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June 29th, 2022

Episode 154 – An Underlying Current of Care with Dr. Shawn Knorr

“Your practice is about the relationships you create.” -Dr. Shawn Knorr

A lot of people aspire to be like Dr. Shawn Knorr. He’s a top-level producer who is always looking for the next level in his career but he wasn’t always the confident, caring clinician he is today.

“The first part of my career was not productive at all,” says Dr. Shawn. “My idea of production was to speed up the treadmill. My team was telling me I was going to lose patients because I was in such a rush that I wasn’t building relationships with them. I went faster and faster and then I reached the point of burnout.”

But then, a personal tragedy changed the trajectory of his life…he rediscovered how deeply he cared for his patients.

Says Dr. Shawn, “Part of my lack of production was that early in my career I was holding back. My treatment care was really safe. I wasn’t comfortable with my fees or treatment plans. I didn’t necessarily believe in the value of my work.” 

But then something remarkable happened. He realized that when you care about people more you get over the fear of presenting care.

We love to make your life easy! Join us for a heartfelt conversation as we unpack the importance of relationships in dentistry and how you can:

  • Gain the confidence to diagnose everything you see
  • Use your team to grow your practice
  • Have hard conversations with patients that still honor the relationship

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes & Spotify. Visit us at http://www.everydaypracticespodcast.com

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Regan
Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson and my co-host Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary. Buckle up and listen in. I think I’ll paint the picture here for listeners. We invited Dr. Shawn knorr to our podcast today. Because Chad and I really want you to be able to see into the mindset of what we consider to be a very high-producing professional, successful doctor who still feels like there’s a long way to go and so I think understanding your story, Shawn is really important for us and for listeners, you know, to help us paint the picture of where you’re at today and then where you want to go 510 years from now.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yeah, and before you do that, let me ask is the case silent Are you nor or nor

Dr. Shawn Knorr
it is silent. Because it’s it’s easier to take an hour so I wish it was gonna work because people don’t ever understand what my name is.

Regan
Dr. Knorr?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yep, there you go.

Regan
There we go.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Just making sure it’s all good.

Dr. Chad Johnson
We wanted to know.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yeah. That’s pretty good. Yes. Well, I guess just like starting off, like I did a residency at Hennepin County Medical Center, which I guess I highly recommend for any doctor out there to do a residency of if they have the opportunity says I high Oral Surgery component to it and it was a level one trauma center so I got a lot of exposure to some pretty intense situations and then also really need surgery so I think the confidence level from that really grew and I think she can do that same thing for you but I wouldn’t say that’s I kind of started off on that pathway and joined a small practice where you know, out of the residency and it’s in a neighboring town and I just remember the first time I talked to the doctors like what is a Hutchinson boy doing and glyco you know, I was like I don’t know if my wife told me to get a job

Dr. Shawn Knorr
so that’s kind of how it started off and I would say that In the early part of my career, like, I was not productive at all, you know, like it was. It when I look back, you know, like, I could compare myself to some of my friends and stuff like that and I would say like, it was a little bit of a struggle, like, By it was I bought, I bought the practice, like, maybe a year and a half and to be in there, and then the dentist, slowly retired and then when I bought it, I would just say that the numbers are tough, you know, as it’s like, the lawn was kind of hanging over my head and I don’t know, it was just, it was just, uh, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

I guess. In a while, like, I would say that the practice was a very insurance driven practice, like, we were only provider for one plan but like, we’re in a small town, and like people with insurance would come to our office to they didn’t really have anywhere else to go, you know and so like, I was doing insurance based dentistry, and, like, I like just, it was kind of a struggle and so like, my idea, at the time being inexperienced was like, well, let’s speed up the treadmill, you know, and it was like, Let’s do more and more, and my staff, like, they’re there, they’re all a little bit more mature than me, and they’re like, you’re gonna lose patience because you’re going too fast. You know, you’re not creating relationships and connections and, you know, I appreciate that I had a great staff that actually felt comfortable. You know, being able to say that to me, but I didn’t pick it up right away. You know, it was, it was a slow process and just kept running the treadmill faster and faster and it like, I would say that I definitely reached a point of burnout, you know? Yeah.

