Patrick: Welcome to the Business Spotlight. I’m Patrick Dougher. You’re really going to enjoy the show. From time to time over the last several months we’ve had a guest appearance from Dr. Mary Swift of http://www.dallascosmeticdentist.us/ . .
They are in the high-end cosmetic dentistry arena. In fact, Dr. Mary Swift has been the 2011-2012 Cosmetic Dentist People’s Choice Award winner in the DFW Area. It’s really fun to have another one of their dentists, Dr. Terrel Myers with us today. Dr. Terrel, thanks so much.
Dr. Terrel: Thank you for having me.
Patrick: I’m really excited about this interview because you have seen the dental industry change tremendously. You’re award-winning. You tend to work with the who’s who of Dallas. You work with some very extremely successful people, don’t you?
Dr. Terrel: Yes. I’ve been very blessed in that area.
Patrick: I’m excited for you. I want to know more about your journey, because you’ve seen the industry change so much. Tell me about your journey as a dentist.
Dr. Terrel: It’s interesting. I started when I was a junior in high school and I decided I wanted to be a dentist. My dentist talked me into being one. So I went to dental school and I was fortunate going through that. I was honored to be the top one clinician in my dental class. We were taught a certain philosophy of dentistry that most schools weren’t teaching and I liked that philosophy.
As soon as I got out of dental school, I actually joined the Air Force for two years, and then started my practice here in Dallas. Six months into my practice, I went down to the L.D. Pankey Institute to advance dental education. That’s where I got all my advanced training in full mouth rehabilitation. That was the best thing I ever did in my life.
Patrick: When you talk about full mouth dental restoration and cosmetic surgery, what are some of the procedures now that people are doing in that area?
Dr. Terrel: The biggest thing that we’re seeing more now are porcelain veneers and implants. That’s been to the biggest changes in the last 15-20 years. We’re doing a lot of porcelain veneers, implants, crowns, and bridges.
Patrick: Have they changed the technology much in those areas?
Dr. Terrel: Considerably. A few years ago we would take impressions and core models and send that to the lab. Now our computers actually scan the tooth. The computer program will make a three dimensional model and make the crown on that so we never have to take an impression of the patient anymore. It’s phenomenal.
Patrick: I know that in your practice there are a lot of things that you’re doing that are fairly unique. A lot of dentists will say have a certain method for connecting to them. You spend a lot of time right up front with people.
Dr. Terrel: In the training at the Pankey Institute, they teach us that it is so important to make a correct diagnosis, and you have to gather a lot of information to make a correct diagnosis. So we spend two and a half hours on our initial examination. That’s gathering x-rays, medical history, and models.
Getting to know the patient is so important because the cross that I wear here is the cross of life. We have to know our self, know our patient, know our work, and then apply our knowledge. That’s the four legs of the cross. My patients have become my family. That’s why I’ve been so blessed in having patients that have been with me 30-35 years. I’ve got several families that I’m treating three generations – grandfather, parent, and children now. That’s exciting to me. I love that. They’ve been some of my best referrals.
Patrick: I wouldn’t doubt. Anytime that you can build a practice like yours that’s pretty much 100% referral based. But then the fact that you spend so much time up front with them is key.
Dr. Terrel: Often I’ll have patients say, “Can you refer me to an internist or a cardiologist or someone that would treat me like you treat me? Because you take the time to listen to me.” I get that a fair amount of time. People will ask, “Refer me to someone that will treat me like you do.”
Patrick: As we get into these next few segments, one of the things that I really want to talk about is I want to learn more about some of the current technology because the coolest thing in doing some research on you and knowing the Swifts in the way that they do things is technology is paramount with their practice. They stay up on things.
Dr. Terrel: Yes, they do.
Patrick: And I know that that means that you stay up on things and the current technologies of cosmetic dentistry is just groundbreaking. Dr. Terrel Myers with Dallas Laser Dentistry. We’re pleased to have him on the air today and you would want to get to know him more.
Patrick: Today it’s Dr. Terrel Myers of Dallas Laser Dentistry, 2011-2012 Cosmetic Dentistry award winner for the last few years that Dr. Mary Swift has been. Dr. Terrel works with Dr. Mary Swift. He’s been on the show many times and we’re always thankful to have him back. Thank you so much again.
