In 2012 at the age of 25, Dr. Casey Keating, graduated dental school and recently bought his own practice in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Although he had been practicing dentistry for five years at a veteran hospital, he was not fully prepared for the complexity of business ownership. Dr. Keating explains money should never be more important than happiness as it will reflect in your work. Dr. Keating attributes his happiness to the business decisions he chose based on his personal desire.
Shaun Keating: Hey everybody. Shaun Keating here. I’d like to welcome you to this week’s Dental Up Podcast here at Keating Dental Lab. Today, we’re going to be talking with my nephew. He’s Dr. Casey Keating and he’s from Asheville, North Carolina. What’s happening, Casey? How you doing, man?
Dr. Casey Keating: Doing great, Shaun. Glad to be on the show. Thanks for having me.
Shaun Keating: Let’s just talk a little bit about sports and then we’ll get into the meat of it. What do you got going out there, man? It was pretty huge. North Carolina, South Carolina, you guys won the national championship in men’s.
Dr. Casey Keating: In football and basketball.
Shaun Keating: Basketball, you’ve got the men’s, and then the women, South Carolina got the national championship. That’s pretty crazy. What do you think about the basketball tournament there?
Dr. Casey Keating: Good for the Carolinas. Honestly, I’m not a big UNC fan. I grew up in Greensboro. A third of my high school went to UNC. Just a lot of fans, some a little snobbish, but I will always support ACC and Carolina, and I was glad to see them go all the way. More than anything, I went to UVA and I wish that I could have seen UVA do a little better this year. I think they had a slight chance, but obviously they didn’t make it too far in the tournament.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I seen that too. A lot of people were putting their money on those guys too. They had a pretty good team, but it’s so tough. Anyone can win that tournament, it seems like, but two number one seeds were in the final, so those damn guys that pick, and you know the bookies, or however they set that up, they’re smarter than we really give them credit for because it’s a tough thing.
Dr. Casey Keating: It is.
Shaun Keating: We had a tournament to where we’ll give you lab work for life and a hundred grand and it just …
Dr. Casey Keating: Are you serious?
Shaun Keating: Yeah. You should have been in on that! What’s going on, dude?
Dr. Casey Keating: I should have been in it. I’ll be in it next year.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. For sure! We had like a hundred and fifty-nine guys. A lot of people don’t realize it, but I like it just for the competition, and just trying to get it right. I did pretty good this year. If UCLA would have went to the final, I probably would have won the damn thing, but that Lonzo Ball guy was all hyped up, and he kinda laid an egg in that last game of theirs, and his dad is just kind of a knuckle head.
We’re excited here. Baseball’s starting … Kinda into baseball a little bit, but the big thing is too, basketball. We’ve got play-offs going. Who do you guys got out there? You guys got any basketball pro teams out there, or no? Is that Charlotte, or … ?
Dr. Casey Keating: Nah. We … Trying to think. I honestly don’t follow pro ball at all. I don’t follow pro basketball in the slightest. Pro football more than college football, but it’s just not a big thing out here. We don’t have the [inaudible 00:02:48] next door, but … I don’t have a team.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, well, we haven’t had a team here for a while with Lakers. It’s been several years. I was a big Laker fan, but it’s kind of horrible to watch them, and they’ve got some young guys in there now, but yeah, we’re going for the lottery pick for like the third worst, frickin’ record in the league, so we’re trying to get some good players on there. We’re a couple guys away.
Clippers, you know, they got the threesome there with CP30, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin, but you know what, even on their best games, I don’t think they can touch the Cleveland’s or the Golden State Warriors. And I think it’s just gonna be the Warriors, especially when they’ve got Kevin Durant now, and it’s like unbelievable that they got him. And Cleveland, you know, LeBron’s just a monster, and I just don’t see … You know, Boston’s looking pretty good, and San Antonio is always in there, but I just think at the end of the day, it’s gonna be another Cleveland type Golden State Warriors, and I just couldn’t believe last year Golden State was up three games to one and the frickin’ whatcha call it came back and beat ’em. It was just unbelievable. It was just they won three games in a row and beat them. Kind of crazy.
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. I actually watched that one. It was a good game. It was a good game, too.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. Well, hey, dude, I’m so glad you came on. I’m really proud of you too. You’re my brother Kevin’s son, and Kevin got me into this field, you know. You’re dad, the big endodontist in Greensboro. I just remember when you got out of dental school, I think you were only like twenty-five, weren’t you? Or something? Or how old were you when you got out of dental school?
