On this week’s episode of the Dental Up Podcast, we have Dr. Wade Kifer, DDS stop by and chat with us about the value of establishing a practice-lab partnership. He explains why having a solid communication with your dental lab makes the workflow/process a lot easier and efficient.
In this episode you will learn:
– Why prepping your work and case properly helps the process go by faster.
– Choosing the right Dental Lab.
– Figuring out what works best for you; Doing everything in-house
or working with a Dental Laboratory.
-Why he loves working with ISOLITE
For more information on Dr. Kifer and his practice feel free to click here:
Host: Ladies and gentlemen, 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 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 guess this week received a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 2003. An avid attendee of continuing education courses, averaging over 100 hours a year, he is a member of the Kois Center of Excellence in Seattle, the ADA, the Arkansas State Dental Association, and the president of the Academy of Interdisciplinary Dental Facial Therapy. Practicing from Fayetteville, Arkansas, please welcome Doctor Wade Kifer DDS. How’s it going, Doctor Kifer?
Dr. Kifer: Good Shaun, good to be here. That’s quite the introduction. You’re pretty good at this.
Shaun Keating: No, dude, I know not what I do, man. No, it’s just, that’s all about you, man. You got more stuff we could have talked about, but yeah, what a bio. You’re just such a smart dude and can’t thank you enough for your time today. I know how after a big weekend and stuff, and getting back in, I know how busy you are, but I thank you for coming to the mic for a little bit, just to hear a little bit about your story, and dental, and the dental world. Again, I can’t thank you enough for your time.
Shaun Keating: I always like to start off, talk a little bit about sports, and I know you’re a big Arkansas Razorback guy. Tell me a little bit about that. I remember when Lou Holtz was the coach of the Razorbacks way back in the day. You were probably just a little kid when he was coaching there.
Dr. Kifer: Yeah, you know, Holtz was gone by the time I was really becoming a big hog fan, but here in the state of Arkansas, we don’t have any other professional sports, so it’s all Razorbacks, all the time. We’ve got a new coach so it’ll be fun. I’m actually traveling out to Colorado this week to watch them play.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re-
Dr. Kifer: I don’t have many hobbies outside of dentistry, but Razorback sports is one of them for sure.
Shaun Keating: Ah, that is so cool. I just love their mascot too. He’s a mean little boll weevil looking razorback. What is a razorback actually? Is it like a … What kind of animal is it?
Dr. Kifer: It’s just a wild hog. Interesting story, they were the Cardinals up until a coach way back in the day said they were playing like a wild band of razorbacks,-
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: -hogs, and it just stuck. It’s kind of where they got their name.
Shaun Keating: Ah, that is so cool. Yeah, I love that. You don’t want to mess with those razorbacks, I tell ya. Oh man, I see some of those, some of the movies of, go hunting them or seeing them out in the wild, and those boys don’t mess around. They’re tough little boogers there.
Dr. Kifer: Yeah, it’s something you’ll stay away from in the wild, that’s for sure.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I bet so. What about on the basketball and baseball … How far are you from the stadium there?
Dr. Kifer: I honestly live probably just about 10 minutes from the stadium, so-
Shaun Keating: Ah, beautiful.
Dr. Kifer: -pretty close. We work with a lot of the athletes and everything, just taking care of them. It’s good to be involved and gives us something, good tie to the community for sure.
Shaun Keating: Oh, heck yeah. No, that’s so neat that you’re so close. I bet the whole town shuts down for just the different activities with the different sports, because that’s the way it is across the U.S. in a lot of these towns. It’s kind of like religion almost. Shut the town down on Friday nights for high school football, and shut it down on Saturdays for college ball. Then Sunday, it depends you got a pro team or not, but that’s just so neat. I love that. Well, cool, man. I say we gonna Dental Up now.
Dr. Kifer: Sounds good.
Shaun Keating: Tell me Doctor Kifer, at one point did you think I want to get into dentistry and I want to be a dentist? Tell me a little bit about that.
Dr. Kifer: I was one of the weird ones probably, I think. I’ve always wanted to be a dentist since I can remember. I didn’t have any family that did it, I’m just a science person. By the time I was in high school and starting college, I already knew I wanted to be a dentist. To me it was just the perfect blend of, hey, I like the science but at the same time, I’m getting to deal with people, ’cause I’m not made to sit at a desk, and do anything like that. So, I don’t know, it worked perfect for me. I know everyone has different reasons that get them in to it, but I think you do have to like dealing with the public obviously, and most of us are science backgrounds or else we wouldn’t have followed this path.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, exactly. I see a lot of dentists, they’re really into biology and stuff and it’s like, that’s just … you gotta be smart. I mean, all the dentists I’ve known are just smart people. You gotta be smart to get into dental school, and then to graduate from it. I remember my brother, he was going to dental school, I think after two years he could have went either into medical school or stayed in dentistry. It’s just so close, those last two years. Okay, let’s go to dentistry I guess.
Dr. Kifer: That’s cool. I never knew your brother was a dentist.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, he’s not a dentist. He couldn’t cut a crown prep for the life of him, but he can do a root canal all day long. The Navy gave him a scholarship to go to dental school and then he had to do like eight years, or four years, or eight, and then after the eight years, they said, “Hey, we can send you to two years to specialize in endo, if you want to give us two more years,” and so he did that. It was a good choice for him. I mean, a lot of these fixed GPs and fixed practices, fixed prosthodontics, they can go up and down. It’s a great field for sure, but a good specialist in town like where he … He’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and a couple hundred dentists in town and only a couple practices limited to endo. It’s been a boom town for him just to be in an area that … you know.
Shaun Keating: He gets all the hard tough ones. All the GPs, like they should, they do the easy ones and what they can do, and feel comfortable with, and they send the nasty hard ones to the endodontist. That’s the way it should be.
Dr. Kifer: No matter what’s going on with the economy, people’s teeth, those have been worked on, they go bad, so endo is definitely something that if you’ve got a knack for it, and the ability to do it, I mean, I think it’s almost recession proof.
Shaun Keating: Exactly. I always kind of kid around. My buddy’s always telling me through the … I mean, I’ve been doing this since 84, and there’s been peaks, and valleys, and life, and you know, with the economy especially. I worked for a company for almost 17 plus years, and then I started my own in 2002. That was a tough time back then, 2001, 2002, 3, 4, I mean, it was not a great economy, but teeth are kind of recession proof in a way. I mean, people are always going to need to teeth, especially the onesy, twosies. Not a whole lot of the cosmetics when we’re doing full rehabs, or cosmetic 4 through 13 type thing, or 6 or 11’s, you know, 22, 27. It’s a thing that’s always going to be there.
