitting empty. So I figured, well, I'll go back in the implant business. So I started a Paragon implant company. I took the name that I had used before. Started Paragon and started developing a new implant system. 30 of my former employees left the implant direct and came back to work for me. So I had an entire brain transfer. All the key people that I wanted came back. And after the last two years, we've been manufacturing the new Paragon implant system, which I call Gen-5 for generation five. And there's one other implant in there, a one-piece implant, which I call Nizplant, which is a very unique implant. It's a one-piece implant with the head of a locator attachment, but it can be converted to a multi-unit abutment. The idea being that you could put in four implants, do an overdenture at it for a lower cost; at any time later, come back, and convert that to a fixed case. So that brings you up to where I am today. I'm still probably nine months away from being able to hit the market, where we're building different products and getting regulatory approvals. And that's the implant story.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So three times, right?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Maybe four.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Maybe four. Love it, love it.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Core-Vent, Paragon, Implant Direct. And now Paragon again.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a fascinating story. These guys moving out of your facility, and then you're going back in there. I mean, this is true entrepreneur and a business mind kind of attitude there that you got. I love it. So how is this new Paragon different from what Implant Direct and what Zimmer's are carrying right now. Is it pretty much the same basis or is it something totally revamped?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
It's new from anything on the market. And what I did is I took the body of the legacy-two implant, which was the next generation of the tapered screw-vent, and it had progressively deeper threads, double lead threads, progressively deeper threads, and it had micro threads. So I took off the micro threads, and I put a 2.5mm smooth neck on it, and I added a millimeter to each implant, and I put score lines on the neck of the implant. And here's the reason behind all this. What's the biggest problem today in implants? Peri-implantitis. Bone loss leading to inflammation of the tissue and patient doesn't clean it, can't clean it because the rough surface gets exposed. So you get progressive bone loss. So at every meeting you go to they're talking about how to treat peri-implantitis. I think the key is how to avoid it and prevent it. And the answer to that really comes from a Straumann with their two millimeter, two and a half, they got a 1.8 and a 2.8mm smooth neck. They're tissue-level implants, but not the way they intended the implant to be used. One of their key clinicians, Doctor Daniel Buser, explained that he takes that implant and he pushes about half the smooth surface below the crest of the bone. And he does it because he knows, he does bone grafting. There's going to be remodeling. He does extraction, there's going to be remodeling. Oftentimes the ridge is not level, so he's pushing the top, leaving a millimeter above the bone, and 1.8mm is really below the bone. We've got this on videos explaining this. And that is, so that when it's finally healing, there'll be this smooth surface exposed to the ... You got a rough ... So I built that concept into this implant in a rather unique way with score lines. Now, the other thing, do you place implants?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct. We do.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Okay. Do you put them level with the bone or below the crest?

Dr. Noel Liu:
So right now all my implants are below the crest of the bone okay.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Wrong!

Dr. Noel Liu:
I know I that's why I wanted to hear, I'm so excited to hear your concept and your theory because we are always in the process of evolution. We're always trying to find better ways and better techniques.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, that's the way implants are being taught. And the reason is because they have the blasted surface and the threads to the top. So they know they're going to get some bone loss so they're trying to push the implant down a little bit. So when they get bone loss, they'll end up at the top of the implant. Then they show it at the top and they say, See, no bone loss. Wrong. You lost a millimeter or two of bone because the bone will ... the junction. It can't attach above the junction. And now if you sink it below the bone and you've got a flared abutment, you need to contour the bone at the crest so that you can get that flared healing collar or buttonhole seated. So you're cutting away that bone. The answer is: keep the implant and the implant abutment junction at or above the crest of the ridge. It just simplifies everything. You can do that if you've got a 2.5mm smooth neck.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Smooth neck. Okay.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Now a lot of times there's the bone on the labial is resorbed and you got your high point on the lingual. So you could put the implant level with the bone on the lingual and have a couple of millimeters of the neck of the implant exposed. And it's still smooth. If you did that with a blasted surface, you'd have to graft to cover that surface. So you eliminate a lot of grafting with this. And if it's a millimeter above, you have the advantage that the soft tissue will attach to it. And when you take off a healing call or put it above a non, you're not tearing that soft tissue, you're not disrupting that soft tissue attachment in that millimeter of exposed titanium. So the whole philosophy of the design of the implant is built around changing the thinking of the industry to keep the implant a millimeter above. And guess what? The Core-Vent in 1982 was placed a millimeter above. I had a 16 millimeter implant and we drilled 15mm. Back then I did it because the implants were always buried, and I want to make it easier to find. So I could run my finger along the crest of the ridge, heal the bump of the implant, and then just make a little hole in the tissue. It had a plastic post. I put the diamond drill into the post, pull it out without disrupting the soft tissue, attach an abutment. So I've incorporated that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What about the cortical plate on the top, where a lot of times, they have shown studies that after drilling, the bone heats up for whatever reason and it dies. And what are your thoughts on that? The smooth collar will that prevent that from happening?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, you shouldn't have died back. Today, you're using progressive drills. You're going through a half-millimeter sequence of drills. If you've overheated it with the first one, you're following it with another one that's just shaving a little bit. The hole is open so the water can get in. So I'm not worried about ... You'll go to lose bone if the labial plate is less than a millimeter, maybe even less than two millimeters. Study that I funded, called the VA study, put in 3000 implants on 900 veterans, this is in the 90s, and when they drilled the hole, they would measure the labial plate, put the implant in, bury all the implants at that time, and when they uncovered, they could correlate bone loss relative to how thick the labial plate was. And if you had two millimeters of labial plate, there was no bone loss, a millimeter, lost the millimeter. And if it was less than that, you'd lose more. So it's how thick the labial plate is. But so often you go in and there is no labial plate or it's way down. And that's why having a smooth neck on the implant instead of microthreads or blasting is just the smart way to go.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a great concept. You know, I'm taking notes too, right?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Okay.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So we're going to share some screen later on. I had a few questions I wanted to ask you. What are some of the key moments or challenges that you had while you were developing all these companies and going through them and exiting out of them? I know that is like totally a different mindset, right?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, I came on the market in 1982. The Nobel system didn't really hit the market till '83 or '84. And I was very pleased to read the broad market research. I was getting an ankylosed implant. He proved that if you get an ankylosed implant, which he called osseointegration, it had long terme predictability. So I was talking about his research and my implant and they didn't like that. So they figured out how they're going to slow me down or stop me, and they sued me for infringing on their surface patent. They had a patent that they got through. So in '86, they filed a suit against me. I filed a lawsuit against them for false advertising, claiming that Branemark discovered Osseointegration; he didn't. There's 77 textbook references of French orthopedist that did and a few other things that were doing. So we had a very expensive litigation for '86, '87, and '88. And finally they were spending me into the ground. So I did a settlement with them, and I agreed to a 10% royalty on my pure titanium implants. But most of what I was selling was alloys, so I didn't have to pay anything on that. It turns out that they went on to shoot three eye implant innovations, which is also today's ZimVie, and they wouldn't give them a license. There was on a litigation, went to trial, and Nobel lost, and the patent was declared invalid by fraud, and they ended up having to pay three I $15 million: $3 million in damages tripled because they violated what they call a Lanham Act, and 5 million in legal fees. And that patent that I was paying a royalty on was declared invalid. And I couldn't get out of the payments, and totally, their patent expired. So we've had a long, cantankerous relationship with Nobel. When I started Implant Direct, oh, then they violated the patent, or at least I thought they did, the patent, the internal connection patent with their tri-lo implant. So I sued them for violating that, and they got out of it because they didn't have a lead-in bevel on their implant. But in the process, I learned that they were filing a patent on the tri-lobe. So I got out ahead of them and found my own patent on a different way to do the tri-lo. So it was compatible but didn't infringe their patent. And when I launched the Implant Direct and I couldn't sell the Legacy until 2007 because my old patent was stopping me, I focused on the tri-lo, and I took a lot of business away for the lower-cost tri-lobe, which I called the replant. So that friction went back and forth a few times. Now Nobel really controls Implant Direct. Now they just launched the new implant, they call the Iconic. And what they did is they took my Legacy implant and my Interactive implant, both of which had the same body, but the interactive had a Nobel-compatible platform so that I could go after the Nobel customers. Once Nobel got implants and Implant Direct, they stopped claiming that that was compatible with theirs. But it is. We got FDA approval that it was compatible. I even posted that FDA notice on my website, Niznick.com. So they are pushing away from Legacy into the Iconic. I say they should have called it the Ironic because when you take, the legacy had four different platforms so that the platform got wider as the implant got wider, so that you'd always have a good emergence profile. But the Nobel Active, which I copied the connection in my Interactive, only has two platforms, so it's got a five point, a 4.7 implant with a 3.0 platform, and you got a big undercut, which I don't care for. So I pointed that out on Paragon-implant.com. We post all of my analysis of the various implant systems in the controversy section, and I go into great lengths on the Ironic implant. So I'm still in conflict with the Nobel people because they're trying to make my Legacy, which was a damn good implant, into something that gives more credibility to their conical connection for the 78-degree connection.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Well, I guess it depends who has a better relationship, right, with the guys who own it. Is it Envista right now, I think?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Envista, yes. Envista, and they've got a president for Nobel and a president for Implant Direct. But the president of Nobel is also the president of Envista. So they just ... Yeah. So they're trying to balance these conflicting stories. Now, one of the improvements on my Gen-five is I went from four platforms to two. So I dramatically reduced it. And I got the Gen-five, and then I've got what I call the Gen-five plus. And that's, I think, going be a big winner. What it is, is the same implant, but I got a two millimeter extender that's friction fitted at the factory that adds two millimeters and flares out to four millimeters. And it is the transmucosal part of a standard multi-unit abutment. So you just insert a screw into it and you turn it into a Nobel compatible multi-unit abutment. And then you can add a variety of abutments to it, which I'll show you if we get into the slides.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, definitely. I got one other question. Then we'll definitely get into the slides, because I have a lot of questions about your Paragon system. Is that in the market yet or is it still under development?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, it's being manufactured. We've developed it all. I've got 25 new machines, about 80 people in the factory, and we're making it. It takes a long time. You got a program, it set up the machines. So we're probably nine months away from launch.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All in Los Angeles, right?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Yes. It's all being done in Los Angeles. Now, my go-to market strategy is also different than anybody else's. Let me just get rid of that. I'm only going to sell in North America. I'm not going international. I'm only going to sell on the internet with a shopping cart so I can keep the prices very low. The implant will be $100, which is the same that I charge for a screw-vent in 1986, and the Gen-five plus with the extender will be $135. A prosthetic screw that would convert it to a multi-unit abutment would be $25. So you're at $160 for an implant at a multi-unit apartment, which is less than a lot of companies charge us for the abutment itself. The new plant with a dual-function platform, will come with all the cap attachments that are compatible to the locator in that it grabs the outside but also has an inside connection, and that all those components will come with the implant for $160, which is less than what ... charges for a locator attachment. So what's happened in the industry is that everybody's discounting. For example, NeoDent sells for $229 in the United States. They'll sell it to a DSO for $100 and to Clearchoice for less than that. And that implant sells for $23 in Brazil. So you really buying a $23 implant and paying $229? I believe that everybody should be able to pay the same price, whether it be a single GP or a busy oral surgery practice that can afford to inventory or DSOs. One price for everybody. Shopping cart will have 50 to 75 inside customer service people that can answer your questions. And that's the new business model staying just in North America.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And Doctor Niznick, is there any kind of educational component through your Paragon, your new system, Gen-five, or is it like just strictly just implanted parts?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
I'm going after experienced dentists. I'm not going after, you know, somebody says, I have to learn to drill on a plastic jaw. I'll leave the education to so many people out there today that want to teach. In Vegas, tomorrow, I'm lecturing at the maxi course, the AAID MaxiCourse. There's Zimmer, ZimVie built a whole training center in Miami, and you can learn how to do implants there; you can learn from Implant Direct. The new implant is surgically compatible with the screw-vent and the Legacy. The same drills would work with our implants, although we do have a new drilling system. So no, I'm not going after education. This is how you can afford to sell a high-quality implant at a discount, low price by eliminating the extraneous stuff, and by making a million implants a year so that you can mass market. Nobody other than me is going to buy 25 machines and spend 25 million before you spend, you sell your first implant and build a big inventory. It's because I know that when I hit the market, people are going to appreciate this implant. Well, I'll just tell you a few other things that I'm doing. Besides the implant industry, I'm in aerospace manufacturing. So I have two factories about 200,000ft², and we make parts for Boeing, Lockheed, Airbus, F-35. So one part I make is 14ft long. And I say if I can make a 14-foot part for a 777X airplane, I can make a 14-millimeter implant. So I've been in the aerospace business since 2002, I think. And I'm also in the hotel business. I have a hotel in Bristol, Connecticut, and we just added a second hotel and a convention center. So implants are part of what I do, but I have other ventures as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what's your legacy like? What are you shooting for?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
To live a little longer.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Like obviously a retirement does not exist for you. That is what I love about you. But you keep going and it's like never ending. It's just amazing. So what is the ultimate outcome?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, I want to get this system to the market. I mean, you are placing an implant sub-crest because somebody told you to, and even the companies are telling you to do that because they know that their stupid designs with threads and blasting to the top is going to be a problem. So they want you to bury the implant, that which creates other problems. Then they have to have a long, narrow abutment that flares out, and they need running room to get to the diameter that they need. I'm coming back in to try and share my experience and knowledge and implants and get people doing it the least expensive way. I just saw somebody post a case with four near-dead implants, the dentures jaw for an overdenture, and they buried it two millimeters below the crest. And then they attached the healing collar, which just brought the implant level with the crest. Now how stupid is that? Why not use a one-piece implant that comes through the tissue and already has the attachment in it? If you know it's going to be an overdenture, or I made an implant called the screw-in Direct Implant, which is the one-piece implant with the multi-unit abutment on it, and you already have screw receiving abutment. So it reduces the cost. It improves the clinical results that you can get thinner implants if they're one piece, you can have a three millimeter implant for strength, and you're not cutting away the crystal bone. They say it preserves crystal bone, but you've already lost two millimeters of bone contact.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And which is an elite to the implant anyways.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Yes. And you lose the contact with the cortical bone which give you the highest level of.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So maybe in the future, maybe in the future, you might want to think about like selling it to Straumann, right? So that they can incorporate your design with ...

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Well, I have a very good relationship with Straumann and I have a lot of respect for that company and their management. They invited me over to lecture to their executives in 2019 on how I built the value segment. I told them, The first thing you need to do, they brought all their world executives in. I was like, the surprise speaker. And I said, First thing you need to do is put value in your packaging, okay? In other words, the value segment is built on offering value, and your value is dependent on convincing somebody is worth $500 if you just package it with other component at the time, this is what I was thinking of. So I had a good relationship and they invited me back one other time. And who knows what the future will bring? But if any company is going to buy my company, or that I would put the new products in the hands of somebody that I know that would represent it well, it would be Straumann.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, that's great, because I think ... is one of those companies where they're great, but they don't have that what you got. So is your connection like internal hex or is it like still sort of?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Exact same as the screw-vent, as the Legacy.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Got it.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
45 degrees. But in 1994 I developed the friction-fit connection. And that's where you take the male hex and tapered one degree. When you see it in, it doesn't fully seat. You have to tighten the 30 Newton centimeters and drives it together. That was a flagship feature of ZimVie's proven. If you go and watch our videos or whatever they're talking about that, I got away from it because the precision that I could reach didn't require that with every abutment. But I'm bringing that back, that same friction fit for my extender. And I'm going to make this extender for other implant companies. So what do I learn in 40 years in implant evolution? So on the left, you see the first ad for the Core-Vent, and the right you see why I call it Gen-five. The first gen was Core-Vent in 1982. The second-gen was the screw-vent in 1986. The third generation was the tapered screw-vent in 1999. Then the Legacy in 2007. And now Gen-five is the new implant. How did Implant Direct build its business? It was on the internet and we could provide good customer service by having well-trained customer service people. We eventually built a sales force of 90 people as well, or 70 people, and every inside person had a partner on the outside. An independent study showed that we had the highest customer satisfaction of any company. Here's the image showing the new implant system on the left at $100 is the Gen-five, then the Gen-five plus, and then the Nizplant. All three of them have exactly the same implant body. So the Gen-five plus has a two millimeter friction-fit healing collar, and the Nizplant, it's all one-piece implant and the top has the outside of a locator. Locator attachments would fit. It has an internal lead-in bevel and a receptacle for a socket. So it's got a ball and socket as well as the outside attachment. Here's the patent that I filed on the implant, putting score lines on the neck. As I said, each implant is a millimeter longer than the standard that a 13 is 14. We don't go to 16. I've eliminated the 16-millimeter implant and I've eliminated the seven millimeters. So I'm just getting down to the basic implants that you need. So I've got the score lines to help you determine where you want it relative to the crest of the ridge. This is the patent application on the extender. That's friction-fit to the implant. Here is the Gen-five plus with the extender in place. The gold represents the platform of a 3.5 screw-vent, and the pink represents the platform of a 4.7 screw-vent, which is 4.5. So you got 3.5 and 4.5 platform, two platforms. And this shows the extenders. And you'll notice on the widest implant, the extender fits flush with the outside of the implant. Normally what's happening with these wider implants is you get a real big ledge there which I don't like. That's even worse on companies that have just one connection. But with the friction-fit, I can set it on the platform and it's still engaging, the friction-fit. I'm not relying on the lead-in bevel for stability. Now this shows six different positions for the Gen-five plus. It's got a two millimeter neck. You could place the implant level with the crest that it would project up two millimeters above the bone. You could do it to the first score line. It would be three millimeters. Second score line, it'd be four millimeters. To the blast line, it'd be four and a half. And it also comes with screws of different heights. So you could go to five-and-a-half and six-and-a-half, or you could put them all with one millimeter above the bone and just vary the height based on the screw. So instead of holding an inventory of abutments, all you need to do is hold an inventory of screws of different heights. For screws that are for $100, $300, you got 12 screws and you can vary the height of it so the tremendous savings on the abutment inventory that you need to deal with. Now, this shows that that platform also can accept a variety of other abutments. So we're making angles straight temporary abutments, angled-screw channel abutments, locator-compatible abutments. They'll all screw into the top of that extender. Now, what this extender gives you is what no other company is doing. If you put this implant in and the tissue recedes and you want to lower the platform, you take off the extender and go right to the top of the implant. So it's a healing collar and the transmucosal partybut abutment. This is like Nobel's on one. They sell a healing collar that's screwed in and raises up the platform make it easier to restore to scan. So that's the Gen-five plus. Here's the case going. I think they were mega chins put in by Doctor Ganz. And you see all the exposed threads on these implants and the extraction socket; you're going to get it every time. You would have to go back and graft all of that to cover those threads of the blasted surface. On the right, I've superimposed the Gen-five plus implant into those sockets, and you don't need to do any grafting because the therapist is exposed. On the left, now, you see, he's detached the abutments, but he's attaching it in a pool of blood. On the right, the abutment connection is already attached at the factory and is friction-fit, so you're getting the best connection you can, and then you just add on whatever height screw you want and you're all set. This is the Nizplant. I was just going to make it in a couple diameters. And I said, I figured I'd make it in all six diameters and all with the same platform, and it can be used like a locator with our attachment. If you need more height, you could screw in an extender that brought up the height a little bit on the locator. You could attach a multi-unit abutment, or just attach directly to the top of the implant with a angled screw channel. So let the lab do the angle correction when they're building the full-arch case instead if you worrying about angling your implants. You know, I'm not a big fan of putting an implant at a 45-degree angle to tip it back from the mental foramen. If you want to tip it back, tip it back 15, 20 degrees. Really, when you think about cantilevering, Branemark said, You could cantilever back to the tonsils from four implants in the front. So this business's about dramatically tipping to shorten the AP spread is being carried too far. When you think of zygomatic implants, you got a 40-millimeter cantilever off of those implants. So this Gen-five has got a lead-in, I mean, the Nizplant has got a lead-in bevel internal hex connection, just like an implant. And it's got a rib on the outside, just like the locator. So that's that implant. And I got a patent pending on that. And you can see the chamber inside the implant where a ball would snap into as well as grab on the outside. And here's the case where they did four locators. I superimposed my implant on it to show that you could use it as a locator, a multi-unit abutment connect directly to it. This is the packaging of the implant. The surface wasn't put on this particular implant, and all the components will come in the bottom of the vial for $160. This is the surgical tray, which is going to be very neat and guide you to soft ball or hard ball surgical protocol, which is the same as the screw-vent and the Legacy. It will come with drill stops at two heights. So if you want to place that level with the bone, you select one drill stop. If you wanted a millimeter above the bone, there's a different drill stop, a different color drill stop. And the outside diameter of the drill stops will go through a surgical tray. So you don't need to use keys in order to step up your drills; you just change drill, put the same drill stop on the different sized drills; goes through the sleeve in the surgical tray till it hits the bone; depending on which drill stop, it'll place the depth of the implants so that the implant would be one millimeter above the bone or level with the bone.