Dr. Casey Keating: Let’s see. Yeah, I was twenty-five. Graduated dental school and I had just turned twenty-five. Thirty now, and I’ve been a dentist for five years.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. At twenty-five, I couldn’t even wipe my bum, basically. I was doing some of the ugliest racks [ups 00:04:55] and crowns, and it took me a long time. They say a dentist get three to five years in the trenches and you know what, dude, you’re really … I remember just recently you sent me a big case. You send me your lab work, and it’s just really great to see it. Your impressions are coming along real nice, and you think things out real well.
Dr. Casey Keating: Are you sure?
Shaun Keating: But I think we did, what was it, ten, twelve units or something on that one of the bigger … Was that a upper lower or was it just an upper? I forgot.
Dr. Casey Keating: It was upper lower. Yeah. I’m trying to … It was more than that. It was eighteen units? Seventeen maybe? Nineteen. It was nineteen units. It was a big one. Yeah, I opened the PDO. I, let’s see … Every single unit that was an inclusion I ended up … I put a BruxZir on, and let’s see, I opened the VDO a little bit and you guys walked me through the whole process of temporization and maintaining the bite where it’s at, the eccentric relation, and everything worked out perfect. And actually, guy came in two weeks ago, he’s gonna get four implants in each corner, and we’re gonna send you some molar lab work to do.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. That is so cool. I mean you gotta have some big huevos to jump in. I’ve got guys that have been in the field fifteen, twenty years and it’s hard for them to do anything bigger than a three unit, and just a comfort level, but I always know you and my brother. I talk to Kevin a lot, and he’s like, you’re [inaudible 00:06:21] you’re doing implants. I mean, you really … Did your dad teach you some Endo too? Give you a lot of tips? ‘Cause I think you’re doing …
Dr. Casey Keating: Oh yeah. He’s been a great resource for that. I do almost all my own Endo, and I feel like I’m pretty good at it. Actually I do [apico’s 00:06:36], surgical endo, and molar, second molar retreats, and a lot of things most general dentists don’t do, but that’s entirely thanks to my dad. He’s been a great mentor for that.
Shaun Keating: That is so cool, dude. Today, I guess, you had … We were calling you earlier, you had an emergency come in, and you were even popping out teeth. I mean, what happened today? You had like a emergency or something?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah, this really nice lady come in, and she’s been in some severe pain for couple days, and a couple lower molars weren’t restorable and needed to get them taken out, so took those out, and took out the upper molars in the same spot, and a lot of decay way below the gum tissue, and it turned surgical, but got ’em out in a reasonable amount of time, and she’s real happy for it.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. That’s so cool. I can’t believe you’re extracting teeth. I remember when your brother … Your dad, when I was like a junior in high school, I had this fang tooth, my number eleven canine was just coming out like a fang tooth, way up high in my gum line, and where it was like all my teeth came in perfect except number eleven. It was just always up there, and I was always fighting back in the day, and getting in fights, when I’d get popped in the mouth, it would cut, and I would like blow up and blood, but it was my lip hitting against my tooth up there, because it was kind of coming straight out, and Kevin said just come on in.
And he was at USC in dental school, and I swear to god, I remember coming in the chair with my best friend, Chris [Cresin 00:08:15] who’s a dental technician also, and we drove his little car. It was like a little Honda Accord. Real old one, like the very first one, and we called it Le Turd. We had like … We painted it like a cop car, and we put like a red cup on the top, and duct taped it, and we’d drive that around everywhere, and we’d have … On the side it said a bad word for a girl, or some patrol, you know. It was like, we’d drive around in that with a star. My buddy, the O’brian’s painted a star like where a cop car, but it got towed at USC, because when …
Anyways, when your dad, was like, he had to actually get up on the chair. I’m laying back, and he actually got his knees up on the sides of it, like on top of me, like he’s ready to have me like a woman, and he’s like,”Just relax.” He’s got … They looked like pliers, and I’m all knobbed up and stuff, and he got in there, and I just felt my whole head kind of shift, and inside there as he’s cranking this thing, a little left, a little right, and he popped the thing out in one shot, and it came out in one piece. I swear, I though it was like two inches long. It seemed like it was pretty long.
Dr. Casey Keating: It probably was.
Shaun Keating: That’s why they called it an eye tooth. It was probably two or three. But I actually, when I went to dental technology school, I had that tooth, and I made an impression of it, and I cast it out of like this [gingold 00:09:37], and I put a hole in it. I’ve still got it, and I wear it around. I got this long, old canine, but I remember Kevin telling me. He goes … There was a big gap between five and seven, you know, and he goes, “Don’t worry. That’ll close up.” And through the years, it closed up, so you can’t even tell …
Dr. Casey Keating: Oh really. [crosstalk 00:09:54]
Shaun Keating: Yeah can I say that.
Dr. Casey Keating: Good stuff.
