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VIDEO - DUwHF #916 - Brett Wilson
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AUDIO - DUwHF #916 - Brett Wilson
Passionate about integrating technology, Brett Wilson, President of Digital Doc is focused on growing the business of dental practices. Over the past 16 years Brett has sold dental equipment, managed in the dealer network, had a couple of start-ups and continues to wear the entrepreneurial hat as he runs the family business, Digital Doc who manufactures their line of intraoral cameras in Northern California. When Brett isn’t on the road he keeps himself busy in Tulsa, OK, where he lives with his wife, Brooke, a dental hygienist and three small children.
Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Brett Wilson of Digi-doc. The website is D-I-G-I—is it a hyphen or a slash for the “doc?”
Howard: Hyphen. Digi-doc. He is passionate about integrating technology. Brett Wilson, President of Digital Doc, is focused on growing the business of dental practices. Over the past sixteen years, Brett has sold dental equipment, managed in the dealer network, had a couple of startups, and continues to wear the entrepreneurial hat as he runs the family business, Digital Doc, who manufactures their line of intraoral cameras in Northern California. When Brett isn't on the road, he keeps himself busy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife, Brooke, a dental hygienist, and three small children.
That is so damn cool. You know what? It's so funny. My dental office celebrated its thirtieth anniversary last Thursday, September 21…
Howard: …and when I got out of school they just came out with the intraoral camera, and it was called Fujikam and it was sold by Patterson. It was $38,000 and the size of a refrigerator, and so many of my friends waited till the price got under like twelve grand before they bought, but everybody who paid 38, not one single one of us regretted it because as they waited a year or two or three for the price to come down our treatment plan acceptance – gone through the roof because it really is powerful when a patient sees a big black hole in their tooth as opposed to you just telling them it's back there.
Brett: That's it. We just had a group out to our corporate office this last week and we discussed the same thing. It's funny, when doctors put a camera on every chair, it's those doctors that I would get a phone call from, and one camera went down that said they put eleven cameras on eleven chairs I would get a phone call saying, “I have one camera that's down,” and my response was, “Doc, you have ten other cameras.” But they're using them so much that they couldn’t just do without even one out of their eleven cameras.
Howard: Yeah, and that’s where Southwest Airlines crushed it and where dentists still don't get it in that Southwest Airlines, they only fly a Boeing 737. And American Airlines, I call in sick so they call in Brett, and Brett’s like, “Well, I can fly a 727 but not a 737, or “I'm certified on a McDonnell Douglas or an Airbus,” and it just total confusion. And so many of these opportunities to convince the patient they need treatment is because the hygienists like, “Well, I don't want to get up and go get the camera. It’s in Room Three.” And it's like, “Dude, the dentist is 35% of the cost. The staff is twenty-five. The lab is ten. The supplies are six. The facility's five. I mean, why are you waiting on a camera?” Every single room should be the same. Every one of my rooms has an intraoral camera, has a high speed. If I go in your room and your wife Brooke just did my cleaning and then the doc comes in and says, “Oh, you've got a cavity,” and I'll say, “It’ll only take five minutes to do it right now. You just want to knock it out right now?” the whole room’s ready to go. But in most dental offices, you have to say, “Well I'd have to get you up and go set up another room and transfer you from one room to another room.” Whereas in my office, I just say, “Yeah, Brooke, I'll just stay here and do the filling and you go start your next one in Room Three or Room Eight.” So from an operations and logistics point of view, you just got to go Southwest Airlines.
So you talk a lot about how consumers buy – logic versus emotion. What do you mean by that?
Brett: Sure. I believe that many dental practices today still view their patients as patients, and they're not; they’re consumers. So how do consumers buy? The dental industry is very logical. In our approach, we take treatment plans and we explain the treatment plan very logically to patients, and that's great and they accept a lot of those treatment plans. The challenge that we find and we see just with consumers in general is that consumers don't buy based on logic. We all buy, no matter what it is, we all buy based on emotion. So we can show a photo, we're driving the emotion behind the decision for their overall health, but it takes that photo, and then we get into the conversation of, “Okay, what does that photo look like? I don't believe many people are looking for the cheapest cell phone out on the market. Everyone’s standing in line waiting for the new Apple phone to come out and they're willing to pay the amount, not just because it has a better image, but that's a big reason why many are making that upgrade, is because of that new camera, that spectacular image that it gives.”
Howard: It's really come a long way. One of the numbers that makes me the most mad is when some politician will talk about wages from like 1970 to ‘80 to ‘90 and they'll say, “It's barely gone up, this percent.” I'm like, “Are you out of your mind?” When I was little, the phone was stuck on the wall. No one ever thought they could take the phone and put it in their pocket and take camera pictures with it. When you wanted to take a picture, you had to go buy a roll of twelve or twenty-four and you didn't get that instant feedback, so then when you're done you had to go develop it. By the time you got it back two weeks later, half the pictures didn't even turn out. Music, me and my five sisters would chip in and all go in on an album like once every three months. Now these kids have a thousand songs on their iPhone. When I look at cameras, I mean compared to fifty-five years ago, oh my God, they've come a long way. So, do you think the intraoral camera, the quality of the image matters?
