[00:00:00] Welcome to the Dental Marketing Podcast, a podcast that helps dentists win in the online world of modern day marketing. Each week, we cover the most cutting edge marketing tactics and strategies that are working right now across our client base to drive leads, phone calls, and more new patients for dentists.
Now here’s your host and founder of Kickstart Dental Marketing, Chris Pistorius.
Hey everybody. Welcome to the No BS Dental Marketing podcast. I am your host, Chris Pastorius, and on this show, as you know, we talk about straight to the point, no BS tactics, tricks, and strategies to help you grow your practice. There’s no fluff here, just great information that you can start using today to increase your bottom line.
So if you’re a dental practice owner, a manager, a front desk professional, or really whatever, be sure to click on the subscribe button on this page so that you can keep up [00:01:00] with all of the latest tips and tricks.
Today we’ve got a very special guest, Dr. Suneet Bath, who’s the owner of Impressions Dentistry in Olympia, Washington. Dr. Bath, thanks so much for being on the show today.
Well, thank you for having me.
Yeah. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about your practice to start things of.
Oh yeah. My practice is located in Olympia, Washington, and we’re kind of a ceric heavy practice. We do a lot with the CIC machine and we really don’t hardly anything to the lab. We do all other procedures except for root canals and dentures. I don’t do either one of those two things.
So, yeah, I would say, we have a really good group and I feel like we do pretty well.
Yeah. And how long have you owned the practice?
Gosh, 2006, so almost 17 years.
Wow. And it just flew by, right?
Yeah, totally flew by, gosh, that’s crazy [00:02:00] how, yeah. Kinda a good journey.
Yeah, so a lot of people are gonna be watching this podcast, you know, they’re people like you, you know, they’re experienced dentists, some of them are young dentists, some of them are just starting their own practices.
Some of them are just coming outta school. So I like to, you know, really kind of get right to the point and really tap in on the success that you’ve had and people like you to help our audience. So I want to start off by asking, what do you think is the biggest challenge that you’re facing in your practice right now? And what are some of the things that you’re doing to tackle those issues?
I think the biggest challenge we’re probably a lot of us are facing right now is increased costs. So, you know, we supply costs increased costs for our team. . So, I think what we have to do as practitioners is, you know, maybe find ways to decrease costs, but you know, increasing production and being more efficient is probably the best way to go. And You know, I think, we’ve done a combination of both of [00:03:00] those things that have really helped our practice.
Yeah. So when you say like increased production, do you mean like maybe starting to do more things that typically you might send off for or have a specialist do?
No, I wouldn’t say so. I think it’s just like really trying to I mean, I guess you’re right in some respects, in the sense that I am doing some more things like we’re doing, we do sleep apnea, we do implants.
So we do some things that in the past you would send somewhere else. But I think a lot of it is also just increasing efficiencies, maximizing your team. You know, I mean, my team members do everything that they legally can do, and I get them trained to to get those things done. And so, it takes a lot of stress off of me, but it helps us run more efficiently.
Yeah, I think that’s a huge thing. And, you know, when we go and help practices ourselves, you know, we kind of do marketing stuff, but there’s, you know, in working with Dentist so often that you just see things that, you know, after working with a [00:04:00] particular office that could be streamlined a little bit and you’re kind of thinking in the back of your mind, man, if they could just straighten this part of it out, they could work so much more efficiently.
You know, and sometimes I think it’s hard as a dentist to identify those things cuz you’re kind of so caught up in your own kind of world, if you will, running your practice that sometimes, you know, that gets pushed to the side. So I think it’s a great point. What would you say in your opinion is the most important personality trait or strength that someone would need to really run a successful dental practice?
I think, you know, just being pretty even keel, you know, like not letting a lot of stuff kind of stress you out. So early in my career, I would say, I’d probably sweat the little things a little bit more than I do now. And so now it’s like, I mean, when a day kind of gets stressed for when, you know, a team member maybe does something they shouldn’t have done or, or something.
I mean, I don’t let it really get to me too much. And so I don’t have too high highs and [00:05:00] too low of lows. I think that’s the biggest thing.
Yeah, I totally agree with that. I think that’s a pretty good lesson, just about anything in life really.
So so when you started your practice back in 16 or 17 years ago, do you remember why you decided to do it? I mean, what was the motivating factor to, you know, stop doing whatever you were doing, and start your own practice?
You know, I just kind of felt like I could do it differently. I’ve had, I graduated in 2001, so I spent about five years just working as an associate a couple of times, and then I worked at corporate as well, and I just kind of felt like I was ready, I was ready to do it my way, and I learned a lot along the way and I felt like I picked up a lot of really good things from some good dentists, but I just felt like, okay, it’s time to take that dive. So…
yeah. So that’s interesting. Did you have a specific mentor that, you know, really helped you through a lot of this?
