Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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887 Dental Instrument Evolution with Linda J. Miller, CEO & Owner of Paradise Dental Technologies : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

887 Dental Instrument Evolution with Linda J. Miller, CEO & Owner of Paradise Dental Technologies : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

11/21/2017 9:19:03 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 229
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887 Dental Instrument Evolution with Linda J. Miller, CEO & Owner of Paradise Dental Technologies : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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887 Dental Instrument Evolution with Linda J. Miller, CEO & Owner of Paradise Dental Technologies : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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PDT, Inc. was born in my two-car garage in 2000 - a new beginning based on more than 30 years’ experience in the dental industry. I wanted to bring fresh and improved products to hygienists, growing out of those decades of listening to your observations, ideas, suggestions, and new technology. The corporate name, Paradise Dental Technologies, came from my determination that our employees, our dental partners, and your patients should have the finest possible products available in the dental marketplace. It should be Paradise! Dental instrument design, evolution, and development have been my professional life for thirty-plus years and it has always been fascinating and rewarding. It has been fun and interesting to work in clinics around the world, see new techniques and address ongoing issues. There are always new technologies to explore and examine and so many ways to make things better. I am proud to offer what I believe are the most carefully designed and hand-crafted dental instruments available, as well as the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective instrument sharpening system I have ever seen! Take a look at our Amazing Graceys™, Wingrove Implant Scalers™, Micro-Serrated Periotomes™, and ACE™ Furcation Probes! All are innovative and exciting products born from ideas brought to us by practitioners like you, and now touching lives in more than thirty different countries. We love what we do, and we enjoy working with all of you. Come by our booth at tradeshows, attend one of our training sessions, phone one of our representatives with your questions, or just give us a call. We plan to continue introducing exciting and innovative products to make your lives better, and we are grateful that you have made us the fastest-growing dental instrument company in the World! Thank you for partnering with PDT, Linda J. Miller, CEO PDT, Inc. Paradise Dental Technologies, we are innovators in dental product design and creators of The Montana Jack. PDT, Inc. - Paradise Dental Technologies operates in over 50 countries worldwide as an industry leader creating superior quality dental instruments and products with a focus on ergonomics, innovative solutions, and purpose-driven design. Our core principles and products have been developed through years of listening to, observing, and working with clinicians since our CEO and Founder Linda Miller entered the dental industry in 1981. PDT's products center on providing superior ergonomics, comfort, and efficiency for every practitioner while also improving patient comfort and recovery.

www.pdtdental.com

Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Linda J. Miller. Thank you so much for stopping by my home. And can I tell them why you were in town?

Linda: Oh yes!

Howard: and could stop by my hand?

Linda: Definitely.

Howard: Somebody just had her first grandson, or grandchild.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: Yeah. Little Alice, so woot woot to Alice.

She is the CEO and owner of Paradise Dental Technologies. You might of heard it as PDT Inc. And it was born in her two-car garage in the year 2000. A new beginning based on more than 30 years experience in the dental industry. She wanted to bring fresh and improved products to hygienists, growing out of those decades of listening to your observations, ideas, suggestions and new technology.


The corporate name Paradise Dental Technologies came from her determination that her employees, dental partners and patients have the finest possible products available in the marketplace. It should be paradise.

Dental instrument design, evolution and development has been her professional life for 30 plus years and has always been fascinating and rewarding. It has been fun and interesting to work in clinics around the world, see new techniques and address ongoing issues. There are always new technologies to explore and examine, so many ways to make things better. She is proud to offer what she believes are the most carefully designed and handcrafted dental instruments available, as well as the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective instrument sharpening system she's ever seen.

She wants you to look at her Amazing Graceys, Wingrove implant scalers, micro serrated periotomes and ACE furcation probes. All are innovative and exciting products born from ideas brought to her by practitioners like you, and now touching lives in more than 30 different countries. She loves what she does, she enjoys working with dentists and hygienists. So tell us about your 30 years experience. What was your 30 years experience and how did that lead into starting Paradise Digital Technologies in the year 2000, which is already 17 years ago? Does that mean you've been in this industry combined for 47?

Linda: I've been in this industry since 1981.

Howard: Wow.

Linda: So a long time.

Howard: And where did you begin at? What was in 1981?

Linda: In 1981 I started with American Dental, instrument manufacturing.

Howard: Now, isn't that in Montana too?

Linda: It was. I was very fortunate. I got a job there when jobs were hard to get in Missoula, Montana. And I started out in inventory control and went out into production and learned every step of manufacturing, which, little did I know --

Howard: You should embellish the story and say you started in the mailroom.

Linda: Actually, I did. No.

Howard: You got to include the mail in there somehow, I'm sure you delivered a letter to some desk.

Linda: I did.

Howard: Some cubicle.

Linda: Yes. And fortunately, I went into quality inspection. They needed a quality manager. So I became their quality manager within the first year of being there. I had a beautiful metallurgy lab, so I just dove into metallurgy testing and learned a lot about different steels and how to heat treat them, looking at green structures and did a lot of testing, working with customers, designing instruments way back then. And then 11 years later, when Hu-Friedy bought American Dental, they moved the company to Chicago.

Howard: And that's where Hu-Friedy is, in Chicago.

Linda: It is.

Howard: So when they bought American Dental, how many employees did they have?

Linda: They had 65 employees.

Howard: And that was in 1981?

Linda: That was in 1992.

Howard: So, in 1992, Hu-Friedy out of Chicago buys it and moves the company to Chicago.

Linda: Yes. Yes. And they offered a few of us jobs in Chicago. But at the time I had 30 acres, I was single, I had a couple of horses I'd ride every day and I wasn't a city girl. So I stayed in Montana. I started a quality control consulting business, helped start a lot of different medical device companies in the western Montana region. And then a core group of us from the old American Dental started another company. We pooled our money together and started American Eagle Instruments and so I was our quality manager.

Howard: So you were a co-founder of American Eagle?

Linda: I was.

Howard: Wow. And who did you do that with?

Linda: There were 13 of us from the old company and we brought in another investor to help us out.

Howard: Right on.

Linda: And I was in the field three weeks a month because I became one of the sales managers. And I loved to go into schools, I loved to go into dental offices, sit and watch what they were doing. I developed the first lightweight large handled EagleLite handle, because I was doing a program for Will Emmet Dental -- [00:05:03 Pise Permenatic] actually, they’re a big group practice. I was going to lecture to 120 hygienists.

Howard: Wow.

Linda: The person who lectured right before me was their workers comp person, agent, and was telling them 10 percent of their workforce was out on workers comp and how these little instruments were killing them. And I just wanted to crawl under the table instead of get up there and speak. So I had to get up and say, "Hey, I'm the one that's killing you. What can we do about that?" And so then I started my quest to really dive into ergonomics and say, "We need to make better instruments." So I developed the EagleLite handle and over the next years, while I was with American Eagle, there were other directions I thought instruments needed to go, and they weren't quite ready to go that way. So in 2000 I sold my share of American Eagle and I bought an old mill and punch press. In fact, the mill and punch press that were the start of American Dental, from the widow of the gentleman who had started American Dental. And started building the binders, the dyes, everything to make instruments again. And we launched Paradise.

