Our guest this week on the Dental Up Podcast is Dr. Leeshik Shin, DDS. He is a young, up and coming dentist from Little Elm, Texas, who brings some insight into what it takes to be a dentist in today’s world. How he was able to open his new practice right after graduating. Shaun and Dr. Shin discuss why it’s important to discover and choose your specialty early on.
In this episode we chat about:
- His experience right after Dental School.
- What inspired him as a kid to pursue a career in dentistry.
- How he was able to open his first practice a few years after graduating.
- His marketing strategy and how he’s utilizing “word of mouth”.
- How it’s important to find your focus as a dentist and doing what you love.
For more information on Dr.Shin please visit his website at https://www.mywhitetreedental.com
Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/whitetreedental/
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Dental Up podcast brought to you my Keating Dental Lab, a full service, award winning dental laboratory. Each week you’ll learn tips and techniques from real-world dentists, bringing you in-depth interviews, 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 graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, where he received his doctorate of dental surgery degree and his Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement and Restorative Dentistry. Currently practices from Little Elm, Texas, please welcome Dr. Leeshik Shin, DDS. How’s it going doctor Shin?
Dr. Shin: Good. How about you?
Shaun Keating: Oh, man, thank you so much. I know how busy you are and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out. But I really appreciate you coming on the Dental Up podcast.
Dr. Shin: Thank you for having me.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, man. I always start off talking a little bit about sports, man. You got the Super Bowl this weekend. What do you think? You got the Rams, you got the Patriots, or you want nothing to do with them, you’re more a Houston Texans or who do you like, man?
Dr. Shin: I do wish the Rams to win, just because we’ve seen Patriots win a number of times, so I think a lot of people are rooting for the Rams, too.
Shaun Keating: I hope so, man. It’s kind of neat I think. I think a lot of people, man, over in New Orleans and stuff with that call that got us into it. But, hey, things happen. Everything happens for a reason, right? So we’re supposed to be there. I really do hope the Rams, it’d be kind of neat for LA and for all of California just to have a representation of a football team. We haven’t had it in so long. They took off in the middle of one night 20 some odd year ago and they went off to St. Louis. And it was like, oh, we were so upset. And then first year back I think they won four games and it was like, “Oh, man, we don’t want these guys.” But then we got that McVay coach and what a difference. He’s a young kid, 32 I think, I think he just turned 33, But the youngest kid ever to coach a Super Bowl. I think he’s 33 and I think Belichick of the Patriots is 66.
Dr. Shin: Wow.
Shaun Keating: It’s a big different, man. We’re excited. I’m excited just for all the commercials and food and everything. So I’m excited. Come Sunday, baby. It’s a few more days.
Dr. Shin: Almost there.
Shaun Keating: That’s it, man. So well that’s cool dude. What about basketball, you into any basketball out there? You like the Rockets, or?
Dr. Shin: No, I’m a fan of the Golden State Warriors.
Shaun Keating: You’re kidding!
Dr. Shin: Yeah. I haven’t been following too much lately, just because I have a baby at home keeping me busy. But I try to follow it on the sports news, on the internet highlights.
Shaun Keating: I think they’ve won 11 straight, Golden State, and so they’re back peeking again at the perfect time, and it’s like man! Oh it’s just so crazy, and our Lakers are just looking horrible, we’ve had LeBron out for several weeks now, and Lonzo Ball’s hurt again, I don’t know about that guy. I think they’re ready to trade half the team for that dude over at the Pelicans, I forgot his name, but he’s like fricking’ $250 million dollar contract. We’ll see, it’s all about chemistry when you put those guys together, and you can have some great athletes but if there’s no chemistry, man, look what LeBron and Kyrie Irving, they had some great teams there, but they still couldn’t- they got it done a couple times, but there’s a lot to it. Golden State, draining those threes left and right, it’s so crazy. It’s just nuts.
Dr. Shin: It’s insane how well they do three-pointers.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I know, it’s so crazy.
Alright, well heck, let’s go ahead and dental up, Dr. Shin. Tell me now, why did you get into dentistry and what point did you think “I want to be a dentist?”
Dr. Shin: I started back in high school, I was born and raised in South Korea and I went to Canada for high school when I was fifteen. Two uncles were living in Canada, that’s the reason I went to Canada to get a high school education there. What a coincidence, they were both lab technicians, dental. So I actually got to see the lab side of dentistry first, and that intrigued me quite a bit. I really like to do things with my hands and it really matched up the description of being a dentist, so that’s how I started.