Yeah. My cousin Barash, she’s a dentist in [00:06:00] in Ohio, Cleveland area. And I mean, that’s kind of how I became a dentist is I actually went and shadowed her at her practice and was like, okay, this looks like a fun thing to do. And so I’ve always bounced things off of her and I think she kind of also gave me the encouragement that, okay, you’re ready now.
It’s time for you to go do your own thing. And and she was right. It was the best thing I did. So…
Yeah. Yeah. If you had to do all over again and you’re gonna start your own practice, I mean, you’ll, even though the best mentors, you’re still gonna miss some things. You’re gonna do things that you wish you hadn’t. What’s one thing that you might change early on?
I would say gosh, let me think of that. I would say not, kind of like what I said before is, I wouldn’t be so tough on my team. I wouldn’t be, you know, really sweating the little things that I did back then. And I wouldn’t say I was like a major hard ass or anything like that.
I just, I would get just irritated [00:07:00] about stuff that I just think, you know, now in my late forties, almost 50 that I’m just like, okay, it’s not that big of a deal. You know, I would probably I think that’s probably the biggest thing.
Yeah. Okay. What I guess if you weren’t a dentist, what do you think you would do right now?
I’d be a singer.
Really. I didn’t know that.
I do this show every year with the union Gospel Mission here in Olympia. I do this show and there’s about six or seven of us, Dentist, and we go up on stage and we actually get like about, six, 700 people that attend this show and all the proceeds go to the local Union Gospel mission.
But we all sing and we sing different genres. Mine is Frank Sinatra kind of type things. Yeah, so I’d say I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.
So the next podcast you do with this, I’m gonna have to hear a little bit of that, so be [00:08:00] prepared. So what do you think is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I would say, lemme think I would say you know, my whole thing is stress right now. So this is a little stressful and I mean, if you listen to my sanswers, but I would say do what you can to reduce your stress. So, you know, don’t do the procedures you don’t wanna do. Get your team trained so that they can take a lot of the stress off of you.
I mean, I feel like we do really, really well for a single doctor practice. And mean, I’ve been told we’re like in the top 5%, but I would say, there’s a lot of days where I don’t feel like I work that hard, and I caught my hours down. I went from eight hours to seven hours a day of seeing patients and we produce the same.
And so there’s things you can do. I feel like that you know, [00:09:00] can reduce your stress and prolong your career. And so that’s the main thing.
Yeah, I think that’s great, whenever you can reduce stress, that’s always a good thing. So, what are some things, I know that you said when you started your practice, you thought you could do things differently, and what are some of the things that you specifically try to make yourself a little bit different than the others?
You mean I’m sorry, different from other practices? Is that what you’re saying?
Yeah. You had mentioned that, you know, you thought you could do things a little bit differently, you know, do them your way. Things that distinguish you.
I think what distinguishes our practices is, again, just how much our team does.
I constantly, when I’m going to courses, I’m one of the few doctors that brings my assistance with me and I feel like that’s really, first of all, it makes the team members feel a lot more important. And, you know, there’s a lot of job satisfaction with that and the patients respond to it really well too.
When a team [00:10:00] member is doing a lot of stuff, sometimes they expect me to do, and they do it very, very well because they know I’ve trained them , ,and I’m overseeing everything that they do. So I think what sets us apart is just how much of a team driven practice this is, really, so…
Yeah, I think you’re right. I think with anything you do, the more you can involve the whole team, you know, the better you are. If everybody knows what your goals are for the year, and you set clear paths to get there and you give them every opportunity to learn and get better. I think that, you know, this isn’t just a one man show, right?
I mean, even though they may not be owners, they’re still a big part of your success. So the team is definitely a big part of it.
Well, and I always, I’m always quick to, I mean, a patient will obviously compliment us a lot of times about, you know, something and I always try and deflect it to the team and I’m like, you know, this is a team thing.
And you know, so and so did it was the one who did [00:11:00] this part for you. So, you know, I try not take the credit.
Yeah, absolutely. When you talking about your team, I know a lot of not a lot, but you know, we’ve gotten some complaints in the past in the dental industry about Dentist having trouble keeping staff and it feels like they’re always have somebody leave and they constantly have to be training somebody new and bring them in, and it’s just holding them back.
Do you see, are you seeing much of an employee churn or, or not right now.
