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2028: Concepts & Reporting Review Pt. 1

On today’s episode, Jake Conway, founder of Custom Practice Analytics, presents his presentation at a mastermind meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he shared key insights on financial management for dental practices.

Jake emphasizes the importance of understanding and utilizing financial reports, explaining key terms like overhead, fixed costs, variable costs, and owner income. He discusses the significance of monitoring both variable and fixed costs to improve cash flow and overall financial health.

Additionally, Jake highlights the role of the hygiene department as a profit center, providing strategies to evaluate and enhance its efficiency and productivity. He also underscores the value of establishing budgets and involving the team to identify and solve problems, ultimately reducing overhead and increasing profitability.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this insightful discussion with Jake Conway.


2027: Are You Sure It’s Time To Panic? Pt. 2

On today’s episode, Dr. Summer Kassmel continues her discourse on empowering leadership within dental practices from her presentation at DSS 2024. She delved into the importance of audit systems in maintaining the integrity of office protocols, stressing the need for regular checks to ensure consistency and accountability. Dr. Kassmel explained how rotating audit responsibilities among dental assistants (DAs) not only helps in maintaining standards but also cultivates a culture of peer-to-peer accountability.

Expanding on leadership development, she advised against hastily assigning titles to emerging leaders, emphasizing instead the observation of their ability to manage projects and uphold standards consistently. This approach, she suggested, prepares them for leadership by gradually increasing their responsibilities, thereby diffusing power within the practice and strengthening team dynamics.

Dr. Kassmel also discussed the identification and nurturing of potential leaders, focusing on traits like high accountability, internal motivation, and healthy empathy. These qualities, she argued, are crucial for leaders who can sustain high standards without constant external motivation. She highlighted the importance of humility and active listening in leadership, skills that enhance team communication and effectiveness.

Towards the end of her talk, Dr. Kassmel touched on the concept of “disciplined empowerment,” which involves trusting leaders to make decisions and holding them accountable for results rather than processes. She shared personal experiences and insights into the challenges of leadership, including the need for honest communication and maintaining high standards to ensure patient care quality.

Dr. Kassmel concluded by reflecting on the personal and professional growth that comes from creating a leadership team that not only meets but exceeds the cultural and operational goals of a dental practice. She offered her leadership packet for further guidance, reinforcing her commitment to developing effective leaders in the dental industry.


2026: Are You Sure It’s Time To Panic? Pt. 1

On today’s episode, we are thrilled to bring you insights from Dr. Summer Kassmel’s presentation titled “Creating a Leadership Team”. Dr. Kassmel, who has over a decade of experience and multiple roles including CEO of Castle Peak Dental and Avon Dental, shares her journey in the dental field and the pivotal role of creating a strong leadership team in enhancing business success and personal fulfillment. She talks about the transformational power of viewing challenges as opportunities, which has propelled her professional life forward.

Dr. Kassmel discusses the importance of leadership in dental practice, emphasizing how it can drastically alter the trajectory of one’s career, bringing joy and satisfaction. Her talk delves into practical aspects of leadership, including the establishment of a capable leadership team that carries forward the mission and enhances the culture of the organization.

Throughout her session, Dr. Kassmel recounts personal anecdotes and lessons learned from mistakes made along the way, offering tactical advice to dental professionals on how to avoid similar pitfalls. She highlights the effectiveness of her webinars and training programs, such as the Dental Career Academy, in preparing dental professionals across the country to excel in their practices.

Furthermore, Dr. Kassmel passionately speaks about her initiative, the Lady Leaders of Dentistry, which provides a platform for sharing valuable leadership and management strategies not just for women, but for all professionals within the dental community. This initiative reflects her dedication to empowering others by providing the tools and knowledge necessary for success.

This episode not only focuses on the strategic elements of building a leadership team but also touches on Dr. Kassmel’s personal experiences that underscore the critical nature of leadership in achieving business success and personal growth. Her message encourages dental professionals to embrace leadership roles not as a burden, but as an opportunity to positively influence their practices and the industry at large.


