Start Your Dental Practice

In every episode, we aim to demystify the “how to start a dental practice” problem by bringing on world-class influencers and consults in the dental industry to pick their brain about how to get past the barriers involved from no practice, to practice owner, to successful practice.
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Start Your Dental Practice






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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 28, 2015

For most dentists, starting out is the hardest phase…

You may be an apprentice, trying to find an apprenticeship opportunity that may lead into a partnership, or trying to create your business plan for starting your own dental practice.

Today’s guest, Dr. Graham Dersley has been there, and he sat down with me to share his wisdom with the Ambitious Dentist community.

Dr. Graham Dersley is a prosthodontist who has had a unique first decade in private practice.  

From being a frustrated associate, to an owner of a small FFS specialty practice, to now an owner of a growing multi-location general practice that he started from scratch, he has had the good fortune to experience a variety of practice styles.  
He has a passion for the business of dentistry and frequently posts on Dental Town about the topic.  
Today’s episode bonus takes the advice offered by Dr. Dersely and will help you put it into action… Download the FREE video for How To Set And Align Your Personal And Professional Goals here.
Here are a few things you’ll discover in today’s episode:


  • What appealed most to Dr. Dersley about dentistry
  • How Dr. Dersley went about taking over and owning his first practice
  • The tough legal conversation Dr. Dersley had to have when taking over his first practice (and some ideas for how to avoid or overcome this problem)
  • Dr. Dersley’s thoughts on setting BIG goals that are a stretch to accomplish
  • How setting big goals can sometimes lead to a feeling of disappointment
  • Why Dr. Dersley sold his first practice and decided to focus his attention elsewhere (even though business was booming and things were good)
  • What Dr. Dersley looks for in markets when he’s starting a new practice (this is for you if you are wanting to start a new practice)
  • The key thinks Dr. Dersley took away from running a successful practice, that allowed his next venture to be a success
  • The mistakes Dr. Dersley made with staffing that he had to fix in order to grow his practice and business
  • The ONE thing Dr. Dersley focuses his energy on when starting a new practice
  • How Dr. Dersley created a team that matched the culture he wanted to create in his practice
  • Why most practice owners think managing a staff is a disadvantage (and why that’s actually a HUGE leg-up as a business owner and operator)

Free Episode Bonus:

Today’s episode bonus will help you take action on what you just heard, and it’s a personal video from me I’m calling “How To Set And Align Your Personal And Professional Goals”.

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Support The Show:
Without you, Ambitious Dentists, this should wouldn’t exist.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please go here to give me an honest rating and review in iTunes.
This allows me to evolve that show as it goes on, and also helps spread the word to other podcast listeners since iTunes promotes shows with active engagement. 
Aug 21, 2015

Dr. Phelps is an entrepreneur and general dentist who owns multiple practices in the Charlotte, NC region.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 with a BS in Biology and in 2003 he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the prestigious Nova Southeastern University, College of Dental Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

From 2003 to 2010 his passion for business and his flare for marketing and promotion showed through when he increased the revenue of his practices ten times.

For 2013, when most of the dentists were struggling to produce what they had from the year before, Dr. Phelps’ practices grew by $2,000,000.

One of his secrets was a passion for the Science of Persuasion and how to ethically use Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Principles of Influence to set the stage for his patients to say YES to the requests he and his dental team ask of them.

Having received the honor of being named a Certified Trainer in Dr. Cialdini’s Method of Influence, Dr. Phelps offers an exciting two-day course to educate you on the principles, show you how he uses them in his practices and how you can incorporate them into your business.


Go here to get today's episode bonus: This is a quick exercise to help you find and identify your target market to create networking events they’ll love.


