fbpx
Categories
Podcast

Shark Tank Success: How a Toothbrush Took the Spotlight

Summary:

Providing personalized care and attention to patients’ needs can differentiate dental practices and contribute to patient satisfaction and retention.

In this episode, Dr. Bobbi Peterson, renowned orthodontist and inventor, shares how her commitment to providing quality dental care to underserved communities led her to develop the Big Mouth Toothbrush, a revolutionary electronic and sonic toothbrush designed for optimal oral health. With a passion for serving her patients, Dr. Peterson emphasizes the importance of leadership, accountability, and personalized care in dental practices. When it comes to scaling a business, Bobbi shares that expanding distribution channels, such as partnering with dental offices and leveraging online platforms like Amazon, is crucial for reaching a wider audience and driving product sales. Through her practices in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, she creates a familial environment where patients feel valued and heard. Dr. Peterson’s appearance on Shark Tank catapulted her product to success, leading to partnerships and expansion into dental offices and boutiques. She emphasizes the significance of delegation, respect, and teamwork in building a successful practice. 

Tune in and learn how Dr. Peterson’s dedication to innovation and community impact continues to inspire and uplift dental professionals worldwide!

Secure Dental_Bobbi Peterson.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Bobbi Peterson.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:
Hey, welcome back to another episode of our Secure Dental podcast. Today we have yet another very special guest here. Before we get started, I'm just going to start with a little bit about the sponsorship of the pod. The pod has been sponsored by DentVia. It's a virtual dental assistant company, and basically they help your back team staff members with virtual administration. Visit them at www.DentVia.com. Again, that's www.DentVia.com. Now, since that's out of the way, let's dive right in. So I got here Dr. Bobbi here, and she is such an amazing person. She does great things. She has two practices in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. And what are they really inspired by her is the work she does in the community. So without further ado, I'm going to pass the mic on to you and let you do the intro and tell us exactly what's going on and how you got started.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yes. Thank you so much for that introduction. I'm really happy to be here on the Secure Dental Studio podcast. I admire your work and thank you for what you do as well. But my name is Dr. Bobbi Peterson. As you said, I have two practices, one in Brooklyn, one here in Philadelphia. I've been practicing since 2008. I may not look, I know I was born in '92, but I've been a dentist since I was four and I'm not kidding. But I've been practicing dentistry and orthodontics for a long time. I definitely pride myself in getting back to the community like you said. Both of my practices are located in major cities and we accept all insurances and we cater to those that may not necessarily be able to afford proper dental health care. We also donate dental supplies to different high schools and middle schools in both cities. I opened up a practice in Philadelphia because I had family here, and I also went to Drexel University, so I'm very familiar with this city. Most recently, I became an inventor, and I know you want to touch base on that a little bit.

Noel Liu:
I think you're all about it.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yes. I designed an electronic mouth sonic toothbrush.

Noel Liu:
Wait, you said electronic mouth sonic toothbrush?

Bobbi Peterson:
Yes. So what that means is, yeah, so I, so a few years ago, I got with a few engineers, and I wanted to design an electronic toothbrush with a wider head. Now, the reason I wanted to do that is because, within my practice of dentistry and orthodontics, because I have some dentists that work for me, we noticed that there was a higher prevalence of gingivitis and periodontal disease. So I'm like I personally did not like how the latest advances and all of the electronic toothbrushes from these big companies were getting smaller and smaller, the brush heads were getting smaller and smaller. I'm like, How is this helping the gingivitis and oral health care problems? So I said, I personally want a wider toothbrush hand. So I got with a couple of engineers. We did our design. Four prototypes later, came up with a big mouth toothbrush. I said this works well in every corner of the average sized mouth. And we put it on the market. Yes. After being on the market for about six months, I applied for Shark Tank.

Noel Liu:
So before when it was in a market for six months, what was the name? Big mouth toothbrush? That's it?

Bobbi Peterson:
The big-mouth toothbrush. That's always been the name. Yep. That's always been the name.

Noel Liu:
And where did you have them?

Bobbi Peterson:
So initially it was only direct to consumer. Then gradually we got on to Amazon and that was pretty much it. At that point, it was direct to consumer and Amazon. That was, and then I sold them at my practice too. At that point in time I only had the practice in Brooklyn. So we sold that at the office and then we sold them direct to consumer.

Noel Liu:
And what year was that?

Bobbi Peterson:
That was 2022.

Noel Liu:
2022?

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah. Very recent.

Noel Liu:
Wow. Wow. Okay. Okay. So yeah, keep going.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah. So we launched in January of 2022. In June or July, I applied for Shark Tank because it really is one of my favorite shows. And I really feel like that platform gives opportunities to entrepreneurs at every level. Like, you can go on Shark Tank with an idea. You can go on there with a prototype that you just want to sell for licensing. You can go on there if you have a failed business. You can go on there if you have a successful business. They help entrepreneurs on every level. I personally wanted to have some numbers behind my brands to bring to them to show proof of the concept. So that's why I waited about six months before I applied. So I applied six months in. They responded to me, I believe, by August. And then in September I went to go pitch. Now the problem with that was, and what a lot of people don't know is that you can go through all the stages to get onto Shark Tank, right? But you don't, and you can pitch in front of the sharks. But it does not necessarily mean that your episode is going to air. Now, your episode airing is key to your brand going through the roof in terms of sales. If no one sees the episode, it's like, How do they even know you exist? So I pitched in September and some of the people that were there with me when I pitched, like some of the brands, their episode aired like the following month. So I'm seeing all these people that were there with me and their episodes are airing, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, is my episode not going to air? It didn't air until the following March. Okay? So my episode didn't air till March of 2023. It just aired last year.

Noel Liu:
Wow, wow.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah, I was on pins and needles. I'm like, Oh my gosh. Because the network, they can't confirm that to you. They will, because they don't really know because it's television. It's like reality TV. You don't, they can't really tell you until maybe a month or two before.

Noel Liu:
Amazing.

Bobbi Peterson:
You just have to be ready. I sold out in 24 hours.

Noel Liu:
How did you come about this idea that you want to go to Shark Tank?

Bobbi Peterson:
So it's always been one of my favorite shows. So Big Mouth is not my first business, okay? It's not my first product. So it's my first product. So I have, initially, so the reason why they call me the celebrity orthodontist is because when I first finished my residency and I started practicing, there were in a lot of celebrity circles, right? And I wanted to be able to offer them something different. So I came up with my own line of tooth jewelry called oral fixation, and I used to make, I got with a jeweler and I made custom tooth jewelry pieces for a bunch of celebrities. Namely, one was the production company for hip-hop artist; his name is FettyWAP. So back then he was really, really popular. So he was so popular. And so that's like where I got my platform from. That's where my platform ... And that's how my name started ringing bells in those circles. So that was the first thing. So I'm not naive when it comes to selling something. Funny ...

Noel Liu:
I love your background.

Bobbi Peterson:
But yeah. So that's, just to give you a little bit of background on me finding my passion and being so passionate about the things that I bring to the world, you know what I mean?

Noel Liu:
You got this, like, inner spirit just pops out.

Bobbi Peterson:
I can't help it.

Noel Liu:
So this whole process with the Shark Tank, how tedious or how cumbersome or how challenging was it for you?