Dr. Chad Johnson
So we met at the February PDA workshop, was that kind of where the tipping point was headed? You know, is, is that when you found PDA? I mean, how did you end up? Like, what was the breaking point that made you say, All right, that’s it?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Well, I wouldn’t say that. I’ve been secretly stalking PDA for years. Like I kind of got into Gary Texas’s. Oh, yeah, I think he does a great job puts out a lot of great content for free, which is amazing and he just sort of saying he’s recommending his doctors to go to the PDA course and I was like, oh, I better look into this so I don’t remember where and I got some of the stuff but like, I think that a lot of what Dr. Baird said, this resonated with me and I didn’t know, I just, I felt like I didn’t have the money to invest in a consulting so I just tried to slowly bring it into my practice and it took a long time to start to bring in some of the elements so it was a slow process and, you know, like, the one I don’t know, like, the one thing that I think changed the trajectory of my career, and this my life in general is, I had, what I’m a father of five girls, and after our sink, or after our second girl,

we had a baby that she was born with a, like a severe seizure disorder and it was, it was, like one of those things that this basically upends your entire life, you know, cuz like, for like, the first few days, we kind of thought something was wrong with her and, and, like, then all of a sudden, she started having seizures, and she was like, rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and we spent two and a half weeks finding, you know, like, taking every test that we possibly could to see what was going on and like, eventually, it was like, we don’t this is we don’t have any answers for you.

Like, she basically can’t sustain life and so that was a kind of a tough thing and you know, like, yeah, it’s like one of those situations where it’s like one of the hardest things in your life, but it also it taught me and my wife like a ton of things about what’s important in life and there were so many people that just surrounded us with you know, care and support and love and it really really offended just how I viewed the world and what was important to me and I wish I could say that it was all up from that experience but you know, it was kind of a rocky path and but it did change how I related to people and I

Dr. Chad Johnson
like that through that experience, more humanity gets into it. Oh, yeah,

Dr. Shawn Knorr
I thought it out like and so like, the like the Silver Lining was that life is about relationships, and being true and like, and treating, treating people as you’d want to be treated, you know, like, that’s essentially what it is and, you know, I like this guy and a PDA like, you know, hearing Dr. Baird on his podcast and stuff like that I don’t think I ever really appreciated the type of person that he was and what he exactly was talking about but like this, like, going into the PDA conference, like it is a resounding your practice is about the relationships that you create, from top to bottom, you know, or like, from people that come to see your staff, you know, every single component and I think that it like, until you met Dr. Period in person, like it was hard to really comprehend that I guess and then the other thing that I really liked about TD PDA is that the group of people like, they seem like high-quality people that, like, we’re genuinely concerned about where my practice was at, and, you know, helping people like getting better. You know, oral health, you know, like, I don’t know, it wasn’t funny in any way and I absolutely, I worked with another consultant, and I didn’t necessarily get that and I walked away from that really, truly excited about what TDA offer and it was really nice to see, I guess, you know,

Dr. Chad Johnson
so here’s what’s cool Reagan, I mean, honestly, when I first wrote Sean, and I said, Hey, would you, you know, is nice to meet you at the workshop. Would you come on our podcast? He was like, I mean, I will. Starts out, I would, you know, I wouldn’t be willing to do a podcast, but it made me nervous even just thinking about it so like, maybe you have other people that, you know, like might be better to listen to. When you hear this regen, what better of a person to hear their story. This rings true. Again, and again, how everyone thinks that it’s like, no, it’s the big wigs down the street that should or you know, across the nation that should be getting these kinds of interviews and podcasts and stuff like that and it’s like, no, it’s guys like you and me, that have great stories that we need to share so Reagan, how’s that resonate with you? And you’ve heard that backstory? Oh,

Regan
well, everybody has a story and I say that all the time. Everybody has a reason for why they’re where they’re, they are, where they’re at today, and I think that that helps me it helps me understand you better. Sean, you know, hearing that about your daughter? How many years ago was that when that turn happened for you?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
So it was 2014 when she was born? She left and lived for about six and a half months so on February 1, 2015. was when she passed away, unfortunately, but um, yeah, so it was a while ago, but it was proud of it brought a lot of self-reflections with it. That is for sure.

Regan
But it takes a lot to it’s difficult to translate that through podcasts and interviews and everything to get down to that level that really resonates on why we do what we do and I can’t say enough about I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, you know, people genuinely care about the patient health and being advocates for patient care. I know. Dr. Matthew Standridge is a doctor that I am friends with on Facebook. He’s been to PDA before. He shared a story this morning with me and it was about being really doggone good about some signs that pointed towards oral cancer they got the first opinion and it came back negative and he followed his intuition and said, I think you need to go through and you need to get another opinion like that. I could cry right now. That’s that is all relationship-driven.