Here are a few things you'll discover in today's episode:

  • How Dr. Phelps discovered educational seminars, his journey to mastering the skills (and how he used wine and cheese to pack his events)
  • The interesting thing Dr. Phelps discovered by asking strategic questions to attendees at his seminars
  • How Dr. Phelps leveraged social events to spread the word about him and his practice
  • The method Dr. Phelps uses to figure out how to get more clients, find patterns in his existing clients, and understand their mindset so that he can find more clients like them
  • The questions you NEED to ask yourself when identifying your target market
  • How to know the exact type of events your patients would want to attend
  • Why you absolutely need to have multiple avenues of sources to attract your ideal clients
  • Why you should feel safe being in front of your target audience in the places they hang out
  • The conversation that's uncomfortable (but necessary) to have with clients who didn't use your services
  • The decision you need to when starting a new practice (BEFORE you create your business)
  • How to spend one hour of your time and $135 a month to get 30-50 new patients
  • Why you need to be spending money on marketing your practice
  • The type of marketing you need to be doing if you're going to be spending money on growing your practice
  • How to separate the good from the bad in finding a good partner in marketing
  • Why marketers might not give you the actual truth to justify the expense of hiring them
  • How your team affects your marketing spend (and what you need to keep on eye on internally to track and measure it)
  • The WRONG way to go about marketing when you're investing in growing your business
  • How Dr. Phelps "scratched his own itch" by creating a call tracking system
  • Why Dentists are naturally bad building relationships with marketers
  • The interesting statistic Dr. Phelps spotted discovered missed calls with one of his private clients (and the simple change that caused that client to get 20% more clients practically overnight)
  • What fact Google discovered when running a study about missed calls from new clients (and what those potential clients end up doing)
  • What happens when you don't capture your target markets attention the FIRST time
  • Why you need more than 1 phone and phone line per front desk employee
  • The problem caused by other call trackers that are based on speculation and not factual proof
  • How Dr. Phelps reverse engineered the problem with missing calls at dental practices and went on to solve the problem with Call Tracker ROI
  • The powerful thing Dr. Phelps figured out by sharing call data with your team that causes accountability and improved metrics (by double or triple the amount)
  • The easy way to ease-out poor performing employees that don't plan on advancing your business
  • The number 1 thing dentists don't do that creates a bad work environment, poor treatment acceptance rate, and a stagnant business
  • How to avoid making our team 'freak out' about tracking metrics and working towards improving big business practices (and how to get them to make a powerful commitment)


Free Episode Bonus:

Dr. Phelps is a marketing genius, and I was taking a ton of notes while he was sharing his insights into how to find, select, and market to your target audience.

I’ve re-listened to the show from today, combined it with my notes, and created a quick exercise you can do RIGHT NOW to put Dr. Phelps advice into action.

If you'd like that sent directly to your inbox, simply click below.

Go here to download that now.


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Support The Show:

Without you, Ambitious Dentists, this should wouldn’t exist.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, please go here to give me an honest rating and review in iTunes.

This allows me to evolve that show as it goes on, and also helps spread the word to other podcast listeners since iTunes promotes shows with active engagement.

Aug 14, 2015

Today’s show features Dr. Tuan Pham.

Tuan is a real life practicing general dentist and the creator of Dental Maverick, a training series designed to teach you to become THE leader, communicator and manager that your dental practice needs to succeed.

Tuan maintains a general private practice in Austin, TX where he practices 4 days a week seeing an average of 4 doctor patients a day and has an office production of 1.2 million a year.

Learn how you can become a Dental Maverick at

Tuan’s course, Dental Maverick, is an online – 48 week video series designed to improve your communication, define your vision, transform you into a leader & manager and ultimately lead you to your personal definition of success.

He has had research published on the cover of Compendium, has a provisional patent on a forthcoming dental device, is the head of the Dental Products Division of the School of Invention which aids in bringing your dental inventions to patent stage and beyond, is the co-founder of Monstapreneur (a group for entrepreneurs, c-level executives and business owners with the mission of Relax, Reset, Refocus) and a leader of local mastermind groups.

In his free time, he walks his dog, goes fly fishing and drinks beer while watching SEC football.

As a special bonus for today’s episode, Dr. Tuan has created a special video where he does a step-by-step walkthrough of how to increase your treatment plan acceptance for tough procedures. Click here to access that free video now.