Shaun Keating: That’s so awesome. That’s neat. I have quite a few Korean technicians here and they’re some of the best in the world for sure, so I know a little bit of [foreign language 00:05:17] And then I know some words that would get me in trouble, but no.
Dr. Shin: Not on a podcast!
Shaun Keating: Yeah, exactly.
Tell me a little bit about Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Man I was butchering the Doctor of dental surgery degree and the Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement. Quintessence, I couldn’t get that out for the life of me. What’s a Quintessence award, tell me a little bit about that.
Dr. Shin: It’s actually a magazine. They have a magazine that comes out every month, it’s just like any other dental magazines, but it has research papers on there, a lot of clinical cases. The award actually got named after that, and the professor picked me as a recipient so I was pretty excited about that.
Shaun Keating: Good job, baby! I know all my dentists that work with me are just hot shots, and I knew Dr. Shin was a hot shot for sure. That’s so cool. What was University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry? How was your college, tell me a little bit about your experience there if you could.
Dr. Shin: So I started as an undergraduate student there, actually. So I did go to the same undergrad and dental school. I was able to pick my school as my final choice because I had a lot of classmates of mine going to dental school at the same time. Plus we were very strong on clinical experience as well.
Going into dental school, everything… We were the second or third class moving into the new facility. They built up the whole facility, including the new clinic, the patient clinic, and all the new classrooms and all the cool stuff like head cam. It was amazing. Definitely it was very strong on didactic and also clinical. Had a chance to a lot of digital cases, starting with Bluecam. The one with the powder. I think we had Lava back then as well. It was very cool.
The professors and clinical directors, they were very up to date with technology.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome. I remember Lava, that was our first Zirconia, what was that, back 2002 or so? And the Dent Supply is the one that made that, and they really dropped the ball. They didn’t get on the bandwagon. Well, they didn’t capitalize on it because everyone else came out with the disks and the pucks and… I think they’ve been fighting for market share in that segment ever since. What a trip, man, good for you!
You’re kind of a newer dentis, what year’d you graduate from dental school?
Dr. Shin: I graduated back in 2013, so it’s been a little over five years since I graduated. Then I went to Stony Brook University for additional training and my GPR.
Shaun Keating: I’ve got a few doctors from Stony Brook. Yeah, Stony Brook’s great. That’s awesome.
So tell me, did you start out as an associate or did you purchase a practice, tell me a little bit about that if you could.
Dr. Shin: So right after my GPR I moved to Dallas area and have been an associate since then, and now I’m a part-time associate and I’m a part-time owner of my practice. I opened my practice back in September of 2017.
Shaun Keating: Right on! Good for you, congratulations! That’s awesome!
Dr. Shin: Thank you, thank you! It’s been a busy two year period. I don’t know how time went by.
Shaun Keating: Hey, it’s all a blur. I started in 2002 on my own lab, I started doing dental technology in ’84, but it just goes so fast and… I think when you get older, too, time goes faster. I’ve heard a few people say that. It’s already February? I’m thinking surfing and fish are coming, warm waters… We got May and June around the corner, baby, and it was just Christmas. That’s so awesome.
Tell me a little bit about Little Elm. How did you find that area, and tell me where it is in conjunction to Dallas or some of the other bigger cities.
Dr. Shin: Little Elm is about 45 minutes away from Dallas downtown, so it’s a bit up north. My house is about 20 minutes away, located up north, but a little on the east side. My partner lives in Little Elm. We’ve been looking around for a location in the north part of Dallas and we found a really good location, that’s how we picked the spot.
Shaun Keating: Have you been to that big stadium in Dallas at all?
Dr. Shin: I have been to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. From Little Elm that’s only an hour and a half drive.
Shaun Keating: No kidding. I heard that stadium is just so beautiful. I’ve seen it on TV, but… I hear the Rams stadium’s gonna be a little bit better than that but hey- It’s supposed to be just so cutting edge, but you know, five years out… That Dallas stadium’s only four or five years old, isn’t it? Maybe a little longer, I’m not sure, but-
Dr. Shin: Yes, it looked pretty nice and new.
Shaun Keating: It’s so state-of-the-art. I remember when they first built it they had the big system in the middle, all the TVs in the middle of the field above it, but I think it was a little bit two low and some of the punters were hitting the bottom of the TV screens, so I think they had to raise it up a little bit.
That’s America’s team, but they haven’t really gone anywhere in a long time. In the last few years they were talking about Zach and Ezekiel and man, they thought they were going this year and they lost again, but yeah, Houston Texans, it’s just Texas needs to get some of these guys in the Superbowl. You can’t have the Patriots in there three out of four years and it’s just crazy. But we need to get some of these other teams representing, baby! Especially out in Texas!
