Brian McCarthy is the operation leader of Dentistry.com and Executive Vice President at Futuredontics, Inc. Brian joined in 2014 as Chief Product Officer, running the SaaS product line before becoming President of Futuredontics prior to its acquisition by Dentsply Sirona in 2015. He lead the team in defining the vision and execution of strategic goals, delivering value to dentists and consumer patients alike through the creation of products that drive interactions that lead to more dentistry, and empower the team in our mission to transform lives through dental care. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and the last of his three kids who’s still at home. He is an avid tennis player.
AUDIO-DUwHF #1092 Brian McCarthy
VIDEO-DUwHF #1092 Brian McCarthy
Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Brian McCarthy the executive vice president of Dentsply Sirona subsidiary Futuredontics. He's the operation leader of www.Dentistry.com and executive vice president Futuredontics ,he joined in 2014 as a chief product officer running the software as a service product line before becoming president of Futuredontics prior to its acquisition by Dentsply Sirona in 2015. He led the team in defining the vision and execution of strategic goals delivering value to dentists and consumer patients alike through the creation of products that drive interactions that lead to more dentistry and empower the team and their mission to transform lives through dental care. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and the last of his three kids who's still at home and he's an avid tennis player. So when that third kid leaves how long are you gonna cry?
Brian: Yeah you know maybe an afternoon.
Howard: So you're a new chapter in life you're kind of odd you're ready to close that chapter and get back to dating your wife again?
Brian: Yeah exactly being able to just decide on a whim to you know drive up to Santa Barbara if we wanted to you know for a couple nights or yeah yeah I mean I love my kids but you know it's been a long run.
Howard: So I got you on the show to talk about your new dentistry.com but let's talk about you first, so when did you enter dentistry what's your dental story?
Brian: Well my dental story well you know I have taken care of my teeth my entire life so dentistry has always been important to me I've had two dentists 56 years old and but...
Howard: Wow you've only had two dentists in 56 years?
Brian: Yeah dr. O'Brien until you know college and then and then I and then I have dr. James Brillstein over here in Beverly Hills for the last like 30 years.
Howard: Wow that is amazing.
Brian: Yeah got a CEREC crown here in 2009 and you know yeah.
Howard: Right on and then when did you enter it professionally?
Brian: Yeah so I've been in the online marketing world really since web 1.0 and just two-sided marketplaces for the most part paid search and things like that Citysearch you probably remember the name ran product for City search for three years and then entered 1-800 dentist and Futuredontics in fourteen, so really that was my entry point into dentistry.
Howard: Yeah that and that's always been an industry brand because you totally brand 1800-dentists to the b2c consumer but Futuredontics to the b2b dentists is that pretty much how you look at that?
Brian: Yeah I mean the the consumer brand is 1800-dentists it has been right.
Howard: and the dentist brand is Futuredontics?
Brian: Yes yeah I mean that's just kind of the way it was when I got here and it seemed to make sense but you know dentists know 1800-dentist as well of course.
Howard: and how is 1800-dentist doing these days?
Brian: It's doing fine it's doing fine but the so jumping into dentistry.com we came to dentistry.com when we realized that 1800-dentist even in its name it's a phone based service and over the last ten years in particular right everyone's going more and more online and consumers are requiring more and more immediacy they do everything from these little devices here and so we felt like it was time to add an additional product and make it entirely web-based and build it with the greatest convenience and actually in a lot of ways it's very different than one eight hundred dentist.
Howard: Right and what I thought it was more an American brand because a lot of foreign countries don't even have the alphabet on the phone numbers. I mean many countries have you said 1800-dentist and said on the phone from you know in your lecture around the world dentists are like what are you talking about so that was more an American thing wasn't it?
Brian: Yeah no I think so we've never been churned even up north like it is it's it's only it's only in the u.s.
Howard: Yeah and these smartphones I mean it's you know I knew it was something totally different when well it wasn't a Jobs you stuck the internet in the cell phone I mean what not about 2007?
Brian: It was 2007 he you know he made it he made it useful it was there before but he revolutionized it with the iPhone absolutely you know just it's all about the form factor and the ease of use he really is you got to give him a lot of credit for that.
Howard: I do I mean I really do I know a lot of people are throwing him under a bus these days because obviously it wasn't that great of a father and he didn't give a lot of credit to all the people that made it happen but I think what they're missing is that you know he might have tried to pull himself off like he was as a Tesla behind all this technology not true but man what a genius marketer I mean he just he was the it was the biggest marketer in our lifetime he emulated the smartphone and I knew something I knew something was totally different with the smartphone the minute it came out because you would start to leave in your car to go somewhere and then one of your kids forgot their smartphone and like panic and to run back in the house I mean no one did that for a Motorola flip phone.
Howard: They didn't do it for you know all these technologies like like a PC or a laptop or all these devices and all the sudden they've infected England they were calling it I'm was over there they they called it a handy they didn't call it a smart phone they call it a handy could you just always had to be holding it in your hand and so now so now you've gone from 1-800 dentists where you're dialing on those numbers you're in gear you remember the phone number by you can remember the word dentist a lot easier than the phone number and now your dentistry comm is for this smartphone.
