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Better Teamwork, Better Dental Care

Rita Elder, R.D.H. for Dr. Mike Puckett, Jamestown, North Carolina

"The Dental Coach team has provided a model for our office to help it run more efficiently, more productively, and more profitably. It has empowered each staff member to be a leader but yet work together as a cohesive team committed to the welfare of our patients and the success of our practice.


Before we found the Dental Coach team , our office operated at a break neck speed scheduled a full 8 hours per day, 4 days per week, 50 weeks per year with numerous staff running "to and fro" to produce the "numbers" by quantity versus quality. This produced a lot of busyness, stress, lack of communication, and lowered the quality of dentistry. We were taught how to continue working hard but smart while in the office and to schedule time off for needed relaxation to rejuvenate our bodies and minds.


The things we learned enabled us to create a mutual team vision for our office and to set goals to accomplish that purpose. It taught team members to be proactive and to take ownership in the practice. Their scheduling system allows more one-on-one time with the patient and completion of larger segments of treatment per visit. This permits a higher quality of dentistry in a less stressful atmosphere and builds closer patient/doctor/staff relationships. It taught us to communicate with our patients, to find out their wants and expectations and above all to listen. Many principles of this coaching carry over into our personal and family lives. Our team of professionals all contribute to a well-informed patient who is treated respectfully with integrity and provided outstanding state of the art dentistry. This fosters relationships that last a lifetime."

Boost Productivity, Work Less

Dr. Jay Shartzer, Bonita Springs, Florida

"Even though we were already doing well, the Dental Coach team helped us increase case acceptance and production dramatically. Last year, we were able to work only 180 days, take a three-week vacation for the first time in my career, and still have my best year ever! Dr. Willis' coaching also allowed me to unify my staff and streamline the practice systems. As a result, the staff has shared in the success of the practice, both financially and otherwise."

Dr. Mike Womble, Naples, Florida

My practice has improved dramatically in both enjoyment and profitability. This is not done with a quick-fix approach. Rather with proven principles that are employed as your practice is ready to absorb them. Each step carries you further and further. Soon you look back and think, 'Why didn't I do this years ago?' I certainly thank Dr. Bob Willis and the team at Dental Coach for all their help."

Burning Out and Having a Plan

Dr. Vic Bateh, Sandy Springs and Marietta, Georgia

"Before The Coaching Program, my partner and I had done well in spite of ourselves. We were not leaders or managers; we were just kind "winging it." We had no game plan. We needed direction. Also, because I had no management training or experience, I was very frustrated with staff issues. But the main reason I decided to work with the Dental Coach team was because of my frustration with the grind of dentistry. I was becoming burned out on dentistry because we had to work so hard every month just to make ends meet. I was totally disillusioned and didn't know where to turn. I thought Bob's program would work for me because Bob espouses productivity, working smarter and less frustration; and I was right.


The biggest difference that the Dental Coach training has made for me is that we have a plan. Everybody knows what needs to be done and we're working much better as a team. There's more structure to our practice management and to our treatment planning. I'm doing quadrant dentistry now whereas before I was doing a crown here, a crown there, a filling here, and a filling there. I'm doing bigger cases and I'm producing many more dollars now than I was before. Patients appreciate the comprehensive nature of our practice now and case acceptance has gone way up. There's still work to do, but their training has really worked well for us.


I can put the investment in the Dental Coach training in perspective by telling you that in the first year of Bob's program, production for the practice increased by over 40% and my personal net income increased 45%. My partner and I looked at the numbers and I just shook my head and said, 'It's obvious that this program is really helping us.'


The right time to do this program was yesterday. Not only does this program teach you what it takes to run a practice in an organized and productive way, When I need advice, the program is a there, answering the questions I need answered with solid advice. You can't put a dollar amount on what this program is worth in the long run."

Business Structure and Systems That Work

Dr. Doug Goff, Columbus, Ohio

"In the past, our practice was doing well, but thought it could do better. I was looking at different management consultants because I wanted to get a little tighter handle on my practice. I just didn't feel that I had a grip on all the business aspects of the practice. When I met with Dr. Bob Willis it really clicked with me. I was already committed to a more of a comprehensive, fee-for-service practice. What Bob talked about seemed to be a perfect match for me, so I thought that philosophically, he and I were coming from the same place. Any time you jump into a relationship, there is a leap of faith and I just felt real good that Bob knew where I was coming from. I took the jump with Bob and it's been wonderful ever since.


When I started with the Dental Coach team, we were doing about 210 working days. When Bob said I could do that in 180 days, I thought, "That sounds good. I can work 20 to 30 days less and have the same production. That will be great." We set up a 180-day year and started by making sure that overhead and accounts receivable were under control. My accounts receivable was about one and a half to two months' production so we started with a program to reduce that. Within about six to eight months we got AR down to about half a months' production and we've been there - or better - ever since. Then lo and behold, when the first year ended, I didn't make it. I didn't make it to 180 days. I only worked 175 days and we produced and collected 23% more than ever before!


