Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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1485 David Lopez of Dental Whale Talks Equipment, Software and Expert Practice Management : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1485 David Lopez of Dental Whale Talks Equipment, Software and Expert Practice Management : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

10/23/2020 3:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 228
David founded Dental Fix Rx 11 years ago and started repairing handpieces. He then founded Tralongo and Conversion Whale. Eventually, he merged the companies together and acquired Breakaway Practice and Front Office Rocks and formed Dental Whale.  Their purpose is to improve dental health for everyone and they are accomplishing this by creating breakthroughs in dental practice management through insight and innovation.

VIDEO - DUwHF #1485 - David Lopez

AUDIO - DUwHF #1485 - David Lopez

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**Please excuse any typos as this was digitally transcribed.

It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcasted interviewing David Lopez who founded Dental Whale and i can't believe this stuff so I’m driving into work today and I’m going to go podcast you and look what i took on can you see that i could see it great oh my god I’m like are you kidding me I’m driving and a f podcast the founder of the faster fix dental fix service and equipment Arizona license plate and i got up beside the guy i had to drive a million miles an hour to catch up with him and I’m waving at him and he's probably looking at me like who the hell is that stupid idiot driving down the road uh but anyway he is um he started that dental fix rx 11 years ago he started repairing hand pieces then founded trelongo and conversion well merged the companies together and acquired Scotland’s breakaway practice and front office rocks they've all been on the show informed dental whale talk about a whale that is just like five masked monster companies all rolled up into one his purpose is to improve dental health for everyone and he's accomplishing this by creating breakthroughs in dental practice manager through insight innovation with an innovative dental company carving a new category of group private practice ownership and management dental wells subsidiary companies provide practice management support services and continuing education comprised of the largest dental repair franchise in north America a dental marketing company a dental practice brokerage firm a national dental group practice clinical and business seminars a dental consulting company and a dental front desk services company dental whale and its 800 plus team members service more than 17 000 dentists who serve more than 1 million patients in 2017. he's a serial entrepreneur Lopez founded his first business as a student at the university of central Florida at the age of 19 and speaking of Florida shout out to my classmates Caesar sabotage first Florida dentist to become the president of elect of the American dental association so next year he will be the president he's the first dentist from Florida first Cuban first Hispanic but he's just he was the smartest guy in the class of 87. um just don't tell uh john flukey because me and john flukey we each think we are but it's really caesar's sabotage so we've had scott loon on the show three times he used to break away laura hatch uh we've had her on the show uh once twice three times uh my gosh and she's made a lot of ce from us so you have you basically acquired uh laura hatch's uh front office rock and scott lewin's breakaway practice and merged it with your dental fx yeah with dental whale yes it's all rolled into dental well my god um congratulations on being the dental whale and uh so uh so what so tell us your vision and your journey and um it sounds like um and to the kids in school i just wanted to throw out one thing sounds like you're doing a lot of mergers and acquisitions and whenever i saw found an office when i was growing up that was doing more than two million like three million four million five million it's always the same thing and that is whenever the old man across the street was getting to ready to retire instead of letting him sell that practice to some young kid with a bunch of energy he bought the old man out rolled the practice into his and then the old man would stay on for a year or two and um and if and i know one guy i know several people that were started out in a tent about ten thousand people uh with maybe um ten dentists and thirty years later that town's down to five dennis he's doing four million a year so it sounds like you're a big m a activity guy is that a great way to uh summarize you mergers and acquisitions you know i made i completed my first acquisition at the age of 21. um so i bought a competing smoothie chain with seven locations and merged them in to uh to fruits so i have a lot of experience uh in mergers and acquisitions but i don't know that i consider myself a big m a person the uh the moves that we made in dental whale were intentional for specific reasons going after a specific purpose for an opportunity that we see in the marketplace and what is that opportunity so when i was a kid um I’m 58 every pharmacist owned his own shop whether he owned the real estate i mean just like dentistry and vets and whatever and now they all go rolled up into walgreens and cdc um and now um when i got out of school i saw the first round of these dsos where uh lazarus um started rolling up orthodontic practices into orthodox centers of America and that was the first round it didn't really work out it failed miserably but now the second round is back and I’m in ground zero I’m in Arizona where the highest dso penetration where 18.6 out of every 100 dentists work for a dso in Arizona is that when you say opportunity is that the opportunity you see where dentistry is conglomerating and consolidating um no from my perspective how i see it is um the purpose the reason why is dentistry being consolidated and um for me the purp the opportunity that i saw was you know i didn't really understand anything about dentistry i was in the equipment repair business then through the equipment repair business i started a relationship with a dentist and we started acquiring dental practices together and then i started a dental marketing company so i went from having no experience running a dental practice but i had a lot of experience running other businesses so you know and what i was very confused by is how difficult it was to run a dental practice so i like to break it down just very easy to understand if i run a dental practice and I’m a dentist not only do i have to be an expert clinician but i have to understand how to run this small business but the business side of it is set up so inefficient that the problem as to why it is so difficult to run your practice is because of all the inefficiencies that are set up and the inefficiency inefficiencies are set up because the market exists of you know 150 000 individually owned dental practices that have fragmented service providers solution providers uh you know all these different people selling all these things to the dentist and that that's the that's the issue that's how i saw it anyway okay well i I’m so honored to get you on the show that I’m going to go slow you're going to have to go slow with me because my iq is uh the same as the room temperature of uh barrows uh Arizona alaska so you started with dental fixer so first i want to harvest all your brain thoughts on dental fixer uh um with some easy questions do you think a dentist if he buys the most expensive a deck chair in the short run that in the long run it's cheaper because it'll still be fine a hundred million years from now as opposed if he bought a cheap chair he'll always have need the dental fixer to come out every uh so often to fix it up so the way a dental practice should be set up is in the smallest footprint possible with the least of amount the least amount of equipment that does the job that you need so the challenge that you have is that most dentists are sold their office by people that are in the business of selling equipment so when you're in the business of selling equipment and cabinetry etc you're going to build big offices with a lot of space with extra equipment so um from my perspective you are crazy as a startup dentist to buy extraordinarily expensive equipment um you know that's like saying hey I’m going to go buy a car and my first car is going to be a rolls royce you just don't you just don't need it you know what you need is a toyota a honda that is going to be dependable it's going to be long lasting it's not going to be expensive to repair i'd say that's how i'd look at an office if it was me uh so um specific though a dental chair if you were starting an office today uh would you buy an expensive a deck or would you or is there a low-cost one that because you have a lot of data on repairs i mean you've been doing dental repairs for a long time so what is the toyota what is the honda in a dental chair a low-cost chair that isn't going to need to be in the repair shop all the time i i'd prefer not to give a name on this this call just because of specific reasons we're in a lot of conversations with a lot of manufacturers that are selling their chairs through us and i don't want to take any biases but i would say that i'd look at the bell curve and something that's on the top of the price point i would definitely stay away from um something on the bottom of the price point i'd probably stay away from if it was me i'd go for the stuff in the middle and i think if they've been around for 10 plus years and they're in the middle of the bell curve that is the chair that i would go for can you name any companies in the middle of the bell curve i mean there's i'd prefer not to okay and to the kids out there we call that channel conflicts so i mean um you know it'd be like getting an orthodontist on the program and saying okay 10 guys in all watuki refer to you who's the worst dentist after howard and then you know he doesn't want to say because he's getting cases from these guys so yeah so um okay so um that was dental fixer um what is change um you know this is my second rodeo with a virus