Brian: I'll share some stats with you so Google says there were one point four nine billion searches for dentistry and dental health in the u.s. in the last 12 months.
Howard: What an a handful, Wow.
Brian: and the great majority of them from us from a phone from a you know from a smartphone so that's a have you called a watershed lower but that statistic tells a lot. People want people do everything via their phones now they do banking, directions, travel, dining out, ordering in, socializing, everything and if I know that you don't shy away from provocative you know you know subjects in dentistry how have we been as an industry in in providing the consumer an excellent experience when it relates to the smartphone. I think all of us all of us collectively are not doing as well as we need to do in order to bring dentistry forward elevate dentistry and give consumers that convenience that they now expect from all their providers.
Howard: Yeah and the young and the dentist don't get how the consumer is focused on their something like when you go to so many dentists websites I mean I mean I have to give at least half of them an F. I mean if they don't have a passing grade they think they think they're their desktop they're their desktop PC website is fine and they don't even know that a hundred people might land on their website on their smartphone yeah for maybe one conversion to a phone call and then and then every time like like there's a big convention out here this weekend in Scottsdale for prosthodontics on CAD CAM making dentures man they'll they'll pack that house I mean though they'll get a thousand people to show up to that and half of those people 90% of the dentures they'll never make just because their website won't even get them to the conversion.
Brian: Yeah now it is critical and and so one of the you know we're building a community so if I was going to describe positive describing dentistry.com I'd say it's a three-legged stool right on the one hand you've got pro dentistry content content that we might Commission dentists to write content and then there's content that's out there we aggregate content from the web, we want to provide as much information to consumers about dentistry its value and what's going on and dentistry today so that's one leg. The second leg is and I think this is a departure that you know there are advocates out there for dentistry if we think of advocates and discoverers and there's no place though where people can really share their stories about dentistry or ask questions about dentistry and so the second leg of the stool is the community it's a community for consumers to interact with each other but then also for dentists to chime in dentists can add expert opinions and you know with the with of course the long term goal of moving people another statistic I'll share with you, you know this probably your listeners do Health Policy Institute reports that thirty five point five percent of the adult population under the age of 65 went to the dentist visited the dentist in the last year that they studied almost two-thirds of adult pop population under 65 didn't go to the dentist so...
Howard: Is that in the last 12 months or that calendar 2017?
Brian: No HPI the health policy Institute's last date is 2014 but you know it hasn't changed significantly let's hope it's moving up but.
Howard: So in 2014 under age 65 only...
Brian: 64 yeah thirty five point five percent it's in there it's in there a report.
Howard: Went to the dentist?
Brian: 35.5 went to the dentist, you know 64.5 did not go to the dentist we've got an epidemic here we've got a serious problem. So anyway I mean my point in saying the second leg of the stool is that it's about community and it's about getting advocates out there and then getting people to ask questions and building relationships which brings me to the third leg of the stool which is the dental directory our intention is to have every provider including specialists on the platform and we'll talk about it hopefully a little bit more but it's a three platform for dentists they can claim their practice and content and then there's a find your dentist tool you'll see at the bottom of that page there consumers can search for a dentist and find a dentist and booked an appointment.
Howard: Nice so what are my homies listening uh what are you what did what do you need them to do?
Brian: Well they should go to dentistry.com in the top right corner it says sign in or join or maybe it's actually on the mobile device is it might be in the hamburger what we call the hamburger.
Howard: Okay so in the hamburger it says sign in and join.
Brian: Yeah and then it says are you a dentist?
Howard: It says sign in with your email account new to dentistry.com okay and then should they sign in with their B to C email not their...
Brian: No well so see up at the top it says it says are you a dentist right and then you click there and then what we're asking is that you use your Dentsply Sirona account and if you don't have a Dentsply Sirona account you just create one it's just you just follow the prompt.
Brian: and then you have access to your profile and what I'm asking everyone to do create that account or sign in and then give consumers all the information they need to choose you to become your patient. So give them some photos if you have a video you can upload a video tell them what school you went to tell them your philosophy we give you we give you sections throughout the entire profile to answer those questions and fill that contain. What languages are spoken in your in your office what hours of operation what are your specialties what technology do you have. See where we're going here we want we want consumers expect Accenture says that two-thirds of consumers expect to book their health appointments online so Dentistry.com is that Avenue so that consumers can book their appointments but in order to book your appointment in order to you know define which doctor you want to go to you've got to provide the information, the doctor does.
Howard: and so why so Dentsply Sirona what's the dentist to have a Dentsply Sirona account?
Brian: Well we're a part of Dentsply Sirona so it was easy enough because there's a validation service that we use like we just used the Dentsply Sirona kind of they call it a tech stack right we're just using the Dentsply Sirona tech stack to validate.
Howard: That kind of maybe I wonder if they a back-channel I amazon.com response to building up their email electronic accounts databases. I've you know we always wondered that every time I go to the Greater New York meeting for the last two or three years Amazon's got a booth there I mean everybody sees them everybody knows it but it really hasn't done anything yet do you think that's around the corner?
