Family Practice: Third Generation Dentist


Dr. Tracy Taddey DDS was raised in San Diego as a third-generation dentist, following in the footsteps of both her dad and grandfather. It has always been Dr. John and Dr. Tracy’s wish to practice together in their hometown so Dr. Tracy, and her therapy dog, Mona Lisa, joined to form La Jolla’s only father-daughter practice. Since joining the Keating team, Tracy was able to maximize her her productivity as a cosmetic specialist and is joining our Digital CE Course to implement digital technology techniques in impressing and anesthesia.

Full Transcript:

Shaun Keating: Hey everybody. Sean Keating here. I’d like to welcome you to this week’s Dental Up podcast, here in beautiful Irvine, California. I want to thank you for tuning in again this week. This week we have Dr. Tracy Taddey. She’s from La Jolla, up the road, down the road in San Diego. La Jolla, California, one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. If you ever have time to come on in to California, go down to San Diego and check out La Jolla. There’s nothing better.

Dr. Taddey, what’s up? How you doing?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Hi, Shaun. I’m good.

Shaun Keating: It’s so good to-

Dr. Tracy Taddey How are you?

Shaun Keating: I’m doing good. It’s so good to see you.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. You too.

Shaun Keating: God, I just want to thank you for all the work. You guys kick butt. You’ve got a thriving practice there.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, thank you. We love working with you.

Shaun Keating: Oh, that is so great. You’ve got a hot staff, too. Your staff, it’s like 12 women and your dad’s there with you working, too. Your dad’s got to love it probably.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. He’s surrounded. Even the dog.

Shaun Keating: Is the dog a female, too?

Dr. Tracy Taddey All female.

Shaun Keating: That is so cool. Your dad’s crushing it still, all these years. How long’s he been practicing, your pops?

Dr. Tracy Taddey 43 years.

Shaun Keating: No kidding.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, in La Jolla. We just moved to this location, but he was in our other location for 40 years.

Shaun Keating: No kidding.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know.

Shaun Keating: Now you guys are right down there in the strip. You got an ocean view at all? How’s that work?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah. All of our operatories overlook the ocean. We’re right on Prospect Street. It’s really reacting for the patients. They just look at the ocean and the birds and the boats.

Shaun Keating: Can you believe it?

Dr. Tracy Taddey We got really lucky with our location.

Shaun Keating: Oh, that is so cool.

Dr. Tracy Taddey It’s really fun.

Shaun Keating: That’s just awesome. I always like to start off a little bit about sports. Your San Diego Chargers, what do you think about that? They left after all these years. I’m not sure if you’re a big football fan. What do you think about that? That’s got to be tough.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. It’s so sad. We always had the Chargers here. It was just part of San Diego. It’s weird that they’re gone. It just doesn’t seem right, not to have our Chargers here anymore.

Shaun Keating: I know. I just don’t think-

Dr. Tracy Taddey I don’t know.

Shaun Keating: I just think that it won’t really sink in until it comes summer. It’s just too bad. They had a lot of options to try to do some different things. The people just didn’t vote for it. I think it was like 50% or 52%, 48 or whatever, it was real close. It’s just too bad that the people didn’t want to put a cent into it, I guess, or something. I understand that in a way, but you’re going to lose your team you’ve had all these years. It’s just too bad.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. It seems like most people are disappointed by that. I guess the vote wasn’t there.

Shaun Keating: Yeah, that’s crazy. You know what, they’re still your Chargers if you’re fans out there. They’re just going to be in … Well, shit, I think they’re Carson. It’s not even LA for now. Well, Carson’s in LA. That’s crazy. Well not a whole lot in sports going on. We’ve got McGregor going to be fighting Mayweather. That’s crazy. An MMA fighter is going to go against Mayweather, who’s retired, coming out. That’s coming up. Then our Lakers, they traded away D’Angelo Russell. God, we’ve got Brooks Lopez. They traded our Mozgov. It’s neat, we have the big draft tomorrow night, Thursday night. The big draft for the NBA. Everyone’s going crazy with these Cavaliers and these Warriors, the way they built these super teams. Now we got it to where everyone and their brother’s trying to get the super team. The Lakers are trying to do what they can with the draft. It’ll be good. The Lakers, you haven’t been able to watch them for the last three or four years. It’s just been ugly. It’ll be good to get them back in some greatness of the old days, but it’s going to be tough.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah.

