On this week’s episode of the Dental Up Podcast, Shaun Keating talks to Dr. John Z. Xu, DMD. They discuss how Dr. Xu was able to adapt to a changing Dental Industry in the Digital Age. Dr. Xu talks about why it’s important to ask as many questions and get involved as much as you can in your Dental Courses before graduating. Finally, why learning from your mistakes is a good thing, especially when you are just starting out.
Things you will hear on this podcast
-Why Dr. Xu chose to become a General Dentist and why he enjoys doing Endo.
-The Importance of asking questions and learning from both your Dentist and staff when you are an associate.
-Why he prefers hands-on CE over standard lectures.
-Why he enjoys using CEREC and CBCT
-How Dr. Xu was influenced in becoming a dentist after college.
For more information on Dr. Xu check these links out:
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Dental Lab 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 Lab Podcast. Our guest this week graduated from Boston University School of Dental Medicine and has also earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology from Cornell University. Currently practice from Medford Massachusetts. Please welcome, Dr. John Xu DMD. How’s it going, Dr. Xu?
Dr. John Z. Xu: I’m doing well. How are you?
Shaun Keating: Good. Good. I’m not sure, DDS or are you a DMD?
Dr. John Z. Xu: DMD, you got that right.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, baby. I was hoping. I thought I saw that. Thank you, so man. I appreciate you coming on the Dental Lab Podcast and I know we’re just starting to work together but I just thought I’d get you on because you’re such a young gun, man, and you’re just kind of crushing it and you got some big-time talent and stuff but I’m a big Boston guy too and I loved it. My dad was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts so it’s kind of a tough town over there in Beantown but I love it. Did you like it in Boston when you were there?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I’m still actually living in Boston and I’ve been working in this area for quite a bit now since I’ve graduated. I haven’t wanted to leave since I graduated. I love the city so, yeah. I’m still here and I live downtown and it’s a great area. Actually, worked in Dorchester for a bit too.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re kidding.
Dr. John Z. Xu: It was great. I’m sure a lot has changed now since you were there but it’s awesome. I love the city.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Dad’s house was on 18 Baker Street, man. Still remember that but, yeah. It’s totally changed. Our area is like a little Irish Catholic area and it’s really grown and it’s just real high price real estate around, everywhere down there now but I just love the Boston baked beans, how they do those navy beans and the way they make them, and then, I’m a big lobster guy, Legal Sea Food, and then, I’m a big prime rib guy in Durgin-Park there with the Fred Flintstone prime rib and they got these older ladies, man, and probably in their 80s and they’re little firecrackers, man, and it’s from back in the day.
Shaun Keating: I think it’s been around 100 years or so they’ve been there and they just have these longshoremen, the dock workers coming in so those ladies have always been kind of tough and just kind of will give you a mouthful but I think that’s part of the fun of it all but, oh, that’s so cool. Hey, I always like to start a little bit talking about sports and we got a little March Madness going, man. You into that at all? You watching any of the teams? Any teams in particular you like?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Honestly, I’m not a huge sports person. I wish I could talk to you more about that.
Shaun Keating: That’s okay.
Dr. John Z. Xu: But I did, when I was in college, Cornell actually made it pretty far one year. I don’t remember what year it was but that was pretty exciting but after that, I haven’t really been following too much of that-
Shaun Keating: Unless you really have … Go ahead.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah, Boston though it’s a great place for sports. We had the Patriots parade and everything recently so, yeah.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome. Gronkowski, they’re tight end just retired a few days ago and that’s a big loss for them but, man, they don’t need any more big weapons. They’ve won too many Super Bowls already. It’s like that you got the goat in Tom Brady and that dude is just like 45 years old or something. He’s still playing like an 18-year-old but, no-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I just heard about that retirement. Yeah, my hygienist was just telling me about that.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’s kind of crazy, and you know who else retired today and I don’t know how truthful it is but Conor McGregor just did a tweet on, “Hey, guys, quick announcement. I’ve decided to retire from sport formerly known as mixed martial arts today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I know my former partners on this venture are already in retirement. Proper pina coladas.”