2025: From Basketball to Dentistry

On today’s episode, Mark sits down with Dr. Thomas Fow, a Scottsdale, Arizona native with a unique and inspiring journey to dentistry. Dr. Fow, who initially focused on basketball, was recruited to play at the United States Air Force Academy where he earned his BS in Biology and served as an orbital engineer for the Air Force. Despite his impressive career start, Dr. Fow was inspired by his family’s legacy in dentistry and pursued a Doctoral Dental Surgery degree from the University of Colorado School of Dentistry. After a few years in private practice, he returned for advanced training in surgical dentistry.

Dr. Fow shares his incredible journey, from the challenges of balancing Division 1 basketball and rigorous academics at the Air Force Academy to his transition from engineering to dentistry. He recounts the demanding nature of military training and how it shaped his resilience and dedication. Dr. Fow’s story includes overcoming a low GPA from the academy, retaking essential courses, and ultimately earning his place in dental school despite significant setbacks.

Now a traveling implant dentist in the Denver Metro area and a surgical mentor at the Colorado Surgical Institute, Dr. Fow discusses his passion for surgery, particularly full-arch surgeries, and the profound impact it has on patients’ lives. He offers valuable advice for dental students and young dentists on finding their passion, the importance of gaining general dentistry experience, and the path to surgical proficiency.

Dr. Fow also reflects on his faith and the pivotal moments that led him to pivot his career path, emphasizing the importance of embracing challenges and betting on oneself. His story is a testament to perseverance, adaptability, and the pursuit of excellence in both personal and professional realms.

Listeners are encouraged to follow Dr. Fow on Instagram at @tfowdds or email him at [email protected] for insights into his day-to-day practice and to reach out with any questions. Join Dr. Mark Costas and Dr. Thomas Fow for an inspiring and insightful conversation that highlights the importance of resilience, continuous learning, and following one’s passion in dentistry.


2024: Being Inefficient Pt. 2

On today’s episode, we have the second half of the 2-parts from Dr. Aaron Nicholas’ presentation at the Mastermind event for the Dental Success Institute (DSI) in June 2024, Dr. Nicholas delved deeper into strategies for enhancing efficiency in dental practices. He began by stressing the importance of writing down and analyzing procedures to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. By codifying steps and streamlining processes, practices can significantly enhance their operational efficiency.

Dr. Nicholas further discussed the significance of having standard protocols and game plans for various procedures and office activities. He highlighted the benefits of well-defined systems in ensuring consistency and reducing unnecessary delays, which ultimately leads to improved productivity.

Emphasizing the value of training and supporting staff, Dr. Nicholas spoke about the importance of delegating tasks to assistants and ensuring that everyone knows their roles. He underlined the necessity of effective communication and pre-briefing with the team to ensure smooth operations.

Lastly, Dr. Nicholas highlighted the importance of continuous improvement through audits, feedback, and adjustments. He encouraged practices to regularly review their systems and procedures, gather feedback from staff, and make necessary adjustments to maintain high levels of efficiency and quality in patient care.


2023: Being Inefficient Pt. 1

On today’s episode, we have the first of 2-parts from Dr. Aaron Nicholas’ presentation at the recent Mastermind event for the Dental Success Institute (DSI) in June 2024, Dr. Nicholas delved into several critical aspects of achieving success in dental practices. He began by emphasizing the importance of implementation and the need to overcome excuses that hinder progress. Dr. Nicholas discussed the significant value of efficiency and systems within dental practices, highlighting the benefits that protocols, checklists, and standardization bring to improving productivity, reducing stress, and ensuring consistent quality of care.

He stressed the necessity of measuring and auditing practice activities to pinpoint inefficiencies and identify areas for improvement. Dr. Nicholas also underscored the crucial role of change and adaptability in maintaining a successful practice, encouraging attendees to embrace and implement necessary changes to stay competitive and efficient in their operations.


2022: Building Trust & Systems

On today’s episode, we’re joined by recurring guest Sydney Robinson, the Executive Director of the Dental Success Network. The conversation touches on common themes within the network and Sydney’s insights from her experience as a traveling consultant.

Sydney and Mark discuss the current trends in the dental industry, including the rise of de novo practices and the considerations around acquisitions. They highlight the unique support system within DSN, where dentists can vent frustrations and seek advice in a private and respectful environment. The episode also covers debates on clinical practices, the importance of respectful discourse, and the value of diverse opinions in professional development.