the first one was aids hiv um 87 that was that changed dentistry in multiple ways and a lot of it stayed with us to this day to prepare us for sars um as far as a dental fixer what types of new equipment or do you think people dennis are going to need and it's still going to be here that we'll be using it in 10 20 years not some panic thing in the middle of a flash pandemic but what equipment purchases do you think sars brought to dentistry for to stay well i don't know about sars um from a coveted standpoint um you know i think that what the equipment there's a lot of different sanitation equipment that's coming out um you know from in the offices that we're managing um we what we've been doing is just practicing safety protocols um uh you know communicating to patients having them come in only when they're being called for and we we've seen uh i believe in the offices that we've managed we've seen seven uh seven uh search situations pop up from a coveted standpoint and all seven uh we verified did not come from the dental practice people got it prior to coming in so we didn't buy any special equipment we just implemented safety protocols we're the proper ppe equipment and we've contained it pretty well so i wouldn't be an advocate for going out and spending money on a bunch of capital equipment um you know maybe coming from the dental fix background I’m the guy that says you know try to repair your stuff and spending a bunch of money on capex unless it's technology i think that you need to have the latest you know having good technology that allows you to do your job better i think is really important but i think something like this is going to go away with time once we get a vaccine and um back to um this white house you know um there's the consolidation breakup um is a known cycle i mean when i got out of school there was a dental supply company on every corner and then some guys like Pete fourchette Patterson got a big line of credit rolled up all these Patterson shine uh stan Bergman shined it and it rolled them all up and uh you know just like Patterson had a quarter shine had a quarter benco burkhart another quarter and the rest all had a quarter and now i see it breaking up again where now every time i turn around there's a new dental supply uh buyer's club the internet social media the same thing i lived through with beer I’m Irish so i um you know i mean when i was in college there were a thousand different kinds of beers and then they all consolidated a Budweiser and miller and now they're deconsolidating again um do you think that um when i got out of school orthodontic centers of America was trying to consolidate orthodontist do you think this consolidating the dental offices into these big thousand chains like heartland and aspen do you think that's a consolidation curve and then would be followed immediately by a breakup curve or do you think this industry in 25 years do you think five or six companies are probably going to employ 80 of the dentist so you hit on two things there first the uh I’ll hit on the dentist consolidation and then the distribution consolidation so um the reason there are a lot of good large group dsos out there you mentioned you know heartland as an example and i think they do an amazing job and the training they provide dentists are fantastic and it's very complicated to run a dental practice so um you know i assume that heartland runs their dental practices from a business standpoint significantly better than an independent dentist will just because they understand they've got scale so i do think that if you do not want to own your own practice and deal with the challenges that come with operating your own business going to work for a group makes a lot of sense and i do think that consolidation is going to continue primarily because it's better for the patient i think a patient gets a better experience when you go to a group and the investments that they're making into their infrastructure and technology it's just a much better experience for the most part than an individual practice so i think you will continue to see that consolidation now from a distribution standpoint i think that the distribution consolidation made a lot of sense when it distributed when it started 20 30 years ago and there was no internet um today i believe that the distribution model is extremely inefficient and what needs to happen is we need to connect the dentist which is the customers directly to the manufacturers and eliminate the dealers in the middle and that's part of the strategy the dental well's working on is we are looking to eliminate the need for the dealer connect manufacturers direct to their customer and allow them to communicate to their customers and um you know it made a lot of sense to distribute the dealers when i as the dentist had to deal with multiple different distributors to get the products i needed but with the technology that exists today um i really don't understand the why uh for the dealers now there are some dealers out there that i think do a very good job um i like their models um they're more of a zappos type model I’ll say where they've got great customer service they're low touch they work on lower margins i think that makes a lot of sense but i think the big role of dealers you know i don't really understand their competitive advantage other than they currently have the lines so um is the greater new york meeting still on uh i would think it um you would know that that you're on the other coast i am unaware that it is on because we usually have a booth and um we don't this year so I’m assuming that it is not on it is still it is still um it is still on their website they have not i mean trust me i have they have still not canceled it but the reason I’m asking about it is because the last four years there's been the men in black booth with the boys from amazon and they just stand there literally with sunglasses on in a suit and every and everybody's talking about uh did you see those guys over there um if you were Patterson shine benco burkard um are you would you be worried about amazon or do you think amazon only wants the big b to c market they want all the people buying toothpaste and toothbrushes not that the 12 people buying dental sealer what are your thoughts on amazon and the big distributors i think that the big distributors need to focus on their customer and say how do i do what's in the best interest of the customer and not necessarily look at their own profit margins and their own p l's and figure out how they could innovate their own uh process of connecting manufacturers to uh the consumer and um i can tell you that the people from amazon that's how they're looking at it as well they the reason that you haven't seen them come in as heavily into the market from what i see is because they haven't seen the model that makes sense for them um so uh i think that once they find that model you'll see them come more aggressively into healthcare i think they have to well it's such a big part of the economy yeah and then and then the other thing um i want to remind people is that you know a lot of times they'll say well this other country only spends half as much as on health care health care is a luxury and um you know rich people all of a sudden are concerned about dying of cancer and global warming a poor person is just trying to eat food and the ultimate luxury item is to live one more day life the average human lives about 30 000 days and after you've lived 15 000 days the other fifteen thousand are more valuable and that's what the mayo brothers bit up they the mayo brothers started i was seeing that when they were working in rochester when an 85 year old grandma came in with cancer everybody would just say well you know she's 85 and let's make her comfortable and let's just put her down because they couldn't take her behind the barn and shoot her because that's actually illegal and would need kevorkian for that uh but um the mayo brothers found out that in indeed the entire family was willing to sell the farm and sell the john deere tractor and do anything to keep an 85 year old grandmother one more uh um keep living so as people get richer and richer and richer they are going to bid up the price uh of not dying in fact milton friedman i love his um little blue pill he says i say well how much is too much money on health care and he says okay we'll go up to any mother and say uh your baby's going to die if she buys this uh pill from me and takes it your baby won't die how much will you give me for this pill and the mother's going to give you a house car kid she'll give you everything uh to save that baby so health care is going to go up but um amazon is a an interesting one but the greater new york meeting is still scheduled um november 27 to december 2nd i've called um all my friends in new york and they go yeah it's still on i actually sent an email to the person and you know what she replied back to me yeah why like why are you asking oh i don't know i don't know i have no idea what I’m asking okay so um i think i've uh covered the uh um the dental fixer deal but to be specific um i mean is it you just fix chairs compressors vacuum i mean you don't fix the practice management computer system i mean is it is it i.t or is it everything well has an i.t company called unlimited i.t so um we do all the repairs in an office from a handpiece to the x-rays okay and then my other question was um here's a big question for you know Patterson bought eaglesoft in effingham which is where the headquarters of harlan is and stan Bergman got a dentrix and it was actually um chuck cohen and rick cohen who said you know i don't want uh benco to be tied to practice management system um when you look at when you're saying it's so hard to run a business um i mean are you running yours with a off-the-shelf software from ventrix or eaglesoft or did you make your own practice management system or i see a lot of people going to open dental just because it's open and you can go in there and change some things so what do you recommend on practice management system um definitely something open you don't want to be tied into something that's not an open system it's just if the owner of the software is in the business of selling you supplies and they close the system the reason the system is