Shaun Keating: Okay. Enough of that sports stuff. Let’s dental up. Tell me a little bit about how you got into dentistry and where did you go to school. Tell me how in and stuff like that.

Dr. Tracy Taddey My dental story is a little bit different. I went to NYU undergrad. I was actually a journalism major. I wanted to go into the beauty and fashion business, and work at a magazine. I wound up interning at Elle Magazine and becoming a beauty editor there. It was actually really crazy. Once I got the real position after interning, it was like The Devil Wears Prada, and not what I was really cut out to be. My dad inspired me to try maybe dentistry. I took some science classes. I didn’t really have a science background. I wound up doing well. Then applied to UOP in San Francisco and got in. That’s where I went to school, UOP in San Francisco. Now my focus is cosmetic dentistry, which I really like, because it integrates my background with cosmetics to dentistry.

It is in a different path. We joke about it. I never thought I’d be a dentist and my dad is still shocked. It all worked out really well. It’s really inspiring to get to work together. That was one of the motivations to get to do it. Yeah. I got through the sciences, which was hard, and then got in. Now I love it.

Shaun Keating: That is so cool. How is it to work with your dad? When you came out of dental school, you went straight and worked in your dad’s office, or did you associate somewhere else? How’d that work?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, I worked with my dad when I first graduated. Then after a year, I bought a practice close by from a retiring dentist and went on my own for a few years. Then I had an associate there. Then he wanted to buy my practice. I really wanted to come back and work in La Jolla with my dad. I sold it and then came back here. Now my dad’s working every day, but slowing down a little bit, so it allows him to retire when he wants. Then I can take over and continue. It’s a win-win for everybody. We love working together. It’s our hope to be able to do that again.

Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. What about with your dad being a dentist, do you have any other siblings in the field, brothers and sisters, or no?

Dr. Tracy Taddey My middle sister is a dental hygienist. She worked with us for a while, and now she lives in Virginia. She does hygiene there. Yeah, he wanted her to go into this field also. He got two of us. My grandfather was a dentist.

Shaun Keating: Oh my gosh.

Dr. Tracy Taddey His dad, so it’s a family thing.

Shaun Keating: Three generations. What about-

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah.

Shaun Keating: You gonna have your kids going into it maybe?

Dr. Tracy Taddey I don’t know. Maybe my nieces. Hopefully. I’ll have to get someone.

Shaun Keating: Oh, that is so cool. I also hear that you’ve got a therapy dog at your practice. What’s that about?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Well she’s not here anymore. She’s my dog, Mona. She comes in sometimes. She’s just developed this knack to sit on people’s laps. People really like seeing her. She either walks around the office and hangs out, and people say hi, or she will sit on patient’s laps if they want. It really does take the anxiety away. It’s really interesting. She’s a Chihuahua Dachshund, a little junior.

Shaun Keating: How cool is that.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Funny. She comes in sometimes. I brought her more a while ago. She gets antsy, so-

Shaun Keating: Does she?

Dr. Tracy Taddey She doesn’t come as much anymore. It’s still fun for the patients.

Shaun Keating: Oh, how cool. I heard that Chihuahua’s are one of the smartest dogs out there for some reason. Their brain or something.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I believe it.

Shaun Keating: Oh that’s so cool.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, she’s pretty sharp.

Shaun Keating: Well tell me a little bit about what do you think of … I’m not sure. You’ve been with us I think a couple years. I think we met you, you came to one of our seminars. I think Dr. Hornbrick was doing it. You were just the nicest, nicest woman. Just talking with you. Your dad came after. I think on one of the second CE courses maybe. What’s it like working with a mail order type lab, working with us? Is it working out okay? Is there any issues with the mailing? How’s that working for you?

Dr. Tracy Taddey No. It’s been so great. We switched all of our … You are our only lab now. It’s amazing, five day turnover. It’s UPS. It’s one day to get there, one day to get back from San Diego. Even with complicated cases, I call and I talk to Brandon, or I used to talk to Greg. We worked through things. It’s like having you guys next door or in our office, really. Working with photos, it’s all really simple. The work is amazing. It’s just such a personal experience. I’d never had that before with any lab in San Diego. This has been amazing.

Shaun Keating: Oh that is so cool.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I’m really happy.

