In this week’s episode of the Dental Up Podcast, we have Dr. Sandra Calleros, DDS stop by and talk to us about staying ahead in the Dental Industry. Dr. Calleros has been providing life-enhancing dentistry for more than 30 years in the South Bay Communities. She is an avid CE participant and spends several hours taking courses to ensure she stays at the forefront of Dentistry.
In this episode we talk about:
-What she does to stay ahead of the game.
-She talks about her initial path in the dental industry.
-What inspired her to choose this field of study.
-Gives the younger listeners some tips and advice that she has learned over the years.
If you’d like to reach out to Dr. Calleros you can check out her website at www.drcalleros.com
Announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, this is the Dental Up podcast. Brought to you by Keating Dental Lab, a full service award-winning dental laboratory. Each week, you’ll learn tips and techniques form real world dentists. Bringing you in depth interview, motivating stories, current events and sports. Here’s your host, Shaun Keating.
Shaun Keating: Hey everyone, Shaun here. Welcome to another episode of the Dental Up podcast. Our guest this week is a graduate from the University of California Riverside, and received her doctorate of dental surgery from the University of California, Los Angeles. Along with a private practice, she has been an instructor at the UCLA dental school’s restorative department. She has been providing life enhancing dentistry for more than 30 years in the South Bay communities, practicing from El Segundo, California, please welcome Dr. Sandra Calleros, DDS.
How’s it going Dr. Calleros?
Dr. Calleros: Going really good. Thanks for having me on your show.
Shaun Keating: Oh that’s so cool.
Dr. Calleros: Just a typical Wednesday, here at the office.
Shaun Keating: You’re busy, man. You’re crushing it for sure and I know how busy you are. But thank you so much for coming on out and doing this with us. I know it’s probably your lunch time right now, but thank you, again so much.
Dr. Calleros: Yes, it is.
Shaun Keating: Now, I always like to start out about sports, I see your UCLA, are you a Bruin fan? Or you don’t like them Trojans, huh? I’m sure?
Dr. Calleros: Well, of course I’m a Bruin fan.
Shaun Keating: I had a buddy of mine that played, back in like 1981, at a high school he went and played football over there. His name is Lee Knowles. Man that guy’s a monster. Middle linebacker, yeah, it’s kind of cool, but my brother went to dental school at USC so I’ve always kind of been a Trojan fan. Buy hey! I love UCLA, too, man. I love their uniforms, I love the powder blue and just the color of them. It’s really-
Dr. Calleros: Blue and gold.
Shaun Keating: That’s it.
Dr. Calleros: I went to UCs for eight years straight. UC riverside, UCLA, so that’s all I know.
Shaun Keating: Now, that’s so cool. Yeah, we have UC, Irvine right here and the Rams have been practicing there now. So it’s kind of neat. We just drive down the street a couple blocks, and right there, and we go watch the darn Rams right there practicing, man. It’s amazing that they’re here.
Dr. Calleros: That’s pretty cool.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Especially I’ve been a Rams fan forever, and there gone for 20 years, but now they come back and it’s like, oh they’re practicing right up the street. So that’s pretty neat, man, but we’re excited. You guys got to be, because you’re right out there by Los Angeles International Airport, you’re right in the heart down there in LA. So, you got to be pretty excited about the Lakers too. Coming up with Lebron, I mean there’s a lot of excitement out there, I’m sure.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. It’ll be fun. We’re actually going to a Dodger game. I’m taking my team this Friday. We’re going to go see the Dodgers play the Padres on Friday night. So that’ll be a fun little team outing for us.
Shaun Keating: Oh, good for you. You got to do that for your team like that,man. That’s cool.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, you’ve got to make time for fun.
Shaun Keating: Heck yeah. Little Dodger dog. Give me a Dodger Dog and a jumbo beer, and I’ll be happy.
Dr. Calleros: And peanuts, don’t forget the peanuts.
Shaun Keating: Oh, love the peanuts and now that’s so cool, man-
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, we try to … you know you got to work in some fun and some team bonding. I think it’s important.
Shaun Keating: Oh, absolutely.
Dr. Calleros: It can’t just be all about work.
Shaun Keating: No, it isn’t. You got to find that balance for sure. I think that’s why you’ve been doing this what? You’ve been 30 plus years in this now, huh? I mean not to-
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. Can’t believe it’s been that long.
Shaun Keating: You sound like you’re in eighth grade, I can’t believe it.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, I think I need some voice training or something to make myself sound more [crosstalk 00:03:54]
Shaun Keating: No, that’s cool. So that is so cool, and I know … I remember back in the day, too, you did a podcast with Dr. Harod Faran man, how’d that go with you, he likes to talk a lot, doesn’t he?
Dr. Calleros: That was, I think it was two years ago.
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Calleros: It was fun. I was in Arizona at the time. So, I went to his house. He had it all set up in his living room. His son was helping out.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. His son’s great.
Dr. Calleros: It was cool. I think he did talk more than I did, but that’s okay.
Shaun Keating: He loves to talk, man, that guy, get him a microphone. No, he’s always been that way, but he’s a great guy. He’s helped me so much from the beginning when I first started off on my own, back in 2002. He’s like a big brother, but I think I’m older than him by two weeks. I’m like August 18th, and I think he’s August 28th or something like that, or whatever.
Dr. Calleros: I’m August 7th.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re kidding. So we got some leo’s here, baby.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. I just had a birthday last week.
Shaun Keating: Happy birthday. I just had one Saturday.
Dr. Calleros: Well, happy birthday to you.
Shaun Keating: Thank you.
Dr. Calleros: Leo’s are the best.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, leo’s, hey man we’re leaders. Rulers of the jungle baby, that’s what it is.