Here are a few things you’ll discover in today’s episode:


  • Why most Dentists excel with procedures, but suffer with business management and leadership
  • The ‘commitment issue’ facing mosts dentists
  • What the average dentists wishes their practice looks like
  • How employee issues can boil over and cause catastrophic damage to your practice
  • Why you need to take action and voice your issues
  • How to spend less than 5% of your time on management in your business
  • Why there’s no “magic bullet” that’s going to have a huge impact in your practice
  • Why it’s the business owner’s fault (at the beginning) when there are breakdowns in operating procedure
  • The ‘pros’ of having errors in your practice
  • The most important thing to understand in dentistry
  • Why patients want to be told what to do versus being asked
  • What to do if you don’t feel like a great leader in your practice
  • Why YOU are the biggest limitation in your practice
  • What happens when you don’t have a vision for your business and career
  • The biggest problem that dental businesses owners come across when implementing systems with their team
  • We answer the questions of : Should you hire general staff based on personality or technical skills?
  • The differences between Wal-Mart and Target that plays a big role in your patient’s experience
  • Why “likeability” is a huge factor in your patients choosing you over another practice
  • The two things your patients will always remember about their experience at your practice
  • Should you, as a practice owner, be interviewing new employees?
  • Why an unhappy team equals a financially poor performing practice
  • The financial benefit that comes along with knowing how your clients think
  • What Dr. Tuan would do differently if he were to start his practice all over
  • How Dr. Tuan defines “pressure” in his life (and how he overcomes it)
  • How to mold your mindset through successful (and unsuccessful) dental practice owners


Free Episode Bonus:

This is where we describe the bonus, build the value, and end by doing some variation of clicking here.

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Support The Show:

Without you, Ambitious Dentists, this should wouldn’t exist.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, please click here to give me an honest rating and review in iTunes.

This allows me to evolve that show as it goes on, and also helps spread the word to other podcast listeners since iTunes promotes shows with active engagement. 
Aug 6, 2015

What sets your practice apart from others?

Your “brand”?



If that’s the case, those things don’t have an impact on what ultimately matters to the patient:

Their experience.

Today’s episode features THE expert on building the customer experience from the ground up, from the customers point-of-view.

Today’s bonus is a cheatsheet with the highlights from this episode you NEED to implement to create the “ultimate customer experience” in your practice. Click here to download that directly.

Dr. Moffet is the creator of The Ultimate Patient Experience, which is a simple set of very specific, “common sense” patient service steps being used by dentists all over the world to create unique experiences for their patients.

These experiences dramatically enhance patient visit values and increase repeat visits.

The UPE is Dr. Moffet’s “Secret Weapon” that allowed him to personally bill $1,826,445 in services in 2011, his last year of full-time work working only 4 days a week, for 37½ weeks (while he was vacationing all over the world the other 15 weeks!)

Dr. Moffet has refined and perfected this system over the last 17 years, to the point where it’s as reliable as a Swiss watch — no matter where you’re located or what kind of practice you are running.

Here are a few things you'll discover in today's episode:

  • Designing a "customer service experience" in your dental practice
  • How Dr. Moffet has handled a shoulder injury as a clinician
  • How to know if you have a good patient experience (or setup one up if you’re new to practice ownership)
  • How patient loyalty allowed Dr. Moffet to take time off from his practice for two-three weeks at a time
  • What happened when Dr. Moffet originally tried selling his practice that created local competition to his practice
  • How Dr. Moffet’s competitors were able to siphon off personal information about his practice and use it against him
  • The difference in revenue Dr. Moffet was able to earn by finding the RIGHT consultant for his practice
  • The tough decision Dr. Moffet had to make between his families home and growing his practice
  • How Dr. Moffet sold his practice and made $2.75 million (and an additional $2 million in shares)
  • Plugging holes in your business that are leaking patients through exceptional customer service
  • The first steps Dr. Moffet would do (and measure) if he was a new Doctor entering a practice
  • The 6 critical metrics you NEED to keep growing as a practice owner
  • Which type of patients to focus on over time to grow a “patient pool” (that results in endless referrals)
  • Taking your patients from patient to friend (and how this benefits you when times get tough)
  • Why you don’t want TV’s on in your waiting room (and the negative effect they create)
  • Why your patients may be getting the wrong message from your practice (and how to correct it)
  • Matching your message with the patient experience
  • The importance of creating an environment of service and pleasure (and what your patients will think)
  • How patients will react (and what they’ll realize) when your message matches your practice’s experience
  • Why you don’t want to rush your patients out of the door after their appointment
  • Do you know what’s best for your clients? A few tips to know if so.
  • Making your core competencies stronger.
  • Why you shouldn’t base your fees on your competitors (and what to base them on instead)
  • How to charge 50% more than your competitors
  • The ONE thing Dr. Moffet would do if he were entering the dental field today (from scratch)
  • What you should look for when you’re bringing on (or inheriting) new staff members
  • How to attract patients who treat you as a service (instead of a commodity) by applying the 80/20 principle
Free Episode Bonus:
My head was spinning with some of the advice and numbers Dr. Moffet threw out there today - $4.75 million for a practice? Incredible.
I want you to be able to take action on his advice, and not just watch or listen passively.
You’re listening now, so I know you’re not that type.
For today’s bonus, I’ve collected some of the main points David made and put them into a nice cheat-sheet you can use to start taking action now.
If you don’t have a practice yet, you’re going to want to save this in a nice place with a calendar reminder to look at it when the time comes.
Quotes - Click To Share On Twitter: Resources:
Support The Show:
Without you, Ambitious Dentists, this should wouldn’t exist.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please click here to give me an honest rating and review in iTunes.
This allows me to evolve that show as it goes on, and also helps spread the word to other podcast listeners since iTunes promotes shows with active engagement.
Aug 4, 2015
In 1989, David Harris started investigating embezzlement in dental practices...