Dr. Shin: Maybe next year.
Shaun Keating: Yeah! That’s, hey, so many teams are waiting. All these teams are not in the Superbowl, unless you’re Rams or Patriots, and they’re just like, next year. And hey, it’s 0/0 when they start the season so anything can happen. I mean, look at the Rams, we were last place, worst in scoring, and we went from worst in scoring to top in scoring, and in a year or two we changed the whole team, and look it! We’re in the big dance, the Superbowl. So it can happen, you just gotta have a good coach and some good players and you know, the stars gotta align, baby, but the Rams this year gotta do it! Come on! And I already got my season tickets for the new stadium, so I’m not worried about them raising prices, so… Before I was like eh, I’m gonna wait, I don’t want them to win the Superbowl and then the prices… And they said “Sir, the prices probably will go up, you’d better get ’em now!”
It’s so darn expensive, the cost of those things, but you know what, you only live once. For me, too, it’s about an hour drive in to get into there from where I live, maybe a little bit longer with traffic. But we’ll make a weekend of it. They’re making hotels, they’ve got the little racetrack for horses and the casino. It’s gonna be a weekend destination to go.
Dr. Shin: They change!
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it’s really changed out there. It’s in Inglewood where the Fabulous Forum is, and I’ve been to a gazillion Laker games when they were at the Forum and I’ve been to a lot at Staple Center too, they redid the Forum as a music venue now so they, Madison Square Garden company came in and bought it and they redid all the acoustics and it’s state of the art for music shows and stuff. They’ve got the best of the best lineups going there. But now, a block away is the stadium’s already, it’s almost 3/4 of the way built, I mean it’s coming along. Pretty amazing. But got me some four seats on the 40-yard line, baby! It’s gonna be pretty awesome, I’m pretty excited.
Dr. Shin: That’s good timing to buy tickets, yeah. Congratulations!
Shaun Keating: Thank you. Yeah, hopefully I’ll be around by the time it starts in 2020. We’ll see about that, you know. Yesterday’s history and tomorrow’s a mystery, baby, right? So we got today! I try not to look too far ahead in the future, but nah. Just kinda messing’ around there.
Tell me a little bit about the layout of your practice. How many ops you got and tell me a little bit about your staff if you could.
Dr. Shin: So we do have one receptionist who does a lot of work on the front end of it. We have a part-time hygienist and a full-time dental assistant. Currently we have five ops front, we have three operatories fully equipped, and two other ones are waiting to be equipped. Hopefully any time soon.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome. What are you doing to market your practice, are you pulling from there, are you pulling from towns outside of you? How are you driving people to your practice?
Dr. Shin: Most of our patients are from surrounding neighborhood. We do some mailers, some social media marketing, some Google Ad work, so we’re kinda branched out on the marketing strategy. However, I think the best marketing is the reputation.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely, word of mouth and existing clients. I’m telling you, I’ve been doing this a long time. It’s free, and all you gotta do is do a good job with your patients, treat them good, and ask them to give you some referrals. And there’s nothing better. Even with me, with dentists, I get referrals for other dentists to come use me or give them a call and say, you know, “Hey, Dr. Shin gave me your number and he’s using my lab and I was wondering if you’d like to give us a shot…” It just goes so far when it’s from peer to peer. It’s so huge, and it’s free, and it’s basically just treat your people good, and let them know, hey if you have any friends or something that need a dentist, please let them know about us and that just goes so far. And it’s free!
Some guys are just doing so much trying to do all these mailers, a lot of social media, all this stuff where… Most dental offices, they’ve got thousands of patients, usually. It takes a little bit time to work that up, but at the end of the day, most, me, I’ve only got like 400-500 dentists or whatever. But dental offices got thousands of patients and man, if you could just concentrate on your existing clients… And it’s like with me, it’s always best to take care of our existing customers. Because you know what, most time dentists are probably sending you maybe half their work, 3/4, a lot of our dentists send all of their work, but… More so than not, if you can just take care of your existing customers, you can probably get more work from them.
Same thing with your patients, just make sure you’re doing the recalls, make sure you’re touching with them, making sure they’re following up on their appointments, instead of trying to get new clients all the time, concentrate on your existing clients, because there’s a lot of work there that probably needs to be done that’s not getting done. Don’t forget your existing clientele, and I always say that to our people here that… There’s a new doctor here, but don’t forget Dr. Shin, and don’t forget our existing clients, because they’re with us, and it’s so much easier to keep than happy than trying to get a new account to come in and build that relationship, to try to work it, so same thing with you guys and that’s really awesome.