Dr. Calleros: That’s right.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I love it, man. That’s so cool. Well, heck man, let’s Dental Up.
So, tell me doctor, at what point did you think, I want to be a dentist?
Dr. Calleros: Well, honestly, dentistry wasn’t my first choice of a career. What I really wanted to do is become a veterinarian. I love animals, and that was what I wanted to do. I think it was like in my junior year at UC Riverside, I kind of thought maybe my chances aren’t that great to get into veterinary school. It was way more competitive than to get into dental school. I had pretty good grades, but I wast a 4.0.
So I thought maybe I would try dentistry, and I had a good friend whose husband was at UCLA dental school at the time. She kind of got me interested in dentistry and I just thought I always wanted to provide health care, work with my hands, make my own schedule, and be able to provide well for myself. My dad always stressed the importance of being able to be an independent woman. Have my own career, and so that’s kind of how I got started.
I kind of switched gears my junior year in college at UC Riverside.
Shaun Keating: Okay. That’s amazing, I never heard that. Thinking about being a vet. I got a few friends that are vets and pretty demanding job, but it’s quite lucrative for sure and you know people and their pets, man, they’ll do anything for them. I know I got couple of monster dogs, and I’m bringing them into these vets lately, they got ear infections all the time. They got allergies, and they can’t breathe and it’s just like, gosh. They call these dogs, I’ve got these little bull dogs, and they call them practice builders, you know? Because you’re going to spend a ton of money on these dogs, because they’re just so-
Dr. Calleros: I bet you never ever ask your veterinarian if your insurance covers that?
Shaun Keating: No. I don’t.
Dr. Calleros: They say how much, and you say, okay.
Shaun Keating: Yep. Here ya go.
Dr. Calleros: I bet you never say does insurance cover that?
Shaun Keating: No. Exactly. Except my brother, actually, I guess you can buy insurance and it does help out quite a bit if you’ve got a dog that needs a lot of high maintenance, but I think it does help somewhat. But now… I know, in dentistry, you guys are always getting, hey does this cover with just my insurance, and you know on and on. Same thing, but when it comes to pets, it’s a whole different thing. It’s like those we love those pets more than our own children. Sometimes.
Dr. Calleros: Maybe I should have tried to become a vet.
Shaun Keating: Oh, heck no, man, you’re rocking and rolling over there, you know that.
Dr. Calleros: I love dentistry. I think veterinarian medicine would have been okay though.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it’s pretty neat thing. It’s weird though, I have a buddy that he was a vet in the Midwest and stuff, and like rural areas and stuff, and it’s so different there. If they have a problem, if they bring their dog in, if they have to bring it in to a vet or something, and they have a viral infection or something, and something’s at issue and it’s like 200 dollars, they say put him down. They don’t mess around out there. It’s a dog.
Dr. Calleros: That is sad.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it is sad. I just think, how can they do that? I can’t even handle … like when I get the TV, that SPCA or Facebook I’ll see some stuff like on the Dodo or whatever it is and it’s just sad stuff with dogs. When they do the neglect of them, or any animals, I can’t handle that. It just really breaks my heart, and I got to switch over from that stuff because it’s like a human. You can’t treat animals like that, you can’t treat people like that. I hate that big time, but when you see the animals too, it’s like how do these people do what they do? I just, ahh breaks my heart, but yeah, I’m a softy when it come to that.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. This is getting depressing now.
Shaun Keating: Okay. Let’s not talk about that-
Dr. Calleros: Let’s get down to dentistry.
Shaun Keating: We can cut this out too, man I can edit every … no. That’s pretty cool no, I hear ya. So tell me on your college journey. Tell me a little bit about UC Riverside, junior senior kind of tell me a little bit about that. Then tell me about at UCLA about your likes and what you liked and what you didn’t like about dental school and your journey through it.
Dr. Calleros: Let’s see. So, UC Riverside was pretty academic. I guess it probably still is, I don’t know. I haven’t been on the campus in a long time. I heard it’s grown a lot.
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Calleros: But it wasn’t considered like a party school, which was a good thing. I was a biology major. So then I just applied to all the dental schools. There were five in California. I know that there’s six now, but five back then. I applied to all of them, and I was accepted to all of them. I almost went to Loma Linda dental school.
Shaun Keating: Oh. Okay.
Dr. Calleros: [inaudible 00:10:25] in the inland empire, that’s where I grew up.
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Calleros: I thought I’d stay close to home but then it was just too expensive for me. It’s a private school. UCLA was cheaper so I thought, I’m just going to go to UCLA, that’s where my friends going. So I made the move to LA, which is kind of scary for a girl who grew up in San Bernardino.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Big Bear. I love going through San Bernardino, man. You just knew when you got to the bottom of that mountain, man, you’re an hour away from the snow. That’s crazy.
Dr. Calleros: Yes, San Bernardino, you know it’s … anyway I won’t say anything about it. So dental school, it was tough. Of course, everybody knows that whose been through it. I think the class was maybe 30 percent women. So the women were definitely in the minority. The dentistry that was taught we a lot of the amalgums. Gold, a lot of gold work.
Shaun Keating: That’s good.
Dr. Calleros: Probably not as much as the USC people, but you know it was just a lot different than what we’re doing today. A lot different. There was nothing about sleep dentistry. Sleep apnea. We weren’t doing very many composites. Pretty rare to do an all porcelain crown. Maybe just for an interior tooth. Mostly PFMs. So dentistry has changed a heck of a lot since I graduated. That was in 1987.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful. That’s when I-
Dr. Calleros: I graduated way back when.
Shaun Keating: I had my second child in 87, man.