... And by 1990, computers took over and brought stealing a 'click' away.

Since them, the numbers have kept climbing.

From paying utility bills, to dipping in the 'gold jar', David has seen it all.

I was taken back by this conversation and couldn't wait for you guys to give it a listen.
Click here to get today's bonus: Checklist - How To Avoid Embezzlement In Your Practice

Here's a bit more about David Harris:

Overcoming a troubled adolescence, David Harris has become the world’s leading expert on dental office embezzlement.

He is the CEO of Prosperident, the world’s largest dental embezzlement investigation firm. Prosperident’s team of specialized investigators is consulted on hundreds of frauds annually committed against both general dentists and dental specialists. David has had the distinct pleasure of hearing cell doors slam shut on many embezzlers.

David is a licensed private investigator with a graduate degree in applied mathematics and a CPA. David is “dual certified” in fraud investigation – he possesses both the Certified Fraud Examiner designation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Certified in Financial Forensics designation from the American Institute of CPAs.

David is a Mensa member and belongs to several organizations for dental consultants and speakers.

David has been interviewed on the subject of embezzlement by many leading dental publications and organizations. He is also a prolific writer and authors or co-authors a dozen or more articles annually that appear in major dental publications.

David has lectured at several US and Canadian universities in the faculties of business, law and dentistry.

David has spoken at regional, national and international dental conferences.

He is a highly entertaining and engaging speaker who draws on a vast amount of experience in his field.

Here's more of what you're going to get in today's episode:

