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

“You’re not doing your patients any favors because their dentistry is going to get more expensive every year you watch and wait.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

Waiting and watching. Why do dentists do that?

Why, when you have a patient come to you with a total trainwreck in their mouth, would you only do a single crown and then wait to see how the rest of their teeth fare in six months or a year? You already know the situation in their mouth will only deteriorate with time. You also know you are the person to do something about it now.

What is preventing you from providing your patients with comprehensive treatment? Do you feel a lack of confidence in your clinical skills? Are you relying too much on insurance to make decisions for you and your patients? Or do you just lack the verbal skills necessary to get your patients to agree to treatment? In this episode of The Productive Dentist Podcast, we will explore the reasons dentists hesitate to provide comprehensive treatment, and what you can do to overcome these obstacles in order to provide your patients with the care they need, while boosting your practice’s productivity, allowing you to collect more.

In this episode, I want you to focus on these three takeaways:

  • Enough waiting and watching. Learn why it’s important to provide comprehensive treatment to your patients who need it now, and overcome the obstacles preventing you from doing so
  • Boost your confidence. Discover strategies for building your clinical skills and confidence in your own dental abilities.
  • Improve communication. There is nothing sadder in dentistry than a dentist who has all the clinical skills in the world, and zero verbal skills to convince your patients to get the dentistry they need.


Dr. Bruce Baird 2:01
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with The Productive Dentist Podcast. today’s podcast, I wanted to talk a little bit about Weight Watchers. You know, I don’t know how many of you guys, you know, have ever done Wait Watchers, but Wait Watchers is for losers and I got this information from my partner, Victoria, who I heard her speak into somebody about this and it just really hit home and yeah, I need to lose a little but not in the field of dentistry. What am I talking about? Well, Wait Watchers, let’s wait and watch. Why did dentists do that you? Well, you get in on your you know, you do your examination and you say, “This Johnson, you have a broken tooth here and we need to do a crown on it. You have a few others that are you know kind of breaking down also, but I really think we could wait and watch those,” or they just go through and just tell people pretty much everything in their mouth needs to be just watched, let’s keep an eye on it, in Texas that’s what we do. So why is that? I mean, I started asking questions and talking to some individuals. I was at Paul Goodman’s Dental Nacho events and lots of young dentists there and that topic actually came up and I was thinking to myself, why do people wait? Why do they watch things and I can only come up with just a few reasons. One reason is they don’t know how to do the procedure, you know, or they’re not comfortable doing the procedure. I can you know, as a young dentist, you know, especially post-pandemic, I mean, some of the students, you know, they didn’t get to do a lot of dentistry, they did a lot of stuff at home and there was lots of testing at home and things were done on Zoom meeting. Well, obviously that’s a concern, but they’re not all that comfortable doing a crown. So, which sounds crazy, but it is true. There are people out there that it might take them an hour and a half to cut a crown prep and I always kind of joke with people who says, “I can cut a tooth off at the gumball end in about 20 seconds.”

Dr. Bruce Baird 4:25
So why does it take so long to cut that crown prep? Well, it’s just a lack of confidence and a lack of experience and so there are people out there that are really doing it, doing some great education and teaching. I know Lincoln Harris, he’s he’s an Australian buddy that was actually election this weekend, they have an entire program to help dentists get better at their treatment planning. So I think if you really think about it, that is one reason is just not confident. Another reason which is more cynical, in my opinion, is they only tell the patient they need one thing done and not the rest of it is because insurance isn’t going to cover it. We’ve talked about this before 95% of all crowns done in the USA, or done one at a time and why is that? Well, because you tell the patient in the three crowns or four crowns, or four giant fillings or four whatever, and the patient has the response, “What will my insurance cover?” Well, your team comes in and says why your insurance is gonna cover 1500, which is a standard statement, because most insurance companies cover 1500, if you have one that covers more great. Of course, you guys know, I hate insurance companies, because they have no interest in whether you’re successful, or whether the patient gets any dentistry done or not. They’re only interested in profits and the PPO is or even worse, because there many times not even directly attached to a, a insurance company. It’s just basically offering discounts to patients and the patients are paying them, but you know, so what happens to you is after you hear these patients saying, “What will my insurance cover?” And you say, or your team says, “It’s going to be 3300, and your portion will be 1800, insurance is going to cover 1500.” What is a patient say? Well, they say, “Can we just do one?” And most of most teams have heard this over and over and over again for however long they’ve been in dentistry because this has been going on for a long time and what it does, subliminally I think, it conditions, dentists, to say, “Let’s watch this.” Well, I’m going to use an analogy. What if you went to your heart doctor and you know, and is dentistry, does that equate to the heart? Well, we know that there are things that happen in the mouth that do affect, can increase risk of heart attack, stroke, all of these things, whether it be periodontal, whether it be infections in the bone, all of these things can affect the rest of the body but you went to your heart surgeon and he said, “You know, I really think we can fix this LAD, which is the Widowmaker. We can, let’s put a stent in that, but let’s keep a watch on these other two, they’re only blocked at 40%.”