Along the way they taught us systems and communication skills that we worked on together, as a team. Doctors go to a lot of continuing education programs, then they try to come back and train their staff, but that doesn't work. I had talked to enough other dentists to realize that a lot of us felt the same frustration. You come back from the seminar and you're all excited about some program, so you tell your staff, "We're going to do this a new way." The staff looks at you and they're thinking, "Oh gosh, he just went to another program, but it will be OK. After a couple of days or a couple of weeks, it will all go away." The problem is that the staff doesn't make a commitment to the change and we doctors don't have the time to follow through. The beauty of the Dental Coach program is that it's a team program and they are your coaches. We're all involved. It's not just me, the doctor, trying to teach the staff. The Dental Coach Team helps us all learn together. They have provided more than just a system for my staff and me. They also provided us with the tools to implement that system and coached us all along the way.


The Coaching Program also teaches the doctor about accountability and delegation. Unlike other practice models in which the doctor is the boss who is dictating to everybody, Bob helps the doctor realize that everybody has an area where they should be in charge. With help from the Dental Coach Team, the entire team is working for the same goals. Everybody takes charge of their area and everybody is accountable for their area as opposed to the other model, in which everybody is subservient to the doctor and they don't accept accountability for their areas. Instead, they put it all on the shoulders of the doctor. That didn't work for me and I don't think it works - period. Now my staff are also accountable for helping get treatment accepted and for collecting what we produce, and if things don't happen the way they're supposed to happen, then they're accountable to the whole team. There's real beauty in that. Just like on a sports team, if somebody is not pulling their weight, the rest of the team is going to find a way to get them off of the team. You end up with committed team members.


It's also been wonderful from our patients' point of view. We're here to treat people exactly the way that they want to be treated. So we have to ask them the right questions, listen to their answer and hear what they say. Patients gain comfort knowing we hear exactly what they say. Then we treat them exactly how they want to be treated. Our job is to facilitate achieving their dental goals. Sometimes we realize we're not the right practice for a person and maybe they realize they're in the wrong office. That's ok. There's nothing wrong with that. The point is we're hearing each other first, before we get down the road, and then we realize that our philosophies are in conflict. I think every dentist has been there. You jump into something and later realize that what the patient expects isn't where you're going. Then you have to try to make the best of it. It creates a lot of tension and stress. The things we have learned from the Dental Coach team has been a tremendous stress reliever because we know exactly where we're going with a patient and the patient knows exactly what to expect. There are no hidden agendas. It really helps us achieve our long-term goals by having good communication with our patients from the very beginning.


The staff loves the program. Most dental staff are nurturing kind of people and they really want to help other people. Now they have a clear way to identify exactly how they can help. We're here to satisfy peoples' wants. We're there to help them achieve their goals. We all feel really good about that because we all can celebrate - rejoice - when we're done. That's a wonderful feeling for all of us. They are real excited with the financial rewards also. Since we got into Bob's program, several members of my staff have nearly doubled their incomes. And I'm really happy about that because if they're making money, so am I.


For me personally, it's given my practice not only a system, it has also given it a structure so I feel like I always have a handle on the pulse of my practice. I equate it to an athletic team. With an athletic team, there are certain key fundamentals that you must be in place. If you stop paying attention to those fundamentals, something bad happens. It works the same way in a dental practice. The nice thing is that with our system and our structure, we can quickly diagnose where the problem is. It's not a mystery because there are only certain key fundamentals and Bob has taught us how to monitor those fundamentals. So you don't have to wonder what the problem is, or why is it happening. You can always quickly diagnose your own business and know how to fix it, or be able to quickly find out how to fix it. We find the problem, then we can go back to that fundamental, get it on track, and things start running smoothly again. That's been wonderful.

Chaos to Control

Dr. William P.D. Wynne, Raleigh, North Carolina

“I have been working with Dr. Bob Willis and the Dental Coach team for over fourteen years. When I first met with Bob, my practice was controlling me. I was seeing 40+ patients each day. All procedures were mixed together, and I was routinely running over at lunch and at the end of the day. I would start a molar root canal or bridge prep at 4:00pm.


I had 7 employees and no control over how frantic and busy we were. My accounts receivable had reached $ 186,000, and most patients would not return phone calls about their accounts.


I was so busy and confused I didn’t know what I wanted, only that things were out of control and I didn’t like what I had.


I decided to get some help. Bob and his team gathered key information on our practice and our systems. Over the next year we changed our staffing model, started a more effective scheduling system that better fit my style, and learned how to communicate with our patients.


