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Episode 176 – Dental Maturity: Are You In The Right Place?

How mature are you in your practice of dentistry? I’m not talking about how mature of a human being you are but where are you as a dental practice owner and clinician. Here’s an example: you can be the most highly skilled technician and not be able to get your patients to say yes to treatment. That’s not a very high level of maturity. So today I want to talk about how to check in on your dental maturity:

  • Where are you getting your information? Who are you listening to?
  • How are you interacting with patients?
  • Do you know what kind of business you want? What steps are you taking to craft it?


Regan 0:00
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit that’s to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:47
Years ago, I would, I saw lots of people selling to DSOs and I sold my practice to a DSL at a certain point but I was not very mature in that area. I did not really understand everything. It was more of a sales pitch to me and it worked out right. So I’m very fortunate but I see people get into this situation where it becomes about sales against myself and me being able to do things that are going to be the best thing for my practice. Hello, everyone, this is Dr. Bruce B. Baird, and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast. In this podcast, I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way, it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you So you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows more time for things you love, increase pay better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 2:03
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird, with a Productive Dentist Podcast, what I want to talk about today is something it’s kind of interesting, it’s about maturity and I’m gonna, you know, as we grow up, there’s a point in time in our life when we’re pretty immature and as we grow up, and hopefully by the time you get to be my age, you have some level of maturity, although some people would question that in talking to me on an ongoing basis, but what I want to talk about is not about our maturity in growing up, but what’s our maturity level in dentistry? Where are we, because everyone has been inundated with information from, oh, gosh, Facebook, live groups and, and now clubhouse groups and you sit in and you listen to this stuff and you hear somebody talking, and telling you what to do that’s in a totally different situation than you are and so what I want you to do is I really want us to always listen, and I’ve talked on other podcasts about this, to listen carefully, and understand where this person is coming from. You know, and even me, listen to me, where am I coming from? You know, am I, am I saying things just to get you to go to Productive Dentist Academy or to to do you know, Compassionate Finance or Abella? Listen carefully, because what’s important is how you respond to those things and what I see a lot, you know, online and in discussion groups, dental town, you see people, somebody will say something, and you’ll get these negative responses back. Well, I want you to think about it, you may not be in the same place that other person is, as a matter of fact, there’s a great chance that you’re not in the same place and so I’m always asking questions of speakers. So how did you do this and how did you do that and how long have you done this and how long have you practiced? How long were you a hygienist when you’re telling me this? Are you still a hygienist? Are you still practicing as a hygienist? And so if you have somebody talking about productivity, you know, your level of maturity at that point, as a matter of fact, I go back to when Jeff my partner, Jeff Brewski, said,”There’s no way in hell you’re doing that much dentistry, and it’s legal,” and he sent me that as a private message on face on dental town and I just told him I said, “Hey, let’s go have a beer and he happened to live not far away, about an hour away and I was at a seminar and so we went and had a beer and I said, “Now all right, it very, it’s very common for us to do this day in and day out,” and so I say this, because Jeff’s maturity level in this area in this arena of productivity was not very well developed. He had unbelievable maturity and his skills in dentistry, doing, doing, you know, connective tissue grafting or doing all types of things. He was unbelievably trained dentists, but his level of maturity in that area of productivity. So I know this is Canada, it’s a, it’s a topic that most people are never going to discuss but that’s what I like talking about. So when I hear somebody talking about things right now, I’ll give you an example. Years ago, I would, I saw lots of people selling to DSOs and I sold my practice to a DSO at a certain point but I was not very mature in that area, I did not really understand everything, it was more of a sales pitch to me and it worked out, right. So I’m very fortunate but I see people get into this situation where it becomes about sales against myself and me being able to do things that are going to be the best thing for my practice. We talk about that with Productive Dentist Academy when we do our foundations courses. In other words, figure it out what it is you want to do, and then work your way through a plan that gets you there. When you initially start, you’re not going to be mature and everything. Well, that may not be true, I’ve seen people that are mature way, and it’s not about yours but way beyond their years, I’ve seen young dentists that are unbelievably mature and I’ve seen other dentists that, you know, they just like bread and butter dentistry, they’re not very mature in and many of the, you know, more complex treatment plans and that type stuff. So as we see a level of maturity grow, and you see areas as you self-assess, this is an area I’d like to grow in. Maybe that area is leadership skills. You know, I’m a really good dentist, but I’m not a real good leader. That was me. I felt very confident in my clinical skills but I wasn’t very good leader. I knew that I needed more training, more teaching more education, and the leadership skills and those are the things that I really began to focus on but there was also a time, when I got out of the military, I had been doing a lot of bread and butter dentistry, and third molars, some surgery I was, I was, I had the opportunity to do pre-press surgery while I was in the service. So I had gotten some skills there but I really had no skills in implant dentistry.” I had no skills and much cosmetic dentistry and so when I got out, I self-assessed and I said, “You know what, not mature in these areas and these are the areas that I want to focus on in my education. Now, what I’ll tell you is, you can be the most highly skilled and mature of clinicians, and not be able to get patients to say yes to the treatment that they need. And that is a super frustrating situation. One of the things that we do at Productive Dentist Academy as we try to help dentists become more mature in their treatment planning, in their case, planning, in their case, presentation skills. How do I say this? When a patient says this? What do I say in response to that? And I’ve talked many times about my thoughts that there’s only two types of people in the world. There are engineers, and there are nonengineers, meaning the engineer, they need to know every single detail and so when I’m educating that person, when I’m doing a case presentation with that person, my maturity level, as I learned, these things got much better because I realized they do have to know the molecular structure of titanium before they’re gonna have an implant. Whereas myself personally, I’m not that, I’m the non-engineer type. I’m an engineer, when I case plan. When I treat my plan, I’m an engineer but when I’m talking, I’m usually going to be more a little bit more outgoing, a little bit more gregarious and that type thing, unless I’m talking to an engineer and then my guy got my arms folded and looking at, I’m looking at the situation and I know they need more information. It’s the same way with pilots. So what I’m what I’m asking you to do is to be introspective, look at your business and think about your business take that time, we’ve had some time with COVID to do that and a lot of people are looking at their businesses like they’ve never looked at them before and so I want you to step back, think about your, what kind of business is it that I want to have and what steps am I going to have to take to get there?