That is you caring and you being passionate and you owning it and the second one came through and they caught it so they were able to catch and said, Nope, it actually is cancer. We need to get you into treatment right now. We need advocates like that. Everywhere. Yeah, right all over the globe. We need that and I think it’s a big deal and it’s a hard mission and I think that that we can get caught up in the numbers and the gross and all the elements that we have to say but there’s an underlying current to that. The pattern that you reflect me that I see in productive dentists that I’ve had the opportunity to meet is they all have that same underlying current of care. It’s not just about how many patients it’s really what kind of impact Am I making?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yeah, without a doubt. Yes. Yeah, it is. It is. Interested in just reflecting on where I’ve come from? where I’ve been, and I think, you know, like earlier in my career, like, it definitely was maybe a lack of confidence and stuff like that and I would just, I would prefer to present treatment that I thought people would say yes to and I wouldn’t necessarily be making a full, comprehensive diagnosis and so my, my, my carrier kind of, yeah, this was an essential, it was really safe but it also, you know, this going through, like, thinking about what, how do you be true to your patients, like, I think a year for you, like, you need to tell them ethically, like everything that’s going on in your mouth and by holding back, just because you don’t want your ego to be bruised a little bit. Like because, like, I found myself being in a selfish place and I like it was my own, like, I was in my own, I guess, like, ignorance of what was going on but

like, it took a life-changing experience for me to be like, I need to treat my patients better, you know, like, like, it’s crazy and I was scared, you know, like, I wasn’t comfortable with what my fees were, I wasn’t comfortable presenting big treatment plans, you know, like, I would do it occasionally but like, I had, like, a severe guilt complex about it and this, I didn’t necessarily believe in it and it was strange but like, as I like, do I really care about this person in front of me? And like, do I cherish this relationship? It gets weird, like, when you start caring about people more, you get over that fear of saying, like, you know, I think we should do an inlay on this to this versus, you know, a big feeling, you know, like, it’s like, small little conversations that I was tuning in myself on, like, on a daily basis and, and the patient, you know, like, that,

Dr. Chad Johnson
calls that like, he’s like, do I remember the patient the patient’s name, from this morning? Like the new patient, you know, do I remember their name and stuff? And that’s convicting, because it’s just like, we see so many people, that regular people, let’s call them regular people don’t understand, you know, like the volume of, of human interactions that we have in a day, that are not just the superficial cashier, because the cashier probably sees more people than we do but but but to actually, like, be like, so tell me about your genital herpes. I mean, well, I mean, we’re getting into people’s health history and I mean, so it’s not just like a cursory like, here’s your receipt. Here’s your Diet Pepsi. Yeah. This deep stuff. Oh, totally.

Regan
Yeah. How did how did you? How did you take like, baby steps to making that leap from? I’m not really comfortable with that, because it becomes a value question. Yeah, I’ve done that myself for years. Like you don’t want to charge that because you can’t you just want to do it for free. I’ll just do this for you or do this and then also that that fear of I don’t want to really tell you everything that’s going on in your mouth, like Chad and I just recorded a private podcast that it’s just me and him and we that was one of the tips that we had is can we be brave enough to just say, this is everything that I see? Yeah, so how did you take that leap? What I’m sure it was small, incremental changes over time.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yeah. I think some, uh, well, as I’ve already said it, I think it’s this one thing to be true to people and relationships was the genesis of it but then I would say, I just basically started reading books and, you know, dentistry and listening to podcasts, and, you know, different things like that, that, yeah, I guess there are people that have walked the path, you know, this becoming more familiar with it and I kind of am this that junkie, when it comes to learning about, you know, business and dental businesses for that matter so you pick up things, you know, and like, you hear, I don’t know, you hear some of the same things over and over again, and it starts to sink in so I, I can’t necessarily say, Aha, now. It’s been a process of soaking it in for a number of years. I guess. For the

Dr. Chad Johnson
listeners, though. For the listener’s sake, just know that Shawn is an AACD dentist, and I’m part of the ACD two, and that that speaks enough to me to know that you’re in the organization. You know, I don’t really care if someone’s accredited or not. Of course, that’s always great and cool, but just the fact that you’re even in it tells me a little bit more about you so when all ask you in a second year, but like, I just wanted to preface it by saying when I signed up for the ACD, it was at the recommendation of a dentist that was involved with it and the AEGD and I was just like, you know, cosmetic sounds kind of lame and he’s like, Well, I did.