Tell me, what’s one of your favorite procedures that you like doing in dentistry? You like popping teeth out of the mouth, you like doing some endo, what do you like doing and what don’t you like doing?
Dr. Shin: I do enjoy endo, restorative and also implants, yes.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome! Tell me about the endo, how’d you learn that? You take a Buchanan course or? How’d you learn about endo?
Dr. Shin: Slowly with simple interiors to molars, but I did take a continuing education course in Vancouver, which the endodontist taught us how to use different file systems. Basically from there I was able to narrow down some of the material of choice and the file system. Some endos are tough, but you learn from the tough cases. I like challenge.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome, I love that, baby! That’s what a lot of people do. You’re so young, you’re four or five years, you just do all these different procedures and then you figure out what you like to do. I think it’s five, ten years in at least of trying different things to see what works, see what you like doing. And then at the end of the day, you can say “You know what, I don’t like doing this, I’m not gonna do this.” You can make it your own and do what you like to do, and I think a lot of dentists had to do a lot of… Different towns and stuff, when they’re the only guy for these people, they try to do a lot of different things. Whereas some dentists that have the option of specialist, they can do what they wanna do. And after a while of learning what they like and what they don’t like, they really can say “You know what, I’m not doing this, this, and this, and I’m gonna this, this, this and this.”
And then you live a happier life, you sleep better. The kids you got at home driving you crazy, you can spend more time with them. I got some guys that try to do everything and you really need to figure out what you do like and what you’re good at, and then keep practicing at it and you’ll get better. It’s just a neat thing when you can pick what you want to do, and a lot of dentists do it. A lot of guys just do bread and butter dentistry, and that’s what they want. It’s probably 70-80% of the dentists out there are doing that kind of dental practice. “I’m gonna do bread and butter dentistry, the onesie twosies…” and the different procedures that they like to do, and they’re not gonna do the others. Yanno, when the patient’s saying “please, do this for me,” what you gotta say is “I wouldn’t even do it on my wife, because I’m just not…” Be it endo, or be it surgical extractions.
I don’t know, I watched some of those extraction things online, that’s some wicked stuff! These oral surgeons popping stuff out, you go below the gums, slice it open. I don’t know how you guys do some of that stuff. Even implants….
Dr. Shin: No, YouTube has a lot of videos out there where patients can see ahead of time, and then they get scared.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I know. And even too, sinking implants. I do a ton of implants here, it’s probably one of our biggest operations we’ve got going and growing and stuff, and man, the sinus lifts. You ever seen a live sinus lift? Even a video simulation of a sinus lift, it’s fricking’ ballsy, dude, how they get in there and it’s… It’s just crazy, and then the grafting, and then… I’ve got some dentists that take that little weekend course on an implant course, and they come back Monday and they’re opening up flap and sinking implants, baby! It’s nuts!
Some guys get it. Look it, you’re a young gun and you’re just very smart and everything else. You graduated Summa Cum Laude, what’s that, that’s one of the- I had another one, she was a little different, it was a different Cum Laude, but Summa, is that not one of the top one or… What’s that mean, what’s Summa Cum Laude?
Dr. Shin: I believe it’s once you achieve a certain GPA, it’s the second highest I believe.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, that’s what my people are telling me, I’m like “heck, I don’t know what that is!” I think that’s the one with John Belushi, where they wore the togas? Look at my young guys in front of me, they weren’t even born when that came out. Animal House!
Just real quick, I know you gotta go, you have a French bulldog named Hugo, and another dog named Coco. I’ve had French bulldogs for a long time. How’s Hugo, you love that Frenchie or what?
Dr. Shin: Oh yes, he’s a stubborn dog. But he’s just adorable.
Shaun Keating: They are, I love ’em. We got Levi and Cash. Hey Doctor Shin, I know you’ve gotta roll. How we doing as a lab, we doing good for you baby?
Dr. Shin: Yes, very few remakes, very high quality work. Good communication and very knowledgeable team. And also, most importantly, fast turn around time. It’s amazing.
Shaun Keating: Bam! We’re gonna drop the mic on that, baby! Hey, Dr. Shin, God bless you and your family. Thank you so much for coming up on the dental podcast. If there’s anything we can do, please let us know, and again, thank you so much, we really appreciate it.
Dr. Shin: Thank you!
Shaun Keating: Alright baby, buh-bye.
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