Thriving Small Town Practices: The Airborne Dentist

Thriving Small Town Practices: The Airborne Dentist

Shaun Keating CDT + Dr. David Hart DDS

Dr. David Hart DDS is a dentist in Kansas who operates two practices one being in Elk Hart with a population of just under 2,000 residents. As a pilot and airplane owner, David often flys from his main practice in Great Bend to work at his Elk Hart location. Not only does David maintain two thriving practices via aircraft transportation, he’s also a business owner of a Small Cakes Cupcakery and often donates his time to volunteer in South America for those in need of dental care.

Join us in this thrilling episode of Dental Up as we discuss how to maintain thriving dental practices in small communities, the experience of being an airborne dentist, and the satisfaction of helping people in need.

If you’re interested in volunteering as a dentist in Honduras or Nicaragua visit for more information.

Full Transcription

Shaun Keating : Hey everybody, Shaun Keating here. I want to welcome you to the Dental Up Podcast Show by Keating Dental Lab. Today we have a longtime dental partner that’s been with KDA for over 10 years. He owns two practices, one in Great Bend, Kansas, which is about a town of 15,000 people and another one in Elkhart, Kansas, that’s only 2,000 people. We will be discussing how to have a dental practice that thrives in a small community. We’d like to welcome Dr. David Hart.

David Hart: Fantastic. Thanks for having me on, Keats.

Shaun Keating : I like to start off talking a little bit about sports and I know you’re out in Kansas and God, you’re right in the middle of Kansas, so I know it’s got to be tough to get over to Kansas City. Is that kind of far, like where the Chiefs play and the Royals? Are they both over in Kansas City?

David Hart: Yeah, so we have it great, the Chiefs and the Royals in Kansas City, but Great Bend is really just right in between Kansas City and Denver.

Shaun Keating : Oh, okay.

David Hart: I happen to be a much bigger Broncos fan.

Shaun Keating : Oh, okay.

David Hart: In the last five years I’ve had season tickets out to the Broncos and go out and make all the Broncos games.

Shaun Keating : How cool is that? Yeah, KC, I got a buddy who lives in, actually Missouri, and he’s a big KC fan, but Denver, man. What’s in like in that Mile High Stadium? Is it hard to breathe? I’ve always wanted to go there, but me and my breathing, man, I smoked for a long time. Going on six years that I quit here on the 24th, but I always think, man, that Mile High, I’d be sucking wind. Is it really noticeable in the atmosphere of the breathing and stuff, or no?

David Hart: Well, hey, first congratulations on smoking again, boy six years clean, that’s fantastic.

Shaun Keating : It’s crazy, yeah.

David Hart: Yeah, Mile High, boy, it’s going up flights of stairs and that kind of stuff. Going to games there, there’s no stadium that’s better, right?

Shaun Keating : Yeah.

David Hart: Boy, when they built that new one they built it to shake as close to the old one as they could and so it’s built out of steel instead of concrete and so when the crowd really gets going it’s quite the environment to be in.

Shaun Keating : No kidding. Ah, I bet it’s awesome and when you get some of the longest field goals in history, I think it’s out of there because I think the ball floats a little better out in that air, a little bit longer.

David Hart: When you get the call to be the kicker for the Broncos, you take it because you know you’re going to break some records.

Shaun Keating : Ah, that’s so cool and then the Royals, man, they’re awesome too, man. I mean, heck, these last few years, they’re on a tear there a little bit, I think. I remember back in the day with Brett and all those guys in the Royals, man. You’ve got some awesome teams there. A little bit of baseball now and then or no? Just mostly the football guy, huh?

David Hart: About two weeks ago, went out to one of the Royals’ games.

Shaun Keating : Oh, no kidding.

David Hart: It’s pretty easy, I have a second practice that I fly to and so, taking my plane, you can always hop in the plane and fly out to the Royals game and go to a game and come home in a day and no big deal.

