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Stop caring about what your patients might think. You're not in control of others' thoughts or feelings. Whether it's a procedure a patient needs, or accountability for your staff, be polite, and just tell them plainly what they need to hear.
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AUDIO - Mac Lee - HSP #115
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VIDEO - Mac Lee - HSP #115
"You're more addicted to the approval of the patient than you are of telling them the truth."
Dr. Mac Lee developed ORA5 antimicrobial in 1980.
He taught non-surgical periodontal treatment across the US and Canada, and was adviser to Dr Oz after writing the book: Nothin' Personal Doc, But...I Hate Dentists!
He formed www.operationstopdecay.com and 501.c non-profit organization offering free material for ages Pre K - 3rd grade.
Dr. Lee and Joleen Jackson now go in house for customized training.
Howard: It is a huge honor today to be podcast interviewing my buddy Mac Lee, my gosh, you got out of dental school in 1972 and I was 10 years old and here I'm 52 now and you just turned 70, and you're looking better and younger now than you were when I first met you. You're just looking mighty dapper, buddy. Gosh, I think the first conversation we ever had, when I look at you, was you and I talking about Earl Estep, another Country Gold farmer. Remember old Earl Estep?
Mac: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Earl's the one that got me started in everything.
Howard: Is he still out there playing on his tractor on a farm field?
Mac: Best I know he is. Yes.
Howard: How old is he now?
Mac: Oh, he has to be way in his 80s, yeah.
Howard: Would he have to be in his 80s?
Mac: Yeah, so I met Earl 30 years ago.
Howard: See, I put you in the same category. Those of you who don't know, Earl Estep was a big influence on Mac Lee, on Woody Oakes, for The Profitable Dentist and what I think about Earl, and when I think about you, and when I think about me being born and raised in Kansas, and Woody Oakes out there in Indiana, is Country Gold, that real business is just good old, down-to-earth, country folk people talking straight, treating them like you'd treat other people, like you'd want to be treated, and that if you just really focus on the down-to-earth human relationship with your patients and build trust and love and respect, that all the business things takes care of itself. Your patients stay with you, your staff stays with you. Jolene and you have been together for ... How long have you and Jolene been together?
Mac: 37 years.
Howard: Tell us all, tell our viewers what's going on in your world now.
Mac: Well, in my world I'm just having a good time doing dentistry and that's because I'm doing only what I like to do, something you've been professing for a long time. If you're not enjoying dentistry, you got to step back and have a look well, why aren't you enjoying dentistry? To enjoy dentistry, you got to be in control, you got to be profitable, you got to be doing the things that you like doing, on the people you're doing them with, and the team. The team is just invaluable as you're going up.
Howard: You're still practicing dentistry at age 70 in Edna, Texas?
Mac: Yes, sir, 3 days a week. I've been doing 3 days about 15 years now.
Howard: What type of dentistry are you doing? What keeps you excited in the dental office?
Mac: The removals, the TMD, the full-mouths, the more complicated stuff, and so I've really gotten to enjoy that. The dentures, which I used to hate, now I really enjoy them because it's more about people than it is about dentures.
Howard: Are you placing any mini-implants underneath any of those dentures?
Mac: Yes, absolutely. Yes.
Howard: Talk about that. Why is it that the majority of the dentists in America who, they have a denture problem and they send it to their prosthodontist or their oral surgeon or their periodontist, all they want to do is make a mountain out of a molehill and they offer this $50,000 solution. Maybe it's All-on-4, bone grafting, and all this stuff like that. In Edna, Texas, if you said, "I'm going to take your denture to put some implants underneath it, and it's going to be 50 grand," how many people in Edna, Texas would say, "I ain't got 50 grand?"
Mac: They don't have 50 grand. They don't have 50 grand.
Howard: Right, so why are you using an oral surgeon and a periodontist and a prosthodontist who don't even offer that solution? You know when you go to Germany, these oral surgeons, at the end of the year, they'll place as many minis as they did root forms. They see root forms as for the extreme cases, for the single tooth replacement, and then they use a lot of minis under full dentures, and you just ... It's a taboo in America. Even on Dentaltown, we had to separate implantology from mini implants, because it was just like 2 different schools, and the school placing root form looks at the school placing minis as that they're inferior, or they're not as good.
Mac: Well, they've got the technique down and it works very ... It's very repeatable, very reproducible. It's a lot of exciting things that we're doing here. I do a lot of marketing. I write for a column, which is ... If anybody wants to market correctly, and be able to choose your market, if they can become a columnist for an area newspaper, and this has been a great boon for me because we get people traveling 50, 60, 70 miles to come see us, because of the special stuff that we offer, which is high-touch, high-tech, listening to the patient. We have a different business model, too. Jolene sees all the new patients, and she's able to spend an hour with them and quality time, get to know them and boy, they let her know everything, get all of the objections out of the way, find out what they want as the end result, and we go from there.
Howard: When you talk about high-touch, high-tech, explain the high-touch and high-tech, and what do you do to be high-touch and what do you to do be high-tech?
Mac: First of all, you know what a BAM is?
Howard: Bare Ass Minimum?
Mac: Nope, it's a Big Ass Monitor. We have a big monitor in Jolene's room, and the first thing she does is a digital panel, and so when the patient gets the panel taken and they walk into the room where she is, or where they are, there's her panel. It's up on a 52-inch screen. They're very impressed over that. Then she takes pictures, whatever kind of pictures that the patient's interested in. You find this out before. If they've come in for a pain, she can take a picture of that tooth, so that the patient can see what we see.
When she gets through educating them, they have an experience like they've never had before in their lifetime, in a dental office or a medical office or anywhere else. Their first question is, "Why hasn't anybody ever told me this before?" It's a real getting to know the patient very well, plus educating them and finding out what they want as the end result. We don't guide them or steer them in any fashion or form.
Howard: Now, where is Edna, Texas?
Mac: Edna, Texas is between Houston, Texas and Corpus Christi, so we're right in the middle of the coast. We're 100 miles from any major city. There's no Starbucks, there's no ... There's nothing here.
Howard: What's the population?
Howard: 5,000, and how many dentists are in that town?
Mac: But I have a drawing area of about 70 miles, which includes about 150,000 people, and as far as ... There's a big oil boom here, so there are people who have some money, but they have to drive a ways.
Howard: Well, there was a big oil boom. When oil was 100 bucks a barrel, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Orleans were on fire, Louisiana was on fire, but then the price dropped out of oil and how is Texas doing now that ... What is oil trading at today a barrel?
Mac: It's about $60 a barrel.
Howard: It was 100, wasn't it?
Mac: Yes, but if you were a rancher and you had local land, and you were getting 1/4 of 1,000 barrels a day, and it dropped to half, you're still making a heck of a lot of money, so it's the land owners that are our patients that are coming in. They're the ones that are being able to afford some of this good dentistry.
