Episode 170: Training a High-Performance Dental Team

“I just don’t have time to train my team.” I hear this all the time, but that’s like a pro football team never taking time to practice.

If you want to produce at the highest levels in dentistry, you’ve got to have a team that is amazingly trained and trained the way YOU want things to be done. So today, let’s look at some strategies for training your team:

  • Overall training strategy
  • What to expect from training days
  • Tips on training each role in the office

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast and today, I wanted to talk about, because I get this question all the time is, is how do you train your team? I mean, how do you get your team trained? And I look at that question and I get it kind of across the board, how do you train your front office? How do you train your treatment coordinators, office managers across the board?  How do you do the training? And the thing that I think is important is, you know because people I hear all the time, I just don’t have time to train and we’re so busy.

Well, that would be a lot like a football team never having time to practice or a golfer on the pro tour, never having time to go hit balls and to me, if you want to produce at the highest levels in dentistry, you’ve got to have a team and you’ve got to have a team that is amazingly trained, and not just trained but trained the way you want things to be done. I hear it also all the time, you know, I hired this person, is the way I was early in my career, I hired this person to do a job and be a treatment, you know, coordinator or you know, just to assist in dentistry and they’ve got experience, but they don’t know what they’re doing. Well, they don’t know what they’re doing because every dentist is different. Every dentist works differently. “Oh, I hired somebody to do my accounts receivable”. Well, okay but do you really know what they’re doing and so that’s, you know, some of those areas is where coaching can really come in and play a major role but you have to be the leader, you have to be in charge, you’re the one who has to determine what it is that you want them doing. Otherwise, you’re going to spend your career just like I did my first 15 years, which is disappointing because people weren’t doing what I thought they should be doing and what I found out was it’s because I never told them what I expected. So let’s start out first, I mean, let’s look at the overall office and saying how are we going to do training for our entire office, we like to have a team meeting, once a month, a couple of hours. Early on in, in my transition into training my team, it wasn’t unusual for us to do a half day or even a full day and what happens is, as you get team members that have been there for 10 years, 15 years, where you can start to back that off because your training has been accomplished.

Now you’re, you’re looking at fine-tuning your team, you’re looking at doing those little small things, but initially, I would say, you know, what is you know, a half a day a month to train team on what you want, what you want them to be doing and another area would be how do I train a treatment coordinator? You know, I had four treatment coordinator, coordinators who worked with me and if we ever had somebody which I kept three, one for 30 years, one for 21, one for 10, but whenever we hired a new person, I wanted them to train them, they know how I wanted things done. So I wanted them to train them. I want them to give them the heads up on what it is that we do in the practice every day and because if they’re not happy with that new hire, then their productivity goes down.

Why? Because they’re so worried about that other person, so I put the responsibility on them. So how do I train my treatment coordinators, for instance, my chairside assistant? Well, each day, you know, as we go through the day, I would make notes of things that I needed to help them with. It may be showing them exactly what a provisional restoration should look like and when I say exactly, you make the provisional, you take the scan, you do, when we do a lot of ceramic restorations so we didn’t have a lot of tamps but when we’re doing a full mouth rehab where we built 8, 10, 12, 14 units or provisionals.

I want those still to look a certain way and I want to make sure that my team knows exactly how that how that’s supposed to look, I want those margins polished, I want the entire restorations polished to a high finish so that the patient’s not pedaling with their time on it all the time and driving them crazy and, and so I would show them, I would polish it, I would get out the different components that I use to polish that provisional, how I checked the bite, how I looked at all those things.

Ideally, I wanted to have some anterior guidance in those to describe the posteriors but you know, every case is different and so I would visit and talk and show and I’d spend time in the laboratory. So your appointment times are going to be a little longer when you’re training, but you want to train this and you want to do it. Let’s say, I’m talking about Gay for instance, one of my assistants I have been with me forever. When I first started training her when she came from Walmart, you know, she didn’t know anything about In fact, I would almost rather hire somebody that doesn’t know anything, and then train them on what I want and do it, you know, do it that way but I would, I would show her and then I would come in and check the provisional and so when I checked the provisions, I’d look at it and I’d say, “Okay, let’s take those out. Let’s take a look,” and we’d go into to the lab and let me just show you a couple of areas. In other words, embrasures, I want those embrasures open, why I want them to be cleaned. I want those tissues to be able to heal better. So I would actually go through the process, show them, you know, show Gay, how do I separate between the teeth without separating the teeth and because I want that color of tissue to be up there and I don’t want it to be pushed out of the way, how many times have you been putting a crown on tissues way up, pushed up, because the provisional wasn’t right, or the temp wasn’t right.