Shaun Keating: It’s been a blessing for us, for me getting into this field. I remember buddies all laughing at me when, I’m going to be a dental laboratory technician. It was like 3.35 an hour back in 84. Wasn’t a lot of money at the bench, but it worked out, man. Just, I see all these other companies, just certain businesses in general that, like malls, and just on and on, just the brick and mortar stores, and it’s just, life changes. Even with us with the lab, and it’s tough with … well, and [Sarit 00:08:02] came out, and it’s been out for a while, you thought about it back then. I remember thinking, oh, we’re not going to have lab technicians and it’s going to be a while I think before we’re eliminated, if we’re ever eliminated. I just think I’ve been blessed for sure, a dental tech.
Shaun Keating: I think you being a dentist man, ’cause you’re fricking crushing it, dude. I mean, you really are kicking it hard. We’ve been together like 10 years and you’ve always been on the cutting edge, man. It’s just-
Dr. Kifer: I think we’ve even been together longer than 10 and-
Shaun Keating: I think so too. I was asking-
Dr. Kifer: Things will change and when we talk about the technology and everything coming out, you can’t look at it as a, oh, how’s this going to change what I do, ’cause I think obviously our mindsets still matter, and how we do things, it’s just another tool. I’m so excited the way things are coming just the thought of being able to print a digital mock-up, that I can transfer to the patients’ mouths. It’s, I mean, what kind of technology are you guys looking forward to and what are you doing going forward, ’cause it doesn’t change how we do the dentistry, but we want to use it to make things better.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. You’re so right. It’s an exciting time in dentistry. We’ve been doing this a while and it’s so neat how you can … it’s so much more predictable now and especially guys like you. You’ve always been on the cutting edge of education, dental education. Way back, my general manager [inaudible 00:09:33] for years, and he just … you’re a real big guy with Kois, Doctor Kois, and I just love him. I remember having him back 10 years ago or whatever it was. I’m not even sure of the date, what was that, it was a while ago, but I remember having him here and just, everyone and their brother … we had an area upstairs that we didn’t have built out, and we had 100 doctors in here sign up immediately, and we couldn’t get any more, we couldn’t sign any more, we had to stop it.
Shaun Keating: I remember him flying in, and he’s just a smart dude, with just the techniques and just no nonsense. Even Bob, you know, he went through these courses and he’d fly out to Seattle, and I didn’t even know him and [Spear 00:10:16] were partners back in the day, but both those guys, I’m just a big Kois fan though, just ’cause I’ve been with him, and seeing what he’s done, and see what our pracs and dentists that I’ve worked with Kois, how they just get it. It just makes our job so easy and we have to be up to snuff, to be working with these guys, ’cause you know what you want, and you demand the excellence. I love it. Tell me a little bit about Kois if you could. I know you’ve been going through him for years. Tell me a little bit about that if you could.
Dr. Kifer: I started back at the Kois Center in about 2008. Started taking classes up there, finished in about four or five years. Probably the greatest accomplishment in my dental career, shouldn’t say probably, definitely the greatest accomplishment in my career was becoming a mentor up at the Kois Center. I’m on a committee up there now and I try to work with them quite a bit. I try to go up there two or three times a year, help mentor other students that are coming through the process. The thing about John is, he makes things so simple. It’s all about how can I do this the right way, and if you ever get the change to go up, and I know, you know Shaun, you’ve met him and had him into your clinic, and I really wanted to come down when he was there, but I couldn’t make it.
Dr. Kifer: He’s … cares about his students. I mean, you leave there knowing … We call him John, not Doctor Kois, [crosstalk 00:11:51]-
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: -and you get to learn from him. There’s not so many chances in life where you get to learn from the very best. When you get that opportunity you just try to grab hold of it and go with it.
Shaun Keating: That is so neat. That’s such a testimonial right there for sure. It really is. I know some of the younger dentists getting out of school have that debt, but it’s almost like you can’t afford not to do something like that, to go see a man and a system like they have there. It just comes back ten fold to you. It’s some of the best. You learn a lot, you’re going through dental school, I’m sure a lot of theory and everything else, but you’ll learn real world techniques when you go see Kois.
Dr. Kifer: Yes.
Shaun Keating: You can bring them back and just, it’s practicing great dentistry. That’s so cool. One thing I hear though, man, is I’m so … my attention span’s so short, and that’s probably why I didn’t go do all those college courses like you guys, but it’s something that I heard like the door shuts, and he closes the curtains like at 7:30 in the morning, or something, whenever the start time is and then he keeps going. He doesn’t stop. He doesn’t stop, he could go all night.
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:13:02] has his what we call always rules, and one of them is class starts at 7 a.m.
Shaun Keating: Ah, 7 a.m., that’s it.
Dr. Kifer: Like you said, he gets going and you will never go there and feel like you got cheated. It’s 7 to 5 for most courses, and at 5:30, he’s still going strong. The man is a machine-
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable.
Dr. Kifer: -and it’s open to questions. There’s only about 29, 30 students in class. Don’t quote me on exact numbers, but it’s raise your hand and ask John a question. He wants to make sure you’re grasping the information, and it’s not, hey, just go back and just do this. He really teaches why things work, why they don’t, so the background information, all literature based, is just absolutely amazing.
Dr. Kifer: I mean, if I’m ever getting a little down, which doesn’t happen very often, I can just go up to the Kois Center, I just come back fired up and ready to go.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I love that and that’s what I hear. Everyone, is they’re pumped, and he is such a humble man. I remember picking him up and-
Dr. Kifer: Most humble guy I’ve ever met.
Shaun Keating: I know.
Dr. Kifer: For as brilliant as he is, you wouldn’t think he could be that humble, but he really is. Just a great guy.
Shaun Keating: Like a guy you’ve known forever. I mean, when we met and I drove him from the hotel down to our lab, just to come see the set up the day before and everything for the next day, and he just, after five minutes of talking to him, it’s like I’ve known him forever. We just went on talking about … He’s a real big E-Max guy, and he’s just talking about his ceramics and what he pays them, and all this stuff, and then he found out what I’m charging, what he makes, says Shaun, how do you do that? I go, well your guy could do it too, but he probably couldn’t afford just to be doing your work only. I’m not sure, but just such a humble, and just such a nice man.
Shaun Keating: I hear, like his kid, his boy, he’s working with him too, and he’s an up and coming dentist and all that. Is the son kind of taking part of the business too?
Dr. Kifer: Well you know, he’s got two sons.
Shaun Keating: Two sons.
Dr. Kifer: One of them actually runs the business, Johnny, just a brilliant business and technology mind. Great guy.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: Dean is his other son who is a prosthodontist with a big surgery background.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re kidding.