Bobbi Peterson:
I would say, I don't think it was like a cumbersome type of experience, because once they accept you, once they tell you they want you to move forward, right? They don't really tell you exactly what's gonna happen step by step. They keep you in the dark when it comes to certain things. But I was super determined and I really believed in my product. And I think they feel that when they as they bring you through the different levels. So basically you're going through different levels and different stages of pitching. So they want to make sure that you have everything together, your numbers, before they bring you in front of the sharks. Because if you go in front of them and you don't have your numbers and you don't have everything that you could possibly sell about your brand in your brain, you're not going to be able to take those questions, you're not going to be able to respond under pressure. The producers kind of work with you to make sure that you're prepared to go to the next level. And if they don't feel that you're prepared, then you're not going the next level. Exactly. After going through the different levels, I guess they felt that I was ready made. I was super, super nervous. I don't know if I've ever been that nervous because once you're flown out there, you like, I guess you know that you're gonna pitch, but you don't know when, you could be there all day waiting. That's how television is. You know, you could be in there all day waiting like me. But then, when you go out there, you literally have maybe five minutes or so. And so it's a really intense make-or-break moment. And it's, I don't know.

Noel Liu:
Tell me what was the opening pitch.

Bobbi Peterson:
Oh my gosh, you have to watch it. It was basically, the way I had it set up. My one stage, I had like a picture of my daughter, a picture of my mother, a picture of a couple different family members with the toothbrush. The display had the toothbrush there with the packaging. Now, the toothbrush that I initially pitched on Shark Tank was the electronic version because we hadn't come up with the Sonic version yet, right? So that's what was up there. And I came out there in all black, right? And I didn't introduce myself as a doctor. I just said, my name is Bobbi Peterson and I'm from Brooklyn, New York, and I started talking about how important it is to maintain your overall; the relationship between your oral health and your overall health is connected. So you've got to keep your teeth clean. And then what I did was, I said, Why do you guys think I care so much about this? Like, why do you think I care so much? And they're like, Why? I said, ... And I put on my white coat and I said, Because I'm an orthodontist. My name is Dr. Bobbi Peterson and I'm an orthodontist. My product is the Big Mouth Toothbrush. So then it made more sense to them. Like, why is this person coming out here talking about oral health care? Why is he using all these crazy big dental words? And I made the comparison with a photo of Mr. Wonderful. So basically I'm like, if you don't take care of your teeth, you could look like this guy. So I had a picture of Mr. Wonderful with missing teeth and ... Love.

Noel Liu:
Love it. Love it.

Bobbi Peterson:
But it really came down to the wire, right? Because almost all of the sharks were out. They'd all gone out. They both, all of them loved the product. They were like, We really...

Noel Liu:
Which is pretty typical with these guys.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah, they pretty much all were ... except Mr. Wonderful and they were like, I think their main thing was that the oral health care is such a competitive market. They didn't want to, I guess they weren't up for the challenge. That's what it sounded like to me. But they were like, but good luck. You've been doing a great, you've been doing a great job so far. So Mr. Wonderful came at me with an offer. Kevin came at me with an offer, and I was like, man, because he loves royalty. So ... royalty is killing me. And then I countered his offer. And then Barbara came in and was like, I'll take that offer. And I said, Yes. So that's my partner. Yeah, that's my partner.

Noel Liu:
That's amazing. So fast forward, what's happening now?

Bobbi Peterson:
Okay. As I said before, the initial version of the toothbrush was electronic, so I went from electronic to sonic. So for those of your viewers and listeners that don't know the difference, I'll explain it. The difference is the amount of vibrations per minute. So an electronic toothbrush, the maximum amount of vibrations is 10,000 vibrations per minute. When you move into the sonic realm, the maximum is 50,000 per minute, so it's much more powerful. My toothbrush has five different speeds. It has five different levels of intensity. And I find that a lot more oral, health-conscious people, they like sonic toothbrushes, even though some, a lot of people, when I first put it on the market, they thought sonic was a brand, but it's not. It's an actual type of toothbrush like Philips had a sonic version and electronic version. Big Mouth had an electronic version. Now they have a sonic version.

Noel Liu:
See, I did not even know. I just learned something new from you.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah, so that's it. But it's doing amazing. The toothbrush is doing amazing. We're now in Amazon. We are in over 100 dental practices. There's a lot of dental practices that actually sell the toothbrush. Dental practices get commissions for selling the toothbrush in their office. So what we do is we ship them a free toothbrush, let them try it out. For anyone, any dentists that are listening to your podcast, we send you.

Noel Liu:
I'll be the first one after this.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah, absolutely. We'll send you a toothbrush for free to try, give us feedback on it. Yep. And then you get commissioned for your sales. Like it's been doing really well. We also are about to launch in boutiques in Soho. So there are these like tattoo and piercing places where they also do tooth jewelry. So I've been training them on how to place the tooth jewelry, and they add the toothbrush as part of their home care regimen.

Noel Liu:
Amazing, amazing.

Bobbi Peterson:
Amazing, right? It's crazy. So it's been doing really well.

Noel Liu:
No, that's so awesome. So how much have these guys supported you in terms of networking, connections, getting the product out?

Bobbi Peterson:
I think that. I have meetings with them. I meet with them like bi-weekly. Yeah. But they're, the most of the meetings are about what I've been doing. Like she's not extremely hands on. She chooses entrepreneurs that she believes in so she doesn't have to walk them through things. And I think with the type of relationship that we have is that I'm in a position where I've learned a lot from her and I want to impress her. So being a partner with her makes me want to work even harder if you can imagine.

Noel Liu:
That's such a great attribute, because once you do that, that accountability automatically kicks in.

Bobbi Peterson:
Absolutely, absolutely.

Noel Liu:
So let's switch gears a little bit. Let's talk about your dental practice, your patients. What's going on on that end? Like what are you doing to start getting into these disenfranchised communities? And what are you doing to help them?

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah. So what I find is, so I've had my practice in Brooklyn since 2008, like I said, and I have a wide variety of patients. Yes, I do. Like I told you, I do accept all insurances, but the unique thing about my orthodontic practice is that 50% of my patient population are adults. A lot of orthodontists see the majority, like the majority of their practice, preteens and teenage. I do have a lot. I have a lot of those too. But a lot of the adults come to me because a, I make it affordable and I just have a ton of experience at this point. So a lot of, I see a lot of adults, but when you come into my office, it's a very bulk offices. It's a very familial environment. Right now, my mom, when she retired, I grabbed her as quickly as I could. She's my office manager. My daughter is my treatment coordinator. So also, so when you walk in the door, it's just a very familial environment. We always remember people's names. We actually talk to our patients. So for example, I know a patient has like a prom or a graduation coming up; we make a note in the chart so that we see them next time. Hey, how was your graduation? Oh, hey, how was your birthday? I built my staff up to do that, to make it just a little bit more comfortable. Because dentistry is not a comfortable place.

Noel Liu:
Nobody likes going to the dentist or the orthodontist. Right?

Bobbi Peterson:
So we try to make it good. We play all kinds of music when they come in. You could hear anything from country music to reggae when you walk in. Reggaeton, you get your Spanish music. We cater to everybody. Practices has been really successful. The Philadelphia practice was a little bit easier to open because Instagram and social media, sure, they make it a lot easier for people to find you. So some of my followers already known about me from having my practice in New York. Once I made the announcement that I was coming here, people started calling.

Noel Liu:
Look at you. I love it.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yeah, yeah, it's really cool. I'm really blessed.

Noel Liu:
So tell me, what's your vision right now for your practice as well as with your product?