Dr. Noel Liu:
When you have like 11-millimeter implant or 11.5 whatever size you have for the Paragon system, is that including the soft, the smooth collar as well?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Yeah, yeah. It's actually 12.5mm to the top of the implant.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Basically the blasted surface is about ten and a half, right?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
On a 12.5 it would be 10. So you can go anywhere from placing the blasted surface level with the bone and have 2.5mm projecting above, if you wanted it to project through the tissue for one stage. I would recommend, if you wanted, that you're better off using the Gen-five plus. Put the smooth neck below the crest of carbonate for bone loss, and have the extender be the one stage. So this is out Straumann really because Straumann has a bone-level implant which is blasted and threaded to the top, which violates the principles that Doctor Buser advocates of putting the smooth neck below the crest. So he is using their tissue-level implant all the time and uses it like a ...-level implant, whereas my system has figured this all out for you. So the last, this slide shows my aerospace company, and like I said, if I could make that 14-foot part for a 777X, I could make an implant. On the right, we were just in 2023, we were Spirit Aerospace as number one supplier, not in volume, but quality and on-time delivery. And Spirit is the biggest supplier to Boeing. They make the fuselages for that. On the right is a fuel floor for a Ep-35 and a picture of my two Factories. This is a picture of the implants, and this is a picture of my convention center in Bristol, Connecticut.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That was great information there, doctor Niznik. It was really, really good to see like there is an implant system that is going to be like at the $100 mark. Any implant system nowadays with a price hike year after year is just getting ridiculous.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
All right. So I hope this covered what you wanted.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I just got one last question for you. What do you got for young professionals aspiring to make a mark in the dental implantology world?

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
That's easy. First of all, I'm 81 years old, so I'm not going to be around forever. So I need young guys like you to carry the message. Don't believe everything you're told. Don't believe the last speaker that you heard. Don't believe the salesperson. Do your own studying and every question you can have on implant dentistry is answered on my website on the Niznick.com. In the controversy section, we've got articles, there's another section on articles, and whatever I'm answering somebody I'm putting links on all the time. We were adding all this material to the new Paragon website, Paragon-Implant.com. What system are you using?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Currently, we are with NeoDent.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
NeoDent. Okay. Took me 11 pages to list everything goes wrong with that system.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I'm going there to check it out right now after this.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
First of all, is not a fully-tapered implant. It's straight and then tapered at the end. So getting initial stability is not guaranteed. Whereas you can take my six-millimeter implant and get good initial stability because the whole thing is tapered and it's spreading and compacting the bone. So that's one thing. It's got a long taper on the connection, which they call the Grand Maurice. Well, it's not a Maurice taper. Maurice taper is 1 to 1-and-a-half degrees. That's 16 degrees. All you get when you have a long taper like that is very thin walls. It's got threads all the way to the top and blasts it all the way top. So it's forcing you to put the implant sub-crystal and it's got only one connection, which they tell you, Oh, this is wonderful. You could reduce your abutment inventory because it'll only have one connection, but it's creating emergence profile nightmares that are going to be a problem to clean for the patient. And then again, I don't know what you're paying for the implant, they probably tell you you're special. We're going to give you a 30% discount. You don't have to share your discount.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You're kind of nailed it. Yeah. Discount is some sort of discount. For sure. Yeah. ...

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
They're selling it to ClearChoice for $70 and is selling it to you for 150 and is selling it in Brazil for $23. Do you think you can make an implant that the majority of your sales are going out at $23 and be able to put the attention that you need for the precision? I've looked at those implants under microscope, and maybe they got a lot better after Strölin bought them, but they weren't that good before. And why buy an implant in Brazil when you could buy American and know the source? We were just.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I know the source now.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
You know the source. We were just written up in a magazine which is also posted a manufacturer magazine: This is where precision meets innovation. So I think we're going to have an impact on the market. If there's smart guys like you want to do the best you can for the patient; that's the first. Thing you want to avoid complications down the road. And if you're putting in an implant with Microthreads and blasted at the top and countersinking. For instance, ClearChoice posted a case they're so proud of for implants. And I posted can't you see you got peri-implantitis and inflamed tissue on three of them? They took it down right away. So everybody's going to get problems with implants. You need to figure out how to minimize that. And having a smooth neck and a super crystal connection is a good start.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Got it. No, definitely. I mean that's good info. I'm definitely going to keep that in mind. And if there's any way I can be of any assistance I mean definitely, you know I'm available. I would really appreciate you and what you shared with us today. I think this was like really eye-opener for a lot of us. Thank you again for all the information.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
You're welcome. Thank you for asking me. I'm always happy to share my information with young people. What I see, what's being done in the field today is so aggravating with the misinformation from the companies and dentists just following what they're told. So I'm really changing the industry again, I hope. And changing for the better.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yes, you are. Which is why your profile just caught my eye and I'm like, I got to reach out to you. Well, again, thank you very much for your time. We're going to land the plane, and we can definitely collaborate if there's anything in the future.

Dr. Gerald Niznick:
Great. Thank you. And have a good day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yep. You too. God bless. This is the end of our Secure Dental podcast. Make sure you like and subscribe. And this is Doctor Gerald Niznick and your host, Noel Liu.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Dr. Gerald Niznick:

Dr. Gerald A. Niznick, a trailblazer in dental implantology, founded and led Core-Vent Dental Implant Company from 1982 to 2001, later operating under the name Paragon Implant Company. After selling the company to Sulzer Medica in 2001, which was then acquired by Zimmer Dental, he retained ownership of a state-of-the-art factory in California. In 2004, he established Implant Direct LLC, launching a groundbreaking dental implant product line in 2006. Known as the “godfather of American implant dentistry,” Dr. Niznick revolutionized the industry with design innovations and All-in-1 packaging for added value. He pioneered the concept of “lights-out” manufacturing, reducing costs while maintaining quality. By selling application-specific implants primarily online, he created the “Value Segment” of the implant industry. Throughout his career, he received 33 U.S. Patents for dental implant-related products. Dr. Niznick’s expertise led him to train over 10,000 dentists globally in implant placement and restoration. His contributions have been recognized with honorary doctorates, prestigious awards, and commendations from organizations and academic institutions. His landmark study with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs significantly advanced dental implant knowledge, earning commendation and special issues in prominent journals.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Thorough research is essential when choosing implant systems; don’t believe in sales pitches.
  • Smooth necks and precise connections help prevent peri-implantitis and tissue inflammation.
  • Education is paramount in implant dentistry; stay informed to make the best decisions.
  • Bone preservation and soft tissue attachment are critical considerations in implant placement techniques.
  • The evolution of dental implants has led to more affordable and effective solutions over time.
  • Precision and innovation are key to minimizing complications in dental implantology.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Gerald Niznick on LinkedIn.
  • Learn more about Gerald Niznick on his website!
  • Discover more about Paragon-Implant on their website.
Categories
Podcast

An Expert Shares Top-Notch Advice To Building a Thriving Dental Practice

Summary:

The best and most underused way to grow your dental practice is through referrals.

In this episode, Dr. Eric Studley, President and CEO of Eric S. Studley & Associates, Inc. and a Clinical Associate Professor of Dentistry for NYU College, offers insights into the importance of core procedures and continuous learning in dentistry, emphasizing the need for dentists to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Studley stresses the significance of referring patients to specialists when necessary and fostering positive work environments to enhance productivity and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, he discusses the evolving landscape of dentistry, highlighting the importance of patient-centered care and building trust with patients. Dr. Studley advocates for upfront payment and transparent communication about treatment costs and shares his own experiences in the industry, including overcoming challenges and adapting to changes. The episode delves into various aspects of dentistry, from ethics and insurance planning to patient engagement and the future of the profession. Dr. Studley’s valuable insights and practical advice offer guidance for both seasoned dentists and those starting their careers.

Tune in and learn from Dr. Studley’s wealth of experience and expertise in dentistry, and discover strategies to enhance your practice and provide exceptional patient care!

Secure Dental_Eric Studley.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Eric Studley.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental Podcast, and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hey everyone, this is Dr. Noel Liu again on another episode of our Secure Dental Podcast where we bring in different individuals, leaders, and group people like from the dental industry, to come and share their knowledge and their expertise. Today we have a real treat. I have my mentor from NYU College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Studley. Now, before we introduce him, there is, I want to take a few minutes just to go over who this man is. Most of the success that I had in my practice, it's because of him and for all the tips that he's been giving me when I was in dental school. So Dr. Studley has a long, diverse career in the dental profession and assists dental professionals daily with challenges of building successful careers. He owns an insurance firm which specializes in insurance needs of dentists and healthcare professionals. Adding to his unique understanding of what dentists need to know, he mentored dental students as a clinical associate Professor and group practice manager at NYU College of Dentistry for over 33 years. Dr. Studley shares his expertise in the areas of ethics, insurance planning, case acceptance and risk and practice management in his professional speaking engagements. He has consistently been the highest ranked disability producer in the United States with the Guardian Life Insurance Company, and was inducted into the Guardian Disability Circle of Excellence, which is the most prestigious honor awarded to a disability income specialist. So Dr. Studley retired from NYU College of Dentistry in 2018, where he served as a Director of Practice Management, where he developed and delivered a three year curriculum to guide dental students in developing practice management skills. Now Dr. Studley is also speaker for the American Dental Association Practice Management Program. He has established articles in many dental journals, and was a contributing author of a textbook called Dental Practice-Get In The Game. So without further ado, we just wanted to take this few minutes just to outline Dr. Studley, my mentor, my guy. Dr. Studley, the floor is yours. So let's get started.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Well, no thank you. And I always say after that I don't think I should say anything more and let's just end it at this point, because this is like now the pressure is on to take it from there. But thank you so much.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for coming in. So we like to get started.

Dr. Eric Studley:
It's on the flip side. Sure.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So go ahead. You were saying something about the flip side. Let's get started with that and then we'll take it.

Dr. Eric Studley:
I was going to say on the, right, on the flip side, it's so nice for me to see someone like you, as well as so many of my graduates who have really taken it. I always say we all get the opportunity. It's a matter of what do you do with it now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right. told me that years ago.

Dr. Eric Studley:
When you start and take this. Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So yeah. Dr. Studley here, how did you get started with New York University? I'm taking you back 33 years.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Well, I, right. 33 years and even further. So I graduated from NYU Dental School in 1985. In my senior year, I was already being groomed to come back right after graduation and start as a part-time faculty. And back then they, you were able to come in, when I was initially hired, like a day a week. It was an actual volunteer position; you weren't even paid for it. But number one, when I graduated, and this isn't like a commercial, but I knew that was just the beginning of learning. Like, I just, they gave me enough tools to now go out there and learn more. So I knew that I always wanted to be associated academically, but I also wanted to, because I'm one of the main reasons of going into dental school, at least in my generation of dentists, where we all wanted to own our own practices, we all wanted our own businesses. Now that somewhat has changed for the new dentist. But that really was our goal and I've always been a very independent person. So it was give me the chance, give me the opportunity, I'll make it work and then you'll want to, I'll prove myself and you want to give me more opportunities. And that was, first of all, entering dental school and then graduating from NYU. And from the day I graduated, started working, didn't do a residency then, was already married and already planning a family, and also had the most amount of NYU loans you could have back then. Okay, I used to say.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We don't want to hear the number now, right?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Right, right. No, because you would think that's nothing compared to. But you know, everything is relative. But I started working, I think I worked for 3 or 4 different dentists, working like 21 days a month without a day off. And I just felt that that was only going to be a temporary situation for me. So I just learned everything, any job that I took and whether independent of the type of practice, type of patients, everybody was always treated at the highest of level. And after working for different kind of groups of dentists after one year, I decided to go out on my own, and purchased an old declining practice in Brooklyn, New York, and, which was doing maybe two days a week when I purchased it, and within six months we turned that practice into a seven day, a week practice with over 100 new patients a month.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That was something interesting you said.

Dr. Eric Studley:
That was always the plan.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That was something, really something that caught my attention. You were like, after school, after graduation. You knew that it was just a beginning. Why was that? Because I see, like a lot of kids coming out of school now, they have the same thing where they have this urge, where they need a mentor. How important is that? And what was your thought process at that time? So, like, after finishing four years, why did you think that?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Well, especially because there was just so much that I could learn there. Everybody always complains in the dental schools there's a core procedure. And why do we have to do it this way? Learning the core procedure, and that's not just in dentistry, that's not just in health care, learning the core procedures of everything in finances, in the core procedures and contracting, like getting a grip of the core procedures that just gives you the groundwork to now take it to the next level. When I graduated dental school, 1985, I think we had maybe 1 or 2 lectures on implants, and it was pretty much, they fail. Like, that was pretty much here's your implant lectures. I remember we had maybe one lecture in regards to HIV, because that was just really in the forefront. But did we have all of this kind of infection control going on initially? We didn't even wear gloves at the beginning. So from the way I entered dental school and the way I finished dental school was a completely different practitioner. And that was just the beginning. I learned implants after I graduated. I learned veneers after I graduated. We learned the term Aesthetic Dentistry after we graduated. But being able to teach that one day a week and people say, Wow, you were just starting out, you still taught a day a week, you lost money you could have made introducing that day. No, in reality, if I didn't learn what I learned, then I wouldn't have been able to offer to the patients in my second year out, in my third year out, my fourth year out. Like, I was just constantly learning new stuff because I had to teach you. So before you learned, I had to learn. And when these things were just coming out, bonding agents, all these little tiny things that are just taken for granted now, they were not matter of fact and we didn't have the same materials. So are you going to be the dentist that still doing what he did when he graduated five years ago, ten years ago? I find those dentists that are holding on to so many of the old school principles, or like missing the way I was taught this the way, it was always done, this is the way it'll be is not necessarily giving, number one, their patients the optimum treatment, but themselves. And you'll find those dentists get very bored in dentistry. Like, you have to stay excited in anything you do in finance, in the insurance. I am constantly learning stuff and as soon as I learned these things, like the reason why I learned them is because I want to then be able to offer them to my clients. And here's a very important thing that I always would tell the students and young dentists first, starting out. When you're new at this job, there's so many things that you haven't seen yet, and there's so many things that because you haven't had experience with it yet, you don't know how to handle the situation yet. So it's okay to be aware of how good you are at some things and how good you are not at certain things, and you will know that you will reach a certain level of expertise, and maybe also putting the ego away a little bit to where when you were in dental school, you did a certain procedure; when you were in your residency, you did a certain procedure, you know. Now you're working in a practice and maybe you're the only dentist there some days. And maybe you want to think twice about doing that extraction, and maybe it might be better served sending the patient to the specialist for those procedures. And that's something that the general dentist, the young general dentist has to learn, especially when you're working as an associate. When you're working for other dentists, you have to be able to say if they give you a treatment plan and, Oh, can you go into room two and take out number one? And you're like, Sure. You go in and you're like, Oh my God, look at this. Partially impacted; really not great at extractions. I remember I think I told them that at the interview, but I don't want not do it. And then they won't keep me on. And you don't want to get into something that you can't take out completely. And I hear that, unfortunately, a lot with some young dentists, but also with some dentists that have been out a number of years and are doing certain procedures that they may do the procedure, but if something goes wrong, they really don't know how to take themselves out of that. And another lesson that I always taught, if we do this, you have to be able to take care of even if something goes a little off track, because it does, you need to be able to take care of that. And if you can't take care of that's like number one reason why you refer.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Don't do it. That's such a great point. Yeah, that's such a great point you just said because there are my associates right now too. And they love implants. We do tons of them, right? And everybody wants to get their hands wet with implants. And something, the minute something goes wrong, they're like, Oops! Hands washed. Okay, what do I do next? So I love that.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Right. Refer to the specialist.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love the fact you mentioned that because if you cannot manage a complication just don't start it at that time. So when is a good time for these young grads or even dentists in a few years to start saying, Hey, maybe I want to give this a try, maybe I want to try that and I want to get better at it. What would you suggest? Like, taking more courses, getting more hands on experience, getting a mentor?

Dr. Noel Liu:
First of all, having a mentor. And it's funny, when you're a student in school, it's like the mentor to you just means the person you could go to that's friendlier, it's like the friendlier professor you choose based on those things; if they're approachable. And then you graduate, finish residency, and now you go work in practices, you can be in different states and you really don't know anybody, and you don't cultivate that mentor relationship. And at this point, I still have my mentors, I have my dental mentors, I have my financial mentors, and I have my advisory group of the guys that I can call that have been with me forever. And some of my most trusted advisors, my attorneys that I work with, accountants that that have been with me through my studly life, like, these are really true mentors that I can turn to, and they're not necessarily going to tell me what I want to hear. They're going to tell me what I need to be told. And it's not like a sign of weakness to have your mentor. To me, I think it's a kind of the sign of strength because it just says, Wow, look who I have behind me. And I'm quite fortunate to be whether you want to call me the mentor, the go-to guy, I get so many calls. And just in our financial company, we insure more than 7,000-8,000 dentists throughout the United States. And same thing when I practiced dentistry, the same thing. It's really no different. It's just: what's my product? So my product was dentistry then. Now my product here is finances. It's no different because the principles of all of that stuff is the same. I was used to when the students would apply for residency programs, and you get the pass applications and there's a questionnaire that you have to complete. And there was one of the questions on there about ethics. And it was a four choice answer. So it was an A, B, C and D. So either you were completely ethical, somewhat ethical, just ethical, or not ethical. And I was actually on the committee back then and I posed that it should really, I didn't agree that there were grades of ethics. It's either you are or you aren't. So they actually made it a two-question. It was just an A or B check. But then I also asked them to make it the first question of the evaluation so that if any of us should check off not ethical, there's no reason to complete the rest of the recommendation. It's like, move on. Because to me that is the number one barometer. And you know what? With the students, with my employees, with our sales people, mistakes, mistakes are a great thing that as long as you, number one, own up to it, it hasn't been detrimental. And you then figure out a way how this doesn't happen again. Companies, dental practices that aren't assisted might make a mistake, front desk might make a mistake, the associate, somebody might make a mistake and they bury it. They don't bring it up. And then it just gets worse. And it's the kind of thing that if you, there's a mistake that was made, number one, you work on fixing it. Number two, you bring it up at the, at our weekly meeting and it's like, all right, so what went wrong this past week? But what systems did we put in so that this doesn't happen again? So that patient doesn't fall through the cracks that the lab workers followed-up better, like, if so-and-so is out sick that week. It's okay when these things happen. It's not okay when you don't put the systems in. And we're in, our financial firm has been in business now over 28 years and, oh my God, the way we did things at the beginning and the way we do things now is so different, so different. And it's just morphed that way. And your employees are not afraid to bring something up.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And you encourage that, right, in your own business right now with the employees bringing it up?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, totally. We don't encourage, we don't encourage mistakes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No. No. So when something happens. And I got a follow-up question with that as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's bring it up.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What's more terrible? Like, sweeping it under the rug or blaming somebody else?

Dr. Eric Studley:
I think, I don't know if we could even choose one over the other. Sweeping it under the rug is completely horrendous and wrong. And blaming somebody else is also, and that's a great scapegoat kind of thing. And I think maybe when we were little kids, you know, we look to blame somebody else because we didn't want to get punished or something like that. So I know my older brother used, and my younger brother used to blame me because I was the middle one. But I think you, like back again, you know, in dental school, they're, one of the things that when you were in school, you didn't have this formally, but the students much later on had a whole self assessment of their four years; that it was a four-year project kind of thing. But I think that, I was taught to self assess from pre-clinic on, or even when I was doing something at the house, I was cutting the lawn. It's like, Oh, how come the lawn was not growing here? Like, you're self assessed. If you really want to do things right, you self assess. And I think that is one of the most important things that we need to do. We do a procedure or you do something in the house. You do something with your family. We should always say, Could I have done that better and what could I have done better? The blame is just another way of sweeping it under the rug.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But I think, but I think that it's, a lot of times it has to do with people's own code of ethics in order to self assess them in a true way, because I see it as: if you are not ethical or you are always blaming somebody or you're a victim in every single situation, your self-assessment could be drastically different than someone who's holding themselves accountable every single day. And what you just mentioned that that ethics are non-ethical or non-ethical, I think that's great with just two choices; can't be having four. So in your thing here, you came out of college, you went to school, you did your school, you graduated, you got your own practice. Now, I know that you own your insurance firm. After how long in practice, and what made you decide to go into insurance, and what was the reason behind that? Because I know that a lot of times you love people. Your charisma is like A+ stellar all the time, and which is why everybody got attracted to your clinic group, including myself, right? So with the insurance saying, how did this all come about?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Things happen sometimes when you least expect. And after practicing a little more than ten years, I started having problems with my hands.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So ten years you were in practice.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Dropping instruments. I was in practice for about ten years, and I started having problems with my hands, fingers, arms and running a very successful practice; I was actually going into my second location. I'd already, I had negotiated the space. So I was already onto the next the next project because I had a solid staff where I was, I had someone that I was bringing in as a I was elevating to partnership level, an associate who was with me for years, also a former graduate as well, which was great. He was from the neighborhood and it worked out perfect for everybody. And I started having to change the way I was doing my delivery system. I always worked true four-handed. Like, it was beautiful, it was a symphony, and it was just so efficient with the patients as well. It really was great and I could work multiple rooms and it really was really nice. But I had to stop doing that and I started doing a rear delivery because in case I dropped an instrument, things like that. So over the course of a year, I went to see a number of different doctors, specialists, and I had to have bilateral carpal tunnel surgery done as well as bilateral media nerve surgery. So just to tell you how much of a workaholic. After the year I did, I had to have the surgery, I did both arms at the same time. Simply because I can then go through three months of rehabilitation PT and then hopefully one time and then go back to work as opposed to do one arm, next arm, that kind of thing. Unfortunately, that just started a whole cavalcade of additional surgeries, and after two-or-some-odd years of going to a bunch of surgeries and I was in and out of the office, you know, I had associates working for me, it wasn't me. And like you said, like the patients, you really develop a relationship with them. And I knew everything about all my patients. I knew, their children were my patients, their parents were my patients. And I had that kind of practice. And it was like everybody wanted me to treat their family. We never asked for referrals. Marketing back then.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It was automatic. So when you were going through all this series of surgeries, what was going through your mind at that time and you couldn't see all these patients?