Regan
I was just like, you said that you said that?

Dr. Chad Johnson
Oh, yeah, cosmetics. I mean, Cosmetics is, is not it’s a jazzy patient word but to dentists, it can rub them wrong, because what we do is not necessarily cosmetic, it should be aesthetic and so there’s this, it’s a semantics issue but it’s kind of this drive between, you know, like aesthetics, and cosmetics, Cosmetics is getting your nails and your hair did and aesthetics have to do with form function, everything, you know, like natural anatomy, there’s something that says a little bit more about it so I just said, I just I have a problem with cosmetic dentistry. It just sounds lame and he was like, Okay, I get where you’re coming from but here’s the backstory and I thought this was interesting. He said,

The American Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry at in the 80s was already taken when we first he was one of the founders, he was like when we first started the CD so we had to name it something and this spelled out, basically, you know, like, near what it was, and I get your point but then what he said was, my point is you need to go check out the ACD just check it out so I went to one and I was like, I think it was 2014 Seattle, and, and I was like this, okay, I shouldn’t have been making fun of it. Because like, this is cool stuff. Like, these are good. High producers, these are good thinkers, they’re forward-thinking, and they’re not just like, just mow the tooth down and put it slap on some, you know, pretty teeth. That’s not what it’s about. It’s actually twofold in real simplistic regard. Number one, the photography to be able to diagnose and then sell your case and market it and brand yourself differently but then also, how do you do conservative dentistry that is hyper critiqued to bring up your level, of anatomical, efficiency, proficiency, you know, everything like that so materials, bonding science, like all that stuff is there and so Shawn, what’s, what’s your take on the ACD? And what’s meant for you?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yeah, well, I would say that I probably had some similar feelings as you and you guys tonight, I didn’t really know. Like, what it was all about but all I can say is after diving into it, I would highly recommend any dentists doing it like the starting to take like photography of your cases and the beginning of a case like it, it changes the way you practice dentistry and then this the level of dentistry that you see at the conference like it was pretty, it was pretty amazing, like what some of the doctors are doing and like, I thought it was pretty good, you know, and after, like, taking pictures of stuff, and yeah, evaluating your own case, and then seeing what some of these other doctors are doing. It’s just like, Man, I can improve my game a lot, you know,

Dr. Chad Johnson
international speakers, not just Midwest or not just in your state, you know, some good guys, but to actually have, like Dr. coachmen from Brazil, come up and talk to you to actually have a class of 30 people where you know, Pasco Manya is teaching composites. I mean, like, stuff like that, where it’s just like, it’s amazing to have the huge

Regan
names. I have known you Chad for years.

Dr. Chad Johnson
I’ve ever heard you talk about my secret crush repast? Come on, you

Regan
know, and I’m so happy because I think it is important to have crushes. My big joke was one of my previous mentors. Rick Epting, Rhodes Scholar, an incredible man who played the 12-string guitar, was a great songwriter who had bands, and he was really inspired by you hoody Menuhin, which is a famous violinist and so the inside joke for years has been oh my gosh, they’re the hoody Menuhin of marketing or whatever thing that I’m nerding out on that so this is my new person, we will know our inside joke will be Pascal.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yes. We know it’s funny. Yeah, people can do Pascal’s many styles of dentistry of aesthetics. You are set for life. I mean, but go ahead, Shawn.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Well, no, I like after like, watching it or being in his lecture. Like I went back to the office and like somebody with a beautiful smile came in, you know, like you do your exam and it’s like, oh, everything’s good, but I want to sit there and like front teeth for a while. I’m like, okay, What’s that little contour there? Yeah, and you know, those Bama lines and like where’s the, you know, the incisal translucency and stuff, and I was like, this is a thing of beauty. Like, I’d be done with my exam and like you have beautiful teeth.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Absolutely, yeah and even the in AACD, you know, to go a step further and be like, do you mind if I were to photograph your teeth? I mean, I ask it that way. Would that not be flattering to a patient to be like, well, I guess you could, you know,

Dr. Shawn Knorr
I thought about it. Like, it’s, it’s gonna be weird.