Bobbi Peterson:
For me personally, I don't see myself opening up another practice where I'm going to be present. Okay? I can be with so many places at one time, and I know that once when people see my practice and they see me, if they want to see me. Like they don't want to be seen, they don't want to come to Aces Braces and see other dentists. Like they want to see me. I don't see that for me. I think Philly is it for me in terms of opening up practices. And my daughter ..., if they want to open up another office. It's okay, that's on them. ... In terms of a big mouth. I would like to continue to have the product being sold in other dental offices. I don't think that retail is for me and my partner agrees with that. I don't think. It's a very specific type of toothbrush. It's an upscale toothbrush. It's a very, it's posh. So it's going to be presented that way. It's being presented that way. So yeah, I don't think it's for retail, but I definitely love the, that the dentists have been reaching out and basically saying that they want to sell the product in their office. I want to keep it as a dental, being sold in dental offices. And then of course, directing is over. We're still on Amazon. We have an Amazon store. Amazon is almost like a must for a product like mine, because when you have platforms and you're selling through platforms like Shopify, just to let the listeners know, the shipping costs are very high for people outside of the US. So Amazon makes it a lot more cost effective for the owner of a brand to be able to sell in other countries.

Noel Liu:
Are they pretty hard to deal with or are they like pretty okay?

Bobbi Peterson:
Yes and no. I think the bigger you get, the bigger you get on Amazon, the more problems you encounter. But I think that, I would say that every problem that we have had has worked itself out in a timely manner.

Noel Liu:
Got it, got it.

Noel Liu:
Yeah. So you are more like a boutique kind of.

Noel Liu:
Yes. Oh, that's great.

Bobbi Peterson:
Very ... Yes. I want to keep it that way.

Noel Liu:
Now, has Barbara ever told you to expand your dental practice?

Bobbi Peterson:
No, she has not. She has not said that. Yeah. No, she's never said that. We don't really speak much about my dental practice. What if I expressed to her that I had hired some more dentist? That was the only thing that she commented on, like that I hired people to help me, probably so I could put more time into Big Mouth. But yeah.

Noel Liu:
No, I love it. I love it, yeah. Pretty much I think we've covered quite a bit.

Bobbi Peterson:
Yes, I think so too.

Noel Liu:
So any last comments? Just one last question for you. What do you think about for the audience with dental practices, how important is leadership and accountability?

Bobbi Peterson:
Oh, good question.

Noel Liu:
From your perspective.

Bobbi Peterson:
From my perspective, I feel as though leadership is extremely important. There really can only be one and the dental practice. That leader needs to delegate and respect the opinions and the opinions and the inputs of their employees at all times. I take suggestions, when we have our meetings, I always add any suggestions on how we can make this better, and I'm very accepting of that. Accountability is huge as well. You can't, a team cannot function without people taking accountability for the good things they do and the bad things they do. You know, that's super important. I think that delegation is important. Everyone knowing their jobs very well is very important. Not allowing others to do other people's jobs is very important, but everyone know what their tasks should be and be able to execute them very well.

Noel Liu:
Great. Love it. Yeah, we've covered all. So how can people find you?

Bobbi Peterson:
To fine me directly, my Instagram is iamdrbobbi. My office Instagram is allthingsdrbobbi. I am drbobbilicious on TikTok, and the Big Mouth toothbrush also has a page that's not curated by myself, but it's BigMouthToothBrush on Instagram. They can also purchase my toothbrush on Amazon. All you have to do is type in big mouth toothbrush or best sonic toothbrush, anything like that, and it'll come up. And you could also purchase them on our website at BigMouthToothbrush.com.

Noel Liu:
BigMouthToothbrush.com. Love it. We're going to have the link below. So definitely. And I think this brings us to our conclusion. And I really appreciate your time and coming and your commitment to the community. I love it.

Bobbi Peterson:
Thank you so much for having me.

Noel Liu:
No, absolutely. The pleasure's all mine. And yeah, with that being said, we're going to land a plane. This is going to be the end of our episode. So make sure everybody like and subscribe, and we will see you on the next pod.

Bobbi Peterson:
Thank you so much.

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.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you'd love including share transcripts, world-class support, collaboration tools, enterprise-grade admin tools, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

About Dr. Bobbi Peterson

Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Peterson is an orthodontist and entrepreneur, known for her appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, where she successfully pitched her product, the BigMouth toothbrush. Growing up in a family of healthcare professionals, Dr. Peterson developed a passion for oral hygiene, leading her to pursue a career in dentistry. After completing her orthodontic residency in New York, she opened her practice in Brooklyn in 2008.

Concerned about her patients’ oral health, Dr. Peterson developed the BigMouth toothbrush, aiming to address issues of plaque buildup and gingivitis. Inspired by her childhood nickname, “Mighty Mouth,” the BigMouth toothbrush features a wider head for more effective cleaning.

Beyond her two dental practices in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, Dr. Peterson continues to innovate, expanding the BigMouth product line to include sonic toothbrushes and new color editions. With products available on Amazon and in over 100 dental offices nationwide, Dr. Peterson remains committed to promoting oral health and providing quality dental care.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Providing personalized care and attention to patients’ needs can differentiate dental practices and contribute to patient satisfaction and retention.
  • Navigating the entrepreneurial journey requires resilience, strategic planning, and a willingness to seek mentorship and guidance.
  • Developing successful products requires thorough research, prototyping, and attention to customer feedback.
  • Pitching to investors requires preparation, confidence, and a compelling narrative to secure funding and support for business growth.
  • Expanding distribution channels, such as partnering with dental offices and leveraging online platforms like Amazon, is crucial for reaching a wider audience and driving product sales.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Bobbi on Instagram and TikTok.
  • Follow Big Mouth Toothbrush’s Instagram page here.
  • Buy Big Mouth Toothbrush on their website!
  • Discover more about Aces Braces on their Instagram.
Categories
Podcast

The Critical Intersection of Quality Care and Business in Dentistry

Summary:

Understanding the rapid consolidation in dentistry is crucial for positioning your practice successfully amidst powerful entities.

In this episode, Charles Moser, a seasoned dentist and executive business coach, dives deep into the intricacies of dentistry’s consolidation wave, the rising influence of private equity in practice management, and the critical role of leadership and ethics in providing quality patient care. Charles brings his 16 years of hands-on dental practice and 15 years of DSO expertise to the table, discussing the challenges and opportunities that come with managing group practices and the delicate balance between patient care and profitability. He also tackles the perception of ethics in dentistry, the importance of personal accountability, and the impact of corporate influence on the day-to-day life of practitioners. Charles offers invaluable advice for dental practitioners at all stages, from solo practitioners to associate dentists, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a patient-centric approach and the benefits of mentorship and coaching. He explores how the culture within a dental practice can affect team retention and the success of the practice, along with insights into making practices attractive for acquisitions and investments.

Whether you’re a freshly minted dentist or a veteran in the field, this episode will provide you with the tools to navigate the changing tides of dental practice ownership and management. Stay tuned because you won’t want to miss the wisdom Charles Moser has to share.

Secure Dental-Charles Moser: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental-Charles Moser: 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 individuals and talents from both inside and outside our dental profession. Today we have a very special guest, and this guy used to also be my mentor back in the day. Before we get started, this part 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 personnel with office tasks that we get done daily. Visit them at www.DentViacom. That's www. DentVia.com.

Noel Liu:
Now, let's dive right in. So today we have Doctor Charles Moser who is an Executive Business Coach for Dentists. His 16 years at the chair and over 15 years in the DSL space give him a perspective that has helped many dentists owners build and expand their businesses the right way. Whether you're looking to grow or maximize your current situation, Doctor Moser can help. He was a key member of the DEO team once upon a time. And is a certified speaker, trainer, and coach for the John Maxwell team. He always has an interesting perspective on the state of our dental industry, but we'll never waver in our belief that quality patient care and an excellent experience should be the primary focus of any practice, which is what I love about you. Without further adieu, I'm going to pass the mic on to you.

Charles Moser:
Oh man, no, great to be here. I couldn't have said that better myself. You know, that was really well done. I appreciate the kind words, and it's great to reconnect with you.

Noel Liu:
Absolutely. It's such an honor to have you here on my pod and share some insights for everyone listening.