Brian: Well so I'm I've been in technology for 19 years online marketing and and and technological platforms, I think technology is going to change every one of our industries it's already changed significantly but it's going to continue to. Not only in the the practicing of dentistry but in all aspects all aspects of Dentistry and so yeah I mean I think that amazon has the potential to you know change change the industry yes.
Howard: So they make a Dentsply Sirona account and then they they cleaned their name for dentistry com so then what's in it for the dentist how does that I mean I know my homie you say that there's one thing they want they want a patient they want a new patient then what some of their broken tooth the tooth ache. So how does this effort on registry now on dentistry calm how does it translate to them getting more new patients?
Brian: So we're ramping up our advertising efforts and we're and we're writing a lot of content we're going after search engine optimization. So again remember one point four nine billion searches for dentistry and dental health. So the goal is to get consumers interested in dentistry get them on to the website and then get them to build relationships with doctors and book appointments. So this is a free service for your dentist one once they've claimed their practice and put some content on the site they're gonna rank highly in the search results and consumers are going to find them they're gonna book an appointment either request an appointment and or in about four or five weeks for releasing online appointing as well so consumers you know consumer behavior it's kind of tricky. You know you we all have our to-do list and requesting an appointment with a provider you can't check off your list yet because you don't really have an appointment you just requested it consumers want to book their appointment they want to check the you know check it off their list hey I have a dentist appointment it's at what p.m. it's Tuesday so we're building we're building that we allow the the dentist to choose whether they use the request appointment or booked appointment but we feel really strongly that it's in their best interest to use the book appointment feature and so what in simple terms though what the dentists get are consumers are the opportunity for consumers and as we market more and more and as the site builds up they'll get customers those patients.
Howard: So I get request an appointment you know your dental office gets an email about somebody requesting appointment but scheduling appointment will you have to actually interface with the practice management software the big boys Henry Shines Dentrix, Patterson Eaglesoft, Open Dental?
Brian: Yeah so in the very first release they will it will be manual so you can put some you put some appointment blocks on your calendar on dentistry.com and then you want to make sure you know a lot of doctors what they do is they'll create a separate operatory for their online booking you know and then as long as the front office is responding to the consumer quickly to fit them in then that's gonna work fine but then in subsequent releases we will integrate with the the top practice management systems so that it's turnkey.
Howard: and when you say top, will you name them?
Brian: Oh I mean I would certainly say you know the Dentrix brands, Eaglesoft as you said Open Dental I mean you know we have we have different relationships with all those people so of course you know we want them to participate certainly Eaglesoft and Dentrix we know they have API you know open api's and so go through the front door with them.
Howard: So then Dentrix and Eaglesoft will be the main two?
Howard: but you would be anybody else on that list you said open table I think you meant Open Dental?
Brian: I'm sorry is that what I said...
Howard: Yeah open table isn't open table an app where you schedule your own reservations?
Brian: Exactly yeah
Howard: For a restaurant yeah. Now is that is that scheduling is that different from you know I'm a 56 year old grandpa four kids five grandkids is that different behavior for versus Millennials I mean is this going to be MOLLE scheduling an appointment online do you think that's gonna be a millennial behavior or do you think baby boomers are gonna do it too?
Brian: Now you know it might be that if you look at these behaviors they might the early adopters might be Millennials but then it expands look at Facebook what's the number one growing or that I think the number one even by volume age group are baby boomers on Facebook. I have a 16 year old son he doesn't even have facebook account it's done you know it's they're onto something else already.
Howard: and what's he on too?
Brian: Well Instagram and snapchat.
Howard: Yeah and Instagram...
Brian: Crazy he's a nerd so he's really into reddit do you know reddit?
Howard: Reddit it's my favorite is Dentaltown, my second is reddit and there's no third.
Brian: There's a very active dental you know community on reddit I thought.
Howard: Yeah and I think what it is it's so funny I know I got dentaltown up five years before Facebook, this March 17.
Brian: It's an institution in itself, dentaltown.
Howard: Well you know like on this mark this next St. Patrick's Day will be our 20th anniversary and I think Reddit is huge because you can make an account anonymously I mean you can just be you can just be you know whatever I'm Phoenix Rock whatever and when we start dentaltown I when you registered I knew who you were I had to know who wore and I had add your email verify that you you're legit and you're in dentistry and all that but I'm a lot of dentists to this day are very upset that people on dental town are anonymous and I only did it for one reason and now for the sacred sovereign profession of Dentistry there had to be a place where you could ask the stupid question. I mean you're not gonna go out there and give your name, what is your an endodontist and you're asking about a failed root canal and then the other endodontists are sending this thread to all the other local or I mean and I owe a lot of this Gordon and Roland Christian to back me on this because a lot of people are fighting saying well I post root canal some anonymous idiot was telling me you didn't like it or I should do this or that or that but humans want under me and what we see in social media one percent across all platforms from Instagram Facebook dental town 1% of super users and close almost over concept another 9% engage replied comment and ask a question but 90% of all social media users they never post content they never replied nothing because their that's the way apes are and there are social animal and reddit is crushing it because on Facebook you know who you are there's your picture address. Reddit is huge because someone can go in there and say something and you don't know what it is and I'm not that's why we do that on dentaltown and when you sign up with dentaltown I know who you are and you know but but yeah reddit read huge and and I said you said he's with the Instagram I think Instagram is still awesome because I think Mark Zuckerberg is running it the way he's running it until snapchat is dead and then he'll ruin Instagram by right now if I make a tweet on Twitter it goes to everyone if I make a post on Instagram because everyone well you make it post on Facebook I mean it might only go to four five percent of the people that follow you because you're so busy pushing so many ads but right now it's just a Instagram snapchat LinkedIn Twitter dentaltown where you can make a post and anybody following you gets it. So the Millennials will probably the early adopters but you think baby boomers will start doing this?
