[Infographic] 5 Tips for New Dentists

[Infographic] 5 Tips for New Dentists



  1. Leadership and Communication
    • Being successful in dentistry requires more than developing your technical skills. Your ability to become a great leader and communicate with your team effectively will directly determine how successful you will be. When you do that, exceptional patient experiences, beautiful dentistry with great patients, and exponential profitability come easier.
  1. Fully Accept that Dentistry is a Business
    • Just like any business you have to have a really strong vision for how you want it to influence the people that employs and serves. A great business is built on finding the right people to execute your vision, developing systems to support those people and watching key numbers to ensure that it grows and making adjustments when it doesn’t.  Quickly find a mentor or a dental consultant and save yourself years of frustration.
  1. Find Out What You Are Good at and Limit Yourself to Those Activities
    • This is a fundamental flaw on the journey for most dentists looking for a fulfilling career. Enjoying your career requires that you love the procedures you consistently do. Become increasingly aware of the things you LOVE DOING and get good at building relationships with people who do the things that you DON’T LOVE.  Refer the procedures you DON’T LOVE out to a specialist or find someone to do them in your practice. When you do what you love most of the day, it’s not called work, it’s called utilizing your gifts.
  1. Embrace continuous learning and join a study club right away
    • Some of the very best learning in all of dentistry happens in your own city on Fridays. Find the best dentists in your area and surround yourself with them. Ask great questions of them and be a committed learner to what the best practices” in dentistry are. Keep in mind that you are the average of the five people you hang around with most.” So be sure to pick really successful friends.
  1. Take care of yourself like an athlete
    • Dentistry is a sport. It requires that your body functions optimally every day. Your ability to make an income is greatly dependent on how healthy you stay. If you’re a new dentist, you can expect to practice for at least three or four more decades. How you feel on a daily basis will influence what team members and patients see. Dentistry is physically & emotionally stressful on the body and this stress has to have compensation.  Make sure you give your body exercise and sleep compensation to this stress of everyday dentistry.  You will be glad you did.
While dental school provides a good base and skill set for starting out your dental career, furthering your education and understanding of the business world will allow you to reach and exceed the goals you set into place. Dentistry is consistently ranked one of the top professions in the United States. But in order for you to fully enjoy this top profession, you have to have the best thinking and disciplines.  Use a dental practice consultant such as those at ACT Dental who are committed to improving your thinking and disciplines so that you have a better practice and a better life. Check out ACTdental.com to find the perfect solution for you for a long healthy and profitable career that you love.

Oct 18, 2017 No Comments
What’s a paper plate worth?

What’s a paper plate worth?

Better Life

Looking for a simple way to inspire your team? See how this simple paper plate can transform how your team feels about themselves and each other. Learn how you can improve morale and add insight you didn’t have previously about the people around you. Take a peek at what we learned about this exercise at a recent ACT Dental event that transformed an entire room of several hundred strangers.

Oct 11, 2017 No Comments
3 Questions Every Dentist Should Ask Before Hiring a Dental Consultant

3 Questions Every Dentist Should Ask Before Hiring a Dental Consultant


Many dentists stress greatly over the idea of hiring a dental consultant to help them improve the conditions and culture in their practices. And they should. It is a very big decision.

Think about it, you are going to bring in a stranger (from the outside) to help you improve the business that you, your team members, and their dependents rely on. They are going to advise you and your team on how to do what you do every day – and make it better over time. They are going to be with you for many months, sometimes even years. It’s a big investment of time, mental energy, and financial resources. The key is to make an informed decision from the beginning.

Making a bad investment could spell disaster, or you might have to spend years trying to re-wire that experience in your office. Worse yet, bringing in the wrong advisor could send you into a negative spiral whenever you hear the word “consultant” – a reminder of the investment and how it didn’t pay off. This could also lead to putting yourself in an infinite holding pattern of “figuring it out on your own.”

The best performers know that you can never figure it out on your own. As human beings we are designed to only reach our potential with the help of others. It is impossible to be a successful hermit. They don’t exist.

Investing in the right consultant can change the game for you forever. Better yet, a one or two-year investment into the right consultant can produce year over year results that could compound ROI well into the millions and, more importantly, give you more time for the things that matter most – like your family.

Some of the very best in this business scream about the importance of finding the right consultant. Like Dr. Howard Farran who says “If you’re burned out, there’s a good reason you’re burned out, and nine times out of 10, it’s because of something you’re doing (or not doing). If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s time to hire a coach, and if you’re not taking care of your business, it’s time to hire a consultant.”

But how do you pick the right one?