Howard: I don't want to hijack this podcast interview but quickly and succinctly, people who aren't in that area, we hear all this wild stuff about fracking. Has fracking been good for Texas? You're a dentist. Is this a good thing or is this an environmentally unsound thing?
Mac: It's made the economy good, but as far as being green and ecology, I can't answer that. There's, just like anything else. There's people who says it is and people who says it isn't.
Howard: Yeah. I see that in dentistry. I mean, it's funny how people think there should be a consensus on fracking. You can't even get a consensus in dentistry on amalgam. You still have 2 dentists looking at the exact same study. Look at all the major Supreme Court decisions. Here it is, they have one Constitution, they have one law and it seems like every time they have a decision it's 5 to 4. It's 5 said, "Let's go this way," and 4 said the other. Then look at amalgam. I'm still a die-hard believer that for a planet Earth with 7 billion people, amalgam is going to be your go-to restoration for 6 billion of those 7, and to me, they last twice as long, they're metal, and they have some anti-bacterial effect with the mercury, silver, zinc, copper and tin.
Then you'll have a dentist sitting right next to you saying composites last longer and that amalgams aren't anti-bacterial and blah blah blah. Yeah, the human mind is just infinitely complex, and I think the most complexity shows in how do you attract and retain a great team and how do you build that trust with your practice? I think of you and Jolene and Earl Estep as some of the masters of that. What I want to ask you, this is June 11th, and 2 weeks ago I went to the graduating class of the dental school, up to the class, up the street here in [inaudible 00:09:43] and so we had 56 dental schools dump out 5,000 kids, and now they're all going to go be dentists. I know that most of them are thinking that if you got A's in Calculus and Physics and Geometry, you're just going to crush it in dentistry, and I just don't think that could be anything further from the truth.
It almost has nothing to do with success. Success is going to be how do you attract and retain a great team and how do you get that team to enthusiastically build a practice with high energy where people want to get into optimum oral health and taking care of their teeth? What advice would you give to those young graduates? How can they be a people [purse 00:10:22] like you? You've done it since 1972 and excelled at it higher than almost anyone I know. I can't think of anybody that's got the people side of the business down more than you. What advice would you give to these young kids about how they need to start laying off the periodic table and the geometry and the trig and start focusing on how humans work and play and why they buy things?
Mac: Well, you know veterinarians go to veterinarian school because they like animals. They don't realize until they get out that people own animals and they still have to deal with people. The same thing with dentistry. We go because we're good with our hands, we're good with this, but inevitably there are people that are attached to the teeth, and you have to have a team that respects you and likes what they do. Leadership, we still go in ... You know, you remember boot camp and all that, you remember all the sales material that we used to do. We still go in-house, Jolene and I do, and try to teach exactly what you're talking about - how to be a regular, decent human being, how to communicate with the team, how to communicate with the staff so that you will, on Monday morning, just enjoy going to work and being excited about what you're doing in your life.
Now, leaders are going to have to be fair, they're going to have to be predictable. They're going to have to tell the team exactly what's expected of them, and when the team doesn't do that, they have to have the guts. They've got to say, "Sit down. I'm confused. You agreed to this, but yet it's not being done." Now, to answer your question about the graduates, if I were a new graduate, somehow I'd try to decide what kind of dentist I wanted to emulate. I, this is a crazy idea, but it would work, I would be a dental assistant for a year until I learned every single trick that dentist knew. Then I would go somewhere else and just be that person and learn on your own. Think about it. How long would it take you if you sat by, if you wanted to learn a new procedure, how long would it take you as an assistant to learn it?
Howard: Just a couple of times.
Mac: Just a couple of times, and we spend all of this money on CE, we do this, we scratch our heads. Dentists are tender, timid souls, they don't like to be extroverts, but in this business, you better be a people person, and you better be extroverted, and you better be what your market expects you to be when they walk in that door, or when they call on the phone.
Howard: I just ... [crosstalk 00:12:59] I just ... It blows my mind. Every single day I see an ad for a $10,000 hands-on implant training course and some dentists will pay ... The cheapest one I've seen is like $5,500 and they're usually $9,500, and they'll fly clear across the country and go stay in a hotel and be away from their family and drop 10 grand and all that, and all they had to do was call the periodontist across the street, the oral surgeon across the street, the endodontist.
I mean, it's just amazing. I think of guys like you and me as street smart, and I see too many dentists that are shy, timid, and they're book-smart. You don't have to pay $10,000 and fly across the country to go learn how to place an implant. I don't know any healthy, functional, friendly person who's a dentist, who ... Anybody walked in across the street and said, "Hey, can I come over and watch you?" I mean, everybody wants a friend. Everybody wants a buddy. I mean, it's just crazy.
Mac: Well, everybody wants to be a mentor, too. If they're proud of what they do, they want to be a mentor. They want to be able to help. They want to be able to share their knowledge, because you and I, we've got some knowledge that it ... When I'm gone, it's going to be gone. I mean, of course, everybody's got the same knowledge that I do, but not a whole lot of people got what I got, and you got.
Howard: It's funny because I've never taught somebody something where they didn't teach me back an equal amount. I mean, everybody's a mentor, mentee. The last kid that was in my office was showing me the Dentaltown app, and he was 25 years old and single, so he had dating apps and he was telling me some of the cool features on these dating apps that he wished Dentaltown did, and I'm just like, "Wow." I'm looking at my programmers and we're all, I'm 50, Ken's probably 45, so yeah, you can learn something. You might teach a kid how to place a mini implant and he might teach you how to get more new patients on social media.
Mac: Well, every time we go into an office to train, or every time we give a seminar, we learn more, and you do the same thing. It's just, and to keep yourself excited about it, keep yourself in tune with what's going on, and that keeps me excited.
Howard: When you go into offices, what are the ... You've probably stopped counting how many dentists you've worked with over the years. It's got to be thousands. It's probably close to 10,000. You've been doing it forever. What are the low-hanging fruit things that the most successful dentists get right the most often, and what are the low-hanging fruit mistakes that dentists do.
Mac: Well, I'm glad you asked because I want this podcast to help dentists. I think that's pretty obvious. The first thing is all the low-hanging fruit's in hygiene. I mean, how many outstanding treatment plans do most dentists have? It's because they haven't approached the patient right, they haven't explained it right, they haven't explained it in layman's terms, like you were talking about Earl Estep. It is mandatory for my office and the offices that I go into, that the hygiene patient, when they call the doctor to come in and check the patient, that there be a clinical picture on the monitor with a cracked tooth or a missing tooth, or whatever it may be, and that hygienist has been trained to speak to the patient in layman's terms so that they understand.