Shaun Keating: I was just looking. You’ve got a big upper lower case. It’s a huge one.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, I know.

Shaun Keating: It’s so sweet. It really looks good. It’s just an awesome set-up, the impressions, everything. You’re crushing it. To be able to do a full upper lower like that. It’s pretty confident. It takes some huevos to get in there. Okay, here we go.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Well I learned so much from Dr. Hornbrick’s over the shoulder class that really helped me finally get into cosmetics like I wanted to. Then understanding all the lab details that go into a cosmetic case. Then working with you guys has really allowed me to do so many cases since I started with you. I had never done as many until we started with Keating. Yeah. Then having Dr. Hornbrick to ask questions to or any of the staff. Then the woman that does my wax-ups is amazing.

Shaun Keating: Yeah, Tara Lin.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I love her. Yeah. Don’t ever leave.

Shaun Keating: She’s not. She went back to visit her mom in Vietnam. She’d been with me for 15 years and working over here for years before that. Her poor mom is not doing good in health. She was only going to go for a week or so. She ended up staying for three. It was like, “Oh my god.”

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, I know.

Shaun Keating: I had some other waxers that are pretty good, but they’re not Tara Lin.

Dr. Tracy Taddey No.

Shaun Keating: I’ve got doctors calling me, “Sean, when’s Tara Lin getting back?”

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, I know. I did.

Shaun Keating: Yeah.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I’m like, “Who did my wax-up?”

Shaun Keating: Then I could even do it on the computer, where I could design it, but it’s just not the same with the talented by hand. It really is. You can design it and change things up a little bit. Yeah. I hear you on that. That was tough when she left. I remember, there was a Navy Seal’s wife we did, or something like that.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh yeah.

Shaun Keating: What was that about?

Dr. Tracy Taddey She came in. Her husband’s in Iraq right now with the Seals, and just went through some really scary accident, and had a concussion. She came in for a cleaning. Her mouth was just a mess. I did some crowns in the back, but her anterior was all patched together. It was a really bad composite. Root canals, fractures. I knew that she never probably put herself first to be able to do this, because her family really came first. There was so much going on with her husband. We had used some of her insurance money to get some of the back teeth done. I just thought, “I have to do this for her for the front. She’s a young girl. Her teeth are going to break at the gum line. She’s going to have some crappy flipper or something.” We did it. You guys helped us. It was so beautiful. She was crying. Her husband couldn’t believe the pictures.

Keating did the canine on the lower really bright white, because she had really white teeth. It just looked so good. Wherever she goes from here on, at least she’ll have those healthy teeth and a pretty smile because oh my gosh. They have a long road ahead of them with what he’s going through.

Shaun Keating: Oh, I bet.

Dr. Tracy Taddey It was really rewarding. I thought, “Yeah, okay. Well we can do insurance or we can do this.” I’m like, “Forget it. I’m just going to do this for her.”

Shaun Keating: Oh that’s so good.

Dr. Tracy Taddey It was really nice. Well, thank you, too, for helping us do that. I worked with Brandon and we made it really nice. She loved them.

Shaun Keating: What about her uppers? How are they looking? Are they-

Dr. Tracy Taddey I did a composite on a chipped central. She needs an implant crown and some other teeth worked on. The uppers aren’t too bad. They would be better re-done, but they’re not like the lowers were at all. The lowers were in bad shape.

Shaun Keating: Well, if we can help on that upper in some way, maybe donate that for her.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Okay.

Shaun Keating: Just to give back. Her husband’s over there helping us in our freedoms. I just-

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. Let me know.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, thank you. Okay, I will.

Shaun Keating: Even in the future, if you have certain patients that are down on their luck and they really need some help, call me and just say, “Sean, we have this.” We’ll donate all that we have to do whenever you guys need it. Just let us know. That’s important. At the end of the day, it’s not about money always. It’s about helping people. Certain people, they’re down and out on their luck or they just really don’t have the money. It’s what we do. You’re going to have to give a couple hours of time. I’m going to have to give a couple hours of time.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, exactly.

Shaun Keating: At the end of the day, the good lord will look down upon us and say, “Sean, keep doing that.”

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. I just thought, it’s not even that hard. It’s a couple of hours. I can just do this for her and it’s done.

Shaun Keating: Yeah.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Thank you. I definitely will take you up on that.

Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. Well tell me a little bit about, what do you think of digital technology? Is it impacting your practice? What do you think about it in the future? Tell me your thoughts about that a little bit.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I’m right now still taking impressions. We had a scanner that we bought a little too early. We are in the process of hopefully finding a new one, which there’s so many now that are great. We’re not scanning our preps now. I want to. That’s the next purchase. I’d really like to get back into. Especially for Invisalign and everything it’s capable of. I find with impressions, I do pretty okay with them. I would like to have that technology. I know you guys scan when you get my impressions.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. What are you leaning towards? What are you thinking about? Is it iTero? Is it Three Shave? What do you think?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Well, maybe the True Def. I’m not really sure. I’ve seen the iTero. I haven’t looked at anything closely. We’re not really quite, quite ready to do that yet. Definitely that will be something we get.

Shaun Keating: It might be cool, I’ve got a little thing here on July 14th that’s coming up on a Friday. Dr. Jack Ringers is helping us now in the operatory a lot with different programs. We want you to get out to see him. He’s a real sharp cookie, too. Practices a little bit different. He’s just really great. We’re going to be working with the True Def and doing a live scan and sending it off to the lab. It’s just a Friday. It’s from 8:30 to 3:00. We’d love to take care of you on that, too, if you want to come on out.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, I’d love to come up for that class. Yeah. I was hoping you were going to do something. Okay.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’ll be neat. It’s late notice, but we just threw it together. I think we give out several CE credits. It’d be fun. They’re going to go through crown preparation, crown seating, digital impression techniques. Then some assisted anesthesia methods.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Okay.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’d be cool. Ringer, you’ll like Ringer.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, definitely.

Shaun Keating: He’s an AACD guy, he’s real, “Yeah, Sean. You’ve got 20 different steps to do.” It’s like, “Dude, let’s do this in three steps.”

Dr. Tracy Taddey Okay. Yeah definitely I’ll be there.

Shaun Keating: I know how you absorb so much from different practitioners. You’d get a few tips from him, I think that you’d bring back and work on that for sure. That’ll be cool. We’ll send you some stuff out on that and let you know. We’ll take care of you on that, too.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, thank you.

Shaun Keating: You’ve been to several of my things. We’ll take care of that, especially all the work you do with us. Tell me a little bit about, I’ve noticed too, you’ve got some great Yelp reviews and stuff. It’s a scary thing because certain patients, if you do one thing wrong, they can say things. I like the way you really, on your Yelp reviews too, you go ahead and you reply to them, and stuff like that. If it’s good, if its bad, or whatever. I like the way you’re being proactive on that and really embracing that part of social media. What do you think when it comes to the social media, are you using Facebook? Are you using Twitter? Are you using, well I see Yelp and stuff. Tell me a little bit about what your thoughts are on the social media front.

Dr. Tracy Taddey We just upped our social media presence, probably in the last year. We try not to overdo it, but we try to do something positive and show our work, or do a positive quote a couple times a week at least. Just to be active in the community and show what we’re doing and what we’re about. I think it’s really working. It’s really nice. We get nice comments. Then I put some before and after cases up, or just after cases. People are impressed by people’s smiles. That happy stuff is always nice to share. I think it’s important, not to overdo it, but to definitely do it. Have some posts going.

Shaun Keating: Absolutely. I think I saw you on Facebook. It’s new for me. We’ve been doing it as a company, but I never really got on there. I’ve been getting on there the last few months. I’m looking.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Yeah, you guys are doing great.

Shaun Keating: I had like three different people working on it. It’s too much. You don’t want to Spam these guys. I had my guy in-house doing it. Then I had a couple of companies working with me. They were just overlapping. We’re trying to find our way, too. What a great staff though. I’m looking at your staff. I think there’s a picture of all of you with your pops or something.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, yeah.

Shaun Keating: How many people do you have on your staff there?

Dr. Tracy Taddey We have six, two in the front, two hygienists and two assistants, then me and my dad. There’s eight of us.

Shaun Keating: No kidding.

Dr. Tracy Taddey It’s medium sized. It’s always nice to have two people officially with two dentists for each position. Everybody’s really nice. It’s very family oriented. We’re very mellow, go with the flow, but we’re also very hard working. We expect everyone to do their job. We don’t micromanage people. We trust that they’re intelligent and they know what they’re doing. Our goals are to take care of the patients and to be efficient and have fun, because we’re here every day. My dad and I love working together. Every day we get to work together, we want it to be a happy day. We don’t want anyone to drag us down. Just make the most of our patients and have a great time. There’s only so many days. We’ve had some staff changes, but we definitely, I think we have a stable really happy group now. Just have to keep going forward.