Dr. Eric Studley:
I was, I will tell you, in a major depression, as far as that, 'cause here was something that I built that took me like my dream from when I was in, like I looked at my junior high school autograph book and even in there where it says, what do you want to be? And I already said, Doctor or Dentist, like that was, I was going into something like that. And took me a long time to get to dental school, because I applied to NYU for two years and didn't get accepted. So I left the country and I went to dental school in Guadalajara, Mexico for two years. Then I got accepted to NYU, but I had to start all over. So I had to do those two years; they didn't accept. So I had to do another four. It was a long road for me, but I got there. And also at this point I'm married, I have two children. So to take it lightly and say that I wasn't freaking out; I really was! And I was working and we were saving. But now what, ten years, and with NYU loans? Like, that's what, you know, I had my loans down to a couple of years left, but I was still pounding those loans off, putting money into retirement, saving money for the kids' college. We had a mortgage at that point. And I was really not looking at the greatest of future. And I had a disability policy, which unfortunately didn't come through for me. And so I actually was still teaching, but, and even, I even, at that point, I was made assistant professor in three days a week. But teaching is passion and love, and education, at least at NYU. It's, you're not there for the money. If you go to teach for the money, don't teach. But what you get rewarded, like me, being able to sit in front of you and talk to you, that's like I have been so ridiculously rewarded. It's like a parent. When you see your child doing well, you are rewarded. You've been, you've succeeded as a parent. Your child is self, they're on their own.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I think that's probably like your number one superpower when you were in school, when you were at school, when you were the director, because everybody got attracted to you. So it was like, you were doing it with passion so people could see through that. That's easy. Anybody there for just for credentials or just to get their resume higher? We could tell through those kind of people. So that was a no brainer for you. So is that the time when you said, Hey, this is the time I will go ahead and start looking into insurance, opening up my firm?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Yes, it was because I knew, number one, I needed to eventually work for myself again. That just that independence is very important to me. In my family, where my parents were the first ones born here, they, nobody really owned their own business. Like, they all worked for people. And they worked very hard. And let me tell you, they did unbelievable. Considering what the levels of education and where they started and where they came from, they did ridiculously well. But my brothers and I, we also knew that our ticket out was education and that really was the propulsion. Also running my own practice. It's like, I got to do the dentistry that I wanted. I got to treat the staff the way I wanted. Like, this is what I always dreamed of doing. So when that kind of was unfortunately not available to me any longer, if somebody had mentioned even a mentor, You're a nice guy, you're smart, you should go into finances. And I was like, Yeah, it's not really me. I didn't have a good experience with insurance company. And they're like, Well, maybe you could be different. And I went back to school. Then I worked for three different companies for three years. It's the same way when I worked for dentists. I learned all the business part of it as well, and as well as gaining knowledge. And after the three years, I opened a corporation and I started it from my car; that was my office. I had a desk in my front seat, had a cell phone, and I was teaching like three days a week. And then I was running around the country the other seven days a week, days, nights. Back then, I was doing 70-plus hours a week because I never wanted to give up teaching because that was, that really fueled me. It was, it's such a passion. That's all I could say. It's one of those things and know, like when you're hiring associates or employees. You can teach people how to do your systems. You can. You could send your dentist to see courses. They'll be great learning procedures. But you, I always say, I can't teach compassion. And then there were just students that things would happen. And afterwards, after we fixed everything and I'd bring them in, it was like, so tell me, How do you feel like? And he's, Oh, glad you were able to take care of it. And he was like, But what about yourself? Didn't you feel bad for the patient initially? You should have went there.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You were trying to instill that in them, right?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Yeah. Because you know what? That especially now where everybody is used to, let's say, a lack of personal customer service, okay? And whether you're in the dental industry, the hospitality industry, the finance industry, we are all in the hospitality industry because we all deal with people. So if you're going to deal with people, you have to deal with them how you decide. But if you ask me, why have I stayed with the people that I've been with for 20, 30, 40 years, people that handle all of our services, let's say, and or, they'll even, my accountant, for example. When they'll say, Oh, can you refer me an accountant? And I was like, Sure, I can find. I've been using them for 40 years. I think that's a great referral. Then they'll ask, What do they charge? And I was like, I don't know. But I call all the office calls. Boom. They're on top of it. I get a piece of paper in the mail that has initials that say IRS on it or something. I just scan it over and it's, Oh, yeah. No, we already took care of this. This was your 941, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever. All right, thank you. And then when I get the bill, it's just paid. It really is. It's, you, if you just go above and beyond and what you get impressed with customer service, that's all you want. And you can do all the marketing in the world, if people, I always say, When they first come into your office, seven seconds for them to decide with, right? If the waiting room is dirty, first of all, you're done. The bathroom is dirty? You are really done. And the front desk, if the front desk, like they're talking to each other or you see their cell phone is like under the underhang and I'm standing there trying to check in and I kind of, Hello? And I should be greeted and not because, and you don't know me. You do know me. I'm a patient and I'm going to help pay your bills. It's like, and you have a greater chance of getting more people from me. I did a discussion last week and it was a part of the discussion went to should the dental practices be taking in insurance and certain plans that don't pay as? Oh, it's a huge topic. And my opinion, if you have all of your buckets filled and all your columns are filled and your goals that you're planning for the next few months, they're already already turning and working? Okay, great. But, I was always of the, and even when I started insurance and when I started insurance, my market was dental residents. And back then dental residents, even though they're still not making a ton, they were making a quarter of what they make now. And yet I'm selling them disability policies to start and making $20-$30 commissions on these things monthly. But every new dentist that I that became my client sent me like four of their friends.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What was that secret formula? It was that relationship. That's how I see it.

Dr. Eric Studley:
100% right. It was all about relationship. And that's really how I have built the finance. And when I consult on dental practices, I give the same kinds of things, whether it's a dental practice, a financial practice, a veterinary practice, it really it's, it's so unimportant. Because the same principles, it's the same principles. And patient first, customer first. And that's one of the things that you want as a dentist. And that goes back to even know you have associates work for you. You have your hygienist. You have your front desk. When people say, How do you get your most referrals? It's from the people that are working for you. All right? If that team doesn't think that you, like, everybody has to come to you, then you are not doing something right. My office manager, she would come in on Monday and she's like, Call this person, they need life insurance. And I was like, Oh, who's this? She goes, she's my manicurist. And I heard them talking about insurance. And I mentioned, Oh, you got to go to my boss. And when I go to their houses, their family parties, because we've all been together 20-25 years, I know them, I know their children when they were little kids in the office. And when they'll introduce me and their mother or their neighbor will say, That's you, I want to work for you. And what better compliment than that?

Dr. Noel Liu:
So with practice management, this is I know that's part of your component in your core operations that you're doing now. And I'm sure you talk a lot about relationships, right? So that is another aspect that we are transitioning to because for us it's all about like how do we provide the best service to our patients. And what I did was we ventured out into another company of ours, which is called DentVia, which we do the virtual admin, the back-end work just to, again, to help out the front desk, to help out my front desk, because that's, that came out of a need. And when we were seeing like shortages, we were seeing these guys were overworked, picking up phones, trying to do the breakdowns, trying to call the insurances. So I had the same mindset and I was like, This is ridiculous because our patient was not getting the care that they needed and they were getting ignored. And like you were saying, you know, like patient walk in, Hello, are you there? And they were busy on the phone. And I was like, If you really want to take somebody off, just ignore them. And that is the kind of service we were doing, like, at that time, and it really hit rock bottom for me. And I was like, This is something which we definitely need to look into. And I completely understand, like where your whole thing is coming from. I want to dive a little bit into your practice management. So you also consult with that portion. What are some of the key takeaways that you tell like a practice that is like they're at a plateau, they cannot grow, they're doing well but they need to go to the next level? How, I know it's, I understand everything is on a case-by-case basis, but what are some of the key takeaways that you would look at a practice and you would be like, I got all these three areas where you probably need to look at? Something like an insight.

Dr. Eric Studley:
I was just talking to a client earlier this morning, and she's actually taking on a practice that is much larger than she really wants to, but it's an excellent opportunity: location, cost, she's been an associate there for two years. Like, it, which is always like the best formula. You're buying a practice that you were the associate at that the retention is going to be close to 100% because you're not a stranger coming in. But one of the things, and I think I mentioned it even earlier in a different context, and I'll use myself as an example because it's not any different. I always say, Look at, you don't always have to look at dental to say, All right, so this is what the dental world is doing. So I'm going to do this. I always looked at what is everybody not doing and I want to do that. All right? Or, What is a company like Google doing? And what could Studley and Associates do that will make my office feel like the Google employees, because they get dining and all the, like all of these things. And sometimes you get a little stale with the staff because they've been there forever, it's like a relationship, which I've always been here. I haven't done anything new, I haven't kicked anything off, I haven't done it. I don't remember the last time I took them to a CME course. I don't remember when we did an off-site kind of fun thing with the office. So before you start looking to the outside, start looking in and say, All right, what could I do right here with whom I have because and especially now staffing? Biggest headache. And I don't remember the exact numbers, but if a staff member leaves you, the amount of money it costs you, not just hiring that other person, but number one, the lost of productivity that's going to go on, the loss of productivity while you have to train somebody. Okay. And how long months when we can't afford to do that. So it's like, What can you do to keep everybody with you and doing everything that's not done? So just as some examples that I had mentioned, some off-site kind of fun things that you can do with the staff. We, when I started seeing my staff, they really never broke for lunch. And so what did we start doing? I would tell the office manager, Place an order every day. And we order a different place, it's not fancy, whatever, but it's like they appreciate it. Of course. Lunch order and that's done. I got into yoga years ago. So I got my yoga teacher to now go into my office, and every Wednesday at 12:00, and even if you weren't working that day, people came in, 15 yoga mats go out, and if you can't do floor, you're doing chair yoga. And they'd have yoga, I would have, we'd have really good months, right? So on a Friday, once I had Domino's Pizza delivered to everybody's house. Two pizza pies, right? It's, and how many people do that, Noel?

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know, I'm taking notes. I'm taking notes, right?

Dr. Eric Studley:
But really, and these aren't expensive things.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I love it, I love it.

Dr. Eric Studley:
But I find so many dentists will spend money to get their clicks, to get, and I'm getting people, I have a lot of friends who use Zocdoc or, and you know what? People are making appointments on those and then they cancel it under 24 hours and Zocdoc still charges you. So people are, they're shopping for availability, not for personality, for competency. They're like, Oh, this guy has a 1:00. Good, I'll take him. I'm going to cancel the 2:00. But let me first see if the 1:00 can take me, and then I'll still hold that. And then you end up paying for that. So getting your office involved in this. All right? Because at the end of the year when Dr. Studley does better financially, guess what? Every single employee does so as well. So it's not just I put in 48 hours this week. I got paid for 40. Okay. But at the end of the year when you see wow, look at what I have in my retirement plan. Look what I have for this. Like, all those things. Their kids, some need work. We always have work. And it was like, Great, let this one do that. Pay them minimum wage. But I keep it in the family. It's like, Wow, you just helped my daughter make money towards college. Like, that's, that made it easier for me. Like, I don't have to save as much right now. Like, she has a couple of dollars from working for you all summer. You know, part of the family.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It brings up an important point where I was thinking about when you said that, it just hit my head, like we always focus on what we don't have. And that's where you're talking about the external marketing, and we're talking about all those people who we never saw them, but we are always ignoring who we have. And I love what you just said.

Dr. Eric Studley:
And the strongest, and it's funny, like I learned this also and I don't know why. Like, I had to learn this in the financial industry. It's always asked for referrals. As dentists we've always hid behind like, Hey Doc, we love you. And I was like, Love me? Send me all your friends. Like, we felt shy about that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Why do you think it's that? Is it an ego? Is it a DDS in front of it?

Dr. Eric Studley:
I think it's an ego. I think it's an ego. I think, and why you get more comfortable maybe in other forms of business, like finances. Because you know what? I did your insurance. That's great. Now you feel good. I took care of you. Great. We're all good. All right? But it's not like you walk out and you're like, Oh my God, I feel so much better after getting that insurance. It's like, but if you walked out after you came in pain and you walked out and you weren't in pain anymore, like right away, it's like you got to go to this Studley guy. He's just unbelievable. So we always felt we didn't have to ask for referrals, but I did because I guess also being brought up in Brooklyn. You're not shy. You're not afraid to talk. And when my patients would say how much they love me, and I was like, One of the ways you could show your love. And they're like, A hug? I was like, That's okay, but how about sending me your friends, your family? And they're like, Doc, you're already treating my aunt, uncle. I was like, All right, so where's your grandmother? Because once people start to refer, they let you into the club.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a great point.

Dr. Eric Studley:
When I refer anybody, if I referred you to an accountant, to this advisor, you would be like, All right, that's a good referral because, and the referrals that I get from you guys are the referrals that I want. Because what are the referrals? So the referrals that you get from those patients that these are your best patients, even though I consider every patient a best patient. It's like, I want more like Mary. Like, we need patients like that. We present treatment plans, she understands, her husband we treat. And it's just such a pleasure to treat her. She's so appreciative, actually comes 15 minutes early for the appointment, understands my fees and like appreciates the cost. And that's where you want to really tap into those people. And another thing that I have found that doesn't go on in the dental industry, but in the financial world and all others, how often do you contact with your patients? Once every six months? It's a week? Or once a year, maybe? Then maybe if they don't show now you have the list of those, and then you have the other person calling them to get them back in. How come we don't connect with our patients on a monthly basis? All right? I send out a newsletter. I send out not all educational stuff. This isn't scheduled yet to come. My patient become my client. No. This is I'm sending out something on mortgages and interest rates and I'll get people is like, Wow, I didn't even know that. And I was like, I know. And I actually had this written, so I understand it. It's not written like one of these financial things that are also above your head, and it only takes 3 or 4 topics. Period. So it's a ten-minute read. But how many people then refer that and then they become our clients? So as a dentist, you should be putting out an article every month; either have your own newsletter or you can go to the ADA. They have all these services. They'll give you ADA-approved material. And you also have to, when you send that, you have a send to a friend, you have to have that built in there. I'm telling you, because people then just have to push a button, through their friend's name and do it. Because they have found that when you do that with invitations and stuff too, people are more likely to send. Because now it's just a call-to-action button.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Man, you give away so many good tips.

Dr. Eric Studley:
I'm glad. I love this. Next time we should prepare what we're going to talk about.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, definitely. Definitely. I think we touched base on so many different topics and it was so much more, I'll call them gold nuggets. You were just dropping a lot of gold nuggets. One question for you. What is the future of dentistry and what is a future of Eric Studley?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Oh wow. Okay. The future of dentistry is probably easier for me, which you would think would be more difficult. The way the market of dentistry is, this is not something new to our landscape. It's not. When I graduated in '85, I worked for three franchises. One was Times Square Store Dental, one was Dental World, and what was the other? I don't even remember. Oh, Greenacres Dental. These were all franchises. And everybody was saying, Oh my God, they're going to take over everything. There's going to be no room, no space for us. And I have always felt we follow the physicians. We do. So now all the medical groups try to find a private doctor that's not associated with one of the big companies. Very difficult. Dentistry is a little bit different than medicine, because dentistry is still at least a 50% where the population gets to choose because there's just, they're just not covered for it. Where medicine more or less, hopefully at least more than used to, everybody has some type of medical coverage of some sort, even for an emergency or worst case. And hopefully, we eventually have, every single person has coverage, but we always lag behind. So will there only be DSOs now? Definitely not. Definitely not, because you will still have your patient base that still understands a value. I will tell you, my dentist, you know, is he's one of those, once again, if you have to ask how much, then you can't, you shouldn't go. You ask my dentist, Can this be done? And he says, Yes. And they can do it. And you know what you say at the end? Thank you. Do you know what I mean? And I'm like, maybe I'm a little more educated with the cost of dentistry. I went to a lot of dentistry, classmate of mine, but, and whatever he had to do and he never discussed dollars or anything like that. It was just, this is what's going to be done, take about this is the phases. Everything mapped out beautiful. And then I would go up to the front desk to schedule my next appointment. And then it would be like, she'd say, All right, so it's going to be X amount. And it's like, Okay, do you want to put something down? Do you want to pay for the whole thing? And I always paid up front because I just so appreciated what they were doing for me. And I also had the total trust that because sometimes and you then have to question yourself. If a patient doesn't pay you up front, or you really have to drag the money out of them and affects the patient, the relationship, maybe it wasn't explained well enough to the patient that they really, truly have to understand that this is what it is. It's not like medicine where you go in, you pay your $15, the doctor gets paid his $12, whatever he's getting paid. And you may not have to co-pay for that because they're in network, and you may have your in-network patients and that's they're phenomenal and they should be treated no different. And they should also be given the options of doing anything that out of network that you can do. So if implants aren't covered, you still present that. I've always presented to every patient, to every client as if they were multimillionaires. You got to let them know what can be. And when you build that kind of trust, because we've had this and where even the assistants or back at school, the students, I can't believe that they're going to. It's like, they understand the value. You see how miserable they are with what they've been going through, with what's in their mouth. Like, they've made this commitment and they will do this because how many times have you seen a patient and then disappear and then two years later comes in and then says, You know what, Doc? Now let's do it. This financially. A lot of people in the way I was also raised: if you can't pay for it up front, you don't buy it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Many people have that mentality.

Dr. Eric Studley:
You have patience. They're not going to use a credit card. My parents didn't have a credit card until I got them their first one.

Dr. Noel Liu:
One of the things that I learned from you while I was in school was: in the absence of value, price always becomes an objection. If you, and I feel like if a dentist or a dental office, they're not able to convey that value to that patient what they're getting, of course, even if it's 20 bucks, it's going to be an objection.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Oh, completely. But what you also as the practitioner, you also have to do, you can't do: I'd like $20 worth of jelly beans. You can't do dentistry like that. Those cases always fail. If you needed to do three implants, but the patient can only pay two, so you're going to try to make the case work on two: it's going to fail. And the patient will not remember. Or when you said, Look it needed three implants, but you said you really can only swing two. Can I do it with two and cantilever and everything? Yeah, I could. Well, then Doc, let's do. Oh, thank you. You're the best, Doc. And once this fails, you're not the best Doc anymore. And that's where you have to, and this is not an ego thing. This is you go to a cardiologist, the surgeon, the heart surgeon, and they say, Unfortunately, you need to have a quadruple bypass, you know, and say you think you can get away with just doing three valves? It's like, no, you still won't live if we do three. Like, we don't make a deal.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love the analogy.

Dr. Eric Studley:
But it really is. And that's how, and it's not being a hard-nosed with the patient, but it's saying to them, In order for this case to be successful, this is what I have to do. And in the interim, we can do something as a temporary measure because I need to hold the space and the occlusion so we can do something removable right now. And while you're saving to really do this properly. We'll do this. And let me tell you, if the patient doesn't come back, that's okay because that's doomed for failure.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I feel you just did them a favor.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Yeah. And there's enough parameters when you're working in somebody's mouth that can go wrong, that we really need to control the parts we can.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And that's from experience.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So, Dr. Studley, your last question. What is your future? What are you doing right now and what's coming ahead for you?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Well, fortunately, as I mentioned, when we were talking off-screen, a few months ago, we merged our company and now partnered with another financial firm, which includes my entire staff. Because whenever you tell people that you're partnered, it's like, Oh, so when are you leaving? When are you going? So I have no plans for me to go anywhere. If anything, this is reinvigorated me, because now I have so many more resources at our fingertips. It was also quite important to me that in doing this move, that I didn't just think about myself, my entire company. And it's all my employees from start to finish. Everybody is, we're all the same. And our clients, like I always mention, bringing in the specialists, will have access now to a greater host of financial products, wealth accumulation assets. And my partners are, first of all, phenomenal in their space. I've been working with them, subcontracting for more than 20 years. And Studley has no plans to go anywhere. Where we're a virtual company, at least I am, and 7 or 8 of my employees all virtual.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What's the name of the company?