One of the communication techniques that we teach is when you have that picture on that monitor, let's say it's got a cracked tooth, cracked amalgam, whatever it might be, then you put it up there and you ask the patient, "What do you see? Howard, what do you see when you're looking at this?" Howard says, "Well, that's cracked." Well now, who diagnosed the problem? They can't argue against you, they can't say you're trying to sell them something. What we do is we speak to the obvious. The other thing we do is talk about the elephant in the room, which is usually how much money it's going to cost.
We're very up front with the patients. I get very excited about everything, every time we go into an office ... Even every time we have a new patient, and that patient is just going, "Wow. This is just fabulous. How come nobody's told me this before?" The low-hanging fruit though, again, is your outstanding treatment plans. You have your morning research. You decide who has outstanding treatment plan, why have they not gotten it done, and how can you communicate to that patient in such a manner that they can say, "Oh, man. I see what you're talking about. Yeah, let's get that done." Now, how you want to treat it, that's your business. The diagnosis is always the same.
Howard: You talk about, one of the dentists' big problems is approval addiction.
Mac: Oh, yeah.
Howard: Explain that and how that gets in the way of presenting dentistry.
Mac: You're more addicted to the approval of the patient than you are of telling them the truth, because if you say, "Hey, you need this," then the patient will say, "Well, I got kids in college. I've got this, I've got that. Gosh that's $1,000," and they go on and on and on. In order not to have to deal with that, you just say, "Well, you know, you maybe, kind of, somewhat have a little problem here and we'll watch it." That goes back to being this tender, timid souls that are not being up front with their patients and they're not telling their patients the truth. The great thing about being 70 years old, and my grandmother told me this when I was little bitty kid, you finally get old enough where you don't really give a damn and you just say what you want to say. It's nice. But you've been doing that a long time, Howard.
Howard: Yeah, and I think there's a ... One of my favorite books I read was how a little bit of craziness leads to a lot of success, because a lot of success is counter-intuitive, and when people talk about approval, they sort of mean that at the end of the day, we're a social animal. Dogs and cats and monkeys and apes and humans, they survive as a team. A shark doesn't. A shark doesn't need a friend. A shark just swims through and kills anything he chases down and eats and a shark needs no one, but in Africa, cats and dogs and monkeys and apes, and we have to work together, and so we want to please everyone because we want to survive. That's how we're hard-wired.
Telling someone something they don't want to hear is kind of crazy and it's kind of counter-intuitive. Like you said, you had to be 70 years old before you realized you didn't care and I never did care. My mother always pointed out to me that she thought something was wrong with me and that I would never have any friends because I never knew when to shut up. I remember one of the times I just literally floored her is when I said to one of my aunts, I said, "Well, if your husband's a drunk and he won't get a job and he's cheating on you, why don't you just leave him?" Oh my God. My mom ... And what confused me as a child is that's what mom and dad and everybody was talking about on the drive over to her house, but no one would say anything.
You know what I mean? No one would say something and I just think it's ... Like you're having the morning huddle, and there's your assistant, every single week coming in 10 minutes late, last minute, missing everything, and that young leader just doesn't want to confront it, because they're a social animal. You have to be kind of socially not right in the head to sit there and say, "Hey, we were all here. Our first patient's at 7. You know the morning huddles at 15 minutes before we see our first patient, and what are you going to tell me? That you have a kid? That there was traffic? Like none of us have kids or traffic?" People just don't want to talk about anything that's not friendly. I think success is counter-intuitive.
Mac: Well, you mentioned the Constitution. It's a problem that the Constitution of the States is subject to interpretation. Every dental office should have a Constitution, but it's not subject to interpretation. The rules are the rules. When that happens, that's unacceptable behavior. When they were in the team meeting and somebody rolls their eyes, the leader's got to look at that person and say, "What's the eye roll? What's going on here?" You have to face it. It's the elephant in the room, which I've mentioned before.
It's speaking to the obvious. When the patient has self-discovered, when they're asked, "What do you see, and what do you want?" And they are able to tell you exactly what they see and exactly what they want, they're the ones that diagnosed themselves. Now, we come up with different treatment plans, which is their option, and so this has become a very sophisticated thing that we do, and to overcome all those problems that you're talking about.
Howard: Talk to us about, what drove you to writing your first book, Nothing Personal Doc, But I Hate Dentists? When did that book come out?
Howard: 1999? My Gosh, that's been out 16 years?
Mac: Yes, and it's out of print now. There's not that much interest in the layman reading dentistry. That's our problem.
Howard: That book was a B to C book? That book was for a patient, not a dentist?
Mac: Absolutely, for a patient. Very well done, it got me on the Discovery Channel with Dr. Oz. It got me with Oprah FM.
Howard: Did you ever do an audio version of that book?
Mac: No, I did not, and we've just kind of dropped the ball on it. Like I said, it got me on Dr. Oz, it got me on Oprah FM. It did a lot for me, but when we left boot camp, we decided, "Okay, we need to do something with all this knowledge that we have."
Howard: Okay, go back for our viewers. A lot of people don't know what boot camp was. Walk them through time, what boot camp was and how you got into that, and what was the ... Why were people coming from all over the world to go to boot camp and what were you teaching them?
Mac: Earl Estep called me one day because I was using his son's lab.
Howard: In Dallas?
Mac: Yes, in Dallas, and he said, "Mac Lee, this is Earl Estep. I don't know you and you don't know me." He said, "But I'm sitting here in my son's lab and I'm looking at all the dentistry that you're sending him, and I want to know how you're doing so much dentistry out of a chicken-shit town like Edna, Texas." You know Earl. That's exactly how he talked. I told him it was my whole philosophy of perio, that if perio's a gum infection and if you want to clean out an infection, you not only got to get it clean, you got to keep it clean, and if you've got all these broken down amalgams and stuff, you got to go in with crowns. He said, "Can I come to your office?" Well, anyway, he talked me into giving perio seminars, non-surgical, back in the '80s, that was a long time ago. That led me to a guy named Walter Hailey, who had a boot camp, a business boot camp.
I went to his business boot camp and I talked him into doing a dental boot camp, because I knew that dentists needed sales skills, communication skills, and I definitely remember you coming to Dental Boot Kamp yourself. It was 7 years of lots of fun and I learned so much being in the business world. Walter Hailey was an incredible businessman. We decided we didn't like it there and we left, and we didn't want to lose that information. We realized, I realized, that the problem in dentistry is that you had to educate patients one-on-one. Every time they walked in the door, you had to educate and you had to re-educate and re-educate. The idea is why not have public education? Educate them where they're coming to your office and say, "Doc, I read about this. I saw this, and I know I have a problem. I need you to help me." We're getting closer now to the public being interested in dentistry, but that's what we need.
Howard: You taught with Earl, with Walter Hailey for 7 years, and that was in ... What town in Texas was that? That was in small-town ...
