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AUDIO - HSP #238 - Hazel Glasper
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VIDEO - HSP #238 - Hazel Glasper
• How to sell more dentistry and save more lives
• Dentistry Is A Branch of Medicine
• Defining our role in healthcare
• Health, Function, & Aesthetics (Comprehensive approach)
Dr. Glasper, the comprehensive dentist, graduated from Howard University Dental in 1991. She completed her residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ and trained with thought leaders such as Pete Dawson and Frank Spears. Sixteen years ago she opened her practice in Marriottsville, MD. In 2013 she started an oral health campaign committed to advancing the perception of dentistry; the campaign is called Teach Me Dental. Recently She's started a consulting firm The Comprehensive Dental Continuum. Currently she is the spokeswomen for the American Heart Association of Maryland. For more than 20 years, she has inspired her patients to be their own healthcare advocates through a comprehensive and holistic approach to dentistry. She believes open communication and patient education, transforms patients into informed, health conscious decision makers.
Howard: It is a huge honor today to be interviewing what I consider a dental phenomenal rock star, seriously, Dr. Hazel Glasper. You're out of Marriotsville, Maryland, is that a suburb of DC?
Hazel: Suburbs like Columbia, Laurel, Maryland, 45 minutes outside of Baltimore, the Columbia-Laurel, Maryland area.
Howard: Are you a Ravens fan?
Hazel: No, but my patient was Rex Ryan.
Howard: Is that right?
Howard: How are you doing today?
Hazel: I'm doing wonderful, absolutely wonderful, excited about doing this podcast with you.
Howard: I've seen you on all kinds of media outlets. Tell our viewers all the shows that you've been on.
Hazel: Fox 5, NBC, Channel 7, Rock Newman Show, WHUR, Tom Journo show which is syndicated, Roland Martin show which is syndicated. I'm speaking all over the place. I'm getting the message out there. I've been in publications as well, local, just doing all I can to reach the public about the importance of oral health and making the connection between your oral health and your over-all health. I'm the comprehensive dentist.
Howard: I congratulate you because I always... One of my critiques of dentistry is that, you put a room full of dentists together, they're always talking about drilling, filling, billing, how to do a root canal, what bonding agent? We need to be spending far more time on how do you prevent disease. I had hygienist on the other day talking about a new electric toothbrush connected to an app so children can figure out where they're brushing. Community water fluoridation is still not in 30% of the towns in America.
Hazel: I applaud you. I applaud you for getting it in Arizona. That's wonderful. Especially, Arizona has a lot of areas where it's impoverished. There's poverty there. It's important that they have fluoride in the water.
Howard: It is very interesting because the people most likely to drink water out of the tap probably aren't going to the dentist or have dental insurance anyway. Then all the crazy anti-fluoridationists think it's a communists plot, the government is trying to kill you and all that. They are always some yuppie who grew up in a suburb drinking bottled water anyway. Have you noticed that?
Hazel: Yes. What I have found, even those individuals who are out rallying against fluoride tend to have a lot of dental issues. If maybe they had been on fluoride or would accept that fluoride is beneficial, it does strengthen the enamel, it strengthens the teeth, then I think they would probably be a lot better. But, you know what? You can't change everyone.
Howard: I've been in two huge fluoridation campaigns. First was my first one in '89. I got out of school '87, from '87 to '89 my every Friday for two years was just to fluoridate [inaudible 00:03:32]. I thought that'd be far more important than building a practice of drilling, filling and billing. I thought that would be... When I was done, the guy from the CDC said his epidemiological model thought I would prevent about 850,000 cavities a year. I just felt like, "Okay, you're done dude. You did you magnum opus. You can retire." I felt like-
Hazel: Like you left your legacy.
Howard: I felt like, at two years after dental school, I left the playground better than I found it and I could go home. But it [inaudible 00:03:59] after 20 years so then we had to go back and do it again. I tell you what, going back to it when your 50, when I was 20, I got out of school 24 or 26, you thought if you just showed everybody the science, research, gentleman could all agree. But going back and doing it again at 53, I just realized that about 20% of all Americans are completely batshit crazy. You're just never going to change their mind. They were telling me that this stuff was so toxic, there was no place to put the fluoride so they bribed the government officials, have poured in the drinking water because there was no other place they can rid of it. I'm like, "Dude, are you not aware that the United States has areas where they detonate thermo-nuclear bombs? Don't you think they could pour the fluoride there?" It's just crazy.
Hazel: It is ridiculous. It is hurting... It will absolutely, one, hurt their children. It has [inaudible 00:04:59]. It is hurting a great population of individuals who truly need to be exposed to fluoride. But you can't change everyone's mind. You have to change the minds of people you can. That's all you can do.
With the Teach Me dental campaign, I'm out there trying to change the perception of oral health. I'm trying to actually brand dentistry and do it with using pop culture. We're doing different type of imaging and different type of advertisement, we're talking about all things dental.