Dr. Terrel: You’re welcome.
Patrick: I want to get into what makes you and your practice so special. You’re doing a lot of things. The technology in the cosmetic stuff in dentistry is different from the way it used to be. Isn’t it?
Dr. Terrel: Definitely different. With managed care, we’ve seen a decrease in quality overall in dentistry. Dentists are seeking less expensive labs to make the crowns. I read a review two or three years ago that insurances were getting to ask to replace crowns every three to five years. I’ve got crowns that have been in the mouth 35 years that are still functioning as good as the day I put them in.
Dr. Terrel: That’s because if you take time to do it right the first time, you don’t have to take time to do it over. That’s where a lot of my training has been. One of my mentors, Dr. Pankey, used to quote Michelangelo a lot. One of his favorite quotes was “Perfection is no trifle, but paying close attention to many trifles make perfection.”
A lot of what we do is pay very close attention to a lot of little details that takes more time. Like I said previously, my exam takes two and a half hours. A lot of dentists only spend 15-20 minutes on an exam. But we gather a lot of information so that we can make a proper diagnosis.
Patrick: Don’t you go ahead and put together a plan or something?
Dr. Terrel: Yes.
Patrick: When somebody has gone through this process with you, what are your next steps? Tell me a story of a client, somebody who has been through it. We’d walk through the process.
Dr. Terrel: I had this one young man come in. He was at that time probably about 28, maybe 30. He hadn’t been to a dentist in several years. I had treated his wife and she had been trying to get him to come see me for four or five years and he was scared to death. When I did see him, he had some severe problems. He couldn’t smile and was very introverted. We ended up having to lose several front teeth and he had to go through some gums treatment, orthodontics, and jaw surgery to move his jaw properly. He couldn’t afford to do all that, so we did that over a five-year period to allow him to be able to do that.
Part of my training is making a thorough exam and then evaluate what will need to be done over a lifetime. If you’ve got a plan, you can work that plan but you don’t have to do it all at once. You know where you’re going. You got the end point.
That’s what we did with him. We allowed him to do it over a five-year period and he completed everything. The next year, he made the front cover of a business magazine for what he had done. He bought that in and he said, “Dr. Myers, I wouldn’t have been on this cover or in the position I’m in with this company if it hadn’t been for you allowing me to smile, which I couldn’t do before.”
Patrick: That’s a huge testimonial. But it also shows the painstaking works that you do and planning that you guys do that makes such a huge difference. That’s the thing that I really wanted to bring out. I know that with technology there are changes, speed, and process and some of the other things and that’s cool. But what you’re talking about is life-changing and that’s where it really comes down to.
I remember I was about to go to the oil field to pay for college one summer. I had two days before I went out there and I went into the dentist. He opened up and he goes “One, two, three, four, five.” He was counting extra holes in my head from like a long way’s off and I was like, “Oh God, it’s going to be bad,” because you’ve got eleven extra holes in your head we can do over the next three weeks, so you’ve got two days, because you’re not going to feel for days, nothing.” So off we went! It was an adventure.
Dr. Terrel: But now we have nitrous oxide and we have things that make it a lot more fun.
Patrick: That’s an interesting thing. Are there risks involved in nitrous oxide, to be honest?
Dr. Terrel: Very little risk. It’s one of the best things that have allowed my patients to have the comfort and relaxation. We use stereo headphones so that they can tune us out and just enjoy.
Patrick: So you really put them in a bit of a state. They’re resting and then you’ll go to work and do your thing.
Dr. Terrel: And they’re clear headed before we leave, so it’s very safe.
Patrick: I think a lot of us remember the Three Stooges thing where somebody had a little bit too much happy gas. As we go into this next segment, we’re going to be talking more about the ideal client is for Dr. Terrel Myers. This is the Business Spotlight. You’re going to love this next segment. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. Today we’re talking with Dr. Terrel Myers. He works with Dallas Laser Dentistry in Mary Swift’s office. Having them back on the show is always a fantastic experience. Dr. Terrel Myers has been a dentist for a number of years and tends to work with the who’s who of Dallas. Thank you, Dr. Terrel.