Dr. Bruce Baird 7:40
Now, would that make sense to you? Would that make sense? Would you want your doc doing that? No, I mean, when people come to see you, as your health care provider, as a health care provider, what are you, what are we told to do in our ADA code of ethics? It’s a comprehensive evaluation of the needs of the patient. It’s not the needs of the insurance company, because the insurance company needs you to only do one cramp. Why? Because then that’s all they have to pay, they get to keep the rest of the money and their profits go up. So why is it that Wait Watchers becomes a big symptom in dentistry, because, you know, it’s because insurance will not cover it. Another reason that people wait and watch, you know, number one was, they don’t really have the skill set to sell it. I’ve seen that happen, oftentimes with big crown and bridge cases or anything like that, where they’ve just gone to, oh, LBI or, or Penkey, or Spear or Kois and they come home, they have the skill, but they don’t necessarily have the confidence. You know, skill without confidence also causes people to wait and watch. Confidence without skill causes people to wait and watch. So really, it’s a matter of building this confidence and skill together so that you don’t end up on Wait Watchers because what happens when you’re on Wait Watchers in the dental industry is you slim down your profits, you slim down what your production per hour is, because of those reasons. So one reason was, you know, you don’t have the skill. The other reason is insurance, you know, and another reason when you think about it is they just don’t have the verbal skills to get a patient to understand that they actually need this work done and so, you know, when you don’t have confidence when you’re always having patients saying no, that again starts to build this subliminal message to the dentist and to your team that says, “It’s okay just to do one at a time. It’s okay to do a little bit here and a little bit there,” and, and what what you can be very confident about, you know, you may not be confident about some of the things you’ve done, but what you can be very awkward is, you’re not really doing the patients any favors, because their dentistry is gonna get more expensive every single year you watch and wait.

Dr. Bruce Baird 10:29
Now, so if you think about this, it’s not something you really want to be doing. You know, why not learn? You don’t have to have 100 new patients a month or 200 new patients a month to be profitable you do if you’re doing one crown at a time and that’s where you see all of these people, I don’t know how many messages I have. I’ve deleted at least three messages this morning emails, or LinkedIn that people have called me to, or have sent me messages to say, “Would you like to have more patients?” And, you know, they don’t have any understanding of dentistry, they just know that they can use social media, and can get patients to come into your office 50% of those don’t show up and the rest of that do really don’t need any dentistry. It was just it’s kind of a ploy that tries to get people in and I don’t want people that don’t need dentistry anyway. So if I look at this situation, I don’t need tons of new patients, I just need to do a comprehensive exam on every new patient that comes in and that’s the philosophy of Productive Dentist Academy. Do we do a comprehensive, full-blown exam on a teenager? No, that’s a different animal, we have kids that come home from college, you know, if they’re 20 to 24, 25, they can come get their teeth cleaned, unless they have an immediate need, but we mark it more towards what I’ve always told you guys, we market more towards the train wreck. Why do we want treatments? Because they need a lot of dentistry and I can help them and you can help them, you know. So what one of the things I said from the state stage this weekend was as a young dentist and original dentist, that’s on Wait Watchers, it doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s a lot of dentists that are on Wait Watchers and so as a dentist that’s on Wait Watchers, go and get every bit of CE you want to get early on in your career, if possible. If not gonna learn comprehensive skills, learn how to do comprehensive damage and if you’re a drill and fill guy that just likes to do one thing at a time, or one crown at a time, then don’t do that but I really don’t want to go to your office. I mean, I don’t want to come to you as an expert in the mouth and dentistry if all you’re going to do is do whatever makes you feel good.

Dr. Bruce Baird 12:58
I want you to tell me what the real deal is and how do I do that. That’s where the communication skills come in, that’s where asking permission, that’s where having a set protocol for how do I do my comprehensive exam and when you do that, what you’re going to find is that not only are you going to produce more dentistry, not only are you going to collect more for your business, but you’re actually going to be a win-win, you’re going to take care of more people. It’s nothing sadder in dentistry than a dentist who has all the skills and no verbal skills. They have all the clinical skills, but no verbal skills to be able to actually get a patient to say yes. Now, is everybody going to say yes, no and that’s, you know, and those are the things that really bothered me about Wait Watchers, you know and I want you to know that there are other reasons too, there are other things that can be done. We’ve talked about compassionate finance, we’ve talked about financing, finding ways for people to be able to say yes to all their treatment that falls within, yes, some financing, but it also falls within the verbal skills to allow people to utilize that financing. So, I don’t know, I hope you guys enjoy today’s podcast. It’s something that really bugs me, because I always ask doctors when I go get my elbow checked or my shoulder check. I tell him, “What would you do if it was you?” Now, I don’t think you’d do it if it was you. I don’t think you would just say one crown at a time in your own mouth if you had a lot of work that needed to be done. You know, if you’re like me, I want to have all my work done in with a couple of pills and sound asleep and get it done today all of it and so that’s what I’m gonna leave you with today. Tell your friends about Productive Dentist Podcast, we were voted number three podcast in dentistry this year and so I’m pretty excited about that. Thank you guys for spreading the word. I’m not the usual podcaster which you know invites, you know hundreds of people on the show, we had people on before, but I just feel like I’ve got so much, so much stuff up here in my head that I want to get out. When that ends I’ll probably start inviting guests. So anyway, have a great week. I look forward to next week’s podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 15:16
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 podcast@productivedentist.com don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of productivedentistpodcast.com Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast

Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Need help?
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

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.


Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration

 “On the backside of fear we find confidence. And once we’re...

Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration (featured image)

Episode 243 – The Blueprint: Successfully Moving Out of Network with Your PPO

“It was starting to affect my health, just the stress and trying to...

Episode 243 – The Blueprint: Successfully Moving Out of Network with Your PPO (featured image)

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support

 “Success requires support, but which support, who are you...

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support (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

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift

Why More Practices Are Moving Away from Phones and Towards Text &...

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media


Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.


Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


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/ 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 the Website

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

Go to the Top of the Page