Anything that anyone wants to talk about, I was on the Roland Martin show recently and we talked about the dangers of kissing, how you can spread bacteria from spouse, from significant other between partners and to your children. People are saying they've never heard this. We talk about oral cancer, we talk about gum disease, we talk about dental decay, so Teach Me dental has reached over a million people so far. It's a great campaign, absolutely great campaign.
Howard: Are you the founder of Teach Me Dental?
Howard: That's you, a one woman rock band?
Hazel: Absolutely, I'm not.
Howard: I mean are there other people on your team, Teach Me Dental?
Hazel: Yes. I have two companies actually. Teach Me Dental is the non-profit that we're forming, we've reached over a million, and the other one is the Comprehensive Dental Continuum. That's where I am going to go into the dental community with speaking and coaching dentists on how to practice comprehensive dentistry. I think there needs to be more comprehensive dentists.
Howard: What do you mean by... what is your definition of a comprehensive dentist?
Hazel: As a comprehensive dentist, I look at the whole picture. My focus is not just on teeth. As a matter of fact, I think that we should stop selling teeth and start promoting health. That's where I come from. Every single patient that I treat, I treat from the perspective of health, function and aesthetics. I completely understand what systemic conditions that my patients are suffering from and what oral effects they are having. I'm in cross clinical conversations with other doctors in other branches of medicine. I know the conditions of the oral cavity that has systemic effects. I think that being a comprehensive dentist, looking at everything, doing a complete examination, complete diagnosis, presenting a complete treatment plan and addressing all the patient's needs is how we're going to help prevent diseases of the oral cavity as well improve some of the diseases our patients are struggling with.
Howard: I think that the kissing thing, it even blows my mind among dentists. You'll see a dentist who has seen the wife every three months for 10 years for 3-month cleanings and she still has bleeding gums and she's on [perio 00:08:32] maintenance or whatever and he's never seen her husband.
Hazel: Her husband-
Howard: He's got a lingual calculus bridge, blown molars. It's so weird around the [inaudible 00:08:42] because below the belt, after HIV, after AIDS, the whole planet knows that below the belt, you can trade bacteria viruses, germs, fungi and kill each other but above the navel, the whole world hasn't even thought about it one time, including dentists.
Hazel: Including dentists, they have no idea that in a healthy mouth, you can have between a thousand, a hundred thousand bacteria on a tooth. In an unhealthy mouth, you can have between 1 million and 1 billion. An unhealthy mouth can have as many bacteria in the mouth as there are people on this planet. We wonder how is this leading to heart disease, strokes, lung infections, cognitive issues, adverse pregnancy outcomes, increased cancers, prostate problems, impotence. We have to realize that the mouth is the gateway to the body. You're right, a lot of dentists practicing in this isolated way doing more drill and fill dentistry versus truly treating their patients in a comprehensive way is one affecting how we're being perceived in the medical profession. We're being perceived as just dentists not really doctors. When we try to communicate with the endocrinologists or the orthopedic surgeon, or the OB-GYN, they're looking at us like, "this is just about teeth, right?" But it is not just about teeth. It's about over-all health. We have to get on board as a community and take a stand [crosstalk 00:10:33]
Howard: It isn't actually how the human mind compartmentalizes the body and they have, over time, realizing the mouth is connected to arm, or the foot, or the liver, the kidney or it's just-
Hazel: Yeah, but we can't have a hard time. As dentists, we have to understand. The entire population outside of us might not get it but it is our responsibility to educate them because that's how it's going to be different. It's going to make a difference like with fluoride.
Howard: Dentists can increase their hygiene recall because it's, no doubt, there's more women... over 65% of the people that come in for their routine cleanings are female versus male. It's always been a 2:1 ratio because women are just more into beauty and aesthetics and looking good. When I want to look good, I just turn out the lights to enhance my appearance. That's the only thing I do.
When you just tell wife, you go home and tell your husband you're never kissing him again until he gets in here because you can't fight brushing and flossing and coming in here every 3 months while your husband piglet hasn't been in in 10 years and one kiss could give you a billion and more virulent bacteria.
Hazel: Right. My tagline "What is your dental status? Why come every 3 months? Why come every 6 months if your husband is re-infecting you? What about what you're sharing with your children? How often are you sharing a glass or utensils with them?" Unless we educate them and come out with a bang and really let them see that this is not just about a collection of teeth, and get the to understand. I remember my first patient who passed away in my practice.
He came to the practice about 17 years ago. He had just had a battery of test run. He was in good health according to most pf the medical profession but I diagnosed him with advanced gum disease. He said, "All I want is a basic cleaning. A basic cleaning, that's it." Because I didn't want to, I just started my practice, I didn't want to lose a family of four. I allowed him to stay on the practice, we continued to educate him, we made the links even then. I was making links between your oral health and your over-all health. Finally, because [inaudible 00:13:17] wasn't in place after a year, I went to his wife to convince him to have the periodontal surgery because that's where he was at that point. He had a massive heart attack before we could ever get the surgery done.