Mac: Hunt. Yeah, Hunt, Texas.
Howard: Oh, Hunt Texas?
Mac: Hunt, Texas.
Howard: That was outside of Austin?
Mac: Outside of San Antonio, north of San Antonio.
Howard: San Antonio. The thing I remember most about that is I never ... I always think of Texas with these flat plains, and there was a lot of nice mountains and hills and, beautiful area, Hunt, Texas. What was the major education points that you were teaching there for 7 years? What would dentists and their teams learn in a dental boot camp with you and Walter for 7 years?
Mac: Well, you learned about communication skills, you learned about the anatomy of the sell, handling objections, the different personality profiles, et cetera, et cetera. But the problem with Boot Kamp is it's too much in your face sales material, and where you're taught to guide patients to make the decision that you wanted them to make. Well, we learned after awhile that that just doesn't work.
They see that you're selling them and they make that appointment next Monday for a 3-hour appointment, and they get to thinking about it and say, "I've been sold to. I don't like that. This guy's supposed to be a professional," and they don't show up. We've made sure with our material that there's no sales process whatsoever. It's strictly communication and education. You know this, and every dentist that's listening know this, if the patient understood the dental needs as well as the dentist understood them, that the acceptance ratio would go sky high.
Howard: How were you teaching dentists at the ... Are you still going into offices?
Mac: Yes. We don't have people contact us, we don't market, we don't advertise.
Howard: How does a dentist contact you?
Mac: Oh, they can go to my ... You want my email or phone? I'm not that easy to get a hold of.
Howard: Well, what ... You have many websites. Would they go to drmaclee?
Mac: Yeah, yes, and get my telephone number, drmaclee.com.
Howard: That's D-R-M-A-C-L-E-E dot com, and give them what other number you said? Give them what?
Mac: My cellphone number. I can give you that.
Howard: Okay, go ahead.
Mac: It's 361-781-2134, and my website's also kind of characteristic of my marketing approach. It's based on education more than a call to action, because people just don't want to be pushed. They don't want to be talked into anything. They're tired of the razzle-dazzle. They want just what you started this podcast out with. They want the truth. They want somebody to be honest with them, somebody that they can trust.
Howard: What are you doing for an office? If someone called you, what is your program? Do these guys come and listen to you, or do you recommend you going to their office? Do you take Jolene with you? How does this work?
Mac: Yes. It's Jolene and I going to the office. Let me tell you, she is an old country girl from west Texas and she is more, the team members relate to her more, because she's real. She's not polished, looks like Reba McEntire, talks like a hillbilly. We know we talk funny, but we know we have the information that gets the point across, and by the time we leave, everybody has fun and by the time we leave, they're saying, "I just can't believe I hadn't thought about all this before." Because it's so simple. It is so, so simple.
Howard: Do you usually go into an office for like a day? A week?
Mac: Two days.
Howard: Two days? And do they ...
Mac: It takes two days.
Howard: Does the office close down? Do they not see patients?
Mac: Yep. They don't see patients Friday to Saturday.
Howard: It's a Friday and Saturday?
Howard: How much does something like this cost?
Mac: It's a lot of money, Howard.
Howard: How much is a lot of money?
Mac: Okay, we don't charge for expenses, so it's 15 grand.
Howard: 15 grand? You and Jolene go into an office, they close down for a Friday and Saturday, pay you 15 grand, and what do you teach them? What's the curriculum? What's the goal?
Mac: Okay, the goal's going to be leadership, the goal is going to be teamwork, and the team totally understands that the dental office is a business and the purpose for the business is to serve the owner. It becomes real simple and real clear to understand that things like showing up late or cat-fights or bickering, those are [tender 00:29:30] and it's not about the person in the position, it's about the position. If you're front desk, you're [inaudible 00:29:38] things that this office requires to be done for whoever is at the front desk. Same with the hygienist, same with the assistant, and the doctor has to understand that they have to take a role of leadership. They can't have approval addiction. They have to be fair, they have to know what they're talking about, they got to be good dentist. Because nobody wants to work for a dentist that's not doing a good service.
Then we teach fun skills and communication skills, we divide the patient categories up into new patients, patients with records, and the emergency patients. We don't call them emergency patients. We call them working patients. If I tell you, Howard, that you're an emergency patient, and say, "We'll get you in an emergency," psychologically you're thinking, "Oh well, I've got status here, because I'm an emergency." If we say, "Howard, we're going to work you in. You may have to wait awhile," then you don't mind. You're very appreciative that the fact that we worked you in, and you don't mind waiting. That doesn't mess up the schedule, so it's the little bitty, tiny things like that that we've refined over all these years.
Howard: Mac, I think the human side of it is always going to be the hardest. I literally was so naïve when I was a kid that I thought if I went to Creighton, got A's in Calculus and Physics and Geometry that the world would be my oyster. Now I'm 52 years old and I've never used any of the skills I learned in undergrad. I've never used Calculus, Physics, Geometry. I don't even know why I sat in the library for 3 years memorizing that stuff. But this is what I see in dental offices. To tell you the truth, if I walked into 100 dental offices, about 1% you just walk in and you just feel the magic, the chemistry, and everybody's fun and it's exciting and it's karma.
You just know if you saw the books, they're collecting 2, 3 million a year and the doctor's taking home 5, 600,000. It's just a blast, patients fun, staff fun, whatever. But if you walk in the other 99%, it's a library, some introvert geek stands up and hands you a clipboard and tells you to sign in and doesn't even make eye contact with you, and then you're ... Right now it's NBA finals week and you see these head coaches, which is what the dentist has and they're just during the entire game, they're just marching up and down the sidelines and the ref's telling them to get off the court, and they're calling time-outs and they're getting everybody fired up. You go to a dental office and after they just did a root canal for an hour, the doctor walks up and then walks right into his private office and closes the door.
Howard: How can you go into an office and turn that boat around? How would you even start?
Mac: Oh, that's why it takes 2 days. You start very slowly, very slowly, until they finally start saying, "Oh my gosh. Look what I've been doing." You have to be very careful and not step on any toes, and you don't make anybody mad. We've got to read the audience. Jolene is a genius at reading the team and because she's female, she doesn't take any crap. She can read them immediately. She's not going to let them play her in any fashion or form, because that's what a bad team member's going to try to do. He's going to try to subterfuge any change in the practice as you well know. Now, my office is up front. I have an office where all the team is.
That's where I have my phone, that's where I have my desk, that's where I have everything. I keep in constant tabs of everything that's going on, every telephone call, when I'm up front, not when I'm working in the back. But our business model is me and 3 team members: Jolene, who sees all the new patients, my assistant, and my hygienist, who stays very busy. Jolene's job is to communicate, get the patient to understand, bill an hour with them. I don't put new patients on my books. They're on her books. When she's ready to come get me, then she comes to get me, and then she transfers to me everything she and the patient talked about.