Regan
I didn’t know as a patient that this is a real actual thing. You guys actually look at teeth this way. I know. I love teeth. Like I’m pretty passionate about teeth not to that level. I had no idea that this is real but when I go to see my dentist, he says Your teeth are just beautiful. He really means it doesn’t mean he’s not just saying something. Yeah. Goodness, so what is next for you in your journey? Then Shawn, what are you’ve come leaps and bounds. It sounds like throughout your whole entire career, you’ve had things that have shaped you and made your decisions the way that you are, what is next for you?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
What is next for me? Well, um, you know, as far as like practice girl was and just where I’m at with my team. Like, I think the thing that I was so attracted to go to the PTA conference was that. Like, yeah, I was very familiar with all that Dr. Baird talks about, and I’ve been trying to incorporate it in my practice, even before going to the conference and I just really well, this as you become more experienced, I think you realize how crucial and important that your team is, like, my time is extremely limited and like I’m doing dentistry all day long and it is extremely rewarding and fun, but also stressful and I mean, like, people need dentistry sort of thing so like, what drives my practice is the team that supported me and like this last, which is crazy, like this last year, our practice from over the pandemic was, I guess, prior it grew 50%, like in one year, which is this, and I and I think it was this, like bringing my team along and getting on the same page and like, Well, I think getting closer the way Dr. Baird set up his practice and like, it’s crazy how much the team is involved in it, and what they’re capable of doing regular practice, like, and that’s why I wanted to bring like, I wanted to bring all my team members, a couple of them couldn’t come but

Dr. Chad Johnson
I met them. Where are you getting more pushback from admin or from like, the clinical side?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
So well, admin, I guess. They can’t wrap their head around the way Dr. Baird schedules his day and went to production. Yeah, they like they saw the issues. I need some help with that, too but I guess that they did an amazing job. We came back and like, like, Okay, we got to leave doctrine, horse schedule open for these big, you know, cases and stuff like that, and they said, Oh, Shawn, I’ll tell you something that, you know, to make sure that listeners get it.

Dr. Chad Johnson
The biggest hang-up that I had was, wait a second. I can drop an implant in 20 minutes. You want me to block off, for example, if I’m getting paid $2,000 and let’s say I’m doing 500 an hour, you want me to block off four hours? Technically, the answer is yes. Yeah but then if you have someone call saying, hey, I need this tooth poll. Like I’m in a lot of pain if you fit them in, or number two, at that point that your main objective is to go spend quality time in your exams, building rapport, and diagnosis and treatment plans with the patients, and then you can also do little nickel dime stuff so if there’s an occlusal composite that needs to be done so in other words, I’m what I’m trying to say is you can break the rule with appointments, but we’re talking about actually, that ahead of time scheduling so

if someone needs a denture adjustment, and you’re done with that implant and you blocked off for hours, you’re done in 20 minutes, let’s just say because you did it guided it was super easy to you did it in 20 minutes or 30 minutes, you can put that in at a half an hour or an hour later, you know, to see that patient or to take care of a console or something like that, because that’s more diagnostics so it’s important to know that doesn’t mean that nothing else can ever go in that four-hour block. Your main goal is that you’re not so overbooked that you’re, you’re trashing data implant appointment with five surfaces a composite right next to it and then you’re also trying to run and get five exams done that that hour and you want hygenist is gone so you have to clean 112-year-olds teeth. You know, it’s like, it’s not supposed to be that way so, in other words, there are rules and ways that you can break those rules, and giving your team the permission to start to understand the nuances that that that it’s not just like, well, I guess we’ll just block off 40 hours because large, it’s like, no, not. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
But I don’t know. Yeah, I would say, I was impressed with the way our front office actually responded to it. They were very inquisitive, and, like, wanted to solve it and so it was nice, um, the one thing like, that our practice could use some growth on and I’ve been trying to gently nudge is or, or hygienists or I guess, well, that’s when I sat down with my, like, to our cons health v4, the PDA conference, like it was your hygiene as the most potential for growth and I knew that already, like, I kind of gave up on a long time ago, this like, I’m just like, I’m fine. Like, I’m busy, I’m doing well, I’m doing the dentistry that I’d love to do, you know, serious stuff but after they’re like, You really could do more here.