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I’m a big MMA fan so I don’t know if that’s real. I think he’s going to come back if there’s a money fight for him but-
Shaun Keating: Yeah. I think you’re so right on that because he got his butt kicked the last few times but he made a barrel full of money and he’s just … Oh, the one was with Mayweather and stuff. That was kind of weird but that last dude that kicked his butt in the ring. That guy looks like a monster. I don’t think, kind of like the Rousey girl. Once you got your number, man, those the girls started smacking her and she was out of it. I think what Connor I think that there’s a few people in there that just [inaudible 00:05:20] Conor has just got that personality, man.
Shaun Keating: Chest walking out, a little Irish dude, man, what is he, a buck forty, a buck 150 pound? He ain’t that big.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Right. Yeah.
Shaun Keating: But he’s still tougher [crosstalk 00:05:33] but, no. You’re right though, he’ll probably come back with enough money, man, and when he’s out of it a little while people will pay for it and that’s kind of crazy. All right, my man. Let’s go ahead and Dental Lab Dr. Xu, so tell me, why did you get into dentistry and at what point did you think I want to be a dentist?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. For me, dentistry, I think it wasn’t something that I really knew that I wanted to do like a lot of people might have when they were really young. I didn’t really look into it until probably after college. I’ve taken pretty much all the prerequisites and everything but I was actually studying to be going into neurobiology doing a PhD in that, and now, there was something that was missing. I love research. I love all that but there was a part that was missing.
Dr. John Z. Xu: I think that was just the interaction with the client or the patient and getting that immediate gratification by helping someone out, and I like working with my hands, I like art and dentistry is just this combination of all of these things and it was really not until after school, after college that when I was applying to the PhD programs that I really had to think about it again and think about what I wanted to do and if that was really the right choice for me.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Then, I did some shadowing and that’s basically it and I’ve been happy with my career choice ever since.
Shaun Keating: What about Cornell? Tell me a little bit about Cornell and tell me a little bit about Boston, did you like it and your experiences about your college journey?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Cornell was awesome. I made so many good friends there but the campus itself, it was beautiful. I mean, you’d walk to class and have like a waterfall next to you as you’re walking to class.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. John Z. Xu: I don’t think there’s anything else that’s like that. The only thing it was kind of in the middle of nowhere and-
Shaun Keating: Where’s Cornell? Excuse me. Where’s Cornell [inaudible 00:07:34]?
Dr. John Z. Xu: That’s in Ithaca. That’s Ithaca. That’s upstate New York.
Shaun Keating: Oh, okay. No kidding. My mom’s up there-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. It’s a great school.
Shaun Keating: … in Little Falls New York. That’s way upstate [inaudible 00:07:44] mountains up there but … No. Cornell, I’ve always heard of Cornell and it says it’s really prestigious for sure. Both your colleges are really awesome colleges to be able to go to like that. Cost you a lot of money. You got a lot of debt from college still or how’s that working out for you?
Dr. John Z. Xu: No. Actually, in terms of debt, I’m pretty much all set. Everything’s pretty much been taken care of. My parents definitely help me out a lot, tremendously and without them, I wouldn’t really be able to be where I am today.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I loved being there and going to Boston now, it was such a transition. Going to somewhere from the middle of nowhere to a pretty big city.
Shaun Keating: Tell me when you started out, you start out as associate, you purchase a practice? Tell me a little bit about that if you could.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Currently, I’m an associate at two different practices actually. I do work in Medford, which is just outside of Boston but also a little further west in Worcester and I do like being an associate and in the near future actually I’m planning on starting my own practice and that’s going to be pretty soon. Yeah. I’m excited about that.
Shaun Keating: Oh, that’s so cool, man. Yeah, just put your dues in, learn everything you can, and then, your time will come and it’s just a great thing. I love seeing dentist starting off and some guys start off, and they just take the big jump in and get that practice and some use the associateship as mentoring and learning from people and being mentored and stuff. It works out both ways.