Brian: Absolutely I mean do you how much how much online booking do you do like do you look like say you're your medical appointment or I mean does your GP allow you to do that?
Howard: You're asking me for my stuff?
Brian: Yeah just curious because like at our age like I will book appointments online all the time you know and so I think while it might have started with the younger generation I think everyone is adopting this. This is the expectation now that you can do everything yourself online you know I think it's well beyond Millennials. I mean as a percentage of that cohort it's probably higher but lots of lots of Gen X and baby boomers are doing it as well.
Howard: Yeah we have online booking so we used Softdent for 30 years and I was crashing all the time and we had a lot problems with that and you are dental town the most raving fans are open dental up in Oregon just raving fans so we switch to that it has a scheduling online and I mean the first week we converted to that we had someone schedule online and and what's really even more bizarre is in the hours of all I mean people are making appointment at 10 o'clock at night.
Brian: Yeah I mean that's what we learned with the phone service with the 1-800 dentists phone service. I mean yeah you want to be there for a prospective patient whenever they are looking right and so I think absolutely we have lots of activity on the weekends and late at night I mean not everyone has our schedule you know.
Howard: Well there's 168 hours in a week and your average dentists only open only answers are from 32 hours a week which isn't even 20% in fact what is that...
Brian: Very close
Howard: 32 divided by 150 a is on 19 point zero four percent so they answer their phone 19% a week and what's bizarre is they it's almost I mean when you look at the data that they're calling dental offices whether they're in traffic for an hour on their way to work but the dentist says in turn on the phone at 8 o'clock or 8 o'clock at work and then the hygienist finally get their lunch break at noon and that's what the dentist earns has phoned over to the answering service and and they're calling it lunch then they opened I hope one to five and then usually the staff now they've picked it off the bones ten minutes before 5 and it's like it's like and then they'll go to this process Adamic cab lecture in Scottsdale and want to know all about building a CAD CAM denture and it's like dude 9 out of 10 denture people calling your office as hard as they tried that they couldn't do it.
Brian: They're not getting through and and so I mean I think we sound like we're preaching to the choir I mean at least the two of us but for your audience there's one thing I would say it is you you have to embrace you have to embrace the smartphone and in all the technology surrounding the smartphone and and that includes online booking. It can be problematic but the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Howard: and then a dentist will tell me well what if someone schedules an appointment online and they schedule one o'clock and I'm busy one o'clock ok whatever like your biggest fear is that you're gonna get it a new pace you come in and you're busy then you say well what's your biggest problem no-shows and cancellations. Well my office I guess celebrated it was September 21st what is the day today that 24 yeah so on the 24th 21st was my thirty-one year anniversary I graduated May 11 87 I got my office open a hundred and thirty three days later on September 21st I named it Today's dental and I been telling people for a 31-year instead of look if you have a heart attack you just you just go to the hospital you don't have to make an appointment you break your tooth you have an emergency I have an emergency room. So if you have an emergency don't try to get on the phone and get through my friend you just come on down here's your hours and in 31 years what I can tell you is that that walk-in emergency counterbalance the no-show cancellation it's about a 1 for 1 if someone comes down with an emergency someone else had some other issue happened and they're not going to make their phone call and then if it does overlap well you just learned how to hustle it's called work through lunch and it's called it's five o'clock well you're not going home you're going to stay and do another patient and you know and it's a hustle and some days you might work through lunch to have one at the end of the day and have a robust day and then the next day you're scheduled falls apart and it will always fall apart on the type like when dentists ask me how do you get rid of cancellations and no shows, I say it's really easy you take the earth and you throw it into the Sun because as long as it's populated with eight billion crazy monkeys you know shit happens life happens you know.
Brian: and honestly it's getting worse right I mean if you want you know put it in those terms people do double scheduled people do change their plans people generally people have less loyalty I mean then have less sense of commitment that but that's not unique to us that's just the nature of beast as you say the monkeys.