It was kinda like, Okay, I need to go back to this, and yeah, it kind of reinvigorated me to, I guess, take hygiene a little bit more seriously and I, I’ve been talking to my hygienist about doing like, or, you know, salivary Didac diagnostics, and using the carry free system and doing, you know, caries risk assessment and taking pictures and, you know, like a very complete full exam and like it, it, there’s a lot of resistance to it and I’ve been talking about the price for 10 years about improving it and it just never really changed all that much and we’ve slowly have been making improvements, and it’s great and it was nice to go to the PDA conference and they’re like, they’re just basically drove home what I was already trying to talk so it’s like, like it like reinforced things I’ve been talking about for several years and, like,

Dr. Chad Johnson
liberating

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yes, it was really nice to hear this but like I want to do like whole-body health, you know, sort of thing and I want our patients to be active participants in their health and I want to have a preventive base model. I like it drives me crazy to think about, like, I don’t want to be a toothbrush mechanic, you know, I don’t want to just fix people, when they’re broken, I want to be there. I want to talk to their hygiene so I’m like, I want to be a cheerleader for somebody’s oral health, I want you to be doing backflips down the hallway but getting them excited about you know, using a Waterpik and stuff like that and it’s been so long ago, like, but they’re coming along and it was really, really nice to go to, to bring them there and to see some really passionate people about, you know, some of those areas and yeah, this

Regan
the meeting, is completely fascinating to me, because my assumption for a lot of times is that it’s the opposite, that it is the hygienist saying no, we need to look at the oral-systemic connection. We need to bring in the carry free, we need to do this and the doctor says no like that. No,

Dr. Chad Johnson
I think you’re right. I think that does happen. It’s okay. happens to be this way, don’t you think? I mean, Shawn, you hear that there are hygienists that are like that but then there are the dentists dragging their feet that do exist. Okay. The other way around?

Regan
Yeah, I would be jumping up and down. If you were my doctor, I’d be like, yes, let’s do this so I’m wondering, what do you think the resistance Shawn was from? Just that resistance to change? Or what were their reasons for the kind of not wanting to introduce some of these new elements?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
I’ve pondered long and hard on what it is and if you can tell me, I would love to hear it but, you know, like, the thing that like, my hygienists are amazing people, they like the are great with relationships and the strength of our practice. Like they’re the backbone of it. Like I’m a super social person and like, I’m, I’m like, you like I have this like, I tried to say like, you have to make up for my failings. You know, you guys have to create these relationships. Yeah, you’re I’m not terrible, but you know, like, I just think they’re really really good at For the hygenist, like I say, like we need, you know, you guys are our lifeline for the relationships with our practice and I would say that that’s maybe a little bit of I’m not, that’s not my strong suit, and I’m trying to grow in that aspect so they do a really, really good job and they bring patients back and they get them to say yes to a lot of treatment. I think that some of where maybe some of the resistance comes is that we live in, like a small town, it’s a, you know, I’d say, the people that come to us or get to know it really well and I think like, offering a high level of service and high products, sort of like care stuff can come off as a little, like pretentious, maybe, like, sure. Like I think that if they feel like they if they push too much on them, they’re not going to keep coming back to us and I think that they really, really want people to come back to us. And

Dr. Chad Johnson
that’s what’s great is to keep good relationships, at the cost, maybe even have Britt broaching the subject of good health. You want to broach the subject of good health to make the patient healthier and therein lies maybe the conflict. The interesting thing, though, that to remember from PDA principles, is that I always tell my team, to listen, if someone says no to what we have to offer about a solution to one of their problems, that’s fine. We won’t broach the subject again and I’ll even ask the patient, I’ll say, Are you wanting to hold off on that tooth? It seems like your risk tolerance is a little bit higher on that, you know that you’ve in the past couple of years said that you kind of wanted to wait until that was more of an issue for you. Is that okay? Because I don’t want to overly bother you, for example, with Invisalign stuff, you know, hey, I still notice you know, these are there’s a good amount of crowding but

I don’t want to even like discuss it. If that’s not a concern to you, are you still kind of wanting to put that on the backburner? It’s a nice way of just broaching the subject but then leaving it there. Because if they say, oh, you know what, I probably actually, I won’t ever get this addressed. Unless it got like super worse or something like that, then it’s just like, well, now we know, that’s okay. It’s not a bad thing and so just giving that you know, where it’s like, we, it’s from the book, Crucial Conversations where instead of being adversarial, you against me, it’s your you and I are just looking at this problem and we’re assessing how we should manage it and whether it’s a concern to you or not. If it’s not, then now I know, we’ll make a note of that and maybe we’ll broach it again in a couple of years. So, you know, giving your hygienist permission to do that, REG and go,

Regan
Well, you just really hit on something important for me. Remember, I’m paying I’m playing the patient in this whole entire episode, which makes me very happy. There is an important conversation, there’s the one are you willing to wait, like we see this, you could do it whole, you could do it partially, you could wait, we can do it in phases, but there’s the financial element of it, too and I think that this deserves a lot of attention. Because if you just do, do you want to address this today? Or is this not important to you? There needs to be an understanding of what you’re financially going to have to deal with down the line? Should you choose to Wait, should you not be preventative? Or should you decide to hold off until it goes to the failure point, and that I have an assumption will be quite a shock to some people? When they get to that end of the line.