Shaun Keating : That’s so great. That’s awesome dude. I would like to do that with an airplane. I know you own a plane and all that. I was going to talk to you about that. That’s got to be ballsy dude, to get up there. You’ve got to be pretty straight minded, you can’t be tossing them back in the pub and say “Well I’ve got to drive, not drive home, I’ve got to fly home.” How’d you get into the air thing, we get in plane stuff, you’ve been doing that since you were younger and then you decide to buy a plane? Tell me a little bit about that.

David Hart: Well, you know, I’ve always wanted to fly. My father always wanted to fly. Unfortunately, he passed away about 11 years ago and he never got the opportunity.

Shaun Keating : Sorry about that.

David Hart: So, once I got my dental practice under control and everything was on cruise control and I didn’t have to put as much time into studying and learning the dentistry side of things I got to apply my mind to something else and I picked learning to fly. So for the last two years, two and a half years or so, I just studied and maybe two years ago I got my private license and my instrument rating and so it’s been a real blast getting to use my mind for something other than dentistry.

Shaun Keating : Ah, well you’re a sharp dude that’s for sure. You got to be sharp to fly those planes especially if, is it like instruments, you get certified in instruments where … Remember the Kennedy kid, when it got all foggy out there by Nantucket, man that would scare the heck out of me. Even when I’m in a car or on my boat and thank God I’ve got a captain to run that thing because you can’t see 10 feet in front of you and I’m just scared shitless. I’m like “Dude, I can’t even look out there because I think I’m going to hit something.” You’ve got to do all your radar, all your instruments. How’s that work? Do you know how to read those instruments pretty good too or how’s that work out?

David Hart: Yeah, you know the hardest thing with flying is you just have to learn to trust the instruments. That sounds easy but it’s very hard to shut off what your body is telling you and just believe what your eyes and your instruments are telling you. If you trust your body or your ear it’s very easy to become disoriented and then that’s where pilots get in trouble.

Shaun Keating : Really. Now what kind of plane? You got a double winger thing or a double propeller or a single propeller up front? What kind of plane you rolling in?

David Hart: Single prop, it’s a Cirrus SR22 which is most famously known for the plane with a parachute.

Shaun Keating : Oh, those are killer, dude. That’s the one I would want to be in. I mean, I’ve heard about those and seeing those. What a genius thing to do, just in case something goes awry we’ve got a fricking parachute. Ah, dude no wonder, you got a good one. That’s sweet. So is that on the nose, on the rear end, how does that work?

David Hart: It is rocket activated so think like ejection seat, everyone’s seen one of those. Except for a handle between your legs you’ve got a handle above your head and if the shit hits the fan, you pull the handle and the rocket pulls the parachute out and you float down.

Shaun Keating : Aw man, that is peace of mind though, dude. I always wanted to get one of those little, it’s kind of like a kite with a propeller behind you, and you sit on it like a little go-kart. I had my wife looking at me on these videos of this place that sold these things. I forgot the name of them, but it’s like a little go-kart and then it’s just like a parachute thing behind you. You’ve just gotta have an open field and you’re [inaudible 00:06:33]. The thing deploys and you just go all over, but I live out kind of in suburbia here and you know, you’ve gotta live out where there’s a lot of land and stuff I guess. Kind of stupid though, then I started Googling some of the reports on some of these things. Quite a few accidents here and there, between the ultralights and then these little things. I guess they’re pretty safe, but knowing my luck, I’d hit a wind drift or a draft or something and I’d crash that thing. I crash everything I drive. But dude, that’s awesome, man.

You ever thought of learn how to fly in the jets there, the jet? I always looked at that little Honda, I was always intrigued because I’ve always had Honda motorcycles, you know, dirt bikes and stuff, and street bikes growing up and they make a good motorcycle. Then this dude, he just kind of branched off and went into designing a jet for Honda. Now it’s out finally and pretty reasonably priced for a jet, I guess. I mean, it’s not a G5 or nothing like that, but you ever looked into that Honda jet, just the specs of it? What do you think about that?

David Hart: Yeah, boy, they just started delivering that. It’s a pretty nice plane. I’m going to need a few more dental practices before I can just pick one of those babies up.