A lot of us in the dental profession, I assume that we know once they do autopsies on a lot of these patients and they evaluate the clot, it's 70% bacteria and about 40% of that comes from the mouth. What we do is very serious and so as a profession, we need to own that. We need to accept that we are on the frontlines of a dental health care crisis.
Howard: What are you doing with Teach Me Dental? How does that actually work? How could people that are listening to your podcast today? There's thousands of dentists around the United States, what are you exactly doing and how can they help?
Hazel: Initially, what we decided to do was just start educating the public on TV, radio, publications, social media. We're on Twitter, we're on Facebook, we need more dentists joining the conversation. I have a lot of dentists following me.
Howard: On what? On Twitter?
Hazel: On Twitter.
Howard: What's your @ twitter?
Hazel: It's @TeachMeDental.
Howard: @TeachMeDental, okay.
Hazel: What we're doing is we're just getting the facts out to the public about what's really happening, what's going on in dentistry and how you should view dentistry, how you should look at dentistry and trying to take the focus off of just teeth and on the entire system. When I talk about being a comprehensive dentist and I explain the fact that every single patient is dealt with from the perspective of health, function and aesthetics, as dentists, we have a responsibility to, not only restore the health of our patients but to understand the function of this system. When you think about how important this system is to breathe, to speak, to eat, to smile, to taste. Most people could not survive without some of those functions. We have to let the public know that dentistry is a branch of medicine. We are doctors. It is important that you take care of your oral health because it matters.
Howard: When I tried together et on TV show like you, they told me I had a face for radio. Do you have to be good-looking [inaudible 00:16:16] looking like you to do this? How did you actually get on TV?
Hazel: I'm asked to come on and talk about dentistry. I work with individuals who believe in my cause. I'm the spokeswoman for the American Heart Association on oral health in Maryland. I believe in this. I was on CNN speaking as a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. People want to know about oral health. They want to know that it's not just about me going to the dentist asking him to fill my tooth or clean my teeth. The Teach Me Dental movement is more consumer-based. The comprehensive continuum is more dental-based where I want to go into the dental community and educate on how we can make a difference in medicine, how we can affect so much and improve and extend the lives of individuals.
Howard: You're out there in Maryland where the first dental school was, Baltimore, Maryland. I guess the story goes, you can correct me if I'm wrong [inaudible 00:17:31] that basically dentistry and medicine got separated because the dentists wanted a stand-up chair and the physicians wanted a lay down bed. It was that architectural design that separated the two. A lot of people think that the Soviet Union systems where the undergrad in the first several years of med school are all the same and then you can go off in dermatology or gynecology or stomatology, which is dentistry, is a better system because they're all in the same system. Do you think dentistry would be closer to the oral health continuum if dentistry was a branch of medicine and not its own standing branch?
Hazel: Dentistry is a branch of medicine. But the fact that it's separate from conventional medicine or [elopathic 00:18:22] medicine, yes, it makes it look less important. Because way back then they didn't choose to put us into the curriculum, but we know that the first two years of dental school is like going to medical school.
Howard: University of Missouri, it was the same teachers.
Hazel: Exactly. But a lot of the people that we serve don't know that. The people we serve think that we start dental school and we start drilling on teeth instead of understanding the anatomy. They don't realize that we worked on a cadaver just like the individuals in medical school. There is this perception of dentistry that most people , it's wrong.
Howard: I remember we're talking about the most fundamental part of our whole profession. IF every time a human was born, or was thrown over a wall and they had no contact with the rest of us, there would be no [inaudible 00:19:26]. Humans aren't born [inaudible 00:19:27], for gum disease, HPV for all cancer. There's just a thousand diseases that they would never have if we just said, "OK, from this day forward, all newborn babies will be thrown on Antarctica. I have my first granddaughter. She used to have four boys. The oldest one made me a granddaughter. I knew she wasn't born [inaudible 00:19:53]. I knew she'd never get a cavity till someone kissed her. I knew she could never get gum disease till someone kissed her. I knew she couldn't get HPV until someone kiss her. It's just amazing, she's my granddaughter, how many people just always kiss her and on the mouth and aren't even family, aren't even cousins, and nephews. The nieces come over and the first they start doing is smooching around. How are we ever going to stop a society from kissing babies on the mouth?
Hazel: Educate them. Here is what my parents did and what my mom did. My mom had advanced gum disease. Of course, we didn't know it. I didn't know it until I graduated from residency, my residency program. I don't know that if your wife did this or you did this with your kids, but my mother would chew up food and put it in our mouth. Direct she passed it on to us. She wasn't trying to in any way, pass on any harmful bacteria because she didn't know and she probably still don't get it because that's just something that you did.