Shaun Keating: I’ve got some guys that have never opened their own practices and they’re 25, 30 years into it and they just like that because there’s a lot of other responsibilities when it comes to ownership and kind of like 24/7, when you own your own business it never turns off, never shuts down and it’s just a different thing. You got problems and issues either way, a little bit here and there but that’s awesome the way you’re doing it for sure. Tell me a little bit about the layout of your practice. How is it laid out and what do you have for like assistants and hygienists? How many people you got working with you?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Starting off with the practice that I have here in Medford, it’s a beautiful, beautiful practice. I have three chairs that we’re currently working out of and three more chairs are going to be set up. Actually, they’re just installed and I have two assistants just for myself. I have a hygienist and two front desks. The layout of it, it’s a beautiful open-concept practice and it’s been growing pretty quickly.
Dr. John Z. Xu: It’s fairly new. It’s open just in 2016 in June and we’re getting 70 to 100 new patients every month. It’s awesome.
Shaun Keating: That’s awesome. Are you guys taking insurance, a fee for service? What kind of insurances are you taking?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. We take most insurances. The area here it’s a lot of younger people, millennials, college students in the city, and it’s a fairly nice area. In the plaza with luxury kind of buildings, apartment buildings and stuff like that so patients come in a lot of times for consults regarding cosmetic work and it’s very different from some of the other areas where I’ve worked in. I was talking about Dorchester earlier and it’s a bit of an underserved population there in Dorchester compared to here but I love all of it.
Dr. John Z. Xu: There’s so many different cases and it’s awesome and, yeah, the other practice I work at in Worcester, it’s a family-owned practice. It’s been around for a long time now and just not too long ago, it won an award from one of the best small businesses in that area and I’m really proud of it and I love working there. It’s a different pace but awesome technology.
Dr. John Z. Xu: They recently just got this hard tissue laser and I still need to take CE courses and everything to learn how to use all that stuff but, yeah, awesome.
Shaun Keating: What laser did they buy? Do you know? Is it-
Dr. John Z. Xu: It’s a [inaudible 00:12:08]. But, yeah, it’s really cool. I’ve seen it in action but I have to learn a little bit more before I can really start using it myself.
Shaun Keating: Oh, yeah, you’ll be able to do all sorts of things with it and it’s kind of a must-have. I remember the older days when I got my dentists that electric surge was this laser, you could just smell it in your nose when [inaudible 00:12:33] gum tissue and stuff like that but the lasers are so amazing nowadays.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. That’s a neat thing and especially to have it in your practice helps you out in so many situations for sure. What’s kind of your favorite go-to procedure in dentistry? Do you like doing preps? Do you like doing endo? What do you like and what don’t you like doing in dentistry so far?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. That’s a tough question because being a general dentist, one of the reason why I want to be a general dentist is because I like doing so many different things. I really would have trouble restricting myself to one thing but lately, I really like doing root canals. I like doing endo. I think sometimes that’s the procedure that makes my day when I do a really good one.
Dr. John Z. Xu: There’s something about is just really satisfying and, yeah, you have to be so meticulous, detail oriented, and patient but it’s really fun. I like everything else too. I can’t really say … If there was one thing I had to choose that I didn’t really like to do, it probably be removable prosthodontics, dentures, that kind of thing.
Shaun Keating: I’m with you there.
Dr. John Z. Xu: That’s what labs are for so-
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Exactly, but, yeah. That removable stuff, man, it will drive you crazy. It’s like, dude, I’m such a fixed guy. I just love prepping teeth and just … I love prepping the teeth. I love just making the teeth, crowns, bridges, implants. Removal can be … I’m a fixed technician but we’re full-service here so we do it all but I think I only got like 10, 12 text in that removal department. They drive me crazy. They don’t drive me crazy, it’s just some of the stuff, you shouldn’t start it unless it’s right and sometimes we’re starting cases when the doctor is not giving us exactly what we need when it comes to impressions and a darn denture can do two, three, four times, the time you do bite rims and everything else back and forth.