Dr. Kifer: Dean actually flew out here and talked to our study club, does a lot of surgery, a lot of implants. Another, I mean, the apple definitely didn’t fall far from the tree-
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: -with either one of them. Just family, and I know his wife works in the business, his daughter-in-law, new daughter-in-law, she works in the business, so it’s a great organization and I’m just honored to be a part of it.
Shaun Keating: That is so neat. That is really awesome. I love hearing that. So tell me, a little bit about too it’s like, I heard he has a nice little boat he has kind of going, doing some of this stuff. I heard he [inaudible 00:15:46] a little bit too, kind of a big one, but so that’s where the courses are? Actually on his yacht, huh?
Dr. Kifer: No, no, no. Courses are at the Center-
Shaun Keating: Okay.
Dr. Kifer: -but he does take us out on his boat for a dinner every time we go up for a course, on a, usually Friday night of a three day course. The second night of the three day course we go out and enjoy dinner with him and his family on the boat, and it’s a really good chance just to kind of get to know everyone on a deeper level. I mean, the Center is great and I learn a lot, but the friends you make there, and the mentors I’ve got just going out there, getting to know people, it’s a big part of this business.
Dr. Kifer: When you’re practicing alone or you don’t know people, to be able to share stories and I mean, your lab’s helped me, especially when I was real young, with cases and going through things. It’s good to know other people in the business, ’cause you don’t know what’s even possible till you see it done, unless you’re just one of those crazy trailblazers, which I’m not. Getting together with other dentists that are like minded, and think like you do, I mean, it fires you up and keeps you going, and gives someone to bounce ideas off of, so that’s a big deal.
Shaun Keating: That’s so neat, I love hearing that. It does, it pumps you up when you get talking with your peers that are doing what you’re doing, and trying to achieve greatness if you can, and try to practice this great dentistry. That’s just so awesome. Hats off and yeah, we gotta get more of our doctors into Kois, and we’re going to really push it, ’cause I have some doctors that could really benefit from it. They’ve got the skills, and they’re really great, they’re on the cusp, but I just think we need to work in some areas. It’s better not coming from a dental tech a lot of times, but yet if they can somehow get out there, even if we have to help some of these guys out that can’t afford it, it’s in my best interest to get these guys pracs in better dentistry, ’cause the more I can get them kicking butt and doing the proper right things, it’s just the better off for us as a lab. I invest in-
Dr. Kifer: Don’t sell yourself short, because I have learned a lot from you guys, and other lab people. I mean, it’s all a team effort. We’re not here … No one’s better than anyone else, and we even tell our dental team that. We’re all in this together,-
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Kifer: -and ideas are welcome, and we all have different roles, but it doesn’t make anyone’s ideas better or worse. It’s a team thing.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely, totally a team thing. I’ve always said it too, with the dentist and us, we both work for the patient at the end of the day. Whatever we can do to help them achieve what they need, be it function, or fit, or aesthetics, that’s what we do and when we think that way. Yeah, we do, we have got a lot of experience, and we can help guys for sure, but they … it just, we love it too when a dentist is open to ideas, ’cause we do, we see a lot of dentistry. We have and I’ve got team that’s been with me for many, many years and it’s so neat nowadays. It’s just so rewarding with …
Shaun Keating: I think the whole thing with the … like, we get on a few podcasts talk about it, is just the strength of some of the ceramics. I know you’re a big EMAX guy and we do a ton, and that stuff works great, and not a whole lot of breakage, but for all the PFM years that I’ve done, I’ve done a million PFMs and there’s just some popping and cracking here and there.
Shaun Keating: When you’re flexing that metal, if it’s a higher gold, if you’re a White Hi-Noble, you’re up in the 60% gold content, and you got Iridium, Indium, Zinc, and other trace elements that are working on these alloys to get that bond layer, and then you got these opaquers. It just can run, there’s a lot of moving parts to do a PFM, and at the end of the day, all the beauty and everything else, and you gotta try to insert it into the mouth, and you get a little bit of flex here and there, and you might get a popping here, and that stuff just drives you crazy.
Shaun Keating: I got my silver hair in my 20s because all those PFMs popping, man. It was like, what?
Dr. Kifer: Well Shaun, I don’t think I understood a word of what you were saying as far as all those different materials or anything. That’s why we leave the expert stuff to you on that, ’cause-
Shaun Keating: Oh, but man, I’ll tell you-
Dr. Kifer: -we want it to fit, look good, and not break, right?
Shaun Keating: Exactly, and to get that done, man, it took a lot of stomach lining of years and … No, it’s becoming more predictable now, and especially too, as we start printing things, and like you were saying, and help these patients, show them what we can really do virtually and then real. Show them and print it out, and show it to them. I was just watching a thing how Doctor Cory whatever, I forgot his last name, but he printed out an ear, and they were putting implants to put it into the guy’s side of his head, and I remember way back in the day we used to do like ears and noses out of flask, and it like a denture, and it was just amazing, but now they got it to where they can almost sink a few implants into the skull area, by the ear area, and then just design the most perfect ear, contralateral from the other side.
Shaun Keating: Just go those specs, do it on the right side, print it out, and these materials that they have, these different materials that are just life like, and you’re just kind of screwing it in like an implant, kind of holding it in place. That’s covered up with a nice little cosmetic tissue, flesh composite over the healing head, and it just blends so nicely in the facial area. It just, on and on with the printing of models, and teeth, and also the scanning of impressions that are polyvinyls and polyethers, they like to distort now and then. They’re not 100% perfect but they’re pretty darned close when you’re doing things right. I just think-
Dr. Kifer: I don’t have a printer yet, but one of the most exciting things I’m looking forward to is, most patients by the time we do models, and do a wax up, and create a jig, and transfer that to the mouth and just a bis-acryl, when the patients see the mock-up, they like it. The problem that I’ve run into is the time and cost of just doing all that. I mean, we send the case over to you guys, and pay for a wax up, and then the time for it to come back. You know, they’re in a decent little cost just to see if it’s something they’re interested in.
Dr. Kifer: Technology hopefully does make some things cheaper and easier, ’cause if we can do a digital wax up cheaper, and then print out a mock-up for 5, $10, and then transfer that for just the bis-acryl, it’s, I mean, I think we can sell more dentistry. I don’t mean sell in a bad way, ’cause these patients need the dentistry once their teeth are worn down, but to invest 500 to $1000 just to see if it’s something they’re interested in, that’s a tough sell.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it is. For years I’ve been always advocating to my dentist, especially the guys that are cutting more facially, more cosmetic stuff where we need to do these wax ups, and or those custom temporaries, and a lot of times with my younger dentists and even the guys that … it’s tough and I’m not saying selling it, but to show them is just so fricking … it’s like a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Dr. Kifer: For sure.