Right, we are introducing this bacteria to our children. Kids are doing it with the band instruments. They're doing it just sharing a lip balm and all this other stuff. The worse part about it is that they still don't know that if you're not truly addressing the issues of gum disease which is found in 80% of the adult population, and is increasingly found in children, that if you're not addressing it, that it could cause death in the future or could cause a very compromised life. My brother, Tony, lived in Texas. He died from an infection, a sepsis infection that is believed to have come from his mouth.
Howard: Your brother?
Hazel: My brother.
Howard: I'm so sorry. His name was Tony Glasper?
Howard: How long ago was that?
Hazel: April 27th, 2014.
Howard: Oh my god, you're still in a lot of pain then.
Hazel: Enormous pain. I was committed to this cause even before that happened. But can you imagine how committed I am to this cause now? Because I have so many stories in my family, and I know it just can't be my family, it has to be other families. It can't be just my patients who are sick and dying. There are other patients in other practices that are sick from these chronic oral conditions. As a community, as a dental community, we have to take responsibility and completely acknowledge that we are not always diagnosing and treating the conditions our patients are coming in with.
Howard: That's why I reached out to you, you didn't reach out to me. The reason I reached out to you is because dentistry, I got a bad taste of it when I first got out because you go to these institutes and they talk about this high-end expensive dentistry and how you wanted to build a practice with the right patients, and these are A patients and these are B patients and, you don't want the C patients and here's the D patients. When they would describe the C, D, E and F patients, that was the entire Forran family pedigree from Kansas. We're born in a barn. When you do my family tree, you'll find goats, pigs, cattle-
Hazel: Country folks.
Howard: Yeah. The public health dentists don't get they attention that the cosmetic dentists get, that the implant dentists get. Even with implants, everybody that lectures on implants, once you show how to do full mouth implants for $50,000. They never want to go show a course on mini-plants, how you can take an existing denture and make it 10 times better with just too little mini-implants. No one wants to talk about the poor. I think that as a dentist, were all public health dentists. I don't care if you're in Beverly Hills or Kansas, we're all public health dentists. Your efforts of water fluoridation, getting into schools and education, I think you're amazing how much media got access to you but I have a pretty good hunch that it's not just your passion, it's your beauty. If you got passion and beauty, I'm sure they're all calling you. No one's ever called me.
Hazel: I'm almost 6 feet. I look like Grace Jones if you see me up close. Yeah, I think that helps.
Howard: You're a 6-foot runway model, huh?
Hazel: Almost. But you know, I've studied with a lot of guys that you're talking about. I've studied with the Dawsons, the Hornbrooks, the Dorfmans, the Spears, I've studied with them, the Nash, I've studied with all of them. I believe that they're doing some incredible dentistry. I think that that we all should have a commitment to the patients who cannot afford that level of care.
Howard: I'll hold your feet to the water. Tell me this, the Obama care debate was monstrous. Where was the dental community there. I just want to tell Obama and say, "You know, dentistry is 5% of the dental budget." For Obama care, can we just have one little dental deal that we're not going to put community water fluoridation up for vote in 19,022 different cities. On any given day 30% don't have it. We don't put up vaccinations for smallpox and measles and mumps and rubella to 19,022 city councils every year. For them to sit around and vote on whether your kid should be immunized and go to school, this is the only public health, we don't put up to city council about whether milk should be fortified of vitamin D or salt should be iodized to get rid of... why is our profession the only one that's not a national policy?
I almost cried when my profession during that whole Obama care, I just couldn't say, "Hey, the dentists. We're over here, we're 5%. We just want one thing, water fluoridation a national policy." It was crickets. You didn't hear one word from the dentists.
Hazel: Right. But we have to respect what we bring to the table. We cannot expect anyone else to respect what we do if we do not understand our role in medicine, right or wrong. If we do not understand that we help save lives, that we transform people's lives, that we make a difference in medicine, that we could help the cardiologists, we could help them get their patients healthier, they need to know that. They need to work with us. When that happens, then, Obamacare will start looking. Obama and his insurance will... the system will be different.
Dentistry will be considered important. At this point, Howard, is it important? Is it important to most people that you know other than the fact that if you're in pain you can go to the dentist, but are they looking at it in this that it could save your your life? Are they looking at it? No.
Are dentists looking at it in that way?
Howard: No. Did you think they are?
Hazel: No, they're not.
Howard: In my backyard, the bodies are starting to stack up in my backyard. That is, after the AIDS deal, everyone believes that, you transmit disease below the belt but now this whole world believes that if you put on a condom downstairs, you're all good to go. I'm telling all my boys and each one of them has two or three friends that, if you have to put a condom on downstairs, why would you stick your tongue in her mouth upstairs and now they're trading HPV and people are dying.
Hazel: People are dying. It used to be an African-American male cancer. It isn't that anymore.