  • 3 types of organizations that are most vulnerable for embezzlement
  • What made the numbers in embezzlement climb higher than ever before
  • Why embezzlement doesn't just mean stolen cash from your office
  • The mental shift that happens during a buyout transition that can cause embezzlement to start happening in your practice
  • The number 1 price of advice David would give to a new office that's just starting to hire team members
  • Why most dentists don't enjoy the hiring process and what happens after a new hire joins that you NEED to avoid
  • How to properly run a background check on new employees (and why you may not want to had t the process off to an online service)
  • Why it doesn't mean that someone is "hirable" just because a background check comes back as clean
  • What things won't appear on a typical background check that you need to be aware of
  • Why you should never bother calling persona references
  • The ONE kind of reference that's actually valuable
  • Why you shouldn't ever call listed reference numbers on a resume
  • A trick a potential new hire used that could negate your reference check process (truth is stranger than fiction)
  • What questions to ask when you get former employers on the phone for a reference check
  • The ONE question you CANT get wrong when asking a reference about a previous employee
  • How to properly ask cross-references for dates of employment
  • What to do if you're buying a new practice
  • The legal impediments you can run into during a background check (and why you'll want to see legal advice during this process)
  • The two pieces of advice David would give to someone taking over another practice
  • How a dentist may embezzle another dentist
  • How to protect yourself when buying into an existing practice
  • Why, when information in an appraisal is present, it doesn't make it true
  • Why most doctors don't want to pay COA's to do their due silliness
  • What "concealment" is and where it usually happens
  • What most practicing dentists misunderstand about embezzlement
  • Which category of employee does more embezzlement: New hires or existing employees?
  • The biggest mistake dental practices owners make (especially first-time owners)
  • The way thieves act when they’re stealing from you
  • The behavior of someone who’s embezzling from your office
  • When most stealing is done from dental practices
  • The biggest embezzlement David ever saw that resulted in over $600,000 in stolen funds
  • Why dentists get stolen from frequently
  • Why David would describe most dentists as perfectionists
  • What an embezzler will promise you that enables them the ability to steal from your practice
Episode Bonus:
For most of us, the success of our practice represents our retirement, ability to pay the bills, quality of life, and our kids being able to go to college.
I personally want to avoid those things, and want that for you, as well.
For today’s bonus, I’ve collected some of the main points David made and put them into a nice little checklist you can keep around in your practice.
I’m putting a recurring calendar event to come up every quarter to review it in my own accounting practice, and highly advise you do the same.
If you haven’t started your practice yet, you’re going to be ahead of the game from day one if you download this resource - a huge advantage over those of who have been doing this for years and may have already been victim to theft without knowing.
Click here to download the checklist for free.
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Get in touch with Dr. Harris:

Aug 4, 2015

Is there a "one-size-fits-all" model to starting or running a dental practice?

If so, today's episode, and guest, busts that myth.

For most of us, we have a similar path to practice ownership. School, apprenticeship, and then on to find a practice to take over or start a new one all together. Where we all differentiate is the problems we'll face along our individual journeys.

Dr. David Maloley, if anyone, knows problems and adversity along the journey.

Click here to get today's episode bonus: A behind the scenes clip where Dr. Maloley covers how he consumes content, and a round-up of books he recommends to stay on top of marketing as a practice owner.

Dr. Maloley attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and later his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.
As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to work as a student athletic trainer on the sidelines for the Cornhuskers during the National Championship seasons in 1994 and ‘95.
In 2003, Dr. Maloley completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, then served as a Dental Officer in the U.S. Army for the next five years.
While in the army, Dr. Maloley was stationed at dental clinics in Giebelstadt, Germany for two years and Vicenza, Italy for two years, providing general dentistry services for the local military communities.
After he returned to the U.S. in 2007, he worked at a private practice near Charlotte, NC for two years before relocating to Colorado to open Vail Valley Dental Care.
Dr. Maloley is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and a member of the American Dental Association, the Colorado Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Since graduating from dental school, he has completed over 1,000 hours of continuing education.

Here are a few things you'll discover in today's episode:

  • How Dr. David found out when the time was right for him to be a dental practice owner
  • What an unwanted war-time assignment in Europe taught Dr. David about mindset, politics, and religion
  • The process Dr. David went through to start his own practice
  • How Dr. David used intuition (instead of the highest population-to-dentist ratio) to find the perfect location for his practice
  • The importance that “lifestyle design” played in David setting up his ideal life and business
  • What Dr. David would do if he could do it all over again and David’s advice if you’re just starting up a practice
  • The problems Dr. David didn’t know he was going to have to overcome.
  • What happened when Dr. David’s back was against the rope in business and his personal life
  • What happened when Dr. David experimented with direct mail
  • The ONE piece of advice Dr. David would give himself if he was starting a practice all over again
  • How momentum helps you make progress in starting up your own practice
  • Why, as a practice owner (or future practice owner), you should be a student of marketing
  • How the Golden Rule applies to your clients
  • Should you be friends with your clients?
Free Episode Bonus:
Dr. David mentioned something interesting to me while chatting... And it was about how he learns and consumes content. He went on to make some BIG recommendations, so here's what I'm doing...

I'm going to make a special audio clip available where David covers his methods for staying on top of marketing in his business, along with some amazing book recommendations you HAVE to check out.

I've heard of a few of these, but am excited to dive into his other recommendations. Get the bonus audio clip, along with a list of personal recommendations Dr. Maloley shared by clicking here.

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