Howard: That is so awesome. Today, young entrepreneurs, they don't want to get their hands dirty. And their first thought is, "Well, how can I find someone in China to make this." And you look at these stupid stories where, even big companies, they outsource all their golf club construction in China. Now they're going to the federal government, the justice department, to sue China because now they're selling them to other places in China. So it's like, "Okay, so you didn't want to provide jobs in America. So you have the Chinese make 'em and the lady working at the Waffle House getting $12 an hour for -- her taxes to go to the Justice Department to pay people.” I mean, I love the fact that you just said, "If I'm going to make an instrument, I'm going to make an instrument right here in Montana." That is a country girl.

Linda: We're going to keep all of our manufacturing in Montana.

Howard: Were you born in Montana?

Linda: I was born in Kansas.

Howard: Oh, that's right, you were born in Lawrence, Kansas.

Linda: Lawrence, Kansas.

Howard: K.U.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: So you've been a country girl, you were a Midwest country girl and now you're -- you consider Montana the northwest, right?

Linda: Yes. Yes.

Howard: But that is so cool. And in my 30 years, everything we've outsourced has been a disaster.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: I can't imagine outsourcing something all the way around the planet into Asia. Because you have to walk the floor to smell all the little things. The idea is a dime a dozen, but executing the details is everything.

Linda: Well I'm a quality geek, because my quality background as the quality manager. Everything has to be just right. So we have really tight tolerances, plus or minus 2000ths of an inch, which, a piece paper is four thousand seven inch thick. So we have tight, tight tolerances. And as we train people, because we're always growing, we're in 48 countries now, we're number two in the U.S. and we've been very blessed by --

Howard: Number two in the U.S. Who's number one?

Linda: Hu-Friedy

Howard: Hu-Friedy. Well that's a 100-year-old company.

Linda: It is.

Howard: How old is that company?

Linda: 104 years old.

Howard: 104, and how old are you?

Linda: Seventeen.

Howard: So to be a 17-year-old company, number two to 104, that's epic. So when you launched 2000 -- I'm just going to pretend we're on Shark Tank. Well, you know Mr. Wonderful, or Mark Cuban -- in 2000, when you launched, what product did you think would carry the day? What did you think -- when you were making a product, what was your first product and what did you think was hot, and all that, and could carry the company to the next product and the next product?

Linda: Well, our core products to start out with where hygiene instruments: curette scalers, explorers, probes, anything that a hygienist --

Howard: So then the hygiene was what? Curettes?

Linda: Curettes and scalers and explorers and probes with Murray ergonomic handles. Because 44 percent of hygienists suffer from carpal tunnel. And so we wanted to bring them relief, bring them the tactile sensitivity, make it much more comfortable for them. But then I also looked at the curvature of the blades, because blades over the years really haven't been that anatomical and they haven't improved that much. And so we've developed instruments like our Amazing Gracey which actually --

Howard: It's amazing grace.

Linda: It is! We came up with that name in a hot tub with bottles of wine.

Howard: Who sings that song, Amazing Grace?

Linda: Oh, it's a good old Christian song. Lots of people have sung it.

Howard: Yea, that's a great song. I don't mean to interrupt your back -- but podcasters are young, and I always say, "E-mail me: howard@dentaltown.com and tell me who you are, where you're from, like to see all those countries and states." But you wouldn't believe how many are d1, d2, d3. So you said: curettes, scalers.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: So that might of flown right over their head. What's the difference between a curette and a scaler?

Linda: A curette has a rounded toe and it goes subgingival. A scaler has a pointed toe and it is for super gingival scaling, removing the heavy-duty calculus. And our Montana Jack -- we developed a Montana Jack in 2002.

Howard: That's a cheese. So we've gone from a song to a piece of cheese.

Linda: We have.

Howard: So what was the number one? You said then you went to Montana Jack.

Linda: Well, we developed the Amazing Graceys. Because Graceys have always had a straight blade, so in dental school and hygiene school you're always taught place the blade against the tooth, rotate the toe in. Why? I mean, if then only the first one third of that blade is in contact with the tooth, the heel of the blade is distending the tissue. So we put a continuous curve on the blade, so it actually has continuous contact with the tooth. So one stroke instead of three strokes, so you're not distending the tissue, and you don't put that extra tweak on your hand. It just seems like common sense, but I'm a country girl. I look at common sense.

Howard: And common sense is not very common.

Linda: No it's not.

Howard: It's amazing how uncommon it is.

Linda: Yes. And our Montana Jack is kind of a mixture between a 204S and an H67, which were the most popular instruments for anterior and posterior scaling.

Howard: Say those instruments again.

Linda: 204S, and an H67. Which are posterior and anterior scalaes. And the Montana Jack, it's got just the right amount of contra-angle so it adapts much easier. It's more comfortable for the patient, more comfortable for the practitioner to adapt throughout the mouth with the instrument. And hygienists voted it as the number one scaler they can't live without.

Howard: And where was that vote?

Linda: Actually, that was a quote that the CRA came up with.

Howard: CRA. Gordon. And his wife is a hygienist. A hygienist and a Ph.D. in microbiology.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: So CRA, nice.

Linda: Yeah. So we've been very fortunate.

Howard: So on the ergonomics, is the instrument getting fatter so it's easier to handle?

Linda: It is.

Howard: I like anything that's getting fatter. Because I've been getting fatter for 30 years now.

Linda: Should I grab one out so we can see?

Howard: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Linda: Our instruments -- I worked with orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists, and the best diameter is 10 millimeters in diameter, and equal to or less than 15 grams in weight. And our instruments are 10 millimeters in diameter.

Howard: I never thought of grams associated with a dental instrument, I would say grams and drugs. That's the only time I have to use the metric system. No I'm just kidding. Nice.

Linda: So you can see how light that is.

Howard: So they're lighter and fatter.

Linda: They are. And then the grip also comes all the way down, where most grips stop partway back. And you can see the neural is very open.

Howard: I got to tell you a story about this. When I got out of school in ‘87 there was no rotary endo. So it was all hand files.

Linda: Yes.

Howard: From ‘87 to probably ’95 I had two blisters on my front figure and I always thought, “Why is that head so little?” Because you had to pinch it and sometimes you'd be in the middle of a root canal and you'd just be slapping your hand around, flipping it or getting some blood in your fingers. And then I thought it's too late to try to be ambidextrous and use the other hand. But they could have just made that little head fatter and people wouldn’t have been jumping into rotary as fast as they did, because you just had to get away from that little biddy thing.

Linda: Oh yes.