Howard: HPV cancer was an African-American-
Hazel: White men and white women, it's affecting everyone and it is the because of the HPV virus. The HPV virus is exploding and causing oral pharyngeal cancer among men in record numbers.
Howard: None of those college boys know the issue that... they still believe that if you have a condom on, you're good. They don't even cross their mind that, you're going to make out with this girl and you're going to trade saliva and that-
Hazel: And do all other kind of things.
Howard: Why is that not on the TV? Why is that not on CNN and Fox news?
Hazel: But it is. I'm talking about it.
Howard: We have two famous people come forward. We had the movie star in California that had the oral cancer. What was his name?
Hazel: Michael Douglas.
Howard: Michael Douglas, then-
Hazel: Roger Ebert. Roger Ebert died from... he had two different types of cancer but oral cancer was what finally took him.
Howard: Who's Roger? Roger Ebert, was that the-
Hazel: The critic.
Howard: The critics, he was the skinny one, right?
Hazel: No, the heavy set one.
Howard: Okay, he was the big, heavy set one?
Howard: He died of oral cancer?
Howard: I did not know that.
Hazel: I think he had thyroid cancer. He ended up losing his jaw. What I would love to do, Howard, is have an event around oral cancer through the Teach Me Dental campaign and have his wife, Chaz, come and speak and bring attention to oral cancer in a way that it hasn't been.
Howard: What was his oral cancer from? Was it from HPV or smoking or what? You know what it's from?
Howard: They don't know?
Howard: Then the Buffalo Bills guy, the famous guy.
Hazel: Tony Gwynn.
Hazel: The baseball guy as well.
Howard: Who's the baseball guy?
Hazel: Tony Gwynn.
Howard: Tony Gwynn? What basebell team was that?
Hazel: San Pedros something.
Howard: Who was the Buffalo Bills? Was it Jim Kelly or some Buffalo Bills?
Hazel: I'm not certain about it.
Howard: I think he might have that. I'm not sure. I used to hear rumors. Yeah, I can't believe that one person dies every hour of oral cancer. That's 50,000 a year, right?
Hazel: Do you know how prevalent it is? It's more prevalent than skin, cervical, thyroid, I believe last I checked cancer of the testes, Hodgekins, lymphoma, certain blood cancer. By the time that it's diagnosed, it's in the late stages. According to what's been stated, only 25% of dentists are truly checking for oral cancer. It was some debate that I read, who should be checking for oral cancer? Now, if dentists are not checking for it, who should be checking?
Howard: I know. What's your next move with the comprehensive dental curriculum? What are you going to do there? Is that something you're going to do in Maryland? Is that something that you're going to do on the road or you're going to have a place for people to come to you to learn this? What's your thinking?
Hazel: I was at the American College of Dentists the other day with some leaders from the National Dental Association trying to meet different individuals such as Patricia Blanton, because I'm trying to get on the speaking circuit. That's one thing that I'm doing through the Comprehensive Dental Continuum.
Howard: You know the fast track to the speaking circuit? You know what the fast track to get on that is? There's about 275 dental societies in the United States that bring on speakers. They're all non-profit. An executive director always gets a committee of 3 volunteer dentists who raise their hand and they're in charge of picking the next speakers and she'll say, "OK get one on endo, get one on perio, and then the number one complaint of every meeting is there's nothing for the staff, which you would fit under, the whole staff. Then they go to Dental town where we have 350 1-hour courses divide it up by endo, perio, pedo, pros, [inaudible 00:33:37]. If I'm in charge with eh endo speaker, I might go watch 6 1-hour courses by 6 different endodontists and then say, "I really like the third one".
I know people who put up a single 1-hour class on dental [inaudible 00;33:51] that started speaking 60 times a year. I would put a course up on dental town and look at that as like being on whatever those dance-
Hazel: The Oprah Winfrey show.
Howard: Yeah, or some celebrity with the stars show. They see you, you audition, that's what I'm trying to get. It's like an audition. Then, a lot of the dentists watch that will sit there and say, "Wow! I want Hazel to come speak at our meeting". Then, I would love to do something with The Dental Town magazine.
Hazel: Yes. I have an article that I want to publish through your magazine. I would love to send it to you for you to read. On Comprehensive Dentistry, mu philosophy-
Howard: I just want to put your picture on the cover to double the readership. That will make people pick it up and open it before they throw it in the round file. Anytime you want to do that, you just send it. I'll put your picture on the cover. Whenever it's a short, fat, bald... most articles are submitted by short, fat, bald dentists, you just throw all those away. But yeah, I would love to have an article on it. What would it be one? Would it be on the Teach Me Dental or would it be on the Comprehensive Dental Curriculum, or a little of both?
Hazel: Comprehensive Dental Curriculum. My goal is to get into the dental community and start really teaching dentists how to practice more comprehensively, sell more dentistry, save more lives. That might sound like, "Wooh! What does that mean?" But it simply means, doing a complete examination, a complete diagnosis, a complete treatment plan, executing it at a level for which you are trained and skilled and really improving the health of individuals out there, make a difference. We can make a difference.