She says, "And here's what Mrs. Jones wants. We've talked about this, we've talked about that. She's got some missing teeth. She knows that they need to be replaced. Right now implants are out of the question, so she's thinking about something that's removable." How hard is my job? That's why I don't have to have a new patient on my books, because it only takes me a few minutes, that's the consultation before we get them back for a diagnosis. Well, that's a different deal on the complicated cases.
It makes it fun, but every team member, every team member has to actually, totally cross-train. If I don't have anybody up front, who gets the phone? Well, if Jolene's seeing a patient, she cannot answer the phone. That's forbidden. If she has a patient, then either the hygienist or the assistant has to get the phone because it's also forbidden for the phone to go to the recorder. That means every team member has to know everything that's going on exactly every minute what's going on, so they know what to do. But that takes teamwork, teamwork, teamwork, and that's what we teach.
Howard: Okay, let me address this, because Mac, about 5,000 dentists are probably going to listen to this podcast, and every single hygienist I ever meet in my life says the same thing. "I listened to your podcast, I listened to Mac Lee, I listened to you guys, and I came back and I got all fired up and I got out the [internal 00:35:04] camera and I was educating the patient, and I was showing them everything they could do, and then the dentist comes in and just slams it down and says, 'Hey, you're not a doctor. You can't diagnose, and this is totally over the top and it's totally illegal, and you're going to get my license taken away, and you just basically be quiet and scrape teeth, and I'll come in and I'll do the exam.'" What would you say to those doctors? Because Mac, I hear that all day long. Do you hear that?
Mac: Yeah. We slowly, especially with the hygienists. Sometimes it's reversed, the hygienist says, "Oh, I can't do that. I can't do that because that's diagnosing." But maybe they think that because they've been slammed by the dentist. If I can go to the internet and I can type in bone loss, periodontal disease, bone loss on Google, and it showed me bone loss, can an assistant sit there, or a hygienist sit there and say, "Look, you've lost bone?" Of course they can.
That's not diagnosing. That's education. Bone loss is bone loss. A black hole in a tooth is a black hole in the tooth. It doesn't take ... I mean, anybody could look in there and see that it's a black hole. Can you look up decay on the internet? Yes. This is education. It's not diagnosing. What you're saying is true, and it's the most stupid thing in the world that a dentist can do.
Howard: I think a lot of that goes back to hard-wire, too. The people who make it to the top of the CEOs, that own their own business, they're just ... If they were in Africa, if they were a Silverback gorilla, they'd be the 400-pound gorilla. The way we've survived for millions of years is the nobody makes a move without the 400-pound gorilla saying move. Everybody submits to the 400-pound gorilla and the 400-pound gorilla thinks success is controlling everybody. Again, success is counter-intuitive. The most successful 400-pound gorillas I know, they delegate everything.
Mac: Absolutely. Total delegation.
Howard: I go into offices and I still think one of the largest low-hanging fruit problems is the dentist believes that if she wants to have it done right she's got to do it herself. She can't delegate anything, she has to do it herself, and she gets burned out and fried, and then she feels like she's just there providing jobs and nobody's helping her, and she's all stressed out. You really have to use your frontal cortex to override your reptilian cortex and delegate. The hygienist is sitting there for an hour and you've got her handcuffed with one arm behind her back because you're afraid she's going to diagnose.
Mac: The most stupid thing in the world is for a dentist to go into hygiene and the hygienist has written some little notes for him to look in the mouth and do this diagnosis. That's just, just drives me nuts. Take a picture of it. Show it to the patient. Say, "What do you see?" "I see my tooth's cracked." "Doctor, Mrs. Johnson sees that her tooth's cracked." Doctor says, "You're right." The hygienist's already sold a crown. Look, what we teach, and my belief is, is that I know that I need to come in there and I need to be [inaudible 00:38:04] dentist and professional and give all of myself to my patients and to hear them. The other thing I need to do is in the mouth [producing 00:38:17], what I legally am required to do, and everything else better be done by somebody else.
Howard: Let me talk about another taboo. We're watching the NBA finals this week and it's the Cleveland Cavaliers and everybody knows what those players make. Everybody knows what the owner makes. Everybody knows all the numbers and I'll go into a dental office and the dentist will be literally coughing up blood clots because payroll is in 2 days and he's going to need so many thousands for payroll and he doesn't have the money. The whole staff is oblivious, has no idea about the financial stress the doctor's under, or the doctor's wondering why supplies last month were 4% and this month they're 8%. That's a 100% variance, and then I go to the doctor and I say, "Well, are all these numbers transparent?"
When you asked me what a BAM was, you said it was a Big Ass Monitor. My dad taught me that that was your Bare Ass Minimum. MBA school taught me it was my break even point for the day. I go into every dental office in America and they don't even know what their break even point number is. The doctor's stressed out of his mind because they've got a cancellation, the staff thinks he's just stressed because the patient didn't show and it was a bad patient. They don't know what was so ... I want you to talk about numbers. What numbers should be transparent? What numbers do you share with your team and why do you think dentists are so private about their personal numbers with their staff?
Mac: The team is responsible for all the numbers except for my salaries and their salaries. They're responsible for keeping the percentages correct and watching everything. Those expenses are very important, but we don't dwell on it, because if we need it, we need it. All my labs, it's very expensive. I have a very high percentage of my expenses, my materials are very low.
Howard: Go through your overheads. What do you pay on lab?
Mac: Well, I would say my supplies were like 2 1/2%, which is very, very low.
Howard: Okay, very low.
Mac: But my lab bill may be 15, 16%.
Howard: You do a lot of ...
Howard: Restorative. Is that mostly crowns and bridges or is it mostly dentures and partials?
Mac: Everything. All of that.
Howard: Everything? What lab do you use?
Mac: Williams Lab.
Mac: Yeah, in Gilroy, California. They are just excellent.
Howard: In where?
Mac: Gilroy, California.
Howard: Gilroy, California?
Howard: I don't think I've heard of Gilroy, California. Williams Lab.
Mac: That's the garlic capital of the world. Come on, Howard.
Howard: Okay, and what's the website of that lab? Williams?
Mac: Yeah, williamsdentallab.com.
Howard: Where is Gilroy, is that near San Fran?
Mac: Yes, it's south of San Francisco.
Howard: It's the garlic capital you said, of the world or of the United States?
Mac: Well, I don't know. They say world, so who knows?
Howard: Because when I think of garlic and I think of California, I always think of my favorite Italian restaurant in the world is ...
Mac: The Stinking Rose.
Howard: Is The Stinking Rose in San Francisco. Oh my God, is that the best Italian food ever, ever? Anyway, so go back to numbers. What numbers do you make transparent?