Shaun Keating: It’s kind of a trip how that worked out, but yeah, we’re in the middle of LA too, and SC you go a block off campus either way, and you’re in a bad neighborhoods, dude. Just like the coliseum. You go there a football game, you don’t want to go and hang around the neighborhoods, ’cause night time ain’t no time to be in that there neighborhood. And it’s like, we got our car towed, and we’re go back to Kevin, ’cause we had no money. We’re young, and like fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, whatever. We had to borrow like $175.00 from your dad to get our car out of tow. What a nightmare, but I still remember him extracting that tooth, and he just frickin’ cranked that thing out. It was pretty amazing.
Dr. Casey Keating: I like that story. Leave it to you to be bragging about length.
Shaun Keating: You know, Uncle Shaun is always been the big guy in the family. You know, the youngest of the four boys. I’m just blessed, you know. I’m blessed in all ways.
Dr. Casey Keating: I understand. That’s what I’ve been told.
Shaun Keating: Anyways, dude, tell me a little bit about your practice. So you’re in Asheville. How did that happen? Well, first off, tell me, growing up you knew you were gonna be a dentist. I always remember when you were younger, “I’m gonna be a dentist. I’m gonna be a dentist.” Just like me when I was in like eighth grade, and your dad was just starting to get into dental, and he’s like, “Shaun, you’re gonna be a dental tech.” So I kind of knew from eighth grade I was gonna be in this field as you did, probably at a young age, ’cause you’re really smart, and Kevin was always really, really smart. He was like the 4.0 dude, and us, my family, we’re the deferred diploma, and it was just … We weren’t real … We were more physical than mental, you know, our side, but it’s just something.
When you went to college, what college did you go to? How’d that work out?
Dr. Casey Keating: So I grew up in North Carolina, and went to UVA in Virginia. University of Virginia, and then dental school in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU. You may be aware and familiar with VCU. A couple years ago, Shaka Smart, coach of the basketball team, got us to the final four, and then of course we lost, but it was I think 2011, maybe 2012. I think it was 201l, but it was a good year for us. That got us on the radar.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Casey Keating: I’ll tell you what, though, going through undergrad, there was a brief period where I was thinking about medicine, and I talked to a handful of doctors, and every single one of them said don’t do it, don’t do it. And I talked to a handful of dentists and they’re all like, oh yeah, this is great, you gotta go into this field. So I deviated ever so slightly, but kept on track.
But, yeah, dental school, and then after dental school, I did a residency at a veteran hospital down in Fayetteville, North Carolina and got a lot of surgical experience. Did sinus lifts, a bunch of free gingival grafts, placed a bunch of implants, full mouth extractions, and then I went on and worked in Virginia, in Greensboro, and then a real small town in Martinsville, Virginia. You might be familiar of the Paperclip, NASCAR.
Shaun Keating: Oh yeah.
Dr. Casey Keating: And then I landed a job in Asheville. Bought an office last summer, about a year in. Office has been there for thirty years, and I’m the third dentist. I’ve been trying to make my way to Asheville for a couple of years. My wife’s from the mountains of Virginia, and this is closer to her neck of the woods, and her lifestyle, if you will, and kind of striking a compromise between size and dental opportunity and culture. When I was looking at these offices, I walked into this one in Asheville. It’s in downtown Asheville. The building is a 1906, historical old granite building. I walked in and I fell in love.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Casey Keating: Charm. Charm everywhere in this building. I turned around and told Amanda, “I’m buying this dental office.”
Shaun Keating: Can you believe that, dude? Keatings’ got big huevos. Man, they just go all in. Now what happened? Did pops help you out on that, or did you get the loans on your own or how did that all work out?
Dr. Casey Keating: I got the loan entirely on my own, and got the bank to loan a hundred percent, and it was about a half million dollar loan for the practice itself. And the dentist I bought it from is a really, really great guy and did good work and had a good rapport with the patients and certainly gave me a good foundation to work with. But I’m telling you, as much as you learn in school, and after five years of associating, working for a bunch of dentists, I still wasn’t prepared for business ownership. It’s a whole different world.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I bet.
Dr. Casey Keating: Also, one of the more enjoyable sides of dentistry. Just having the pride of ownership and working on a reputation, and just doing good dentistry. So it … I’ve enjoyed dentistry every step of the way, but until buying the office, it’s been more of just a good job, and now it’s more of a passion and certainly, I have a little more pride in it.
Shaun Keating: That is so neat, Casey. And you know, with you being so young, how do the patients like see you, kind of like a Doogie Howser, you know?
Dr. Casey Keating: You know, hey, honestly, and maybe it’s because I’m going bald. I don’t know. I don’t think I got that from you. [crosstalk 00:15:26]
Shaun Keating: Ah, you’ve got lots of hair up there, baby. You look good.