Shaun Keating : We can do it, baby. We’ll go in halves or something. We’ll go fractional. We’ll get you in on that fractional, just get you a couple more practices, get in a couple more [roundies 00:07:58] a week and we’re in there, baby. That’s a pretty bitching little plane though man. I looked at it and it’s weird how they have the jet off the top of it or something.

David Hart: It’s up above the wings, I believe. I think it’s wing mounted, twin engine, wing mounted and then kind of raised up.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, that’s crazy. I remember way back in the day, Thurman Munson, big-time, all star type catcher for the New York Yankees, this big burly dude for catcher. He actually had a jet that he was doing, practicing take-offs and landings and I guess one time it didn’t work right and he went into the side of a mountain or something. I remember him crashing and died. He had a bunch of money and thought, kind of pushed the limits or something. You know, getting into a jet, that takes I would think many, many hours before you jump into a jet type situation. Yeah, that was really sad for that, back in the day.

All right, dude, well hey, let’s Dental Up a little bit. Thank you so much for coming onboard today, Dr. Hart. We’ve been doing a lot of great work. You’re a real good practitioner and I really appreciate everything. Tell me a little bit. How’d you get into dentistry? What did you think when you decided, I want to be a dentist? Tell me a little bit about that.

David Hart: Yeah, so it’s kind of one of those things I just fell into, really. UMKC, University of Missouri, Kansas City, used to have a six year dental program and I went to high school just north of the Kansas City area. In high school, we had to do an apprenticeship out in the community, I picked my dentist so I shadowed him. My father found out about this program and on a whim, I just kind of filled out the application. Next thing you knew, I was in the six year dental program at UMKC. Starting dental school right out of high school, that was a lot to handle but i just never really had the chance to look back.

Shaun Keating : That’s cool, dude. Yeah, you really got to have your stuff together out of high school. A lot of guys don’t know how to wipe their bum, you know, but to get straight into dentistry. Dude, you were pretty young when you got out of dentistry and started a residency. Were you out 25, 26?

David Hart: I got out in 2006, I was 24 years old.

Shaun Keating : That’s so cool.

David Hart: I started my practice out in a small town out here in Great Bend, and let’s see, practiced for two months with the owner, had a two month transition, and then he left town and I’ve just been running it solo ever since.

Shaun Keating : That is so cool, dude, just to get a few months under your belt. Do you have any associates with you or is it basically you and your practice? How did that work out? That’s amazing because we started off I think a few years after that, a couple of years, I’m not sure, but man, you just seem like you had it down from the beginning. So how long, you’ve been in it about 10, 11 years now?

David Hart: Right, maybe starting year 12 here. I think I started with you guys a little over 10 years ago. I started with some of the labs that the doc I purchased from had used and I wasn’t happy with what I was getting back from them so I reached out to my resource where I learn everything, and that’s Dental Town, read about this amazing lab out in California, Keating Dental Lab and [inaudible 00:11:20] a couple cases with y’all and things were coming back great. It’s just been a bunch of history that we’ve made.

Shaun Keating : Ah, dude, that is so cool, man. Yeah, I had Howard [Fran 00:11:28] on here last week. He’s a trip, man, but you know, that Dental Town really is. They’ve got, I think, a saying, you’ll never practice solo again, and back in the early days, all the young guys … I mean, it’d take you 10, 15, 20 years in the trenches to truly get that education that it takes to get it, where a lot of guys gave a lot of good information, a lot of the younger guys.

Like look at you, dude. You’re 24 years old, man, it’s just crazy. To be able to get on there and to comprehend and to take in the good, the bad. You can tell the people that were giving you real time advice, where a lot of the older guys back in the day, they didn’t want to give you anything. They wanted you to work for them and they give you a little bit here, a little bit there, where there, you could go everything from impression taking to temporization made easy to cementation, you know, on and on. Prepping and occlusion, it is a really neat thing. Even Howard was saying, they always ask you about CE and stuff like that and Howard just kind of, “CE, just come onboard. It’s $18 bucks and you can get hundreds of hours.” This one endo dude did a book. It took him five years and a million dollars and you can get it done in 20 hours and it costs you whatever. But that is amazing, dude.