Howard: So fatter and lighter, 10 grams. So you like it 10 millimeters.

Linda: 10 millimeters and ours are actually 13 grams in weight.

Howard: Thirteen grams.

Linda:  And you want to be 15 or under to be a healthy instrument. Because weight is residual in your tendons and ligaments. And then the wider diameter, you don't have to pinch as much. Then we have this big neural which is wide and easy to clean but also gives you great control without heavy pinch.

Howard: Do you think it's also -- would add beneficial if you use the right hand or the left-hand gloves.? I know a lot of dental offices buy the cheapest glove. So if you have some really cheap mono-glove on, even with the greater instrument.  I've seen a lot of dentists who thought they were going to carpal tunnel.  I had an associate that had to have double carpal tunnel and a lot of people think, “Well, maybe if you had a nicer glove, the right /left”. Do you buy into any of that?

Linda: I do. Because the right and left actually form a fit better and so you don't get the pinching in your hands. So it is more comfortable for that.

Howard: Yeah. A friend of mine saw I was having so many back problems and popping my neck, I think it was ‘94. So from ‘87 to ‘94 Harry saw me getting jacked up. So one day he came in, didn’t even ask me, went in today’s dental, right by my office deal and hung a pullup bar. He said, “You know what you need to do? You need to come” -- That was with Tom Jacoby and Sam Dominic were there. And it was amazing, after an hour-long root canal, you’re all jacked up so then you think, “Well I should go to the bait room and snack on something.” But I would go back there and I would try to do -- the first time he put that up I could do like one pull up. And after a while I got up to like seven or eight or nine. But the ergonomics is serious.

Linda: Oh yeah.

Howard: I mean, you can't just sit there. And I got this ten pound bald bowling ball wanting direct vision and ergonomics is everything.

Linda: Oh it is. Even in our factory we had a physical therapist come in. And every hour we stand up and do exercises together that a physical therapist came up with for us. Just because we truly practice what we preach. We think it's so important. You've got to look after your health first.

Howard: Yeah. And what's sad is that the podcasters are younger. They're probably -- mostly I noticed that Dental Town had a quarter million dentists.  But when we came out with the app, went out to 60,000 downloads. And most of them were born after 1980, so they're millennials. So you younger kids have to realize that you can't abuse your body for 10, 20, 30 years. You can abuse it when you're young. I mean, if I wound up drinking like I did in college I'd probably have liver failure. You can get away with murder in your 20’s. But long term, repetitive abuse after 10, 20, 30 years you get disabled by this stuff.

Linda: Oh yes. And it is so important to have an ergonomic handle. Studies show that up to 70 percent of dentists have carpal tunnel and hand and wrist issues. And we can help alleviate that by using the right instruments. And prolong your career, be able to do the things you want to do outside your practice too, but also give good patient care because you have less tissue distension, you have greater control, greater adaptation.

Howard: So how long does it take to make something like this from start to finish?

Linda: In our processes it takes about three weeks.

Howard: Three weeks to make an instrument.

Linda: There are so many different steps. And because of the specialized heat treat process we do, we have special heat treat furnaces and then special cryogenic processes they have to go through. Heat treating is a recipe. And so these will actually hold their edge twice as long.

Howard: Because they’re heat treated?

Linda: Because of our special heat treating.

Howard: Okay, so back in the day there was also people using cold technology. They'd say if you take a metal and freeze it down to absolute zero that changes properties. And so, I've seen people talk about cold and heat.

Linda: We combine them.

Howard: Okay, so talk about that.

Linda: So we heat treat them first, but we have different times and temperatures in the heat treat process and different cooling processes. That's all proprietary. But we get our stainless steel up to 58 to 60 Rockwell C hardness. Most instruments on the market today are 52 to 54 Rockwell C.

Howard: You’re a complete nerd, right?

Linda: I am.

Howard: Has anybody told you you were not a nerd?

Linda: No. So normally if an instrument is stainless steel that hard, it's going to break. Now our instrument, we then throw it through that cryogenic process, a special cryogenic process, so that deep freezing.

Howard: So that’s some kind of liquid nitrogen?

Linda: A little bit further advanced than that. But yes, yes. It's using programs like that. And you can see, I can put 20 pounds pressure on this and it's not going to break, where normal instruments, you put six pounds pressure on it, it's going to snap. But then with our hardness, it also holds its edge two to actually seven times longer than other instruments that are out on the market. So less re-sharpening. But the beautiful thing is you can re-sharpen them and so you can continue to use them for -- most people use them for about two years in their practice.

Where a lot of the coated instruments these days, you use them -- they cost twice as much as this -- you use them for three months, you throw them away and you buy a new one. These, you use them for two years, it's better on the environment, it's better on your hand, because once an instrument starts going dull, it needs to be re-sharpened. You don't want to keep using it because you'll just burnish the calculus in place or you won't be able to get, if you're trying to trim inter proximally, you won't be able to get that cement off, you won't be able to get the overhangs like you could with a good, tough, sharp instrument.

Howard: Yeah and another way explorers last twice as long, especially in the hygiene room, is: you have a hygienist who went to four years of college. She says she got a stick on number three. And you look at that with a mirror and there's a black hole. Black means that photons of light are flying into that hole and not coming out. What do you need, a Ouija board? A cat scan? Do you think that patient wants you to stick their hole again? And you stand behind these dentists, and the hygienist, she'll say, “I got a stick on number three.” So she'll be like, “Hand me that explorer,” and she'll stick real good and the patient's like jumping out of the chair. And then she'll say, “Don't blow air on the buckle of the canine, it's real sensitive." “Really? Well give me the air water drain.” Pssst. “Ahhhhh.” And just say, "Well don't tap on the first bicuspid, it's got an abscess." “Really? Here give me the instrument, let me bang on it.” It's like, your explorer lasts twice as long but your hygienist says, “she got a stick on three.” She's either: a) correct, or b) a pathological liar. You know, just solve that. I don't think the patient wants stock air blown and pounded on a tooth again.

Linda: That's right.


Howard: It's funny, at 30 years of dentistry I can diagnose occlusal decay with a mirror. There's a reason something's black and there's another reason some enamel is white.


Linda: That's right.


Howard: So what are you showing me now?


Linda: And we do coat instruments too, but I coat my composite instruments so they have a non-stick finish.


Howard: Nice. It's amazing. I'm so used to only looking at instruments with three point eight loops on.


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: So what's the coating process like? How does that happen?


Linda: It's titanium nitrite coating. We actually send it away for a special coating, because our specialty is making the steel and the handles.


Howard: That's so cool that you make something. My dad was interesting. When he went on a family vacation, my dad, he turned into a kid. And he only had two things he wanted to do. He wanted to go to another city and go to their Six Flags Over Texas, Disneyland, Disney World theme park, and go visit their factories. And so when we went to Denver, most people just go straight to the ski slopes, Dad stopped by Coors beer and we got the whole tour. They are like you.