Dr. Calleros: Wow.
Shaun Keating: That’s crazy. But, no Ed Mclearan back then probably, huh? I think he came in, in the 90s or something, or maybe in 2000-
Dr. Calleros: No.
Shaun Keating: Ed Mclearan. He’s a stud, he’s a great dentist, but he’s also just a really great ceramist. He really got into the lab in, but … no, that’s cool. It’s such a trip how the UC, University of California, system … UCLA, USC, I mean, one’s a 150 grand a year, and one’s probably 20 or 30, I mean it’s just it’s such a different money grab. You know how that works. You get the same degree, but one you got to pay … why is it … it’s just so expensive, you know, to regular universities. I don’t now how … like I told my boys, because we didn’t have money or nothing, the only way you’re going to college, you get a scholarship, because I ain’t paying. I don’t have it.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: It’s tough.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. It’s a lot more expensive now. You know UCLA was a lot less than USC, and it’s in a nicer area so that’s why I chose UCLA.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Oh, I know. You go a block off the USC campus man you better be packing, because it’s a tough neighborhood. You don’t want to mess around, around there. I remember trying to park our cars out there, because you didn’t want to pay the 20 bucks that was close to the, but you go on the outskirts … man that’s scary. Scary times, but that’s it.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. And Westwood is fun, or at least it was back then.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it still is.
Dr. Calleros: I had fun in Westwood.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it’s great. It’s a neat place. It’s harder than heck, to get in there, because it’s such a value. Even to this day, the whole UC program it’s so much cheaper and it’s beautiful out there. You’re right there in the heart of all the fun and sun, and all fun people and all that stuff at night time, man that’s good times. Well that’s cool. So tell me about now, did you start out as an associate when you got out of dental school, or did you purchase a practice, tell me a little bit about that.
Dr. Calleros: When I graduated, I didn’t know any dentist personally, that I could work for so I started out as an employee with a few HMO clinics, because I just couldn’t find anything else. Then I just decided right away that that was not the way that I wanted to practice. I didn’t go to school to work in that kind of environment. So I was living in Manhattan Beach when I graduated.
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Calleros: Back then, we had the yellow pages. There was no internet.
Shaun Keating: A Thomas guide book to … remember the Thomas guide?
Dr. Calleros: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: Where if you had to find directions, you had to go and find A to X and find the spot. I know that because I used to clean carpets out of high school for Sears Carpet cleaning. We used to go into LA, we lived in Orange county, Huntington Beach, and I used to go into LA. I was real smart with that book, man, I had to get into all these neighborhoods and do their carpets, baby. I use to sell the Teflon. Hey do you want to seal the carpet, after I’m done with Teflon. We used to put water in that thing, oh gosh. Okay.
Dr. Calleros: Or stain resistant?
Shaun Keating: Because they measure it when you got back. Oh, good times, Sears Carpet Cleaning.
Dr. Calleros: Well, products didn’t work, right?
Shaun Keating: Hey, taught me a work ethic. How to get up early. I drove a big old van, and had a partner in there that would … I was like the senior manager, and he was my little side kick. I remember one time, we had this lady, she was going to have a baby. We had to rush her to the hospital. She was a doctor and she was like two or three months early. She was so scared, and we said we’ll take you ma’am, right now. She was going to call an ambulance. I said, we’ll get you there. We drove this lady through all this traffic. Went through the inside lane, illegally, all the way down to her hospital. I forgot where it was out in Long Beach somewhere. She had called in, and emergency people came out, and they just said alright thank you. A couple week later, we got a thing at the Sears and she sent in pictures and just wanted to thank us. She wrote a check for like a hundred dollars to give to us, and she sent the pictures. She had a one and half pound baby.
Dr. Calleros: Oh my gosh.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it was so small and it was like premature by three months. It was so small. I remember about six months later, they sent some more pictures, and baby was doing good and stuff, but me and my buddy Adam, we saved that little baby, because they were going to lose it. It had to stay in intensive care for about a month or two or something. It was just so small. I did that man. I kind of forgot about that until right now. It just opens up my mind, start talking about Sears Carpet cleaning.
Dr. Calleros: Oh my gosh.
Shaun Keating: Okay let’s get back to dentistry. Enough Shaun and his little adventures.
Dr. Calleros: Well, I want to hear how you got from that into Dental Lab. I want to hear your story.
Shaun Keating: My brother was a dentist, going to dental school. I always knew from like eighth grade he was making me my mouth pieces in football. So he was going to dental school at USC, and he was interning in Bellflour, helping this doctor, Dr. Myers [inaudible 00:17:31] I remember. So I’d go and help there in the summers.
Always in the back of my head I kind of new I was going to be a dental tech, but right out of high school I did construction, I did steel work, I did carpet cleaning. Then about 20 years old, my mom came in and woke me up out of bed like 11 in the morning. I was in between jobs or something, she goes Shaun look it. In the newspaper, in our Huntington Beach local newspaper it said there’s a new trade school opening up called Huntington College of Dental Technology. It was like divine intervention. I was going to be a dental tech, remember that mom? She goes I know you get up in there and you apply for this.
So applied for it, and we qualified, because my mom single mom with five kids you know we didn’t make any money. I remember I got six thousand dollars for the course, but when Reagan was our president and he had this program that paid for the whole thing, but I needed 350 dollars for all the books and all the materials. I didn’t have that, and I remember I had to borrow it from somebody. My stepfather, at the time, well they were divorced from my mom. My second dad, so long story short, he lent the money. Went in, did a six month course. At the end of the course, they were like Shaun I don’t know about you, you’re not doing that good. You might want to think about going into dentures. I’m like no man, my brother’s a fricking dentist, dude. I want to work for him. They said okay. They stamped that certificate and I went and started working at Glidewell Laboratories, it was called Orange Dental Ceramics at the time, but that is a trip.
