If You Choose To Excel In Your Business, Then Excel With Purpose…

I write two blogs each week.

My first blog each week is about Customer Service, and in particular, the Customer Service of Dentistry and how we can raise our Dental Practices to enormous heights by focusing on our Customer Service Systems and making those systems in our Office truly World Class.

My second blog of the week is always about the business of dentistry.

So last week via email I received an interesting question from an undergraduate Dental Student.

“If you were able to go back in time to when you were in dental school, what would you do (while in dental school) to prepare yourself to run a successful practice?”

When I first read this question, I kind of misread it to read:

“If you were able to go back in time to when you were in dental school, what would you do (while in dental school) what would you do differently to prepare yourself to run a successful practice?”

And my answer would be, to that question:

“Not much!!”

So let’s be autobiographical…just for a minute…

My journey through Dental School was a series of revelations.



Firstly, I realised that there were no prizes for silver medalists, and sometimes no prizes for gold medalists.

What do I mean?

In second year, I was one of only two students in my year that did not get a pass.

I only received three Distinctions and Two Credits.

Out of five subjects.

Only one other student in my year excelled like this.
Every other student failed to carry all second year subjects above the 65% level.

And what did I receive for this monumental academic achievement?

Not so much.

Not so much at all.

In fact…nought.

Zip. Zero. Sweet nothing.

In third year I throttled back.

5 passes. Two credits. One distinction.

Out of eight subjects.

My distinction, was unique. I was the only person to achieve that mark, that recognition, in that subject.

I had come first in my year, in a subject I loved.

The subject that I received the distinction, Preventive Dentistry, had no prize.

I had achieved the unrecognizable.

I had come first in my year, in a subject.

A subject that I loved.

But with no recognition.

And here in was a revelation…. at least to me….

Academia for academia’s sake seemed pointless to me.

As a result of this, because nobody cared for my research in third year Preventive Dentistry, I became competitively uncompetitive.

I became practical.

Here is what I then decided to do…from this point on….

I did what I needed to do to pass my remaining two years, and became extremely time efficient with my clinical time, my study time and my laboratory time.

While most of my colleagues were making one denture at a time, four times over, I made four dentures at once.

At one time.

While most of my student colleagues were completing one gold inlay at a time, I did four gold inlays, in one quadrant, on one patient, on four adjacent teeth.

At one time.

I became very time efficient.

And with my time savings, I then worked thirty plus hours per week, five nights per week, in a job, a J.O.B., in a recreational club.

Dealing with real people and real customers.

Paying customers.

I truly believe it was these hours dealing with paying customers, giving them what was then an ultimate evening’s experience, that gave me a firm foundation in the principles of customer service that I have applied to my Dental journey.


I sometimes wonder whether my life would have been different if I had trained to be a right-handed dentist rather than the natural left hander that I had always been.

Because in final year, I was given the choice.

The choice to switch hands….

I chose to stay left, having a left-hand specific set up in my final year at university.

Had I changed to right-hand, then and there at the time… all those time efficiencies that I spoke about earlier would have been lost, because what I would have been doing was to teach myself to do something totally uncomfortable.

But more importantly, later on, as a left-handed dentist, I learned in private practice that I needed to maximize my time before entertaining the thought of having a [more than likely] right-handed assistant.

And there is the kicker.

Sometimes in life we impose a glass ceiling on ourselves.

Being left-handed I learned to operate two chairs alternately very efficiently, and to maximize my hourly rate.

Sure two dentists working one room each side by side may collect slightly more, but the thing is that the pay is half to each dentist.

I learned to operate so efficiently that I kept my 40% of everything.

So, on a personal level, I ended up better off financially.


Much better.

When I finally reached capacity, which I did, patient wise, I then employed a dentist in another additional chair. Not into my two rooms.

This is because I don’t believe one dentist operating out of one room can offer complete customer service.

Not like he can out of two rooms.

Here is why…

When you operate out of one room only…. no matter what you say, the leaving patient is hurried up and the arriving patient is rushed in…every time.

Every time….

Now, with alternate rooms this feeling of rush is never felt by patients.


They get to come and go at their own pace….

And there in is the gold.

Yes. Gold.

Would I have discovered all this without the historic lead up?

Who is to know…

I do not…

I do not know….

Maybe not

Maybe never ever…

But I did.

And I do…


My One-Day Workshops cover in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS.
For more details about my Australian workshops in August CLICK HERE.

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

It’s already a #1 Amazon Best Seller!

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order



The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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