Dr. Eric Studley:
It's a northeast private client. NPCG. And my company is Eric Studley and Associates, Incorporated.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Nice.

Dr. Eric Studley:
So you could find us all together.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And anybody can just Google?

Dr. Eric Studley:
Yeah, they can go to our website: www.DrEricStudley.com.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We'll have the link below.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Email us, email us at Insurance@DrEricStudley.com.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Awesome, great. Well, Dr. Studley, we're going to land the plane. It was a great honor and a pleasure seriously to know. I think I got a little bit more insight about you today than I was when I was in dental school.

Dr. Eric Studley:
That's what nice about keeping a relationship.

Dr. Noel Liu:
The one thing that I really cherish, and I really appreciate now that I'm so grateful for, is elevating my mindset throughout the years so I can connect with you on your frequency now and understand what you're going, what you're thinking. Because if you would have asked me, if you'd have told me all this stuff, like when I was in dental school, I don't think I could have related to you at that time.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Right. No, you got to get in it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And I truly appreciate that. Your time, your efforts, everything that you've been doing. I love it. Everyone, this is Dr. Noel Liu. I'll be checking out. Make sure to like and subscribe. We will be coming up with more episodes. And again, thanks a lot, Dr. Studley.

Dr. Eric Studley:
Thanks, Noel. Thank you all.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Dr. Eric Studley:

Dr. Eric S. Studley is a licensed insurance professional specializing in insurance planning for Healthcare Professionals. A renowned speaker in the Dental Community, Dr. Studley has delivered lectures nationwide on Ethics, Insurance Planning, Case Acceptance, Ergonomics, Risk, and Practice Management.

With licenses throughout the USA representing major insurance companies, Dr. Studley has earned numerous awards and honors, including consistently ranking as one of the top Disability Producers for Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, a Guardian Life Insurance Company. He is a distinguished member of prestigious associations such as the Guardian President’s Council, Guardian Leaders Club, and Guardian Executive Committee.

Academically, he serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at New York University College of Dentistry, where he also holds the position of G.P. Director in the Department of Cardiology and Comprehensive Care. Additionally, Dr. Studley serves as the Director of Practice Management and Ergonomics at the dental school, responsible for developing and presenting practice management skills to dental students.

As a published author and member of the Dental National Honor Society (O.K.U.), Dr. Studley’s contributions to the field of dentistry are extensive. He co-authored a Practice Management Textbook for new dentists titled “Dental Practice – Get in the Game” in 2009, further solidifying his commitment to advancing the profession.

Dr. Studley’s profile reflects a seasoned professional dedicated to excellence in dentistry, insurance planning, and academia, embodying a commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Continuous learning is crucial to staying ahead in the dental profession. Finding mentors and associating with like-minded people is critical to level up your game.
  • Building relationships with patients leads to better treatment outcomes and builds trust and loyalty.
  • Fostering a positive work environment enhances productivity and staff retention.
  • Dentistry’s future success lies in a patient-centered approach, putting the patient’s needs above everything.
  • Conveying value to patients is key, even for smaller procedures. If your services are relatively inexpensive, they might still seem costly to patients if they don’t understand the value you’re providing.

Resources:

Categories
Podcast

A Game-Changer in Orthodontic Care

Summary:

PerfectFit Ortho is revolutionizing dental care through the transformative power of virtual orthodontic solutions!

In this episode of the Secure Dental Podcast, Dr. Noel Liu welcomes Jay Hogan, co-founder and vice president of PerfectFit Ortho, to talk about his company’s mission to assist general dentists in case selection, treatment initiation, and remote monitoring. He explains how the company enables dentists to start more cases without the need for frequent in-person visits, offering patients the opportunity to consult with an orthodontist weekly from home. Throughout this conversation, Jay discusses the workflow, onboarding process, and benefits for dental practices, highlighting simplicity and efficient resource utilization. He also touches on the potential for collaboration between PerfectFit Ortho and DentVia company in providing virtual support and services to dental practices.

Tune in and learn about the transformative world of dental practices, like the game-changing services offered by PerfectFit Ortho!

Secure Dental_Jay Hogan: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Jay Hogan: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental Podcast, and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Alrighty. Hey everyone, this is Doctor Noel Liu. I'm back with my other episode, another episode of my podcast, and today, we have a very special guest. We got Jay Hogan from ortho, PerfectFit Ortho, and he is going to be introducing himself and telling a little bit about what he does and how does it work. So Jay, let's get started. Let's the floor is yours.

Jay Hogan:
Awesome, I appreciate you having me. Yeah, I'm the co-founder and vice president of a company called PerfectFit Ortho. We are virtual orthodontists, so our whole goal is to help general dentists with their case selection, with starting treatments, getting patients to say yes. And we also monitor those treatments for those patients remotely from home. So what we want to allow general dentists to start more cases, but without having to invest the time necessary seeing those patients every 6 to 8 weeks. So we start more cases, see your patients left less often, but they get to see an orthodontist every single week from home.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Absolutely. I can attest to that because, with us in Secure Dental, we actually have Jay on our side. And one of the biggest thing that I think the value proposition here is, for my associates, they really don't really have to think about how to treat these patients because, Jay, tell me, correct me if I'm wrong here, your orthodontist, once the case comes to you, your orthodontist is looking at it and guiding our doctors through the entire step of the way, correct?

Jay Hogan:
Yep. So every time someone in one of your locations has a patient in the chair, and they realize that patient has malocclusion, what normally happens is they'll take some photos of the patient, and within 15 minutes, we tell your associates how long that treatment will take and what's going to be necessary, whether it's elastics, IPR, attachments. And then, our orthodontists go through and set up and design that case with the aligner manufacturer of choice. And then we also provide video consults with your doctor. So if they ever have questions or concerns or maybe want to review or revise that treatment plan, they can do video calls with our orthodontist to walk through the case.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Awesome, awesome. One thing I'd always amazed me, and I know we've been working together for a while. How did you get started?

Jay Hogan:
So we started in 2019, actually. My partner and I, we were offering these services to the general dentists in our area that we're referring to our brick-and-mortar orthodontic practices, and we did this as a way to to tell them, hey, if you want to expand your case horizon and your case selection, we know you're doing aligners. So if you want help and you want some support and guidance, we'll provide that to you. And in return, just send us the cases you don't want to do. We started that process, and we realized quite quickly that most of the general dentists we were working with, in our local area, started keeping everything. And at that point, we realized, oh, we may need to pivot a little bit and change our not necessarily our business model, but change the direction in which our focus. So we started launching nationally in January of '23, and we are now in 17 states and Canada.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow. Okay, so you guys were brick-and-mortar before?

Jay Hogan:
Yep, there were three brick-and-mortar practices. And we basically went out within our 20-mile radius of all of our offices and said, hey, you keep these the easy class-one cases or the 810-month cases, we will help support you, we will design and set the case up. We'll monitor your patients every week. You keep those, send us the stuff you don't want to do. And they just started doing more and more. I think as the doctors got comfortable and as they got more confident knowing they have that orthodontic support, they started taking on more and more cases. So the point where we had some doctors that almost few exceptions stop referring to us in general, they were using us as PerfectFit, but they weren't referring them to our brick-and-mortar practices any longer.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So who are your main clients in terms of who would be an ideal client? Is it like a group practice? Would it be solo dentist, or would it be like somebody who's never done orthodontics, like orthodontics?

Jay Hogan:
It's very interesting that there's a different bucket for each type of doctor. We have a doctor in California who is a private practice dentist who is a very large provider for a certain aligner manufacturer, and they reached out to us and said, we don't necessarily need as much of the case setup or the guidance, but we have reached the ceiling. We cannot see any more aligner cases. We do 120 a year. We need we're going to stop doing the cases because we don't have the chair space. So for them, the value proposition was they don't have to see their patients unless something is going awry. We're monitoring them weekly at home. Then there's other doctors who want to get more comfortable doing aligners, and they find the value in us because we're able to help them with case selection and case setup. And then, for group practices, they love it in the sense that they have continuity of care, number one, as associates open their own practices, or they leave the organization, or new ones come in. I know, and you can probably speak to it. It's sometimes challenging to ask a doctor to take over a case someone else is working on. We maintain that continuity of care by continuing to monitor them with the same orthodontist the entire time. And we help group practices, which it seems right now, in 2023, a lot of practices are looking for same-store growth, and that's where a lot of DSOs and group practices will find that with us.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So are you like shifting your focus more from private to like group and DSOs? Because I've seen you like recently featured on DEO as well, and congratulations, and I see that, I see what you're trying to shift your focus. So is that something which, or you just adding on to it?

Jay Hogan:
I think for us right now, we're just adding on.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Jay Hogan:
We want to work with, my doctor, Brian Woods, my partner, his goal, number one, was he just wanted, he was frustrated with a lot of the direct-to-consumer products that were going directly to patients, and it was causing a lot of issues. And he wanted to just help general dentists because, again, he said, I know they're doing it, I want to help them do it better. And I think that's where it started. And we can help provide support to group practices. It works very well, not to mention the sales process. So we provide the doctors and those offices with software that will allow them, that will allow patients to do virtual consults from home on occasion. And you've actually your practices have had a couple of these where patients will take photos from home. We will send them a treatment plan on your behalf. And then the patient's side, and they pay, and they've never stepped foot in the practice. If patients decide against treatment or they don't decide to move forward, the day of the treatment plan is presented. We will then follow up with them for the next 90 days via email, text, phone call, and every time we do as another chance for that patient to start their treatment plan.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. So yes, I think that's one thing I can attest to that your team is following up. What is the size of your company right now? How many doctors and how many sales force that you have right now?

Jay Hogan:
Sure. We have four orthodontists that we have one lab technician that work, for orthodontists, one lab technician, myself, and an admin person, and we have a sales person as well that travels to events and cold calls practices. We are finding that it's much more beneficial for us, I think, to go to events and go to shows more so than it is cold calling, knocking on doors. There's a lot of gatekeeping that happens. I will tell you, though, when we get into a position with a practice or a group, and we're able to actually present what we do, we have 92% of our doctors sign up with us.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. I can see the value proposition in this, because a lot of times, like the direct-to-consumer problem with that, as there's a lot of lawsuits going on with that stuff, and then there's a lot of issues going on with that stuff. And I think even going to a general practice facility and trying to get like clear brackets or clear braces or clear aligners, right? Everybody kind of mixes everything in one. But what you guys are doing is it's one step even ahead of that, because for us, the value proposition has been that, hey, you know what, Miss Jones? We're not only going to be treating you in this office, but we also have an orthodontist that's going to be monitoring your case, and I think that becomes a huge proposition. So is that one of the main selling feature why 92% of the doctors signed up? It's because they have that peace of mind.

Jay Hogan:
I think so. I think the most doctors see it as a way that, to capture more market share within their own practice. We don't know, when we onboard new doctors or new groups, we don't necessarily have a dialogue about changing their marketing or becoming more aggressive in the aligner space. We have a conversation with them normally to say those patients already exist. They are your patients. You're referring them somewhere. We're going to give you an opportunity to keep them in your own practice, as long as the patients are compliant and as long as the teeth are tracking, it becomes, in practice, not a bad word. It becomes one of the most profitable things you can do in your practice, because you're you may only see that patient at bond IPR in the middle if they need it, and then D bond as long as everything is tracking and things are working the way it should, and the ... on your point about direct to consumer. My partner did it. He could use the SmileDirectClub, he went through, did not tell them that he was an orthodontist, just followed their instructions, went through the entire process, and he did not have good results at all. He went as far as trying to get a refund, and they asked him, and it's public knowledge now, so I don't, I'm not throwing dirt on anyone's grave, asked for a refund, and they asked him to sign an NDA in exchange for getting his money back, which he didn't do because he wanted to use it as a case study to show what happens when you go direct-to-consumer. We just want to allow doctors to give their patients the best treatment that they can, and it's amazing how much better treatment is, when you do have an orthodontist that's reviewing that case on a week-to-week basis. There are many orthodontists probably in your area in Chicago area that can't say that. But now Secure Dental, for instance, can say you're going to be seen by an orthodontist every single week, but at your convenience. You don't have to take time out of school or take out of work. You can do it all from home.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, that's great. And that's, and I think that's one of the biggest selling proposition there that for us we had the peace of mind, right? That there is someone behind us. And then also the fact that it makes it easier for the patient, saves chairside time. So this whole virtual thing, did it come about like after COVID?

Jay Hogan:
We were lucky. We started.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Or was it something in the plan already like you had in mind?

Jay Hogan:
We were already utilizing virtual appointments and weekly monitoring with patients prior to COVID. We started in 2019, and so when COVID hit, almost, yeah, I'll say it was foresight, or, but we got lucky. So once COVID started, we really leaned in because we were one of few practices, probably within a 5060-mile radius, that were actively seeing patients still weekly. We had the ability to really maximize our potential as far as giving patients what they need, when they need it, but not having to compromise and have a lot of people in the practice and run that risk, especially very early on with the governor here in Florida, had shut down everyone in the state for, I want to say 45, 50 days down here. So we were still able to see those patients and view them, and it got real. It was real lucky for us, but it allowed us to really hone in on what we were doing and how we were doing it, and now it's very seamless.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Would it be fair to say that the whole teledentistry, like, started with what you were doing?

Jay Hogan:
I don't know that I would take the credit for that, but I think that, I do think that in the next 5 to 10 years, I think orthodontics especially is going to look very different. I think that there, you're going to have your orthodontic groups, orthodontic practices, and you're going to have general dentists who use us. I really don't see. I just think that the future is here in that regard, and I think that it just makes so much more sense to be able to have that collaboration work in tandem. And I think, you're still have your mom-and-pop practices that may just do 1 or 2 cases for friends or family, but I think that doctors should really want to provide the service to their patients instead of having to refer them somewhere else, are, we're going to be the PerfectFit.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, that's great, because once one of the endodontists that we had a course with last couple of weeks ago, and same thing with Endo as well, there's a trend with all the new endodontists coming out. They're not looking into opening up a practice, and I see the same trend is happening with orthodontists. Like all these guys coming out, they're actually being employed by DSOs, or they're just going to do moonlighting here and there or join a team like yours. So what's the workflow like for someone, let's say, starting off from onboarding and the process like just a very 30,000-foot view?

Jay Hogan:
Yeah, ... the onboarding process for a new practice is really quite quick. We send out a request for some information, and then we build out the sales website and all of that, the intricacies there. Then, we meet with the team, whether it's virtually or in person, and training takes an hour. And once that's done, doctors are off and running, and the workflow is very simple. When the patient is in your practice, and you think they could benefit from ortho, you take some pictures. Okay, 15 minutes, we'll tell you that patient's going to need treatment for x amount of time approximately. We think that they'll need this and that, and here's what will be necessary. We want to give the doctors an idea as to what's going to be necessary, because we want you to be able to present a treatment plan, financial treatment plan to your patient on the spot. So I don't want to, we don't want to tell doctors, hey, it's going to be 18 months. And then the patient says, yes, they pay, they move forward, and then the doctors find out, oh, I have to do IPR. I'm going to need attachment. They're going to need to wear elastics, I didn't know that. So we want to at least give you the information you'll need so the doctor can make a decision on whether they want to present the case, and then so the patient is informed on what's going to be necessary. So we present that treatment plan to the patient or someone in the practice does. If the patient moves slower, the doctor will take the scan, submit all of that to us, and we start working on the case. On average, we probably not.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So at the time of console, there's no scan; it's only photographs, right?

Jay Hogan:
Correct. Now, we have some practices that want to take that scan. They want to show the patient the simulation. We oftentimes tell our doctors it is a simulation. It's not exact. And most of our patients, we have found, are more concerned about how long is it going to take. What, can you fix the issue that I have, and can I afford it? And if you can answer those three questions, there's no need to take that step and go through that simulation, because that's a, I don't want to say it's a waste of time, but it's a misallocation of time. You're asking the staff member to take the scan, to wait for it to load, to move the things around when a patient doesn't need that information. The patient says yes, they sign, they pay, they decide to move forward, we start working with the lab, and we set up and design that case. And I'll tell you, on average, you can actually go back and look at any of the patients that you've started, and you'll see how many times that we do not approve a case prior to even presenting it to you. On average, we probably go back and forth more times with each ... to get the case set the way we want prior to showing it to your doctors for approval.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's great. That was one of our main points that we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our team and doctors, because one of the biggest gripe with everybody was like, hey, I've never been trained in ortho. I don't know anything about orthodontics. I'm not sure how does the whole thing workflow-wise? How does it work? So with your workflow, what I love best about was everything was like very manageable. And we could have, and we can delegate to our team, and they are like, it's just photos and just snapping it in and just getting the shots done and uploading it. I think that's one of the biggest advantage for us, and I'm sure it's going to be for, and I'm sure it's for a lot of people as well, like as easy as possible, even though I know that I had problems. I had, personally had problems, but then I reached out to you, and you walked me through the whole step.

Jay Hogan:
Yeah, it's not, there, there's definitely times, I know that eventually, as we continue to grow, I'll have to stop giving out my cell phone number, but I want to be, we want to be available, we want to guide people and be your virtual orthodontist. That's really the whole, we really boil it down. That's just what we are. You can hire an orthodontist and pay them a daily guarantee and have them in your practice two days a week or two days a month, what have you. Or you can hire a virtual orthodontist, and they're there when you need them, and you only pay them when you use them. That's the other big benefit of what we do. We can go through that entire process. We actually, doc, we have one three days ago, an associate in one of your practices that did a video consult with our orthodontist. They walked through the case, allow questions, looked at the setup, and then the doctor decided, I'm just not comfortable. I don't want to do this case. And they didn't pay us a dime, right? So we did the case setup, we did the presentation, the side consult, we went through the whole step of process, and then the doctor decided that I'd rather refer this out.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's fine.

Jay Hogan:
Y'all, we don't charge our clients until they accept the case. And that's part of our goal and our mission statement of setting up doctors to be, setting doctors up for success with the patients that they have. And if they're not comfortable doing the case, we don't want you doing the case. We always tell our clients, anything that can be done with brackets and wires, we can do with aligners, but it's up to the doctor to decide what case they want to do.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's great, because I love the fact that you're putting the value out first, right, before getting paid. And I think that's huge for anybody hearing this, because not a lot of places are like that, right? We know how we get treated with other industries, like when we go trying to do anything. So no, that's great. So tell me one last thing here. What is the future of PerfectFit?

Jay Hogan:
That's a great question. I'm not real sure. I think that changes daily. We've had a couple clients as of late reach out to us that are in Europe, which I was not expecting to be crossing the pond anytime soon, but that may become a situation for us. We just want to continue to grow, honestly, and we have the systems in place that we can continue to provide that same level of service. I want my personal goal, and I don't want to speak for my partner, is I hope that one day people refer to virtual orthodontists the same way that people refer to storage bags. I don't ask for a clear bag, ask for Ziploc, I ask for a Kleenex. I hope that one day that we can be the Kleenex of virtual orthodontics.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hey, and the only way you can do it is if you go global. And then, I love the fact that you got 1 in 1 in Europe. That is huge. The same thing for me to like, we have our Denver team, which is virtual, and our team was founded on the basis of necessity and pain that we were growing through. And these guys are all the way down the other side of the world on, in Philippines. So, when I look at your service, I can almost see like a parallel line, like you providing that service anywhere on this planet.

Jay Hogan:
And it's crazy, I've been thinking about that company, your company. And I was, and we should probably, maybe outside of the podcast, have a chat, because I'm thinking, man, I bet there's some synergy. I bet there's a way that we can leverage each other to provide that kind of virtual support and virtual services to doctors, our existing clients, and on the back end so that patients, doctors, don't have to accept that hurdle of human capital. That's one of the biggest costs of any practice. And if you can outsource that and have that level of support and that level of consistency, which is important, I think it could be awesome.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Because virtual nowadays, everything is virtual, right? Everything is electronic, everything is cloud-based. Everything can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

Jay Hogan:
Yeah, we don't even have a home office. All of my staff work from home. We don't. We have a physical address where things get mailed. But outside of that, like you said, it's all virtual.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's the future, Jay.

Jay Hogan:
It is until you're doing a podcast and you have dogs, so you have to bribe them with treats and.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right, right.

Jay Hogan:
Keep them quiet. But otherwise, yeah, I enjoy it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, because I can see that happening because what you're doing is it's like virtual. So whether you have an office, you don't have an office. And that's why we, right now, I do like real estate two on the side. So I can see like all this real estate spaces being empty and nobody wants to go back to a brick building. Everybody wants to be home. Everybody wants to do it virtually, everybody wants to do it remotely. I can see that happening very, it's a reality. We're already seeing it and it's just going to get even. I would call it better or worse however you want to see it, but it's like everybody would want to be at home or elsewhere doing the job and not be in a physical building.