Mac: Okay, mine probably about 45% of take-home. The team is in 18%. We only have 3, so they make a very nice salary. I'll average a million to a million point 2 a year working 3 days a week with 3 team members.
Howard: You'll take home 45%?
Mac: 40 to 45, yes.
Howard: 40 to 45 of a million to a million two?
Mac: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Howard: On a 3-day work week. I mean, is being a dentist in America a great thing or what?
Mac: It's the greatest thing, dentistry's the greatest thing that I've ever been in. I've been in real estate, I've been in banking, I'm in ranching. I'm in the seminar business and as you know, in boot camp, some of our weekends we had 3 and $400,000 weekends. We were knocking them dead, but there's nothing that has taken care of me like dentistry has. But you have to love it, you have to be continue education. No, you don't have to travel and do the CE you're talking about, but there's so much opportunity for us out there. But if you don't have the verbal skills and communication skills and the business skills to get it done, you've just learned something that's never going to make you any money.
Howard: What I don't understand with dentists is for every hundred thousand ... You know, a lot of dentists, they always want to retire. For right now a bond, a risk-free government bond is going to pay 5%, so for every $100,000 a year you make, divide that by 0.05, you would have to have $2 million in government bonds to be paying you $100,000 a year in interest and here you're making 4 to $500,000 a year, so you'd have to have ... Your working 3 days a week is equivalent to having saved $10 million into your retirement account, tax-free bonds.
I mean, it's literally insane, dentists' obsession with wanting to retire instead of correcting their dental office to where they want to go in there and play. I tell my boys the only thing I ever got right is I've never traded any time for money. I've never done anything I don't want to do for money. I've been playing for 52 years. I get up in the morning, I can't wait to go do whatever the hell I'm doing, and if I don't like doing it, or I don't like the people I'm doing it with, I make changes until it's fun. I mean, I literally love what I do, and so my boys are always saying, "Dad works hard." It's like, "Dad never works a day in his life. Dad loves what he's doing."
Mac: Right, and my kids say the same thing, but it is true, and when you live in a little bitty town like I do, I mean it's really a shithole town. No spouse wants to live in a little bitty town like this unless they were raised there. My market for selling my practice is I'm going to have to be very creative in doing it. But I can make more money each and every year, not only the $10 million investment you're talking about, but I can make more money each and every year than I can by selling my practice. Once you sell it, you're done.
Howard: Was your wife born in Edna? Louise.
Mac: We've got Inez, Louise, and Edna, Texas all in a row. She was born in Louise, Texas.
Howard: Right and how long have you guys been married?
Mac: 47 years now.
Howard: My gosh, so what are you going to do for the big 5-0?
Mac: Oh, the kids had a big part for the 70th birthday, so I'm sure they'll do something.
Howard: That is just amazing. You started a website www.operationstopdecay.com. What is that all about?
Mac: It's about educating kids. It's a 501C. You can go, if you have children from pre-K to 2nd grade, you can go and you can download a teacher's guide and a workbook, but the idea behind it was we're trying to get the Texas legislature to mandate dental education. Again, I'm going back to the need for the public to be educated, so if they won't go through Amazon and pick up a dental book, maybe, maybe the kids can be taught, starting at an early age. We tried to get that passed but it didn't pass, so again, dental education's mandatory. If you go to www.operationstopdecay and download it you can see that you could work with your school system, you can ... Got all this information for the teachers, for the kids. The kids love it.
Howard: Now, I've always done the, February is Dental Health Month, and Crest has always been a big sponsor of that, which would be what Proctor & Gamble, which is now what? Gillette? Right? Basically, they focus on the 3rd graders, so every year me, the associates, the hygienists, we go into all the elementary schools, and Crest will give you a little fun little box of stuff, toothpaste, what have you, and I always do that and I've always thought it was just a blast to go in there and teach these kids. It's kind of sad, too, because at least every 2 or 3 years, a teacher will say, "This is Dr. Howard Farran, and he's a dentist." One of the kids will cover their mouth and start crying. I mean, they'll literally freak that I'm going to ... It's like, "Oh my gosh."
It's sad when you're sitting there, but I've just always loved it and it's just very motivational. At 52 years old when I'm talking to a 3rd grade class, I figure somewhere in that class is my next wife, and I'm just trying to see where she is in the room, and ... But now, I think education's amazing. I see the most successful implantologists in town setting up presentations in retirement centers. They're always advertising in the newspaper that they're coming to a local restaurant. I saw one the other day, right up here at a restaurant by my house, and they put a little deal in the little newspaper, and they were going to talk about implantologists, and this periodontist walked into the room and there were 500 people in the room.
I just like, "Unbelievable." There's a couple of guys on Dentaltown that sell programs ... There are some guys on Dentaltown that place 500 implants a year, and they get every one of them from putting on weekly presentations in their dental waiting room office, and they're just non-stop always advertising that every Tuesday night, from 7 to 9, they're going to have a presentation on correcting your dentures with implants and there'll be hors d'ouevres and refreshments provided and there's no charge to the public.
Every single Tuesday night from 7 to 9, they'll fill up their waiting room, which might only be 10 or 12 people, but it's ... There's probably 4 or 5 leads in there because most seniors come in, you know, Grandpa and Grandma and maybe a kid and every Tuesday night they've got 4 or 5 hot leads and every hot lead could be either a low-hanging fruit, 10 mini implants for 5 grand under the existing denture or it could be the $50,000 bigwig case where it's all root forms and Hader bars and et cetera et cetera. I want to ask you, when did you get into placing minis? Because that is taboo. That's what we started this conversation with.
Mac: Oh, it was probably 6 or 7 years ago.
Howard: 6 or 7 years ago? Do you see oral surgeons, do you know of oral surgeons and periodontists placing minis, or do they just go right to the Mercedes-Benz ...?
Mac: No, I don't know. They're not against them, not the ones that I work with. I'm very fortunate, working with some very good periodontists.
Howard: They're not against minis?
Howard: For just full removable, not single tooth replacement? Because you need what? 3.2 millimeters minimum titanium to withstand the function of a tooth, but they're not against them? I want to ask you this, how come in Korea, 15 out of 20,000 dentists place an implant every month and in the United States, 95% of all the general dentists in America have never placed a single implant once in their career?
Mac: Well, I was going to write another book entitled Everything I Learned in Dental School Screwed Me Up. I think it's a lot about brain damage, Howard. It's about intimidation. It's about approval addiction. It's about fear. You go to your continued ... In dental school, they scared you. I think they scare you in continued education. they try to make everything so difficult so that you have to go to the next step, you have to pay more money to go to the next step. You know, things are so ...
Dentistry is not that complicated. It's just not that complicated, but you really have to spend a lot of time figuring it out. Another thing we've come up with, a little acronym we've come up with called SAT, Stop and Think. Just stop and think. A patient says, "My denture falls out. Why don't I do this?" Well, "Do that again and let me see." Stop and think. Don't try to ... Just use common sense. There's lots of common sense in dentistry and nobody's using it.