Shaun Keating: It’s like I’d rather do 16th across the front, baby, and be done within an hour and send it out, be done in a day and instead of having a case come back three, four weeks. But we have to do it because a lot of our doctors do a lot of different combo cases so we really need a removable department. From the beginning we didn’t have one the very beginning but a couple of years in when, just the demand for it so it’s just, it’s kind of a necessity for a good dental lab to be able to do all of it because when you’re working with the removable, the fixed and removable got to be on the same page and it can’t be sitting PD attachments or ERAs or whatever and they’re off angle, and then, your removable guy is saying, “Well, this is the way I did it.”
Shaun Keating: Then, the fix guy is going, “Well, it’s not [inaudible 00:15:26] and we have to do it differently.” We’re always working together on the success of these cases but it’s so important that the dentists and the lab work together in conjunction when it comes to removable and fixed just so you’re a cohesive unit and come together as a team and at the end of the day, we both work for the patient so we got to make sure that patient is taken care of and, because they pay our bills, right?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Right. Yeah. Certainly.
Shaun Keating: Tell me, what do you do for marketing strategy? I notice you’re in social media, you got a good presence there, you got some big Instagram followers and all that good stuff. But tell me, what are you doing to drive patients to your practice? Is it mostly word-of-mouth or are you doing some mailers? Tell me a little bit about that if you could?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Thank you. I have been using Instagram just recently though kind of just to put my own work out there, not so much as an advertising thing but I guess, yes, patients see it and they like what they see and that’s awesome. I know the office that I’m working out here in Medford, they’ve done commercials. They’ve mailed out flyers. They have their own Instagram as well, so social media and most of it though is I would say just word of mouth and the search engine optimization on Google and just getting patients that see our review, see our name out there, and then, come in and they hear good things.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Also a Zocdoc, that’s another popular platform for patients to find doctors so that’s also been a big help.
Shaun Keating: No kidding. What’s that called Zoc … I want to put that on our show notes and [crosstalk 00:17:07] stuff for sure.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Oh, Zocdoc. Z-O-C-D-O-C.
Shaun Keating: I’m sure our guys like to hear some of that information. For some of our older doctors what the younger doctors are using to get patients to come through [inaudible 00:17:20].
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: No. That’s so cool, dude. Well, tell me a little bit about your CE and stuff, do you attend conventions? I bet you go to that Yankee every year but do you go to everyone’s and tell me a little bit about what you’re doing for CE and what kind of conventions you go to?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I just went to Yankee a couple months ago. I took some time off for that. I’m working either five or six days a week right now so I don’t have too much time but when I can, I try to take time off. Yankee was awesome. I took a full day of classes there. Recently, I went back to BU, to my dental school and took a CE course there for endo, which I really enjoyed. Hands-on courses are really the key. It’s so much better than just listening to a lecture when you can actually do it yourself, so that’s my go-to.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, we love doing the over-the-shoulder programs here. We do a two-day program. Well, we’re bringing in like 15 dentists and we’ll bring a patient and we’ll do a 4 to 13 or full 10 upper, 10 lower and we’ll prep them up in front of the doctors and the doctors can get in there and even work on the preps with the dentist that’s doing it for us, and so, we’ll temporize up that patient and we’ll have a little lecture and stuff, talking about it and it goes off to the lab. We have the temps all made up, and then, we temporize it, and then, they all come back the next day and we work on the case through the night, and then, we seat everything.
Shaun Keating: Seeing it firsthand and even getting in the mix of it all is just so neat and so rewarding to learn from a practitioner that really does a lot of the bigger cases or it might be bigger than your case or an implant case but I think hands-on is the thing to do. I love it. I do drum lessons and you can watch it on the YouTube or the different platforms for drum training and it’s not as good as when you’re in the room with another drummer and it’s kind of monkey-see-monkey-do when he’s there and it’s kind of neat but that’s a little off rant there from dentistry to drumming but that’s how I compute-
Dr. John Z. Xu: No. I’m a big music fan. I play some piano myself so-
Shaun Keating: Oh, beautiful.
