Dr. Howard Farran has been lecturing to international audiences on the business of dentistry. With his blunt, practical, and often times humorous insights into the industry’s most controversial subjects, he has been captivating audiences since 1990. He was then, and is still now, driven by a genuine passion for helping dentists provide faster, easier, lower cost dentistry of a higher quality to their patients.
Dr Farran is the owner and founder of the hit vlog series “Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran”, where he discusses these topics with some of the best Doctors, Dentists, and Dental Practitioners of today. Dr. Jonathan Cook was recently a guest on his show, and has allowed us to share with you their conversation.
Howard Farran: American Dental Education Association says the average dental student’s coming out $287,331 for 2017. What technology do they want to buy? Because some of them think, “Well, I need to do a map, there’s $125,000. I need to do chairside milling with [inaudible 01:15:25] there’s another $140,000. I need to do place implants. CBCT’s $100,000. They can double that student loan debt in three purchases. So what would you tell the babies coming out of Nova right up the street from you? What technology do you think is return on investment and do you have to have?
Jonathan Cook: None of them.
Howard Farran: I’m shocked. Let me apply cardiac arrest for myself.
Jonathan Cook: When you’re first getting out, what should be on your radar is, “Hey, maybe there’s a booming dental practice that you know of.” And the guys and girls are cool, they’re down to Earth. They’d totally take me under their wing, they’ve got a bunch of associates working for them. So me just poking my head in one day isn’t much of a disturbance. And those practices are going to have a [inaudible 01:16:20] machine. You go there and you learn based on that, but to come out of school with that kind of debt and then to just add to it hoping that you’re going to knock it out of the park because you bought some piece of technology, you better get your education with business, and learning how to make money, and drive growth in your practice before you even consider getting any sort of technology.
Jonathan Cook: Those are massive price points and they just eat up at the bottom line.
Howard Farran: And the other thing is in my 56 laps around the sun, when people are referring someone to their doctor, like, “You should go to my doctor, or my OBGYN, or my cardiologist,” they never mention what kind of MRI machine he has, or what [crosstalk 01:17:04] they never mention any technology. They only mention how that doctor made them feel. And a lot of times, they compare to someone else. Well, I had this OBGYN and he was just a complete butt head. And then I found this other lady and she’s so nice. So would you rather have a doctor with a laser, and a CAD scan, and an MRI, and no personality, or just a loving, warming dentist that makes you feel good?
Jonathan Cook: I mean, the ladder, it’s a no brainer.
Howard Farran: So same question, but not technology. They come out of Nova, they barely know anything. They’ve 15 filling, 15 crowns, 15 canals of endo, maybe 10 units of removable. What dental specialties have a higher return on asset? I mean, look at you, you do cosmic dentistry, veneers, porcelain crowns, implants, teeth bleaching, bridge work, prosthetics. I’ll hold your feet down, what would be a better return on investment, learning how to do Invisalign or placing implants, or where would you tell them to go towards?
Jonathan Cook: Well, it depends. If you buy your own practice when you graduate, let’s say, I just feel like you get more bang for your buck and you’ve got more piece of mind if you were to bring in … These traveling periodontists are all over the place now. And maybe it’s a classmate of yours or somebody who was in a class ahead of you. But I just feel like that’s a better angle to attack if you own your own practice. And you’re just getting going. Once you get to a point where you’re in total growth mode, and you’ve got a bunch of money in the bank, by all means take the implant courses. And maybe you can get rid of the periodontist if you feel that that’s necessary. But if you’re an associate, Invisalign is the easiest. It’s a great return on your investment, you’re not dealing with surgery, not having to worry about any sort of complications that come …
Jonathan Cook: I mean, what kind of complication can come from moving a tooth a little bit too far. Invisalign has that technology that’s built into it, where you can’t move the tooth too far too fast before you catch it, right? So there’s just very little downside to learning how to do Invisalign and a lot of upside. So if I were to choose one or the other as an associate coming out, I’m year one or year two out, I’d take an Invisalign course.
Howard Farran: And the other thing, you gotta have a love for numbers. When dentists ask me that, I was having dinner with a couple dentists the other night and I said … And he’s been in practice 30 years, I said, “Well, how many root canals do you refer out a month?” It’s basically we just finished the first quarter of 2019, so in the first quarter of 2019, tell me units and dollars of what you referred. He has no idea and he’s asking me if he should learn Invisalign or implants. Business in three words is supply and demand. Maybe if you’re referring out four molars a week, then let’s look at molar [inaudible 01:20:20]
Howard Farran: We talked about so many things and we went so far over. Thanks for coming on the show and sharing what you know, and help growth and abundancy instead of living in a cave in fear and scarcity. Thanks so much, Jonathan.
Jonathan Cook: Thank you so much. Thank you, really.
Howard Farran: All right, have a rocking hot day.