Howard: Common sense is not very common. I want to ask you this. Back to the graduates, they're coming out of school, $250,000 in debt, and like I say, I don't have a lot of sympathy for that because basically a lot of that just happens to be if I gave ... If we gave every 16 year old in America a credit card with a $10,000 limit, what percent of them would max out their credit card during the first summer? All of them. These dental students, the biggest problem they had is they had access to capital and they had no discipline. I swear to God, almost everyone I met, they drive $30,000 cars, every Spring Break they were in Cabo, or some fancy vacation that you and I never took. I mean, hell, I was parking cars the day before I graduated dental school, and I didn't have a car the first 5 ... Until senior year of dental school.
I didn't have a car in undergrad or the first 3 years of dental school, but now they think in order to be a good dentist like you, that even though they get $250,000 in debt, that they're going to need to buy a $100,000 3D X-ray machine like a CBCT, that they're going to need to drop $150,000 on some CAD/CAM, Cerac, E4D, Planmeca scan. Maybe they'll have to drop another 50, $75,000 on some laser. What do you think ... You were talking about that you were high-touch, high-tech. How much money do they got to drop on high-tech and is that as big part of the success equation or not really?
Mac: That's an excellent question. For a young dentist that doesn't really know what they're doing, no. That's just crazy. Unless you ... I don't have a CAD/CAM. I don't have an iCAP because where's my ROI? Everything I do, I have to look at where my ROI's going to be, my return on investment. If it helps me sell something, yes. If it helps me discover something, yes. It's more convenience to the patient, like The Wand, yes. But I don't ... When I say high-tech, it's not very hard to have a digital camera with a good lens on it and an Eye-fi attachment where it automatically loads up on the TV and it appears to be high-tech just because they've never seen it before.
Howard: What was the name of that camera?
Mac: Just any Eye-fi ready, so when Jolene's in the room and she's taking these pictures, the patient's got the refractors, it automatically loads wirelessly on the BAM, so that's pretty impressive.
Howard: That's called an I5?
Mac: E-Y-E dash F-I, Eye-fi.
Howard: Okay. E-Y-E for eye, dash fi, so it's eye-fi.com?
Mac: Yeah. I suppose. You can get them at Amazon. They're just a little card. Instead of you sticking a card reader in there, you stick it in there, it's a wireless reader. It's little bitty things like that that work extremely well.
Howard: You mentioned The Wand. Talk about that.
Mac: Oh, The Wand. I mean who wants a big old injection you know, with the dentist coming at you like Little Shop of Horrors when you can slip a wand in there and they can't even see it and not really feel it. You tell them it's being computer generated, it doesn't create pressure. We're high-tech, so yes, it does make a difference. But if you're a new dentist, and you got a lot of debt, you can't start spending it before you make it.
Howard: How much does The Wand cost and what percent of the time do you use it?
Mac: I use it for all injections. I looked on eBay yesterday. You can get one for 300 bucks.
Howard: $300 for The Wand, and who makes it?
Mac: I don't even know.
Howard: You don't even know?
Mac: No, no. I don't care. I don't look at that stuff like that. I just look for what's going to do a service for me and make sure that it happens, but brand new they're probably $1,500.
Howard: You don't have a CAD/CAM?
Mac: No. I had one. It just didn't fit my personality.
Howard: Well, explain. Go into detail. What does that mean, because most of the people talking about CAD/CAM are all controlled by the people selling it, so every time you hear anything it's like rah, rah, cheerleader, but you had a different view. Let's hear your side.
Mac: I thought that the one-day crown was a tremendous marketing reason, and it was, but if you did that and didn't fire it, which this was several years ago, before the blue stick came out, then but they broke. I stand behind my work, and so when one of them breaks, guess what Mac Lee has to do? He has to replace it, and I don't like doing that. I don't like doing that at all. I didn't like the fact that I had to sit and mess with that computer. I couldn't train my team to do it real well. It just didn't move fast enough for me, and then when it came out you had to fire them, well then that just took away all the marketing.
Howard: I think it's interesting how a lot of dentists always focus on these issues, or noises, or technologies, or whatever, but if they've sold ... Out of 120,000 dentists, they've probably sold I'm guessing around 12,000 units in the United States, so that's 10%, so 9 out of 10 dentists do not have one, and in that 9 out of 10 dentists that don't have one, I can show you a gazillion million dollar successful practices just knocking it out of the ballpark who did not need one, yet a lot of dentists will think they can't go to the next level until they buy that $150,000 toy. Same thing with the laser, same thing with a cone beam.
You can go find 10,000 dentists knocking it out of the ballpark and they could be in big towns, any state, small size, whatever, and that's never the issue. The issue is people. The issue is relationships. It's attracting the right team, fixing them up right and you can fix a tooth 100 different ways. There's got to be more recipes. Remember back in the day, let's walk through these kids through memory lane. I remember one of the biggest controversial things you and I lived through, is a Reader's Digest journalist went and got a full set of X-rays and study models. This was way back in the day, probably 25 years ago, and went to a dozen different dentists, including the dean of the dental school in Louisville.
I think he went to 25 different dentists or 30, and got 30 different treatment plans. They were from everything's okay all the way to a $30,000 rehab and it just showed that the diagnosis and treatment planning, and whether you do a silver filling, a gold filling ... None of that even matters. It's how you attract and retain great people, that they can share that trust with your community to attract great patients and they trust you enough, and you convince them enough through talking straight that they give you money and you fix up their teeth and everyone lives happily ever after, whether it was a gold filling, a silver filling, or you used the lab or a Cerac machine.
Mac: Yeah, Howard, if you're doing what you're talking about and what we're talking about, about communicating correctly, and you have the clinical skills to follow up and be who you say you are, you have to have marketing and intensive marketing to replace these people, because once I'm done with them, I'm done for years and years and years to come. I mean, the marketing to me, is essential also.
Howard: Yeah, absolutely. Ever since I took microbiology, I haven't needed a dentist. I brush 2 minutes every morning and every night. I floss every night. I use Listerine every day, use a tongue scraper as needed. I basically only need a hygienist. I basically don't need a dentist. I only need a hygienist. But you know what I'm thinking? I've only got you for 1 minute left, and this is what I'm thinking. Two things I'm thinking. If you want to have more dentists who are shy and timid and afraid of themselves, with approval addiction, to pay you and Jolene to come down and spend 2 days with them, I think you should have Jolene do a podcast with me so they can meet her.