Charles Moser:
What do you want to know about?

Noel Liu:
So, let's dive right in. Dentistry, in general, is solo practice versus group practice versus corporate. Give me a little bit about the insights and a little bit about the pros and cons of each.

Charles Moser:
Well, well.

Noel Liu:
It's a broad topic. Yeah, I was gonna say how.

Charles Moser:
Yeah, I was gonna say, how much time do you have? All I ever wanted to be was a chairside clinician ever since I was 13 years old. The reason I say that is because I'm not sure. I would love to think that. That's still why people are going into dentistry, and they still have that passion to go into dentistry at that type of young age. I mean, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to hang out a shingle. I wanted to help people by fixing their teeth. I recognized that a healthy oral cavity was somewhat of a gateway to healthy systemic health, as well. So, it was all I ever wanted to do. When I ask people those questions and believe me, I understand that I have a bias because of the people that I talk to and the arena in which I play that maybe those people have a different opinion and a different reason for going into dentistry. But what I see right now is a bit of confusion out there as to what the mission is for people. Now, you said it perfectly when I said quality care is absolutely number one, no doubt about it. You've got to do as I used to tell my associates. You got to do the best quality that your hands can possibly do. That's all anybody can ask. And then second to that is making money. I'm a big believer in making money. I don't think there's a problem at all with making as much money as your two hands can possibly make, morally and ethically, are the two key words there. And again, that's kind of a broad topic, too. We all know that if you give one patient to ten dentists, you're going to get 11 treatment plans, right? You know, and I'm okay with that, really.

Charles Moser:
I have no problem with that. As long as you believe in your treatment planning and you can walk the walk, you can do the dentistry that will last the appropriate amount of time, bring the patient back to a state of health, and maintain it. If that's 28 crowns in your world, I guess, great. It might not be in somebody else's, but we know people who do that, and we know people who do it well, and we know that they believe in that. So whatever. But I just hope that people are going into dentistry with their eyes wide open, if you will, recognizing how hard it is. I've said this so many times on so many podcasts, and I'll say it again: there is nothing harder than dentistry. There's not a job out there that is as tedious, works on an awake patient, has the margins that we have, has to deal with external forces that we're not prepared for, and has to be an entrepreneur and a producer at the same time. There's nothing as hard as being a dentist. So, I just hope that people are going into it with the right frame of mind. And there's so much more dentistry to learn now than there was when I was a dentist, and yet we're still trying to do it in four years. I didn't have scanners, I didn't have milling machines, I didn't have CVTs, I didn't have any. I didn't have to learn any of that. And I don't think they've taken nearly as much out of the curriculum as they have put into the curriculum. So find yourself a good coach, find yourself a good mentor.

Noel Liu:
So basically, what you're saying is whether it's a solo practice, a group practice, or a DSO or corporate dentistry, I mean, the patient-centric, that is like the key focus, right? Because that's what I see. Many solo practitioners really hate the DSOS and they really hate the corporates because they feel like it's just a money-grabbing machine. But what you just said, I think it kind of nails it right in the head.

Charles Moser:
So look, I want to speak to people out there who are working as an associate anywhere right now. If you're an associate, right, and you're not on a pathway to partnership, I know that most of you out there are thinking, well, I'll do it right when I own my own practice. You know, when I own my own practice, I'll do it differently. I'll put the rubber dam on it when I own my own practice. I wouldn't seat that crown, but I'll seat it in somebody else's practice. Hey, man, I know it. You know what I mean? So, let's just be honest out there.

Noel Liu:
Let's just be honest.

Charles Moser:
Let's just be honest: if you're working, especially if you're working for a DSO, I know it, I just know it. And so I would say to you, I know it, I understand it. And stop it, okay. Just stop it. Just tell yourself right now, no, tomorrow I'm going to walk into the office and treat these patients as if they were patients in a practice that had my name on top of the building.

Noel Liu:
I love what you just said, you know. I just love what you just said.

Charles Moser:
Because you can't turn the switch, right Noel? You really can't. Once you learn those bad habits, baby, they're there, you know. They are there. So I understand that being an associate is viewed by many as quote-unquote practice, the warm-up or the B team, or whatever you want to call it. But let's use it as practice. But let's make practice our perfect practice.

Noel Liu:
Exactly. You know, like I always keep saying whether it's a solo practitioner, if it's a group practice, or if it's a corporate right, if we have the right habits, we have the right mission. Like you just said, you have the right vision, of what you want to do for your patients, it doesn't really matter whatever setting you're in. And I think people with the solo practice guys they need to start looking outside the box and having a little bit more wider mindset than to just have this narrow frame of mind that only these guys can do it better than anybody else.

Charles Moser:
Well, let me ask you a question. Where are we in the bell curve of consolidation right now? What do you think? Are we on the downside of it or where do you think this bubble is right now?

Noel Liu:
My thing from the last time I checked, we were still climbing up. I mean, last time we checked, it was around 20%. And I believe like today, somewhere around like 27 or 28, maybe even 30% at this point in time, maybe even more. We just need to understand it's coming.

Charles Moser:
Yeah, right. Well, it's here, it's here.

Noel Liu:
Right? Yeah. It's here. You're right, it's here. And whether we embrace it or we fight it, I mean, I would say we just go with the flow and just try to do the best that we can as dentists. And eventually these roll ups are not going to stop. It's just going to get even more and more.

Charles Moser:
I'll agree with a caveat to that. And by the way, I think that it does take us back right to our core values and our mission of I don't care where you're practicing, do great dentistry, and if you can't do great dentistry, find out how to do great dentistry, and don't settle for less than what you would settle for. As I said earlier, as if your name was on top of the building. Okay, so let's keep that in mind no matter where you're practicing. Having said that, I think the dumb money has left the building as far as private equity and venture capital and those types of things, I think we can still see big multiples, but we're not going to see big multiples for these duct tape type of roll-up DSOs. If you've got 15 practices with five different practice management systems, no real sense of training and onboarding, no roles and responsibilities in place, and the margins are all over the place at every different location, then I think you're going to have trouble getting rid of that. And in my opinion, what's going to happen to those DSOs or those group practices is they're going to get sold off into chunks to individual people like, you know, like I said, okay, well, I'll buy three of them type of thing. I'll buy the three that have open dental, and Noel will buy the three that have Dentrix and somebody else buy the three with Eagles often.

Noel Liu:
Let's talk a little bit about this.

Charles Moser:
Okay.

Noel Liu:
This is an interesting point that you just brought up duct tape DSO. Yeah. You know, number one, why would somebody do this. Number two is what are group practices or bigger DSOs or even private equity or venture capitalists. What are they looking for when they're looking into buying a dental deal. So you're the expert in this. I want to hear you.

Charles Moser:
Yeah, well, I'll put it into I always talk about hamburger places, you know, it's like if you're an investor and you want to buy some hamburger joints, you're not going to buy five McDonald's, five Burger Kings, five In-n-out's, and five Whataburger's to make 20 and then say, I've got 20 locations and then take that to your team and say, we've got 20 hamburger joints, right? He's like, no, you don't. You have four groups of five is what you have, and your COO is going to hate you, right? Because he's got five different operating systems to deal with and five different systems to train on. And so I think the venture capitalists and the private equity groups have figured that out. And they'll pass on those 20, but they'll look for a group that has five of the system that they're already running. I think that we're on the other side of people expanding just to expand their numbers because they're finding out that's just too hard to stabilize once they buy it. So I think we'll see those types of duct tape DSOs. And again, I'm just pontificating. But I think we're going to see those 15 to 20 locations that are somewhat duct taped together get split-off. And I still think we will see consolidation, but it'll be more like let's call it NCAA football, where we're going to have super powers, we're going to have the heartlands and the Pacifics and the out of California.