Dr. Calleros: Glidewell?
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I did. I was there. We only had 40 or 50 people in that place back then. Jim Glidewill interviewed me and everything and said get out there on that floor. I was a waxer, a metal finisher, and sure enough. And then my brother six months later, he calls me up and he feels all sad, and he goes Shaun, I’m really sorry, but you can’t work for me because I’m going to be doing a two year residency in Endo, and I’m going to do endodontics for my … and I said well, I’ll do your posts. He goes well I don’t need you man, he’s like you’re on your own. It’s like brother, I did this to come work for you. So left me high and dry, but now look at Shauny boy baby.
When I leave, I’ve got a hundred people working for me. When my brother leaves, he don’t make no money, because you know he’s the money maker so. He always tells me Shaun, I think you did better, because you got a great company. You really love your people. You guys do great work. The whole thing is true. When I leave, everything keeps going, you know. The people and everyone’s here. You when he leaves, you know, his staff, just like you when you leave if the birds not turning, you’re not cutting grounds. I’m sure you got hygiene you could do and stuff like that. I’m pretty blessed to have the set up the way it is. You know from making four bucks and hour. I remember making 90 bucks a week.
Our son, who I’m looking across from him right now in this podcast, he was just a baby, man. Three months old and starting, and my wife was waitressing. We couldn’t afford childcare because what she made and what I made it would cost our salary almost to pay for the child care. So she worked nights, I worked days. I’d get home by four, and then she would go five to 10, work waitressing. We lived off her tips, and my money helped pay the 500 dollar rent for our little apartment and heck, I got electricity bill more than that now. Kind of crazy how it all works out, but-
Dr. Calleros: So, are you taking care of your mom, now?
Shaun Keating: You know, my mom passed when she was like 57. It’s kind of crazy.
Dr. Calleros: Oh wow. That’s young.
Shaun Keating: I’m going to be 57, I just turned 56, it’s kind of weird. My wife’s mother died at 57 also. So it’s like front row.
Dr. Calleros: That’s my age.
Shaun Keating: Man you sure don’t look 57, you look awful young. I age, I got silver hair in my 30s, you know, just doing teeth. There’s a lot of moving parts, and there’s a lot of things that make it happen, but the Keatings, all my brothers, we were gray. Like my brother, Kevin, the dentist, he was gray in his 20s. I can see it one my boys too. They get it on their sides, but it’s wisdom, right? That’s the way I look at it. I’ll look like a silver long haired, like I don’t know.
Dr. Calleros: [crosstalk 00:22:00] Clairol is my best friend.
Shaun Keating: Come again?
Dr. Calleros: Clairol.
Shaun Keating: Oh yeah. I used to do that back in when I first started the lab. I remember I got on the cover of Dental Town, I remember when I first started in 2002, I went and had my hair dyed all dark. So I could get my gray out. I did my goatee, because I had like silver going through my goatee. So I did it all, I look at this picture of me, man. Kind of like an Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s kind of got like an orange-ish tint to it. Like dude, what was I thinking. After about three or four years it was like, I’m not doing it, and my wife didn’t like me doing it. It was all just vanity and stuff thinking, oh … I never liked it when I would do ads for our ads, and they’d have a picture of me, and then they’d see me in real life, and then I had my hair gray, and they’re like, well you don’t look like this. So I got rid of all going forward, I just hey, this is the way I look, this is the way it is, and a lot of guys, like speakers and all this, they use their old pictures. It’s like dude, you don’t even look nothing like that. Why would you keep using that picture, because no one can recognize you. I keep it real. This is what I am.
Dr. Calleros: Have fun getting old. Have fun.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. So anyway, and I remember at 35 years like, so it’s like my wife likes me that way I am, I don’t have to try to look young or whatever. So, I don’t know. It’s all good, but alright let’s get back to Dental Up now, so what about … tell me with when you started working with –
Dr. Calleros: That’s a good story though, I like … you have great stories. Awesome.
Shaun Keating: Well have to do an animated thing on that little segment.
Dr. Calleros: I need to come visit your lab one day, too.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you should. I have a doctor … I did a podcast several months back, Dr.
Deanna Thomas. She’s up in western Pennsylvania. She came in on Saturday, so she’s here with her 14 year old son. She’s in the lab right now, and she’s a big digital lady, and she got a three shape, and she been with me for years, but she came down… it was just her and her son, she went out on my boat on Monday, because they love to fish, and I said fuck, I got big old fishing boat. Get on out there.
Dr. Calleros: Where’s your boat?
Shaun Keating: It’s in Dana Point.
Dr. Calleros: Oh. That’s where my dad used to go fishing.
Shaun Keating: Oh you’re kidding.
Dr. Calleros: We love it.
Shaun Keating: Ah, we love it, because it’s instantly you’re out in the water, deep water real quick. Like in Newport and some of the other ones take you 45 minutes just to get out of the harbor. Where us, boom, you’re out, because it’s a real small harbor. But they went out for 14 hours and they got skunked. It’s like, I haven’t been on my boat for 14 hours, I’d get sea sick. I don’t even know why … I got a boat, because my boys like to fish, but it’s a big boat too. But bigger boat is bigger swells and bigger wakes, but I’m good for a few hours here and there. So they went out 14 hours and they just had the best time of their life, but they’re trying to go for big tunas.