Jay Hogan:
Let me ask you this. I haven't had a chance to even ask yet, which I feel a little embarrassed. How's the feedback been from your patients after they've gone through the system and gone through the monitoring and those type of things?

Dr. Noel Liu:
They are blown away that they have an orthodontist and they can actually scan and keep the progress going. And I think that's the feedback I've been getting, which is huge. So we took the same feedback, and we're putting it in our pamphlets that we have a virtual orthodontist that's going to help you out.

Jay Hogan:
Awesome. No, I think that's great. And it's funny, we get messages from patients all the time that are not ortho-related. We'll get messages because the patients can message us directly through that app so they can message us in real-time. We provide them with annotated photos and scans of their teeth to give them advice. But sometimes patients will message us ask when their next cleaning is, or if their insurance company made a payment. Oh, all the time.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So in those senses, if someone ever texts you or email you guys for emergencies, they're in pain.

Jay Hogan:
Oh, yeah. Hey, what's up? What else is interesting is that we put a virtual widget on the website, and you've had patients that have used that widget for implants or perio scaling and all types of other things that are not aligner-related. So it's very interesting. It's an unintended consequence, but it's actually, helps garner and capture new patients and additional leads that are not aligner-related.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct. And it's people, they're going to go anywhere and everywhere just to find an answer. That's a great side effect. I love it, I love it. So with that being said, Jay, how do people find you?

Jay Hogan:
Sure, you can find we're online, right? PerfectFitOrtho.com. You can go to our, we're on Facebook and LinkedIn and all that good stuff, but the easiest way I think is just the website. There's a couple tutorials, shows you how the system and process works. You can always sign up for and go through a demo with us, but it's really pretty, pretty quick, and concise. But we want to be there to help, so if anyone is listening and they decide they want to find out more, they can just go to our website and click Contact Sales and someone will reach out to them.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I love it, I love it. I'm definitely going to put a link down, like after we record. And so for people to find and also follow up and if there's any questions, they can always reach out to your email and go from there, correct?

Jay Hogan:
Yes sir. That's right, that's right. And I'm going to get, I'm going to get a videographer out to your office one of these days so I can film a testimonial from.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's do it. Let's do it. All of our collaboration.

Jay Hogan:
There you go.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All righty. Jay, thanks a lot for your time. It was awesome. It was very valuable. Since, full disclosure, we are a client of PerfectFit, we have great experience just because from the workflow standpoint of view, and also the orthodontists, they are very helpful. And with that being said, you guys know where to find Jay. So for now, we are going to be landing the plane and calling it a day. And everyone, thanks for attending. Make sure you like and subscribe. Secure Dental Podcast. Doctor Liu, out.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Jay Hogan:

With a wealth of experience spanning over 15 years in general management, operations, and directorial roles, Jay Hogan is the co-founder and vice president of PerfectFit Ortho. He is a seasoned professional dedicated to transforming the landscape of orthodontic solutions. In his role, he is driven by a mission to empower both dental professionals and patients through the provision of innovative and cost-effective aligner solutions, fostering enhanced oral health and confidence.

Drawing on a robust background in dental and healthcare management, business strategy, team building, and human resources, Jay oversees a comprehensive range of responsibilities within the company. From managing profit and loss statements, ensuring compliance, and spearheading marketing efforts to coordinating treatments, overseeing human resources functions, and handling payroll matters, their strategic acumen plays a pivotal role in steering the company toward success. Beyond his achievements in the corporate realm, the co-founder and vice president boasts a distinguished military career, having served in the US Army for 12 years and earning multiple honors for their service. Jay remains deeply committed to continuous learning and professional growth.

As a dedicated leader, he places a premium on values such as servant leadership, collaboration, and excellence, shaping a bio that reflects not only his professional accomplishments but also the core principles that guide his approach to leadership.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • PerfectFit Ortho offers virtual orthodontic services encompassing case setup, design, and weekly monitoring, providing patients the convenience of consulting with an orthodontist from their homes.
  • Integrating PerfectFit Ortho into dental practices offers benefits such as simplicity, manageability, and efficient resource utilization. 
  • The landscape of orthodontics is evolving, and virtual orthodontics is emerging as a prominent and convenient option for both dentists and patients.
  • PerfectFit Ortho’s provision of a virtual widget on its website allows patients to communicate in real time about various dental concerns beyond aligners, showcasing an unintended but valuable consequence of their services.
  • PerfectFit Ortho has an entirely virtual workflow, not even having a physical home office, and all staff work remotely, reflecting the efficiency and adaptability of their virtual model.

Resources:

Categories
Podcast

A Professional’s Insights on Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Implant Surgery

Summary:

Dr. Kim stands out as both a clinician and an academic, offering a unique perspective and contributing to the field through practical experience.

In this episode, Dr. Noel Liu interviews Dr. YoungSam Kim, a renowned expert in wisdom teeth extraction and dental implant surgery, accompanied by one of his students, Dr. Kang. Dr. Kim, who travels worldwide to share his expertise, discusses his journey, emphasizing his passion for surgery over traditional dental work. He highlights his challenges, especially as a general dentist entering the specialized field of surgical extractions and implants. Dr. Kim explains his teaching philosophy, emphasizes the importance of early and safe practice for aspiring dentists, and advises students to seek education beyond traditional dental school teachings. Dr. Kang highlights that participating in one of Dr. Kim’s courses gave him enough confidence to place an implant properly and perform wisdom tooth extraction successfully. Dr. Kim also reveals his future plans for the GIA (Global Implant Academy) and hints at a new book focusing on the clinical aspects of dental implants.

Listen to this episode and learn from the wisdom of a globally acclaimed dental expert!

Secure Dental_Dr Kim.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Dr Kim.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noah Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome again to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast, where we bring great individuals from different areas of dentistry into this podcast platform. And today we are joined by Dr. Youngsam Kim from Korea. It's an honor to have this gentleman here because he is world-renowned, and Dr. Kim is a prominent instructor on wisdom tooth extraction and dental implant surgery. He is internationally known and travels all over the world providing lectures on safe and efficient methods of thermal extraction and dental implants. He is a published author of several books, including Extraction of Third Molars, Easy, Simple, Safe, Efficient, Minimally Invasive, and Atraumatic in 2018, which has currently been published in five different languages. He is also an author of ESSE Mastering Dental Implants 2021. So with that being said, Dr. Kim, welcome.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Thank you. Yeah, thank you for inviting me. Yeah. So my introduction is too long.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I like it because this really tells a lot about what you have done and it tells about your credentials and where you stand. So tell us a little bit about how you got started. I mean, that is a lot of training, a lot of surgical procedures, and a lot of hard work that you did. We would like to know, like, how you got started.

Dr. Kang:
So he's going to speak in Korean and I'm going to translate for him.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Absolutely.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
I feel shy. Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No. Doctor Kim, you can speak in Korean. No, no, no. Korean. No problem.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
So he actually started doing the surgery because he doesn't like doing those feelings or the crown works. And his main focus was more like on the surgery stuff rather than those restoration stuff. So that's why he eventually started in the first place.

Dr. Noel Liu:
This is great, because a lot of times we find individuals, once they graduate from dental school, they find their niche there, right? Somebody likes indo, somebody likes ortho, and if somebody likes implant, there is no specialty. So what he's done is he's created like this niche of dentistry. And many people are just following his path. And I love the fact that he's doing this and he's opening up doorways for many young dentists. So I really honor him for that part. Dr. Kim, what year did you graduate from dental school?

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
2000. 2000 or 1999?

Dr. Kang:
'99.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. And then from there, was it like something where you just figured out you want to do just implants? Or was it like you worked as a general dentist?

Dr. Kang:
So after the graduation, for 15 years, he kept doing those crowns, restoration. But it was about 15 years ago that he started to transition to those surgeries stuff.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, excellent. Excellent.

Dr. Kang:
During those 15 years, he kept doing those crowns and restoration. But he, for those times, he was more focused on the surgery stuff as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Gotcha. I always like the fact that if anybody who is starting and they have a passion for something, and when they take that passion and they create it, they make a career out of it. They are always the best at the field at that time because it's passion that's driving them.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what were some of the challenges? Because a lot of times audience, they like to hear some of the challenges that you went through to get to the level that you are right now. And how was the path? Was it very easy or was it very bumpy?

Dr. Kang:
So when he first started, it wasn't so easy because he's a general dentist. But people weren't really nice to him because he's a general dentist teaching these surgical extractions, surgical implants. So in the first place, there was some of the challenges that he had.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow. And when did he started with the academic portion?

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Ten years. Yeah.

Dr. Kang:
Yeah, about ten years ago, he started.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. As a business and entrepreneur myself, I can understand some of the challenges that he went through. Because, Dr. Kim, is not easy for you to go through so much stuff and still pass through all the noise. So as far as the training is concerned, let's talk a little bit about the training. Before we dive into that, let's move one step back. Are you still practicing, besides training other dentists?

Dr. Kang:
He is still practicing in Korea about the dentistry only because he wants to make his lectures live and alive. Because he doesn't want to become like one of those retired dentists teaching those old stuff. It's not connecting really practical and clinical.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That is so huge.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
... Improving now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's great, Dr. Kim, because one of the things that I've always learned was if, learn from the best who's actually still doing it, and because you are doing it, I think that is like a huge plus, because a lot of times there's many gurus out there who are actually teaching, but they're not practicing. And you practicing, I think that shows a lot of dedication.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
And then teaching is making me, teaching is, it makes me improve, improve my skill. Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yes. Because I like also the fact see, one thing is you're practicing, one thing is you're teaching. And when you teach, you are taking your knowledge, you're passing it on to the young dentist. So many times, people who actually learn something, they want to be selfish. They don't want to pass it along. So what you're doing is I think it's marvelous at helping out many people. So as far as your teaching is concerned, do you teach like all over the world? I see you come here, what, twice a year or three times a year in the United States?

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
More than.

Dr. Noel Liu:
More than that? Okay. Wow, wow.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
... Eight times? Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Eight times!?

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
I say the, half of my years, yeah. I had, the 11 time is alive. So the course in Tejana in this year.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. Wow.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
11 times.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So, Dr. Kim, besides the United States, where else do you travel to teach courses?

Dr. Kang:
In the beginning of the year and end of the year, he is mostly in Korea. On the, during the other times, he's in other countries and...

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Next year, exterior: Japan and New Zealand, Australia, Singapore.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
And Mongolia and the Canada, USA, Deutschland, Italia, England and, Norway, Norway.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, Wow. It's very impressive.

Dr. Kang:
Those nations are only the ones that are confirmed now. There might be more in the future, for the next year.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Dr. Kim, what is it that passionates you with teaching and learning? What is the engine? What is the motive? What is the drive force behind it? The why? Behind like what you like to do? I can see passion. I can sense a lot of passion in you. What do you attribute your success and your why to when you're teaching all around the world? Because many people would not want to do even one country and yet alone you're doing so many countries.

Dr. Kang:
He's actually doing it because all the reviews from the students are actually pretty nice, and it's kind of motivating them.

Dr. Kang:
Mostly his patients in Korea are not actually just any people, but they are like family members of the dentists, like father and mother. So most of his patients poles are those kind of people.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Yeah, Korea has, implant competition is fierce. It's terrible. But yeah, my implant price a little bit higher than other dentists.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
That's why that, half of my implant patient, that dentist.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Family. Yeah. So you are the VIP, you are the VIP dentist.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
How many dentists introduce their parents to me. Yeah. That's why I love Korean dentistr.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right. So you said that there's a lot of challenges and there's a lot of competition in Korea, right? What were, again, I'm going to go back to the challenges. How difficult was it for you to rise above the noise?

Dr. Kang:
He's actually a very renowned in the wisdom teeth extraction. There are many GPS-holding implant seminars and stuff, but he is, the Dr. Kim is like the, not the only, but the most renowned and like, kind of like the only lecturer who does the wisdom teeth extraction. So that's how he was able to go through the noise. But then at the same time, more he went up, up, up, up, there was people just getting more noises and noises. So he's just trying to go through those right now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I think he's doing a marvelous job doing it.

Dr. Kang:
It's funny because he's very renowned in wisdom teeth extraction, but still, there are a lot of people who don't believe him. So actually, very many dentists who wants to shadow him in Korea. So there's at least 200 to 300 dentists shadowing him in Korea every year.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow.

Dr. Kang:
To witness it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's impressive. And see, here's the thing. You cannot make anybody, you cannot satisfy everyone, right? You always take the followers and the lead people who are actually part of your group, and you take them and you run with them. And I think, Dr. Kim, you've done a marvelous job, which you've been doing. So let's fast forward to current situation, right? You guys are in Mexico. Now, so what's going on over there?

Dr. Kang:
Right now, Dr. Kim's teaching us about the wisdom tooth extraction. So if we get the patients, we also place the implants. Yesterday, I placed two implants and I did some wisdom teeth extraction. And all the wisdom teeth extraction that we are learning right now, they're not like this or like or something like that. No, they're like more like this with the impaction like this. Right now, he's teaching us about how to section properly, where production, how far we should go and how to emulate the stuff, more like the practical and the clinical aspects of the reason people chanting right now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Great, great.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
It's a trial course for the...

Dr. Kang:
So as of right now, he doesn't really, he usually, most of these courses are the implant courses only because it's actually kind of hard to get those wisdom teeth extraction patients. As of right now, this course majorly focuses on the wisdom teeth extraction because, and it's like a trial course. He just wants to see how well we can collect those patients for the future courses. So that's what we are majorly focusing right now.

Dr. Kang:
And also from this course, he also wants to see how long it's going to be taking for each students to take things. He wants to have some average time, some nice data, so that he can prepare very nicely for the next student as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Very nice, very nice. So you've been currently with Dr. Kim for about, what, two years? Two and a half, three years?

Speaker4:
For me. Yeah. I started going to his lectures since when I was third year in dental school.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Kang:
Yes. It has been about two, three years since I've known him.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Nice. How did you hear about Doctor Kim in third year?

Dr. Kang:
In the third year? How I heard about Dr. Kim? Well, I had my brother, Dr. Chang. He is my older brother. He doesn't lie to me much.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
You know, you resemble your brother in skin.

Dr. Kang:
He, when he gives me advices, it's actually those really good advices that he had to go through the trial and error. That's why I believe him. He, most first time he went to Dr. Kim's lecture and he knew about, I didn't know about Dr. Kim back then to be honest. But then my brother, he told me that he's a great guy I should learn from because he went to his live surgery course, and then right after, he knew how to place an implant. So I was like, how did you do it? I want to place implants too. How should I learn it? I want to learn the proper way. And my brother told me, You should go to Dr. Kim's course. It's great. You go once. After that, you'll know how to place implants. And I was like, I didn't believe it. I didn't know Dr. Kim. I'm sorry, Dr. Kim, but.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, that's great.

Dr. Kang:
They said he's a celebrity, but I didn't really care much about it. But I went there and it's not just me, but everyone who went to his implant course, by the end of the course, they were all able to place very nice implants. And it was shocking to me. It was shocking to the other people and it was shocking to other faculty members as well. Since then, I have built my trust in Dr. Kim, and I kept going to his courses. And every time I go, I learn more. It's just very awesome.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a great honor. Because here's my thing. I think Dr. Kim, what he's accomplished is through his passion and his love for implant dentistry. Because anytime, like myself, I like to mentor my doctors, right? I do it with passion and I can see that passion in Dr. Kim. So when he does it with passion, it's going to be a great, great success. Now, so since you are there right now, you've almost done right, almost done for the course?

Dr. Kang:
Also, we're going to be going tomorrow.

Dr. Kang:
Tomorrow. Okay. So on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being like really confident, what do you feel like after this course?

Dr. Kang:
After this course? Are we talking about wisdom teeth extraction?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yes, the wisdom tooth extraction.

Dr. Kang:
So as of right now, I'm pretty confident in the wisdom teeth extraction, but not the impacted one, because those are.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's fair. It takes some experience.

Dr. Kang:
Exactly. So before attending to this seminar, my confidence in the impacted wisdom teeth extraction would be like, with all honesty, I'd say three. But as of yesterday, I learned a lot. So as of right now, my confidence kind of doubled up to 5 or 6. And I'm pretty sure at the end of this course it's going to go up to seven, eight. Then, you know, to reach it to ten I'll have to practice by myself.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You have to practice. Yes. So, Dr. Kim, what do you think about people coming out of your course? How important is practice?

Dr. Kang:
He thinks that it's very important to start early.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
And safely.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And safely. I love that.

Dr. Kang:
You don't want to, like, go like, very fast, but then, at the same time, you don't want to start late as well. Earlier you start, better it is because you told me that you got to improve your views, your perspective. You got to know what's good imlant, what is not a good implant. So that's why you want to start early as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a good point. For me, one of the reasons I wanted Dr. Kim on my podcast was because I saw Dr. Roux, I saw Dr. Kim, like previous Kim I had, then I had your brother, then we had two other doctors who went to, Dr. Kim, your course, and they were very, very impressed. If I can attest to so many of my doctors just having just positive five-star reviews for you, I think you are doing something right. And I feel like this is going to be helping out so many more new doctors coming along the way. As a D4 coming out of school, Dr. Kim, what is your biggest advice for them who are wanting to learn dentistry? They have to learn how the basic dentistry like the crown and fillings, but at the same time they also want to do implants. What is your advice for them?

Dr. Kang:
He doesn't want to insult the school, but ... time all before the teeth force, you need to learn from the outside of the school only because.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I agree. 100%.

Dr. Kang:
The school stuff, it might not be right for you. Exactly. There are many techniques, many faculties, many teachers, and you need to find which one's right for you. It's not necessarily the school's teaching that might be right for you. It might be. It might not be. So it's always better to have as many learning options as possible. So you need to convince these students to visit the other lectures outside the school as well.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I completely agree because here's my take on school. School is great, but many times the faculties are there just teaching and they're not, in the real world, actually doing it, right? So they're out of practice. Not saying everybody, but most of them, right? And most of these guys, they have like, their techniques are very, very old. And it does not apply to the new age at all. So one thing I really respect, Dr. Kim, is that he is actually practicing and he is always advancing and he is learning himself. He's learning and then he's passing on the knowledge. So it's like he's not only doing research, but he's also doing trial and error, and he's taking everything that he's learning, and he's providing the best outcome that it can help other people. So I completely agree with him. The school may not be the best education in terms of implants and trying to get that experience, but I feel like he's 100% spot on that. You have to learn outside school. Last question, Dr. Kim. What is the future of GIA?

Dr. Kang:
As of right now, he's traveling all around the world to teach the people. But eventually, he wants to have this one stable place where people can gather up, people can visit, and learn about the dentistry. So as of right now, that's the goal of the GIA and also Dr. Kim as well.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
I have one more mission.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Yes.

Dr. Kang:
So as of right now, he would look for the wisdom tooth extraction and the clinical aspect of the implant. But then, he's so, as of right now, he has three topics about his lectures. One is the wisdom teeth extraction, the other one is the clinical aspect of the extraction, and the other one is mastering the implant. He does have the books for the wisdom teeth extraction and the clinical aspect of it.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
No, no, no. Mastering implant.

Dr. Kang:
Mastering implant. But he doesn't have the book for the clinical aspect. So right now, one of his goals is to write the book for the clinical aspect for the implant as well, by the winter, as well.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
As clinical aspect of implant is that my best topic for the student. Yeah. That's why I'm writing my third book.

Dr. Kang:
So he is a clinician and an academian at the same time.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love it. I love it. Very few people like that, right? Most of them are academic or clinicians. But you are both. Dr. Kim, it was such an honor. I would really, really love to collaborate with you if you ever, ever wanted to do something in the United States for any kind of implant base that you are seeking. So if I can be of any assistance, definitely reach out, let me know. It would be a great pleasure and a great honor. At the same time, where can people find you? And if there is some sort of a link, we can definitely post it. Dr. Kang, you can give us a link.

Dr. Kang:
Yeah, of course.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right so and any of your books. Yeah. Any of the books where people can reach out and maybe even get a hold of your course, your amazing course. We definitely would like to reach that out as well. Dr. Kim, with that being said, is there any last-minute statement or anything you would like to make before we end?

Dr. Kang:
My message to.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
My Instagram ... @YoungSamKimDDS. Y O U N G S A M K I M D D S.

Dr. Noel Liu:
DDS.

Dr. Kang:
So most of his courses and all the information are on his Instagram, so make sure to follow his Instagram.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Instagram is YoungSamKimDDS, right?

Dr. Kang:
Yes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Good. We'll definitely put the link down and so people can follow you. I will start following you. And it was a great pleasure having you, and having you too, Dr. Kang. Thank you very much. Well, this brings us to our last part of our Secure Dental podcast. Make sure you like and subscribe. We will see you guys at the next episode. Thank you again.

Dr. Kang:
Thank you.

Dr. Youngsam Kim:
Thank you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Dr. YoungSam Kim:

With an impressive educational journey, Dr. YoungSam Kim is a distinguished figure in dentistry. After graduating from Jeonbuk National University School of Dentistry in 1999, he pursued advanced studies, completing Master’s and Doctoral courses at the same university and further training at prestigious institutions like the University of Toronto and UCLA School of Dentistry.