If you are just starting out in practice, you have probably been to a few seminars or you’ve heard about a few really good consultants. And it’s true there are lots of really good ones out there. We have learned so much from a great number of them. As a matter of fact, in 20 years of passionately working to serve this profession we love so much, I would go as far to say there are VERY FEW BAD CONSULTANTS. Its honestly hard to find them if you hang around long enough. I truly believe there are only BAD FITS.

Let me explain….

If you meet a dental consultant that has worked in dentistry more than 10 years and has a robust client list and strong references, I can already tell you that they really know what they are doing. It’s the dental consultants that have been around for less than 10 years that make huge promises to so many dentists and then, a year later, they disappear. If you have been in practice for more than a decade you know that to be true. They come and go sometimes before we even really get to know their names, but the ones that stay have learned a methodology for predicting success, they know how to help develop leaders within the practice, not just find more new patients and increase production. They have learned from their clients as much as their clients have learned from them. They understand how to build a business, how to lead people, and how to build a reputation that matters. They aren’t in it just for the money, they are in it for the right reasons – and it shows when you work with them.

A Good Fit

When you hire a dental consultant and the effort fails, it usually comes down to a failure of fit. And yes we ourselves have even had some fit fails. They are not fun, but every time it happens, we learn from it. To make a mistake a few times is frustrating, but to repeat it is insanity. Every time a relationship fails, it usually comes back to one thing – it wasn’t a good fit – for US and for THEM.

Think about it. You could apply this to any relationship. Especially the doctor patient relationship. When complex restorative cases fail, it usually isn’t your skills or treatment planning that went wrong. What it comes down to (most of the time) is that you invested time and resources into the wrong person. Your core values didn’t match up with the patient. Those are always your least favorite patients.

If you practice dentistry long enough, you learn the most painful and consistent lesson. Working with the WRONG PATIENT never turns out RIGHT. Putting a burr to a tooth on a patient who is clearly the wrong patient for your office is NEVER a good idea. You will always pay a price. Maybe not in dollars, but maybe in stomach lining. And what’s worse is that, as you see the burr spinning and getting closer to the enamel, you are telling yourself, “I probably shouldn’t do this. I don’t even like this person.” And you’re probably right.

Finding the right match requires that it is truly a MATCH. Often times dentists don’t stop to really examine the relationship and ask the really critical questions before they get started. Better questions always provide better answers. They provide more insight and more mutual understanding. Here are 3 great questions for dentists to ask before considering help from the outside:


3 Critical Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Dental Consultant:

1. Do you really understand ME as a dentist and MY WHOLE STORY?

You story is truly yours. It’s the main reason you are going to do anything. It’s the WHY behind all of the WHOs, HOWs, WHATs, WHEREs and WHENs. Working with the right consultant requires they understand who you truly are and all of the variables within your business that make it tick. An expert who understands you can apply their acquired knowledge to your unique situation and recommend “best practices” in a way that coincides with your vision. Your team will also better support an outside expert who subscribes to the theory “seek first to understand before being understood.” Hiring the right fit as a dental consultant requires seeking the expert that best knows you.

2. Do our core values MATCH UP?

This is a very big one. After question number one has been satisfied, make sure that question number 2 truly matches up with who you are. There are many different experts on how to grow a dental practice. Again, all of them very good at what they do. Be sure that you are clear about what your core values are and how you want to experience yourself in dentistry. There are many experts that will teach you to expand your hours (into the evening and weekends) to drive revenue and patient numbers. They are very good at teaching this model. And I will say that it works brilliantly. The only challenge you have to be careful of is that you are serving A specific group of people based on 2 principles: you are convenient and less expensive than other dentists. Other Consultants teach a high quality work-life balance approach in which you choose the hours you want to work and build a business that works within those hours. Your team is trained at a world-class level and they help patients understand why they have to come into your practice during the hours you work. Again, neither is right or wrong you just have to pick the right one that fits with your core values. Take some time to truly define what success means on both sides. Make sure your definition of practice success matches with the expert you choose.

3. Do you and your team really LOOK FORWARD to working with them?

This is also another big one. Just because you like a particular expert doesn’t mean everyone will. Energy is a very big deal in your practice. The worst thing to do is to bring an outsider in that makes everyone roll their eyes when they think of them. Make sure that the person, the advice they bring, the energy they facilitate, the approach they use, and the calls you have with them all add up to an experience that you and your team look forward to. If you aren’t excited and your team is an excited about the road ahead you can kind of predict where it ends. Enough said on this one.

Still struggling with a more specific way to select the right dental consultant to help you with your practice? Download this scorecard to use as your checklist before making a big decision for you and your team.