Shaun Keating: I would always say, you know what, send me those study models at least, get the patient in the chair, at least get me the study models, let’s see what it is. Upper, lower, whatever we’re working on, or both, and what I’ll do, is I’ll do a mock-up on a wax up, or I’ll go ahead and cut them down, give you a prep guide, and do a custom temporary, saying look at, we can do this 4 to 13, or we can do these posterior bridges, but then when you see that … What I’ll do is I’ll tell the doctor, “Let’s do these. Sure they’re not sure about it. I’ll charge it out for you, but and then get it to you, and if they don’t want to do anything going forward, I’ll credit it back. If they want to do it, I’ll go ahead and credit it back, ’cause I don’t really make money off temporaries or wax ups. I make money off of the fixed work.”
Shaun Keating: I mean, I can’t do that all day long, but I did that back in the day, when I started-
Dr. Kifer: You did that for me once.
Shaun Keating: Did I? See, I knew-
Dr. Kifer: Yes, sir.
Shaun Keating: I love doing that, because it just, it’s so … Even Kois had this thing with these stick on teeth that … I forgot-
Dr. Kifer: [Tack 00:24:16] teeth he called them.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, [tack 00:24:18] teeth. I gave away hundreds of those boxes. I was like his biggest user. These [tack 00:24:21] teeth are so fricking bitching dude, they come in three sizes, like small, medium, large, and it goes from basically like a 3 to what, 12, 13, 14. So you got just these … and they’re all just like a … you peel it away and you can put it over the people’s teeth, and it can just show them what it looks like visually right there, instead of doing something on a computer, mock-up, this and that. These [tack 00:24:49] teeth are so fricking neat and it just shows the patient that the possibility of what we can do.
Shaun Keating: Now, I’m sure certain patients, ortho, they need this and that and every which way, it’s hard to do something like the [tack 00:25:03] teeth, but I just think between-
Dr. Kifer: So it’s this simple little idea that-
Shaun Keating: Exactly. It’s such a-
Dr. Kifer: -[crosstalk 00:25:08] worth a thousand words.
Shaun Keating: It really is. You can take a quick picture on the phone, just kind of showing them, and it’s just the neatest thing, but, and the same thing with us doing, hey, a complimentary wax up, or a complimentary temporary, lets just get the patient back, let them see it. It’s like, the temporary you can’t really go on and put it on, because we gotta prep down and you can’t really go and do the wax ups either, but like [tack 00:25:36] teeth you can. On the other way too, it’s just when they hold them in their mouth, and they bring it home to show their dad, or their mom, or their wife, or husband, they’re just going, look at the difference.
Shaun Keating: You have a pre-op model, shows them looking like Dracula, and then it shows them the other one and their Hollywood smile, and they’re like, honey, maybe we can afford this, because at the end of the day, I tell you, there’s just such a beautiful thing when you see someone that doesn’t smile or just is very conscientious of their smile, and always been that way. A lot of times you can just bleach them out and just getting them white kind of can help them a little bit, but just the whole thing of a smile, a smile. A beautiful smile is always in style, and I’ve always said that.
Dr. Kifer: We had a patient you did with us literally probably about a month, month and a half ago, just finished him. Same thing, we did the mock up and we put it in his mouth, big ole guy. I mean, I had to leave the room ’cause he said, hey, you’re going to make me cry. He was like, he didn’t want me in the room. It’s just … no idea.
Shaun Keating: It really does and it’s just the toughest men, or the strongest people you think, and when it comes to the being self conscience because of a smile, and it’s a most rewarding thing. I’ve cried many times seeing some smiles going into place and just seeing them. It’s just like the most rewarding thing. I know just your singles, the onesy, twosies, the mouth, you need that. You need that for function and getting people out of pain, this and that, but when we can really change a person’s disposition on how they feel, and how they … just their confidence, and a smile would do that. It’s just … I love it. I love it and it’s-
Dr. Kifer: I’m right there with you.
Shaun Keating: It’s a neat thing. Nothing better. Heck, I just did one of my buddies grills, and he’s just had teeth that are messed up, and he had these central that are always … he had like a diastema that his dentist was, oh, he’s putting composites in between there for years and he was kind of a dentalphobe, where he couldn’t get in the chair without needing whatever it is, just for anxiety, whatever, but almost had to be put under a lot for any major dentistry. We finally got the dude, after he kind of turned me down like two different times, I had Hornbrook one time all set up and he got in the chair, I can’t do it. I’m like, “Keith, get out of here.” Another time he backed out again and I said, “No more.”
Shaun Keating: Then he finally called me and said, “Shaun, I want you to do them, but …” I said, “I can’t get you a dentist, dude. You’re going to have to get your regular family dentist.” He went to his family dentist and great dentist out of L.A., and we finally got him in that chair, and he got him numbed up, and we did the whole 4 through 13, just little veneers, and he had little tetracycline, little nubby teeth, and we just did this thing. We did it in one shot, like he went in on a Tuesday, I got it and I kind of wanted just to work on it right away, and we got him in back on like Thursday.
Dr. Kifer: Maybe you need to open an office in Arkansas so I can do that same thing.
Shaun Keating: Come on baby, we’re going to have the dental arts team all over, Keating Dental Lab. No. But what a thing though for him. I mean, the dude’s crying, he’s my age, 55, and he’s just crying in the chair. Just, “Shaun, thank you.” I just, it broke me up.
Dr. Kifer: Oh, that’s awesome.
Shaun Keating: I don’t know, it’s a neat, neat, neat thing. I don’t know, my wife says, “You gotta quit looking at … Every time you see your buddies or any people, you talk about their teeth, Shaun,” and I said, “Well, that’s what I look straight at their teeth.” I’ve done so many grills for people that I know and people I don’t know, it’s like I just feel sorry. It’s like, here, let’s go to this dentist, and here I’m paying this dentist’s time, and chair time and everything. At the end of the day, man, it’s just, I love giving back. What do I do for a living? I make teeth, dude. It’s like, yeah, I’ve made a lot of teeth in my time.
Shaun Keating: It’s just something … yeah, it’s nothing better. It gets me excited. I’m just like, yeah, I’m ready to go right now just thinking about it. Who’s teeth can I do? I was going to walk out on the floor-
Dr. Kifer: It’s not work when it’s your passion. You know? When you get your passion like that, every day, I mean, not that you never have bad days, but the days are fun. You get up, and you look forward to work, and you feel that you’re actually doing something, you know?