Dr. Chad Johnson
For example, I’ll say, Listen, dentistry is expensive or super expensive. There’s rarely ever anytime that something in dentistry is cheap unless you’re buying fluoridated toothpaste, which that’s debatable even, you know, expensive, but so when we’re talking about a, you know, a crowning on this tooth, if we end up having to wait and then pull it, we’re talking 5000 bucks, if we crown it right now we’re talking 1500 so one’s expensive, one’s way more expensive. Now, both are doable, if pulling the tooth is what you want to do, and you’d rather do that versus root canal treatment, or you’d rather do that and maybe just see if you can go without the tooth.

They’re cool with me, you know, but I just want you to know, you know that we can do it for this price and I also occasionally will say, you know, I even imagine if this was $2 You know what you would do you would get this fixed but it costs time and money to get this to fix right? You’ve got to take time off work. You’ve got to be sore from the, you know, numbing and all that stuff so I get it but man, if these were $2 a piece, these five crowns that we need to take care of shoot, we wouldn’t be wasting time on this conversation. We just are doing it. It is expensive so let’s find a way to make this worth your while and that’s at the point where you can also talk whenever people hear expensive they go, you should talk investment. It’s like, yes, of course, but I just talk real with my patients. I just understand that you’re seeing this as an expensive visit and I acknowledge it. Yes, it is.

Regan
You should say investment and you should say decision. It’s their decision. I like that. I feel like you do a great job, putting it in their court and saying this is what I see and this is the option, but it’s your ultimate decision. You own that decision.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yep and I think Shawn, that’s when the hygienist just know that it’s like no, we never put pressure on, he just is simply asking and if you demonstrate that, you know, and talk about that, maybe on your lunch break, you know, lunch, lunch, and learn kind of hours and stuff you’re like, Listen, if someone says no to Invisalign, if someone says no to veneers, if someone says no to a filling, for now, it’s just like, that’s their call and I don’t mind but what I hate is five years from now to find out that the patient said, Well wait back to when you first saw me and 2022 Why didn’t you bring this up? Well, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. That’s right. That’s lame so we want to bring it up now so that way, you’re in charge of choosing? Yeah.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
That is very good advice and I guess from, you know, it’s interesting, like, I would say, my agent, is like, tolerance for presenting treatment to patients has grown in the last, you know, a couple of years and, you know, like, we’ll talk about quadrant dentistry and whereas before, I would say, we’d say like, oh, it’s the crown of the year club, you know, sort of thing, like, which crown Are you going to do this year, but now, like, you talk to people about like, well, we got two crowns and you know, I got an I only on this tooth, and nail, the patients will come back, like, you know, that actually works really well. I got some money in HSA, and, you know, like, all sudden, like, these excuses that I used to make in my head, and I know my hygienist did. Like, it’s yeah, like, all of a sudden, and we’re hearing people like, yeah, I just want to get that done and it’s kind of eye-opening and it’s good for us, and it’s good for the patient and they’re the patients are affirming that you know. So,

Dr. Chad Johnson
Reagan, I think, probably about an hour and a half ago, because this conversation is going great, but it seems like a long time ago, you asked the question so Shawn, where do you see yourself? In 10 years, I don’t know where we got sidetracked but like, it’s not a put down where we’ve gone is amazing but tell me, like so in 10 years, what’s your 10-year plan?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Um, well, I know, I guess this, like the meaning and purpose of what I’m doing, like, it’s, like, I want to help people and I want to bring, like, this is something I came up with, like, just the mission as like, you want to like beautiful smiles, you know, create health and just change lives and I have maxed out on like, like, I’m busy all the time but like, I don’t have any gaps in my schedule, and I got people waiting for treatment and I would say that now, I’m bringing on some people around me to help and like we’re growing in that sense, which is wonderful and I think we’re helping more people and yeah, like the one asset we didn’t talk about this my other practice, which is like 15 miles south east of us is a is in Arlington, Minnesota and that practice is like medical assistance like Medicare type of practice and I intentionally set it up that way and we have a dental therapist and then a dentist there and then two hygienists and is like a very unique practice and, like, that was another thing that like my daughter,

like I wanted to give back to the world after, like, experiencing that, like I there’s a practice that came available to dentists or that consults, practice and you want his son was actually a dentist and called me up and he’s like, Would you ever reconsider buying my dad’s practice certain things? Like I so like, I ended up with this practice, and I don’t know and I was like, well, let’s give back to the community sort of thing and I guess that part of my life I don’t like I kind of feel open as maybe like my family situation and gets secure and we send kids to college and stuff like that, that potentially could grow.