Dr. Bruce Baird 10:27
Do I, do I need more space? Do I need more room? Okay, that’s a that’s a conversation. You may not, you know, you may have lucked out and just found a four-up office and bought it and opened up your practice, you may started out as an associate, but don’t know, you don’t have a level of maturity when it comes to designing an office and those types of things. So these are the things that I’m always looking at and it doesn’t matter if it’s in dentistry, or developing software, there are things that when we started Compassionate Finance, we didn’t know a lot of things. We were not very mature in, in software But I knew what I wanted. I knew what I wanted to solve, you know, so we were able to build software to solve these particular problems that dentists have And that’s what I’m asking you to do when you see patients that come in with a problem. Is this the kind of problem you want to solve or is this something you want to refer? Is this something you think you would really have fun doing, then you’re gonna have to set in motion, your clinical skills and your clinical excellence to be able to do that and remember, there is no such thing as perfection. We’re all on this path towards excellence and I really believe if you can self-assess and look at look deep inside yourself, no one else can do this. I knew I was a crappy boss, I knew I was a lousy leader and the only way I could get better is if I changed. I had a conversation with a friend years ago and he, he’s always had problems over and over every year, the same problems, same problems. “Can’t find a team, can’t do this can’t do that. This is just ridiculous. They don’t even know how to do this. They don’t know.” You know what, that has nothing to do with your team. At least it had nothing to do with his team, it had to do with him. If he didn’t make a change, then he was always going to have the exact same problems over and over and over again. Again, I see this day in and day out. I see people who don’t take care of themselves, I see paid people who probably drink more than they need to who don’t, who don’t take life seriously. You know, it’s just like they’re going through the motions. I think the self-assessment and maturity is the thing that and I don’t care if you’re 24 or if you’re 54. I’m and again, I always look at myself, I still I love to have fun and I probably do some pretty immature things even at 64, 65. Actually, I’m 65 now so this year, it’ll be 66. So I still do some immature things. My wife looked at me and shake your head and say, “I can’t believe you just said that.” So it’s not about how old you are but it’s about the self-assessment to say, “Where is it that I need help and would a coach help me? Would doing marketing a certain way help me?” I want you to look at yourself and come up with those things. So anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this. I’m feeling a lot better. Thank you guys for the well wishes. I’ve gotten a lot of emails and texts. If you have any questions about anything on these podcasts, please send it to me. What we’ll do is we will actually do podcasts just answering those questions. So I look forward to next week and be safe. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend. Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify or drop me an email at don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast


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