Shaun Keating: Oh, yeah, we love it. Even the techs, you send them pictures and even after the fact, and we had the little quality control sheets, that these techs, they’re kind of bonused on them and stuff like that, when you get all these great reviews on your work, and they just, every day when the mail comes in and we kind of go a log in, the sheets on, the quality control sheets for each tech, and they can’t wait to get them and look at them. Then just get the praise, and see pictures of after shots. They take pride in it, and it’s a neat thing. Every day is like the playoffs, like I look out my window here and everyone’s working away, and we have all new patients today. Every day is new, every day, and you’re only as good as your last frustration. Be on your A game.
Dr. Kifer: When you say that, we do the same thing, because it’s like, if you’re not willing to … I mean, obviously you need to celebrate the positives, but if you’re not willing to look at what didn’t go perfect, and what could we have done different, I mean, that’s the only way you grow.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Kifer: Whether you’re a lab, or a dental office, or anything, it’s just all about how do we get better every single day.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I mean it’s weird today, we come in after a big weekend, Labor Day weekend and all this stuff, and here I’m already like, I’m talking to my wife at breakfast this morning and I’m like, I don’t know, I just want to really find out what we can do better for the people for work and environment. We’re always pushing quality, and standards of quality for the lab, but what else can we do for just the day to day people working with whatever it is, with child care, with health, with weight, with eating, just trying to as a company, try to figure out how … ’cause people are here longer than they’re at home with their families. People are here 8, 10 hours, and many years these people all been with me.
Shaun Keating: I’m getting to the point where, hey, what can we do better to … you know, ’cause, I don’t know, man, we’re just, we’re doing really great, and things are … they’ve been the best they’ve every been lately, and it’s just like this year is just … my doctors, most of my offices are kind of booming, and just it’s picked up quite a bit, and I just, I pinch myself and I just want to make sure my people, yeah, they’re doing great and setting records, and all this stuff, but again at the end of the day-
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:32:27].
Shaun Keating: -what can we do to make them feel even better.
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:32:31] business like that. Your team is your family, I’m the same way. They’ve been here a long time, a lot of them, and it’s more than just what you do and 8 to 5. It’s making teeth, [inaudible 00:32:46] us, that’s nice and fun but the people you work with, and you get to influence them more than you influence your patients and your customers, and-
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Kifer: -you know, it’s all one big thing. We’re all here together so how do we get better is people and everything.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. Now, yeah, we’re always about the people. Any company, I always say you can be any field, any job, but you’re only as good as your people, and take care of them. Surround yourself with good people and take care of them, and pay them well, and treat them like family, and they’re going to work hard for you. Everyone has their ups and downs, I mean, it’s life, and we all have our things, but it’s kind of neat when everyone’s kind of uppity you know? I can see some people dragging a little bit today, a little bit some here and there, but that’s just life. It’s just a great thing to be able to come into work and just think about, what can I do to make their jobs even better.
Shaun Keating: I think I’m in a good place now, that, I’ve always been that way, but I just, I don’t know, I was just thinking about, I don’t know, I was just reading some things about different companies like the top employers, and reading about what do they do different than these other companies, and a lot of it is just a lot of personal things for their families, for their health, for their child care, for just charging their batteries at the right times. Just different things. I don’t know, it’s just to have such problems to worry about, what we can do to make it better, but it’s kind of neat, ’cause they deserve it. I just love it, I love it. I love it coming in, and I love talking to guys like you that you love it too, and your staff.
Shaun Keating: Your staff’s so cool to work with, and you just, it’s a pleasure to work with you and your staff, and most of our doctors are like that. They kind of get it and they want me to do a good job, and with this field, everyone says oh, dentist, it’s so tough to go see a dentist. I think it’s changing. I think in the several years or more, it’s not such a bad thing to go to a dentist. I think it’s more enjoyable than it’s ever been. You’re not as … Back in the day it was a whole thing of pain. I feel pain, you don’t feel pain anymore. I mean, I got an implant, a couple implants, I didn’t feel it at all. It was like a crown prep and it just, I think as the younger people start going into dentistry more, and seeing dentists more, I think the dentists and their skill levels have really, you know, I think and their chairside manners, ’cause this day and age, man, you gotta be on to your A game every time, because it’s not like we’re in a fish bowl.
Shaun Keating: Everyone in life now seems like, it’s like, you can do nothing wrong, and I don’t know, you just gotta be human. It’s kind of the golden [crosstalk 00:35:34].
Dr. Kifer: I definitely believe that as there’s competition in everything, it just drives you to be better, right?
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Kifer: You’re never driven to do anything different than you just kind of keep doing the things you’ve always done. Yeah, it’s good for all of us to grow and grow together.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. Even … and get you out of your comfort zone like this, I did this podcast, man, I mean, I get nervous. I used to get nervous, I didn’t want to do them, it was like, why am I doing this, ’cause I had this when Hornbrook was my clinical director and I’d like, let’s do a podcast for the dentist. So then he left after a while, it was like, dude, what am I going to do? I’m not going to … Who am I going to get another dentist in here? I’m just thinking, let it go for a couple of months, and my stomach, it’s just like, oh Shaun, You gotta do it yourself. It’s just a matter of … it’s not like we’re selling anything, it’s not like we’re sponsored and every 10 minutes telling you about buy this product and this and that. It’s just basically about dentists, real dentists that aren’t lecturers, some might lecture, but it’s just real dentists, and hey, I went to school here, I started my pracs like this, and it’s turned out to be something that, I’m not nervous anymore, but I just … I was out of my comfort zone doing this.
Shaun Keating: Yet now, to something, I don’t know, it’s pretty neat. Just talked to my existing accounts that work with me and a lot of them don’t want to do it. It’s like, no Shaun, I’m not … like dude, it’s just audio. Just tell me about your story a little bit. I think everyone, you need to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. You can’t just keep doing … If you always do what you’ve always done, you always have what you’ve always had. That’s a great saying-
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:37:13].
Shaun Keating: -that you just kind of gotta push yourself a little bit. It’s like you did, you pushed yourself, and heck, you got 100 plus hours a year in educa- , you don’t need to do that. You keep pushing it and to go to Kois for years, and years, and years, and then now to be a mentor, you don’t have to do that. You’re doing it ’cause it’s in your heart and you’re pushing yourself. I think it comes back to you.
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:37:38] [inaudible 00:37:36] really good though, because a lot of these young dentists, they do have the debt and it’s hard. I was talking to one last week and she was saying, “I so want to go up to Kois, sir. I so want to go up to Spear,” and she asked how much it was and we were talking. She’s like, “I can’t afford that.” I mean, she’s making more than I was out of school, but the debt’s so big for them. Things like these podcasts and the different groups on the internet, and Facebook and wherever, it does at least give them an intro to a lot of stuff that lower costs. When I came out, this, there weren’t podcasts that you could easily access on different topics and groups that you could talk to.