Dr. Casey Keating: Honestly, everyone’s been … No one’s seemed to mention age much. It hasn’t really deterred anybody. First couple years out of dental school, you get some age apprehension here and there, but really not that much. I think a lot of that’s just how you handle yourself. If you’re confident, and if you display confidence, if you exude the confidence, then patients will pick up on it, and then age isn’t really relevant.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Casey Keating: So I think I’ve had a pretty good response from everybody so far.
Shaun Keating: That’s so neat, dude, and you know, you put your head down, and at such a young age, you’re ahead of the game already. And it’s gonna be tough. The hardest part, and that was the biggest thing with me. I knew how to make teeth. I worked for like … I helped build one of the biggest labs in the nation, and I ran production, and that was real easy for me. Making the teeth and working with the doctors, like you working with the patients, that’s the easy part. The business part is where I had to, you know, I floundered, and it wasn’t til I brought in … The most important person I brought in was my CFO. The one with the moneys.
I’m not real smart. I can’t even do the addition and subtraction any more. You gotta pull a zero over. I forgot where that stuff goes, and I never could pass algebra, but you know, I think that’s with people and business, you have your strong points, and then you have people that do what they do. And I think, with you, the business part, it’s gonna take a while, but if you really put your head down, and before you know it, it’s gonna be ten years, you’re gonna be … I mean, you just turned thirty, like a few weeks ago. You’re just a puppy. I mean you’re really ahead of the game, but if you can just keep your head down. Just working hard. Put everything back in that company. In ten years, you’re gonna be set, dude. I mean you will really have a practice that will be in autopilot. Your people are gonna know about you. They’re gonna hear, “Dr. Casey Keating’s just the best dentist.” Just like your brother. I keep saying your brother. Your dad, my brother. He’s just got a great reputation. He’s got a calmness to him. It just … The patients see that, and they like it.
I just think, I’m really, really proud of you, dude, how you’re handling this, and the work you’re doing with this. It’s just … I love that you’re always gonna send me all your work. You know that, or I’ll fly out and string you up.
Dr. Casey Keating: [crosstalk 00:18:00]
Shaun Keating: We’re gonna make you look good, and it’s just something. Really, really proud. Now talk to me. Future-wise, have you got in any business management things? You know what, you should come out. I have this thing I’m sponsoring in August, in Austin. It’s like August fourth and fifth. I think it’s called Dental Maverick. This young doctor, Tuan, I forgot his last name, but he’s … A bunch of young guys like yourself. They’re not no real big guys that are out in the industry. They’re just a lot of young guys that are in the trenches, that you know, it’s gonna kind of go over from management to social media, to practices in your dental practice. Different things with techniques. I mean, it’s like ten different guys, but I’ll …
If you’ve got the time, even your wife, too, because your wife is a dentist, and Amanda, she’s a sweetheart. I mean, all us Keatings, we were blessed with the women that came into our life. They’re above us. We were very lucky to have our beautiful women. And Amanda, you met your wife in dental school, didn’t you?
Dr. Casey Keating: I sure did. We started dating second year of dental school. At that point, I was putting together a band, and I found out Amanda played base. I needed a bassist, and I already had an interest in her, so it worked out perfect. It was kind of my excuse, my in. I was like, “Hey, I really need a bassist in this band. Why don’t you come hang out?”
Shaun Keating: Can you believe that? Then look at that.
Dr. Casey Keating: Hit it off.
Shaun Keating: So how’s that working with her now. Is she with you at the office? I mean, tell me a little bit about that.
Dr. Casey Keating: She is. She graduated the same year, and this summer, I guess a couple weeks at this point, she will have had a Virginia license for five years, and she can apply for her North Carolina license through credentialing without having to take the North Carolina Dental Boards, which, as all dentists are aware, at all costs, you want to avoid all that. They’re expensive. You can fail, and just a big stress.
But she’s been working in the office as a front desk for the last six months, basically running the business, accounting, checking in, the patient contact. It’s really perfect for building the office and the reputation, and then, from our standpoint having someone in there that we know and trust and has the same interest in mind, and from the patient standpoint, in terms of being knowledgeable and knowing the procedures, knowing what’s going on, being able to talk to them. And then, even though she’s not working as a dentist, but just having that second opinion there, and moral support, and in a lot of way it’s just helping with my efficiency. Even though she’s not working as a dentist, she is a key part of the dental team right now, and a lot of why we’re growing.
Shaun Keating: Oh absolutely. And you know what, you’re gonna find, once she’s practicing with you in the real near future, you’re gonna need someone in that spot in your staff as you will find out. You start nurturing your staff, and really try to find the best, and train them and make them part of your family there. They’re gonna be with you for the next twenty, thirty years hopefully, and that’s what you want, because that’s just so important and so key. That is so cool. Amanda is gonna be … Now tell me, how many operatories do you have in your practice?