Howard: I've always thought that the difference between you and the majority of dentists is they just sit back and the patient is the dog and the dentist is wagging their tail, and they come in and they point, they say, "This tooth broke, can you fix it?" A [inaudible 00:36:01] dentist open the mouth, take an x-ray, "Yeah, that tooth needs a crown. I can fix that." That's 80%. Then these other, about 15%, sit there and go to quadrant dentistry where they say, "If I'm going to numb this whole quadrant, this whole jaw area it not just needs a crown but that tooth behind it needs a filling, the tooth [inaudible 00:36:21], why don't we do fix up the whole quadrant?"
Then there's only this top 5% max, and it's really more like 3% that just say, "Slow down, slow down, slow down. You came in for this tooth but we're going to take a full set of x-rays, we're going to measure your gums."
Hazel: Exactly, the process is you do not touch a patient until you have a complete series of images, a complete x-ray series, a comprehensive periodontal evaluation, you totally educate your patients. You cannot do a treatment plan without fully understanding the health of your patient, talking to their doctors. I'm in the middle, because I do full mouth rehabilitations. I do major dentistry. I do exquisite dentistry. I do lovely work and very proud of the type of work that I do.
My patients are extremely happy be they feel empowered, they're educated, they feel more confident, they're healthier. It's a way to go through that and limited care is not the way. You don't let a patient dictate. If you're the doctor in that room, then you're the doctor in that room. The patient is looking to you to educate them, inform them, show them. Dentists are gadget people. We have so many gadgets, but we need to use it to educate our patients. I'm old-school. I'm old-school in that I do it like I was taught in dental school.
Howard: Speaking of your school, rumor has it that you went to Howard University simply because it was named Howard, is that true? I heard that on the Howard Speaks podcast that that was your only criteria to dental school that it starts with Howard. Take off your dentist hat and put on your Dr. Phil hat and [inaudible 00:38:35] to the head, most of these podcasts listeners are kids. It's a hot technology on their iPhone and dental schools, how can you get in their head because this is what they're going to say. I know what they're going to say. "Hazel, you don't get it, because when they call up ad they say, I just want an appointment to get my teeth clean. I just want my teeth clean. I don't want the new [inaudible 00:38:54] exam, I don't want that deep cleaning, I just want to come in and get my teeth clean." Then you say, "Okay."
Hazel: I deal with that everyday.
Howard: Give them some speaking skills. You've heard this for 25 years. Maybe their practice is 1 year old, give them some dialogue when she say, "Dr. Glasper, I just want my teeth clean. I don't want all the x-rays. I don't want a deep cleaning. I just want come in and get my teeth clean."
Hazel: I can't do it. That's not how I practice. I cannot properly diagnose without having the proper x-rays. Would you go to the orthopedic surgeon, you have a problem with your ankle, he needs an x-ray, that's the only way that he can fix it, and tell him "but I'm not doing that"? How often do you think that happens? I cannot properly diagnose and treat you without having these diagnostic aids. It really is that simple.
Howard: You're just putting your foot down and saying, "No, I'm not going to cater. I'm not going to be a subpar dentist because you want me to."
Hazel: I never have been, not one day. The thing about me, the business of dentistry I know it in and out. I know insurances in and out. I have chosen in my career to practice at a certain level and I absolutely never compromise. I do not compromise. I have the same patients as everybody else but my patients have to accept that in that room, I am the doctor. Unless you have some training that I'm missing here, then this is my recommendation. There are various options but the options is never to treat you and have periodontal disease and I'm doing veneers on you, or treat you and you have oral infection. Or, you have a suspicious lesion and you're in my practice. If it's still there after two weeks and we continue to monitor and it is not changing and I don't know what it is, guess what, we need to get another doctor involved.
I truly follow the guidelines of comprehensive care on every single patient I meet. Of course, there are emergency patients, but there is an art. I worked at this practice with this Jewish guy on in Silver Spring and on new Hampshire Avenue. I learned the art of doing certain things. He learned a lot from me just my personality. My personality and his personality, we were a dynamic team. He understood the business of dentistry. He understood insurances. He taught me from a babe how to go out there, talk to patients, and really educate them. I taught him how to do quite a few things in dentistry as well. I have always practiced like this from the moment that I came out of dental school.
You know what I would love to do, Howard? I would love to go into the dental schools and start a workshop. I actually talked to Dr. Rows before he left Howard University, have me come in and teach the kids how to truly treatment plan, the art of case presentation, the art of treatment planning, how to really go over these medical histories, how to practice comprehensively.
Howard: But you know with 2 million dentists around the world, that's why I wish you would digitize it and go online because when you put that course up in Dental Town, they'll be watching it from Latin America, from Kansas to Kathmandu. While you're sleeping, they'll be watching it in Asia, India, Africa, Latin America. There's only so many hours of the day and that's why I really try to get a lot of you guys to digitize it.