Brett: 100%. Just ask any patient, ask any consumer if they can tell the difference between a standard-definition and a high-definition image on the screen that they watch, the sports that they're passionate about. Immediately we can tell the difference between something that is just slightly fuzzy and one that's crystal clear, and we're not accepting anything less. We all have HD. Same with cell phones. I mean, who’s posting a blurry Facebook photo? No one’s posting anything on Facebook that's anything other than crystal clear. Suddenly the consumer is far more educated today, they know more about photography than they ever have, and they expect…
Howard: When I was at Creighton University in 1980, my roommate Gary Esoldi, who’s a dentist in Hawthorne, he had this little eight-inch-by-eight-inch black and white TV. And now, last night when I was watching Monday Night Football, the Cardinals versus the Cowboys, someone had put it on thirty-six and instead of one thousand and thirty-six and I'm looking at that picture like, “What is wrong with the TV?” And then I realized it wasn’t on the high-definition channels. And I can't even watch a Cardinals game on a big-screen TV even though in college it was just a little eight-inch-by-eight-inch black and white and, yeah, the picture is everything. But I put intraoral cameras in the same with digital x-rays because when I would take the view box to and it had all this light constricting your retina, and I put this little one-inch-by-one-inch film and trying to show you a dot, you couldn't see anything. Now you have a digital x-ray and then you print out the photo, and then “doctor” comes from the Latin word “docere” meaning to teach, then you go right into coaching sports mode where you throw it on a flip board with a red pen and you circle the cavity, and you tell them right there right now it's a $250 filling, write down “250.” And then you put a line from where the cavity is to the nerve is and say, “Once it gets in there, now you're looking at a $2000 root canal bill, open crown. So if you tell me you don't have insurance and you can't do the $250 filling, I guarantee you as soon as that gets into the nerve you'll be in so much pain you'll find 250. But you give me 250 now, I’ll fix it, you keep the tooth. And if you walk out that door, I mean, I'm looking at your chart right now, you haven't been in here in three years, you won't make it three years and you'll come in, you'll give me 250, and I'll pull the tooth.”
And when you have the digital x-ray and the photo, I mean, it's so powerful. And then with guys, they don't want to make a decision until they show their wife, so it's very different to go home and show your wife a picture of a black hole and a picture of the x ray with the doctors written on it. It's just case acceptance is everything. When you look at the data for the United States for the general dentists, a hundred and fifty thousand dentists that work thirty-two hours a week or more, for every hundred million cavities they diagnose they only drill, fill and bill 38%. And then in every one of those medical/dental billings, four or five do one out of three and one guy is doing two out of three and he makes twice as much money. And I think he's twice as good a dentist because if you had your three girls, they all moved out and moved away and they got older, you'd rather them all be going to a dentist that could talk them into treating two of their three cavities instead of one of their three cavities. Because you know your daughters are going to find the money for the iPhone, so you'd want me to beef up my case acceptance to convince your own children to get their cavities fixed.
Brett: That's right, and get it done in one visit, or maybe come twice.
Howard: Yeah. So what do you think of case acceptance in general in dentistry?
Brett: Well, that statistic, 38%, is just mindboggling, and I don’t argue it a bit. We take a very consultative approach, run some numbers before we go into an office, and it's about growing their business. That's the focus, is, how do we get that increase in case acceptance, the increase in revenue in the practice? And we're seeing double digits once they follow a program, so 10, 20, 30%. Just take a look at their own schedule treatment plans. We pull a few of those reports, talk about the numbers specifically to their practice, implement a program. It's about the number of images. It’s the volume of photos that make the difference. So when we're having a couple of cameras, we're trying to share those cameras between the entire office, our number of images stay very low. When we can capture a series of photos on every patient, that volume then increases, which to patients, we're no longer telling them what needs to be done. We're just simply showing them. So that co-diagnosis piece of the treatment plan, we're seeing a high case of acceptance because they're not being told but they can see it crystal clear in front of them. And the impact is amazing in practices, especially since we can track the images with NightHawk software and we can now tell—
We just had a dentist at an event, he said, “Hey, I have six cameras on six chairs and things are amazing. We love your product.” And I said, “Thank you. Thank you for the business and for the opportunity to work with you. Do you mind if I just download some software into your practice and talk about how many images you’re taking in the practice?” And so we did, and the information was unbelievable just with the number of photos truly taken. And that's where we can take it a step further and it's not just a transaction. So how do we really get the number of images to increase the practice? And so by tracking the photos, now we've really been able to pinpoint, “Okay, what's going on and where, how do we fix it?”
Howard: I know my homies. I mean, I've been a dentist thirty years. I've lectured a thousand times. The waiting room was named because they had to wait to be seen. They're called patients because they're like, “Be patient while you're waiting for the damn doctor,” and these patients are customers and they can't understand sales. They think “sells” is a four-letter word and what they don't realize is that, who cares if they go on and get their diplomat in the academy, who cares, and has all this initials behind their last name? If you can't convince a person to get their cavity filled, you're not a good doctor. I mean, you have to learn sales, and they fight that. I mean, it's like collecting money at church. It's like something they want to do but they don't want to talk about it, and they make fun of any televangelists like Joel Osteen who collects the most. How do you get dentists to embrace sales?
Brett: Great question. Well, an easy way to do it is to just let the images speak for themselves. You don't have to craft and have fancy words. Just educate a consumer to the point where they're ready to buy. It's as simple as that. And through this, specifically, we're just educating patients. We're just educating a consumer based on crystal-clear photos and all you really have to do is say, “What do you think?”