Dr. Casey Keating: We have five operatories, and one x-ray room. So six operatories, but only five plummed for dentistry, and there’s room to expand to six, so or even a seventh, but when Amanda starts working, kind of envision it as a strong one and a half dental office, and I think we’ll both end up taking a little bit of time off, and instead of just killing it, crushing it, and trying to rake in a bunch of production, I think we’re gonna go the more lifestyle oriented route and live a modest life with the two of us.
Shaun Keating: That’s good.
Dr. Casey Keating: I think it’ll be six operatories by the time she’s here and everything’s up and running.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool, dude. You know I really like that, you know, Asheville, I hear, man, it’s got a lot of hipsters, a lot of artists. It’s a up and coming area. I mean, for you to get in there, I think it’s a perfect time, and it’s just a … I know you’ve always liked that area, and you wanted to get into it. It’s kind of like a little Boulder, Colorado-ish, I guess, huh?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah, in a lot of ways, yeah absolutely. A little smaller and a little cheaper, although the cheap things changing drastically. I just read last week the downtown population is projected to double in the next two years.
Shaun Keating: No kidding.
Dr. Casey Keating: And it’s a pretty big size already. I mean the growth in this town is unbelievable. It’s fun to be in a bustling, growing town with a lot of popularity, and tourism, it drives the venues, and makes it a fun spot.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. Now, you got any brew places there? Tell me a little bit about, you got some …
Dr. Casey Keating: We certainly do. That’s I’d say the last five years Asheville’s by and large become being known for microbrews. A handful of really good ones. Some stuff you’ll be familiar with. Sierra Nevada came out here recently in the last year or two and opened up a huge brew facility probably about fifteen minutes from downtown, and Oskar Blues is out here. New Belgium’s basically downtown. They’re on the river, the River Arts District. Probably seventeen to twenty local microbrews in the area. I’ve got, I’d say, seven microbrews that I can walk to within five minutes from either my house or my office, and maybe I spend a little bit too much time at them, but I can’t complain about that.
Shaun Keating: You’re a Keating, man. It’s in our blood, dude. You’re gonna be looking like me in thirty years.
Dr. Casey Keating: Tell you what, some of the better ones, if you’ve heard of Wicked Weed, that’s about a half a block away from the office, and Wicked Weed makes some fantastic brews, and they opened a sour facility almost entirely cast sours called the Funkatorium. It’s another block and a half away. I’m sure you can find a lot of their beers out there, and if you haven’t already, you need to check them out.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. You know, it’s kind of weird. We don’t … We’re on like a Skype. We can see it, and like right behind you is your office. I mean, you’re literally like … Can you walk? Do you just walk to work everyday?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. It’s a six minute walk.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. How neat is that? And you got your little town. What about any good restaurants? Are there any seafood, or any like, particular ones that are better than others? Talk to me a little bit about the food there?
Dr. Casey Keating: The food scene is bustling, as well. Asheville is definitely becoming a foodie town. There’s tons of good restaurants, but to be honest, and I know of a lot of good ones, be honest, I prefer more of the casual, greasy spoon type stuff.
Shaun Keating: Oh, me too. I love that. Give me a patty melt and a corned beef sandwich or whatever. I’m pretty simple too, man.
Dr. Casey Keating: Absolutely, but if you cross the river about two miles from downtown in the west, the trendy West Asheville area, there’s a handful of good restaurants. One in particular is called the Admiral. I think you would appreciate the Admiral, Shaun. When you come out here, I’ll make some reservations, and then we can stick around for the late night dance party.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you know that. Yeah. We’re gonna … I gotta do that, and then from Greensboro, what is it, a couple hours to your dad’s house?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. About two and a half hours. I feel like I see him like once a month. He comes here. I go there. You know, we’re best buds, so we’re always doing projects, hanging out, drinking beer, and it’s … Moving away hasn’t really affected our friendship at all.
Shaun Keating: Wow, that’s so cool. What about your dad? What’s he rolling in now? I heard he got the new Porsche or something.
Dr. Casey Keating: He’s got a couple Porsche’s. He’s got the 911 Turbo, I believe probably three years old at this point. Last year, he picked up a GT4, so it’s the Ceyenne, but the GT version. It’s like GT3, the 911, but for a not Ceyenne, a Cayman.
Shaun Keating: Cayman.
Dr. Casey Keating: The little boxter with a roof on it.
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Casey Keating: And so it’s like the stripped down, fast version. It’s got a howling, good sounding exhaust, and naturally aspirated, revs to eight, nine thousand RPM. That thing is fun.