So what about on your practice, man? Do you have more than one? Are you going to think about getting another location? Tell me bit about your practice and tell me a little bit about Great Bend. It sounds like a neat little, kind of like a Mayberry, RFD, place? Or not like that, who knows, I’m not sure but I’m sure it’s a pretty cool little place.

David Hart: Yeah, so main practice in Great Bend, about 18 months ago I purchased a second practice out in a very small town, Elkhart, Kansas, population maybe a little under 2,000.

Shaun Keating : Oh, you’re kidding. That’s really small, gosh.

David Hart: It’s on the border, the very southwest corner of Kansas, so the border of Oklahoma runs through town and it’s about five miles from Colorado.

Shaun Keating : No kidding.

David Hart: But out there, I’m the only dentist in the county, only dentist in the county in Oklahoma that borders and I think there’s one dentist maybe in Colorado. So there’s a great big need out there. There’s nobody serving the area.

Shaun Keating : That is so cool, dude. What do you think on starting that practice up? Was it tough or do you think you might get a couple of associates? How many ops you got in it and what are you thinking about that secondary practice?

David Hart: You know, I had an associate, I went down the associate road about two years ago and had an associate that was with me for about a year, and things didn’t quite work out like I had planned. So it was kind of like divorce, I’m still recovering a little bit from that breakup and eventually will start looking again, probably.

Shaun Keating : It’s tough dude, it really is. it’s like a marriage and some guys, it’s just like, God, to get two guys to mesh, especially when you’re the owner and the boss type thing and you’ve got some guy that … You know, it’s hard. It’s hard to find them, but when you do find them, it just really does make for a great dentistry when you can practice together and both appreciate each other, and to get three and four associates, too.

It’s tough when you get these younger guys because who knows how they’re really feeling, if they want to do it on their own or maybe not. Then some of the older guys, kind of like the old dog teaching new tricks. You’re pretty demanding. You do excellent dentistry so it’s tough, I’m sure. But keep looking, you never know. It’s something, you know, you can’t find that perfect girl the first time, it takes you a few times. Sometimes you get them right the first time, but moreso than not, it might take a little bit, but that’s awesome, dude. Now, how many days are you working at that one?

David Hart: So every Monday, two of my staff hop in the plane with me and we fly out, it’s about an hour flight to get there.

Shaun Keating : How cool is that.

David Hart: As long as we don’t have horrible weather or something, unfortunately, every once in a while we have horrible weather and have to drive. That’s about a three and a half a hour drive one way. That makes for a long day. But we’re out there every Monday and then every other Friday and we’re in the Great Bend office from seven in the morning till usually six at night, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays.

Shaun Keating : No kidding. Tell me a little bit about on your marketing for your main practice, what kind of ideas can you give me on some of our newer guys starting out? You’re still a young man, but how does that work? Do you do social media stuff or you doing like mailers? Tell me a little bit about what you’re doing to grow your practice.

David Hart: Marketing as far as the dental practice goes, small town, I think the key is just treating people right.

Shaun Keating : Absolutely.

David Hart: I remember back in my days in dental school, there was an instructor that would tell us, just worry about two things. There’s two things to having a successful practice and that’s number one, worry about doing good dentistry, and number two, worry about treating people right. If you do those two things, your practice is going to thrive. So that’s been my philosophy for marketing. I’ve never really done any dental marketing.

Now I have a couple of other businesses, one of the other businesses I have is I own a couple Smallcakes franchises. Smallcakes, you may have them out there, is a cupcake and ice cream shop and as far as my cupcake and ice cream shop, yeah, social media is the way to do things now. You know, you reach out on Facebook and get so many people that follow you, and instantly you reach out to all these people versus a newspaper or some of the old school ways.