Not for us. We’ve, you know, I feel pretty good the fact that over the past couple years we’ve had a pretty steady team. And it’s it’s how much we involve them and, you know, even decision making, and you know, they know I’m not out to just fill my pocket bugs.
I wanna make sure they’re taken care of as well. So, you know, and they know it’s not about the money. I mean, we’re really driven to provide good care and you know, our reviews [00:12:00] reflect that. So I think they feel a part of a bigger purpose, and I think that’s huge too.
Are you looking to grow your practice but are a little unclear on what the best way is? Let us help you out. We have over 13 years of experience in helping practices just like yours, increase new patient growth. Just go to KickStartDental.com and sign up for a free strategy session where we will give you some great insights on how to take your practice to the next level.
When you go to hire, like say front desk staff, do you always hire based on experience or are you from the world of, you know what, as long as they have the right characteristics and personality, we can teach them the job. Would you rather see experience or a mix, or are you fine with just bringing somebody in without any dental experience?
Yeah, I think you hire for attitude for sure. I think if someone’s [00:13:00] willing to learn, you know, they need to fit with the team. So that is the biggest thing, I’ve used to hire for experience and this doesn’t always work out really well, so I look for personality first and then experience second.
Yeah. What’s one thing that changed for your practice post covid? Or did anything change?
I shoot. I mean, you know, I just think, again, we’re just a lot more efficient. I also think we as a team don’t sweat a lot of the little things either. Like, not just me. I think from top to bottom.
I also feel like, we work together really, really well now. And there’s just no complaining that happens when things even get tough. I mean, everybody just supports each other, and does what it takes to get through the day. And it’s not that we didn’t do it before, just that has gotten fine tune that even more.
Yeah, culture starts at the top and if you can [00:14:00] incorporate a relaxed culture and not sweat in the little things, as you say, that goes all the way down to the last person on the roster, right? So, it’s definitely a big deal.
Let’s talk a little bit about, the future of dentistry, if you will. What does a dental practice look like in 10 years? What are some things that you’re excited about, whether it be technology or just procedures, or what does that look like in 10 years?
I think we are gonna see a lot more 3D printing applications. I do think we’re gonna be able to do a lot more things in our offices.
And I’m all about technology, but I wanna make sure it’s proven. I mean, I actually haven’t taken the 3D printer plunge myself yet. Just cuz we mill a lot of our stuff. Even our surgical guides for implants, we can mill those. But I do think 3D printing technology is getting better and better.
And, you know, I’m hoping at some point we can. you know, print a lot of the stuff that we’re using. So, I [00:15:00] see that changing in practices. I think you’re gonna see a lot less probably private practices. I think a lot of people, it seems like are doing the DSO things. So I think, that’s the change.
But I do think there’s still gonna be a niche for private practices because, you know, there are people that are gonna wanna have the level of service that, you know, we provide. And I’m not saying that DSOs don’t, but I think sometimes in a private practice you can kind of, like you said have your own kind of personality that sometimes patients wanna come and see.
Absolutely. Awesome. Well, look,we’re kind of running up against it here, but I’d love if you’d be up for it maybe in a few months come back and just give us a status update on what’s going on and what’s the latest in your world, if that works for you.
Oh yeah. You bet. Yeah. Great.
All right. Well you know, I think, tell me about Olympia. Just one last question here. Have you always lived there? Is this where you started your practice then?
I [00:16:00] actually grew up in Eastern Washington which is very different than Olympia, you know climate wise, politically. I mean, it’s like completely different state, it’s more desert.
Olympia rains a ton. But Olympia is a great city. It’s a state capital, so, you know, we have a steady patient base because of that. And you know, we see a lot of military or we’re not far from the military base, and that’s big for me. I mean, I really like to support the military.
That’s a great. It’s a great place to be. I mean, I love it up here. People get tired of the rain, but, you know, we don’t have a water problem.
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, awesome. Well, thanks so much for being a part of the show and I want to thank everybody else for listening in today.
And if you like today’s episode, please do hit that subscribe button and you’ll be notified immediately once we launch a new episode. Typically do one every Thursday, it’s typically when we launch these. So, our whole purpose here is to just help [00:17:00] busy dental professionals, like the people watching this show and just trying to get tips and tricks and learning from others, because I truly believe that that’s, you know, where you can really get ahead, and get the most out of your practice.
So I appreciate everybody watching and we’ll be sure to see you all on the next episode.
Thanks for joining us this week on the Dental Marketing Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, www.KickStartDental.com/podcast, where you can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Spotify, or via rss so you’ll never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you found value in the show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show.
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And thanks for listening to The Dental Marketing [00:18:00] Podcast by Kickstart Dental Marketing, where dentists go to win online.