Dr. Terrel: Thank you for having me.
Patrick: I really am excited about this segment because we’re looking at who your ideal client is. We’ve got what I call a social media expert way beyond expert and top 1% in LinkedIn. Lucinda Ruch is on the show today. Thank you so much, Lucinda for being on the show as well.
Lucinda: Thanks for inviting me.
Patrick: We’re going to talk about your ideal client, how you’ve tended to attract them, and then Lucinda I know has got some really good information on how to encourage the clients that you have to send more clones or people like them.
Dr. Terrel: My practice is health-based and somewhat nutritionally-based, so my patients are usually very health-oriented. Most of them watch their weight, they floss every day where they’re supposed to, and they want a healthy mouth. I think a lot of my patients are in the boomer category and most of them want to continue to look younger and stay healthy.
Patrick: It’s important to them, isn’t it?
Dr. Terrel: Important for their business. One of my patients and a good friend of mine came in. He owns an insurance company. He says, “I’m the oldest one there.” And he’s not really that old but he said, “I got to look as young as the guys that I’m working with.” He’s having a lot of work done.
I’m looking for patients – the ideal would be the ones that want to stay healthy because if they’re taking care of their body, they’ll take better care of their teeth and what I do lasts longer if they take care of it.
Patrick: One of the things that are interesting is the correlation between dental health and actual physical health. There is a correlation, isn’t there?
Dr. Terrel: Hip bones connected to the leg bone. It’s all connected. In fact, just a few years ago, the orthopedic surgeons found out that a lot of their failures were because of undiagnosed periodontal disease or gum disease. So we had to pre-medicate some of these patients or get their gum condition under control before they do hip replacements. Definitely there’s a link to cardiovascular disease also with gum disease.
Patrick: That’s awesome. Lucinda, are there some other things that he can do to attract more people like the ones that he’s got?
Lucinda: You’re in a great situation. You’ve got all these accomplishments. You’ve always been a leader, ahead of the game. Did you know that you’re in the top 1% on LinkedIn in cosmetic dentistry?
Dr. Terrel: No, I didn’t.
Lucinda: I bet you didn’t. Yes, you are. The second thing is if you think about how LinkedIn operates, it’s an easy way to collect referrals because when they click on you or when they give you a recommendation, their picture with their smile that you just artistically put together for them is right there next to yours.
So if you think about you out on LinkedIn, think about looking down the list and you’ll see your patients there. The opportunity you have is to go invite your patients that you’ve already collected their testimonials over on your real website and in your office, invite them on LinkedIn and get them hooked up. That would be like a whole photo gallery of successes.
Patrick: Even with the whole recommendation thing with being able to write additional updates, wouldn’t that be a useful tip as well?
Lucinda: Oh yeah. You’d want to do that. When they’re leaving your office and they’re still smiling so pretty because you’ve just reconstructed them, I would just send them home with the instructions. “Here’s how you give me recommendations on LinkedIn.”
Then when they do that it’s out there on their profile so all of their networks sees it. It would be a great way for you to leverage your work into their network and their cohorts see it, because they’re all into image. Out of the 200 million out there on LinkedIn the demographics is that right age you were talking about – that baby boomer, got to get the cosmetics going now – and the demographics of the income. The average income over six digits, so that’s right down your alley of what you’re trying to attract. It’s ideal for you.
Patrick: I know you also have some tips and techniques and things that you’re going to give him afterwards, right?
Lucinda: Yes, and some special ones.
Patrick: If people want to connect to you, I believe they’ve got it on the screen or they will your information. Will you share what you’ve given to Dr. Terrel Myers?
Lucinda: Sure. I’ll share the top 10 for businesses, but I have a special set for you.
Patrick: Very good. That’s one of the things that’s really important. In bringing a guest expert on, the show is about you. It’s about my guest. It’s about taking the time to really highlight and create some useful ways for my guest to tell their story. Bringing a guest on always adds value, always increases the response of the marketplace to everything that we’re doing here and everything my client is doing.
As we go to this last segment you’re going to love this part because it really is how to connect to Dr. Myers – you don’t want to miss that – and the things that he does that make the real difference in your life. We’ll be right back, this is Pat Dougher.