Howard: Okay, I want you to brag on yourself. You're not bragging on yourself. My homies are driving to work so they can't take notes, so follow me, @HowardFarran. So I just retweeted you @DigitalDocLLC to my twenty-three thousand homies. Thank you so much for following me on Twitter.
You're the number one seller in intraoral cameras. Is that correct?
Brett: Yes sir.
Howard: I mean, why don't you put that in your bio? Are you just a humble boy from Tulsa?
Brett: We try and keep it humble in the family business. We've been at this eighteen years. We're a family-owned business out of Northern California. We believe in the USA. All our products are manufactured here in the U.S. and we have a two-and-a-half day turn time on repairs. This isn't a sales pitch. What's important to that is that you are taken care of after the warranty period. So it's not just a transaction to us. There's training, there's a system, there's protocol, but then there's support and service after the fact. There's no phone tree that you're going to get when you call Digital Doc. And that's all helped us build the culture in our company (inaudible 13:38) of that excellence. We've put our focus on becoming the industry leader. We stayed true to a line of products intraoral cameras, which now we've got the handheld x-ray with caries detection on our cameras. We’ve done some innovative things, continue to do so, but for our career we’ve stayed focused on intraoral cameras and becoming the best, and we earned that spot and it's been one trade show and one customer at a time.
Howard: So how many cameras do you think you've sold? What percent of the dentists do you think have a Digi-doc?
Brett: Ooh, have a Digi-doc. I'd say comfortably with our IRIS 2.0 alone we've sold over thirty-five thousand cameras, just with our 2.0 product. What we find in the business and I did test…
Howard: Holy moly, that's a lot of cameras.
Brett: It's a lot of cameras, Dr. Farran, but the industry hasn't been touched, literally has not been touched even— my father’s been in business twenty-eight years now. Even twenty-eight years later with intraoral cameras, the opportunity today is as big as it has ever been, and the reason I say that is I've done focus groups throughout the country just this year and it's staggering to see the data coming in of eight operatories, one camera; six operatories, zero cameras; seven ops, two cameras. So I'd say 85% of dental practices have a camera, but a very small percentage have a camera per provider which we believe is that minimum number you should have, is per provider.
Howard: I used to say that Italians all talk with their hands, and so I went to Greece – oh my God, Greece, I mean, their hands are just waving when they're talking. And I tell my staff, “When you're talking to the patient, that camera is in your hand. I want them to see the…” We got the monitor coming in off the ceiling. We've got a monitor on the chair when you sit up. I mean, birds remember sounds, but humans only remember vision. I go to a party and I meet you and you say you're Brett Wilson, and at the end of the party I know who you are, I walk back there and say, “Dude, I'm sorry I forgot your name. What was your name again?” And you say, “Brett Wilson,” and then you hand me your business card because you know my Homo-sapiens opposing thumb can hold onto a card but my ear can't hold on to a sound, and if you don't show sapiens photos they don't get it. Seeing is believing. Seeing is understanding. You just can't sit there, here's a dentist talking here, “You have a reversible pulpitis on tooth number thirty. You'll need endodontic treatment, a post build-up, full cast frustration. Do you have any questions?” Any questions? They don't even know what you said. You speak five thousand words of Latin and Greek and my rule is if your mama never said the word, stop using it. Your mom never said, “Mesial-occlusal-distal filling.” She never said MOD. So your mama never said mesial. You didn't ever go to your mom and say, “Mom, I can't find my shoes,” “Well, Brett, climb over the occlusal surface of your bed and drop down on the mesial-distal side and they're right there. And if you put them on the lingual wall of your closet like I'm always telling you, you wouldn't lose your shoes.” I mean, she never said any of that crap one time, and they're still talking five thousand words of Latin and Greek in their ear and then two out of three patients leave with a cavity, and then they spend all their time going to courses that teach them how to do better, faster, higher-quality fillings when in truth they'd be a better dentist if they just removed all the decay and packed the teeth with butter. Just good old butter. Just get the infection out of their mouth, and they can't convince these people.
But when I look behind you I see a banjo, and then I see, “Digital Doc. Discover Nighthawk Tracking Service.” So first I want to hear, do you really play the banjo?
Brett: Play the banjo, but I cheat a little bit. So it's a six-string banjo, not a traditional five-string, which you have to have real talent to play the five-string. So you can cheat a little bit and just play a six-string like an acoustic guitar and get the same sound. So yes, I try and pick a little bit. The most difficult thing I've ever tried to do in my life is to learn music, but I love it and you can take it to the grave.
Howard: Well, I hope this doesn't insult you (inaudible 17:50) saying that, but whenever I think of the banjo I think of the Burt Reynolds movie, the Deliverance. Do you remember the banjo scene in The Deliverance or are you too young for that?
Brett: I don't remember it.
Howard: So you're only thirty-seven.
Howard: I'm fifty-five. So when I was, I don't know, really young, they came out with this movie called The Deliverance. It was on the Macon County Line in Alabama and, oh my God. But anyway, they opened up with this Dueling Banjos song and it was so cool. And then it was the scariest, most frightening movie you've ever seen – at the very end of the movie a hand comes up, a dead hand comes floating up out of there. You got to see the movie. If you're a banjo player, you got to watch the Deliverance. It was one of the greatest movies of its era.
Brett: Growing up in the South, the Southern roots don't go too far, so we stick with our country music and our folk music and try to have some fun when we're not working.
Howard: I'm looking behind you. What is, “Discover Nighthawk Tracking Service?” What's that all about?