Shaun Keating: That is really awesome. It’s such a great attitude. It really is. It’s like family. You’re with them almost more than you’re with your family. It’s nice to work with people that are somewhat happy. I like to-

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh yeah. You have to have a positive attitude.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. We like to hang out with positive people. That’s awesome. Now I also see you have some of this special promotions out there. Does this help with people who lack insurance? Tell me a little bit about that.

Dr. Tracy Taddey We like to offer, for a new patient who doesn’t have insurance, we do a free consultation and a discounted cleaning and complementary bleaching. Then we can offer discounts if people don’t have insurance, or if they do. We try to do some promotions. Right now, we’re doing an Invisalign promotion of $500 off for the summer. That’s nice and motivates people to do things that otherwise maybe they would put off. We do try to mix things up and do little discounts here and there, and promotions and create excitement.

Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. You need to do that. I remember Howard Fran telling me back, he had this thing that he was doing a lot of six through elevens on people. He was like at $1200 or $1000 a unit or whatever, but he couldn’t really fill the chair that much. When he went, and a lot of times the Buccal Corridor is not filled out. You need four and five and twelve and thirteen with that six or eleven. It really helps. The people couldn’t afford that. He had it to where he actually, I think he did it to where he did it for like $800 a unit at six units. It was like $4800. He would throw in four and five and twelve and thirteen on a few patients.

Then he got, instead of having two patients a month in the chair, he started to have 10 patients. What it was, the extra four units was like an extra $400, $500 for the lab. That was a little bit of a cost for him, but not much. Then it was a little bit of time for him, like an extra half an hour maybe of prepping and this and that. He just figured that to give ten units instead of six for the price of instead of $1000 down to eight. He filled that chair up and is busier than heck. At the end of the day, you don’t have to make a 40%, 60% net on every crown. Sometimes you do it. Then having the lab give in. That’s tough there. He paid the lab, but even with you, if you get some six to elevens that they’re having barely be able to make it, but you need four and five, let me know. I’ll throw those in for you here and there.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, thanks.

Shaun Keating: It does help. It really does.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. Sometimes we’ll do that. I’d say, “You have to do this other tooth. There’s no way.” We’ll do it at a deal because we have to.

Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’s almost like you don’t cut it all down. You’re just going to wrap the incised ledge and do a buccal veneer that-

Dr. Tracy Taddey It makes such a difference.

Shaun Keating: Yeah and it’s almost no prep even. You can just go right to it. Especially because I know you know how to bond. You’ve been through enough bonding courses. It’s tough. That bonding stuff. I fall asleep every time I go in there and watch it. It’s like 20 minutes per tooth.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I know. A lot of patients.

Shaun Keating: Gosh. I can’t believe that. I just want to thank you. I know you’re really busy. I know you’ve got to get back to work. Anything we could do better as a lab? We doing good for you?

Dr. Tracy Taddey Oh, yeah. No. Everything’s great. Yeah, I love working with your team. No complaints at all. The quality control is really great. It’s so awesome to always speak to someone on the phone. I call a lot.

Shaun Keating: That’s so cool.

Dr. Tracy Taddey I think it’s great.

Shaun Keating: You’re just such a bright light. You’re just a very positive person. Thank you so much for coming to one of our seminars back in the day. Now you’re just with us all this time. Whatever we could do to help you succeed, that’s what we’re here for. I thank you so much for coming on and taking time. I know you only had a half an hour to do this, because you’ve got to get back. I’ve never had a half an hour lunch. I’m going to go sit down for about an hour or so now.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Good. Well I’ll see you soon though.

Shaun Keating: Oh, absolutely. We’ll see you in a couple of weeks. I’ll have my guys send you some stuff, some info on it. Again, Dr. Taddey, you are the best. Thank you so much. I want to thank you again.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Thanks so much, Sean.

Shaun Keating: All right. We’ll see you a little later.

Dr. Tracy Taddey Okay.

Shaun Keating: Hey everybody. If you can go on Dental Up on iTunes and leave us a review, it would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week. Thanks again, doctor. Good to see you.

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