Shaun Keating : That’s awesome. Dude, I want one of those little cake things. Right now, that sounds pretty good. Look at you, you’re a little entrepreneur, man. That’s my boy. You know, I got a guy, he’s like, “Yeah, I’ve been in the dentistry business for all my life,” and he goes, “I want to do something different.” He got into making these cocktails and stuff, but he goes, “Dentistry, it’s always nice to branch out a little bit once you get successful at it.” That’s awesome, man, it really is. You never know. Is that a franchise thing or is it something you come up with? How’s that work?

David Hart: Smallcakes is a company founded in Kansas City by a fellow named Jeff Martin. Little over a hundred locations internationally now. We’ve got one in Great Bend and we’re just getting ready to open our second one in Hays, which is a town about an hour north of us. That’s been an adventure. I’ve always loved ice cream and we make homemade ice cream in the shop and it’s a real treat.

Shaun Keating : Oh dude, that is. I gotta watch that ice cream. Mama only lets me use a little bit of that Haagen-Dazs. I heat up the chocolate syrup, oh man, that’s good stuff. That’s awesome, dude. That’s something new I didn’t know about you there.

So tell me a little bit about what do you do in your dentistry? What do you like to do mostly? Is it crown preps or reconstructions or what don’t you like to do? You don’t like to do endo or extractions? Anything you do like to do and don’t like to do or are you like MacGyver and do it all? Tell me a little bit about that, Dr. Hart.

David Hart: My practice out here is your nuts and bolts general dentistry practice. For the last, probably six years, I’ve had a fairly big emphasis on pediatrics and sedations. We did a lot of in-office general anesthesia. I have my IV moderate sedation license in Kansas. So we were Medicaid providers for the last five or six years. Then, I guess part of this big transition I’m going through in my life right now, we decided to stop being a Medicaid provider and we’re going back to doing a lot more of the crown and bridge work. I don’t care for the full mouth reconstructions, to me that’s just a whole other set of headaches that I don’t like to handle. I do a ton of single unit stuff in implants and bridges.

As far as full mouth reconstructions, I did a lot of pediatric stuff but not in a [inaudible 00:20:10] state. They need too much hand-holding.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, it can be tough, man. It’s tough when you start doing the bigger rehabs. You’ve almost got to have a psychiatric degree to understand these people. If they’re going to be Crazy Jane or just Wild Bill, it’s so tough. Even some people when they come in for a crown or two and then they just, they come back immediately, “Oh, I’m having pain,” this and all that. You need a root canal probably. “Oh, I didn’t need it before,” and on and on. It can be tough, man, dentistry with people and knowing when to say punt and knowing when to say I don’t want to work on certain patients.

I don’t know, it’s a tough thing but I think going back to with what you’re saying what you do and to grow your practice, it’s just do good work and good bedside manner and the Golden Rule. I think I’ve had so many guys tell me that right there, when they’re growing their practice, and doing good dentistry is just the basics there of just treat people good and practice good dentistry and people will come. They’ll find out about you and I think that’s awesome with what you’re doing there.

David Hart: Yeah, I literally treat every single patient like it’s your mother or father sits in the chair. If you do that, boy, you know, the patients just flow in the door.

Shaun Keating : That’s so cool, dude. You know, I see you, dude, I think you’ll have three or four practices down the line. Once you get your systems down, you’ll surround yourself with the right people and I think it’s just a certain area that you’re in that you could do this. Especially with that damn plane of yours, man, you’ll be popping in everywhere and we’re going to get that Honda jet before you know it.

David Hart: Sounds good.

Shaun Keating : We’ll get a parachute on it too, just to see if we could do that.

David Hart: Cirrus has just started delivering their jet, so Cirrus [inaudible 00:22:04]. It’s kind of an interesting design. With that one, Shaun, it’s got a V-tail and then the engine is mounted on top of the fuselage, but it has a parachute so there’s your jet with a parachute.

Shaun Keating : Can you believe that? Now what do you think it’ll hold? It is still smaller, four or five person or four to five or three to four? How’s that?