closed is because they want to continue selling you the stuff they want to sell you and they want to control what what can connect in to that practice or not connect into that practice so you know but what i mean managing the business what we've built is something called orca and the way to look at orca is a practice management system for the business side of it so instead of handling all of the the clinical information and the patient uh relationship with the dentist imagine the software that handles all your procurement that handles all your facilities it handles all your repairs that handles all your communications with your patients that handles all the marketing patient with with your patients that we've got ai listening to the phone calls that are coming in and telling you the intent and what's actually happening to the phone call one place that you can go to and get all your education that you need to train your staff to train everybody on how to manage the business so um that's the portion that we are we're attacking is think of it like a crm system like a sales force for healthcare or for dental um that is going to help you in running your business and um is that called orca dental whale yeah well orca yep what's the website uh if you go to and see uh discover orca okay there it is right there in front of my face yep yep it's uh okay so a dental a platform built for dental practices business management orca first of all who's the one infatuated all these whales you got whales you got orcas uh that's me that's you that's me and where's that come from it came from my uh my holding company where i started my business where i started doing different business investments called that whale so i've just kind of always kept the whale theme um so made investments through different businesses and just attached the name whale to it um so um so i here here's one of my pet peeves for 30 years since i started lecturing i mean you go you go to a dental office and you know they're all the same the hygienist is always in room one i don't know if that comes from the old testament or whatever but she's always in room one and she just did a clean exam by wings and dennis says hang on i gotta go do a hygiene day he comes out of the room and i say okay your assistant your hygiene has been here for a decade just did a cleaning exam and bite wings did you net five dollars and 12 cents after taxes or do you lose 13 bucks they don't have a clue and then their next question is you know do you think i should get another hygienist and sometimes after about four hours looking at the books you you can tell them well you know by the time you hire your fifth full-time hygienist you'll go bankrupt uh that you know uh you know so how do you um why do these doctors never know their numbers and it seems intuitive that they have half their data in um and um quicken and uh quickbooks pro and and they pay their taxes on turbo tax and then the other half of their data is on dentrix and eaglesoft and of course none of these two systems talk to each other in a uh bizarre way um is that the problem i mean is orca someday going to tie into quickbooks online and turbotax so i mean the most uncomfortable phone call each year is when the accountant calls the dentist on april 14th and says oh by the way uh tomorrow yeah you need to write a check to the irs for a hundred grand he's like what i i only have 98 dollars in my checking out i owe him a hundred grand so what what what is the long-term solution from how you see it i think somebody needs to innovate in the industry i think somebody has to look at what the actual problem is right it is practice management and somebody has to invest into solving that problem and you're going to solve it with technology you're going to solve it by answering the right questions by asking the right questions and saying what is the problem and what is the best optimal solution so for example something that we're working on a huge problem in an office is uh you know people calling to change their appointment right so we happen to have a business that does phones and we answer thousands of phone calls a day to change uh people's appointment but when you look at that what what instead of us looking at that business and saying let's keep that business a call center and let's keep making money on the call center what we do is we say how do we take the call center how do we take these calls and how do we solve that problem so what we currently have in beta is we've got amazon alexa answering the phones and taking those phone calls and integrating directly into your practice management software and automatically changing the appointment so instead of you having to answer the phone call you can have alexa answer the phone call and she could handle rescheduling the appointment so you know something like that is a tremendous amount of savings for the office it's a better patient experience for the customer so we're looking at it from from perspectives like that okay so just to be clear are you um doing all this so like an individual dentist in the middle of parsons kansas can benefit are you doing all this for your own chain of dso empire so i we don't have a chain of a dso empire we um we do have a subsidiary that we call dental entrepreneurs that we are building dental practices with and uh we do partner with dentists and that sort of it but we use the practices that we own uh more as the beta for what we're doing so we think one of our biggest competitive advantages is that we are a supplier for dentists and we're the only one that I’m aware of that actually owns and operates dental practices so we understand exactly the problems that a dentist has with hiring training retaining answering phones collecting money because we do it firsthand so we we do solve the problem beta it for ourselves um and once we have uh the kinks worked out on ourselves we roll it out to the market and that's called dental dental entrepreneur program yes so dental or one of the two there it is so i went to entrepreneur that's a tough word dental entrepreneur b business beyond the classroom well i i was not aware of this website i would i sort of got i try to study for all my uh interviews but i miss this one completely so um so tell them tell my homies what they're going to find if they go to dental what are they going to find on this site what we're looking for are dentists that are entrepreneurial that want to own their own practice and what we do is work with them to identify locations whether they want to make an acquisition or whether they want to do a startup we work with them help them get their dental practice operate it and for the dentist that is entrepreneurial and is looking to develop multiple practices in the territory we're the built-in buyer for them so they buy a practice operate it we partner with them acquire the practice from them and they continue to buy and operate practices in partnership with us in that territory oh i see what you're talking about dental is very different than um um dental entrepreneur dental entrepreneur is um henry the henry shine dental business institute correct uh I’m not sure yeah yeah and dental entrepreneurs is uh is you um so another another thing i want to ask you about um you know um you just can't have a conversation with someone about these subjects with i mean they're just so emotional i mean talking to dentists about dsos it's kind of like talking to uh the catholic nuns and i went from catholic school from kindergarten to the end of college it's like talking to them about birth control i mean you know it's just it's not going to be a pretty conversation um do you find it to be emotional like that i think i think for a lot of dentists it is emotional um and i've had many it's like politics one thing i try not to bring up with dentists is you know do you want to be part of a dsl or not because they're very opinionated for the most part as kind of you're insinuating um you know i think i think the bottom line is the following do are you at a stage in your career where you want to focus on dentistry or are you at a stage in your career where you're trying to maximize your income and create financial wealth and i think it's you know it's it's based on the individual if you're looking to go into a private practice i would ask why if I’m going to go work with a dso or partner deal with the dso i'd ask why and i think the why is very important and and the other thing is um you know um to me it's like um the you know i don't care about the dentist the dental insurance the dental supply company i mean i i've always kept one eye on the patient and one eye on cost and every time i have an idea i hold up my five fingers and say is what is your idea faster better cheaper easier smaller and when you go to open up your own dental office my first question to you is there's a 168 hours in a week how would you like your hometown hospital to have an emergency room open 32 hours a week don't you kind of like the fact that it's open 24 hours a day seven days a week now i don't think a dental office needs to be open 24 hours a day seven days a week but i think 7 a.m to 7 p.m seven days a week the customer would be a hell of a lot happier with that than monday through thursday eight to five when the federal reserve which has 3 000 phd economists who every 10 years put out a report that one out of every three americans cannot go to the doctor monday through friday to five because they are working and that's the hours like like I’ll ask a dentist are you are you dentist focused i mean is it just all about you or is it about the patient they go oh it's it's for the patient and I’m like what are your hours uh monday through thursday nine to four it's like you can't make this stuff up but they they truly believe uh they're patient oriented and and they're just not um so are you saying that a group practice and by the way group practice do you think it's fair to say that um the big three who got to a thousand uh heartland aspen pacific it kind of um it's kind of uh it kind of taints the whole group practice still i mean the the average group practice or in my mind the average dso is like three locations it's like some guy is in a small town he was on the north side he ended up building another one on the south east west so when he has