Linda: I would love that.


Howard: They make their glass! They actually make their -- Adolf Coors, he was like you. He's just, “I'm not outsourcing anything.” When we were going to buy a station wagon, Dad would only buy a station wagon if we could all drive to Chicago on a family vacation and watch it go through the whole deal. And we got in this golf cart tour thing and followed our car from start to finish and watched it wheel off the end. And then I transfer that to my boys. When we always went to vacation, how many dental companies did we stop at?


Ryan: A hundred.


Howard: One hundred. And do you remember those stories?


Ryan: Oh yeah, yeah.


Howard: I mean, some of their best friends, like Fred Joyal. See his deal, go to is home. A-dec; A-dec equipment at one end was just pallets of leather and plastic and metal beads and then a hundred yards down at the other end, dental chairs are coming off. I just think that is so cool. So next time I'm in Missoula, Montana, I want to come see this. So would just absolutely love that.


Linda: I would love that.


Howard: In fact, you know what would be fun? Selfishly, you should start like a -- you should have like a trout fishing, fly fishing.


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: Education weekend.


Linda: You fly fish?


Howard: Well, I attempt. I try. I really suck. I'd rather catch fish with a shotgun in a barrel of water. But yeah, that would be really fun to have a continuing education, Montana play -- and we've got to do that soon, before Yellowstone blows.


Linda: Oh that's right.


Howard: And the whole place is gone. I hear they've been having --


Linda: Right now we're just covered in smoke.


Howard: So, then what else are you going to show me?


Linda: Well, our focus is comfort for the patient, comfort for the practitioner. So I do have serrated periotomes as well, which have --

Howard: You got to explain what a periotome is. There might be someone listening that doesn't know.


Linda: A periotome is an extraction instrument. And with our serrated periotomes, if I can borrow this, this is our anterior. We actually slide down next to the tooth, we saw back and forth and cut through the periodontal ligament, and it's a very atraumatic way to extract a tooth. So I can come on around here and then saw completely around the tooth. And it's amazing, once that periodontal ligament is released, then the tooth just pops right up. And there's minimal --


Howard: Now that alone, you should get a product champion do a course on. Because what I see all the young kids doing, is they try to use their bicep and tricep with a forcep and they try to grab the tooth and they break off the half and then they can't get out the root. And the thing that you have to understand with the periotomes is hydraulics. If I put the Empire State Building in a beaker of water, I could just stick my finger in a hole and whatever the volume of my finger was, I could lift the Empire State Building. Just the way hydraulics works. And when you place those periotomes, and you go around, and you use a periotome and you go down, two things happen. Number one: when you're splitting that periodontal ligament away from the tooth, it starts leaking fluid and it starts swelling. So it's lifting the tooth, it's pushing the tooth out for you. And one of my best tricks you can do, is if you're using your periotome, you're using it --I remove probably 99 percent of my extractions with only periotomes and small [00:26:30 olaters]

About the only time I use a forcep is just to pick up the tooth, maybe it fell off into the sulcus or whatever and I just want to pick it up. But sometimes when you're doing that and the tooth just doesn't seem to budge, stop, take off your gloves, go do a hygiene check, go see on the ground, come back, that baby's waving in the wind. Because that periotome starts this inflammatory reaction, this trauma swelling and my gosh. And then if the crown did break, you can easily pick out the root tip because it's already being swollen. Periotomes are the most overlooked thing oral surgeons -- what percent of dentists do you think use periotomes routinely in their extractions?


Linda: Very small. I'd almost guess 15 per cent. But it's just a guess.


Howard: Yeah well, and when you say a number like that, usually it always ends up being the 80/20 rule. So probably 80 -- and then what do they do? They tell you, “Oh I hate extractions.” And then they refer it out a lot to their oral surgeon, while they have $350,000 student loans. And I always say, “That's a self-limiting belief in your head. When you suck at something, is why you hate it. So when you suck at something, that's when you start reading and searching and getting on Dental Town and Hygiene Town and finding out, how can I master it?” And then you'll find out that that thing that you hated, now that you mastered it -- if you could pull all your teeth in a minute, really would you hate oral surgery? So you're back there working on a tooth for an hour, solve that problem. Get that to under five minutes and then you'll love oral surgery. And periotomes is a must. It's a no brainer. It's a --


Linda: Oh it is. Now, traditional periotomes, you actually do a lot of ripping and tearing. With these, it's just a nice clean cut too, which is beautiful. Because the sulcus remains intact and you can just --


Howard: The way you said beautiful. You are into this, man. "That is beautiful." It's like she's looking at the Mona Lisa. And it was a periotome.


Linda: Yeah, I do. I go and I observe and I watch and I see what challenges practitioners have so that we can create solutions.


Howard: And that's why on Dental Town versus Ortho Town. Dental Town, when I started having it, people would get mad and they'd say, “Hey, there's non-dentists getting in. Because the goal was if you worked full time in dentistry you can get on Dental Town. And they'd say, “Well there's a person from a company and they're going to try to sell stuff.”  “Oh really dude, are you a volunteer? Where are you a volunteer? You work in public health? Tell me what Indian reservation you're on.” Because my belief -- and Ortho Town still does not believe that -- it's still you have to be an orthodontist. I own Ortho Town and can't get on it. And I think it's silly, because if all the hygienists or dentists are saying, “The problem is all the instruments are red and they need to be blue.” Well god, you have to be the one that knows that. If you don't know it, they're just bitching and moaning and complaining. And the amount of -- I'm surprised at how many companies in dentistry just don't go to the search bar, put in their company's name, and read everything about it.

And you know who they love the most to hear from? If I say Microsoft, you think Bill Gates. If I say Apple, you say Steve Jobs. They love the CEOs. If dentists and hygienists are ever given a chance to buy from a faceless institution, versus someone like -- I'll say, “Well why do you use that company?” And they'll say, “Aw, you know, I met Dan Fisher in an elevator.” And that was the game changer. And you're the CEO and the owner. You should do a search for oldies and have your logo be your face. Because when they're in [00:30:27Slaney], Kansas and Manhattan, Kansas, they want to -- when they feel like they have a relationship with the owner. I think that's --


Linda: And actually, on the way over here, I was talking to Ben about how shy I am. And I said, “Is it okay if, when I see these challenges, that I reach out to people on Dental Town and say, “Hey I see you are having a challenge with this, would you be interested in working on something?”

Howard: Oh I'll tell you what. There's some of the biggest labs in the world that lost so much business because little labs who get on there and show cases. Our dentists would complain about the lab and he'd say, “Dude look at the impression, it still has a bloody cotton roll in it. I mean, we're not magicians.” And the labs that got in there engaged, exploded. There are so many small dental labs in America that I could just drive to their house, knock on their front door and they'd take me in for three days and feed me. Because they tell me, how many have told me, they say “I built my business on Dental Town.”