So I would show Gay that, I would show some of that and then I would trust but verify, I would check it and I would check it every time for a while. Until, finally, you’re feeling very confident about Gay and she’s doing them daily, just the way you want them. Then go back six months and just happened to check again, why you want to make sure they’re still doing that and so those are things that, you know, you trust, but verify, I train, and I train over and over and over again until I am sure that they know exactly what it is that I’m expecting from them for that, for instance provision.  An impression, you know, what is that impression? What is now what does that scan supposed to look like?

You know, and we train, train, train on what that scan should look like until they’re doing scans until they’re doing a much better job than I am. Why? Because that’s what I want. I want to train them to do dentistry the way, the way I wanted to have it done in my own mouth. What about, what about an occlusal guard, you know? Do you sit in there and grind on the occlusal guard to get it to where the bite is where you want it? Well, yeah, you many dentists do many dentists do their own provisionals many pack around cord, many do, you know, they’re anal retentive, and they want to do everything themselves. Well, they’re not going to be very productive, I can just tell you that they’re going to feel good about themselves, that’s fine.

But as far as your team, you know, they’d really rather do something besides just suck spit all day, you know, they love to be a part of the mission, part of making a person smile great and so my way of looking at it was I, I want them to be a part of that team. And so with, as far as an occlusal guard, I show them exactly how I want that, very light context, more in the anterior so I’m getting this deprogramming of the musculature is in the face, shutting off those masters, and that’s going to help that patient in the future, what you don’t want to do is just throw a mouth guard to say, “Where?” You know, because, you know, it needs to do the things that you have planned for it to do. You know, so I would train my team exactly, then I would say, “When you get the bite adjusted, let me come take a look,” and I would look at it. “So well let me, let me just show you that this Larry way back in the back, round number two, and number 15. Those really fire the Masters, if you’re hitting here, I don’t really want that to be touching,” and so we would go through that process. Let’s talk about you know, doing financial arrangements with patients. I want this to be something that was standard. This is what we train, this is how we do it, and what we did is we have a sheet that has our financial arrangements on it. You know, number one is cash discount.

Number two, if you have great credit, you can use third-party financing, three, if you have great checking history, that’s where compassionate finance would come in. So the patient, I would just say, you know, and I would train my team, to say, “Bob, I’m going to go in sterilization I’ve got, I’m going to get a couple of things ready, but I’d like for you, these are our financial arrangements that we have for the treatment plan, they’ve already gone over and said, it’s going to be 14,000, or whatever it is. If a patient says, okay, 14, that’s less than I thought it was going to be okay, great. You still want to hand them that form, that form is going to have their option, their discount for paying cash, and it’s all filled out in an Excel spreadsheet, that tells them exactly what their portion would be after insurance or their portion, after discount,” and so the patients appreciate that, because it’s not about sitting there going, “Okay, we expect this, we expect that,” these are just our options that we have in our office and so the patient can look at it and say, “You know what, I’d really like to do some monthly payments.” Okay, great. We’ve got some, you know, and you have others who say, I don’t ever want to do these monthly payments. Well, what does that mean? Well, many times it means they have bad credit and that’s where compassionate finance can come in, you said, “Well, you know, we have a lot of patients that have been in the same boat, but with is compassionate finance, with a down payment, and looks like your insurance will cover the down payment, or with a down payment of say, 15 $100, we could get all your work done in a single visit.”