Howard: Well when you said less loyalty I think it's it's getting very exact I think you can see other analogies with like religion and politics means like that the baby boomers were better like when my parents you know went to church they're very very loyal all the laws. I mean Millennials are they're less religious more spiritual they're more loyal to themselves the baby boomers were more likely to say well you're the doctor what do you want whereas the Millennials are more loyal to themselves and say well I just did a 15-minute Google search on root canals and I know as much as your 8 year college and so I think this less worldly thing even for their church yeah a year all the time I have friends all the time say you know I just didn't like what he was saying and I switched Church I you know now they're going across the street. So they're more loyal to themselves.
Brian: More loyal to themselves more demanding more questioning of authority you know I know that's hard for people in authority positions like dentists but it's the nature of society right now. I mean you can fight it or you can learn how to adapt and embrace it.
Howard: and that less and that less and it's tough for dentistry because we've been talking about Steve Jobs in his iPhone or we've been talking about or this aquafina bottled water there's so many things we where you just know what it is but in dentistry it's all trust I mean when you tell me I have four cavities I mean how I know if your chocolate tree so how does this product help sell be invisible when Megan's coming in and she's looking at you kind of sketchy and trying to figure out your office and operation are you and you see it on reviews you know you tried to sell me something you know how how does this help sell the invisible and the Cardinal thing you want is trust how do you how do you solve trust in a digital world?
Brian: Okay so that's a great question and prior to us developing dentistry.com we did a lot of research we've got a senior data scientist here and he's got a team underneath him and then I've got just an excellent marketer and we went out and did qualitative and quantitative research. So in our consumer research now it might sound obvious but I think that it has is significant there is significance we studied and found there are two cohorts that you know the the goers and the non goers and in fact in our study it was about 49, 51 percentage percentiles right but then the goers they have a relationship with a dentist and when they have a relationship that part of that relationship is trust and that trust they listen to their dentist and they accept treatment right, they accept the case you know the treatment that is presented. The non goers are almost diametrically opposite they obviously don't have a relationship or and ad when a doctor when a dentist says well this is what you need they question it they oftentimes don't accept treatments. So it is correct to say this is all about trust and our solution to that is the community and is creating this platform where consumers and dentists can interact you have this wonderful platform for dentist to interact with each other but what we are intending here is to create the platform where consumers and dentists can interact consumers interact with each other the advocates helping the discoverers but also the consumers interacting with dentists, dentist reaching out to them so that they can build trust I mean what is the basis of trust it's communication, so we need a platform where they can communicate that's what dentistry.com is.
Howard: and will a dentist be less incentivised to okay so let's say I go on to dentistry.com and it's getting Brain McCarthy in Santa Monica ask all these questions I mean DM and spending all the time but I'm in Kansas with the guy in Wichita Kansas wouldn't you rather want to answer a bunch of questions to patients in Wichita Kansas to build that relationship and you get a referral?
Brian: Yeah I would say he would rather that definitely but there is a benefit to what he's doing when he is interacting with consumers he's building up his profile that content that he's writing is associated to him we're recognizing him as someone who is active we're gonna and we're gonna raise his search results we're gonna make him more prominent so when someone in Wichita is actually doing a search he ranks higher because here's an active avid dentist that's willing to give of themselves to answer questions and to I mean you know I use this term a lot elevate dentistry we want to raise the profile of Dentistry and so and I think that's what dentists are doing and we want to support them so that in that scenario yes they're not gonna make that customer that customers not gonna fly to Wichita but when consumers are in Wichita looking for dentists we're gonna rate that doctor higher.
Howard: Now when you're talking about raising the image of Dentistry are you have Dr. Walter Palmer from Minneapolis be your spokesperson?
Brian: I apologize I don't know who Dr. Walter Palmer is.
Howard: He's the most famous dentist in the world he shot Cecil the lion and he has more reviews on his website. There's all the dentists of Minnesota don't have as many comments on their Facebook pages that guy does I think I think he is absolutely number one.
Brian: Oh that is a case where any PR is not good PR like yeah that's was that's unfortunate.
Howard: Yeah but let's talk about you said pro dentistry content and raising raising the image of dentistry. I have noticed in my 56 years at the one thing that's gone down the most in society is trust I mean God when I was when I first came to Phoenix and we didn't have fluoride in the water so we started this group me and Jack Dillenberg it was a Dean of the dental school out here and we started Arizona senator Arizona citizens for better dental health and we took like two years but when you said well here's some studies for the Centers for Disease Control feel like oh wow let me read them or thank you for that and thank you so much and now it's like oh they're a show for the pharmaceutical company they're a show yeah the mining they they don't know how to get rid of their byproducts so they pay off the politicians then they pour it slowly in the water because there's no place they can get rid of it I'm like dude I'm pretty sure there's places where they test nuclear bombs above-ground I'm pretty sure you could probably pour some fluoride on where it's radioactive in Utah. I mean it is so it's been a huge deterioration and trust what do you think that's about and and and how and how significant do you think it's been in our lifetime in the trust of a dentist in the 60s 70s 80s versus after the year 2000?