Sydney shares her experiences from the road, detailing the common disconnects she observes between practice owners and their teams. She emphasizes the importance of setting clear expectations and defining success for team members. The conversation also delves into the significance of having written systems and protocols and the need for regular calibration meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.

The episode wraps up with a discussion on the importance of personal connections and trust within a team, and the value of having a safe space for open and honest communication. Mark and Sydney also share upcoming events and workshops for continued professional development.


2021: Hygiene Strategies

On today’s episode, Mark sits down with Rachel Wall, RDH and CEO of Inspired Hygiene. Rachel shares insights from her 30-year career as a clinical hygienist and hygiene productivity coach, discussing her journey from starting Inspired Hygiene in 2004 to building a successful coaching firm. The conversation touches on the triple win approach of Inspired Hygiene, which aims to create healthier patients, engaged hygienists, and profitable practices. Rachel and Mark delve into the challenges of balancing family life and professional commitments, particularly during the college exploration phase for their children. They also discuss the history and philosophy of Inspired Hygiene, emphasizing the importance of calibrating hygiene teams with modern practices and technology.

Rachel highlights the significance of having a clear standard of care and the benefits of collaborative development within dental teams. The discussion shifts to the current challenges in the dental industry, including the impact of COVID-19 on the supply and demand for hygienists, rising wage expectations, and the adversarial relationships that can develop between hygienists and doctors. Rachel offers practical advice for navigating these challenges, such as the importance of open communication, data-driven decision-making, and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement.

Mark and Rachel also explore the nuances of coaching in dental practices, addressing common themes of resistance and the strategies to overcome them. Rachel shares her perspective on the importance of setting realistic expectations and providing support to team members as they adapt to new standards and practices. She emphasizes the need for hygienists to have ownership over their compensation and the potential benefits of shifting towards more innovative compensation models.

The episode concludes with Rachel providing information on how listeners can get in touch with Inspired Hygiene for coaching and resources. She invites listeners to visit the Inspired Hygiene website to book discovery meetings and access a wealth of free resources designed to support dental practices. Dr. Costas and Rachel sign off by wishing each other well and expressing their enthusiasm for the upcoming summer activities.


2020: The CEO Effectiveness Assessment

On today’s episode, Mark delivers a concise yet impactful discussion on the CEO effectiveness assessment. The focus is on establishing objective baselines for leadership, culture, and systemization in dental practices. He emphasizes that the best leaders maintain a keen awareness of their operation’s performance through various measurable data points. He highlights the crucial differences between micromanaging and effective leadership, offering insights into how dental professionals can enhance their leadership skills. The episode introduces the assessment used in DSI to gauge CEO effectiveness, providing listeners with practical tips to elevate their leadership and drive success in their practices. This short but action-packed episode is designed to help dental professionals reflect on their current practices, identify key performance data points, and implement effective leadership strategies. Tune in to gain valuable insights and take the next step towards becoming a more effective leader in your dental practice.


2019: Morning Huddles That Matter Pt. 2

On today’s episode, we have the second half of the 2-parts from Dr. Ben Kacos’ presentation on “Morning Huddles That Matter” at the Mastermind event, he emphasized the importance of reviewing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) during morning huddles. This practice helps measure and report on daily performance, new patient flow, reappointment rates, and hygiene production, ensuring that the team stays aligned with the practice’s goals.

Dr. Kacos discussed using morning huddles as an opportunity for teaching and influencing factors such as new patient flow, case acceptance, and treatment planning. He stressed the importance of presenting treatment in terms that resonate with patients, thereby improving case acceptance rates.

Continuing his focus on continuous improvement and training, Dr. Kacos highlighted methods such as team retreats, “Back to Basics” cards, and creating a culture of accountability within the team. These approaches help maintain high standards and ensure ongoing professional development.

Dr. Kacos also underscored the significance of building a positive office culture. He introduced activities like random acts of kindness, the Kool-Aid Award, culture coins, and patient preference sheets as ways to foster a supportive and engaging environment. Additionally, regularly scheduled team retreats that mix business with fun were highlighted as essential for strengthening team cohesion and morale.