Brett: So Nighthawk will track the number of images taken per provider in the dental practice. So for years we've known the impact of intraoral cameras, we've just not been able to define it in the number of photos taken. So we'll track the number of images taken per provider, then we'll track the average number of images taken per patient. We'll look at some production and collection numbers year-to-date, how are we doing with production and collection? Then we're going to send a text message. So we'll send the text messages to your cell phone every day and that message is going to show you your production, your collection for the day, how many photos were taken in your practice, and the average number of images per patient. So you as an owner know and have visibility on your cell phone at the end of every single day of exactly how many photos were taken in your practice. If it's a really low number, we know what to talk about at tomorrow morning's morning huddle. So I get this text message (inaudible 19:41) Digital Doc every day, shows what went in, what went out, where are we for the month. I love it as an owner and it gives me visibility. So we wanted to bring this to the market and we've had great, great feedback.
Howard: Now, do you sell these direct to the dentist or you've got to get them through a distributor?
Brett: Distribution. All distribution.
Howard: So who’s your major distributors?
Brett: Patterson Dental, Henry Schein, Burkhart, Benco.
Howard: The big boys. So how much does that cost, that Nighthawk Tracking Service?
Brett: No charge for ninety days. We want you to see it. We want you to see the return on investment. We guarantee all of our cameras for ninety days, then we take them back. So we put a guarantee that the return on investment is going to be there. You like the software, you pay 995 for the software after the fact. Of course there's bundles depending on how many cameras you buy, but the real message is the return on investment and we want to give the peace of mind knowing that you're going to get your return on investment.
We hear a lot about online cameras. We hear a lot about, “Oh, well, I can go and get a couple-of-hundred-dollar camera online and it gets the job done.” We hear about the image is good enough. And when you look at online cameras where the image is good enough and we talk about image quality, what we’ve given our team members to capture and to use day in, day out on our patients, and then at that level of usage I tell doctors all time the most expensive camera you can own is the one in the drawer that they're not confident and comfortable in using. So Nighthawk exposes that. It shows what's being done in the practice. But when we talk about image quality, we really believe that that's always been the key, is a live crystal-clear photo, but then, hey, you have to have a product that's easy to use, something that is easy to use as a training program. So we believe with that you get the volume of images to increase significantly.
Howard: Practice management in two words is just patient management, and I think having a report on your team because you're not in the room with the hygienist, you're not in the room with the assistant who sees the emergency patients, you can't manage it… And the most important person in that whole office is the receptionist because if I did a filling on you and you call back the next day and say, “My teeth don't touch on (inaudible 21:56) side,” I need to track that. If I've got three associates and every time Brett does ten fillings two people call back and say their bite doesn't feel right and then the other two never have that question, then I know this guy needs to learn occlusion. I've seen in dental offices where the old man uses an electrosurge to trim tissue, the younger daughter uses a diode laser, and every time the man uses the electrosurge it hurts like hell for ten days and they're calling in begging for pain medication and wondering if this is normal. And so getting some key dashboard measurements, so have you got enough data where you can show number of photos correlate to a treatment plan acceptance increase?
Brett: I can tell you any office that follows our twelve images in two minutes—so we call it “12 in 2.” We’ll teach us the hygienist how to capture four extraoral photos and a series of intraoral images, so twelve images in two minutes, very quick, very easily. If they’ll follow that on eight patients a day, that practice will see a 10% increase in revenue and it happens every time. And that's conservative, Dr. Farran. We're hearing in some testimonial letters coming in 20, 30%, but we can bank on 10% increase in revenue. It's a big deal.
Howard: I know you think I'm crazy but I'm absolutely sending you the trailer for the Deliverance because I can't believe you're a banjo player and have not seen that scene. So I'm haunting you. So I just emailed you the YouTube trailer of the Deliverance. Everybody should watch that. It's a great repeat.
So when you're looking at cameras, you have IRIS HD USB 3.0, you have the 2.0, you have one for the Mac and you have a 2.0. What is your standard go-to camera? What's the difference between the three-oh, the two-oh? Go through your product line.
Howard: And this is Dentistry Uncensored, so tell them how much it costs too.
Brett: Absolutely. So we have a point-and-shoot camera inside the patient's mouth on a fixed focus, you can get one to two teeth inside the patient’s mouth, $2400. Our flagship product, IRIS 2.0 – 2.0 will capture both the extraoral photos, face, smile, arch. So the Invisalign series, I've just connected with a group that does over 200 Invisalign trainings a year. They were blown away that you can capture extraoral and intraoral images with the entire Invisalign series with one camera, no mirrors, one operator. So the Iris 2.0 will do that. We have a little glow device that goes on top of the camera so it's like a ring flash that you put on an SLR. So that gives you that increased light so you can have a better image with your face, smile, arch, buccal.
Howard: Explain what an SLR was.
Brett: Sure. So SLR, so your digital extraoral camera that you would typically use for your extraoral photos, perhaps your Invisalign series, so each of those cameras have a ring flash. And what the glow will do, for anyone that could see this, is that just gives you that extra light that's needed to enhance the extraoral photos that you're taking.
Howard: So explain to them the pros and cons of having a point-flash light source and a ring-flash light source.