Brian: Well as much as we love these devices and we love the Internet and we love how information flows so readily I think you can be manipulated to the you know to the negative right just as it can be manipulated to the positive. So I think you know that you're asking up that's a big big question right the polarization and distrust and misinformation and I mean it goes on and on and on right. So I think dentistry calms purpose is to be a location where we can present the right profile of Dentistry right the right the right way of looking at dentistry, aggregating it from around the web too because you know there's no easy way to solve for the trust problem that you're describing and yes in fact and yes I agree it has gotten increasingly worse and it probably is related to the amount of information that it's flowing and the ease of being able to post information that can go viral but I you know I believe in the positive future I believe that we we can solve these ills you know and it takes every one of us thinking positively and acting positively and you know that's what dentistry.com is for us.
Howard: Well I think what it is is I'm you know a lot of times you hear people say you know what are you talking about why do people in prison I mean there's three variables they didn't produce a 12th grade they have substance abuse they live below the poverty line and a lot of people start saying well during the Great Depression we would go crime dude there were no records. I mean I hurt in Kansas every all the stories I've heard of Dodge City it wasn't so nice you know church picnic it well it was a brutal area during the dust bowl and I think all I think is just the process where I leave what social media did is now you actually get to see where all the crazy monkeys are thinking and and so they're all getting together because I'm not crazy if I got a hundred other friends on Facebook that agree with me that vaccines are causing all these disease another but as a dentist we were trained but the most important thing was a diagnosis and the exam and the treatment plan you don't want to get an a-plus on a root canal when you find out later that the tooth didn't meet a root canal or should be extracted. So I think what is happening now is we're getting a really accurate diagnosis and treatment plan of what eight billion people are actually thinking and then you actually know where to go and where to start and you know so I think it's just a process but it's always two steps forward one step back two steps forward one step back and this transparency has made two steps back but.
Brian: I appreciate that you do see that it's that your opinion is it's ultimately going to be for the positive I agree with you, you know I think that there's a lot of you know there's a lot of negative results of technology but look where technology's taking us you know and and you know this probably much much more than I do but the the advances in technology and what they're working on now we're a we're a dentist can be so much more valuable to a consumer when they're coming in either to you know checking the saliva or or we know that the mouth is the gateway to overall health but if technology is going to make that even that much more you know effective right and so and I think that that bodes very well for dentists in the future right because all of these technologies the price will come down and then the adoption will go up and they'll have the opportunity to really be giving not only just meaningful value to oral health but being able to assist the patient in connecting with their GP if they need to later on right and all of that happening you know in real time via you know via technology.
Howard: So when we talk about you know Socrates said they're humans had two emotions you know greed and fear the biggest thing out there today is that with the people listening of you right now is the DSO so you know there may they love to go to dental schools and to all the people in dental school that you know they end of private practice's over here's some free pizza, listen to this gloom and doom and come work for me and the lady listening to you right now owns her own practice and she's 35 she's in Oklahoma and they just opened up some corporate dental deal. What is your thoughts on corporate versus solo and you and how does dentistry calm count I take that into consideration or?
Brian: Well you know...
Howard: I guess basically just saying you think that 35 year old little girl can compete against a DSO that has 100 offices?
Brian: The short answer is absolutely this woman and she has for one thing she's got her own wit and she's got and she's got her own control because she owns that dental practice and she can personalize, she can use her knowledge right you know create an experience for consumers that is unique and valuable and worthy and you know I respect the the fear that an independent practitioner would have towards the DOS's but look at what they're doing and and what a what of what they're doing is valuable to consumers that you can adopt yourself. You know and we love having the 32 hour work week but but one of the values that the DOS's offer is expanding the hours of operation for the you know for the practice and so and there's you know so there's things like that and there's also just personalization. Learning becoming becoming a part of your local community as an independent I mean there's great value in that and I think it's much harder that's where you Zig when when the DSOs zag, I think there's a lot of different things that independence can do and you have to respect the DSO and the competition but you have a lot within your power to change you know for the better.
Howard: Yeah I mean you know when I was little kid dug vaccines there wasn't a mother in Kansas who questioned the pediatrician out of the vaccine I mean they just humbly thought well you're a pediatrician you're a doctor this is what you do. So I think who am I so I think the number one competitive value of that these individuals had was the trust and sitting here for 31 years I mean how many times do you hear every time I went in there that its a different dentist, every time I went in those and so they know that this air conditioner you're selling me is really a nice air conditioner but it is eight grand I know it has the warranty but the first thing is do I even need a new air conditioner are you sure you can't fix my old one with a shot of freon. So I tell the individual that the reason I never got into dsos and and all that kind of stuff I watch this I remember talking about this with Rick Workman the founder of Heartland has the most at offices back in Destin Florida at a profitable dentist seminar with Woody Oaks and but I I thought that sundries and lab all the business deals I mean that's more efficient but the core value was the relationship.
Brian: Yeah you know and and and let's just state the obvious to 35.5 percent of the adult population went to the dentist you know in that last year that HPI study 2014 there's a lot of consumers and a lot of perspective patients out there to capture you know so they're like so that's kind of in a way the world of abundance. You have to think abundance don't think scarcity think abundance think about how do you get more people to the dentist and if you are actively doing that as an independent they're gonna come to you just like as you said because you're building trust you're building a relationship you're building that inside your community.