four offices in a town of 5000 he can do billboard radio and he gets a alera management um you remember mcdonald's the the headquarters they don't serve big macs and treat customers in the headquarters that's where they would do operations and logistics so it gives you that one scale of someone in accounting marketing hr you know four or five people and i think that is i don't know how anybody could compete with that now what i don't quite understand is when a big national one will come in and buy that up and then they'll need another like 17 off the top and it's like dude i don't my my lab and supplies is in 17 i mean if you brought me if you brought my efficiencies of lab to surprise down to zero um so um so i i think group practice in one town or one state with one layer of flat management just to get just to get a level of management of people who like I’ll go into a dental I’ll say who are you and she'll say I’m amy lou and i go what do you do here are you the dentist he goes no I’m the office manager can you hold on a second thank you for calling today's dental how may i help you check it in check and i said well i've been standing here for 15 minutes and you're not an office manager you sound like you're a receptionist who answers the phone and does scheduling so just to get a a a layer of management that doesn't have to deal with consumers seems to be so much more efficient and would be very hard to uh compete against you know so i think that the large dsos from what my experience they do a great job they do a very good job they do a very good job educating the staff and the dentist i really think that's where they separate themselves they also have invested into technology and they got so much purchasing power so i think the large dsos do a great job and i think small dsos that you're talking about you know and i guess they technically are dsos but those are mostly doctors dentists that are expanding in their community to provide you know more reach to their patients i think where you have a lot of challenges and you have to really ask yourself why is a lot of these dsos that I’m going to say are in the middle that are you know I’m a small private equity company and you know anyone sells their business makes a few bucks they start a private equity company now they're a private equity company and they all are buying dental offices and we've dealt with a lot of uh dso customers that are great and do a very good job um but then you deal with a lot of them that don't have a why behind what they're doing and when their why is we're going to buy offices and we're going to go from 10 to 20 and we're going to make a multiple of ebitda that's not a good why um be behind growing a business that's usually my goal is to make money a financial transaction and and you know i'd say that that would be the one that the category that i'd be a little weary from if I’m a dentist do i want to go work for kind of you know that that type of a dso but i think for the most part most of the larger dsos are doing a very good job now they understand the regulations um and they're abiding by them and um what I’m extremely impressed at is just the amount of education that they're giving their staffs so who do um who do you put in that top tier would it be aspen heartland pacific dental is there any others that make that list i think i think a lot of them um American dental partners northern American dental i mean there's there's so many of them what about mb2 mb2 i think is great i think i love i love the way they understand the culture they're looking for entrepreneurial dentists i think that um i think they've done a very good job everyone i've met and that organization is great I’m I’m friends with justin uh who runs runs it over there and he's a great guy so you know i think that's why i say for the most part most of the dsos and we do a bit we do a lot of business with dsos a lot of these dsos use us for one service or another and um they do a really good job um the ones that are typically the challenge that we've seen are like what I’m describing the smaller ones that really you know the purpose behind it is I’m going to buy it and flip it and make some money instead of really building a long-term business that's my experience so so then um okay so dental whale consolidated dental fix rx trilongo conversion well breakaway practice front desk and dental entrepreneurs or is dental entrepreneurs is that part of dental whale or is that separate than dental whale it's it's i mean it's owned by dental whale but we keep it completely separate okay and i want to ask you a personal question um you know having had four children who turned into six i mean some people don't want to be a business owner some people would rather work for somebody else and take orders and some people like to give orders i can just tell by just looking at you you're a confident guy you're an entrepreneur a young guy you're starting this when you go look at the graduating classes 6 500 each year i mean all 6 500 of them are going to be a an entre love entrepreneur more i mean they're you know you got the full spectrum what percent of that graduating class that just walked out in 2020 you think really has a mindset i would rather work for someone like you and focus on my dentistry and learning how to do a root canal filling crown versus giving orders and leading people you know that i don't know what percentage i think should but what i would say is if i was one of those 6 500 that was graduating before i said I’m going to go open my own practice i would do something like attend a breakaway advanced startup seminar i think that that those seminars do a great job of explaining to somebody what it takes to open a dental practice and what is it going to cost all the different areas of the business that you're going to manage and and i would go educate myself and i would say is this something that i want to to to handle i would also recommend that they get further kind of clinically trained so that they could have a larger range of procedure types that they could probably do before they are going into practice for themselves um you know i've met a lot of dentists and i i always go back to why why do you want to own your own practice and i think that what they need to do is not jump into anything um and not not really take advice from if you're taking advice from somebody look at where their financial interest is tied to right so if I’m taking advice from somebody who's in the the you know a business broker who is selling you dental practices of course they're going to tell you it's a great idea to buy a dental practice i mean that's the the business that they're in um but i would encourage them to be patient and there is great great training and jobs available now because of the dso market um i would be patient that's the advice that i would give and i would go take seminars such as breakaway and educate myself a little bit and then determine if it's something that i want to do and it also save up a little bit of money um i see a lot of dentists that open up their own practice and they run out of cash and that's that's a serious problem so so obviously i got to tell the kids something when he talks about breakaway he's talking about dr scott loon who when i he was on the show um it was actually 173 174 one thing i had him on three times in a row i think he has the highest one of the highest views i mean every one of them had and this is years ago two to five thousand views but what i love most about scott i i went down there met his wife kids san antonio i i just loved it but oh my god um talk about the most controversial thing because it's it's kind of like it's kind of like the catholic church coming down the pipe and legalizing birth control i mean all the old catholics did not want to hear you know when my mom when um when ireland legalized birth control my mom cried for three days and and it reminded me when i was 10 that was when the catholic church allowed the the mass instead of being said in latin they could say it in our native tongue whatever we speak in kansas english so they say when they switched from latin mass imagine you're 10 years old and you go to mass and all you hear i i had no idea what hell they were saying my mom thought it was the end of the world and that's the reaction scott lewin gets they when he's out there talking about breakaway practice and all that the old guard they want it to be one dentist one owner operator till the end of time so it's an extremely emotional uh subject so a breakaway seminar when you go there everyone there god they just love it but when they go back home to katy texas and tell the old 60 year old dentist on the combine what they just went to it's not going to be pretty is that fair enough is that a fair enough assessment yeah you know i i the reason i partnered with dr luna uh was primarily because i believed in the philosophies that he taught and it is very controversial when when he's saying build a practice and do it in a much smaller square footprint than a larger square footprint there's a lot of people that don't like that and you know people are used to working with a lot of space you know he's looking at it from the perspective of i've helped hundreds of dentists if not thousands at this point open startup dental practices and the biggest problem that he has is when they don't follow his methodology and they get looped up with someone who's selling them equipment or the real estate broker that wants to get him the bigger space on the corner of maine and maine and they run out of money and you kind of heard me touch on the fact of you know people run out of money and so there's a lot of controversy around that from what i see but i think a lot of it his philosophies are spot on lower your rent lower your footprint try to outsource as much as you can so that you can scale up and scale down with the business use data to operate your business and use data to make the decisions um i agree with every single thing that i've seen him say he's been the big preacher of buying lower cost equipment you don't need all that big equipment out there um and i think it's because he has so much experience at this point seeing so many dentists go through uh his program and um and many of them are successful um and a lot of them have not