Dr. Kifer: I’m a big fan of, I used to go watch my surgeon work, and my periodontist work. I’ve driven, I’ve picked mentor dentists, and flown all over the country and watched them for a day or two in their office, just to kind of get the CE, but technology makes that a lot easier now than it used to be. I mean, it’s definitely something that gives us the advantages that we didn’t use to have 15, 20 years ago.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely, and you know, when you say that right there, I always have that in the back of my head that I’ve had some super, great dentists that are just in great areas, with just lots of patients, and they got everything dialed in, from the marketing, to the staffing, all the way till just their hand skills, you know, the dental part of it. I just would say to myself, dude, I mean, guy would do 10 grand a month, but you know what, we’d have to do like a grand a month to business over, because of certain little things. I always wished I could, ’cause I got doctors all over that are just crushing it, and just really got it down.
Shaun Keating: To send to Doctor Kifer, send to Doctor [Crawson 00:39:25], or to send to Doctor [Kanka 00:39:25] to go to these practices, like let me give you like three or four grand a day, or whatever it is, it’s worth me for 5, 10 grand to send you out, or whatever, just to work with, and a lot of times it’s with ego. These dentists didn’t want to do it, ’cause I’ve done it a few times with different dentists. It’s just the neatest thing, that swallow your ego and let this guy come sit with you chairside for a couple of days, going through your practice, and just to have an adjustment of this little bit will get you this, and just change your life. Little adjustments, not big, huge things, a little adjustment here, a little adjustment here. Use these burs here when you’re doing your dep cuts here. Use this cord when you’re double packing the cord and using Impregum, or whatever it might be, or get this scanner from, you know, [inaudible 00:40:15], man.
Shaun Keating: It’s just, send your impressions this way, do your temps this way, make your temps, your contact circles bigger, broader, and keep your temps more in occlusion, and you’re not going to get eruption. It’s just a fricking neat thing when we can have a doctor kind of go do that for other guys that have it, but they just haven’t fine tuned it. I just think that’s a great thing. I’m going to put that back on the top of the list too, on my KOLs, my key opinion leader type dudes that are Keating’s KOLs, Keating’s key opinion leaders, and my guys, it’s not opinion leader, it’s almost Keating fricking key hand, key hands, damn this, or whatever, I gotta come up with something. Just the guys that got it down, and pracs and dentistry man, just to go, hey, go to this pracs here, or this dude will go from a, you know … ah, okay, I’ll shut up.
Dr. Kifer: It all works better when we’re on the same page. When the labs on the same page, the dentist is on the same page, the staff, I mean, it’s getting us all together. Sometimes probably herding cats, but communication, that’s the key.
Shaun Keating: Oh, absolutely.
Dr. Kifer: I’d say that’s the biggest thing you’ve helped us with, is, you know, it’s never a blame game. We can’t get this shade, or something doesn’t fit right, I mean, obviously we want to know if the impression’s off, and you guys are great with that, but sometimes it’s just hard.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, dude, you got a little mouth, this person can’t get it open, you got these [inaudible 00:41:43] molar pads are pushing out in the back, and it’s so nuts.
Dr. Kifer: When we work together, we usually find a way to get it done.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Kifer: No blame, just getting on the same team and going forward.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. It’s just, I had a old high school football coach, said, “Shaun, we gotta be a cohesive unit.” It’s like, cohesive, we gotta be all one together. I always say that, man. We gotta be a cohesive unit people. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. It’s just like anything in life, you just keep pushing it and working it. A guy sent me … Keating certified dentist, that’s what we’re going to call them. We could send a Keating certified dentist to your practice, for two days, Tuesday and Wednesday. No. It’s worth it, man, I tell you, man, I tell you it would be worth it.
Shaun Keating: Let me ask you a couple questions real quick. On your dental schools, tell me a little bit about that if you could on, how was it at Arkansas and Tennessee? Tell me a little bit about the likes and dislikes there, going to dental school.
Dr. Kifer: Well, you know, we don’t have a dental school in the state of Arkansas, so it wasn’t really a choice to go here in the state. Basically, the state of Arkansas picked up my out of state tuition, and I had a couple choices, but I got accepted and went to UT Memphis. I had a good experience. I mean, it’s been a little while ago. I graduated 2003. The experience went well. You get out and you know to do a filling, you know how to do a crown prep, you know how to take out a tooth. [crosstalk 00:43:16].
Shaun Keating: Not to hurt somebody.
Dr. Kifer: You know, that’s the real basics. You don’t even know what you don’t know though when you first start getting out, and start doing dentistry, and you start going, why is that breaking? Why is that tooth wearing down? What’s the difference in these two materials? They didn’t talk about this material when I was in dental school. You can get reps coming out and telling you all kinds of new things. You don’t know who to believe or what to believe half the time. School was a good experience. I mean, it would be hard to go back and do it again,-
Shaun Keating: Oh, I bet.
Dr. Kifer: -but at the same time, I’m glad it’s over and I love being a dentist now.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. Tell me, when you got out, did you work as an associate or did you start your own practice? Tell me a little bit about that.
Dr. Kifer: When I got out of dental school, I did an AEGD residency for one year in Tennessee also, so did a lot of implant training, and just some bigger cases, a lot of endo. When I got out of school I basically was looking for a job. I was looking to buy a practice, thinking of starting up. I actually worked for an orthodontist a day or two a week, putting brackets on, just helping him out. Then I found a job with a general dentist, kind of phased out the ortho. I did that for a year and a half, two years, just kind of associate type position.
Dr. Kifer: I always wanted to own my own practice, just my personality knew I wanted to do it. There wasn’t an opportunity to buy in where I was. Great guy, we still get along great. Found a little practice to buy here in town, did that in June of 2006. Just a tiny little practice. I mean, we saw one, two patients a day.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: That was about the time I got hooked up with you, was probably 2006 if I’m guessing, don’t quote me on the exact dates.
Shaun Keating: I think you’re right. I knew it was over 10 years.
Dr. Kifer: Yeah, get out and start finding, I mean, what lab do you use, what do you do here, what materials do you buy. I was all alone and slow practice, so we had time to figure it out. I’ve still got my dental assistant that I had then, so-
Shaun Keating: Beautiful.
Dr. Kifer: -her and I work together, and just kind of career practice so to speak.
Shaun Keating: You have, man, and you’re rocking and rolling it. Tell me then, on your practice now, tell me the size of it. I know you got a couple associates now. You got Doctor Bowen and Doctor Johnson, man, a couple of rock and roll female dentists are kicking it. Tell me a little bit about them and tell me a little bit about your practice.