Howard: We put up 350 classes on dental town. I got the idea because I'm in Phoenix and I saw the University of Phoenix online on 2004. That's where I stole the idea. Since then, we put up 350 courses. They've been viewed over half a million times. Think how many times you have to go to dental school to get a half that type of reach. When I go into so many of these dental schools in Asia, Africa, Latin America, pretty much all the curriculum that's within 10 years is in online courses. Their textbooks are often 25 years old and it's not uncommon to find the textbooks in languages that none of the students can read. Ain't that amazing? Like there'll be French books or Mandarin Chinese books and everyone in the school speaks Nepalese. You're just like, "Okay, interesting."
I want to go back. I hate to ask you this question because, I hope you don't think it's unfair but, you are a woman and I'm a man and in your lifetime, it's gone from rpetty much an all-male profession to half the dental school graduates are female. Some of the young females in the school are asking me questions that I don't feel qualified to answer and they say, "Well, it's going to be different for me because I'm a girl". You've been woman, female dentist since 1991, was it harder for you being a woman? Are there issues of being a woman dentist that are tougher than if you would have been a man?
Hazel: I guess my mindset. I'm a different type of gal.
Howard: Because you're 6 feet tall? Is it because you could beat up most of the men or what?
Hazel: I'm not easily intimidated. I agree that I'm a woman. I'm an African-American woman. For some individuals, I don't know how they look at that but I look at it as a strength. I look at what I do as a strength because women can be very nurturing, they are communication skills, tend to be pretty effective, we tend to show a great deal of compassion and empathy.
Howard: Everything a man is not. Men don't talk. Basically, if you throughout them a sandwich, they'll shut up. They don't talk. They don't convey empathy. They don't convey sympathy. I think a woman dentist would have a massive advantage and [inaudible 00:46:11]. Anybody has anxiety, pain, all my doctors are women.
Hazel: Most of the women are making a lot of the health care decisions in their families. A woman speaking to other women, the patients who are in our practice, we know like you said, most of them are women because women tend to take care of their health more than men. Being a woman is definitely-
Howard: I want you to answer this question for me. I'm a woman, I got out of school. I worked for a doctor man for 3 years, and this is how he manage his staff and then he retired, I bought the practice, I say the exact same thing and they don't jump like, when he'd say it they'd all jump and scatter and run. When I just say it, they just argue with me. They say that they don't react to them as they did the selling doctor that's a man. Do you think that's because that buying doctor is actually a female or do you think she's just carrying herself differently?
Hazel: I think we have issue with self-image. Not only just women dentists but, I'm not saying all dentists but if we don't believe in what we're promoting, if we don't believe that it's necessary, then people are not going to accept your treatment. I think it's the individual... I think if I believe it, then my patients feel what I believe. But if I'm [inaudible 00:48:00] and I'm not quite sure and "Yeah, we can do that but I don't really think you should do that" and, "yeah, but if it doesn't hurt" and, you want to think about it. Once you call your husband, you want to get him... then they think so it must not be that important.
Dentistry already has, we're a [inaudible 00:48:25], it's an afterthought, it's been minimized to just teeth. If we're carrying that into our presentations, our case presentations, then the patients feel it. I do not think women are, in any way, lesser than and even if a patient is viewing me in this way, patient walks into my practice, they probably are looking for a white man in this practice just because of where it's located and they look at me. Half of my hair is shaved. I was blonde at the top. I don't expect them to turn around and leave. I don't expect them not to listen to me. I expect them to follow through with my treatment. If you feel like you can find a better treatment elsewhere, guess what, go. That's my thought.
Howard: It's all confidence. I was listening to a dentist present a treatment plan this week. I didn't think he know what to do. Basically he said there was four different things you could do and you could just tell the patients and they're like, "I'm sorry. Aren't you the doctor? Shouldn't you be like leading towards? What am I supposed to do, flip a coin? Then, people like you... the other thing that you said that I'm afraid might have flown over a lot of the kids' heads is that, most of the questions on associates, "Are those guys going to pay 30%, but I would have to pay half the lab bill and this guy is paying 35% but I'll pay... which job should I get?" I'm like, "Really?"
You chose a mentor. You didn't talk about what he paid or if you paid half the lab bill or if he had a 401k or paid for CE. You like your dentist because he was mentoring you. He was taking a baby and mentoring you.
Hazel: Let me say this, even in the worst associate situations, I try to see what I could learn from the situation. I brought value to him. He was in business for many years. He was a successful gentleman. He had no real interpersonal skills.
Howard: So he was a man.
Hazel: He was horrible with the staff.
Howard: He's a man.
Hazel: But, he had elements that I wanted to learn from. Once I learn from him, I left.