been and it's usually the same story for the ones that have not been um they spend too much money ran out of cash opened up under capitalized can't market and then they hit this kind of vicious spiral so his name is pronounced luna yeah scott luna hell i've called him scott loon for 20 years i uh that's pretty sad when you know someone 20 years don't even say their name right he must not care cause he's never he's never uh corrected me maybe I’m wrong maybe I’m wrong you're right i know i i i got a d in spanish but um yeah dsl it's a uh but again when people start arguing about dso right or wrong i mean uh it's same thing with with i just went to a um delta dental's uh annual convention and um you know some dentist was complaining to the ceo uh alan that um you know about all the adjustments he's had to write out he's like right i charge a thousand dollars for a crown and i had to write off this adjustment because you don't give me that much and I’m just sitting there thinking what an entitled ass i mean why don't you just go ask the patient to give you a thousand dollars oh so the patient doesn't have a thousand dollars so now you're screaming at this guy because you have to write an investment i mean talk about an entitled nut job and then he doesn't even realize that the only reason he can get a thousand dollars for a crown is because of the mob induced violence to keep out all unlicensed dentists i mean you know but you know but before 1900 if you were a dentist from mexico or france or canada or anywhere on earth brazil and came here you'd set up a dental shop and then in 1900 the the mob uh the uh whatever you want to call it the uh the mobsters that's that's all they are is they um they they uh set up state board of dental examiners in all 50 states they closed down 90 of all the dental schools all the uh unlicensed all the doctors and not only did that because remember they're there to save you we're we're here to protect you and in protecting you like I’m i practice across the street from the guadalupe indian reservation 25 000 mexicans and people say well they're illegal you mean the land you stole okay so they were living on this land for fifteen thousand years and it was called like tejas and you steal it where the countries are called cities or san antonio san francisco so you steal their land and then the people living on it are illegal i mean you can't even make this [ __ ] up but when when somebody from mexico comes up and opens up a dental office and starts treating the poor i mean very poor and a lot of these floors have dirt floors what is what does our government do they send out the police they arrest him they kidnap him they put him in a cage and they deport him that's the only reason these dentists are making a hundred thousand dollars a year if if you turn the state board and the fda around and said okay um howard and scott are licensed okay we're licensed then they say well in fact david Lopez is not a licensed dentist and he's doing fillings okay well it's up to the individual to choose you want to go to david Lopez and I’ll say well david how did where did you learn dentistry and he said from fixing old dental equipment i'd probably leave but if you said well hell it was a dentist in mexico city for 20 years that's for me to decide so this guy only makes a hundred thousand dollars a year because he's in bed with the mob and then he gets mad at dental insurance companies because they don't give them enough shakedown money and and for me i don't listen to any of that crap to me i got just one eye on the patient and one eye on cost because if it costs too much money this patient doesn't have the freedom to afford to keep their teeth and and new ideas should be faster better easier cheaper smaller by the way out of dennis email me yesterday says i don't like the word when you say cheaper say say higher and say lower in cost dude it's not my problem that cheaper is a trigger word for you okay that's between you your mom your psychiatrist it's faster easier better cheaper smaller um and if you're not doing that you're not focusing on the patient agree or disagree you know i think that I’m for regulation i look at it a little differently i think technology needs to solve a lot of these issues and i think the problem with the reimbursement rates with insurance companies is very similar to what we were talking about earlier with distributors it's this they need to invest into technology and making this easier to work with them and insurance companies you know make a lot of money making it difficult for you to do business with them so i think uh i think if government stays out of the business i I’m for regulation but allows entrepreneurs to invest in i've seen a ton of people in healthcare that are looking to disrupt and change uh the way that healthcare is being done and i think like you're seeing people like elon musk come through and you know really help with uh you know solar panel uh batteries and and uh energy efficient vehicles etc i think you're going to see entrepreneurs over the next decade coming through dentistry and and and delivering very uh interesting solutions for uh uh insurance companies uh for patients to receive patient care and and i think that's how we're going to see kind of the innovations happen so to be clear so orcik can that do everything a pms system could have i mean does that have all your basic everything that dentrix or eaglesoft would have or is this a orca as a supplement layer kind of like an extra dashboard for a primary system i would say the the orca does nothing that a practice management system does um it would be a supplement an additional platform but it our goal is to make orca the only platform that you need to use outside of your practice management system and if I’m I’m going to hold your feet to the fire because i know you're going to say channel conflict but she's opening up her own office what practice management software system should you start with dentrix eagle soft open dental what what i would if it was my choice i'd say open dental because it's open if you look at orca where it's on our platform any developer anyone that has a sas product anybody that wants to integrate with us could go on to discover oracle go to our developer portal and it's right there um they could they could uh you know tie in with us and we're open sourcing everything so and i just want to tell the kids out there i've interviewed 1500 people just for a podcast but i've had a monthly magazine since 1994 and probably most of you listening weren't even born in 94. and everybody that's in high tech is aiming first at open dental for what he just said it's just open and you know and a closed system is not um is not the the future so it's closed you have to ask yourself why that's it and if you ask yourself why you're going to get the answer and the why is because they only want to integrate with the solutions and the people that they say and if you look at the people that are integrating them for the most part it's companies they own so you know why do you need to integrate with three separate companies that they charge you 500 a month for each of those three separate things when those three things should be free right but but this is how they're this is how these companies make money so um you know it's i it needs to be open and if you're using something that's not open at high you know that would be my my my say would be get something and that that's really a good answer because it's the same thing with regulation or whatever the you know the first question is why why why do we need to do this and then when you hear their why uh that's when you you run the other way um when you're looking at orca um a lot of dentists can't figure out it is a.i more a marketing term is it more a sci-fi term i mean i know we're coming to the singularity i just know it's [ __ ] and it's not going to be in my lifetime and I’ll tell you why i think it's all [ __ ] is my grandson um little gunner uh over christmas he's won he touched the charcoal and he touched it and it was hot he pulled his hand off it and he ran and he never touched it again for 10 days but you but what does a i i need big data big data they need millions of observations trillions of observations yeah my one-year-old grandson needed one observation and he has natural intelligence and he never touched again and some of these claims ai is around the corner so i want to ask you is a.i in dentistry is it mostly hype is it something that's going to be here five to ten or is it just [ __ ] with a capital b um so i actually a couple months ago just needed a educational course on ai and we're investing millions of dollars into ai so you just used a great example here's the difference with a.i a your your grandson burnt his finger well an ai every other one-year-old that's ever built that has ever given birth to for the rest of the world will never touch the fire because they now know it alberta so that's a perfect example but what ai does is apply it to every one-year-old in the world right so how we use ai is um we listen to phone calls and we use ai so we use the natural language aspect of artificial intelligence and what we're able to do when we listen to a phone call is we're able to take out words and tell you what the purpose of the word is so for example if somebody's calling your office and they're looking to set an appointment we're able to determine if an appointment was made or not based on that phone call if they're asking for a specific type of insurance we're able to pull out of that phone call what type of insurance that they ask for and if you have it or not so in your practice you could look at a report and you could see i received 1300 phone calls and 35 of those phone calls were calling and they were asking if i do teeth straightening and i do not so you know with data now that hey maybe i should do this teeth straightening thing so i could pick up these 35 patients or maybe i didn't accept blue cross and blue shield and 55 people called me this month and asked do i take blue cross or blue shield or if I’m one of those dentists that say i don't have enough patience but you're getting a phone call and the average time that it takes for you to schedule an appointment is three weeks you're getting the answers because we're using ai