Charles Moser:
We're going to have groups of 3000 or 3500 offices, and we will have some superpowers in the consolidation. World of dentistry. And I think the good news with that is if they do it right, I think Heartland does a really good job of it, actually. Didn't you work for Heartland? Did you?

Noel Liu:
No. No,

Charles Moser:
No. Okay. They have a really robust training program. If you come into Heartland and you want to be a great dentist, Heartland creates that opportunity for you. My hat's off to them. So I think that's a really great avenue. And we can have that. Now how does Heartland get out? You know, once you've got 3500 locations, you know, that's another podcast. But yeah. So I think that's where we are. I think that private equity has gotten smarter. There will still be some really nice multiples if you have something of value for them to buy. There's still plenty of money on the sidelines out there, but they're not giving crazy multiples for bad deals anymore.

Noel Liu:
And how important is management in a group?

Charles Moser:
Well.

Noel Liu:
or it's not really important?

Charles Moser:
Give me more to that. So in other words, if I'm buying something how important is management.

Noel Liu:
Correct. So let's say if you are a private equity guy and you're looking into a deal, let's say eight locations, for example, how important is the management company like in terms of managing all the offices like oh, it's probably managers.

Charles Moser:
Well, as far as the org chart goes, I don't think that the management company is going to be that important because they're just going to dissolve your management company and put everything underneath theirs.

Noel Liu:
Okay.

Charles Moser:
You know, I mean, I think certainly. But would that.

Noel Liu:
But would that consider them like it's not a duct tape DSO and it's like a little bit more aligned with what they're looking for rather than just everything clumped up together.

Charles Moser:
I think the big things that they're looking for are what is your practice management software. That is first and foremost. So if you're listening to this and you've got multiple locations and you have multiple practice management software, you need to be looking by the end of 2024, or at least the end of 2025, if your goal is to sell it. And that's your exit strategy, which is fine. It is a business. That's the first thing you should be looking at is, how do I get all of my practices on the same software. That is first and foremost, from a private equity standpoint, what they're looking for. The next thing that I think they're looking for is what are your onboarding and training systems. Because I think that COVID is well behind us as far as from an employee standpoint. I love what I heard not too long ago at a seminar where they said, the labor war is over and labor won, okay? They did at $20 for minimum wage in California now. And we know what hygienists are making. And I don't know how you put that toothpaste back in the tube. So labor won. But having said that, we do have people now that are looking for jobs.

Charles Moser:
People are coming back into the workforce. We are paying a lot for it, but at least we have options. Now, having said that, I do think that we still see a certain amount of turnover. And again, if you're listening to this and you want to know how to win the game, you have to figure out how to train and onboard people to be productive fast. That's the key. When you lose an office manager, when you lose a regional manager, when you lose a dental assistant or hygienist, whatever it is, the faster you can bring in somebody new and train them and onboard them to be productive, the better off you are and you win. Because now you're not a slave, you're not held hostage or whatever. I don't know what I can say politically correct. You're not at the beck and call, right? Thank you. You're not at the mercy of the employee anymore. You could take somebody and you can onboard them, train them. And if you want to go just another layer deeper into that, I'll maybe give somebody a nugget here. Ask yourself the question, what position are you training and what are they going to be doing 75 to 80% of the week? What is their role look like that they do 75 to 85% of the week trained to those things?

Charles Moser:
Don't necessarily put somebody next to somebody and say, hey, sit next to Doctor Liu and watch what he does. That person may not be doing what Doctor Liu does, right? So why are we training them on something that they're not going to be doing every day, all day? The idea is to get them trained on the things that they're going to be doing every day, all day. You have to recognize when you turn people over to train people, what are they going to train them on? They're going to train them on the things that they do well, which, again, might not be the things that person is supposed to be doing. So again, big gold nugget for people out there right now. If you've got somebody that's new that just started or is starting tomorrow, ask yourself the question what is their main function? What are they going to be doing 75 to 85% of the week and train them on those things? Get them proficient as fast as possible.

Noel Liu:
Love it. So onboarding number one is practice management and onboarding. What else?

Charles Moser:
Yeah. So I think that, you know, a good healthy new patient flow.

Noel Liu:
Are they also looking to the retention of associate doctors or?

Charles Moser:
I mean I think they are. But again I think that is probably the biggest unknown out there. So look I think that you can't talk about that in a gross generality type of thing. So let's talk about the extremes. I was a dental director for a Medicaid, DSO. We do 12 things, we just don't do a lot of stuff. So our onboarding and training was what I just said. We trained, we took new grads, and we trained them to do sealants, trophies, composites, pulpotomy, and stainless steel crowns. And if we could get them proficient at that, they could be a great asset to a Medicaid DSO. Flip that around. And now you've got these super GP DSOs, and you've got people that are doing all on X, sedation, all these kind of really fancy things, the veneers, and just really complex dentistry. You better have a path to partnership in place for those people because it takes you way too long to get those people up and running to do ten, 15, $20,000 a day, right? But in our case, when the Medicaid DSO, nobody was a partner, we had 200 associates. None of them had partnerships because they were easy to replace. So we got bought three times. We went through three flips, and associate retention was not an issue at all, because we could take a new grad and get them up to speed in a matter of months.

Noel Liu:
Makes perfect sense. Yeah. So for someone to start with a group practice, I mean, somebody who has one practice and now they want to be like, hey, I want to open up a second or a third. What is one of those main things you see in the industry that's the why. Why do they want to do it?

Charles Moser:
Ego.

Noel Liu:
Love it.

Charles Moser:
I think come on now. Let's be fair, I'm not saying that as a negative either. I'm just saying that we all just again, let's be honest, okay? A lot of ego out there, which is fine. Again, I think it's my bias from the seat that I sit in is how many people call me during the week and say, how do I get out of the chair? And I've had dentists, three or four years out-of-school tell me, I don't like this. How do I get out of the chair? It breaks my heart, okay? Breaks my heart because I injured my hand and I had to quit at 16 years or I'd still be sitting there and I would have never met you, which would have been a terrible thing. But, you know, I'd still be cutting teeth and taking care of people, right? So when people call me and say, how do I get out of this? And there's a couple of Facebook groups out there that are posting things from dental students, right, that are already talking about, oh my God, I hate this. You know, what should I do? Like, man, I mean really, it just breaks my heart.

Noel Liu:
And then dental school, they can always just say, hey, I'm going to call it quits rather than going through the whole nine yard and then quitting afterwards. Right? I mean, the sooner they quit, the better, right? Because you and I, we both know dentistry is not for everybody.

Charles Moser:
So it is not.

Noel Liu:
It is not these guys they got in by mistake or they thought, you know, the money was good and now they're finding out that, okay, it's a lot of back-breaking kind of procedures.

Charles Moser:
It is hard. Yeah. So I mean I don't know I think that maybe there are more entrepreneurs in the dental space than there were 20 years ago. And so that's why they want to create a group practice.

Noel Liu:
So going back to your first statement that you said, do it for the love of patients and do it with the patient care and patient-centric, these guys who actually hold the dental degree. And now they want to open up a good practice because they just don't want to practice dentistry. Do you think they are contributing to the problem, the issue, or are they solving the issue? Not to name anyone specifically, but just kind of pointing it out.

Charles Moser:
Don't have anybody specific to name. I mean, look, there's good guys and bad guys in every industry.

Noel Liu:
Sure.

Charles Moser:
But I can tell you is that dentistry 30 years ago was, I believe, third in ethics perceived by the public.

Noel Liu:
Correct.