I’m like dude you should have just taken them over to the kelps, and got some little sand bass or little calicos, but so they did it. My captain and crew are like these are the nicest people Shaun, we got to take them out again. So, they’re still here all this week, and they’re at the lab now. Just kind of going through some stuff. She’s going to go this Friday in a couple days, she’s going to go with her son again. I said yeah, you’re definitely welcome to go. They’re going to go out again and just a … because my captain was … the week before we just won this big fishing tournament. It was out of Catalina and stuff. We got two of the biggest tuna. We got a 208 pounder that won the whole tournament. Then we got a 92 pounder.
Dr. Calleros: Wow.
Shaun Keating: We got a 92, and a 208, and we got it all on the scale and pictures. So a week later they take out my doctor from Pennsylvania, and her son, and they can’t get one fish, and they’re just like what? They beat all these big teams. And it’s just like dude, why you going for the home run. You just got to get the little fish for them to you know. To even get that little slinky joe thing, where you go down and catch your bait. I love that. There’s like ten hooks, you put it down and all these little, you know, mackerel … holy mackerel. I love doing that. Yeah, the big fish are too … they take for a long time to catch them, and then reeling them in, it beats you up. But this is a tough lady, Dr. Thomas, man, she loves to get out there and fish, and she was on that boat for 14 hours. She wants to go out and do it again, it’s like heck yeah, girl. Go out there and yeah,-
Dr. Calleros: Wow. Must have grown up doing that.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, she did. She did, and they have lakes and stuff. Never did really deep sea fishing, but they’re just amazed. They seen whales, and they seen dolphins and all this stuff, and they thought how great that was. I’m like eh, that’s pretty neat, you know, it’s nicer to catch a blue fin or even yellow tail. It’s like a grab bag you know. Whenever a fish is just bites on it, you know that line and you reel it, a lot of people that don’t fish a lot, you don’t know what it is. It’s just like it’s such a neat surprise when it comes out. It’s like fricking what is that? That’s a fricking, you know, I don’t even know the different names of the fish. I can’t even bait the hook, and I’ve had a boat for 15 years. It’s fun. We love it. Me and my wife go out there, and just sit on the back right where it’s at. There’s a boat launch area, so you see the guys backing out their boats, and it’s just so funny the husbands and wives, and their yelling, and them backing it out wrong. Like letting the boat and the whole car go into the water and we sit there with a beer-
Dr. Calleros: I know exactly what you’re talking about, because we used to have a boat at Lake Havasu-
Shaun Keating: Oh yes. There ya go.
Dr. Calleros: There’s one site, called site six, where all the public drunken boaters [crosstalk 00:28:00] people would just line up on either side with their popcorn and they sit in their chair and they clap and they hoot and they yell and they just make fun of all these people trying to back their boats up.
Shaun Keating: That’s exactly what we do here. They even have people with their lawn chairs. They get up there and watch it because it’s just regular people with their boat that they got, and they know not what they do. It’s funny as hell.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, it’s pretty funny.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, pretty cool. Alrighty. Let’s tell some more fish stories.
Dr. Calleros: So, you have to invite me to go out on your boat.
Shaun Keating: Oh, anytime, man. You’re welcome. Man the work you send us, heck yeah, you can get on that anytime baby, it needs to be used and-
Dr. Calleros: I’ll take you up on that.
Shaun Keating: Anytime, it’s always open, but … okay so tell me about okay so you associated a little bit, and you probably got some good experience in the mill type places, just fricking in the trenches, but a little bit-
Dr. Calleros: It was terrible. Terrible. I just didn’t like it at all. So I didn’t like it, so I got out the yellow pages and I just literally called every dentist in the south bay. If they didn’t return my call, I’d call them again and then finally one of them granted my an interview. So I started out doing hygiene all day, and then I slowly started to get my own patients. That was in Manhattan Beach.
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Calleros: But I didn’t really build my own office until I was 50, seven years ago, seven and a half years ago.
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Calleros: I had two kids, I was married, so I was lucky enough to be able to work part time while they were young. I think it’s a reason that I’ve been able to last this long, is that I wasn’t working full time my whole career.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. That’s awesome. I started mine at 40, but starting yours at 50 that’s and you guys are doing really good. So tell me a little bit about your practice now. How many ops you got, and tell me what kind of schedule you’re working.
Dr. Calleros: So, found a space that actually used to be a tanning salon. Yeah, it was called bronzed buns.
Shaun Keating: That’s a good one.
Dr. Calleros: Kind of smells like coconut oil in here.
Shaun Keating: There you go.
Dr. Calleros: So gutted the place. I work with Patterson dental and I have about 1400 square feet so it’s not that big. I started out with four operatorys, and then within a year, I needed another one so I remodeled my staff lounge, so that’s now my fifth room, and it’s a hygiene room. It’s pretty small. So we have five operatorys, and then I bought a Cerec about five months after I opened. Thought I was going to have to wait about a year. So I got that about five months later. Then a few years ago, I bought a CBCT-
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Calleros: I did some implant training. So I got that, which I love too. So my office is really nice, is really pretty. It has a really nice vibe. It’s sandwiched in between a couple restaurants. So we get a lot of people walking by.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. What kind of restaurants? I like to eat.
Dr. Calleros: One’s Greek, and one is American.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful. Get me in there.
Dr. Calleros: Really busy. It’s a really busy street. So another reason I waited so long, is being at the beach the real estate is-
Shaun Keating: Oh, it’s so ridiculous.
Dr. Calleros: Limited as far as a spot to build a medical. You’ve got to have the right parking, and I knew I wanted to be on the ground floor. I didn’t want to be on the fifth story of some building, hidden away. I wanted to be right there on the street. I think things just happen when you’re ready for them to happen. So,-
Shaun Keating: That’s true, it’s all on God’s time, right? You know? It’s something you can’t push it, you can’t rush it, it’s going to happen when it’s going to happen. I just think it’s good what you’re doing. You’re cranking it out now. Tell me a little bit about on some of your, you’re saying you did some of your, you got the [inaudible 00:32:12] and everything else. You’re sinking your own implants. That’s pretty brave, man. Who’d you see to help you do that, and where did you get the confidence and experience on that?