to listen to those phone calls and tell you what's going on i've also seen some amazing applications where they're using visual ai to look at x-rays and diagnose what's what what what's going on here uh with with the patient and act as a second opinion for the doctor so i think you're going to see um tremendous uh uh improvements in healthcare because of ai and i think it's going to be applicable specifically to the clinical side helping dentists make better decisions and then you're going to see people like us that are investing into ai very heavily so that we can help you buy your products better and that we can help you answer your phones better and we can help you communication communicate to your patients better so i got to tell you a couple of uh um examples of when I’m so old ai when i got out of school was just algorithms and this israeli firm was writing dental insurance companies algorithms for instance 98 and a half percent of the crowns at this time were billed as a single unit so an algorithm which is just a sort um pulled out that here's this dentist friend of mine and half of his crowns were billed as two so that just showed up a red flag so they came in his office and what my friend was doing was um a person come in and say hey david come in and they were kind of david you need a crown that's thousand bucks and insurance pay half and you need 500 the other half or what we could do is I’ll bill them for two they'll pay half of both and then nothing will be out of your pocket so he was only doing it with friends and family and all of his great friends and family and the insurance company came along and found out and the the ones he was doing in the state of Arizona is a civil deal but the ones that insurance crossed the straight line was a federal deal and he got to go sit in a cage for five years and now we have a.i with uh reading radiographs and now some amazing dentist lover in san diego uh was uh not only not doing a muller a root canal but she was sending in the same x-ray and she sent in like the same x-ray for like 10 root canals and uh now she's going to go sit in a cage for a long time so i actually think this is what I’m going to guarantee young kids when i was when i opened up my dental office about the only way you could embezzle from me you'd have to steal a check forge my signature at the bank but now in this modern world of technology your paper trail is so long and it's so digital i don't even know where you would hide i mean i think there's going to be a hundred more ways to embezzle money out of a dental office and a thousand more ways to get caught yeah yeah i think technology is definitely going to be used for cases like that um it's it isn't difficult for an insurance company to invest a little bit of money into technology to do exactly what you just said so yeah i think ai is going to is going to definitely catch a lot of fraud that's happening so i wanna ask you uh this is kind of a uh a vague question but i mean to me um my gosh i wouldn't even know where to start if i was you because we look at this average dental office that is 750 a year and uh the average the average dentist is uh whatever what i have here um so we we look at the average on dental office if a dentist owns their own practice or making 244 if they're an employee 147. but let's just say that you own your own practice and you're making 250 to make 250 look how crazy it is this is numbers i believe and tell me where I’m completely wrong but about a hundred people have to land on your website for one to uh um convert and call your office about three people have to call your office before your inefficient untrained call center girl converts one to come in and then three people have to come in with a cavity before you can treatment plan present and get one person to a filling so to do this 750 000 let's say it's all in fillings to do 750 000 with the fillings you have to have three times that many come in because of your treatment plan conversion you have to have three times as many people i mean land on your website it's like i look at that funnel it's like dude you could just fix anything along that funnel and double your whole practice so is that kind of how you see the funnel what you described is very real and there's practices that we see um you know the first business that we rolled into and applied ai was in conversion whale and conversion way i like to say that we're we're pretty large dental marketing company but i kind of tout us as we probably lost more customers than any other dental marketing company in the country and the reason is fascinating um people cancel your marketing because they're not getting patients right but what what's happened with us now that we're listening to all the phone calls using ais we understand why so when you start to understand why you're not getting patience um what that allows you to do is fix it so um i think what you just described is exactly uh you know is in essence part of why dental whale exists because we want to fix something like that and we want to be able to provide the individual dentist or the dso business the transparency into serving their patients better so i think the key is understanding the 100 leads that you're getting understanding the money that you spend to generate those leads and let me determine which of the leads that are working for me and which of the leads that are not you got to be able to track those leads to understand it and then let me understand the people that are calling what is the reason they're making appointments and what is the reason that's not let's fix that um but i yeah i would say starting at the top of the funnel generating a lead is where i would start and i would follow the customer journey so i always like to say if you're any business not just a dentist put yourself in your customer shoes go on the internet find your dental office when you find your dental office submit the lead call your office go through that practice and see what that experience is like for yourself a breakaway they actually do that in some of their seminars in the middle of the seminar they will call offices that are the offices that are owned by dentists that are in the room and you'll see that exact scenario play out and you'll call and have it and then he calls the call center and has the same conversation and you can see the difference in and it's really around data information and training data information dude i do the same thing i mean a dentist will come over here and I’ll say well who do you forward your calls to her oh my marth is there and you call it goes right to voicemail and he's like damn we we take lunch 12 to 1. it's it's 20 till 12 today on voicemail if she answers the phone i just love doing it just come out the voice say yeah i just moved here from kansas and uh my last dentist told me i needed three crowns do you do crowns uh yes we do can you do all three at the same time yes we can okay thank you very much he says well i have a nice date I’m like didn't get my name no follow-up didn't try to close i mean i wha what is a loose metric i know it's hard to generalize you can't say that all 150 000 dentists do this just like you can't say all irish or drunk only 38 of irish are alcoholics uh the other 62 percent just drink heavily what what letter grade would you give the 150 000 dental offices answering the phone on being able to convert you to come in and schedule your butt in a chair what would be the letter grade for 150 000 offices i would say the majority that i'd see i'd give a d or an f yeah i know i know so i want to ask you another question about that another thing that dennis have i mean love my homies but they're weird they're some of them are very weird like like they'll spend all their time learning tmj and temporomandibular disorders and i get it it's phenomenally interesting but it's like one percent of their revenue and I’ll say well you know um have you ever thought about maybe doing invisalign and they're like I’m not interested in that okay but i just wish you weren't interested in something that had such a small market if you were coming out of school it looks like there's two paths there's blood and guts pulling teeth pulling wisdom teeth placing implants and then there's soft and pretty stuff bleaching bonding veneers invisalign braces what do you think is a more profitable path if you had to pick blood and guts or soft and pretty you know I’m of the belief that you can do great in anything you know one of the one of the wealthiest people that i know um sells uh brooms and that's what the family does right and they're very good at the broom business um so what i would say is what is your passion what what is your why and get very good at that so if you're you know if you're into the more cosmetic side yeah you can make a great living with the cosmetic and there's a lot of people that want to go to see a great cosmetic dentist but i think most of the efficiencies that are going to be brought into helping dentists make more money is we need people such as dental well like what we're trying to do to invest into the actual operation of the business side of dentistry we need to make it easier for your 100 leads to come in to become a higher percentage of them to schedule an appointment we need to make it more cost effective we need to figure out how we could automate your hundred thousand phone calls so that they want to make an appointment they just make it online or if they're going to need to speak to someone on the phone they could speak to someone every single time they call and that appointment can be made for them i think things like that are going to really eliminate a lot of waste that exists in dentistry there's just so much waste and when you really look at how much waste there is the the advancements that we as a dental community need to make in the business of dentistry i think are going to shave a lot of that waste away and are going to help the entire industry benefit man I’ll tell you what you are an amazing optimist the way you took the fact that your mother-in-law rides around on a broom and is a witch and then converted it to that story you just i mean that was just beautiful um but um so um how do you price something like this i mean I’m on conversion well and by the way i don't do commercials i made