Howard: I also think you and Jolene should put up a curriculum on Dentaltown because we just put up 317 online CE courses and they've been viewed over 500,000 times. People would be watching you from here to Kathmandu and you would be educating dentists in countries that you and Jolene are never even going to travel to, and I think that would ... I think for every person that you gave away the farm on what it is that they need to do and someone else would look at that and say, "Yeah, I get it, but I need to pay you to come in and implement it."
I always saw consultants as ... I think the problem with consultants, the mismatch with the consultants, is this. They're always afraid to tell you exactly what you're going to do, and the ones that do tell you, "Well, this is exactly what I'm going to do and say," the dentists are not buying the information. They're buying you to come in and talk to their team. They're afraid of confronting their staff.
Howard: Whenever there's any stress, they just go in their office and shut the door, 18% of them will pop open a beer or they'll try to escape. Again, success is very counter-intuitive. I think if you put a online CE course on, whether that be a 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, and the more you showed them exactly what you're going to do, for every dentist that takes that information and says, "Hey, thanks. Now I'm going to go do that and thank you so much.
You just helped me with my practice, and I don't need you and you're not going to make a penny off me," another dentist is going to call and say, "Oh my God, that's great, but I just don't have the skill set, the leadership skills to implement this." Let me talk to the dentists about the price of consultants. Any of these consultants that you hear about in dentistry that have been in the industry for 20, 30, 40 years, they're not in the industry because it didn't work. Mac's talking about 15 grand. Well, hell, your dental office may collect 15 more grand the very first month. Your ROI might be in 30 days.
Mac: That's almost guaranteed, Howard.
Howard: Yeah, it's almost guaranteed. I mean, I see all ... Then, the other thing that's amazing is probably the most successful office I've ever seen ... I mean if someone said to me, "What's the biggest numbers, happiest staff, least number of problems, everybody just ... It's just a love fest in there?" I'd have to say it's Jerome Smith in Lafayette, Louisiana, who's just on every metric from quality dentistry to staff to every ... Just knocks it out of the ballpark in everything he does. That guy pays big bucks for a consultant every single year. People say, "Well, God, Jerome. You're like the bomb. Why would you need a consultant?" He goes, "Well, that's why we're the bomb."
He always looked at it, Jerome told me one time, I don't know if he'll still say it today, but he told me he's never paid a consultant to come in his office that didn't fine-tune it, brush something up, re-motivate the staff, re-get them focused, more new ideas, to where after 3 months after they were gone he got all his money back and more. Then the other thing that I'm a big fan of consultants, is the fact that they lower stress. They lower stress. It's just nice to have someone to lean on, to come in there and say, "This is what's keeping me up at night. Here's what's bothering me, and then I write you a check and then you get a solution and you get it through my team so I don't have to stay up at night anymore." I just think it's amazing.
Mac: Two things about that. Number one is Jolene and I are practicing dentists and team members, so we always know what's going on. The second thing is it's never a cookie cutter program. We find out exactly what that dentist needs and wants, female, male, old, young, doesn't make any difference, group practice, single practice, it doesn't make any difference. We've been there, we've done it. We know what's going on and we can help them with exactly what you're talking about.
Howard: We're into triple-double overtime. I'm 3 minutes over, but I can't let you go. I still, I think the first time I ever met you, you were telling me about Ora 5.
Mac: Ora 5. Unfortunately, it's gone. Unfortunately.
Howard: It's gone? Tell them what Ora 5 was all about back in the day.
Mac: Ora 5, my grandfather ... I'm a third generation dentist, and he believed that perio was a disease and he had this medication that he put on the disease that he treated after scanning and root planning. He had the patient come back once a day for a week, a dollar a visit and he really did wonders with perio. He taught that to my father. My father taught it to me. I put that product on the market and it's called Ora 5, a combination of carbon sulfide and iodine. It was an excellent product but it just wouldn't stay stable and FDA was just too much trouble.
Howard: You're a third generation dentist. Your dad and grandfather were dentists?
Mac: Yes. In the same building, which is 150 years old.
Howard: That is so amazing, and I have to remind people that when you live in America you think that's the way the world is, but when you go around the world, there's 7 billion people. 6 billion live in a nuclear family where the whole family lives in one house, mom, dad, grandma, all the kids, grandkids, the whole tribe lives in one house, and most people work in the family business. When I walk into dental schools and I say, "How many of you have a dentist in your family?" At least 1/3 of the hands will raise. When you go around the world, Asia, Africa, Latin America, almost everybody works in the family business. I met a Brazilian dentist the other day, and there were 18 dentists who had lived in her pedigree, 18.
I mean, the family was basically in dentistry for 100 years and then they will continue to be in dentistry for the next 100 years. Hey, Mac, we are out of time. It's an hour and 5, we're 5 minutes over. Thank you for all that you have done for me personally, for my staff. My assistant, Jan, thinks you walk on water. She loves you to death. She loves Jolene. I would love for you to deliver Jolene back for an hour with her. I would give anything if you put an online CE course on Dentaltown. I think that would be huge, and do you think there's any way you could Earl Estep to Skype? Do you think he could get off his tractor for a day and ...?
Mac: I haven't talked to him in a long time. You did talk to him not too long ago, didn't you?
Mac: A couple of years ago. I don't know what happened on that. I can call and find out.
Howard: Call and find out. I would love that. You know what I'd also love to do? His Country Gold newsletters that ... You know, as soon as he dies, they're just all gone.
Howard: If anybody's got a copy of that, Dentaltown's long and infinite, I could digitize all of those and memorialize them forever, so 1,000 years from now ... [crosstalk 01:05:46] Yeah, so tell him I want to get all the originals of his Country Gold and digitize those and get them on Dentaltown, because that was just, that was some of the most world-class messages and I could never believe back in the day. When you walk into Earl Estep's seminar, he'd walk out there with a 6-pack of beer, put the beer down, sit down, pop the first beer, and at 5:00 when the seminar was over, he'd be finishing his last beer, and I kid you not, it was a riot. Right from the heart.
Mac: He started with a cowbell and some cuss words and said, "If you don't like those cuss words, go get your money back now and don't wait until the end of the seminar to complain and get your money back."
Howard: Oh my God. It was love at first sight. I loved that guy. All right, Mac, thanks again for all you do.
Mac: Hey, tell me who do I get a hold of to do that thing you want me to do on Dentaltown?
Howard: Well, I'm howard@dentaltown, but there's another Howard, Howard Goldstein. I go howard@dentaltown, so his email is hogo, H-O-G-O at dentaltown.com. I think if you put a course up there that would help so many because everything you and Jolene have mastered is everything these kids ... They don't even know that's what the game is. Right now they think the game is to get the right bonding agent.
Mac: Yeah, and if anybody heard Jolene talking to a patient, they would never think there was an actual skill that's going on there. They would think they're just talking. That's very, it's just so much fun. Thank you, Howard.
Howard: All right, Mac. Have a great day, buddy.