Shaun Keating: Ah, you’re kidding.
Dr. Casey Keating: It looks like a race car, too. Well, it is a race car.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. He’s always been into those Porsches. He’s the one that got me into cars when I was a little kid. He’s the oldest brother, and so it was like, he always … Like, I remember when he ordered a Volkswagen from Germany, and it came over on a cargo ship. So it’s just something that he’s always been into, but he’s always been into Porsches, and I just …
You know, my first sports car I ever got was a 911 72T, 911. It was crashed, and we were just buying our first home. I was buying this to sell it to help with the down payment, and it had a front end that was crashed in. So, my buddy has this body shop. We cut from an 84 SC, and put a new front clip and a rear clip. So we turned this 72 into like an 84 SC, and I painted it all Garge red, and we had to put in a new T-top, and the floor was all rusted out, so we kind of jimmy-rigged that. And I remember, I sold it to this lawyer, and when it was up on the rack, he was looking at all the repair underneath. He goes, yeah, it’s usual, but as it was going up, the thing was bending, and the T-top was coming out of the roof like, because it was kind of flexing, so when it came back down, I had to kind of [inaudible 00:28:14] it into the hole so the top went back in, and the guy didn’t see it, and I sold it to him for like ten grand, and we bought our first home in Garden Grove, man, back in 1988. It was like a hundred and ninety grand back then, and you know that first home is just so important, but that’s a trip.
Dr. Casey Keating: Oh yeah. That’s really cool.
Shaun Keating: But I love your brother man, and you gotta keep learning from him. Tell me real quick on your implant experience. Where’d you learn implants? ‘Cause you’re doing implant. What kind of implants you doing, and tell about that a little bit.
Dr. Casey Keating: I place almost entirely Implant Direct. I had kind of … The Zimmer platform … I restored and placed a lot of Zimmer in dental school, and then all my placing was in residency in the veteran hospital. But I’ve had a ton of success with Implant Direct. I really like the pricing modalities of the … They don’t discount anything. It’s just kind of the discounted price whether you’re buying one or ten, and I’ve had nothing but success with them. In out of … Let’s see, I’ve probably placed close to two hundred implants at this point, not that that’s a ton to brag about, but I’ve only had one of those fail. It failed in the first two weeks. Took it out, replaced it a couple weeks later. It’s been great.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable.
Dr. Casey Keating: And I use some stock abutments, but I like to go custom most of the time, and that’s where you come in. Making me some good products, Shaun.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, baby. So, dude, being so young, but you’ve been into this gig for five years now, what tips could you give us to some of our other younger doctors that are starting a practice. What do you think being into it right now, what are some things you can bring to the table of the do’s and don’ts being at … I bet when you’re thirty-five in five years, you’re gonna have more to bring to it, and then well, thirty-five to forty, but right now, with your experience, what kind of tips can you give some of my other guys that out starting off?
Dr. Casey Keating: That’s a great question. Let’s avoid anything clinical. That’s to each their own, but I’d just … How bout, you know, first off, the most important thing with dentistry and being good at it is to be happy with it. If you’re not happy with it, you’re not gonna care, and your work’s gonna suck, and that’s just, I mean, that’s kinda’ applied to everything I’d say, but a lot of that is live where you want to live. I spent the four years after residency, I guess three years after residency and buying this Asheville office, almost all my time went into exploring cities and neighborhoods, different offices, buying versus starting an office from scratch, and the different types of dentistry, and basically really honing in on exactly the type of dentist I wanted to be, and the type of dentistry I wanted to practice, and the place I wanted to do it in. And that’s a big part.
You know, Charlotte, North Carolina’s got a lot of growth, a lot of financial opportunity from dental standpoint, and I looked into moving there for it, and just so many reasons I didn’t want to, and my wife didn’t want to, and we didn’t. And ultimately, we’re so much happier living in Asheville in a cool spot that’s fun with a bunch of patients that we connect with and see eye to eye with, and it just makes the whole clinical side and the business side that much more fun and rewarding. And consequently, like I said, having that pride in your practice and the ownership’s just gonna make you do it longer, better, longer and then happier, so that … I mean, that’s very broad.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. No, but it’s so true. It’s like some guys want to go out, and they’re just money, money, money, and you know. And there’s some guys that are just like you. You just want to … You don’t want to just kill it every day. Maybe not work full five days a week, and to have a good life. There’s more to it than money. And then the money will come, and I just think your attitude is just a good, fresh attitude, and just … You know, the continuing education, you’ve had so much, and you’re so very humble about it, but you’ve gotta keep doing that too, man. I mean, even too, I know your dad would probably want you to come. Do you think you’d ever just specialize in Endo sometime, or no? Just, you know …
Dr. Casey Keating: Well, I thought really long and hard about that as you might imagine, and I actually applied to Endo, and I can’t remember if I got in, or I might have been just told by the director that I was in. I don’t know if it was official, but basically, I thought I would probably be in, and I chose not to. There’s a lot I like about Endo and the profession. I’d love to work with my dad and all these things, but what I really like about dentistry is just being able to do everything, and kind of the diversity of the treatment, like we talked about earlier, lady comes in and needs some extractions. I like being able to do that, and it’s nice when somebody can come in, and I can figure out their problem, diagnose it, present good, reasonable, practical treatment options, and explain it and educated, and it just ultimately, I find that more rewarding than honing in and specializing on one treatment like Endo.