Dr. Calleros: I took Arun Garg. Arun Garg’s courses so we ended up, you do like four weekends two days per weekend of active of academic, and then he has a clinic in the Dominican Republic. So you fly there and you just place tons of implants. It’s pretty intense. You’re working like 12 hours a day. Seeing tons of patients, really tiring, but he gives a really good training. So I did that training with him. Then I got my 3D, my Xray machine, shortly after that. I don’t place tons of implants. I’m really picky, really straight forward ones. I refer out the difficult ones.
Shaun Keating: Good, good, yeah. That’s what you should do. What else do you like to do or don’t like to do? Are you doing endo, do you try to keep everything house that you can or you just kind of evaluate it, when it seems a bit much you shoot it out. Tell me about that.
Dr. Calleros: I guess I’d have to say that restorative dentistry really is my favorite dentistry. I love my Ceric machine. I just love having the immediate results. Having that crown done and having total control. You know how it looks and how it fits. I also have fun using composites for aesthetics, but I get a lot of satisfaction when I see somebody comes in for recall, and I see a restored implant that I placed myself, and I fabricated the crown by myself, I made the abutment by myself, and it looks great and fits great.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome. That so good. It really is.
Dr. Calleros: But as far as outsourcing. I don’t do upper molar endos, I don’t do sinus lifts, I don’t do down grafting. I refer out difficult extractions. Anything the patient might want to be sedated for. I don’t do sedation. I don’t try to do every single aspect of dentistry. I do a lot of different things, but I know my limits.
Shaun Keating: That’s good. That’s why you sleep at night, and I think some guys step in too much into a hole where they try to do things that they probably should be referring out. Maybe they’re slow and they’re trying to do good, but I don’t know, I think it’s a slippery slope when you start doing things that you’re to a 100 percent confident. I see the guys that do it like you where they do what they do best, and they know when to say no. They refer it out, and it’s okay to refer it out. I know sometimes patients, oh, can you do it and I want … I don’t know it’s just you kind of end up marrying that patient if you start doing things that you shouldn’t be doing, and it’s going to start costing you. I don’t know. I just think, when I hear doctors like you talking like that it’s … I hear that a lot from guys that have been doing it a long time and they know when to say when. I think it’s important.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. I think, you know you just I’d rather treat my patients as if they’re my family members, and I do want to sleep good at night, and I want to feel good about what I do. I want to be confident with what I do, but I’m also not afraid to take courses and try new things, and learn new things.
Shaun Keating: Awesome. That’s so cool. Now what about any dental conventions or gatherings you like to go to more than others?
Dr. Calleros: I was Cerec mentor for a number of years so I do attend most of the big dent supplies serona annual events, they used to be just in Vegas, now they’re alternating with Florida. I usually go when they’re in Vegas. But most of the time, I’m with groups of dentists at my CE courses that I take.
Shaun Keating: Okay. So you know Samir Puri probably, a little bit?
Dr. Calleros: I know Sam.
Shaun Keating: He used to be SoCal Sam.
Dr. Calleros: I have met Sam. And you know him too?
Shaun Keating: Oh yeah, I’ve had him and Tbone here at my lab. We have a full operatory here at the laboratory. We do implant case, we do full make overs and they were one of my first guys that we did full upper on a patient. Four to 13, we did it on a Friday, we had about 15 doctors in watching it over the shoulder, and it went off to the lab that night, and everyone came back the next day and we seated everything. It was just fricking amazing. They’re good. They’re great guys. Samir, he bis very humble guy, but he’s just very talented. I’ve worked with a lot of dentist and Tbone is a great dentist too, but Samir is really special when it comes to hand skills and just … I know he’s all into the Cerec, but that dude can cut preps and just really treatment plan and diagnose, and he’s kind of a younger dude. Well, he’s getting up there now, a little bit, but now he’s got some special gifts for sure. I think that’s why he’s out there in Scottsdale with Spear, doing what he does.
I remember at the beginning, always kind of fighting it with the Cerec guys, but they turned out to be some of my best [inaudible 00:37:47] that sure they’re doing their onesies and twosies, and I understand it and I see that, and there’s definitely a place in dentistry for it. But they’re still doing a lot of other cases, implant cases, veneer cases, partial denture cases. So, it’s kind of cool. It’s not like you lose them completely. Sometimes you do, but more so than not they-
Dr. Calleros: I mean we’re still always going to need our labs. There’s no doubt about it.
Shaun Keating: I think so. We can make you look good, or make you look bad, that’s for sure. We try to make you look good, so it’s just something I used to think a certain
way with that back in the day. But now it’s kind of a gift for us when we get them. They see the margin so much clearer, and my biggest thing is marginal integrity, if I can’t see that in margin, I don’t have fit, and if I don’t have fit, I can’t function, and then I can’t get aesthetic. So fit is first and foremost. The guys that are doing the scanners for impressions and stuff like that, and the early adopters with the Cerec guys and man they just see it.
The system can’t go on to the next level if they can’t read that margin. So it’s doing a lot of my, you know not babysitting, but a lot of my where we had to just check everything so closely when we pour an impression this and that. And then we have to let them know what it’s like, it’s like the grab bag again, you know, they see kind of, they look at it real quick, but you can’t really tell til you pour it out and pull it from that impression. You know, this tissue is flapped all the way over the medial distal of this and it’s just half way up the wall of the stone die now, it’s like I can’t peel it away. I can’t see the margin-
Dr. Calleros: Right.