Brett: It does the same job. So it gives you great image with using an extraoral camera with a ring flash or an intraoral camera with a ring flash. The key here is simplicity. So it's already plugged into your fax management program. You touch the button and it saves directly in the patient's file. So ease of use, image quality, and a whole workflow efficiency. I know you talk a lot about efficiency and that plays right into that with being able to do that with one person. And that's what we hear with cameras that aren't integrated properly. Perhaps you have to bring a second person in or you're trying to hold the mouse, capture the button, while you're trying to capture with the camera. So just a touch of the button because capture button’s on either side of this camera, it's very easy, very quick to capture in the patient’s software. It's 42.99 for this camera.
Howard: It's how much?
Brett: 42.99 for this camera.
Howard: 42.99? So they wouldn't need an extraoral camera then?
Brett: Many offices are choosing not to. They're choosing to put down the extraoral camera and use this for their Invisalign series and especially the extraoral photos consistently in hygiene. Now, you can keep an extraoral camera for your new patient exam, capture a series of photos. That's great. But when we talk about consistency and recall patients, capturing photos, they’re using the intraoral camera far more than they're using the extraoral camera.
Howard: And dentists, the most important thing about intraoral cameras and digital x-ray—what percent of dentists do you think right now in the United States have intraoral cameras and also have digital x-rays? So do you have any numbers on that?
Brett: I'd say 85% have intraoral cameras and digital x-ray is not too far behind that statistic.
Howard: But the problem with the 85% that have the intraoral cameras and I got one camera and they’re moving around and they're not using it. What do you say to the doc that says, “Brett, you don't get it. You're married to a hygienist. You understand what you're into. My hygienist told me she don't want to use intraoral camera.” What do you do with that? “She's been my hygienist for five years. She knows all the patients. She won't use it.” What would you say to that?
Brett: Couple of things. One, I'd want to find out why she got in the dental business and why she's passionate about hygiene, and is it really about patient care? And If it’s really about patient care, then we’ll educate them properly. But then we need to empower that hygienist and give them the proper tools to get the job done. After that, once we equip them with the right technology and train them properly, they're still not going to capture the photos, the dentist simply will just say when there's no images on the screen, “I'll be in as soon as images are on the screen,” and turn around and don't check the patient, and that happens twice, I promise you the images will be on the screen.
Now, if you don’t want to be the bad guy per se, which that's not mean or ugly, we're just simply saying, “I'll be in as soon as images are on the screen,” if doctors don't want to do that, then install Nighthawk. Nighthawk brings accountability to the practice. No one wants to show up daily with seeing zero-point-six images taken per patient and everybody has visibility to that. So I've seen personally that accountability go up significantly with hygienists who have been very resistant to cameras in the past.
Howard: Well, it's so funny whenever—we've had two great sporting events in America in the last couple of weeks. We had the Mayfield/Conor McGregor fight and we had the Triple G—who did he fight? Who’d Triple G fight? Are you into HBO boxing?
Brett: I saw the Mayweather-McGregor fight. That was a good battle. I didn't see the second one, although I was in Vegas during it. But I didn’t see it.
Howard: Yeah, that was on Showtime. But it's so funny how—how many patients did you hear say, “Oh my God, I'm going to have a fight party. I'm going to go to Costco. I'm going to get the new eighty-inch screen and I'm going to buy the $100 movie and we're going to make tortillas and tostadas and tacos and oh my God?” When they want the money for a fight, they'll find it. And the hygienist knows that person has an iPhone, she knows they watched the Conor McGregor fight, they know that (inaudible 29:29) got a big screen, and you know this patient's got cracked fillings with recurrent decay, and I think the close rate is everything. Like my hygienist, I make them reappoint their six-month cleanings, because if they just go up there and hand it off to the front office then they have no accountability. But see, when you're the hygienist scheduling the recall, it's like, “Hey Brett, how come you saw eight people today and only four people wanted to come back and do it again in six months, and Amy in the next room was eight for eight and Barbara is seven for eight? Why do half of your customers never go back?”
And you know what I want to do a podcast with? I want to do a podcast with a mani-pedi lady and a hair salon lady because that's the same business. Women make 91% of all dental appointments. And when you go get a mani-pedi or you go get your hair done—I know I'm bald and I can't be (inaudible 30:30) for these. But those people that build up the clientele, they're talking about you. They're not talking about them. They're talking about Brett. They're asking you, “How's your wife Brooke? How old are your three kids? Now Brett, since you're married to a hygienist, does that mean you don't ever have to brush and floss your teeth, your wife does it for you every morning and every night while you sit on a barstool?” It's all about them, and those girls want to come back to them. And that's the way hygiene has to be. Hygiene needs to turn into a cosmetologist mani-pedi deal where, I mean, those people are laser-focused on getting those girls to come back and only do their nails there and only do their hair there.
And you will routinely—routinely—hear of girls saying in Phoenix, “Oh my God, my hairdresser, she moved from Ahwatukee. Now she's in Downtown Phoenix. It takes me forty-five minutes to get there.” And I say, “Well, why don't you find someone else?” And they would say, “Oh no, no, no, no. She's the only one I let touch my hair. I love her. I've known her for six years.” Those are the hygienists that you have to get and talking with your cameras, talking with your digital x-rays. I mean, that's everything.