Howard: True or false, whenever you hear all the women in the staff say they absolutely love working for their male dentist, that guy is gay? I swear the gay dentists, I know in Phoenix they bring cupcakes to their staff, they will remember every birthday and holiday. I tell dentists, I said the gayer you can be, the more money you're going to make. Just try to be more gay. That's my advice.
There's a 25 year old girl listening to you right now. She's a senior in dental school. I don't want to give away your age but when she grows up she wants to be like you. What are the stairsteps? Here's the thing she's thinking. Should I go do 2 years in the public health service or the Navy or corporate dentistry like Heartland? Should I pay out my student loans before I buy a practice? If I do buy a practice, should I also buy... I got $350,000 student loans, the practice is another $400,000 to $500,000. They want to buy the practice say, "The xerox machine's a $150,000 a 3D laser is another $100. Bio laser is $75,000. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!"
Then I say, slow down spanky, I'm 53, you're 23, we all didn't get there overnight. But give her a stairstep deal of where she can... which step would you take in which order to get from here to the second floor where you're standing on?
Hazel: Seek Comprehensive Dentistry. Comprehensive Dentistry is going to be the thing that is going to make you continue to have passion for what you do. It's going to bring profitability to whatever situation you're in, whether your an associate or whether you're trying to own a practice. There is a process when you practice Comprehensive Care that is almost like slam dunk. If you do that, instead of... do not, please do not get in the habit of the new graduates, the recent graduates, the one who just opened up their own practice, do not get in the habit of doing drill and fill dentistry, limited care. Get in the habit of spending time with your patients, build relationships with them, learn all of their dental needs, educate them, make a difference in dentistry. Instead of patching up teeth, make a difference in dentistry. When you do that, it will change your life. Call me.
Howard: Can they call you?
Hazel: Yes, absolutely.
Howard: How could they contact you? What contact information are you going to give them?
Hazel: They can connect with me on LinkedIn. They can email@example.com. I'm pretty busy nowadays but I am trying my best to return all emails and phone calls. I'm trying to get on the Dr. Ross Show and some other places, trying to make the greatest impact that I can and as well, try to mentor young dentists coming out or existing dentists on how to change some things they're not happy with with their practice. I'm trying to do a lot.
Howard: What are all your websites? What is revivesmile.com? REVIVESMILE.com. What's revivesmile.com?
Hazel: That is my office.
Howard: That's your dental office website.
Howard: Then what is your website for Comprehensive Dental Curriculum or Teach Me Dental? Are they all at revivesmile.com?
Hazel: The Comprehensive Dental Continuum website will be launched in about 3 weeks. They can just write the name down and about 3 weeks they'll be able to connect with that one and the Teach Me Dental as well. I'm doing, right now, Howard, everything that I'm doing, I'm doing it with my own little team. I need now to get out there and connect with the Colgates, the [inaudible 00:55:42], the individuals who are doing great things by putting toothpaste and mouthwash on TV but I need to get with them to help me get this message out here and truly make a difference. The Pattersons, the Henry Shines and all those individuals who want to really change how dentistry is being viewed and promote dentists as being part of the medical field.
Howard: I applaud you for that. I think you're one of the most special people in all of dentistry. I adore you. I love you, I do, I do. I can't think of a bigger rock star in dentistry. You couldn't be a rock star unless you weren't a supermodel also. Dentistry is not going to put up a short, fat, bald guy and give them a message to put out and say it. You're the perfect face, image-
Hazel: Dentistry is not doing this. I'm doing this. I think dentistry should get behind me, but I'm doing this. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Hazel Denise Glasper, along with people who believe in my cause, they're working with me, not dentistry.
Howard: I'm working with you and I'll be glad to put you on Dental Town. I'm doing a podcast for this. Thousands of dentists are going to hear that. I'd love it if you ever do put a course on Dental Town, anything I can do to help your reach. Now that you talked to me, you went to dental just because of the name Howard after talking tot he original Howard, are you going to shave the top of your head like me just to match?
Hazel: Yeah, I could change the middle and leave a little right here.
Howard: I just think you're adorable. I love your passion. I love your mission. I love everything about you. I just want to tell you I can't wait to meet you in person. Just always consider Dental Town here to serve you.
Hazel: I will.
Howard: Whatever you need from me, I'm here to serve you. A big shoutout to Gold Dust Dental Laboratories, Jen Robinson, who's your big fan too. Did you know that?
Hazel: Yes, yes.
Howard: And her adorable husband, Pete Geniki, who I think is one of the smartest guys in all of dentistry. Thank you seriously for all that you do for dentistry. Thank you for all that you for patients. Thank you for being a role model for all dentists. Thank you for spending an hour with me today.
Hazel: Thank you. I'm going to send over that article.
Howard: OK. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazel: Thank you. Thanks for everything.
Howard: We're not putting your picture on the front of Dental Town till you shave your head just like me.
Howard: All right, bye-bye.
Hazel: Take care, buh-bye