David Hart: Yeah, I think they had a configuration for up to seven but you’d be pretty limited on weight with that, so if you had one or two guys in there and then five kids-

Shaun Keating : Yeah, a couple of 250s like me, it’d be like we could have four with two of you and two kids is all that’d get on there. I need a GV, I need a big boy, no, just kidding. Ah, that’s so awesome. Tell me, any interesting dental stories? Weird, interesting interactions with patients? I’ve had a few guys tell me some things that have happened that are just kind of crazy. Any in your early, young career? Any wild, chronic, crazy patients or crazy cases?

David Hart: Oh boy, I think every dentist in the world could list about three every day that happened there. I’ll try to stick to the fun ones. For me, some of the fun ones are when I get … I like the celebrities that come in. I like when the other dentists ask me to do their work, that’s kind of a pretty high honor for me, being the dentist to the other dentists in the area. I had one patient who was a World Series MVP, played in a bunch of World Series, played for the Yankees back in the day. Been kind of fun getting to visit with him and as my kids were born, he would bring in signed baseballs for them and that kind of stuff.

Shaun Keating : Aw, that is so cool. Now isn’t your boy, he’s a teenager yet? And your daughter, how old are they now? They’re getting up there, man.

David Hart: I am, my son just turned nine yesterday and my daughter turned seven back in June so we’ve got second and fourth grade.

Shaun Keating : Aw, dude, that is so cool.

David Hart: First year for playing football for my son this year, so he’s pretty stoked about that.

Shaun Keating : Hey, let us know on the mouthguards, dude, if you ever want to get your assistants down there and just get the plastic [inaudible 00:24:30], mix it up with the alginates. I do football teams all the time but maybe we can volunteer our services to help them out. Even in youth football, we do some pretty damn good ones and we’ve done them for colleges and ultimate fighters. But let me know on that, because I know we’ll help you in any way there when it comes to that. I’m a big football guy.

So what does he play, man, is it like a defensive back, is he running the ball, is he on the line, what’s he doing?

David Hart: He’s putting his money on being the quarterback, so coach says in a couple of weeks, but we’re out there throwing every night and he’s got a pretty good arm on him.

Shaun Keating : Aw, that is so cool. I miss that so much. I mean, the favorite age for me is 12 year olds. That’s when the light bulb’s really turning on when it comes to sports. That’s the age of the Peewee football and that’s the age of the Little League World Series in Little League Baseball. It’s just the greatest, 11 and 12, man. When it comes to sports, aw, I Jones for that, man, I missed it. My boy’s been out of high school for like 15 years and stuff. It’s like what the heck? But got a grandson coming in December, so I’m already saying, “Ah, I can’t wait.” My wife’s saying, “Shaun, you’re not doing nothing with that boy, you let it go. That’s Kyle’s time. Let him.” I’m saying, “No, I’m a coach.” She’s like, “No, Shaun, don’t even think about it.”

David Hart: Now is this your first grandchild?

Shaun Keating : Yeah, first one.

David Hart: Hey congratulations, that’s exciting.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, it’s been a while. We were like the youngest getting married. She was like 19, I was 21, man, I thought we’d be grandparents young and they’re in their 30s, 32 and 30 now. I always kid around, [Shannon 00:26:25] hates when I say it, it’s like, [inaudible 00:26:27] pod goes, it’s like, “Now I’m sleeping with a grandmother.” That sounds weird, dude but she’s pretty hot still, but I love my wife. But it’s like dude, it’s crazy, I’m a fricking grandpa. Time catches up real quick. You’re just a puppy, dude. You’re going to be older before you know it.

That’s why I say work hard now. Work your butt off really hard till like you’re 50, and then you can do just whatever you want. Some of these younger kids, they don’t have that work ethic and you need to really bust your butt. Hard work will get it done. Not what you wish for, it’s what you work for. It’s important, you’ve got to bust your butt and then if you want to cool down and do what you want to do, and buy a bunch of Suzy Cakes or whatever you want to do, you could be an entrepreneur in all sorts of things. But that’s really awesome.

I just know how good you practice. You’ve always practiced good and you’re demanding excellence. I thank you for using my lab all these years. It’s really cool because I know you have a lot of options out there. I think it’s helped you too, being young, starting off and then using my lab because a lab can make or break a dental practice so I thank you for that dude. That’s pretty awesome.