Dr. Chad Johnson
You know, like, like an It’s not profitable to be in that realm, which brings its challenges but the clinic does really well, you know, and so, like, a feeder program to your other one, um,

Dr. Shawn Knorr
we get some patients it’s not, it’s not a huge run now, like the people that like there are people that drive from, you know, an hour hour and a half just they go there to get fillings and extractions done and stuff like that so it’s, it’s unique by the patient population and I would say that, like, the people that it feeds from is probably maybe the more the cash patients, they go to that clinic and because they’re seeing a dental therapist, and then my other the other doctor that there she’s, she does great in this situation, she doesn’t, but she likes to take our teeth and do removable, and she, that’s where her wheelhouse is so like if they get some of the cash patients there.

They, they, I would say those are the people that make their way over to do implants and crowns and, you know, different things like that and root canals so now, I would say it’s not a feeder was just kind of curious. Yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah, no, but it really, really fulfills a niche in our community. Like I say, it’s a great thing. Like, I have people that are in like, you know, I don’t know what, like a person that goes to church. She’s a lawyer she, like is in child custody cases and stuff like that and she just came up to me, and she’s like, you know, it’s such a great thing that you have this other clinic, because now we have a place to send these children to, to get dental care, you know, so, yeah, so it touches a unique part of, I guess the people that don’t always get

Dr. Chad Johnson
care. So, yeah. Alright, so I have one final question but Reagan, do you have any? Or should I just,

Regan
I have some homework for Sean.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Let’s Yeah. Yeah, I’ve

Regan
never done that before. Yeah, you’ve really moved me, and thank you for the time, I could talk with you for a long time, I think I’m really moved by your passion and your commitment to care. My homework for you is is to I love the bravery of saying, I see everything that’s in your mouth. If you think five years and 10 years down, you’re already doing great things, and you’re gonna continue to do great things. What do you see in your practice right now, that you know is going to have to shift in order for you to make the impact you want I think you’ve already started that. I think you’re thinking through that but if you have journaling time, take that through and calm any sound, or self-doubt that you have, I think you’re doing what I see doctors doing, you’re surrounding yourself with the support you need to be successful and stay the course and you will win.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Yes.

Dr. Chad Johnson
So here’s my question to wrap up. Who’s your Yoda?

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Who’s my Yoda? Um, that was a good question. Who’s my Yoda? Yeah, yeah. I mean, this is interesting. I haven’t I have to say it’s my wife. Excellent. So, so yeah, she is a person that can be brutally honest with me and like, like, I don’t know how your relationship is with your wife but I, I, I would say I tend towards excess and I want to keep striving and growing and all these things and sometimes I get off on a pathway that maybe isn’t constructive to live a full and complete life and I would like to think I’m a family man and that I love my wife and I love my children and sometimes when you’re, you know, like having a blast, you know, practicing dentistry it’s, it’s a, it’s easy to lose sight of things, you know and yeah, so she, everyone smiled. It gives me a nudge and

Dr. Chad Johnson
to keep the main thing.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Yes. Which is, which is great to have in my life.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Well, that is very sweet of you to say that. I liked how you thought about it for a little while too but that you came up with her Well done. Well, Reagan, tell me this wasn’t like a sacred interview. It was very cool. Sean, thank you for inviting us into your world.

Dr. Shawn Knorr
Oh, thank you. This was very fun for me and I got really excited about doing the podcast so I appreciate you guys as well. Thank

Dr. Chad Johnson
you. Good Boost was fantastic Regan closing thoughts.

Regan
Just this is going to be one of our best podcasts of 2022 and we’re only into April so thank you, Shawn, for your time. I would love to connect in another year. I’d love to see how you feel in another year, what progress has happened and what you’ve learned along the way because that to me, it’s the journey and we’re not we’re imperfect beings so I would love to see the lessons you’ve learned and what you’ve taken away from it and how you’ve grown. Thank you for listening to another episode of Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share? Or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome. Drop us an email at podcast@productivedentist.com And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentists.com/podcasts See you next week.

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