Charles Moser:
That's not the case anymore. So that says a lot. Yeah, it says a lot. And the problem is, is that low quality dentistry is so damaging to people. If you get a bad haircut, a bad manicure, you buy a bad suit, a bad car, or whatever, you know, I don't care if you buy a $75,000 Mercedes, right? And it's a bad car, you can still get out of that if you do bad dentistry. You cripple people for life. There's some serious consequences to it. One of my mentors used to say surgeons bury their mistakes. Dentists have to see them every six months, you know?

Noel Liu:
Right. Let's just stick on this for a little bit because, you know, you and I, we both know. Like even I had associates in the past where they burned those patients. And, you know, we get to deal with them still. And my new associates are getting to deal with them. What do you think is going on? Is it because of one of those scenarios where you felt like this guy went to dental school, and now he came out, now he doesn't want to do dentistry anymore? Or is he just like doing it for the money, or is he just doing it for. You know what, I don't care, it's not my mouth.

Charles Moser:
I think there's a lot to be said about what we were talking about earlier, about if I were you, I would take that expression back to your associates and say, I want you to pretend like your name is on the top of the building. Every time you see a patient, I want you to see your name at the top of the building. And it'd be interesting to, I don't know how you do this study, but my office, the name of my office was Charles S. Moser, DDS. It wasn't Apple dentistry, best case scenario dentistry, or amazing dentistry, right? I mean, it was personalized. My brand was my name, not some fancy elite dental partners type of thing right?

Noel Liu:
Right.

Charles Moser:
So there was an old commercial as a car commercial that said, would you do your job differently if you had to sign your name to everything that went out of your office? If you had to put your name on everything that you did, would you do it differently? And so I think that's what I'm saying to you, is that people should tell their associates, I want you to practice dentistry like your name was on the building, and as if you had to sign everything.

Noel Liu:
And that changes a perception.

Charles Moser:
I mean, yeah, yeah. You know, so that's number one. But we were talking about.

Noel Liu:
So we were talking about like these guys who are actually got into the dental field, let's say by mistake or they don't like it or they change their mind, they cannot do dentistry anymore or, you know, various reasons. And they want to go and start group practices. And now they are looking at the hard work in group practices where profit is all of a sudden is dipping because it can't be everywhere at all at the same time. And now they are like, all right, cool, I hate dentistry, I don't like to be in that dentist. And now I got to run this business and now I'm in a dark zone. So with this whole circle of cloud, how do you analyze situations like this? Because since you are coaching a lot of people, I'm sure you come across guys like this.

Charles Moser:
Oh yeah. Well, all you're doing is shifting your challenges. You're just shifting your problems. You know, if you want to create a group practice and build a network of offices with a bunch of associates and not be at the chair, if you think that's easy, then you need to think again. It's just a different hard, you know, it's just not practicing dentistry. Which by the way, at least practicing dentistry is within your control, right? Your associates practicing dentistry is not in your control.

Noel Liu:
That goes back to the core value that you just said. Right. Patient centric. But let's say these guys, you know, they don't care about their work. They don't care about their name. They're just like doing like crappy work, for example. And now they have a group practice. Now I can see what the culture is going to go and now when they get in trouble. So basically it's like, hey, what about patients, right? Patient first or is it the profit first?

Charles Moser:
If you do great dentistry and create great experiences for people, and you understand how to lead teams of people, inspire them and value them, and empower them to make decisions, you'll find that you'll make money. Just figuring out how to make money without those things means churning patients, right? Just a whole bunch of new patients, a whole bunch of same-day dentistry, and just churn, churn, and churn. By the way, when I was practicing dentistry and when my clients told me about the same-day dentistry that they did, I said, that's great, but I want you to know, my goal is that you don't do same-day dentistry. That's my goal because I'd like you to have a schedule of patients that come in to get their work done. And it's predictable. That's the work you're doing. You already know what your production is. All the insurance is taken care of. This whole idea of same-day dentistry is Russian roulette. You know, it's just mind-boggling to me. So the goal should be not to do any same-day dentistry. The goal should be to treat people well. Look, man, when was the last time you bought something for $5,000 that you took 45 minutes to think about? We don't. I mean, we research the shit out of things. We got to go talk to people. We're going to get on the internet. We're going to look it up. We're going to look at reviews, and we have patients that come in and we create five, ten, $15,000 treatment plans, and we put them in a room with a treatment coordinator and expect them to close that case. And we do it. I mean, it's done. I think that's pretty incredible, frankly.

Noel Liu:
But well, I guess it depends. What's the patient's goal and patient's outcome like, you know, what are they looking for? If they're looking for somebody who wants to get it done the same day, that's a different story, right?

Charles Moser:
Well, if you have an emergency or something like that or some small dentistry that you can fit in. Sure, absolutely. But when we talk about same-day dentistry being 50 to 60% of a person's production, everyday. That's a tall order. I think what I heard just the other day was that same-day dentistry should be about 15 to 20% of your day. And I was like, okay, I can handle that, right? That's the emergency that walks in or something like that, or something that comes out of hygiene, that you turn around and put them into a restorative chair. But they've already been a patient of yours. It's not that new patient that came in at 9:00, and at 3:00 they're still in the chair. You know, they've spent all day at the dental office. Correct, correct.

Noel Liu:
There are those days where these doctors will be, you know, seeing patients for at least like 4 to 5 hours. Yeah, that's a little bit excessive I agree, I agree 100%.

Charles Moser:
Yeah.

Noel Liu:
So switching gears a little bit now since we spoke about the group practices, what is a good part about a solo practitioner and they're partnering up with let's say a DSO or maybe like a group practice with multiple offers? And they want to grow still. Where do you see like the collaboration? What are some of the good and the bads that you're seeing?

Charles Moser:
Well, so there are a lot of good, frankly. I mean, dentistry for so long was a cottage industry, the whole shingle thing, right? And we were on our own island and we didn't talk to the dentist down the street. We really were very isolated, which meant that we didn't share ideas, we didn't share concepts, we didn't share out of the box thinking. And so I think it delayed the industry's growth medicine. You had these hospitals, right? So you had these just huge, abundant amounts of clinicians. If you've ever been in an operating room setting, you know that there's this room where all the surgeons sit, right? And they all eat their donuts and drink their coffee while their patients are being prepared for surgery. And they get to sit there and talk about things. And maybe not all of it's medicine but at least they have a way to share. And we didn't have that. So I think the group practice, the larger practice settings, create an environment where we're much more willing to share information and collaborate and ask people. And again, if you have the ability to be vulnerable and say, hey, this didn't come out so good, you know, how do you handle this situation? Right? So I think that's been a really good thing. Now, why hasn't that happened? Well, it hasn't happened for the most part, because people won't drive 50 miles to go to the dentist.

Charles Moser:
They will drive 50 miles to go to a hospital to have surgery. But we want our dentists to be close by. So we're having to move that patient mindset out of this dentist on every corner type of thing in this consolidation realm. And I think that probably in 30 to 50 years from now, you will see people driving further to go to the dentist, because we'll have more dentists in one location type of thing, and we'll be able to share expenses and share some costs and hopefully control the price of dentistry these days. So I think that's a really big plus about group practices, is being able to share ideas and learn and have a mentor, maybe even just somebody that's 2 or 3 years out of school ahead of you. Right? But just someone that you can I used to call it a hand that you can high five and a shoulder that you can cry on. You know, they filled the bill for both of those. So that's a really good thing. And I think that also look, dentistry is a business. And clinicians who go to dental school are not trained to run businesses. So I do think there is definitely a need for corporate dentistry. I think that absolutely, we should be letting business people run the business, and we should be letting clinical people run the clinics. And when you have that synergy, when it works well, which we did, we had a really great CEO.