Dr. John Z. Xu: … I understand. Yeah.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. I remember when I was a little kid like 5th, 6th grade, my buddy, Ron Puckett, man, this dude could just jam on the piano and he played since a little kid and that’s when rock and roll was coming out and Elton John, I was listening to, and I go, “You should listen to Elton John some of the songs.” He listened to him and he could play them and I’m like I just always dreamed of like, “God, how can he do that?”
Shaun Keating: But it’s like everybody when you admire someone that plays the drums really good or the guitar and they sit there and wish, you could all do that. All you got to do is do it every day and practice hours and hours and, what is it, 10,000 hours to master something? I think it’s-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Probably something like that.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’s like seven years of, and like I’ve kind of mastered my field in a way I think but it just, I think everyone that always wishes they could play the piano or wishes they could be a guitarist or that, all you got to do is do it, dude. Get out there and practice, hour a day, half hour a day, just do it and you’ll be able to do it. It’s not like magic like they just … Some guys have it, more talent like some guys just get things more naturally.
Dr. John Z. Xu: That’s true. Yeah.
Shaun Keating: Some guys have to work harder. I wasn’t the greatest dental technician in dental school when I was training, man. They wanted to put me in part, they want to put me in dentures at the end of the course, they’re like, “Mr. Keating, I don’t know about you in the fixed work but I think you might want to go into dentures.” I’m like, “No, Mr. Instructor, my brother is a dentist. I’m going to go work for him.”
Shaun Keating: Then, as soon as [inaudible 00:21:05] graduated made I call to my brother and he was in dental school and he was a dentist and he goes, “Well, Shaun, guess what? I’m going to take two years and become an endodontist so I’m going to specialize in endo, and so, you’re on your own.” I’m like, “What the heck?” I had to go and work for somebody else and he went on to be an endodontist and still doing it 30 years later and he loves it but-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Everything worked out. Yeah.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. It did. Yeah. He admires me now because when he leaves the practice he doesn’t make any money because he has to be the one doing what needs to do to make the money and when I leave, I got my employees working away and I get to go vacation when I am sitting there drinking my pina colada.
Dr. John Z. Xu: That’s a good life. Awesome.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, it’s pretty good. But it’s just, yeah, we’re blessed and just … I love making teeth, man. 36 years I’ve been doing this stuff, man. I’m 56 and it’s been a long haul but I love it, man. To think when I was doing it … All my friends in high schools, “What do you mean a dental laboratory technician?” I’m like, “Yeah.” It’s turned out pretty good, baby. Pretty much recession-proof, and pretty much people always going to need teeth, man.
Shaun Keating: Kind of neat how it’s worked out and I think after you do anything long enough like you and your dental career right now, you’re what, 5, 10 years in? Wait till you’re 20 years in and 20, you just learn more and get, it’s just a neat thing. It really is. Dentistry is a great profession. I’m so thankful that I got into it and dentist, man. I work with dentist all my life and some smart cookies, man, and it’s just great.
Shaun Keating: I talked to dentist more than I’ve talked to anyone in my life. It’s just I talk to dentist every day and-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. We’re pretty cool so good.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. Definitely, man. For sure. Tell me a little bit about when you’re not working, what do you like to do? Tell me a little bit about what you like to do for your extracurricular activities?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. like I said right now I’ve been working five or six days so I haven’t had as much time off as I would like but I like just being outside. Go hiking and I like running, just kind of stay active. Actually, hiked Mount Washington not too long ago. I think last year.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. John Z. Xu: That was pretty awesome so, but other than that just, I’m a big foodie. Boston’s got pretty awesome food although I’ve heard great things about the West Coast as well so I have to go there’s some time but, yeah, I like just going out, checking out new restaurants, exploring the city. Again, it’s a great place to live right now. I’m probably not going to be in the city forever so I’m just kind of taking advantage of that.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it’s so true. There’s so much history there and it is one of the best. It’s one of the reason I go to the Yankees because of the food. I mean, obviously, the seafood but there’s so many other food establishments are so great. There’s just one bar there it’s called the Black Rose, you got to go check that place out.