Shaun Keating: Where you know, on a digital scan you’d be able to say, you know what, this ain’t reading and now it just makes them practice better, because it’s so much more high mag. Now it’s just like they’re so… and it takes a few months, some guys longer than others, but what a God send-
Dr. Calleros: Definitely a big learning curve, and I think it does make you a better dentist, because you are really looking at your work in high magnification. The awesome things is if you don’t see it, you can just fix it right away. You’re not waiting for a model.
Shaun Keating: Exactly. I can also, too, where something goes a wry with the case, we can come back and redesign it. Hey, it’s Shaun, you missed that shoulder on this distill, I thought it was, or a shoulder beveled, or whatever. We can go in and adjust accordingly, just re-mill it and send it back without … it’s just amazing now, the stuff we can do, especially now with all the modelist stuff we’re doing and it’s fricking accurate. It’s just exciting. It’s –
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, really accurate.
Shaun Keating: It really is, and it’s just so neat. Well, tell me, I know we got to get going here.
We talked a little bit too much about my dumb stories, but-
Dr. Calleros: Your stories are fun.
Shaun Keating: Oh Lordy help us. Tell me about your marketing strategy. Do you do mailers?
Tell me do you do some social media? Working with the public sector? Tell me a little bit about how you drive people to your practice, if you could?
Dr. Calleros: Most of my marketing is internal marketing. Meaning that we try our best to be good listeners and communicators with our patients and it sounds simple but we do our best to do high quality care, and treat our patients like I was saying like family. We’re not afraid to ask them for referrals. That works. People are always happy to send their family, their coworkers in, if they’re happy with you. So we ask for referrals.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful.
Dr. Calleros: We’re pretty active on Facebook, probably could do a better job of that. Kind of go in spurts, or in waves, where we’re pretty active and then it just kind of falls off for a while. So we could probably do a little more than what we’re doing now. We’re pretty supportive of our community. We support the little league teams. We do charity events. We’ll do like the El Segundo ed foundation, 5k run, and we’ll have our little booth up. So we do community events a lot. I’ve never really been one to do mailers. I heard they work, maybe I should try it, but I’ve never really done too much of that.
Shaun Keating: Okay. I see you worked with Maria Shriver a little bit, over at the Modern House Call for Women, in Long Beach.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. We did that a few years ago. Something we should look at doing again.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I do, I think her brother, it’s called Best Buddies and it’s kind of a bicycling group. They raise money for different handicapped people and stuff. We’ve been working with them for years, and my step father’s really big with them. It’s called Best Buddies, but yeah those Shrivers, they’re really trying to help the world out there. They’re really good people, for sure. They’ve got big hearts helping people like they do.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, I think it’s important.
Shaun Keating: Oh absolutely. Definitely. It’s better to give than to receive. That’s really neat. So tell me, what kind of advice can you give some of the we have a bunch of the newer dentists here that are really kind of starting off and any advice, dos and don’ts, just whatever you can give out there. It would greatly help us.
Dr. Calleros: Number one, I would say take the best continuing education that you can afford. I know it’s expensive for the good courses, but try to pick some really good courses. I love the spear coursed in Scottsdale. I’ve been there a ton. So just take the best continuing education you can afford. Take coursed you can apply right away. Because you’re not done with your education just because you have your degree, your DDS degrees. You’re never done with your education. I love podcasts. I listen to tons of podcasts. I still do in my car, I’d rather listen to a podcast than to, you know the radio.
Shaun Keating: That’s cool.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah. Read good books. I would say learn about airway and sleep apnea, because that’s growing. There’s a lot of undiagnosed people out there that need our help, and dentistry can play a big role in that, dentists. I would also say work on the fluffy stuff. You may not think is important, but will get you pretty far in your dentistry or any business. Communication, listening, there’s a course I just took, I’m taking still, motivational interviewing, teaching you how to listen and communicate with patients. Meditation’s important. I meditate every day. It keeps your mind calm. I have a lot of advice, I can go on and on.
Shaun Keating: We’re going to have to get you lecturing out here. You’d be a good lecturer for us, man.
Dr. Calleros: I have a lot of advice, so I can keep going if you want me to.
Shaun Keating: On your meditation, where’d you learn … I’m just starting to get into that I got an app called Calm and it’s pretty neat. They got bedtime stories, they got meditation in the morning, yeah, sleep stories. It’s great man.
Dr. Calleros: I use an app called insight. I-n-s-i-g-h-t, and it has guided meditation, it has music, it has talks, if you just want to hear talks. It’s really good. I heard about yours too though.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it’s neat. It’s got master classes. They can talk about everything from depression to eating, just motivation. It’s kind of neat yeah, it just. Last year or so with me too … we’re driving farther we’ve moved out, we used to live out in Irvine for 20 some odd years, not we live down in Dana point. So it’s about a 40 mile, or 40 minute trip each way, so I’m listening to podcasts. Listening to a little bit of this, little bit of that. I used to listen to the radio, jamming it, or Howard Stern, I got rid of that stuff. I’m just listening to stuff that pumps me up, motivates me, makes me think a little bit. It’s just kind of neat, there’s a ton of information out there. It can really help you in different areas for sure, and I love some of the dental podcasts out there. I kind of cringe when I listen to mine, I was like dude, what the frick am I thinking. Come on shut up. It is what it is. We’re not some infomercial here. We’re not selling you anything. We talk a little bit about my lab, but you talk that talk, you gotta walk the walk, and we walk it every day. I think I have the best lab in the nation, but that’s just me. We got great people.