Charles Moser:
It worked very, very well. We made money and we like to call it. We put enough pressure on each other to create a diamond, right? Because they would push us and we would push them. But neither one, the clinicians, had 51% of the decision-making power. That's the way it was set up. We told the business guys, you can decide what number two pencils we buy. You can decide what computers we use, but you do not walk into the laboratory. And so I do think there's a need. I mean, we do need to be teaching these clinicians business. They need to understand what the metrics are. They need to understand what the baselines are. How much of your PNL should be your staff, how much should you be spending on labs? Because, look, a percent is a big deal.

Noel Liu:
Of course.

Charles Moser:
A percentage is a big deal. People don't think it is until you say, okay, well, what'd you do? Like what was your production last year? We did $1 million. What's 1% of that? It's $10,000. It's like, okay, well, give that to me. Like you're crazy. So evidently 1% is a big deal. You know, if you don't want to just give me ten grand. If it's not that big of a deal, then I'll take ten grand.

Noel Liu:
That's a big deal, right? Exactly, exactly. So how much of it do you think it's supposed to be? Like a school's responsibility to teach those students? Or is it something that should be like part of the curriculum, or should it be like part of the CEE or something where these guys should just, like, collaborate and just let him do it? Or should a dentist even learn all these financials?

Charles Moser:
No, no, nobody should be teaching it. They should all go to www.bluehorsepersonal development.com and reach out to me and let me help them with that. So.

Noel Liu:
No definitely. Definitely. I don't think you've been coaching right. You've been coaching for a while. Yeah. And you know some of the drawbacks that, you know, we all go through.

Charles Moser:
Oh yeah. No, I so you asked a question earlier that I didn't answer properly. It was about some of these clinicians deciding to go into group practice and how to do it the right way.

Noel Liu:
The right way. Yeah. And avoid some of the pitfalls.

Charles Moser:
Yeah. So step number one is you need to evaluate what your risk tolerance is. Okay. And that's a question that a lot of people don't ask themselves. It's like so I used to ask my patients. Because selling dentistry and I don't mind the word sell, what I was selling was moral and ethical. Selling dentistry was a matter of creating a treatment plan that met the needs of the patient, such that they were able to do the things that they valued with their teeth. I would say to them, what's the most important thing to you about your teeth? And they'd say, well, I want to keep them. I like to eat, I like to smile. Everything that I've designed for you is designed to do just that, to keep you eating, to keep you smiling, and to keep you healthy. Would that be okay with you? And the patient would say, of course, it is. The next thing I needed to figure out was what is their risk tolerance. And so I would say to them, would you drive your car from Houston to Dallas, which is a 220-mile drive? Would you drive from Houston to Dallas on a bald tire? Now think about that. Would you drive yourself? Would you drive four hours on a bald tire on the highway?

Noel Liu:
Personally, I wouldn't, but okay, somebody would, right?

Charles Moser:
Somebody would. So the person that says no has a low-risk tolerance, right? The person that says yes has a high-risk tolerance. If I've got a patient that's got a three-surface restoration in their mouth, that's got a little bit of an open margin or whatever like that, and they have a high-risk tolerance. Do you think I have a real good chance of converting them to do a build up in a crown? No, because they're going to say to me, I'll come back when it breaks. I'll come back when it hurts. Right? It's like, okay. I mean, I'll explain to them the ramifications and the consequences, but I'm also going to just write in their chart that this person is willing to take the risk, and we will be here for them when they need us. But when Doctor Liu comes into my office and says, hey, man, if anything looks like it's going to blow up in 2 to 3 years, I want to fix it now. That is a low-risk tolerance. So I'm going to present the treatment plan to you. I'm going to quadrant it out to you. And I'm going to say we're going to do this. And each quadrant is going to be two appointments and an eight appointments. Three months. We're done. And you're on re-care.

Charles Moser:
Here's what it costs. Here's how you can finance it. When would you like to start? We have Thursday at 8 a.m. open-type of thing. So the clinicians who are going into business and who are going into group practice need to ask themselves the same question, what is your risk tolerance? When your banker calls you and says, hey, that balloon note that you took out 12 months ago is now due and your line of credit is maxed out. How does that make you feel? Because that happens. It's fixable. You can solve it, you can take care of it. But if that's going to cost you stomach lining and sleep, you need to think about slowing your pace down a little bit, right? Make sure you've got the cash in the bank to do these deals. Don't be taking loans from people named whatever. You don't want to end up in the bottom of Lake Michigan because you can't pay your loan.

Noel Liu:
Correct.

Charles Moser:
So what is your risk tolerance? And if you can take a lot of risk and you can get the money and dentists can, then go for it, man. Have a great time. Do quality dentistry. But you're taking a big risk. If you are not a risk taker, then you want to go slower.

Noel Liu:
And so with that being said, how important are mentors and coaches?

Charles Moser:
They're everything right now and I love what I do and I am one of so many great ones out there. There are a lot of, again, I don't care who your coach is, I don't care if it's me or not but you got to get one because you will have so, let's take it into the positive, things will be so much easier for you if you have an objective opinion that can push back on you and say, no, why are you buying this office? Your other three practices are not even close to maximized. Why are you looking at a fourth practice? It's kind of like what we were talking. When we were talking about how do people train people? They train people on what they do. Well, well, you're buying this practice because you get excited about buying practices, not because it's the right thing to do, because it excites you. And that null ego, right? It's like, oh, now I have four practices. Now I have five practices. Right? And that's a great thing to say at a dental convention. But it's a crummy way to be if you are taking money from practice one and two to pay the bills for practice three and four, that is not a good place to be.

Noel Liu:
So got it.

Charles Moser:
That's definitely a need to get a coach. You definitely need to get somebody who will push back on you. And if they're not creating pain for you, they're not a good coach. They need to be pushing back enough on you to where you're kind of pissed off at them every once in a while.

Noel Liu:
I love it.

Charles Moser:
No, no, seriously, because you don't want to hire just a yes man. I mean, this is not a job where you just, oh, you're amazing. Every once in a while, they're going to tell you something you don't want to hear, which is typically you're the problem, not your team. That's typically what they don't want to hear, so yeah.

Noel Liu:
It kind of reminds me of the analogy of when Jordan was playing and Grover was his coach or his mentor, right? I mean, he used to pick stuff out, which used to piss a crap out of Jordan. And I still remember this time where, you know, he's considered the greatest basketball player of all time, but yet his coach knows his weaknesses.

Charles Moser:
Yeah

Noel Liu:
I love it. And I love it. What you just said.

Charles Moser:
One of my favorite stories was Jack Nicholas in The Masters. He was on part three, and his son, Jack Jr, was his caddy. And Nicholas looked at him and said, you know, what's the yardage to the pen? And he said 182, or 183, something like that. And Jack Nicklaus looked at his son and said, which one is it? I mean, you know, right, if you're not going to give me a number, then I don't need a range. I can see, right? I need a number. So, wow, that's what your coach is for, is to tell you, hey, this is not about blind spots. Yeah, it's not about getting close. This is about getting it, you know?

Noel Liu:
Yeah, exactly. So it's either you win or you don't, right?

Charles Moser:
You know, that's a really great statement because I see a lot of people doing great things out there. And they're making money, and they're doing good dentistry, and they're living the life and they're having a good time. And then I see people that are just underwater, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground, you know. And here's another really interesting thing, Noel; this came to me the other day, too. It's like I have clients that have one practice. And when I ask them to do something, they'll say to me, I don't have the time. I have clients that have 20 practices, and when I ask them to do something, they say, oh, I don't have the time. And I'm like, wait a minute, what's going on here? That this guy's got 20 practices, and you've got one practice, but neither one of you has the time to do anything.

Noel Liu:
What did you make out of it?