So we’re driving that conversation towards comprehensive treatment planning. Now, I love that and I, you know, I’d love having somebody hand me, these are my options. So that’s how we train that office manager? How do I train an office manager? Call them a controller, again, you know, whether it be putting all of my data and all the stuff in QuickBooks, but I have to look at those QuickBooks on a regular basis. So I would look at him a couple of times a week and I would look for anything that stood out to me maybe a bill that hadn’t been paid or bills that were being paid. You know, these are, these are things that I’m looking at very carefully but I’m also working with my office manager, you know, a lot of times, that’s an overwhelming position, they get interrupted all day long, they get interrupted, you know, just anytime there’s a call that’s above, you know, the front desk level of authority, because you haven’t given them any authority, they end up calling the office manager or the office manager back there trying to be the controller, running that part of the business. I call it MBWA, managed by walking around and, but, but they also have emails to answer. They have lots of things that they’re doing. So what I do is I structurally set them up. I said, “I don’t want you to take calls from anybody, for this time from, eight to 12 or eight to 10 on Mondays and Wednesdays, you know doing your emails, do your emails, in your responses from 10 to noon, set up your bill pays, do your bill pays, how long does it actually take?” Well, probably an hour but when you’re interrupted 25 times, it’s very frustrating for that office manager. So how do I do that I set up their business so that it runs as efficiently as it possibly can for them. They enjoy their job much more, and they know what to expect from you. So these are just, you know, a few of the things but what I will tell you is it’s absolutely paramount that you train your team the way you want it done otherwise, you’re going to spend your career frustrated. I have great buddy who says you know, I just can’t hire anybody that can sell dentistry. I said, “Well until you can sell dentistry, you’re not really going to find anybody that can sell dentistry.” So so those are the things that I look at on a day-to-day basis in the practice. I hope this has been helpful. I look forward to, look forward to next week. Thank you.

Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Menu
Need help?
Accessibility
Accessibility Options
Accessibility On Our Website

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call (800) 757-6077 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.

Read More About Accessibility and Why It Matters

Appointments
Need help?

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (Social Security, account number, login, passwords, etc.). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Helpful Resources

Below are links you may find helpful when scheduling an appointment with us.

Notifications
Podcasts

Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

“You’re not doing your patients any favors because their...

Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part (featured image)

Episode 239 – From Good to Great

“I’ve found ways to become free.” ~Dr. Chad Johnson Discover...

Episode 239 – From Good to Great (featured image)

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections

In this episode of the Investment Grade Practices podcast, we invite...

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections (featured image)
In the Press

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years.

from Dental Entrepreneur – Winter 2023 By Dr. Maggie Augustyn...

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years. (featured image)
From Our Blog

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves

Dentistry is tough–you deserve support. But hiring a consultant can...

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media

Facebook

Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.

LinkedIn

Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.

YouTube

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Instagram

View fun photos and follow our team on Instagram.

Your Privacy
Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses our privacy practices and the use of Google Analytics 4(GA4), an analytic advertising feature. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and the GA4 platform. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website and GA4 platform, how it is used, and with whom it may be shared.
  2. The choices available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

While Productive Dentist Academy is the primary data controller, Google, in the context of providing Google Analytics service, acts as a data processor. We use Google Analytics 4, a widely recognized web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., to track user interactions and gather data for advertising purposes. As a third-party vendor, Google Analytics operates independently and maintains its own privacy policy, which can be found at https://policies.google.com/privacy. We carefully select our third-party vendors for their commitment to user privacy and adherence to data protection standards. As part of our ongoing commitment to your privacy, we implement measures to ensure that services like GA4 comply with our high standards of data protection.

GA4 collects certain personally identifiable information from you as you interact with our website. This information includes but is not limited to your device ID, IP address, and geographic location. The information collected through GA4 is used to analyze user behavior, optimize our website’s performance, and tailor our content to better serve your needs. This data is compiled and anonymized, ensuring that it cannot be linked back to individual users.

Please note that GA4 may share the information collected with Google and other third-party service providers to enable data processing and reporting on website usage. However, we will not sell, rent, or share your information, especially your personally identifiable information, with any third party outside of our organization.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You have certain rights regarding the data collected by GA4. You have the right to do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

Indemnification
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Miscellaneous
Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

Copyright
All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Links
This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Questions
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

Search
Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.

Go to the Top of the Page