Howard: So how do you make money off this deal? How does Dentsply Sirona stay in business?
Brian: Well over time we will add pay products right so there's the possibility of some advertising on the site we're gonna look at that.
Howard: B to C advertising for the consumer like toothpaste Crest, Colgate, Listerine or you come about B to B advertising for like Dentsply Sirona for composites and...
Brian: So both right so on the on the consumer site there might be advertising at some point for consumer products but you know new toothbrushes and all sorts of stuff right there so there's a whole path to revenue there. Then we also have the dentist portal when you've claimed your practice then you go into your dentist portal pages where you can go in different tabs and you can add your office information and so on right well there's opportunity for us to market you know and maybe it's Dentsply Sirona products or maybe it's you know other products maybe non-competitive other products but marketing to dentists for sure like that's a possibility. There's you know finance financing providing financing to consumers is a potential you know there's then there's membership plans there's the insurance companies themselves so we know potentially they would want the space to market to consumers it goes on and on and then also just, so one of our tenants is to provide the very best experience to consumers again we always go back I didn't mention this to you but we have what we call our MTP which is our massive transformative purpose, massive transformative purpose we got together as a leadership team we took an all-day off-site we did a lot of work and exercises. Our MTP transforming lives through dental care transforming lives through dental care those are big words five words but powerful when you think about it because if every decision we make is grounded in that pursuit then in the immediate making money has to take a backseat to getting more people on the platform and consumers expects choice and so we need that's why we provide a free service to doctors because we want every doctor on the platform to have their photo and content so that consumers have choice then that will ultimately lead to an active community an active searching and finding of dentists and then over time we can add features for dentists that we will charge for to make say their profile management easier like that that would be something and then also we talked a lot about treatment it's not just new patients but existing patients and getting them to accept treatment is there a way for us to help if consumers are coming to our site looking for information on dentistry how about we give a service to doctors so they can send people to dentistry.com or they can learn about a treatment plan like this is why you need a root canal and here's a 30 second or 60 second simple video to explain it make it digestible and easy for consumers.
Howard: Yeah and I also think social media has massively shortened the attention span and you know you go to some of these dentists website I don't have like a whiteboard and it's like okay I've been listened to this spiel now for like a minute just get it out there just vomit it out in 30 seconds no one you know that's why I think our dentaltown online CE is amazing because these speakers will submit a three-hour lecture and if I may get rid of as the vacation his children and his wife and the hims and the haws and I mean that sometimes you have to go back to him and say we need 15 more minutes like dude I gave you three hours it's again in three hours you were only talking for 45 minutes the attention span is intense and the financing thing I mean you said you might do some financing you have a financing partner?
Brian: and this is all just kind of early days.
Brian: Yeah it's conjecture.
Howard: You know well the financing thing is tough because these dentists went to school eight years to be a doctor and they tell you they honestly tell you like look dude I don't like selling dentistry I don't like it and you've seen where five percent of the dentist routinely the average American depending sixteen and seventy six for my thirteen new cars and the median average price is an average of 33,500 and as soon as they make their last payment on that car they go get it in for another one for five more years and 95% of the dentists will practice their entire career without selling one treatment plan for thirty three thousand five hundred and then in every single zip code in America there's a guy where he just sees patient's Monday through Thursday and then Friday he's the big case and he just goes in there and got you know an all on four upper/lower 50 grand or takes everything out in places it was ceramic and whatever and it's just amazing how the dentist want you know the like on the DSO like I remember we saw hands four hundred thousand people you know they had you know several hundred dentists they got their first DSO and I just freaked out the whole community and it's like why did this freak out you're in a medical billing with eight people and one guy does that $30,000 case every Friday for last twenty years you've never done one in your whole life and I've never seen anybody get a new car that wasn't all excited and thrilled and they love it and they show you and they come by your house I got four boys I can tell you how they get about two or three good friends each every time they got a new car but end up bring it by the house and showing it you outside but that's how people feel when they get a smile makeover and they get all done and and these dentists will go their whole career without doing just one of those cases one time while he looks you in the eyes and says I don't like selling dentistry I'm like well maybe you should go sell like cars I mean maybe you get excited about Mustangs why can't you get excited about teeth smiles makeovers.
Brian: Yeah well what's the famous line it's like the best salesmen they they they love their product and then they sell the love sell the love sell the value you know.
Howard: I think your earliest adopters the ones in my opinion who are most business savvy without a doubt or the orthodontist I mean the average you know you look at the last year at numbers I see 2016 where you know the average American divided by the 129 billion dollars spent on dentistry by about 400 bucks per American per person but the orthodontist their average case is 6,500 so they they realize if I do this marketing I do this Instagram if I do something a new patient it's sixty five hundred bucks it usually takes at them as over five years subtract that same amount over a new patient in dentistry. So I imagine your early adopters will be orthodontist in drones that way you're experiencing so far?