Charles Moser:
I don't know what to make out of that. Well, Parkinson's law.

Noel Liu:
Yes.

Charles Moser:
Parkinson's law, right? Parkinson's law simply says that the time allotted that you give to the work will be filled by the work that you give the time allotted to.

Noel Liu:
And I'm a true believer in that.

Charles Moser:
Right?

Noel Liu:
Right. I procrastinate a lot of things.

Charles Moser:
Well, if I give you an hour and a half to do a crown prep, you'll take an hour and a half. If I give you 45 minutes to do it, you'll take 45 minutes. If I say to you, this patient is late, but they want to do two crowns, and you only have 35 minutes, you'll do it 35 minutes.

Noel Liu:
Precisely. It's all the goal and the target that you have set in place for us.

Charles Moser:
Let's get to work. Let's get to work.

Noel Liu:
So, last question for you.

Charles Moser:
Sure.

Noel Liu:
Let's talk about leadership. How important is leadership in practice, in group practice, and in any organization?

Charles Moser:
So, however important anybody thinks it is, quadruple it. And then double it again.

Noel Liu:
Quadruple it, and then double it again.

Charles Moser:
You have no clue how important it is unless, you know you know, you know, type of thing. Here's the proof. You can have great systems but lousy leadership.

Charles Moser:
Now, do you like that combination, or do you like average systems with great leadership? Which one of those scenarios would you prefer?

Noel Liu:
Second one.

Charles Moser:
Give me average systems with great leadership every day and twice on Sunday. Another way to put it is I would rather have everybody hitting on all cylinders, executing a mediocre plan than people not executing on a great plan. And the way that happens is through leadership. It doesn't happen through systems. It happens through leadership. Leaders do three things every day. They value the people they work with. They inspire people to do things that they never thought they could do on their own. And they empower people to make decisions, not tasks, but to make decisions that will retain your people. They will not leave you for $0.25 an hour if they get to come into a place and make decisions and know that their boss has their back. Look, man, none of these decisions that are being made are all that big of a deal. We're not asking them to make the decision. Should we buy this practice or not? But we might ask them to say, hey, I want you to evaluate the front desk of this practice.

Charles Moser:
I'm giving you the power to bring me the information on this. There's a really amazing statement that says the sophistication of an organization can be determined by the number of people who can say, yes, now think about that. If you're listening to this, I want you to ask yourself how many people in your organization can say yes to something, and if you're the only one that has the ability to say yes, guess who the problem is. You're the bottleneck, right? Every decision, if you're out there and you're like, oh my God, every day I have to make every decision. They come to me and ask me, can we buy more C-fold towels? Can I go get some more swifter mop things to clean the office? Can I order more copy paper? Can I call the IT service? If you're the only person that can answer those questions, that's ridiculous. That's why you hate dentistry, okay? That's why you hate coming to the office, is because you're overwhelmed with ridiculous decisions that you should not be making. All of that is leadership. It's all leadership.

Noel Liu:
And how does it affect the vision of that practice?

Charles Moser:
Well, you can't execute a vision because nobody has been buying your vision, right? Your team isn't bought into it

. First of all, they don't know it. I mean, if you're that person, your team doesn't know your vision. Okay? You probably haven't even established a vision yet, frankly. Dentistry is a very unique situation where we do need a vision and we do need core values because from the core values culture is created. It just doesn't happen any other way. If you want a culture of teamwork, then you have to embody teamwork every day. And I have to say to you, Doctor Liu, I would say, okay, well, how do you demonstrate teamwork every day? And if we have a team of people that embody and demonstrate teamwork every day, then our patients will walk in and say, y'all are a great team here. And guess what? That means we have a culture of teamwork. But if it's just words on a page and you're trying to build culture from words on a page, it doesn't happen that way.

Noel Liu:
It doesn't happen.

Charles Moser:
It doesn't happen that way.

Noel Liu:
No one feels it, right?

Charles Moser:
No one. Feels it. So you cannot execute your team if you don't have the buy-in from your teammates on your vision, and you will not get the buy-in from your teammates if you're just managing them every day. It's carrot and stick, carrot and stick, carrot and stick. If you do it right, you get the carrot. If you don't get it right, you get the stick, and you will not get people to buy into your vision, and they will leave you for $0.25 an hour to go work for the guy down the street. And you cannot. Look, you weren't taught this stuff in dental school, right? I mean, so this is why you need a coach. They're not expensive. It's the best investment you will make. Believe me. You spent more on your lab five times your lab bill. You know, whatever. I'm just telling you, you have to do it. It doesn't have to be me. I don't care, by the way, I only have room for, like, three more clients if anybody wants to call me, so you know.

Noel Liu:
Exactly; with that being said, how did it get a hold of you?

Charles Moser:
The name of the company is Blue Horse Personal Development, and the website is www.bluehorsepersonaldevelopment.com or bluehorsepd.com is all one word, of course. Now, my friend and partner, Doctor Tarek Aly, and I are about to launch a new program, and I really can't say much more other than the first 30 people who get in will get in at a 60% savings.

Noel Liu:
Wow.

Charles Moser:
So here's the deal. If you go to my website, www.bluehorsepd.com, and you just reach out to me, you just do that contact me page. I will put you on a list to reach out to you in May, and you will be first up to be one of the first 30 people. We will not sell your information. I am not fishing for emails. I just can't tell anybody really anymore about it. But it'll be some of the biggest powerhouses in dentistry. Might even be Doctor Liu involved in this. And it is going to really stand the dentistry world on its ear. In www.bluehorsepersonaldevelopment.com just send me your email. I'll put you on the list. We will not sell it. We will not solicit you. We will just offer you first into this new opportunity.

Noel Liu:
So we'll definitely have the link us as well and the URL as well on the pod. So,

Charles Moser:
Oh sure.

Noel Liu:
Awesome. Absolutely. So let's land the plane. Well, thanks again, Doctor Moser. I mean, it was a great honor to have you and share so much insights. Great, great nuggets that you dropped.

Charles Moser:
The pleasure was mine. No, it was great to see you again. And yeah, I hope your listeners got something out of it that they can use.

Noel Liu:
100% I think they did. So, with that being said, thanks again for joining us on our Secure Dental podcast. Make sure to like and subscribe, and we will be back next month with more episodes with great talents, just like Doctor Moser.

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.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you'd love including transcribe multiple languages, advanced search, powerful integrations and APIs, secure transcription and file storage, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

About Dr. Charles Moser:

Dr. Charles Moser is an executive business coach for dentists. His 16 years at the chair and over 15 years in the DSO space give him a perspective that has helped many dentists/ owners build and expand their businesses the right way. 

Whether you are looking to grow or maximize your current situation, Dr. Moser can help. 

Dr. Moser was a key member of the DEO team. And is a Certified Speaker Trainer and Coach for the John Maxwell team. 

He always has an interesting perspective on the state of our industry but will never waiver in his belief that quality patient care and an excellent experience should be the primary focus of any practice.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • The dentistry field is rapidly consolidating and morphing into powerful entities. Understanding this trend is key to positioning your practice for success.
  • The quality and vision of leadership are pivotal in driving any dental practice’s success, even more so than the systems in place.
  • Balancing profitability with ethical patient care remains paramount. Dentists must commit to accountability and prioritize patient-centric decisions.
  • Navigating the trends and understand the inevitable wave of consolidation in dentistry and what it means for your practice.
  • Discover the pivotal role of effective management and why private equity may redefine your business model.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Charles Moser on LinkedIn and his website.
  • Learn more about the Blue Horse Personal Development here.
Categories
Podcast

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.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you'd love including secure transcription and file storage, automated subtitles, automatic transcription software, automated translation, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

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.