Patrick: Welcome back to The Business Spotlight. I’m Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Dr. Terrel Myers and we’re talking about cosmetic dentistry. It’s really about reconstructing everything that makes your smile what it should be. Thank you, Dr. Myers.
Dr. Terrel: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.
Patrick: I want to get into how people connect to you. But you have a real process and a system that people walk through in you creating the perfect smile for them. Wouldn’t that be correct?
Dr. Terrel: Yes.
Patrick: So what’s the process?
Dr. Terrel: As we have them in for a complete examination, we take records and models. And then through their health history I find out – I usually say on a scale of 1-10, if 10 were ideal, where would you put your smile? Then I ask where would you like for it to be?
Patrick: 11-15 on a scale from 1-10.
Dr. Terrel: From that we take their models and I will send it to a laboratory and they do what we call a diagnostic wax set. They’ll make their smile pretty on the model.
Patrick: It’s actually something that you can hand them, they look at, they can see this is where you’re at and this is where you could be.
Dr. Terrel: Exactly. On the model. If they liked that then we prepare the teeth and we will make temporary crowns from that model. That’s their trial. We can work out their aesthetics and their phonetics and their function. Phonetics is the way you speak and the shape of the front teeth, the angle, and how far back or how far out determines a lot of speech sounds. The Ss and Fs and Cs are all determined by where the front teeth are located. The upper teeth are supposed to follow the lower lip line.
Those are the things we look at. It gives them a chance to actually wear their crowns and then we can make any adjustments because it’s out of plastic. Once we work all of that out and it’s comfortable and it looks good to them, we take another set of models and we send that to the laboratory and they duplicate that into the permanent crown.
One of my mentors used to say, “In the old way, we would send a bunch of work to the lab and come back and it’s kind of like Christmas. You’d open it up and you didn’t know what you were getting.” Sometimes they liked it and sometimes they didn’t. This way we can actually work it out and they can make any changes. They know once we get to that point, that’s what the permanents are going to look like and they’re going to like it.
Patrick: Have you seen anybody literally get that first set on and almost faint from the difference?
Dr. Terrel: Yeah. I’ve had one patient that just really could not smile. We went through this process and even with the temporaries, it was just “Wow, that’s what I’ve always wanted.” The plastic and porcelain is different. The light reflects better. When we changed it to the permanent, she got tears in her eyes. Just wow.
Patrick: She smiled more after that.
Dr. Terrel: Could not wipe the smile off her face.
Patrick: You could [25:03 inaudible] from the happy gas all you want. The smile is still going to be plastered on there.
Dr. Terrel: It is good.
Patrick: That is awesome. I bet you’ve done that several times, haven’t you?
Dr. Terrel: Several times.
Patrick: It’s the real difference and I hear it in everything you’re saying. One, you care. Two, you treat them like family. Three, you spend the time to create a plan and a system, and then you work with them to implement it.
Dr. Terrel: Several years ago, we were talking with one of my patients and he said, “I’ve spent more money on my teeth than I ever thought I would ever spend on just about anything.” He said, “It wasn’t until we finished that I understood what you just went through. The time that you took, the care that you took, you’re actually underpaid for the hours you spent with me.” That’s often the case I get. People will say, “I didn’t understand the fee until afterwards of what you do.”
Patrick: All I can say is, I understand. Most people don’t understand the value of video until after they get a thousand links back to it. I get that. Going forward, do you see any real significant changes coming in dentistry?
Dr. Terrel: I think social media is one thing that is we’re seeing more and more. I’m inundated with e-mails and letters from different businesses trying to motivate us to buy into certain social media or get our business into Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
A lot of our continuing education now is how to handle social media. I think that’s going to be the major change in the future, along with all the new technology that we’re seeing now. The computers have just changed our world.
Patrick: The old styles of marketing have really fallen away. I hate to use the Yellow Pages or some of these other media. Today one of the reasons why this show is aired in DFW in Houston and then it’s aired all over the Internet is I know that video is the future for marketing your business. It’s kind of the new Yellow Pages because Google loves video. They love YouTube. They love the video that we create.
This is Patrick Dougher. The Business Spotlight is about business owner telling their story in the marketplace and then us promoting that business everywhere from then on. See you next time on The Business Spotlight.