my money the old-fashioned way i just lived a real long time um conversion whale i mean there's so many things i mean I’m you you couldn't look at this say oh it's 99 a month or 9.99 a month i mean you have so much stuff um my homie listen to this and and what i've been saying is that if you just want to learn endo and tmj and bleaching bonding veneers you're going to need you still gotta compete with dsos and i think there's going to be a huge market for companies like yours that say well I’m just a one a onesie can you give me the tools necessary to compete with someone who's a thousand-y so how do you how do you price a conversion well when you have all these different things that you do from oh well depends on the solution that you want but i'd encourage you howard if you're on the website do a practice analysis for yourself so do it for your practice now that you're on it and i think it'll give you a little glimpse into the thought that we've put into the technology uh for marketing but what I’ll say is if a dentist is using conversion whale they are getting the most advanced marketing services available in healthcare period i have not seen another marketing company in all of healthcare that has um that is able to deliver leads and understand what's going on with the leads that are coming into your practice um that has i haven't seen anyone that has anything close to what we're doing i haven't seen another person use the ai applications the way that we're doing it um so i'd say the individual dentist using conversion whale most likely is going to have unless the dso is also using conversion whale is going to have a better marketing platform and it's going to have a better understanding of what's going on in their practice but we've got a lot of a lot of dsos using it and it's the same application that we provide to an individual dentist and by the way you know you're um that you're you're into wells that that's cool and you um you have the uh the conversion whale and uh then you have your other products at orca but regarding tmj sleep apnea and break mouth breathing you need to call that product the dolphin because you know that blowhole out the back you know that blowhole that's their nose their nose migrated back and if we could just move our nose to the back of the head like a dolphin all that sleep apnea [ __ ] could just it would be solved that's what i want to do i want to learn how to just get a big drill hole and drill holes in the back of people's head and then move their nose back there and um if you know anybody who flies a broom when they go to the store maybe that'll be my first patient um so um on that so if you had to prioritize that funnel do you think they have a um and by the way i've always said on this program go four years back never ever start a dental advertising company a marketing company that's the worst idea because you could go out there and do everything right generate a hundred calls to their their telephone and she doesn't convert any of them and then she blames then the dentist blames on you oh i try the david Lopez god i wasted all my money because he doesn't believe that his perfect little katie lou answering the phone up front um what do you think um the conversion call is i want them to hear from you if a hundred people called up the average dentist in America and um was talking um about uh you know they hadn't have their teeth cleaned whatever what what what would the conversion rate be and what could it be um what could it be um and i am not a hundred percent sure that this is the most recent number but i want to say that we're converting 68 of the phone calls that are coming in um and what have we seen we've seen it under 10 i mean we've the number one you are you hit it on the head i started a dental marketing company and what we realized is as we were losing customers the why behind us losing the customers because just because we're generating you the lead that isn't the solution that you're looking for as a dentist what you're looking for patients and um generating a lead that then you as a business owner are not able to schedule i mean it's actually worse than you marketing at all because now you're spending money and throwing away that that money so we invested into the technology to solve that problem so with us what you will know without question is how many times that phone rang what the outcome was of every single phone call that you got and we even tie production values to it so you could see mathematically i had a hundred phone calls where they were asking for fillings and we did not schedule that appointment and you put in what that cost you and it extrapolates out the price so you can see it so what we've done is we've made it very transparent for the dentist to then see oh [ __ ] what's my problem and um and then we help them through that journey and say well look you got two two choices here go to like a front office rocks and get that training and get the training to train your staff right or we can answer the phones for you and um but the real solution is we don't even want to answer the phones we want alexa answering the phones we want the customers just going to your website and scheduling the appointment we want to make that interaction with the patients much easier so that they do schedule an appointment with you and i think you know when you look at somebody like amazon when you're buying something from an amazon you're not speaking to somebody it doesn't have to be as difficult as we've made it and i think you're going to see investments in the technology improve these these numbers significantly so I’m just curious everybody's probably listening you know scott scott luna has been on the show three times and laura has been laura hatch has been on three times it's tight in fact you're the only one who's been on once you're you're behind the eight ball buddy uh are they still with you what is scott um luna and uh lauren uh hutch doing these days yeah so they still do the same thing so scott uh dr luna uh still runs breakaway um he uh still lectures on his uh his advanced startup program his business mastery program um dr luna is also on the board um for dental whale he speaks to me a lot about um I’ll say kind of vision stuff you know what i love about luna is that out of all the dentists that i've worked with he had the same vision and believes the same things that i believe in so a lot of the things that you're hearing me say it should be better it could be better um he believed that same thing years ago and and he uh you know put you know put his money where his mouth is and built breakaway and was one of the first people that offered what I’m going to call dso level infrastructure to the individual dentist and laura is with us she actually still runs for an office rocks as well as she leads the entire education program for dental whale and when our dentists come on to orca and they're using one of our services um laura is the leader who is curating all the content that's going to be available for all the dentists that are on our platform so she's amazing i love laura she's one of the most likable people that i know um but she's got an amazing perspective because she worked in the office she worked in the front desk she was the office manager i i want to i want you you to arrange you're a deal maker i want to um we can do the brady bunch thing i i want to bring back uh scott and laura at the same time and then we got to bring you back because you've only been on once i mean you're i mean that's just so amateur but bring back the two legends because then the does that sound funnier than what i i would i think that's a great great idea i think it would be great yeah myself and luna on as well yeah and uh i won't have anything to say though because between the two of them they'll you know I’ll just sit there and listen well i just i just want to say i just want to say that um you know i wasn't i was born at night but it wasn't last night and I’m completely aware i mean i call it dennis transcends because i know where your trigger points are and nobody likes change nobody likes it going in the future but i don't really care what dentists like you know what I’m worried about i got four kids um turned into six grandkids and I’m I’m really really glad i never drowned any of my kids or anything because the grandkids are even better than the kids and i I’m at the stage in my life as you know my my dad died at 61 and both of both my grandfathers died at 61. I’m 58 I’m not saying I’m dying of 61 but I’m well aware that gunner and mason are going to live a shitload longer than i am because they're one and two right and I’m worried about my my what dentistry is going to look like for my grandchildren and if i don't want them going uh you know if they go into some place that's owned by wall street and an mba or it's owned by a dental insurance company then where's gunner and mesa going to go when they need a dentist you know what i mean i want him to go into a dentist and i believe um that's all i care about I’m a selfish bastard that just wants to leave dentistry better than i found it on behalf of just my six grandkids but is there anything you wanted to come on the show and talk about today that i wasn't smart enough to ask i think your questions were great um but you know I’ll kind of reply to your comment i would say that if you want dentistry to be much better for the grandkids um what we have to do is really push for change and if you're not happy with what's happening with your your phone ringing and your leads find somebody else find somebody else that can do it better and don't be afraid of the change a lot of things such as ai are going to make health care dentistry significantly less expensive significantly it's going to allow dentists to you know and i've seen dentists get railroaded you know it's hard it is very very hard to be a dentist and you know just because you don't have the proper technology in your facility to be providing the standard of care that you should you know it's it's funny because you use the example of uh you know a minority dentist that isn't licensed you know there's a lot of what I’m going to call old school dentists that have zero technology in their office that are still on paper charts you know going to one of those dentists with no