Dr. Kifer: They’re awesome. We were in a little building in 2006 and four years ago, I guess that was about 2014, we moved to a new building we renovated. We put in 10 ops, didn’t finish out the whole thing. We’re actually finishing out four more ops, to go to 14 ops.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Kifer: We just grew over the years. We’ve got an amazing team. Doctor Bowen and Doctor Johnson are both amazing clinicians, and just over the years it’s just grown. We’ve been blessed and we try to take care of people, and hopefully it’s worked out for our patients as well as it’s worked out for us.
Shaun Keating: I think it has, man. I think it has, ’cause you are rocking and rolling for sure. Tell me, what’s one of the favorite procedures you like doing? What do you like doing and what do you don’t like doing?
Dr. Kifer: Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t like doing. I do not like doing endo. I always tell my patients, ’cause they’ll say , “Will you just please do that for me?” I always tell my patients, “If I wouldn’t do it on my wife, I wouldn’t do it on you.” [crosstalk 00:46:58].
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Kifer: I was doing endo and it would take me two visits, and two hours a piece. They’d come back, and they’d have post op pain, and it’d be sore, and it’d look good on an x-ray and I still don’t know what I did wrong, where they could go over to the endodontist, and an hour later it’s completed and they feel great, and I’m going, I wouldn’t do that on my wife. You go see the other one. That’s kind of how I feel about it.
Shaun Keating: That’s a good saying to say that. You know buddy, I wouldn’t even do it on my wife, and come on.
Dr. Kifer: How can they argue with you.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, how can they argue. I say that like I was in Cabo about a week ago and I’m like, every two seconds the guy is saying, “Hey, let’s get out on the boat. I’ll get you the boat.” I said, “I get seasick,” and they just stopped instantly. It’s like, wait, I’ll get you the boat. I got seasick, violent seasick. They go, they had nothing to say for it, yeah, so that’s perfect.
Dr. Kifer: Can’t argue it.
Shaun Keating: What’s been your marketing strategy? Do you do mail or social media? What are you doing to drive people to your practice?
Dr. Kifer: When I first started out I think we did a mailer back then. We do a little bit, we make sure the website’s up to date. We’ve recently started a couple little paper click ad campaigns, but to be honest, we work with a consulting group, Productive Dentist Academy, I’ve worked with them for about, since about 2008. We track a lot of just internal referrals. We have a huge internal referral system. I mean, we probably get 50, 60 new patients a month just off internal referrals.
Shaun Keating: Oh, what’s money.
Dr. Kifer: It sounds weird, but we really just kind of meet, like you mentioned earlier, what’s working, what’s not. If we have a bad experience, we talk about it, what could we have done different. I mean, you’re working with the public and you always just have some patients that take you the wrong way, but you say, “What could we have done so maybe they wouldn’t have taken us the wrong way.” We talk about, are we greeting people with a smile, are we looking them in the eye, are we asking for referrals, are we shaking their hands. I mean, it’s just, we meet every month, more than once a month, but we often go over customer service, and what could we do better.
Dr. Kifer: Just because something doesn’t work out doesn’t mean you did something wrong, but we try to learn from it no matter what.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, and I think that’s what as a owner, you don’t want to hear that stuff a lot of times when you work somewhere, and this and that. But as an owner, you know, I’ve had it with dentists. Shaun, this, this and that, you gotta listen to it with an open heart too. If you don’t listen to it, you’re just not going to improve upon it, because at the end of the day, we both work for the patients. I mean, it’s something that you just want to be treating how you want to be treated, and you don’t want to be all hot headed, and some patients are like that. You can go and look at their Yelp reviews, or you can do a little history on them if they’re doing a Facebook, or a Yelp, or something on social media, and you can kind of look at their back history, and some people are just miserable people.
Shaun Keating: People will see that. I mean, I’ve had very few bad things, but when they are, it’s like there’s a reason. It’s like you gotta take the good with the bad and just try to improve upon it. What you said with the whole thing with referral based, I mean, even me, that’s from, you know, Doctor Kifer, for you to tell three of your peers, like hey, yeah, Keating, man, I use them, this and that. You’ll give me their names and that just goes so far with where we get our new business. Almost 9 out of every 10 doctors, their number one thing is not this big ole Facebook thing, and clicks.
Shaun Keating: I mean, you’ll get some stuff there I’m sure and that’s still evolving into how to get customers. If you’re not selling something directly online where they can plug in and buy it from you, it’s another story, but to be able to just really take care of these people with a big heart, and get referrals from your existing accounts, that’s where you’re going to get all your business. All my top guys, that’s … For you, that company, we’ll give that company’s name again. Maybe we can get it on the website, on your company for in house referral program you’ve been working with since 2008. What was the name of that again, Doctor Kifer?
Dr. Kifer: We just work with the Productive Dentist Academy. That’s Bruce Baird and Vicki McManus’ [crosstalk 00:51:35].
Shaun Keating: Yeah, we love Doctor Baird. I’ve had him on here, yeah. That’s good, you need a little system. You need little systems and back to dental school, they taught you enough not to hurt and kill somebody, and to do the basics, but another thing they didn’t really touch base or they don’t touch base a whole lot on, is how to run a practice, business wise, and how to have that chairside manner. That comes natural in a way, but yet there is some things you can learn for sure.
Dr. Kifer: We like to tell our team that it’s not natural for everyone to get to know people. I mean, your personality is obviously one that can just link with anyone, but we practice linking with our staff. Hey, how do you get to know them, find three things you have in common with them. These things aren’t natural for some people.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Kifer: We tell our team that you may think you’re being kind to the patient, but the patient may not perceive that.
Shaun Keating: Exactly. How to read a person and how to react with different personalities. Yeah, there’s an art to it for sure. Some people [crosstalk 00:52:42]-
Dr. Kifer: We could all get better at it.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it’s almost like that thing where you can’t teach speed, but you can a little bit. You can give them techniques and just working on things. Same thing with people skills. A few things here and there, and you can really read people, so it’s a lot of people aren’t really … they’re more introverted, and not extroverted in certain ways, just to try to appease them. There’s ways about it. Bruce Baird’s a great guy, I love that guy. He’s a great dentist too. He’s a-
Dr. Kifer: I’ve worked with him since, like I said, about, I can’t remember if it’s 2008 or 2010, but it’s been quite a few years.
Shaun Keating: He’s a great guy. He loves to fish too.
Dr. Kifer: They were a big part of our practice turning around for sure.
Shaun Keating: See, that’s so neat. You need that. You need a few people in your life with these different programs that help dental practices. From practice management to a little bit of everything, and you just need to find the right ones that are peer reviewed, and you’re hearing them from your peers, and that goes so far for your dental practice. It’s just, pracs and smarter, not harder. That’s what it’s all about.
Dr. Kifer: That’s right.