Dr. John Z. Xu: I have heard of that one.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it’s so good. I remember there’s people in there at 1:00, 2:30 in the morning, everyone’s got to work the next day at the Yankee. We all have booze or whatever, all these dental people but it’s all these Bostonians in there at 1:00, 2:00 in the morning and they have live band singing along like the dueling pianos and we’re singing I’m leaving on a jet plane and people are crying and half drunk and just like, it’s just, it’s a neat city and outside though it’s freezing, there’s feet, eight feet of snow on the sides of the, those roads and there’s all these little carts, like hot dog carts that are steaming full of bratwurst and all sorts of food.
Shaun Keating: Oh, man. Good times. I always love Boston for sure. Tell me a little bit on your thoughts on some of the newer technology out there, some of the impression scanners, CAD/CAM? What do you think about that? Are you interested in getting into that field at all?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I’m very much into that field. Right now I’m doing more CEREC restorations than any anything else.
Shaun Keating: Oh, no kidding.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I just did one today actually and it turned out great. The technology right now, patients love it to have a crown that can be made for them the same day so they don’t have to wait weeks with a temporary, having said that there are certain limitations that I still feel like with the technology. I still send a lot of anterior static cases to labs. You guys lab technicians do a great job with that kind of stuff. I’m really amazed what you can do with the aesthetics now and matching just little imperfections in the teeth and the texture and the shading.
Dr. John Z. Xu: It’s really awesome but, yeah. I’ve been using that. I’ve been using a CBCT.
Shaun Keating: Oh, good for you.
Dr. John Z. Xu: I haven’t really been placing implants but just for root canals, when I’m doing endo. I love having that to basically get an image of what the tooth looks like before I even get in there and it makes such a difference to have that kind of technology available.
Shaun Keating: Wow. That’s so awesome. That you’re in it at such young and you get this great that technology working for you already. It is so true and CEREC, some of my best doctors are my CEREC doctors and, yeah, I do this stuff. They’re not doing and it’s more the bigger anterior, more the bigger tougher cases, and it just truly, it is neat. For a patient to come in and a couple hours later leave with a final restoration.
Shaun Keating: I get it and my hats off to CEREC and all the crap they went through back in the early days of people just bashing and look how far it’s come and there’s other copiers out there that are trying to mimic and do the same things and coming along pretty nice. There are some other great products out there. I think CEREC just came out with their prime scan too, which is-
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. I’ve been reading up on that.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. It’s just another couple hundred grand for it, but no that’s just, that’s the hard part for some of the people that with technology, with these computers and stuff that it’s almost best to wait instead of having to every couple years, “Oh, I got to add on this $25,000 thing.” It’s tough because dentist are pretty frugal and they don’t like that having to come up with a big sum of money every couple of years but I think it’s kind of plateaued out to where I think if anything the price is going to be coming down because of the competition out there.
Shaun Keating: There’s so many different scanners that are going chairside now that are coming in a half the price and a quarter of the price but we’re just waiting to see if the longevity and how the technology and how it pans out because things are changing even more. I mean, five years I think it’ll be coming to a different level too but I think labs are always going to be needed there for a lot of the work that can’t be done chair side and for a doctor to be productive because it’s tough.
Shaun Keating: A couple hours a patient here and there, a couple of patients a days but if you have other [inaudible 00:28:11] I’m sure you can be going from here to there and working. I just got guys who love snapping that impression. It’s quick. It’s easy. Again, with the digital scanning, man. I’m getting scans that I’m working on cases model-free and it’s worked unbelievable. It’s just the technology, the consistency and the accuracy is just unbelievable. For me as a lab man, it’s amazing. It really is.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Right. Yeah. No. I love it. It’s very technique sensitive I think, so you really have to be aware of making your preps as perfect and smooth as possible but once you get used to it and you start doing it right, it’s very, very comfortable and easy to use.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. It really is and I think to younger guys like the younger millennial type guy, I think it’s just great for the industry. I love it because both my sons are millennial and they’re 32 to 34 and they’re in the industry with me and they’ve helped me so much just because I’m kind of like the dinosaur. I’m lost wax technique. I’m still used to waxing up and PFMs and that’s where I grew up with it. It was so hard, so many moving parts to making a crown and nowadays if we can scan that impression, I can scan it, I can scan the margin, I can scan the height of the prep, I can scan where I need to build out a substructure.