technology with with no practice i mean it's pretty similar and and what we what we have to do as i think a dental group is invest into that change be on the forefront of the technology welcome people to bring ai into dentistry make it easier for dentists to have ai scanning all their x-rays so they could look at the treatment that they're going to do work with companies that are looking to make the patient's experience more efficient and i think that those those changes are going to be what makes the dental industry continue to thrive and to get more efficient and you know thriving for the dentist is one thing but what we really need to do is i mean our purpose is to improve dental health for everybody right and how do we improve dental health by every for everybody by making it more efficient by making the business aspect of dentistry more efficient that's going to make it better for everybody and um you know we're not perfect by any means at dental whale but we go to work every day and that is what we're focused on we're saying how should this be done how can this be done better this is the way yeah we've got a call center some people would be very happy with the call center that we have and some people you know i took the call center that we had we took the call center dr luna had we merged it together we had a big call center doing a lot of calls generating a lot of revenue you know we're not the organization that leaves the call center alone and continues to build the people what we're building what we're figuring out is how can we answer those calls more efficiently how could we convert a higher percentage of those calls to appointments and if we could replace the calls with amazon alexa and that's going to reduce your bill by 70 well then that's what we need to do we need to figure out how to do that and push that forward so you know i think being open for change is um is very important and i think we're seeing that i think a lot of the dentists that are graduating from school now they're used to the easy button i call it they're used to pushing a button on their phone and something showing up at their front door so i think that they're going to welcome these new technological advances into dentistry and i think that we're going to hit eventually a bell curve and let me tell you something else the large dsos are welcoming it as well the large dsos even the medium-sized dsos when they look at what we're doing for example um they're starting to use it they're starting to implement it they're starting to put these things into their systems because they're seeing it's just more more efficient and let me tell you kids what you're competing against i i've been to heartland um headquarters um in uh effingham illinois have you ever been to effingham illinois i've had the fortunate pleasure of flying on their private plane when they flew me and the entire leadership team out there to their corporate offices it was very impressive well if you don't know where effingham is it's out in the middle of effing nowhere and when i saw their call center i asked rick i said um so what's the plans here and he says well our complete barrier constraint to growth is we've hired everyone in effingham i mean and then um aspen i went and met bob fontana at his call center here in Arizona it's in this huge building the most amazing people and i said uh um get like could i use your closet are you kidding me this is this is only for our art locations and i mean my god um he he thought it was it was probably uh my account for a third of his success and and then the dentist and that i was with um you know same thing he said no way no way and I’m like dude every time i call your office it goes to voicemail and and i can see your car parked out in the parking lot as it's going to voicemail so so yeah this view can i just ask one last question though i know we're into double overtime um my gosh um dentaltown has had classified ads since uh 99 and there's always been about um there's always about 5 000 classified ads and usually it's about a thousand dental practices for sale and about 4 000 jobs available now it's 2 000 practices for sale and only a thousand jobs available and so a lot of people that are my age as long as you didn't get divorced i mean if you never get divorced you can retire from dentistry at 60. you get divorced one time it's going to be 70 and you get divorced twice you'll actually die at the chair trust me on this um a lot of them you know that had never been divorced sit there and said ppe bullsh i I’m out of here I’m just selling it are you or we're in the middle of a pandemic are you still seeing a bunch of old guys say you know what I’m done I’m not going to do this [ __ ] and selling it and then the million dollar question that the kids are answering i get this all the time on dental town they're like is it kind of dumb to buy a practice in the middle of a pandemic so can you just give me your rant rant rant on transact on the dental transaction business in the middle of the pandemic because you obviously uh own trellongo right which is buying and selling practices yeah yeah we we we're we're at dso um we we do have a segment of our business that we operate practices um you know i want to hit on two things here so you were talking about the aspen call center and then you know should you buy dental practices so first let me let me let me hit on the call center um we the dsos are not allowed to own a dental practice right so and and and I’m not sure if all your listeners understand that but the technical like the technical what's actually happening when you affiliate with a dso is they don't own your clinical practice what you're doing is signing a long-term services contract with them so what you're doing is you're saying hey i am outsourcing all of the business stuff that i am going to use this dso I’m outsourcing that to the dso and what the dso's business is is doing those services very well so that they can make more money right they want to make your patient's life easier your patient's life easier but they're trying to make money um the reason that dsos centralize their services is because they're more efficient and they do it better that way so if you are an individual dentist who is operating everything in your practice i highly recommend you look at outsourcing your services because at scale every one of those services are going to get done better than what you're doing in your office so um you know that's one thing i want to hit on because you can use call centers there are other call centers outside of dental whale that also answer phones and i would i would pretty much guarantee that they're better at answering the phones than you are as a dentist so anything that you can do to get help outsource it provide your patient a better customer experience i think i think as a dentist it's very important and then should you be buying dental practices what i what i've seen during this covet pandemic is the practices are back the majority of them the ones that are active in marketing answering their phones they're back our dental practices are operating above budget significantly so yeah i would say it's a great time to buy a dental practice but i would look at what dental practice do you want to buy i'd really understand the facility what does the facility look like what type of investment do you have to make into that facility and then what's the transition plan with the dentist that's staying on um that's very important that you transition that relationship uh you know it's done right it could help the retiring dentist as well as the new dentist coming in uh make a lot of money so i absolutely think you should look at opening i uh uh buying dental practices i also think it's a tremendous time to look at doing a startup practice um i heard that bank of America is about to start lending again and i know a lot of the local banks are now lending again on start startup dental practices right now is a great time to get real estate um we're seeing a lot of real estate deals and i think they're going to get better uh with with a little bit more time so absolutely i think that we need more dentists we need more dental offices our population continues to grow so i think it's a great time to open or purchase it out of practice i couldn't have said it better myself i mean the you know they're um only five percent of americans have ever been to a chiropractor every single American will go to a dentist they're born with 32 t 20 baby teeth they got 52 things that's going wrong dentistry ain't going nowhere um it was a huge honor that you accept to my invitation to come on the show uh thank you for coming on i mean you're you're you're sit you see this dental industry at 30 000 feet and if you ever want to come back and bring my two all timing lord's been on three times scott's been on three times and that between the two of me i mean their views were off the charts um so if you ever want to come back and um it it'll be fun uh we we do we will so i don't know if you want me to message you or if you want to message me but um message uh message me or whatever I’m I’m howard at dental town and also um when you are all go all fly out there and visit you when you start your dolphin company when you start boring holes in the back of humans heads and doing the nose rearrangement i i actually want to see the first one and uh if you're ever in south Florida reach out to me i'd love to do lunch or dinner all right buddy we're in top four miami or lauderdale but miami's fine as well do you know caesar's habitats no oh my god he's my classmate from umkc dental school born in cuba came here on e7 he's going to be the uh next he's the president-elect but uh i'd love to meet him I’m Cuban as well oh are you Cuban I’m Cuban and dominican born in miami i'd love to meet him oh my gosh well you me and uh if you me and Caesar got for dinner you won't be able to go back to work for at least three days well consider it done just let me know when you're here and I’ll set it up and i will definitely get this email to you howard and get laura and scott on as well okay and uh and I’ll send you an email introduce you and Caesar awesome all right buddy have a rockin hot day you too thank you so much for your time bye
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