Specializing in Dental Implants and Third Molar Extraction, Dr. Kim is globally renowned. He pioneered the ESSE method (Easy, Simple, Safe, Efficient), revolutionizing dental procedures. He also authored works like “Extraction of Third Molars” (2018) and “ESSE Mastering Dental Implants” (2021), highlighting his commitment to knowledge-sharing.

As an academic, Dr. Kim is an associate professor at Jeonbuk National University School of Dentistry, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, and Pusan National University. His international influence extends to UniCamillus International Medical University in Italy, where he’s a visiting professor.

Dr. Kim emphasizes simplicity, safety, and efficiency in dental procedures. His dedication to sharing knowledge globally is evident in his multifaceted roles as an academician, clinician, and influential leader in dentistry.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Dr. Kim emphasizes starting early in implant dentistry, advising students to seek education beyond traditional dental school teachings.
  • Dr. Kim’s success in surgical extractions and implants is attributed to his passion for the field, which sparks positive reviews and inspires young dentists.
  • Dr. Kim’s GIA (Global Implant Academy) aims to establish a stable place for global dental education, creating opportunities for learning and collaboration.
  • Dr. Kim’s students express trust in Dr. Kim’s teaching methods, witnessing impressive outcomes in implant placements after attending the courses.
  • There’s fierce competition in Korean implant dentistry. Thus, it’s crucial to specialize if you want to rise above the noise.

Resources:

  • Follow Dr. Kim on Instagram.
  • Learn more about Dr. Kim’s courses and seminars here.
  • Get Dr. Kim’s book, Extraction of Third Molars, here.
  • Buy Dr. Kim’s book, Mastering Dental Implants, on Amazon.
Categories
Podcast

NYU Dentistry’s Approach to Building a Lasting Legacy

Summary:

NYU Dentistry’s vibrant community is open for alumni engagement through exciting initiatives shaping the future of the college.

In this episode of the Secure Dental Podcast, Dr. Noel Liu is joined by two guests from the NYU College of Dentistry Alumni Relations team, Candy Tobar and Ryan St. Germain, who talk about fundraising, philanthropy, and alumni relations at the college. They discuss the importance of aligning donors’ goals with the college’s mission, connecting with alumni, and encouraging their involvement in events and financial contributions. Candy and Ryan touch upon the challenges and joys of fundraising, with a focus on building relationships with donors, and explain the dual responsibilities of their office, which includes both alumni relations and fundraising efforts. They also share some insights into upcoming plans for NYU Dentistry, including events, symposiums, and initiatives to engage international students and encourage alumni to participate actively in the college community and consider contributing to its growth.

Join the conversation with Ryan St. Germain and Candy Tobar as they unravel the intricate tapestry of alumni relations, fundraising, and the transformative initiatives that define the college’s mission! 

Secure Dental_Candy Tobar_Ryan St Germain: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Candy Tobar_Ryan St Germain: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental Podcast, and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast, where we bring talented individuals from inside and outside the dental industry. This is your host, Dr. Noel Liu, and today, I have two of my favorite people from NYU College of Dentistry. I'm here joined by Candy and Ryan. So Candy comes from the fashion world, and she has tremendous experience in sales. She did everything from the front end and the back end, and I mean, she led like a huge sales team there down in Florida. So with that being said, we have Candy here, and then Ryan, of course, Ryan comes from an MBA finance background, lots and lots of experience with fundraising, and he does it for the right cause, which is why he is so successful in what he's doing. And both these individuals, great, great people, they are right now with NYU College of Dentistry Alumni Relations. So with that being said, let me pass the mic on to you guys, and let's do a brief intro, and let's take it from there. Anyone of you guys want to start?

Candy Tobar:
Thanks.

Ryan St. Germain:
Candy, go ahead.

Candy Tobar:
Okay, sure. So I mean, you said it yourself. I'm so grateful to be where I am at NYU College of Dentistry, but I, it's funny, the path that led me there has been definitely a unique one. Not like most people that work in philanthropy and alumni relations, but I think it's just only adds to the experience, right? So it did sales wars in the fashion world, which is surprisingly one of the least most glamorous fields you could be in. A lot of people think it's all fashion shows and free samples, but it's a lot of work and really taught me work ethic and really taught me the value of building relationships, really taught me the art of follow-up and follow-through. Your word is only half of what you do, right? So at the end of the day, all that mattered in the fashion world was are you delivering, literally and figuratively? Are you delivering your numbers that are set for you, and then are you delivering the goods and for the client the way that they expect them to be delivered, both in quality, timing, routing, packing requirements? It's a lot of different fronts to manage, and I think that was really helpful for me for life experience, right? Knowing that you're not just seeing one part on the front end of things, but there's a lot happening on the back end of things as well. Financials, you name it. And I think it was a really great setup into this world where it takes a lot of work to set up a relationship, to then lead to a philanthropic, I guess, ending.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it.

Candy Tobar:
And really, it's the relationship building. It's how do you communicate what the mission of the college is, what your personal mission is. So sure, the college has a goal, but I have goals as well. So what are the two? How do they align? And then finding out how does this work not just for myself in the college, but is there an opportunity for the individual to get involved in a philanthropic capacity, but that works for them as well? Because a lot of people aren't knowledgeable to the fact that it actually benefits you as well. And I'm glad to have you hosting us, because you have been one of our main examples of that, and I hope that people follow suit. So long story short, you know, obviously, I've had a lot of success in this world so far in just learning the ropes, but I think there's a long way to go. And I think that the education behind how this all works is half the battle.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Awesome.

Candy Tobar:
So I'm looking to people like you and Ryan to really help mentor me and guide me into not just the dentistry world, but how does philanthropy and action, what does it look like.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it.

Candy Tobar:
So I'm eager and excited, and I have the energy to do it. And I'm just happy to be here, to be that person, to share.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I think you're already doing great, great, great.

Candy Tobar:
The guidance that you provide.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You're doing great, Candy.

Candy Tobar:
Thanks. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Thanks.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All right. Ryan.

Ryan St. Germain:
Well, Candy was obviously a great addition to our team a couple years ago. We couldn't be happier about that. For myself, I've been doing development work, advancement work, alumni relations, and fundraising side of things for more than 20 years now, which is a hard thing to say out loud, but it has been a little bit. Started off with my alma mater, Fordham University here in the city, worked for another number of other institutions, joined NYU, kind of unexpectedly a little more than six years ago. Did not think I'd be working for a college of dentistry. Before that, my experience with dentistry as a profession was my twice annual cleanings and that, and that was it. So I really didn't feel like I had the knowledge base or skill set to jump in, but the vice dean at the time really kind of pushed through the idea that they knew all I needed to know about dentistry, but I could bring the skill set of philanthropic culture creation and whatnot into the college, and I think and hope that's what we've been able to do over the last six years. A little bit of COVID hiccup in the middle there, so it's been a strange timeline to have been here, had a lot of good momentum, had a bit of a pause and a pivot in the middle there, and I think we are right back on track without losing too much. I really think Candy touched on it and saying the word mission. It's mission-driven. So if you're going to have success in fundraising, in philanthropy, in alumni relations, in engagement work, it has to be about the mission. It's not about me, it's not about our numbers, the college. It's about the work that's being done and how we can match you, the individual, you, the foundation, you, the corporation, and your goals with programs and projects and persons that make sense. The last quick anecdote I'll say that I think is kind of telling is, you can't be one who's looking for the spotlight to do this kind of work. Candy gives me, Why didn't you step into that photo? I need your photo. So this is, you know, outside of the norm being featured in this way, and we really do think and appreciate you for having us on, but most of our work is behind the scenes. In the end, it's not about me. It's about connecting you to the project, to the program, to the underserved community you want to help, to the veteran, to the disabled patient, to the creation of the scholarship in your mom's name or memory, and I'm not a part of that. I'm a facilitator of that vessel to kind of bring that into the world and hopefully a trusted advisor along the way. But it's really about the person who wants to get it done and the program in the end, so thank you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, you're very welcome. See, you guys play a huge role whether you guys, you know, admit it or not, but you guys played a huge role, in my part at least, bridging me and my wife to the school, because as alumni we did not know anything, like how do we go back to the school, how do we give back? And the only thing I knew about it, honestly, was those envelopes I used to be getting via mail. And I'm opening them up, and I'm like, all right, cool, there's something going on, right? And let's take a look, and let's try and go and, you know, figure out what's happening, and that was it. But when I met Ryan, when I met you, and I met Candy, I mean, it just opened up a whole new world, which we did not even know existed. So this is the whole reason why we're doing this is so that everyone knows, hey, people behind the scenes can actually help you connect with the school, and we can do something greater for the school, not only always thinking about just taking, right? Because Tony Robbins keeps saying that the secret to living is giving. And I've been living like that for the last few years, and it's been paying off pretty well. So on a typical day, what does a typical day look like for you guys? Like morning to, yeah.

Candy Tobar:
Good question.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I'm just curious. Just wanted to know.

Candy Tobar:
Yeah. If you don't mind, Ryan, I'm going to start because I think that Ryan, he is our fearless leader, right? So he's in these big meetings all day long, what's happening at the college, he's our source of information, whereas myself is the workforce. I think my day is probably very reminiscent of a true fundraiser, where his is more a bigger item, right? So myself, you need a self-starter mentality, and I mentioned that in my bio because nobody's going to tell you this is what I expect of you today. This is how many people you should call contact, this is what you should do. You need to come up with a strategy every day to say, okay, today I'm going to focus on this individual, these individuals, this event. It starts with how do I find the people, how do I reach out to them, and how do I bring them back into the NYU dentistry community to just be there, to have conversations, to meet their fellow alumni, to come to the events, whether it be educational, whether it be more reunion based to reunite with their classmates, or whether it be just more of a one on one to say, hey, I'd love to meet you and share with you some of the things happening at the college, because the fact of the matter is, it's a really big undertaking when you have such a big school. We are the largest dental school in the US, and our alumni base is massive. And as the only fundraiser, it's a really big undertaking to say, how do I get these people that have might not have ever been reached out to, or have never come to an event? How do I bring them back into this world? So it's a big challenge, and it starts with one email, one phone call, one Instagram message. I've done that before, it actually kind of works. One Facebook message to say, hey, am I going to see you at this event? Are you coming to this ... lecture? Are you going to come to your yearly reunion next year? I'd love to be that connection for you. I'm sure you're curious about your school. The school taught you your craft. This is what you do every day as your profession. I think it's very important to come back to the school, see what's happening, if you had not so great of an experience, to see how things have changed for the better, and find out how we could almost bring your dentistry, your school back into your life as a full circle moment to say, okay, you know what? I'm proud of what you guys are doing. Or, you know what? I'm okay. Thank you for offering, but I don't have time to come. So those are usually the two outcomes. Come, be a part of the family, or no, I'm okay, but thank you for reaching out. And so my day-to-day is calls and emails and reaching out and following up and saying, would you like to be more involved? Would you like to be a lecturer? Would you like to volunteer some of your time to be a mentor to some of the current students? And then ultimately, the ultimate goal is to find a philanthropic interest. Can you financially donate back to some of these amazing funds we've created that help serve the greater good, like veterans, like people with disabilities, that can't always afford our services? We'd love to keep that fund nice and full so that we can service them and not charge them out of pocket. So we'd love for you to be that person, to step up and help fund this. And then as a thank you, guess what? It actually really works to promote your own business, your name, or whatever you're looking to do to thank you by naming a wing, naming an operatory, naming a scholarship, whatever you determine that is right for you as the donor. It's actually kind of self-satisfying to say, you know what? That's now going to be the Noel Liu operatory for the foreseeable future. I think it's just such a great triple win for the patient, for the donor, and for the school. I just think for myself as my goals, I just think it's such a great thing. And I think my mission every day is to educate the general alumni base, to say, you might be missing out on something here, so how can I be that connection for you? So that's my day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's great.

Candy Tobar:
No big deal.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's great. That's where I think your sales come into play, right? I completely believe.

Candy Tobar:
But this is so much better than ...

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly, because you are actually doing the right thing by making everybody aware and pushing for the fact that something you believe in so strongly. So if you believe in this so strongly, and that is your conviction, and you're like, hey, this is how it's supposed to be done, all I'm doing is I'm providing a pathway, and it can not only help the school, but it can help yourself, so love it.

Candy Tobar:
And it helps a population that should be taken care of.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's the main.

Candy Tobar:
And it's funny and just one last little piece. And the only other thing I would say is that, and Ryan has heard this story, but the fact that my name is Candy and the fact that I don't know if I told you this, but my parents came from a very poor country. I'm so grateful to be where I am today because my parents came very poor from another country. They didn't have any dental, no education when it came to oral hygiene. And unfortunately, as a kid, they didn't really help me take care of my teeth, and I developed early childhood caries where I had kind of blackening teeth. You wouldn't tell now because I smile at literally everything that comes my way. But when I was a kid, I always smiled with my hand over my mouth, and I was really embarrassed about smiling, and I was really shy because I didn't want to talk. You would never guess that either, because I'm a talker, but I didn't want to talk because I didn't want people to see my teeth. And so when this opportunity came to me, I was like, what a fantastic way to use my sales for something that I personally experienced that could really affect who you are developing as a child and developing as someone in need. Now, I can help give back to that community that I probably needed myself back then. So it's so full circle and it makes me super passionate about it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love it, awesome.

Ryan St. Germain:
Not a bad way to spend your day.

Candy Tobar:
Thanks.

Ryan St. Germain:
So much of what Candy does, I mean, hers is targeted. Our office is two sides of the coin. So we do the alumni relations work and the development work. The development work being kind of the finance side of it, the philanthropic side of it, and the alumni relations work being the big tent invite everyone back kind of pieces, alumni reunions, larger events. But day to day, I think for me personally, what's so attractive about the work is there's not a very typical day to day. So week to week you sort of look at my schedule and calendar, and it's corporate meetings, foundation meetings, funders, the faculty, and research. And again, we're big, and we do research that totally makes sense, and we're looking at a new biomaterial to be an adhesive. Fine, great. But we also have a professor that's working on saving the coral reefs. We have an entire pain center that just opened that does a lot of gastro work. We have a professor who researches nanotechnology and how to create an opioid alternative. So some of the stuff being created here that you absolutely would not expect is immensely interesting. And then how it correlates into oral health or general public health or our Department of Epidemiology, it's really a wonderfully robust portfolio of pieces and opportunities. And so those kind of outreaches and dinners, lunches, meetings, conversations, text exchanges are the fun part because we get to kind of show off, right? We have this great list of things we're doing, and we get to talk about it. And I'll say like, oh, you get the envelope in the mail, and it says, hey, send us 50 bucks. That's great, and that's cool, and I want you to do that. Everybody out there listening, yes, please send us your $100, right? But for Candy and I and our office, that's not that we're not interested in that. We are, because you know, every little bit, many hands make light work. But the conversations we're having are really much more individualized. They're much more, what is your point of passion? And again, that's where our personalities or interests take a step back and I can help and guide you and be an advisor to you of what I think might be a good match. And Candy does that daily, but how can we make you feel the most about it? There's a donor who recently closed a gift that had been in the works a long time, and they finally signed the paperwork, and they could not have been more excited. And people think, and there's lots of jokes, Oh, the fundraiser is coming. Like, watch your wallet. And, you know, like that kind of pickpocketing sort of piece. But from experience, that is very much not the case. Now, if you're someone who wants to guard your wallet, you're probably not our person. You're probably not from a place of philanthropic giving, and that's fine. But for those who do want to do something, being able to take from idea and vision and bring into fruition and sort of force your will into reality to create this thing, whatever it might be, is a very satisfying, validating, fulfilling experience. And, you know, it's doing well to do good. If you have done well enough that you are in a position to then turn back and help others, or lift someone up from behind you, or say, you know, I was a scholarship student, and I couldn't have done it without that. So I want to do one, and I want to make a splash, and I've been blessed to be able to have these opportunities. It's a very satisfying experience for people, and there's a lot of joy in that giving. You're giving away your assets, yes, but you're getting quite a lot in return. And as one of our very generous donors, Doctor Luke, you can speak from experience on that. And, you know, I think for you, too, it was a very positive feeling to give.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, absolutely, 100%. Like Candy said, Oh, you're gonna have your name on the plaque on an arbitrary and all that stuff. That's great, right? And of course, we are really excited and really privileged to have that opportunity. But for me, it was more about like, these are side things that comes after what are we doing to take care of our veterans, our disabled population? Is there anything that's happening for them? And what NYU doing is it's you guys are doing great. When I visited the center, like I think, what, a few months ago, I was just blown away with the amount of care. I mean, that amount of care I can personally say I've not witnessed in even a private or a dental practice. So you guys are doing an amazing, amazing job there.

Candy Tobar:
Thanks.

Ryan St. Germain:
Thank you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love the fact that you said about, there are people who are guarding the wallet, and that's the kind of population that we that we encounter every single time, like you know, my friends, my colleagues.

Candy Tobar:
Right.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So I always believe, and I wanted your input on this thing here. When you come from an area of scarcity, I believe that everything else in your life becomes more scarce as we go. But once, when you start thinking about abundance and when you take abundance, and you're giving abundance, it's just become more abundant, but it's very difficult to explain that to a lot of people. What are some of the challenges that you guys have with this kind of mindset?

Ryan St. Germain:
Sure. You know, there is often, and I think your thinking is right. The plaques and the naming, those things are nice. Those who enter into the experience with that as their focus, right? And then it becomes transactional. Then it's quid pro quo, and I'm going to write a check. What's the minimum? That is typically the question, right? What's the minimum amount to get my name on X or to put my stamp on Y. And I don't want to diminish those gifts because they do just as much good on a financial side. The dollar spends the same way. I don't care if you gave out of guilt, love, respect, memory, legacy, all of those things, the check cash is just the same way. So I don't want to diminish any of those gifts, but the people that we most like working with, and I think the people who then, in turn, most like working with us and get the most out of it, aren't coming with that. They're starting from a place of, here's what I want to accomplish, here's what I want to do. I want to make sure that you can see an extra thousand veterans this year and don't charge them anything. I want to make sure we can add a social worker to the Oral Health Center for people with disabilities, because that's a gap in care, and that could really facilitate not just how they're seen in the center, but how it's going to take all the benefits New York City may offer that's so hard to navigate. We have people who have doctorates, who have a tough time navigating the system in institutionalized medicine and whatnot. So how can you possibly expect Average Joe and Sally citizen to do so? So having those sort of resources. So for us, the people that are guarded, as long as you're willing to have a conversation, fine. It is not a hard sell. There is no arm twisting for us. We're looking for the development of a relationship. You know, we want, we're effectively, you know, we're the private equity. I want the lifetime partnership. I don't want the quick turn. And again, that's the, I'm going to send you an envelope. You're going to send me $100, that's great. But I want someone who says, hey, we did that project, and it was at a significant level. And what can we do next? How can I build on that? How can we take my scholarship from two kids to ten kids? I want a baseball team worth of little Saint Germain scholars coming up the block on the next go-around. And I think as people invest in these programs, you know, it was probably a better word than give, but invest in these programs, they get dividends. It's not a financial dividend, but it is dividend yield. So a lot of what we do is show, I don't need to sell you, I just need to point, you know? Hey, you're interested in that, great. Here's an example of somebody who did it. Talk to them. Go through that experience. Let us tell you how that kind of came together and what the yield of it was. And so the challenges are plentiful because people are worried, people have expenses, people have to plan, people don't feel secure. A lot of our giving conversations are in plan giving, and that's excellent. People are able to think about their estates in ways that they wouldn't necessarily be comfortable talking about a cash anything today. They can think about real estate. They can think about other kind of assets that they could leave that can establish a thing, maybe not within their lifetime, but they know that that can live on. And for somebody, often people without children, they really like that idea, but then people with children like the idea that the next generation can see their name and allow that to live on and kind of what they were proud of or the profession that they accomplished so much in and really kind of keep their name active and present. That's a lot of the conversations we have.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it.