Now, if they're just going there and saying, “Oh, if you need information, private message me or email or here's a coupon.” No, but if you're sharing like a passionate person, but then in your signature you got your logo, your name, your email and all that stuff. I don't think sell is a four-letter word.

And the reason -- in fact, in Dental Town, for years I used to do a company profile on the cover of each one and I loved it. I mean, I absolutely loved it. Going back to as a child, going all these factories and I would always tell the dentists, if you took away about 500 dental companies, you would be on a rug with stuff from Home Depot, chucking teeth on a sidewalk. The only reason we look good is all this amazing technology. But a lot of dentists they thought, “Wow it's a throw away rag. There's an advertiser on the cover.” And then I'm like, “Okay dude, right now you have an ad on Facebook. You have an ad on your website. You do direct mail.”

So monkeys are judgmental because they're hard wired as a social creature to obey up and down. So they obey the 400-pound gorilla. And there was some neat research we just saw, Ryan and I were reading the other day where in these monkey tribes: gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, they're always bullying someone. So they take away that ape, that primate, and guess what? They just find someone else and start bullying them. Because how you adore up and worship the 400-pound gorilla and obey him, that chain of command has to go to the bottom. And so it's part of social cohesiveness. So bowling, when five guys beat up Timmy, that's a bonding exercise. So those five guys: someone's the 400-pound gorilla, but if someone's the leader of the pack, someone has to be at the bottom. So it's a primate behavior.

So they're very judgmental, they’re always judgmental. So the dentist can sell dentistry and advertise but a manufacturer can't sell dentistry. And my team told me -- how many years ago did we have to take that away?


Ryan: I don't know, three?


Howard: Three years ago? I was sad, because I loved corporate profiles. Ryan says he went to a hundred dental manufacturing companies and I always have learned so much when I walked through there. When you walked through that, you get a greater understanding.


Linda: Oh yeah.


Howard: You should post videos, whatever.


Linda: All the detail that goes into it and with our tight tolerances, we do have seconds, which, most people looking at the instrument, you can't tell it's a second. It looks like a brand-new instrument. But we service over 400 missions around the world through our seconds. And then also we have an Earth Care program where people send their old, used instruments to us, we refurbish what we can and then we help out missions around the world.


Howard: You help 400 missions?


Linda: At least 400 missions around the world.


Howard: I didn't even know there was 400 dental missions! How do you get in touch with 400 missions?


Linda: People contact us. And then also we work with the big groups, big mission groups that have multiple missions.


Howard: So we have 50 categories on Dental Town. One of them is humanitarian.


Linda: Oh, okay.


Howard: And we broke up humanitarian to missionary and charitable because there was some confusion about that. But mission is more religious-based, charitable is more just, non-religious based. Because some people, truly, when they go and want to do a mission, like they want to go someplace where they're worshipping and converting and all that. And other people just want to go out there and get the teeth fixed. But you should --


Linda: We want to help people. That's the bottom line.


Howard: Yeah, same here. And gosh darn, you should tell everybody what you're doing on

the humanitarian section on Dental Town, that is really cool. Now where was that on your journey? Where did you go from nerd to missionary? Now I'm thinking you're part hippy: you're part nerd, part hippy?


Linda: I'm not hippy. You know, people think I am because of my hair. I don't know, I just care about people and --


Howard: And where to you think that comes from?


Linda: I grew up in a wonderful family in Kansas, and just the things that I have seen happen over the years and in my travels. We ought to take care of everybody.


Howard: Yeah, we're seeing that in Houston now.

Linda: Yes.


Howard: And I remember back in Kansas. I don’t want to get choked up but I remember there were farmers, right at plowing time, and they would be my friends. And the combine broke down right at harvest time and rain is in the forecast and all their neighbors have plowed their wheat.


Linda: Oh yes. Well back in Montana right now, we have hundreds of people evacuated from their homes.


Howard: From the fires?


Linda: From the fires. And so several of our employees, it's like “Okay, if you get evacuated here's the key to my house. I might not be there but” --


Howard: You know, you talk to a lot of people about climate change back in Kansas. And you talk to older people, they got legitimate concerns, they go, “Dude, read a history book.” Kansas, remember the Dust Bowls?


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: I mean, the whole state was dried out and desolated while they weren't even driving Model T's. So weather, there's probably more to every -- I mean, I'm not a climate denier or anything like that, but I am a firm believer in that everybody talks about what they know, but nobody knows what they don't know. And you look back, growing up in Kansas, that whole place -- do you remember the years that was or when that was? But by god, the whole state, everybody -- they were building mud huts and digging in for years.


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: And everybody here was like: get the hell out of Kansas. And so what caused that? I mean, climate's weird


Linda: It's cyclic. Always has been.


Howard: Yeah. So the fire is pretty bad?


Linda: Very bad.


Howard: Very bad?


Linda: Unhealthy. We have over five hundred thousand acres on fire right now.


Howard: Half a million acres on fire? Is that in your Missoula?


Linda: In our area. And in the mountains around us.


Howard: And how many people live in Missoula versus the capital Helena?


Linda: We have about 100,000 in Missoula and the surrounding area. And I think Halina is about 60,000.


Howard: So you're bigger than the capital? Just like Kansas, which is bigger than Topeka.


Linda: Yes. But we have a university there. Montana university.


Howard: I want to ask you, go to a whole other area of dental implants. When they start placing dental implants, first they were saying, “Well you can't scratch the surface. You got to have these plastic instruments.” And I'm the first to call bullshit. It's like, okay, well you might as well give me one that's made out of bamboo because I'm not doing anything. It's not removing anything. There's still a lot of confusion. What do you think about cleaning around dental implants, especially considering that at 60 months, just five years, 20 percent of implants placed in the United States of America get peri-implantatis?


Linda: Agreed. I think that plastic -- I'm a research geek -- plastic does leave plastic behind on implants, so that's not a good thing to use. We developed medical grade titanium implants with Susan Wingrove, who actually wrote the book --


Howard: Yeah, we did a podcast with her.


Linda: She's amazing.


Howard: She is amazing.


Linda: And I truly believe in soft titanium. Now, hard titanium will scratch your implants and change the surface.


Howard: So medical grade is softer.


Linda: Well, you have to be careful not -- your heat-treating processes. This is one case where you want to keep them soft. Some that we've tested have been quite hard and they will scratch the implant, but a soft titanium does not scratch the implants. It doesn't leave debris behind and it doesn't --


Howard: So do you have like an implant kit?


Linda: We do. We have the Susan Wingrove.


Howard: Is it really named after Susan Wingrove? Shout out to Susan, thanks for doing my show. It was an awesome show.


Linda: She is fabulous. We have the Wingrove --


Howard: So how did you meet Susan?


Linda: At a dental show.


Howard: I thought it'd be like some drunken party, some --


Linda: No. Then she moved to Montana.


Howard: Did she move to Montana?