Shaun Keating: You know, my brother, your dad, he’s in surgery all day, and it just kind of can get monotonous when it’s just … And he’s getting all the hard tough ones, you know. All the ones the gp’s don’t want to do, and he’s okay with that, because he’s a wizard. I mean, there’s some hot, high end Endo guys out there. I think Kevin is as good, or if … As good as anyone in the nation, the top guys. He is so good. I’m gonna get him on this program too, and we’ll talk Endo. And I’m sure some of our dentists will like it, ’cause he’s just such a wealth of knowledge, but I think you’re right, and he was so proud that, sure, he would love you to come in and do Endo with him and all that, but you’ve learned, you’re learning it, but you’re doing everything.
And I think, going forward, millennials up, you know, there’s gonna be less and less dentistry. Our teeth are getting better. They’re taking care of them more, so you are gonna need to be broader in your tool of … You know your tool belt’s gonna have to be filled with … You know, you’re gonna have to do some little ortho here and there. You’re gonna have to do some Endo here. You’re gonna have to do some extractions. Maybe work on some children here and there. I’m not sure about that, but you’re gonna have to have a bag of tricks that’s a lot more than a one trick pony, and I just think, going forward, the way you’re being so well rounded by today. You’re shucking teeth, and you’re doing other things, but it’s just not limited to endodontics. And I think that after being in it day after day, I think what you’re doing, and I know Kevin is so proud of you, because you’ve got big huevos. I mean you’ll get in there and tackle a case, and you’ve got the confidence, and dude, if you just … It just comes, like I’ve always talked about, you know, mastering something’s ten thousand hours, seven years, fifty hours a week, or whatever. It takes time, and you’re gonna be really proficient, like you’re good now. Just wait til you get even more experience and more confidence, and but still, it’s just gonna be a real great thing for you. I’m just really proud of you, man.
What about with you and the wife. Are you guys gonna … Do you have ideas of maybe opening another practice in another town this and that as you get really good and have like two or three practices?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah, we have talked about that so many times, and who knows. Right now we’ve got our hands full with this one piece, but there might be some expansion and then maybe some associates. Likely, we might just stick with this one and live a simple life, but I don’t know what’s to come. It’s potentially on the horizon.
Shaun Keating: You never know, and it’s so true, and I’ve got guys that it’s working smarter, not harder, and if you can get your procedures down, and get your techniques down, and get your systems down, you will evolve in the next several years, and you’re gonna get it down really well where it can be replicated, and again, there’s guys out there that don’t want to own a dental lab, I mean, a dental office, and they want to be associates, so just like your dad with Dr. Beavers finding him thirty years ago to be his partner. It was just a perfect fit, and you’re gonna have some guys that are gonna be just getting out of dental school, or maybe some other guys down the line that are really good that you’re gonna bring on board, and it’s just like, you know, I always say, you can be miserable making ten million dollars a year or miserable making fifty million dollars a year. You’re gonna be the same miserable. Might as well be making fifty million, or doing fifty million in sales, and that’s the way I look at it.
It’s just, again at the end of the day it’s not about the money, but money will come, but dude, hey, I can’t thank you enough. I know you’ve gotta get back to work. You’re just on your lunch time here, but Casey Keating, man, you are just an amazing young man. Your dentistry, I can vouch for it, because I see it, is quite good, and I’m gonna work with you too on, you know I’d kind of like you to get in on the AACD. Maybe I can sponsor you that, you know, if you pass that, I’ll maybe give you ten grand, or maybe give you a bunch of lab work. Maybe the AACD, or maybe even too, getting out to Dr. Kois out here work on some of your [inaudible 00:38:08] little bit, or even Dr. Spear. I know you got guys out in your area, but I kind of like it west coast out here, plus you can come see Uncle Shaun. So think of what’s …
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll take any opportunity I can to come see you.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. You know that, baby. And so let’s just think about what, going forward on your continuing education if I can help out in any way. Even that August 4th, 5th. It’s Austin, Texas, and one of my best friends I grew up with has lived out there for the last thirty years. He … I’ve never been to Austin, so you know, it’s gonna be hotter than hell in August, but we’re gonna be in AC bars and pubs and whatever, but it’s got great barbecue, so I’m excited.