Candy Tobar:
I'm going to add a little bit to that. So listen, I take all my cues from Ryan. He has so much experience, and I'm happy to learn the ropes through him, but I will say that there is another side to it. And yes, people are guarding their wallets, and they're nervous about the cash conversation. But I do think that they should give to give, yes. But I also think that something has shifted recently that, and Ryan, please disagree with me if you think this is different, but some of the conversations I'm actually having now are a little bit different than that. They are, create your own legacy. So some people have this ambition in dentistry. And I've been partnering with the chair of Perio and Implant Dentistry at NYU Dentistry recently, she's very aggressive, I love her attitude, I love her partnership, and I hope more people step up the way she is. But essentially, what she's asking me to do, and I loved this vision, was, I need you to educate these dentists out there that are trying to become very successful and make a name for themselves. I need you to educate them that through this charitable contribution and the naming of a program or a fellow, or the naming of a specific, I guess really it's the chair, whatever is going to support that particular department, that it's actually a really great investment in your own legacy and your own name to then further your success. So yes, absolutely everything that Ryan said, it's about the feel-good, it's about doing the right thing, integrity. But I also think that it's important for dentists out there to know that, hey, you want to be the next Rosenthal, ..., well, guess what? They named these really big key item things, whether it be a building, a program, a continuing ED course, whatever they named, they did it in their own name, and they created their own legacy. So every student that walked through the college, which, let's be honest, is a lot at NYU dentistry, they're going to see that name, they're going to be curious as to what that person does, and they're going to want to follow in their footsteps or work for them or whatever. Whatever business that attracts, it's actually a really great way to invest in your own name while serving the greater good. So one of the things that we're asking for now is to name these particular programs to create that self-legacy for, yes, your kids, maybe just for yourself, but for your family. It's a family name that you're putting your last name on this program for the foreseeable future of this program, that creates its own legacy. And what better way to make a big stand in the world of dentistry than to name this huge program? So I agree, yes, you should give to give, but I also think you're creating your own legacy, and there's no better way to become big in this world than to do something like that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love it, yeah.

Ryan St. Germain:
Candy's absolutely right, so I agree wholeheartedly. Anecdotally, Doctor Apa, who were so thrilled by.

Candy Tobar:
I wasn't sure if you wanted to bring him up, so good. I'm glad you, okay. Okay, good.

Ryan St. Germain:
And his partnership on all of our aesthetic programs, both GDS honors and the international program recently renamed for him. He anecdotally talks about coming to the school and being in the Rosenthal Center and seeking out and really feeling that that was such an impact. And so walking in every day into the Rosenthal Center only further energized and solidified his belief that he was going to work with Larry and they were going to build something, which, of course, then became a self-fulfilling prophecy, which he did, and now in turn, has named his own piece. So to your point, Doctor Liu, that is the abundance or scarcity. He went into it with a mindset of, this is my vision, and this is where I'm going to get to, and now he is, in turn, kind of reaching back and doing the same. And I am certain that once we open that and people are in that program both internationally and with the honors program, he's going to have very much the same experience. I don't know who it'll be, but ..., yes.

Candy Tobar:
I think he already is.

Ryan St. Germain:
... program in another year or two.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh yeah.

Ryan St. Germain:
And she's going to be him and say the same.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh yeah, this is a way to attract like future opportunities not only within themselves, but even with the students, with everybody outside the community. And when I saw that news there, with Michael Apa, I mean, I was really, really thrilled because it's such a good feeling because when you see, like your fellow dental colleague doing great things in his own industry, but then at the same time he's also doing stuff like, you know, with the dental school, it just gives you a lot of mirror image kind of deal, right? And you're like, all right, cool. If this is possible, then anything is possible. So it really gives us inspiration as well to even do better so that we can come back and do something similar. And that is our goal, honestly, because at the end of the day, I mean, what is more than a legacy that you're going to be leaving behind? And as well as, you know, having a name on the school, also helping out all future dental students as well as patients.

Candy Tobar:
Right.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So I just love the fact when I saw the news, I mean, I was thinking I was showing it to ... I was like, hey, check this out, Michael Apa, he got all this done. And many of the comments were really, really good. But then, of course, you know, there were one-on-one-offs, right? Like with negative comments, but, and we just shrugged it off. We were like, you know what, don't worry about it. Because at the end, this guy is doing exactly what he is supposed to do on this planet.

Ryan St. Germain:
They'll always ..., and I'm sure you experience it with your own success. There will be detractors. There will be those who tell you you can't do it, or be those who'll say, Dr. Liu's not that good, why should he have a podcast? You know, the answer is you stepped up, and you created it, and you did, and you worked toward it. And so that's the answer. But you'll always have, you'll always have ...

Dr. Noel Liu:
We always have critics, right? Those, I call them those keyboard warriors.

Ryan St. Germain:
Yes.

Candy Tobar:
Yeah, seriously.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So guys, tell me what's in for 2024 with NYU philanthropy, alumni, programs, events.

Candy Tobar:
Good question.

Ryan St. Germain:
It's a great question. Our slate is already coming together. And since we're the academic year, we straddle each time. We just concluded just last night, a great series, disabilities care speaking series called Unit Zero. We had two full-day symposiums. Then we had sort of one-hour lunch and learns, four opportunities for, eight opportunities so, geez, so we had eight, nine, ten, 14 kind of speakers throughout the whole thing, and it's a great part for us to highlight and really promote the Oral Health Center for people with disabilities, frankly. And people can disagree, it's the best place in the country to be seen as a person with disabilities that needs to be seen. And it's not a secret. No, we want others to do it. We promote it. We will hand you the blueprints. It is open source. There is no competition. We're not going to run out of patients who are so underserved to be seen. We want others to do it. So we're going to start a monthly ... webinar/in-person series with that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Nice.

Ryan St. Germain:
So that'll be nice to launch. We're already working on next year's reunion, which for us is one of the largest in-person events we have. We'll expect maybe 250 classmates to come back for that in the fall. And on the fundraising side, we have a number of foci each year, and next year, one of the big pushes is going to be our international students.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow.

Ryan St. Germain:
Frankly, for our history, we haven't done a great job including our international students. They're sort of our DDS and our PG students, and over here was the international students. And there's some reasons for that. The degrees are different, the programs are all different. But if you come and you attend for two years, you're an alum. Whether or not that title technically fits a New York State definition, I don't know. But to me, in our heart and in our office and how we're going to work, you are going to be a fully-fledged alum, and we're looking at all the benefits of including, you know, that not insignificant group of people that maybe hasn't been folded in the right way.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Great, great. And what about you, Candy? What's in it for you?

Candy Tobar:
Well, I do whatever Ryan tells me to do. That's the truth. No, but ultimately, I think one of the goals for myself. So expanding upon what Ryan is saying and touching into that international conversation, is getting to know who those people are. So, for example, I'm communicating with one of our alumni right now from Greece who came and did the implant program for three years and developed a lot of really great relationships while he was here those three years, and then went back to Greece, and he didn't really hear from us again, because again, like he said, it wasn't really along the alumni communication lines, but we're bridging that back to say, hey, we're changing things for the better here. And one of them is, you are our alumni. I don't care what that piece of paper says. Tell me about your experience. How would you like to be more involved with NYU? And then I see the ambition from these international dentists because they have become very successful with that NYU degree or that NYU education. They've made a name for themselves in their country. So how do we grow that name? What would you like to do? Some of them say, I just want my kids to be able to go to NYU dentistry. Okay, great. Some of them say I want to be an adjunct or associate professor. I want to come and teach every so often back at the college. Okay, great, let's connect you with that. And then, so my specific mission with these guys, some of them have been very successful, very, very successful. And right now my goal is to name the other programs that are considered the international programs, but we have reworded them as the Advanced Clinical Fellowships in. So Apa named the Advanced Clinical Fellowship in Aesthetic Dentistry. There is the Advanced Clinical Fellowship in implant dentistry, there is one in general dentistry. There is one in oral maxillofacial surgery. So those other programs besides the Apa still have to be named. So my key.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Still open.

Candy Tobar:
They're open. So my specific, yeah, listen, and it's limited. It's limited and it's a huge opportunity. So my goal this year is to see if there's the right candidates that are willing to step up and name these programs, create that same legacy that Apa is doing, and then be able to grow their name on an international level, because you can't just stay, if you're in Greece and you want to be bigger or you're in Spain or wherever you are, Mexico, you want to be internationally known. What bigger way to get your name out there than to name the program that every international student will be taking will be that name program in? So my goal right now is to name all of these other programs and say, hey, this is a very limited opportunity. You see what's happening with Apa and it's only getting better and better and better. His opportunities as a result of the naming. I'd love for you to be the next person to step up and do the same thing. So that's my specific goal for this year is name these other programs.

Ryan St. Germain:
Come September.

Ryan St. Germain:
I would love to chat with you afterwards.

Ryan St. Germain:
So in September, we'll have some new stuff to look at. The Apa Aesthetic Suite should open in September-October, a new patient registration area, a new center for radiology, a new oral pain, all of that, for those who are familiar with the space are alumni or visitors. That first section when you walk in Clinic One A, where patients currently register is going through a full renovation, renovation is even probably too late a word, you know, it's going to get emptied out and totally rebuilt.

Candy Tobar:
Yeah. What's the word, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Revamped.

Ryan St. Germain:
Yeah, it's going to be.

Candy Tobar:
Revamped.

Ryan St. Germain:
The impact, you know, to have that greet you I think is going to change and elevate and that will too provide additional opportunities for that sort of signage for the other areas, for radiology, to be in one section for patient registration. It really lets us rework some of the logistics in the college, some of the patient flow in the college. So I think we'll find some efficiencies and create a better patient experience, which is of course, you know, always a goal, because they are one of our prongs, right? We serve our students, we serve our faculty, we serve our community. So there's more than one, our alum are kind of all of those things. And our students that are alumni, there's some faculty that are loved and certainly our community. But I think that project will bring forth additional opportunities, some of which we've already kind of pre-identified and some we won't know until the last architectural renderings are done. And we say, oh, what is that little, you know, Doctor Tobar space in the corner there? We could be ...

Candy Tobar:
I wish.

Ryan St. Germain:
But there will there will be more of that. And that'll be, that'll come in the small.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Just love the fact that what you guys are doing.

Candy Tobar:
We'd love to invite you back to the school once it's all up and running.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I know it's been such, so many years that I went back to NYU when I saw you last time, and I hope that, you know, we can make frequent visits rather than just disappearing for a decade and then coming back after.

Candy Tobar:
Yeah. No, you've been so good about coming to all of the events that we feel like you really should be at. You've made that commitment. It is now a two-way street with our relationship, and I really hope that every alumni and donor, or however you're involved feels that, and I hope that you feel this way, that you're part of the family. So when we say, hey, we're having this event, you don't have to think twice about coming back and having a great time with us because that's what we do, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Absolutely. We appreciate you guys. I mean, you know, whatever you're doing. NYU is such a huge school with so many people coming in through that doors. I mean, all the stuff that you guys are doing for efficiency, for making the experience better, for better treatment, it all adds up, and it all adds up, and as a side effect, it just makes us proud, you know, being an alumni. So guys, I mean, with that being said, thank you so much for coming on on this pod here. Did you guys have any last statements or any kind of links that you guys wanted to share?

Candy Tobar:
Yes, absolutely. I'll start and I'll let my fearless leader end. So let me just pull up the link. But basically, you know what? Besides the link, you can just Google NYU Dentistry Giving. It'll take you right into a link that says make a donation. So if anyone is motivated to support our veterans, support our disabled community at the Oral Health Center for people with disabilities, you can just go in. It's a secure website where you can go in and make either a one-time contribution or set up yearly payments or monthly payments, or contact us to make a bigger pledge.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Awesome.

Candy Tobar:
So I'd say visit that if this motivates you. And I'd also just like to thank you for having us. And thank you for always being one of our best alumni and how supportive you are on every side of the spectrum. You've been so great to work with your positivity, your energy, your ambition. It's really energizing and I really hope that this continues in so many levels.

Dr. Noel Liu:
100%, it goes both ways, Candy.

Candy Tobar:
Thank you.

Ryan St. Germain:
Yeah, I think this has been fantastic. I look forward to seeing you again in person, hopefully in the New year. In general, my message is, get involved. If you're not in a place to write a check today, don't write a check today. Talk to the students, do a ... lecture, you know, see what's going on in your local neighborhood. We are as a college, as a university, only as strong as our alumni base. Let us connect you with each other. Oh, I live in, name the place, there's another alum there. There is nowhere on the map that is not colored in purple. So get involved, be engaged and I'm not worried about the effects after that. Yes, I hope you get motivated. I hope you have passion and want to invest. Of course, that is what we're here for. But that's not day one. Day one is coming back. Day one is seeing what's going on. Day one is talking to the incredible student body that currently exists in this school and seeing the program, even if you are only ten years out, it's not the school you left, it's not the programs you left. And things have changed and evolved, and I think that's across the board.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's right.

Ryan St. Germain:
So whether you are ours or not, happy to have you if you're not ours, you can be a friend. You don't have to be an alum.

Candy Tobar:
True.

Ryan St. Germain:
But if you are, you know, you went wherever, think about getting involved in your own school too. It will be fulfilling. This is not only self-serving, you know, volunteerism certainly pays back. So go out and do something and feel good about it because it feels good.

Candy Tobar:
I love it. Do good to feel good.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's right. That's the message. And yeah, anybody who wants to get involved definitely reach out. That's the way to do it. It's not only monetary, it's also like what Candy and Ryan just said, multiple ways to give back, right? So with that being said, we're going to land the plane here. Thank you guys for coming in. Thank you, Candy. Thank you, Ryan. I know you guys are busy.

Candy Tobar:
Thank you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And we'll definitely get this going.

Candy Tobar:
Yes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
This comes to the conclusion of our Secure Dental podcast. Make sure to like and subscribe and we will see you at the next episode.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning in to the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Candy Tobar:

New to the world of Development and Alumni Relations, Candy started her professional career in the Fashion world, where she spent the first 7 years working as a Sales Operations Assistant for Coach and Frye Footwear. This role managed every function of sales from purchase order processing; production/buying confirmations; routing and labeling requirement setup; financial negotiation for accounts receivable transactions; manual allocation of goods; direct buyer re-ordering, and return authorizations.

After learning every aspect of wholesale operations on the back end, management sent Candy down to one of the best sales-performing areas in the US, Miami, Florida, where her sales expertise and fluent Spanish language would help elevate sales even further. As the Florida and Puerto Rico Calvin Klein Sales Vendor, she managed over $5.8 Million dollars in Sales. Subsequent buying and sales roles at Steve Madden, and Kenneth Cole helped solidify the importance of a self-starter mentality, relationship building, and the tough task of consistently hitting sales goals. This was the perfect transition into the world of Higher Education Development and Alumni Relations.

She is currently the Major Gifts Officer for the NYU College of Dentistry and manages engagement and fundraising strategies for an alumni network of over 20,000. She is married and has a 2-year-old named Charlotte, and in her spare time loves taking Orange Theory classes, and baking for friends.

About Ryan St. Germain:

Originally hailing from Pawtucket, RI, Ryan St. Germain is a graduate of Fordham University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology as well as an MBA in Finance. His commitment to Development and Alumni Relations work at Fordham started immediately upon completing his undergraduate degree, where he began working as a programming assistant on the alumni relations team. Progressing through five progressive positions over the next ten years, his career has been built on a foundation of all aspects of higher education advancement.

He then took his fundraising talents to Northwestern University, first as a senior major gift officer, and later named as the Director of Campaign and Constituent Engagement. Joining NYU College of Dentistry in 2017, he has dedicated the last six years to creating an engaging, welcoming, and supportive alumni culture. In his career as a fundraiser, he has raised tens of millions of dollars in support of the missions of his institutions. These funds have helped to provide financial assistance through scholarships, underwrite capital improvements, and offer direct support for needy populations such as the disabled and veteran communities, among many other priorities across the University.

Ryan is married and has two children, Nate and Charlotte, and in his spare time enjoys pancake art and one-upping the neighbors with his elaborate holiday décor.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Aligning fundraising efforts with the mission of the institution is crucial for success in philanthropy, alumni relations, and engagement work at NYU Dentistry.
  • Individualized conversations and relationships are paramount in fundraising, understanding donors’ passions, and guiding them toward meaningful contributions.
  • The NYU College of Dentistry Alumni Relations office manages not only financial contributions but is also actively involved in events, lectures, and engagement with the evolving community. 
  • Named programs and initiatives serve as examples of how individuals can leave a lasting impact by contributing to specific projects and creating legacies associated with their names.
  • Alumni should get involved, attend events, and consider contributing not just financially but through active engagement, fostering a sense of connection and shared commitment to the institution’s future.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Candy Tobar on LinkedIn.
  • Connect with and follow Ryan St. Germain on LinkedIn.
  • Follow the NYU College of Dentistry on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the NYU College of Dentistry website!
  • Donate to the NYU College of Dentistry here.
Categories
Featured Podcasts

483: Last Episode of the Year | Lessons Learned

Summary:

‍Are you ready to soar into a new year armed with wisdom from the experts and fellow doctors? Each guest from this year shares their unique take on various topics that encompass what it takes to run a successful dental practice. From honing your focus to understanding patient experience, it’s a treasure trove of advice that you won’t want to miss!

 

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:Why maintaining laser-like focus can enhance productivity and lead to successHow negotiating contracts can make or break your dental practiceTechniques to adapt to changes in the dentistry worldThe role kindness plays in a thriving dental practiceEssential financial planning strategies specifically for dental practicesHR tips for crafting a clear, effective handbookThe strong connection between professional boundaries and a successful dental practiceWhy patient experience is critical and how it can be the key to success in dentistry‍So gear up to gather the pearls of wisdom shared by our guests in the last episode of 2023. You’ve heard snippets of their advice throughout this year, and it’s time to tie it all together as we bid farewell to the year and charge ahead into a promising future.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Why maintaining laser-like focus can enhance productivity and lead to success.
  • How negotiating contracts can make or break your dental practice.
  • Techniques to adapt to changes in the dentistry world.
  • The role kindness plays in a thriving dental practice.
  • Essential financial planning strategies specifically for dental practices.
  • HR tips for crafting a clear, effective handbook.
  • The strong connection between professional boundaries and a successful dental practice.
  • Why patient experience is critical and how it can be the key to success in dentistry.

Resources:

Categories
Podcast

Enhancing Orthodontic Care in Dental Practices

Summary:

Although 74% of the US population needs orthodontic treatment, many dentists are not offering it due to a lack of training.

 

In this episode, Dr. Noel Liu welcomes Dr. Anas Athar, Founder & CEO of PLUS Orthodontics. The two friends and colleagues, with over 25 years of shared experience, delve into the challenges faced by dental practices and discuss the significance of offering orthodontic services in dental practices. Anas emphasizes the desire human’s have to help others, with orthodontics being a great avenue to accomplish that. He introduces PLUS Orthodontics as a digital platform facilitating a seamless partnership between general dentists and licensed orthodontists. The platform aims to overcome challenges like case selection, treatment planning, and monitoring, ensuring stress-free orthodontic integration for dental practices. Dr. Athar also addresses the importance of setting realistic patient expectations, stressing that ideal outcomes are a continuous strive rather than a guarantee.

Tune in to learn how PLUS Orthodontics can transform your practice, elevate patient care, and reduce unnecessary appointments!

Secure Dental_Anas Athar (1).mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Anas Athar (1).mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hello everyone. This is your host, Dr. Noel Liu, and today we have another segment of our Secure Dental podcast. I'm here with a good friend and colleague, Dr. Anas Athar. Dr. Athar and I, we go back a long way, like decades. You know, you and I think what we probably over 20 years.

Anas Athar:
Oh, 25 years, man.

Dr. Noel Liu:
25 years. So, Dr. Athar, right now he's done in, this guy has been everywhere from radiology to orthodontics, from Invisalign to Reveal. And now he has his own practice. Also, he's been a consultant with small brands, with a large DSO that has huge and multiple locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. So, Doctor Athar, welcome.

Anas Athar:
Thank you so much. Thank you, Dr. Liu. It's a pleasure and an honor.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, honor all mine. So yeah, thanks for coming in and sharing some of your insights. So let's get started. Let us know, like, how you got started, and where you are today, and what was the journey like?

Anas Athar:
Wow, that's a long question because I'm originally from Pakistan. So came to the United States back in 2002, did my radiology residency from Kansas City, University of Missouri, Kansas City. I was a faculty there for about three years, and orthodontics was my passion. And I just got an opportunity to meet, Dr. Rolf Behrens or ... Behrens, that's what he's known for. And talked to him. He suggested that I should join the orthodontic program. So I did my ortho residency in Saint Louis, which is, by the way, is the birthplace of orthodontics. Dr. Edward Engle started that program. So it's a very unique program. If you ever get a chance, do visit. You're not too far from Saint Louis, so you should visit. So you should visit that place. It's a very beautiful building, very beautiful facility, and a lot of learning. It's a big orthodontic program. I graduated from my ortho program back in 2010. Then I came to Texas, and I, since then I've been with Smile Brands. It's almost like 12 years now. And now I have started this group of PLUS Orthodontics, which is my new excitement. And we've been doing this for a couple of years. We've been testing and a lot of input from friends like you. So definitely learning a lot. And now it's ready to go.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So tell us a little bit more about your journey, when you started, right, before you had PLUS. How did you find it, and what was the mindset behind it?

Anas Athar:
Great.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And what were some of the challenges?