Linda: She did.


Howard: Did she really? I didn't remember. I didn't pick that up.


Linda: After her husband passed away.


Howard: Oh that's right.


Linda: She moved to Montana, she actually stayed at my house until she got settled and --


Howard: What a friend. When her husband passed away she moved in with you?


Linda: Well, she stayed in Iowa for a little bit and decided she'd always wanted to move west. So I said, “Well, don't buy a place, just come see if this is where you want to be. Find out where you want to be.” And she moved in with me and my daughter said, “Oh my gosh, she's your twin sister.” And our backgrounds it seems-- we only met --


Howard: She was Iowa, you were Kansas.


Linda: She was Minnesota when she grew up and then she moved to Iowa for Frank. But yeah, I worked in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota for two years while I was going to college. And so Susan I had so many parallels in our background. We just became instant friends and --


Howard: That sounds like a movie.


Linda: It is.


Howard: You should talk to Stephen Spielberg about this.


Linda: But I mean, even from playing the oboe which, who plays oboe? Running cross-country, you know, all these different things. We were the same. But she developed these three instruments with me.


Howard: So your implant hygiene kit is three instruments.


Linda: Yes, and a plastic probe with one millimeter markings, so you have good gaugement and I do have that probe in that. So one, the B56, this is really good for your bulbous crowns, to get up and around.


Howard: Is that why it's B, B for bulbous?


Linda: Well, it's similar to a Barnhardt 56, and so we left it as a B56. Then Nebraska 128 on one end and a Lenger 5 mini on the other end. This is great to get inside those threads. If you have exposed threads you can clean them out very easily, as well as when you have the long bar implants you can get up and underneath those long bars where, with a plastic instrument you can't even reach in there. You can get into the locaters with the other end of this instrument so easily as well. And then the L34 is great to get into the narrow base crowns, as well as if you have fixed restorations, you can get in and clean up underneath there. If you have platform switched implants you can get in and around those as well. And then you have --


Howard: You just said platform switched, so you got to explain it.


Linda: Okay, a platform switched implant actually has -- you have your flat surface up here and then you have a cut out underneath here, where hopefully the bone actually grows up to that. But in some cases, there is a gap there. And how do you get in and clean that? And so the L34, you can actually come down next to it and swing that blade in there and clean.


Howard: Have you ever shown this to the major implant companies to try to get them to --


Linda: Yes, actually the ‘Straumannaters’ talk about this.


Howard: Straumannaters?


Linda: Yes, all of their lectures. Yes.


Howard: Oh, you call Straumann lectures, ‘Straumannaters?’


Linda: Yes.


Howard: Nice. We just podcasted the CEO of Straumann: Marco Gadola from Switzerland. I was lecturing in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, and we thought we'd do the first live podcast in front of a live audience and see what that was like. It was so cool. He was in Switzerland, I was in the capital of Canada, and the questions were amazing and he was just brilliant. He's the number one seller of implants in the world.


Linda: They are.


Howard: Because you have Straumann and then lots of other mergers and acquisitions. Bought the largest implant company in Brazil. Many, many companies. So Straumann likes these?


Linda: They do.


Howard: Well, they're the biggest implant company in the world. So that's huge.


Linda: Yes. And we try and work with them. I'm trying to work with them, if they have new implants coming out, I'd like to take a look at them first to make sure that we have the proper maintenance instruments. Because in years past, new implants have come out and then it's like, “Oh, how do we maintain these?” And so I'm trying to get ahead of the game. And I am working with Dr. Pineyro on the West Coast. He's an excellent lecturer, excellent researcher, has a dental practice, prosthodontist, and we're designing even some more implant instruments with Susan Wingrove that will work better with the all on fours and things like that, that are really up and coming.


Howard: My god you're a mover and a shaker.


Linda: I'm a geek. I love what I do.


Howard: And what about your work/life balance. It sounds like sunup to sundown seven days a week.


Linda: I have a great team of people, but I have still a 12-year-old daughter at home and so I --


Howard: Yeah and that's too old. That's too old to give away to foster care.


Linda: Never would. Wouldn't want to.


Howard: Once they're over six, you're kind of stuck with them.


Linda: Oh she's fabulous. I guess one of my outside passions is motorcycles.


Howard: Seriously? So you ride horses and motorcycles.


Linda: Well, when I started traveling so much I had to sell all my horses so I bought an iron horse and now I ride my motorcycles to a lot of my sales meetings and things like that.


Howard: Wow, what kind of motorcycle?


Linda: I have a Harley which I ride on my long trips and I also have a Tiger, an on road, off road bike. Enduro.


Howard: Wow.


Linda: A Triumph Tiger.


Howard: I can embarrass the hell out of another dentist out there. The only time I was ever chased by the police was in high school with my buddy. We went from seventh grade to the end of dental school. His name is John Lee, he's an endodontist out in Orange County and we used to do the dirt bikes. And they had that dike going down the Arkansans river. So you could ride up that dike and the goal was to stay airborne till you went down the other side. And everybody did it and me and John Lee -- the police thought we were hurting this dike, which I thought was so unfair because this dike, it's the size of a house, and what are we making, a little foot groove into it? But yeah, motorcycles are so fun.

So you get worried down there? Does the safety scare you? Or, because I'm not really -- like in Missoula is the traffic low enough to --


Linda: Yeah. In Missoula, Montana we don't have that much traffic. So it's nice to get up in the mountains on the curvy roads, go up through Glacier Park on a bike.


Howard: I test drove a -- it was actually a friend of mine let me ride to work, to my dental office and back, for one week with his Harley. Now, I'm in Phoenix. And then the other thing that was horrible is I'm west of my office, so when I drove to work at 7 a.m. the sun was in my eyes. And then when I came home, the sun was setting and the sun was in my eyes. And I just thought, “Okay, you do this back and forth every day for a decade or two, you'll crash.” But in Missoula that would be a huge benefit.


Linda: Yes, it's nice. But then I also like fly fishing and hiking. So we do a lot.


Howard: If you live in Phoenix, it's the most perfect place in the winter.


Linda: Yes.


Howard: But in the summer, you're like, “Oh, not so good.” I've always thought how can I have a dental office and a business where I'm in Phoenix in the winter and in Montana, Idaho, or Alaska in the summer. And then the press for our company, [00:42:26 Laurie Solowski], she says every summer, “How can we have Dental Town moved to San Diego?” And I go down to San Diego and, I mean, my gosh, last summer was down there I saw this nice little quaint house, it was really small and I thought, “This would be really cool.” And I asked for the price, it was three times more expensive than my home.


Linda: Oh my.


Howard: It's like, you got to be a rock star to live there. So, implants. That is amazing. And what advice would you give on peri-implantitis? I mean, since we're really in tricky times right now, because right now the bottom line is: I have podcast every periodontist expert, oral surgeon, implantologist. No one's agreeing even on a diagnosis, treatment plan, protocol for peri-implantitis.