David Hart: I read on Dental Town sometimes about folks that have crown seat appointments that take a while or they have problems or people scheduled 30 minutes or an hour for a crown seat. One thing that I think I’m been spoiled with, Shaun, is I schedule about five minutes for my crown seat appointments.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, baby, that’s it.

David Hart: Sometimes I get a little frustrated if I have to take a burr to a crown or something and that might happen every, like one out of 10. I have to have a little reality check, like whoa, a little adjustment every 10th crown or something, that’s all right. You guys just do a killer job with it.

Shaun Keating : Aw dude, but it goes both ways. I appreciate that but you know what? If you aren’t doing everything on your end, it doesn’t work. It’s like, sometimes it’ll be like, “What the heck, Shaun?”

We’ve got impression materials that like to distort, we’ve got teeth that like to move a little bit more than they think. They move and temporization, maybe they took a little bit too far out of occlusion to keep the patient happy. Maybe that opposing tooth drifts a little bit, so it’s both teams that have got to work like a cohesive unit and when they do, it’s not rocket science but if you can work together with some consistent techniques, things work really easy. Like five minutes is like yeah, you should be able to drop it in.

I think it takes longer to mix up the cement, or depending on what you’re using, but little to no adjustment and maybe a little dusting of the occlusion here and there, contacts, you want them broad and full, football shaped. It’s just a neat thing, man, when we’re all working on all, going on all cylinders, man. It’s just fricking bitching. I love it. I love it when doctors are happy and jazzed and patients are happy and jazzed, and the last thing they worry about is their lab and that’s what we try to do and make that life with the dentist.

It’s already stressful enough, because we work on stone models and they’re not sitting there complaining. We don’t hear it. Like you said earlier, pretend it’s going on your mom or your dad or your family member. That’s what we have to do and we have to put it in our heads every day that this isn’t going in my mom’s mouth. You’ve got to have that kind of passion and that kind of dedication to do good dentistry and it comes back to you. But that’s really, really cool.

Now dude, I know you do volunteer work and stuff, quite a bit of that. I know we just did something with you. I’m not sure, tell me a little bit about what you’re doing there. Is that out of the country or is that in your state? Tell me a little bit about that, going above and beyond and helping out. I think it’s for people in need or something. Tell me a little bit about that, what you’re doing, Dr. Hart.

David Hart: Yeah, so one of my favorite things to do is go on mission trips down to Central or South America the last, probably 14 years or so. I got exposed to it in dental school, made many, many trips down to Honduras and Nicaragua.

Shaun Keating : Oh, you’re kidding, that’s cool, dude.

David Hart: Just recently, the organization I’ve been going with the last five years or so is Medico, and we’re always looking for dentists so anybody that’s out there that’s interested in coming down with us, check out The last five years or so, we’ve started going to extremely remote areas on the Gulf coast of Honduras.

Shaun Keating : Damn, doesn’t that scare you though? Is it scary or is it like any of the Somalia dudes? How’s that work? I would be scared a little bit or maybe not. Maybe it’s not that kind of scary or no?

David Hart: No, I haven’t run into any issues. Unfortunately, Honduras is the deadliest nation in our hemisphere as far as homicides per capita.

Shaun Keating : Oh, geeze.

David Hart: But they don’t target Americans, they don’t target tourists. They mostly keep their killing in-house.

Shaun Keating : Oh gee, if that’s a good thing, I hate to say that’s even a good thing but that’s a good thought if you’re going to help and volunteer, that’s good that they think that way at least.

David Hart: We’ve been going out to these really remote areas and we do dentistry. We take physicians with us, we take a very small, condensed medical team of about 10 people. We got hooked up with some people down there and we’re really making a difference doing not only medical and dentistry, but we’ve got some water issues that we’ve run into and we’re really trying to make a difference for these folks that live right on the coast. Keating was nice enough to partner with us and we’re rearranging some lives down there.