So whenever I do education, I’m always thinking of the activities and things around, like Vegas is always fun, but you know, we gotta figure out too, going forward, because keep educating yourself. You’re a very smart kid, and the best thing you can do in dentistry or anything is continuing education. Each year learn a little thing. If you learn one thing from somebody, you bring it back and use it yourself, and you keep doing that, and you’re just gonna be so much better off, and so much more on the cutting edge. You know, things are going digital now, and this and that, but it’s still a lot of analog type dentistry to be done, and it’s just something I’m gonna try to help you in every way I can, just like I try to help my dentists. Just little things here and there we can help them practice better, that’s are whole big thing here.
That’s why we do these podcasts. They seem a little hokey here and there talking to my … I don’t really want to get a bunch of vendors and stuff selling, I just kind of want to get regular doctors that are in the trenches, that aren’t on their soapbox lecturing all over the world saying how this and that. I want guys that are doing it every day, and here I got my twenty-nine year old, my thirty year old nephew that, you’re crushing it, dude. You’re crushing it right now. I can imagine in five years. I can imagine in ten years how much more confidence you’re gonna have. You’ll probably be the same laid back and not trying to push it, and that’s great, but have the confidence and have the people really feeling comfortable with you and just practicing good dentistry. I’m gonna do everything I can to help you to be more successful and to practice more predictable. I just want to thank you for coming on board on this podcast.
Dr. Casey Keating: I appreciate it, Shaun, and I will tell you, Austin. I’ve never been to Austin, too, and a chance to see it and get some CE, or just to meet and learn some things sounds great. I’m all in.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful. You have to bring the wife, too, because she’s gonna be right there with you, so that’ll be good. Or if you want to keep her at home, I mean, I gotta bring Shannon, so you might as well bring here, ’cause I’m not allowed to go anywhere without my wife. That’s why I’ve been married thirty-four years, or whatever. It’s like …
Dr. Casey Keating: It might be smart to keep you on a leash.
Shaun Keating: Yeah. ‘Cause I’m gonna go off the beaten path probably. I don’t know. I’ve never done it, so I always bring my wife. I love her.
Dr. Casey Keating: [crosstalk 00:41:11]
Shaun Keating: It’s important, and you’re in a young marriage. You’ve only been married what, two years now? How long you’ve been married?
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. A little over. Two and a half years.
Shaun Keating: Good job, dude. Well, if you can make it a year, you can make it forever. The first year’s the toughest. You know, sleeping next to each other, having that open resting face with drool coming out. That’s some weird stuff. I remember when I first started sleeping with Shannon, when we first started going out, I used to always hate looking like, waking up where our face to face and it’s just sitting there kind of, huh, I was kind of embarrassed a little bit in the beginning. It’s like, ’cause you know, it’s kind of a new thing. It’s like sleeping next to each other.
Dr. Casey Keating: Not your best look. I understand.
Shaun Keating: Now we don’t care. It’s like ughhhhhhh. It’s like, good lord, Shaun, come on.
Dr. Casey Keating: Show her a little respect, Shaun. You can do better than that.
Shaun Keating: Hey, and also your sister, my niece Kellie, I think their child, they’re the first grandkid out of all the six Keatings. Camden’s like a …
Dr. Casey Keating: Yes. He is.
Shaun Keating: Camden’s gonna be like a year old.
Dr. Casey Keating: Camden. Yep. He’s about to turn one year old in two weeks.
Shaun Keating: Can you believe that? Little Kellie.
Dr. Casey Keating: Yeah. He’s gonna be a little giant. Maybe. I don’t know if he’ll be as studly as you, Shaun.
Shaun Keating: All right. Yeah. Aw man. Well hey, Casey, I can’t thank you enough and we’ll talk real soon. But hey, everybody, I want to thank you for tuning in to this week’s Dental Up podcast. Remember to go to Dental Up at keatingdentallab.com or if you could, subscribe to us on iTunes at the Dental Up podcast, and leave a review. Again, Casey Keating from Asheville, North Carolina. Man, up and coming super star in dentistry. I love you, and I can’t thank you enough for coming in on your lunch, and you’re the man, Casey. Thank you so much, dude.
Dr. Casey Keating: Well, thanks again for having me. Look forward to seeing you in Austin and in [Irvine 00:43:05].
Shaun Keating: All right, dude. Good to see you, Casey. We’ll talk to you real soon. Thank you.
Dr. Casey Keating: Take care.