So we're sitting here at 2017 placing three million implants a year in the United States, where one in five gets peri-implantitis. We don't have a protocol. We don't know how to treat it. We don't have an agreed consensus. What’s your thoughts on all that?


Linda: Well, studies have shown, that I've seen, 60 percent of failed implants are due to cement being left behind. And with instrumentation that people have been using, it can't get the cement off, really. And with the titanium instruments, you can without gouging the implant.


Howard: And what do you think? You own a company, I own a dental office. What do you think about the owners of these companies selling cement they call -- it says dental implant cement. It says right on the tape. And then you leave a little flash and it's toxic.


Linda: Oh I think it's awful.


Howard: How does that work? And that's another thing, is I'm bringing that up to these millennials because, my God, when you've done this 30 years, you've been burned so many times you become jaded. I don't like anything new. Let the kids try the new stuff because the manufacturer says dental implant cement, you know that was tested on nothing.


Linda: Right.

Howard: That was created in the marketing department. And then they laugh at the old guys who are seating implants with Dycal cement, or -- all my restoration receipt it was zinc phosphate cement.


Linda: All right.


Howard: And the millennials, right? Well that's hard to mix. Well, you're a doctor. Could you imagine getting a brain tumor removed and the best took like three steps, and you're like, “Well, I don't want to take three steps.” “Dude, you're a doctor, it's a brain tumor.” I'd rather go to a doctor who says, you don't like bonding, there is etch, primer, bonding agent.” And you're just like, “No, I just want a make a one-step prompt a pop, will you put it all in one.” And then it's not as good. And I mean, what's wrong -- I'd rather just have it done right. And I think it's a tragedy that all this peri-implantitis was sold to us by the biggest companies in dentistry, where it says dental implant cement right on the side of the bottle.


Linda: Right.


Howard: You wouldn't have sold that if you knew that. If you were the one making that in Missoula and people were coming back to you and saying, “Man, you just leave a little flash of that and the whole implant fails.” What would you have done?


Linda: Oh, I wouldn't put something out like that.


Howard: I know. Imagine that.


Linda: I'm a quality geek. Yeah, and I do, I see too many companies that don't test their products before they bring it to the market.


Howard: Which goes back to implants. I mean, you're doing this big all on four, you're doing this bridge, and you're charging $3000 for it, and instead of buying an implant where you have scads of research, you find some $100 implant made in, you know, Tanzania or Tasmania or whatever the Tasmanian Devil is, and it's like, really? I mean, how would you like to be getting a bypass and you find out that they got all the instruments on eBay?


Linda: Right.


Howard: I mean, you would think, “Well, I was hoping that going to this prestigious cardiologist, that he was going to have the finest instruments made.” And then you find out that he bought all this shit on eBay to save a dime. But yeah. Faster, easier, always isn't higher quality. Sometimes you just have to slow down and do it. And the other thing I can say after 30 years: when you talk about zinc phosphate cement. Dude, you got half a century research on that. And you're using a cement that you bought on Amazon with no research, I mean zero.

And then, I know friends like John [00:52:09Dovecan], who probably sees every single dental lawsuit, malpractice case before his desk. And I'll tell you what, these implants are big cases, and they put you on the witness stand -- there's two times you can really get grilled. One is: you're using all this stuff with no research, and that will come out in trial; and then the other thing is -- which I shouldn't say because I know my homies get real mad when I say this -- but gosh damn, they go to a weekend course on sedation and then they lose a two year old and then they get you on trial and they bring in a M.D. board certified anesthesiologist who has been doing this 20 years and teaches at the university, and shows the jury in three days of grilling that you're a complete idiot and had no idea what you're doing. I mean, they have CPR, they don't have advanced cardiac life support. “Well, where did you get this implant?” A lot of times they don't even know. I mean, there is an app called ‘What Implant is That?' And on Dental Town, under implants all these: "Does anybody know what this is?" It's like, why are you using something that a quarter of a million dentists on Dental Town don't even know what it is? And the dentists on Dental Town don't know what it is. I can't wait to see what the jury thinks when they see that you don't even know what it is.


Linda: Right. Oh that's scary.


Howard: Yeah it is. Now, when I get my artificial hip, I want it to be a brand name solid.


Linda: Well, and also U.S. titanium, because Chinese titanium keeps getting recalled year after  year because of the impurities and things. So you've got to make sure.


Howard: That reminds me of the first -- Ryan, I don't know if you remember this -- do you remember the first go cart I bought you boys? I bought you two of them and they were made in China and they were sold right at the store up the street from us. And on the first day, both of them, the frames bent and fell apart.


Linda: Oh no.


Howard: And we turned back to the guy and he goes, "Yeah, it's really weird this Chinese metal, sometimes it's perfect and other times it just falls apart." And then I dug deeper into it, it's like, they're buying used cars and they're just melting down the car. So your motorcycle, go cart, was just made out of a melted car.


Linda: Yeah.


Howard: How many of these are made out of bumpers?


Linda: None. There's so many instruments and instrument companies now that are U.S. based, that have their instruments made in Pakistan. It's just incredible. Or have Chinese manufacturing facilities or -- it's yeah, it's incredible.


Howard: Yeah, Pakistan is about what, 200 million people, and they really are into making instruments. Outsource in instruments. That's one of their core competencies.


Linda: Yes well, we pay probably four times the amount of standard stainless steel that I could get surgical stainless steel for, to make sure it's U.S. Steel that we're using. It makes a difference.


Howard: So what’s got you passionate now? Or what else is in your bag of tricks?


Linda: Actually, we're expanding into surgical instruments as well. Dental surgery. So I have a scalpel handle, which I failed to bring with me. That's adjustable. So normally scalpel handles are straight, but with this you can loosen up the center of it, you can adjust the scalpel blade to the angle that you want. And then tighten it back up. So it's more comfortable for you and your patients.


Howard: And who are your key opinion leader people working with on that?


Linda: These we're working with some international leaders out of Germany to develop those.


Howard: Yeah, that was another really -- by visiting all these companies. You know, me and Ryan lectured in five continents last year. I've been to dental manufacturing places all around the world. And the funny story I like to tell is: I'll never forget when I was a kid and they rolled out the space shuttle. They had this big black arrow pointing to the gas tank. And I thought, “Well, I'm not a rocket scientist but I don't need a big black arrow on the side of my car, I kind of know where the fuel tank is. And I kind of hope the astronauts at NASA know where the fuel tank is. Why the hell is there this big black arrow?”

And then I was lecturing in Germany and went and saw Liechtenstein and all these companies. And in America you say, “Where's the bathroom?” They say, “Well you go down three halls..” In Germany, you ask that question once, they solve it. So on the floor it'd be like, “Oh, follow the red line, that's the men's room. The blue lines -- the yellow one is the front desk, the ones that emerge” -- above every light switch was the instructions of how to use the light, the parameter. When I think of German manufacturing, it is so amazing, they are so intense. And I saw that in Japan too.