13 Point Scorecard for Dental Consulting

Use this scorecard to rate 13 key capabilities before hiring your next dental consultant – so your investment isn’t a total loss.

Sep 26, 2017 No Comments

Have You Earned Your Shower?

Better Life


There’s a difference between taking a shower and earning one. Try this. Next week when you go back to work and you get up in the morning and you’re getting ready, ask yourself when you’re in the shower and that hot waters running off your back. This is what I do in the shower. I cross my arms like this and fill up the resevoir. (SNORING SOUND) It’s my thinking chamber, right? That’s where I think. And my wife we’ll come up and she’s like “What are you doing?”
I go, “I’m thinking!”

Well when that water’s running off your back, ask yourself this question, “Am I earning this, or did I take it?” Because there is a significant difference. When you get up and go to the gym, and man that hurts right? My pillow talks to me at 5 o’clock in the morning, it says, “Come back to bed. I’ll take care of you… just lay right here.” I have one of those pillows you could suffocate in, right?
It’s all fluffy. It’s hard, but when you go, and you get in that shower, and you’ve earned it, it feels fantastic, right? That is the hardest part of my day between 5 and 7am, right? I can deal with anything. When I don’t get it, I’m miserable. It follows me. My wife runs with her girlfriends on Saturday mornings. And this is true, like that alarm will go off, and I’ll do one of these: I’ll like push her out of bed, right? Because I know if she goes and runs with her girlfriends, and she comes back with her cup of Starbucks, at 9:30 and I got pancake batter all over the kitchen and it’s a mess, I look at the kids and I go, “It’s gonna be a good day!” Right? Because Mama got it. Right? She got it for herself.

And this is the thing: You all have an hour to give to yourself. The greatest single gift you could give anybody in the world is a better you. Write that one down. The greatest gift you could ever give is not a material thing…it’s a better you. When you bring a better you to the people around you, it’s amazing. There’s no greater gift you could give to the people you love…a better you!

Try this. Raise your hands with me. I want you to do this exercise. Say, “I promise. If I am the kind of person who says I can’t find an hour a day to take care of myself, then I am going to make a commitment…to stop lying to myself.” Because that is a lie! You know you have more to give when you take that hour. Find that hour. Find it. It’ll give you more life. So try to earn your shower. There’s a Dentist I work with in North Dakota…she’s awesome. I gave her this and she sent this back to me. Look at this…she puts this on her shower door, and look at it, she’s got like a cool shower. She’s got like shower heads coming out here, and I thought that’s a pretty col shower, right? And she said “you know what? I thought about transitioning. I thought about getting out of Dentistry, but you know what? I look at this every day…I don’t want to quit! Why would I quit? I put all these years in this profession? NOW I feel better…she looks better…her skin looks better…so make sure you’re earning it instead of taking it.

Hey, let’s take this one step farther because I’ve got a great way to get all of these systems in one place for a great price with some goodies added in. At our August ACTivate seminar, I’ll cover it all…You guys made it…From scheduling, to practice finances, to smoothing out insurance and administrative processes, and so much more.

Woman: I think it’s life-changing. On a professional level, it’s life-changing for your office.

Man 1: Everything that they presented were things that could be taken home and implemented immediately.

Man 2: Just the energy level is through the roof.

Kirk: Ah, I love this. I love you. You’re awesome. You’re fantastic. You’re great…We’ve discovered these two days of training are also an amazing team building opportunity. So we offer ACTivate tickets at a rock bottom price for additional team members. And that’s not all. Sign up now and I’ll send you all of my lectures DVDs totally free. Those cost $800 on our website, but they’ll come to you free as my thanks for registering.

Man 2: It really is a no-brainer. It’s just one of the best things you can do.

Kirk: So join us here in our state-of-the-art training facility in Kansas City on August 25th and 26th. Get your team on track and get ready to ACTivate.

Jun 21, 2016 1 Comment

Giving Thanks in 2015


Boy, how time flies!

This was one of our first video efforts from 3 years ago (3 years?!?!). When we think of how quickly time passes, we realize how important it is to pause and give thanks for the amazing changes in our lives. Kids have grown up, and our business has expanded. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of you who have made that growth possible.

We are going to spend valuable time with our families this Thanksgiving, and it’s my hope you have a wonderful holiday with yours as well.

From the entire ACT family, Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2015 1 Comment

How’s Your Team Culture?


What does a photo of toilet paper have to do with team culture?

Well if you’ve got a good team around you, a photo like that can say a lot. I wanted to try to illustrate our culture using photographs of ACT’s people with their families.

When I asked everyone for individual photos, what I received in return was “the big picture”…and it was a riot!

I hope you have moments like these with your team!

Sep 8, 2015 4 Comments