But back to this photo. So the number one important thing in the photo is you're a doctor and you're supposed to get people to recognize and understand they have disease and get it treated, and you got to make it available and affordable and convenient and all that kind of stuff like that. But the other thing is the funnel on the website. So right now on your average dental office website, twenty people have to land on your site before it converts one person to call your office, a 5% conversion rate – and the offices that put photos on their website, work done here, actual patients. And when you see a review on your website that says, “Oh, Dr. Brett Wilson, he's the greatest dentist in all of Oklahoma,” well, that means something totally different if I see a picture of the lady saying it, because she could be some crazy lady living under a bridge in a box. She could be someone with the worst smile. So, reviews on your website with their face before and after work. But these dentists who work on their funnel where twenty people have to land on your website before one converts to call, three people have to call your front desk before she converts one to come in, then three people have to come in with a cavity before you do one filling. So back out that $750,000 to do a filling: You need three to come in, which means you need nine to call, which nine times twenty, I don’t even know what that is, a hundred and eighty? A hundred and eighty people have to land on your website in order to do a filling? Fix that. And this ring flash is so much better than point and flash. I love it because a point and flash, it can be shadowing. It's not as nice as light coming from a circle. It's a fuller, brighter nicer picture, and they need to start putting those on their websites, on their Facebook page, social media. What do you think of everything I just said?
Brett: Couldn't agree with you more. Actual patient photos, patient testimonials on the website is powerful. Reviews are everything today. Everyone’s taking a look at the review and looking at dental practice before they walk in, and when they walk in everyone's impressed by new. So if you just put new monitors on the wall, and you can get a sixty-inch monitor today for $500, and you put sixty-inch monitors on the wall and put a HD photo on that screen, it’ll blow the patient away because you have a new monitor, you made a small investment.
Take our HD camera, for example. The biggest difference between HD and standard definition, HD with intraoral cameras you can expand that image at any size. So you can go screen to screen on a sixty-inch monitor on your wall and you won't lose a bit of image resolution. Take a 640x480 image with a regular intraoral camera and you expand that image, what happens? Gets blurry. It's fuzzy. That doesn't happen with the HD.
So, bigger monitors are common in dental practices. Put an HD image on that monitor, put a device like the LUM device – attach it to your camera, show interproximal decay through a caries detection sub-enamel illumination – so like transillumination, do that on a sixty-inch monitor in front of your patient, you don't have to say much. So when we talk about improving reviews and practices and how important that is, give them the wow factor. Show them something and then they will be more likely to review because of their experience something that they were blown away with, and image is a big deal.
Howard: And congratulations on The Dental Advisor’s Editor’s Choice award. Your cameras have won five times every year from 2013 to 2017. Nice job, buddy.
Brett: Thank you. Appreciate that. We’ll go side by side with any camera in the world. And kind of back to that, “Oh well, I can just get by with (inaudible 35:29) with the camera because the image is good enough,” really? Is it? Because when we talk about statistics, 65% of us are visual learners. So we put an image on the screen, it does mean everything to our patients. And when you can see a fracture on a distal of a second molar and you can't otherwise from another photo or you're maybe not getting the best image, it only takes that happening a couple of times throughout even one year and we've made up the difference in the price of the camera. Because we get that a lot, and I like to talk about the questions that we get a lot because it's on people's minds. Is it image? Does it matter that much? What about the price? So I like to spend some time on that.
Howard: Yeah, and I mentioned your other award, The Dental Advisor, also you're mentioned on the Townie Choice Award 2016. There was a Dr. Patrick Briese singing your praises.
So who sells the most of your cameras? Is Schein the biggest or is that pretty close to, same as Patterson? Is Schein the four-hundred-pound gorilla?
Brett: Schein and Patterson, they battle it out.
Howard: So they're about even?
Brett: They have been in the past. One will be up and the other will be up. So they're really neck and neck and have been for years.
Howard: Because after you, guess who I'm podcast-interviewing?
Brett: Who's that?
Howard: Stan Bergman, the CEO of Henry Schein. So do you have any questions for Stan when he comes on the show next?
Brett: Mr. Bergman is a tough act to follow.
Howard: Oh, that's clutch.
Brett: A ton of respect for Mr. Bergman. So he called Digital Doc, said, “Hey, I have a great friend in New York, they have chair cameras installed in the office. There's twelve cameras. Not happy.” So he got in touch with Digital Doc. We put twelve chair cameras into his A-dec units and he was absolutely thrilled. So, good personal experience with Mr. Bergman and a ton of respect for he and what he's done with Henry Schein. My goodness, $10-billion company. It's amazing.
Howard: Yeah, and how many acquisitions has he bought? I've been following him my whole career, thirty years. I think he's bought like what, thirty-six dental companies?
Brett: I wouldn't doubt it for a second. He’s sharp as a tack. What I love about what they're doing and what any company continues to do as they grow is they ask the questions, “What are we doing? What do we need to be doing? Where are we missing it? How can we improve?” I love that with the organization, any company who's asking those questions, and I know he's led that charge and you feel that from the top down.
Howard: Well, this is Dentistry Uncensored, so I'm going to ask you the most controversial question right now. Last year, the Greater New York meeting, which is the perfect meeting—it's right after Thanksgiving and New York, the weather's perfect. I mean, (inaudible 38:28) Chicago-made winter is like February, minus twelve degrees. The Yankee meeting’s in January; it's like twelve below zero. Greater New York has the best attendance because they have it at the best time of the year. No one wants to go to Chicago in February or Boston in February. That's crazy.
But anyway, Amazon had a huge booth there and, I mean, they were there. They had a big booth. Do you think Amazon is going to be a major disruptor for like your company? Do you think you'll be selling your cameras on Amazon in the near future?