Dr. Calleros: You have a great lab.
Shaun Keating: Oh, thank you.
Dr. Calleros: Let me say some other things, because I feel like this podcast maybe is for the newer, because I don’t think the old guys are going to want to hear. But the newer dentist I would say, use and optragate, and an isodry. If I had that, my whole career, it would have made life so much easier for me at work.
Shaun Keating: So what is that for me as a, it’s like a-
Dr. Calleros: The optragate, optragate, o-p-t-r-a-g-a-t-e, that’s the one that retracts the lips.
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Calleros: I even use that for surgeries, implant placements, just get the lips out of the way.
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Calleros: Then the isodry is the mouth piece that’s like a bite block with a little shield. So it protects the tongue, the cheek and the airway. And it’s a bite block, and it just keeps everything retracted and then it also suctions at the same time.
Shaun Keating: No kidding. That’s kind of like the isolite, that Dr.-
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, it’s the same thing.
Shaun Keating: Dr. Hirsch, yeah I had Tom Hirsch on a-
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, you put the optragate, and the isodry in and you can work without an assistant if you didn’t have an assistant so-
Shaun Keating: Yeah. That is so neat.
Dr. Calleros: I would definitely, like that has helped so much. Then find a mentor you can get advice from. Hang out with other dentists who are passionate about dentistry. Not the ones who haven’t taken a course in ten years.
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Calleros: Important to hang out with people who love dentistry. If you can find a mentor that would be awesome, or two mentors. Treat patients like they’re your family members and don’t give into pressure to produce for the sake of making the numbers. Stick with just try to do your best and don’t give in to the pressure to practice sloppy, or too fast. You’re going to be slow at first, but that’s okay.
You’re going to get faster. It just takes time. Stay true to yourself and have gratitude each and every day.
Shaun Keating: Awe.
Dr. Calleros: Be humble. Admit when you’re wrong. Work on your leadership skills, because you’re going to need to be a leader. Treat your team nicely, because you need them. Get a coach if you can afford it, I’m not talking about a tennis coach, I’m talking about a life coach. I have one. I talk to her every week. She’s awesome. Then you got to have fun at work, you got to have fun at home. Life is too short not to. So make time for fun.
Shaun Keating: See. Dr. C, that’s the best man, I love it.
Dr. Calleros: That’s my advice for the new doctors.
Shaun Keating: Hey, that’s advice for the old doctors too, man. I’m going to get into that, listen to that. No, that is so cool, man. It’s great talking to you, and it’s a great podcast. And I just can’t thank you enough for your time, man. And get your butt on down here for sure. You’re just up the road. Come on down and see-
Dr. Calleros: I’ll come see you in a bit. Go fishing with you.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. You can go fishing with my crew. No. Unless the fish are running really good, I’m not going out man. No, I’d definitely go out and-
Dr. Calleros: My dad’s birthday is November 6th and he just passed aways so I wasn’t really like a big fisherman but a lot of my siblings were. So on his birthday I want to go out to sea and spread his ashes. That’s why I really like that was awesome… you said Dana Point, that’s where he loved to go out of.
Shaun Keating: Well, hey, you can use my boat, we spread my-
Dr. Calleros: So, November 6th, I want to go out there, and just put some ashes out.
Shaun Keating: November 6th? It’s booked, you just let me know a little bit ahead, you got it. I know October 6th, I’ll be on the beach with Sammy Hagar and all the guys in Huntington Beach. November 6th is a Tuesday. So yeah, no worries man, I’ll have my crew ready for you. You got go like three-
Dr. Calleros: How many people fit on that boat?
Shaun Keating: Like 20 or 30, but it’s about 20 feet wide, 60 feet long. It’ll fit probably the people you need to be on it. So, no worries-
Dr. Calleros: I have five brothers and sisters.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful, I got four boys and two girls in my family too, that’s kind of-
Dr. Calleros: Me too.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, big old-
Dr. Calleros: What number are you?
Shaun Keating: Of the four boys, I’m the youngest, and then there’s two younger sisters than me.
Dr. Calleros: I’m the fourth kid.
Shaun Keating: Can you believe that. See we’re-
Dr. Calleros: Four brothers and two girls, just like you.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, what a trip, man. Good Lord. (singing)
Dr. Calleros: Do you guys all get along?
Shaun Keating: You just entered the Twilight Zone, no. That’s a trip.
Dr. Calleros: You guys all get along?
Shaun Keating: Oh yeah, we’re all family. Hey family, family’s first man. You got to love your family. My one brother’s out in North Carolina, Greensboro, and then all the rest of the families right here in Orange County where we all grew up so. Yeah, what a trip. That’s amazing. We’ll definitely take care of your pops and get out here and you know come out here and see your ceramics and that stuff, you’re so close. I mean you’re 2.0, 25 minutes. Just down the road. Nah, you’re probably about 45 minutes. If you drive fast, no. But hey, thank you so much. I can’t thank you enough-
Dr. Calleros: Thank you.
Shaun Keating: If there’s anything at all.
Dr. Calleros: That was fun and if anybody wants, any young dentists want to contact me, you can give them my number or my email-
Shaun Keating: Beautiful.
Dr. Calleros: My Facebook. My address. Whatever you want to give them. I’m available.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. We’ll put it up on the website for sure, on the podcast we’ll get our info written in there. That’s so cool man. Awesome, awesome job. Great talking to you.
Dr. Calleros: Yeah, I hope it [inaudible 00:52:52]
Shaun Keating: Thanks again, and we’ll talk to you real soon.
Dr. Calleros: Okay, thanks have a great day.
Shaun Keating: You too. Bye bye.
Dr. Calleros: Bye bye.
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