Shaun Keating : It’s our pleasure, dude, help in any way. If there’s any part of the dental thing we can do, I’m not sure because you’re doing it so on site and on hand right there, how we could do anything because it takes a little bit of time for us to, you know, if it’s crowns or … I’m not sure what we could do to help out even more on that.

But even to the water thing, isn’t there new things out with water that … I’m not sure who it was, but they can do these little things that don’t cost a lot of money that can turn, I don’t know if it’s salt water into regular water or there’s a certain thing that can help with the water or something. That’s just crazy how people don’t have water, or bad water. That’s just crazy.

David Hart: This new community we’re going to, twice a day they can dig shallow holes and get some non-contaminated ground water out. They just need a well and the water table’s at a level are well possible, but we’ll do this next trip. We’re going down in March or April next year, and we’ll be getting some wells done for them as well so they can have some clean water.

Shaun Keating : That’s so good, dude. Good for you doing that. You know, it’s out of your own time, you don’t get paid for it, you’re not doing it for publicity, you’re doing it from the bottom of your heart, dude, and you can’t teach that. My hat’s off to you, Dr. Hart, for doing that and just helping people out like that. If we can ever help, you let me know. All the time, whenever you need help on that, we’ll always take care of you on that for sure.

So dude, before we wrap this up, what kind of advice again can you give for some of the younger people starting off when it comes to growing a practice or starting a practice. And then, just with the CE part of it, you know? Some people learn it by hands on and they just learn it. What kind of ideas and recommendations do you have for CE and then just anything on growing your practice. Anything you could add, I’d just appreciate.

David Hart: Yeah, so for the young guys out there, I think one thing, I’ll steal a quote from you. A little while ago you said, “It’s not what you wish for, it’s what you work for.” Hey, number one, if you’re going to be a practice owner, you’re not working nine to five 36 hours a week. You’re putting in 70 hours a week doing a variety of things.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, absolutely.

David Hart: Don’t be afraid to get out there and work hard. Certainly that’s number one to having a successful practice. CE, man, when you come out of dental school it was hammered into us that hopefully they had taught us enough not to hurt anybody.

Shaun Keating : That’s so true.

David Hart: That’s really what it is, but you have a license to learn and hope that you learned enough that you’re not going to hurt somebody. Get out there and just take all the CE that you can because you don’t know what you’re good at, you don’t know what you’re going to like and there’s a lot of really cheap CE out there. There’s Dental Town, there’s the ADA meeting, there’s the Dental Town meeting. You can be online. I mean, you guys offer a ton of CE through the lab.

Shaun Keating : Yeah, absolutely.

David Hart: I mean, you can take a variety of things a figure out what you like and what you don’t like and eventually it all gets easier where you don’t have to think about your cases every day. You can just show up to work. For me, it probably took eight or nine years before I didn’t have to study up to do a case.

Shaun Keating : That’s so cool, dude. Hey man, I can’t thank you enough. I know you slipped me in to get this podcast in and now you’ve got to get back to work, but Dr. David Hart from Great Bend, Kansas. What a great story. I love you man. I thank you so much for all the work and if there’s anything we could do, if you have any issues, you know where I’m at. You can always call me like you do. I just can’t thank you enough, man. So you got much longer of a day? Or you going to be out before you know it?

David Hart: I’m headed out, taking my son to the ENT today so I’ve got just a few hygiene checks and then I’ll be walking out the door.

Shaun Keating : Aw, perfect. Hope everything’s okay with your boy. Everything going to be okay there?

David Hart: Yeah, I think it’s just tonsils, adenoids, get those taken out and life should be good.

Shaun Keating : Oh man, hey, you’ve got the ice cream farm. Remember that when you get the tonsils out. That was the only thing you could eat was like, you get to have ice cream. That’s funny. Well dude, thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming onto our podcast this week, and Dr. Hart, if there’s anything I can ever do, you let me know and we appreciate and thank you for all the work you send us.

David Hart: Yeah, I appreciate it Shaun. Thank you.

Shaun Keating : All right, we’ll talk to you later.

David Hart: All right, bye.

Shaun Keating : Bye-bye.

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