Brett: There's no doubt they've already disrupted just with the thought of they coming into the business, and that's where companies that aren't reinventing themselves, they're going to get left behind. So no doubt Amazon is coming in at a twenty-foot booth at the Greater New York meeting. I agree with you, it's a perfect time to go to a trade show. I love taking my wife to New York that time of year, Christmastime. The shopping's amazing. Everything about the meeting is great. Sales at its finest.
So with us and in working with Amazon, since we sell through distribution, if they would be able to work that out on their end then we'd be happy to sell through Amazon. But we're through distribution, and so as long as they can figure that piece out we would be happy to sell through…if that day were to come. Now, our dealer partners would have to also make that decision. So since we sell through distribution, it's not as easy for us to make the decision because we sell through Henry Schein, Patterson Dental, Burkhart, Benco, and we have no intentions of going direct.
Howard: It’ll be interesting to watch because as I sit back and watch Amazon, they're the second largest buyer of media content – movies. They spent $4 billion last year on movie production. They’re spending the same amount as HBO. It seems like they go after all the big B2C markets. I don't see any evidence where they're interested in little-bitty B2B niche markets. It's like they want to go into the Netflix, the huge B2C markets. Do you really see them, any successes or any focusing on B2B?
Brett: That's a great question. As far as the dental industry is concerned, they're going to have to get some real players on board before they make their move in the dental business. So when you start seeing some large companies get on board—and you need (inaudible 40:57) partners. Who knows where they're going to go, what decisions they're going to make with Amazon? I can tell you that in the last two or three years in the dental business it's a very different place today. I expect it in the next two to three years to be a very different place than it is today. And that's part of change. It's part of innovation.
Howard: In just two to three?
Brett: I believe so.
Howard: What do you think you're going to see in two to three? That's only twenty-four to thirty-six months. What do you expect to see?
Brett: Well, we'll see if the analysts are correct on some of their predictions with some decisions that companies are making in the business. Let's just take 3D printing, for example. 3D printing, with the onset of that versus milling chambers – look out. 3D printing is on it's on its way. I can't wait for that. I have a background in CAD/CAM, and so I love seeing the 3D printers that are coming.
So our point is as fast as technology is moving, as many moves as has already been made in the dental industry, things are going to continue to change, but I know this: Mercedes still has a dealership, Maserati still has their dealerships, Cadillac still has their dealerships. And so they're not going away, and we don't believe that a top-end high-quality product like intraoral cameras is going to go away to a lower-end (inaudible 42:16) cheap model that doesn't have support and doesn't have an image quality to back it up. So we like our position. We like bringing…
Howard: I know. It's the same with me with Best Buy. I could buy that big screen TV on Amazon but I buy a Best Buy because they have the installers, they have the –what do they call those guys that come out to the house, the digi…?
Brett: Geek Squad.
Howard: Yeah, and if you have a question you take your laptop down there and a human looks at it and analyzes it and helps it, and they got a two-man repair shop back there. I just drive to the back door because I know that's where they're at. Don't even walk through the store. So I agree.
By the way, on your website, I have to give a shout-out to my buddy, Mark Hyman, we've had on the show a couple of times. He says, “If you ask me what one single decision transformed my career, it would be the decision to work with intraoral cameras. I have worked with Digi-doc since 2000 and I purchased four versions of this amazing technology. Take a before, during and after photo on every patient and it's game over. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, why are you still talking?” Well said, Mark.
And another person I respect, Jody Brennan: “I did a demo with every camera available prior to purchase this time around. The price initially was a consideration, but your cameras paid for themselves in the first month of use.”
And then the third one, Grant Olson, “I love any doctor who has his profile picture with his loupes on. How cool is that? You won't find a more seamless integration or higher-quality intraoral camera than Digi-doc. The power of these cameras transcends the communication barrier and drives case acceptance, which is why we went all in for one in each of our ten ops.”
And Doc, all I’m telling you though is like, dude, I know you like the back of my hand. I know you hate sells. You just want people to beg for dentistry. You don't want to explain and everything. And part of that is because your hygienist doesn't have an intraoral camera in her room and you're not tracking her using it, that your assistant when she's taking pictures is explaining. You tell them they can't talk because it's illegal. You say it's a diagnosis and treatment plan. That's crazy. Right now I can assure you there's not one hygienist in America serving prison time today for reading an x-ray or a photo. You're just out of your mind. Right now someone just drove by your dental office with three pounds of marijuana in his trunk and you won't let your hygienist diagnose that this broken tooth needs a crown. And it's not like you're going to go in there and just crown a tooth because your hygienist said so. It's co diagnosis. It’s co discovery.
But the best docs are the ones that can convince their patients through extended hours, available hours, early morning, after five, weekends, offer financing. In America, everything sold over $1000, only 10% of the time is paid in cash. Go stand at the Greater New York and watch all these people buying lasers and chairside milling machines. Only one in ten writes a check for it or gives you their American Express. Everyone else is financing. So you've got to have available hours, you've got to have financing, but you have to have a team that embraces treatment plan acceptance. And if you don't measure it, you (inaudible 45:37) can't management. Patient management is practice management in two words, and you’ve got to sit there and define yourself.