Shaun Keating: Then, I could do full contour scan and I can send it to this machine and I can cast out of gold or I could send to this machine and mill it out of zirconia or I can send to this machine, and then, mill it out a lithium to silicate, and it’s just so freaking accurate. It’s just an amazing thing and I just think dentistry is just going forward I just think it’s just, it’s a win-win for the patients out there because they’re going to be getting better fit and restorations that look better, that are going to last longer, that aren’t breaking anymore.
Shaun Keating: Back in the day those PFMs, man, they like to pop and crack and you load up on them but I still do quite a bit of PFMs. Mostly with like implant cases and sub-structures that we have to weld together and all this stuff and there’s a lot to it but we have a lot of different options, and so, when a case comes in there’s many options that we could do and we kind of know what works best for certain situations. I just think pretty awesome.
Shaun Keating: Let’s wrap this up with one last question and it’s one that I think it’s important for a lot of the younger kids out there but what’s some of the advice you can give to our newer dentist just starting out? I know you’re pretty new but, man, you really got it down but what’s some advice you can give some of our new guys starting off? Some of the do’s and don’ts if you could tell us that?
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Thank you. I’ve been I guess practicing now for just less than three years but as far as what I can remember, when I was in dental school I feel like maybe I could have taken more advantage of just asking more questions, taking advantage of the fact that there were so many people around me with so much knowledge and in my fourth year just approached the instructors and just take the time to learn about as much as I can because once you’re out on your own, you don’t really have too much time to ask questions even if there’s another dentist in the office usually things are pretty busy and there’s not that much time for that person to sit down with you and discuss every single case or look over your shoulder as you’re working on a patient.
Dr. John Z. Xu: As an associate, I think it’s just a great opportunity for you to learn how a dental office is run. You don’t have, like you were saying earlier, the stress of dealing with all the management aspects of it, so you can really just focus on the clinical but at the same time, you have the opportunity to go up to the front desk and ask them what they’re doing, how they’re scheduling patients, how to bring patients in?
Dr. John Z. Xu: You pay attention to the importance of your hygienist and helping you get case acceptance or your treatment planning and how important it is for your assistants to have multiple rooms set up to keep the flow of the office going, so these are things as an associate, as a new dentist to really just take advantage of learning because unless you’re buying into that particular practice, once you leave that’s really the only thing that you’re going to be taking with you is the investment in yourself and in the knowledge.
Dr. John Z. Xu: But other than that, I think it’s just having fun, not being too stressed out about making mistakes because that happens to me, to really experienced dentists too. Just learn from it, have the right mindset, stay positive, and that’s pretty much it.
Shaun Keating: Oh, dude, I love that advice, man. Good for you. God bless you and your family, man. I can’t thank you enough for coming on the podcast but I look forward to working with you for sure in the future and I just can’t thank you enough for taking your time. I know how busy you are, man. But thank you so much for coming on today and we’re going to talk to you real soon.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on here. It’s really an honor that you guys invited me and to anyone else that’s in the Boston area that wants to learn more about dentistry or just talk to me about getting through school or applying to school, feel free to message me on Instagram and, or you want to shadow me, I love that stuff so I can talk about this all day.
Shaun Keating: Oh, man. That’s so cool, dude. That’s awesome. I love that, man. Good for you and I’m sure people are going to be hitting you up real quick, man, but we’ll put all your info on our show notes. Again, man, thank you so much and keep doing what you doing, man. It sounds like you’re on the right track.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Thank you very much.
Shaun Keating: All right, doctor. Thanks again. We’ll talk to you soon.
Dr. John Z. Xu: Okay.
Shaun Keating: Bye-bye.
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