Brian: Well it's early days you know so I don't I don't have data to support that I don't know that it's not happening but we're just getting started we literally just released this we did some PR you know just it's less than two weeks ago and so it's just now we're you know you're one of the first people I'm talking to it's just getting started but yeah we'll identify Sirona helping us and we'll reach out to everyone. All boats rise with the tide here if we need we need to move that 35.5 number we need to get a lot more people to the dentist and then you know you add another twenty million people across the population and I think that moves the needle I think we can move that 129 billion number right everyone wins when we do that.
Howard: Yeah and my mission is you know being a dentist mean I get it I would rather pull 4 wisdom teeth then golf with Tiger Woods like he just won his first championship in five years you know you said to me hey you want to go to Pebble Beach and play golf with we're tiger or go to this cad/cam denture conferences oh I mean it'd be a hundred to one I mean to go golf with Tiger he'd have to pay me you know he'd have to pay me my honorarium I mean yeah I saw I'd get it so my job is the leader is try to get these guys I know you like pulling wisdom teeth, I know you like all these technology I know you like all this stuff but you gotta get out there run for mayor. I mean I asked dentists all the time it's like if this is 2018 it's March it's a September 24 I mean I've had so many chiropractors over to my house lunch dinner whining dine every time I'd go every time I go to the grocery store I go chat with the pharmacist for five minutes make sure he's got my cards make sure I'm in his cell phone I tell them I tell you have to get my number dude pull out your cell phone facetime me. I mean if he's got a broken tooth take a know the cell phone right this face I can talk and they just got that's not gonna show give they gotta get out running from there they got to go on and maybe dentistry will be better for them because if you are a painfully shy dentist and most of us are insurers have a personality of a scientist an engineer and accounting they're not they're not a Kardashian you know then maybe sitting on your desktop at home with your cat maybe creating content is making them their cup of tea.
Brian: Yeah I think so I think absolutely because not everyone that's not everyone's forte you know and I think that could be frustrating too right I have an outstanding dentist and yet I've got people questioning me it's like you gotta just I guess get over that recognize it's not you you know just you.
Howard: You know is that be safe and they have to feel safe to ask you questions and sometimes ask some questions and it hurts your feelings because they're not trusting you about vaccines or cavities are all this stuff like that and and what I always tell them that your mom and dad had on put your exam program I had on everybody needs a dentist you know when you come into the dentist with eight cavities holding them out and do blame that your mother that when you were pregnant with your child you know the child sucked all the calcium out of your teeth you don't be judgmental you don't talk down you don't become condescending everybody needs a dentist you get over yourself and get out there and run for mayor build relationships and it's just it's so easy and back to the website I mean my god I mean every time I talk to a dentist to church today so I'm talking to dentist I ask them their office is open and if it is I say what's the number and I call it I put it on speakerphone and they're just stunned they're just stunned that it goes to voicemail they're like there's three ladies up there yeah well you're not standing in the middle office you don't record in your phone calls and then I go and then you'll be like this is my favorite you'll be like that idea plan seminar and you'll and you'll be taught of some guy nice place like 1,000 implants and you go to his website you wouldn't even know it there's not even one picture of one implant and back to trust when you consider it and say this is my own work. When doctors talk about technology it's not the CAD CAM and the laser and the CBCT it's called a digital camera it's the number one piece of equipment of return on asset come on you place a thousand and once you have one picture and of all the dentists that I talk to I mean you'll be talking to you for five or seven minutes and wow how so you're really into these CAD CAM dentures and all that what's your website again unbelievable that how you don't even have the word denture it's not even the word it doesn't even say denture but you traveled 3,000 miles to Scottsdale for a denture convention and you're buying all this expensive you know. So get out there and run for mayor talk to your pharmacist and invite him out for lunch. The MV's are pretty hooty tooty they really do have big attitude about that they do I mean they do but the chiropractor is a naturopath the all everybody who's not an MD all will go to lunch with you and then when that chiropractor or naturopath or nutritionist for weight loss person refers them to your office they come in with some trust.
Howard: So I can't believe our hour has passed that was the fastest hours there anything I wasn't not smart enough to ask or you wish you would have talked about?
Brian: No I think you covered it all I was able to share a bit about why we're here why we're doing this the value of Dentistry.com you know how it relates to 1-800 dentist. I mean I would just say again that it's free and this is only gonna work if we all participate everyone should claim their practice, claim your practice give a question I think it's firstname.lastname@example.org We can we can answer your questions and help you but build a profile page make it look beautiful so that consumers can find you and let's let's elevate dentistry let's get more people to the dentist.
Howard: and by the way that's Brian McCarthy executive vice president of Dentsply Sirona Futuredontics, this was not an advertisement he didn't give me any money or anything like that but when I see him next he will buy me a beer for this and no i'm just kidding but hey thank you so much for coming on the show today talk to my homies on their commute to work and I hope to see you on Dentaltown, you you're the big dog to get on Dentaltown and if you're shy and humble about that I just say if you see their podcast an hour an hour to do it but guys everybody get out there everybody got out there and run for mayor instead of one out of three Americans going to dentists under age 65 get it to two out of three.
Brian: Here here
Howard: So hustle hustle have a rockin hot day.
Brian: Thanks everybody