Look at a fireman. Imagine if Brett just retired from the fire department. They say, “Brett, congratulations. You put out 30% of the fires that you were sent to.” Well, shit, half of Oklahoma’d be burned down if you only put out one in three fires. What would you say to the sheriff if he says, “Well, congratulations. Forty years, you caught one out of three of the bad guys?” Well, hell, your town would be a zoo if you could only catch one out of three of the bad guys.
You're a doctor and there's an infection, there’s a cavity, there’s an abscess, and it's your job to present the treatment until they accept the case. And if you don't want to call that sells, call it anything you want, but the best doctors I know are the ones that remove the most infection.
Brett: Hundred percent. So take the doctors you mentioned, Dr. Hyman, Dr. Olson. There's a two-minute video online for anyone who wants to watch doctors talk about the impact that these have made in their practice, and we're not talking about just low-end doctors. These guys are collecting $6 million a year, literally, and it doesn't have to be in major cities. Grant’s in Springfield, Missouri, of all places, doing some pretty amazing things with technology.
But here's a message with the Amazon. We know they're coming in just a matter of time, but just like us we don't believe it's about a transaction – it's not. It's not a transaction to us. We're coming to your practice. We're there to make sure you're successful. The Pattersons and the Scheins and the Burkharts and the Bencos, they have the tools and the relationships to come to your practice to help you become successful, and that's not going away. And so anybody can order what they want online maybe one day, but that one-on-one passion for helping you grow your practice, that's important and that's a big deal. It goes beyond just a transaction. It's bigger than that.
Howard: Talk about your caries detection. You have a LUM, sub-enamel illumination, enhanced detection power with advanced digital technology. The LUM extends the detection capabilities of America's leading camera ISIS with well-proven sub-enamel illumination. Talk about that.
Brett: We got the question for years and years, “Why do you not have caries detection on your product?” And fluorescence, frankly, we just not believed in it , and that's why we've not put it on our camera. And we've been able to, we've just chosen not to. We just didn't believe in our heart of hearts that that was what we wanted to do. We just couldn't believe in it. But, we can believe in transillumination, we can believe in sub-enamel illumination, so we designed a product that fit on our existing intraoral cameras. So by just a click of a button, you're able to now take the image with this LUM device which snaps on top of our intraoral camera and now you have sub-enamel illumination. You're able to see as a clinician crystal-clear photos, interproximal decay, and you can determine based on what you see, not what you're being told or shown that may have some of the false positive behind it. But you as a clinician can make the decision based on what you see, and we can get behind that.
Howard: That is very interesting. So I think we’ve talked about everything from A to Z. I just want to ask you, what are you most passionate about today?
Brett: Passionate about growing the doctor’s business. That's what we get out of bed doing. We’re an unapologetic faith-based company, we're passionate about that side of the business, but you know what? When it comes to working with dentists in their practice, it's about growth. If we can help you grow, whatever that means to you, if growth is more time away, if growth is more money for retirement, whatever that means to you as a clinician, we want to know that, and then help you create a solution behind that. And that's what we get excited about. Yes, we love being innovative and we love coming out with new products and we love the manufacturing side of it, but when we see doctors win, that's what gets us fired up.
Howard: If you go to Dentaltown and you do a search for Digi-doc, there's just a hundred threads talking about that and they just love it. It's Dentaltown, it's not Dentisttown, and I'll tell you why. When we started Dentaltown, I told these dentists that if we all say, “Well, the problem with Brett is his product’s red and we all want it blue,” I said, “Well, Brett's not on the site. He's the only guy that can fix that.” So I didn't want it Dentisttown. I said my rule was anybody who works full-time in dentistry, I don't care if you're an assistant, hygienist, receptionist, manufacture, laboratory, it's a team approach. And if you took away about five hundred dental companies, I'd be sitting on a rug with some stuff I bought from Home Depot and I wouldn't be this fancy 3D printer, CAD/CAM, CBCT, Digi-doc. I'd look like a fool. And they love it when the prez gets on there. And if you just did a search for Digi-doc—and your logo should be your face—and you say, “Well, Howard told me I should be on there answering these, but let me tell you what I think,” and I also think it’d be the best marketing you can buy. The best marketing today is not done by spending your money. It's done by spending your time. And I wish you'd get on there and do a search for Digital Doc and Digi-doc and answer every one of those guys’ questions. You got so many raving fans on there.
Brett: I'll get it done.
Brett: I'll get it done (inaudible 51:07) a two-page advertisement in your next Dentaltown magazine. Great articles, by the way. So, looking forward to that. That's coming out this next month, so I can't wait to see the next issue of Dentaltown. I'll get online and make it happen.
Howard: So you got two assignments. You have to go to Digi-doc and chime in as the president of the company—I think that’ll be so cool—and you have to watch the Deliverance and learn how to play the opening scene on the banjo.
Brett: Done. I will get them both done.
Howard: Hey, seriously, I know you're a busy man. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking to my homies. I'm sure they thoroughly enjoyed listening to you on their way to work today.
Brett: Thanks for your time. Appreciate you.
Howard: All right. And who's that movie star, he looks like that was in the Dallas Buying Club? Matthew McConaughey. My God, you're his twin brother. Are you told that a lot?
Brett: No. No, I'm not, but thank you. I'll take it as a compliment.
Howard: No, I'm looking at you right now and I mean you are Matthew McConaughey. I can just see you doing that Cadillac commercial right now. But all right, you're probably related to him somehow, but I hope you have a rocking hot day. Tell Brooke congratulations on being a hygienist and best of luck raising those three kids.