Anas Athar:
So let me answer it this way. Why PLUS orthodontics? I think why, my personal why for that is: this is how I feel happy. Because my goal to do orthodontics or dentistry is just to stay happy. I think we are blessed to be in a very good field. Okay? I know people say, Oh, it's stressful and everything, but I think I feel very happy when I try to help others because this is where I think the human nature comes in. I always tell my team members, my residents, or whoever, my doctors I'm lecturing to, I tell them that the real happiness is by helping others. And that's something that you do. You are doing this program right now. We are doing this podcast. You are conducting it to help others. And it's not like you just want to do something. It's because you feel happiness in it, because you want to help others. And my main thing was, I see a lot of dentists struggling in their practices, and a lot of them do not offer orthodontics in their office. Now, 74% of US population needs orthodontic treatment. And how many are they offering to? Not too many. And I always used to question this thing: Why are they not offering it? A big reason is there's not enough training. And unfortunately, all these weekend courses and all that stuff, they set some wrong expectations. So people start doing orthodontics, then they stop doing orthodontics because it becomes very stressful. So I kept questioning that, what can I do and help these offices? So this is where the concept of PLUS Orthodontics started that, okay, with using this technology and everything, how I can partner with these offices and they can start offering orthodontics with a partnership within orthodontics? So PLUS Orthodontics is basically, it's a digital platform where you seamlessly integrate orthodontic into your office with, by partnering with a licensed orthodontist in your state. So over here, we are truly doing a partnership with you, and that takes away a lot of stress of case selection, treatment planning, monitoring; everything is done by us. And we do take pride in this thing that I don't think so anyone else is doing it right now with such large scale. And over here we are sharing the liability. So it's not okay, once you approve the case, Dr. Liu, you're on your own. I got my, I sold my plastic to you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And that's exactly most of these companies, that's how they work, right?

Anas Athar:
I give you my plastic now it's your, it's yours. So you do it. So this is what we do. Basically, we want to help the practices. We want these practices to start offering orthodontics and be stress-free. You always know there's someone who's watching, who's with you, who's invested equally in this case as you are invested. So this is what we are basically doing. And another challenge that general practices like yours, like Secure Dental or bigger groups, their challenges, you bring an orthodontist for whatever reason. If that orthodontist leaves, then what? Who's going to ...? Orthodontic cases are not like okay, one, two, three. It's not like that. It's a going on process. So over there challenge like within Smile Brands we were having and all the DSOs have this challenge that sometimes a single patient is being seen by 5 or 6 orthodontists because the doctor turnover rate has been pretty high, unfortunately, in some cases. So this is a solution for them to.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you were with Smile Brand. What was your role with Smile Brands? Is this still during Plus Orthodontics or was this before? And how did you see a need?

Anas Athar:
Yeah, I think, I'm still with Smile Brands. I'm their Regional Director for Orthodontics. And these are the things that I was noticing. And I'm like.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That you're seeing, right?

Anas Athar:
Yes, I'm seeing that this is a need. And because eventually, Dr. Liu, who's suffering? The patient is suffering. And it's our responsibility, we, as a healthcare provider, we have to take care of their health. This is our promise. This is our, this is something that we take pride in to take care of our patients. And so I'm like, Okay, yes, you can give them a little bit of a refund. Okay, you can make them happy. But this, is this right? This is not the right thing. So continuity of care is something that's very important. And that's where we, our goal is that we can help as many practices as possible. So I'm still with Smile Brands. I'm working with them. And of course it's a very big group. So implementing something like this over there will take a long time.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So with Smile Brands that you're currently with, I just want to know, like for our regular smaller group, when these guys are looking at identifying like what's their need, so with Smile Brands, do they still have an orthodontist that comes on site?

Anas Athar:
Yes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Is that still the case? Okay.

Anas Athar:
Yes. So Smile Brands, if I'm not wrong, last time we counted we had 101 orthodontists with Smile Brands.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh wow. Okay.

Anas Athar:
So nationwide they have a lot of offices. They have 101 orthodontists. The way the practice works is the general dentist stays in the office, and all the specialists they go to different offices. So like, right now, I go to seven of their different offices and my days are scheduled. I do have the same team. They have my scheduled patients. But you know, weak thing in this whole, from a business aspect, this whole setup is that you lose a lot of orthodontic patients that way because now the patient visits.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I was just about to ask you. Yeah. Okay.

Anas Athar:
The patient comes to your office today and you say, Oh, by the way, Dr. Athar is going to be here next Thursday. Can you be here the next day? And it's all about convenience now. I always say that in dentistry we do have a combination of patients and consumers. With a consumer mindset, you have to keep one thing in mind, that convenience is a big thing. Now they have taken a day off. If it's a patient like me, if I have taken a day off, I want to get things done the same day. I don't want to take another day off just to go and see Dr. Athar. Okay, now, if I'm not there on that day, what I will do next is I know I need orthodontic treatment, so I want to see who's available today. So I'll just go to that person. So PLUS Orthodontics is a solution. You can do a same day consultation and get all the records done. So you don't have to wait for Dr. Athar to come back on that next Thursday and take care of that patient that day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I love it. I love it. Because the idea that you are empowering the general dentist and empowering the actual doctor, the main doctor, right? So when the patient comes in, they can see Dr. X. Regardless, Dr. X is always going to be there like in a single practice or maybe even like a group practice, right? But then, you are on the back end providing the orthodontic services, ensuring quality, and ensuring that the patient's treatment is going right. Is that correct?

Anas Athar:
That's exactly right. And another advantage that we see in remote areas where in two-hour drive radius there is no orthodontist. So I have some patients who drive all the way. Like, I'm in Dallas, Texas area. Sometimes they drive three four hours to come and get the orthodontic treatment done. I really feel bad if I ask them, Okay, you have to come back in 4 to 6 weeks again to just check if your wire is active or not. If your aligner is attracting or not, because that's a lot of drive. It's their whole day is gone. If they're driving 3 to 4 hours one way, then they come in, I get their work done. So I feel like, okay, this is not right. I just wanted to help those patients. So it just works out well that it's solving a lot of patient problems.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So for a general dentist who's looking say they want to start with aligners, but they're now very comfortable, what would be a process? So can you walk us through like the whole process from setup to lets say a patient walks in just from your experience? And what you do, what you guys do at PLUS Orthodontics?

Anas Athar:
Great. So the patients, patient journey is something like this. The patient walks into your office. You take the orthodontic records and you first, you identify if this patient needs an orthodontic treatment. We do a lot of training and coaching that okay, about the case selection, okay? You take all the orthodontic records which includes pictures, radiograph, panoramic radiograph is, we always require that. ... is an optional. But if you have ... that's great. And then what helps us a lot is a 3D scan, Intraoral scan. If you have that, you will get all that information and upload to our portal. Okay, the PLUS Orthodontics portal. Over there, we will look at the records and we'll let you know this is a good case or not. You know, should we carry on with this case or through virtual orthodontics through this PLUS Orthodontics platform? Because not 100% of the cases can be done. But I'm talking about almost 80% of the cases can be done this way. Because if it's a crazy impacted canine, some crazy impacted molars, you don't want to do those. Definitely that patient would need in-person orthodontic care, and we would recommend sending them to an orthodontist in your area. But if this is an author, we select the case. We know what's the complexity. We give you a thumbs up. Then you let the patient know, yes, we are ready to move forward. Patient signs the contract over there. We start the treatment planning part of that case. Now, if the patient requires a virtual consult, we can always do a virtual consult with an orthodontist. Okay, so patient can, we can, we can send, if a patient has some questions which general dentist or your office staff is not able to answer, we'll be more than happy to do that for you, okay? We can do that once you give a thumbs up to us, that okay, patient is ready to go, we start the treatment planning. Next thing that you receive in your office is the appliance itself which is aligners or braces, whatever we are doing. So we can do both, okay? It's not only aligners. And along with that aligners, you would receive a scope that will connect with patients phone and through an app, they will be able to scan on a regular basis. From there onwards, that patient is connected to us now, okay? So they will do all the communication with us directly. If they have any questions, we will look at their scan on a weekly, bi-weekly basis. Any questions they have, any concerns they have, they would contact us. So they would not be calling your office saying, Hey Dr. Liu, my attachment came off. What should I do? Okay? Now you can just let the patient know, can you just send a scan, Dr. Athar, or your orthodontist? And they will let us know what needs to be done. Because another thing that's interesting is the most expensive thing in a dental office is the chair time. If the patient walks in for a broken attachment or something that could be, could easily be taken care of on the phone, that patient is taking up your chair time for 30 minutes or so. Your staff is occupied. Now that doesn't need to be done. They can call, they can scan, send us a scan in the middle of the night. We would not answer them right away because we do have a life, but within 24 hours they will get an answer from us. Okay? Whether you need to go.

Dr. Noel Liu:
If an attachment comes out, they still have to come in to get it attached?

Anas Athar:
True. That's true. Exactly, they have to come in. But sometimes you need attachment in the initial stages of the treatment. Now, maybe you might not even need it. Okay? So I can look at it and I can say, Hey, you don't have to go right away. Whenever you're going for your next cleaning appointment or exam, just go at that time and I'll notify your office. So your office will be prepared for that thing. So you can plan that appointment really well. So it's going to be more efficient.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Makes sense. So that's a huge determining factor. Yes. Makes perfect sense. Otherwise it would just be like blowing up your phones, right? Like, just wanting to come in. No, that's great. That's great.

Anas Athar:
And staff would not know how to answer this thing because hey, I don't know if this patient should come in because the patient is going to say something is broken. That's it. Now, you don't know what's broken.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And you have to figure it out. Now you can be the person who can intervene and say what's broken and what's not.

Anas Athar:
Yes. And that's the so, from your office, that answer should be, Oh, I'm really sorry something's broken. Can you please send a scan to Dr. Athar? And then we'll be able to help you from there onwards. The scan itself takes maybe 30s-40s and they don't have to set up an appointment. They can just send us a scan whenever they want.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And how important is education for a general dentist to know at least some basics?

Anas Athar:
I think it's very important. So when you're saying, what we do is in our program, we constantly engage general dentists about different cases and how to identify the cases and everything, because I think that helps them how to talk to the, communicate to the patient that, do they need orthodontic treatment or not? So that definitely, it's a learning curve. We don't expect you to have a lot of orthodontic knowledge from day one, but we would like you to be involved and engaged with us so that we can help each other. We would know every doctor has a different working style so we would know that how, what's the thought process, okay, for this doctor? How we can, what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses? We can plan things according to that. As I said, this is a partnership. So we need to understand how we can work with each other. So that's the main differentiating factor that, I don't want people to think this is just a service. It's a partnership. Because if I'm putting my name with this patient knows that they are talking to doctor.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You want to make sure.

Anas Athar:
Yes. So they're not.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct. Yeah, to make sure.

Anas Athar:
So that's why we want to make sure that we are good partners too.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, exactly. So does the office, do they get you or do they get dedicated orthodontists to work with them? Like, how do you have it set up?

Anas Athar:
Great. So this is basically, right now we have, it's me and Dr. Melissa Shotel. We are onboarding more orthodontists. And that's like a win situation because we are not only helping general dentists, but we are also helping orthodontists establishing their virtual practice. And, because we want orthodontists to be licensed in your state. So if we don't have an orthodontist who's licensed in your state, then we would not be able to provide the service because we are sharing the liability here. So that's why, that's why it's important, not necessarily I'm not licensed in all the states. I'm licensed in a few states, but not all of them. So this is how we are, we are planning to grow in this direction now. We want orthodontists to join us too. I personally think it's, this is a way future of orthodontics is going to be.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly. So what is the future for PLUS Orthodontics?

Anas Athar:
Oh, future is bright and beautiful.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What's your vision?

Anas Athar:
So my vision is, truly the vision is incorporate. And we are, we should be able to offer orthodontics to our patients who need orthodontic treatment. We need to remove all the hurdles which dentist is thinking or dental office is thinking that we should not offer orthodontics because this XYZ reason. And number one reason, when we did a survey with general dentists that why they are not offering orthodontics or why such a low referral rate, number one reason we found out was dentists are not comfortable talking to the patients about orthodontics. And that amazes me that you guys are so comfortable in putting a screw in someone's jaw, drilling that thing in, but talking about orthodontics they're not comfortable with. And I'm that kind of a person, I always ask the question why? One thing that I've discovered recently was, in a dental school, only 6% of your education is for orthodontics. So that's not enough. And I don't know how much time you would.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Same can be said about the implants too. They don't get any training on implants.

Anas Athar:
Yeah, that's the thing that there are so many courses you can go and attend. And I think that's the thing about implants where I feel like it's different, that you see results pretty quickly. Orthodontics, you have to wait. And sometimes, like when I went through my orthodontic residency, I learned a lot. But when I started doing clinical orthodontics in real life, that's when the real learning starts, because now you're handling the objects, now you're handling the patients. So that's where the real learning starts. Which of course it takes a long time for you to learn truly what's going on. I just feel, I don't feel right when they go for a weekend course for orthodontics sponsored by one or the other company, okay, whose job is to sell their product. Okay? Which is their job. That's what they are supposed to do. Okay? I'm not saying anything negative, but then they make them feel, Oh, this thing can resolve all your problems. And that's not true. Because once you will be in a situation where you're stuck, then that company will say, Oh, you need to send this to an orthodontist.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, you're 100%, you're 100%. And I think it's basically all the fear factors that a lot of people have. It's they don't understand the long-term ramifications or the effects. And the last thing they want is not having the desired outcome. And now it's late because now they'll have to go back and wait another six months to recorrect it. So I can see that happening.

Anas Athar:
And desired outcome, this is a very important point that I like to educate all my dentist friends. Okay? Do not promise ideal that, Oh, this will be an ideal finish. Because ideal is something that we strive for. We do not achieve ideal in every case. So what we also help is we set the expectations right from day one for the patient, what we can achieve and what we cannot achieve. So the patient doesn't come back to me, because sometimes we have patients that bring pictures of celebrities, I want to smile like this, and I always want to tell them that if you bring me a face like this, I'll bring a smile like this. But it's two different things. Your face is different. So you just have to, but sometimes, especially younger dentists, when they're not comfortable, they'll say, Yeah, we will get there because they might have attended a course over a weekend and where the presenter has shown them the cases, Oh, we can achieve this, we can achieve this and all is done by this one tool. All you need is this one tool and you can resolve all your life issues. That's not the case. I think we learn most from our failures and during my orthodontic residency, one of the best thing that I, best presentation that I attended was by Dr. Kevin Horner. He's in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He would come and teach us that one lecture in the whole residency, that was the coolest thing, he said, Okay, he asked us, give us a number between 1 and 12. We said, Okay, three. Okay. Give me a number between 1 and 30. Okay, 50. Okay, March 15th the cases I finished, I'm going to show you those. Okay? That's when we realized that how many of them were ideal finish, and how many of them were not ideal finish. Because in order to have an ideal finish, you have to have an ideal patient, which means they will follow all the instructions. How many patients do that? Not many. So I tell my patients that, look, if you go to a doctor and the doctor gives you a medication, if you don't take that medication according to the prescription, don't expect results. You cannot, if I'm asking you, you have to take two pills in the morning, two in the evening, you cannot take four pills in the morning and say, Oh, I took four pills. That's, it's not going to work like that. If I'm asking you to wear your aligner 22 hours a day and you're wearing just night-time, well, okay, it's not going to work. So we help doctors and regular monitoring of the patients helps us. If the patient is not compliant, we know that because they will not be sending us the scans. They will be getting alerts on their phone, Hey, you have to send a scan. You have to send a scan. If they're not sending it. We know that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's such a huge statement you just made about patient compliance, because I think one of the things that we always target as dentists is we want to make sure it's ideal. It's always what we are promising patients. And then with services like yours, they'll be like, Oh yeah, we have an orthodontist, and it's going to be ideal just because they want to close a case. But that statement you just made, I think that is a huge takeaway. I loved it because I would never have thought about it myself. And this is something I think I just learned from you, like never promise ideal.

Anas Athar:
You taught me a lot of things. So that is one thing I taught you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hey, man, this is this is amazing. I love it, I love it. Great. So tell me something real quick, right? So how can people reach you at with your services?

Anas Athar:
Go to our website PlusOrthodontics.com. Register there as a user.

Dr. Noel Liu:
P L U S?

Anas Athar:
P L U S.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Orthodontics.com. Right?

Anas Athar:
So PLUS, like positive. So you're adding Orthodontics, so.

Dr. Noel Liu:
There you go.

Anas Athar:
Secure dental plus orthodontics.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love that name. Yeah. Just awesome how they're mixed.

Anas Athar:
Yeah, it's a simple name. And we just, we want you to add orthodontics to your service. So just plus, plus orthodontics in your office. So that's, that's the easiest way to contact us.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And when they contact you, what is their first step would be? It would be a discovery call?

Anas Athar:
So basically, of course, what we will do is, once they register through our portal we get their information and everything, then we will contact with them. Yes, it will be a discovery call if they have any questions, any concerns, they can do that. If they're ready to move forward, then we will schedule our training; how to upload a case and everything. Simple stuff, which is very self-explanatory. We try to make it very simple on a portal, because before what we were doing is when we were in the testing stage, we were renting one portal from here. Okay, scans will be submitted there. Now we are trying to integrate everything together so it's making it easy.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh wow. Love it.

Anas Athar:
Because what I had realized is, who is going to be uploading the case? It's not going to be the dentist itself. It will be the staff. So it has to be simple. It should be a drag-and-drop thing. You cannot expect too much from the staff because they want to do things quick. And with the situation going on in the whole country right now, staffing issues, sometimes you have temps working in your office and you might have a new assistant every month. So it has to be simple solution. So that's what they would do.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So simple solution. I love it.

Anas Athar:
So that's what we have tried our best. And of course, we're going to keep simplifying it as much as we can. Our photo app is going to be coming out very soon, so you can just take pictures through the app. Integrates with our portal. Go there. Intraoral scans, we already have integrations with a couple of big scanner companies which will be done I'm hoping within a month. Okay, so you scan, you don't have to upload. It will just go directly integrate with the system.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So there's a lot of things you're working on. That's great. It is great. Yeah, one of the, one of the key things for us to like at Secure Dental is we have a lot of people, again, like you was talking about like turnovers, right? So having a simple, easy system, it's a huge key because people they just don't want to go through the hassle. What you're doing, I think it's huge.

Anas Athar:
I just want to let your listeners know that a big part of this thing is a feedback that you gave me. So thank you. You are always helping others and you helped me a lot. So thank you for doing that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
The feedback goes comes from the pain that we go through, right? So that's how the feedback comes in and from other people's experiencing. Thank you very much Dr. Athar. Yeah.

Anas Athar:
I would not know until unless I would get the feedback. If every, if everyone tells me, Yes, true friends are the ones who give you the true feedback. Hey, Anas, you're doing this thing right or you're doing this thing wrong. So that's the most valuable thing for me. I cannot thank you enough for that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, it goes both ways, my friend. It goes both ways. All right. Cool. Dr. Athar, thank you very much for your time. I know you're a busy guy. You just came back from the office, correct?

Anas Athar:
Yes. And the good thing about ortho is, it's a pretty laid-back field, and you don't have any emergencies. Like, I always feel like general dentistry and orthodontics as a heaven. So that's why I feel if general dentist will start integrating ortho in their offices, I think they will feel good about it and all their fears will take it away.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Definitely. Ladies and gentlemen, yeah, this is Dr. Athar checking out. PLUSOrthodontics.com. Go ahead and visit www.PLUSOrthodontics.com Dr. Athar is available. He's a very helpful guy. And from all of us here at Secure Dental, and subscribe, and we'll see you back on the other episode. Thank you very much.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Thanks for tuning into the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Dr. Anas Athar:

With nearly two decades of dentistry expertise, Dr. Anas Athar is a highly sought-after orthodontist specializing in advanced dental imaging, interceptive orthodontics, clear aligners, and dental sleep medicine. As the sole dual-trained orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial radiologist in Texas, he founded PLUS Orthodontics and provides Bringing Smiles services to Smile Brands, Inc. locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Dr. Athar also works as a part-time oral and maxillofacial radiologist with BeamReaders.

Starting his dental journey at Baqai Dental College in Pakistan, Dr. Athar pursued oral maxillofacial radiology training at UMKC and orthodontic training at Saint Louis University. Currently, he serves as a visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at UMKC. Committed to continuous learning, Dr. Athar completed the AAO comprehensive business and leadership program in 2022 in partnership with Wharton.

Receiving various awards, including Orthodontist of the Year (2016), Distinguished Teacher of the Year (2007), and Dental Specialist of the Year (2016), Dr. Athar is recognized for his clinical excellence and educational contributions. Beyond his professional achievements, he passionately gives back to the community through volunteer work, donations, and education programs, embodying a dedication to improving lives.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Although 74% of the US population needs orthodontic treatment, many dentists are not offering it due to a lack of training.
  • Patient compliance is crucial; regular monitoring through scans helps identify issues and ensures effective treatment.
  • The biggest money-waster for an orthodontic is unnecessary appointments.
  • Ideal outcomes are not always achievable; setting realistic expectations is key to patient satisfaction in orthodontic treatment.
  • True friends are the ones who are not afraid to give you real feedback.

Resources:

  • Follow Dr. Anas Athar on LinkedIn.
  • Follow PLUS Orthodontics on LinkedIn.
  • Learn more about PLUS Orthodontics on their website.
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