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: But here's the other thing I saw that was very interesting. You go into Japanese and German and Liechtenstein. You go into those countries and they have a bunch of PhD nerd geeks testing stuff, but they don't have a marketing department or a call center. And then you go to these American companies you say, "Well, where is your PhD researchers?" "Oh, we don't have a PhD, we don't have a r&d department.” But then they get like a 30, 60-person telemarketing deal with the thermometer deal and everybody's dialing for dollars.

So Americans are the best in sales. The Germans and the Koreans are the best in manufacturing. And China wants to make it the cheapest. They just say, “We'll just make it so cheap it doesn't work, you'll throw it away and buy another one.” And all three camps need to learn from each other. The Americans need to get quality. The Americans and the Europeans need to get cheaper. And China is -- I think the embarrassing part of China, if I was the president of China is that, they just are making the components for all the major brands in Japan. And like, name -- when I think of South Korea, what do you think of? You think of Hyundai, Samsung. Life is good. LG. Okay, well when you think of Japan you think of Toyota, Honda. When I say China: name their brand.


Linda: I can't.


Howard: Yeah. So they should stop focusing on being the cheapest, cheapest, and they should start building brands. You think of Germany, you think Porsche and Audi and Mercedes. Come on China, you need to just quit making everything as cheap as possible, start building a brand where you're proud to say, “I like this brand.”


Linda: Yes.


Howard: Like, name a brand out of Pakistan.


Linda: J & J instruments.


Howard: J & J instruments? But they're just outsourcing to J & J. But the country of Pakistan: name one.


Linda: That's true, I can't. No.


Howard: And that's what dentists need to do. You need to build your brand, and you are the brand. The dentist is the brand. And you see it in corporate dentistry, I can always spot so many red flags in corporate dentistry. Number one, not one of them can get publicly traded. Wall Street wouldn't touch any of 'em. East/west bank stopped funding them. They don't -- if you got really, really sick, you would go to Mayo Clinic. You'd go to Cleveland Clinic. You'd go to Scripts in San Diego.


Linda: Yes.


Howard: You'd go to Sloan Kettering in New York. And when you got to Mayo Clinic, you wouldn't even care who the doctor is. You'd say, “I'm at Mayo Clinic.” And the oncologist walked in, said “This is the specialist for heart disease for short fat bald men,” you would just trust it. But in corporate brands, they're just faster, cheaper, open hours, extended hours, coupons. That's not going to be the end game. And then when you look at the fact that the associate turnover, the patient turnover. The American dentists don't believe it, but half of America, that's 150 million people, when they get their tooth fixed, they really would like it done as good as possible. And you got to build that brand. You've got to be Hyundai. You got to be Mercedes and Porsche, and your website doesn't show it. I'm on 10 different dentist’s websites a day, when you get the emails, and their website doesn't show me that they’re Mercedes or  Porsche or Honda. I mean, a lot of them have a stock photo of themselves, but you just reek of German engineering. You just reek of Mercedes and Honda.


Linda: Well and this weekend, one thing that I should've mentioned is Scott Froum, Dr. Scott Froum out of New York, he worked with us to develop a really unique curette. It's a serrated curette, to really pull out the granulation tissue when you do an extraction, to get rid of that granulation tissue and let that heal up properly before you do your bone -- or as you're getting ready to do bone grafting. And Scott Froum worked with us to develop Slade Blades, so we've got a posterior and an anterior that we're developing and launching this weekend at the AAP.


Howard: At the AAP. You got to explain your acronym, there's people in Nepal and China and Indonesia listening to you.


Linda: The American Academy of Periodontics.


Howard: And where is that meeting going to be at?


Linda: In Boston, I believe.


Howard: So in Boston. And when is that?


Linda: That's this weekend.


Howard: Nice. The periodontists are smarter than dentists. So they're having a -- so what's the date on that? So it's this weekend. So they're going to have their meeting next weekend you say, so that's on September 15th. Yet the dentists, they have the Yankee in January. Have you ever been to Boston in January?


Linda: Oh yes. Or Chicago in February.


Howard: I know. The periodontists, that's clutch. They're having their meeting in the beautiful city of Boston. September 15th, that's like the perfect time of the year to go to Boston. And the dentists like, “Well, it was $12 cheaper per room to have the Chicago midwinter meeting in the depth of February.” When fricken Santa Claus wouldn't go there. And then at the end of the meeting, what did they do? All the meeting fronters sit around and complain about how attendance is going down every year. And it's like, really? So you have it in February and you're bitching about your attendance. I don't know Einstein, why don't we get a Ouija board and sacrifice a goat and try to try to think about -- the periodontists, for the rest of my life I will say the periodontists are ten times smarter than the general dentists. Just that meeting alone, nobody with a room temperature IQ in Nome Alaska would schedule the Chicago Midwinter and the Yankee when the general dentists go there.

Have I offended enough people yet? Is there anybody else I can offend? I mean really, you go to Chicago in May or September, like the greater New York meeting. It's right after Thanksgiving.


Linda: Thanksgiving weekend.


Howard: It is the perfect -- if you want to go to Manhattan.


Linda: Actually.


Howard: Actually what?


Linda: It is. It's a perfect time to be in Manhattan.


Howard: Oh my god, it's perfect. And then these people that have gone to Chicago Midwinter and Yankee five times each, you start quizzing them about the city, they haven't even seen the city because they were running from the cab to the room because it was 12 below zero and sleet. And if they would have gone to the Chicago in April or May or September, October, they would have just walked for hours. I mean, every time I go to the Greater New York, the day before the show, the day after the show, we'll just leave the hotel room and we're just walking and we won't get back to our hotel room for like 12 hours.


Linda: Oh yes.


Howard: Just walking and roaming and playing, you can't do that when it's 12 below. So what's the future for you?


Linda: I have lots of instruments to design, a lot of new things to do. Keep doing what I'm doing and loving it.


Howard: Nice.


Linda: New ideas. Anybody who has new ideas, new challenges.


Howard: You remember that commercial, I liked this shaver so much I bought the company?


Linda: Yes.


Howard: You need to be the face of your company. You need to get on Dental Town, Hygiene Town, your face be the logo. Engage your customers. Tell them what you're doing. I don't agree with the Ortho Town model, that it's an orthodontists only club. If the orthodontists were all talking to all the people making all their brackets and wires and all that stuff, they would do it better, faster, easier.

And I like the way you're just humble. You listen to the dentist, the hygienist, your customers. You hustle. I mean, you're going to Boston next week when you don't have to. You coming by here and doing a podcast. You don't have to. You're humble, you hustle, you’re amazing. I know so many people on the boards, all you got to do is just search for your company and you have raving fans. So thank you so much for all that you do for dentistry.


Linda: Thank you Howard.



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