Shaun Keating: What about the latest piece of equipment you’ve got in your practice? What was that?
Dr. Kifer: I’m about to equip two more operatories, so we’ve got about everything in here right now. If I can say one piece of equipment that’s probably made my life a lot easier, and my associates love it, honestly it would be the Isolite. We use that thing on every procedure pretty much we do. Just knowing that you have a dry field, keeping your patient open, just allows our sensitivity. We don’t have our fillings or anything or anymore, just being able to work efficiently and do good work at the same time.
Shaun Keating: I love that. Tom Hirsch, man, I’ve done all this work forever. He developed that Isolite.
Dr. Kifer: Oh, really?
Shaun Keating: Him and his brother. He’s right-
Dr. Kifer: I’ve never met him.
Shaun Keating: Oh, he’s a wild man. He drives a plane from Malibu over here to John Wayne Airport, and brings the big cases. He’s just a wild man. He practices big time dentistry too. He does all the stars up there, not they’re any different than all the people, but he’s … we’ve done some big time people. He’s a full rehab, he likes to do the uppers, lowers, and everything. No, that iso-
Dr. Kifer: Well, tell him we gave him a good plug in. [crosstalk 00:55:01].
Shaun Keating: We got to, ’cause when I put him on, he only did like a 25 minuter, and we gotta talk about the Isolite in the next one. Do you have assistants or do you use Isolite with an assistant or no? You guys kind of go assistantless?
Dr. Kifer: I guess I could work without the assistant, but we are so efficient. I mean, patients sit in the chair, and we’ll prep and they’ll kind of help rinse the tooth anytime I’m changing a bur, or anything out, but once we get a field isolated, we’re just past that. It’s just perfect, seamless teamwork, because no one’s worried about retracting a tongue, or holding a cheek back. It’s just we can relax and … I always like to say, if I’m having to think about what’s going on, I’m not at my best.
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Kifer: At this point in my career, it’s just almost seamless. With the Isolite in, it’s just seamless with me and the assistant. So yes, I work with both, but everyone’s different I know.
Shaun Keating: No, that’s so neat. I remember way back in the day they had some issues with the light, and it’s like, dude, just put some loops on your head, but they still having some light issues on the end of the thing? Or do you just use the loop lights?
Dr. Kifer: Well, you know the ones I have, have all been fairly older and the lights have all gone out, so I don’t miss them. Like you said, between the overhead light, and I have four and a half magnification in my loops, if the light was on in my Isolite it wasn’t that much difference that just my loops, so I never noticed it.
Shaun Keating: See and that’s what I figured, and a lot of guys said it, but everyone has haters out there. Oh, the light, and this and that, and then there’s another one that came out a little bit cheaper. But no, the Isolite, I’ve worked with one in my mouth, man. It keeps your mouth open, I mean, it’s just the neatest thing. What a brainstorm session they had to get that, man. I mean, you don’t need an … I mean, it is pretty neat, suction and everything. I think there were some issues too a little bit with the new pieces, to get them sterilized or this and that, but oh, I don’t want to keep buying them. It’s like, dude.
Dr. Kifer: Oh, no, they’re disposable to us. They’re one time use and it adds a couple dollars, but for what it saves us in time, it’s well worth it.
Shaun Keating: That’s what I always say with my guys is that, well, I’m buying this impression material because it’s like $4 cheaper than Impregum, but I’m having issues. Well, pay the extra four bucks and use Impregum, dude. You’ll never have issues. I’m just a big polyeuth guy. Polyvinyls work, but it is what it is on that thing. Well, dude, I know you got a patient here in about five minutes, man. Let me wrap up with just one more question now. What advice can you give some of the newer dentists just starting out, Doctor Kifer?
Dr. Kifer: It kind of goes without saying to me, but invest in the education when you can. There are some cheaper ways with podcasts, and I know you’ve put on some programs in the past, and ways to get into it obviously. I love the high end education you get from guys like John Kois, and some of the other big groups, but then don’t neglect the leadership and communication. I mean, your team looks at you to be a leader in the practice, and you set the tone, so take responsibility when things aren’t going well, and give the praise when things are going well, would be my advice.
Dr. Kifer: Leadership’s a skill I think, and communication, that often get under looked, because you can be a great dentist, but if you can’t sell the dentistry or get your team on the same page, then it’s hard to go anywhere.
Shaun Keating: Oh, absolutely. Great, great, great words of wisdom right there, man. How’s my lab doing for you? We’re doing okay? We screwing up a lot?
Dr. Kifer: You guys are, no, you guys are doing great, like I said. Your strength to me has always been communication, and working together on it, so I mean, if there’s a problem, we can call and talk it up, and it’s never a blame game on, going back and forth or anything like that. I appreciate all the work you’ve done. I try to send people your way for all the time, and-
Shaun Keating: I thank you for that.
Dr. Kifer: -couldn’t be happier, sir.
Shaun Keating: Oh, well God bless you and your family. I can’t thank you enough for your time. Doctor Kifer, you the man baby. Whenever you’re out here in Southern Cal, we’d love to have you come by the lab. I’ll treat you like family and we’d love to have you see-
Dr. Kifer: [crosstalk 00:59:21].
Shaun Keating: -your tacks and, we got some programs coming up. Maybe we can fly you out or something. We got it all working out here, but I will get you some information on that.
Dr. Kifer: Sounds good.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, but that’s three kids now. How old are they? Are they getting older?
Dr. Kifer: I got 10, 8, and 5 are my kids, so the youngest just started Kindergarten. Growing up a little bit, but still young.
Shaun Keating: Dude, well we got Disneyland right around the corner here, with California Adventure together, so we can let them-
Dr. Kifer: They’d love it.
Shaun Keating: They would love it, that’s perfect ages too. You have to keep an eye on them, man, you get lost there’s so many people over there. That’s fun times and heck, we got that, we got all sorts of things around here. Definitely love to have you out and again, we can’t thank you enough for all the work, and just all the great work, and just your staff, and you just can’t teach it almost, man. We just love you guys and can’t thank you enough.
Dr. Kifer: We appreciate you guys too, so working well.
Shaun Keating: All right, baby, well good talking to you and we’ll talk to you real soon, Doctor Kifer.
Dr. Kifer: All right. Thanks, John.
Shaun Keating: All right, buddy. Bye-bye.
Dr. Kifer: Bye.
Host: Thanks for joining us on the Dental Up podcast show this week. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or search the Dental Up podcast on iTunes for our weekly feed. Don’t forget to visit keatingdentallab.com/promo for exclusive offers. Keating Dental Lab is a full service dental laboratory and we’re nationwide. We’d love for you to send us a case so we can show you the Keating difference. If you dig what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes, and we’ll be back next week.