Now I only work 10 months out of the year, 4 days a week. I am producing four times as much as in the old days. My accounts receivable is below $ 15,000. I am much more relaxed and enjoy dentistry more than at any previous time.


The most important thing is that I can now spend more time with my family.

Dawn Hall, Patient Coordinator for Dr. Sharon Reid, Winston Salem, North Carolina

"Before we were introduced to the Dental Coach Team we worked Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm, seeing everything from root canals to extractions, and had a very high accounts receivable balance. We now work 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Thursday, our accounts receivable balance is now $10,000, and have patients that bring us gifts and actually pay us at the time of service. The Dental Coach team has totally changed our dental practice and we now love what we do!"

Dr. Henry Benson, Sandy Springs and Marietta, Georgia

"My partner and I have two offices and we both practice in each location. Before The Coaching Program, we were doing a tremendous amount of work, a lot of little things, running from chair to chair and being very worn out at the end of the day. The staff was stressed and the doctors were stressed. Everything was 'Fix it.' Fix this tooth, fix that tooth, take care of this emergency, and take care of that emergency. It was not fun to come to work. A lot of stress came from never knowing what to expect on the schedule. We didn't have any goals. We didn't know where we were headed. We just accepted the results at the end of the month. We were very much focused on single tooth treatment; taking care of the immediate problem and not looking at the broader picture. Therefore, patients often came back with subsequent problems that interrupted our day.


Working with the Dental Coach team has taught me how to focus on the total well being of the patient; how to look at their overall dental health and treat them with long-term solutions rather than short-term solutions. It gives me much greater satisfaction when I do complete treatment in an area of the mouth and know that that area is going to be strong and stable for a long time to come and that I don't have to worry about fixing an adjacent tooth when it breaks.


After working with the team at Dental Coach, our schedule is much better and we've seen our production and collection increase considerably.


We had a concern initially about the cost of the Dental Coach program, but we recouped our investment in the program within the first eight months. We quickly realized that the investment was a drop in the bucket compared to the rewards we get from the program. Looking back, we have no regrets whatsoever about investing that money. It was well worth it. Over and above the financial return, I have a better outlook on the practice of dentistry. It's a lot more enjoyable coming to the office each day now.


We wondered if it was the right time for us to start working with the Dental Coach team and if we had the time to work with Bob. Well, I've learned that any time is the right time to work with Bob. The sooner the better - before you get into habits that are hard to break. It's something we should have done a long time ago. It would have saved us a lot of stress. In fact, if you feel like you're too busy to do this, that's why you need it! The Dental Coach team will make you more efficient. It will free up your time. There's not a wrong time to work with the Dental Coach team.

Financial Stress

Dr. Kurt J. Laemmer, Bradford, Pennsylvania

My practice was in the midst of a difficult financial situation. I was too close to everything to objectively assess the situation. I had taken many courses that focused on more complex rehabilitative dental care and almost nothing on actually operating the practice.


The Dental Coach team helped me apply the things I’d learned, helped me increase Case Acceptance, and they helped me evaluate my situation and get things turned around. They have been very helpful as a resource to bounce ideas around about the practice and help me make effective decisions. I was concerned about the cost of the program like many probably are; especially given the slow cash flow at the time. However, the assistance that the coaching and consulting provided allowed us to get through this rough time. I can honestly say I would not have gotten out of my situation on my own as gracefully nor as quickly.


I am very pleased with their contribution to my dental career. I would recommend Dr. Bob Willis and The Dental Coach Team to anyone that is having practice problems or issues as well as to anyone that wants to play the game at a higher level.

How to Get Things Implemented

Dr. Rick Bowen, Columbus, Ohio

"So often we are told how to do things in a management seminar but we can't make them work in our own practices. Because of the follow-through by the Dental Coach team, we've been able to make those things work in our practice. With Bob’s experience as a dentist, he knows where we are coming from. I would say the benefits are so great that you should do yourself a favor and get started now!"

Less Stress, Better Life

Dr. Steve Miller, Asheville, North Carolina

“Dr. Bob Willis and the Dental Coach team have helped me develop a dental practice that fits my lifestyle and values. When I started with them 10 years ago, I was a slave to my practice, working 196 days per year with low profitability and little enjoyment. I was practicing “Roller Derby Dentistry”. By implementing Bob’s simple principles, our team treats patients 175 days per year and the practice has grown from $600,000 to $1.15 Mil.


I am now more fulfilled as a dentist, I have great staff retention and our patients feel good about our office. Our profitability jumped and has been much better over those 10 years.


One might ask, “Why a client after 10 years? Are you that dense?” Well, they help keep me on top of changes in dentistry, what makes sense to add and what is actually counterproductive. We learn something new things and innovative, but don’t loose sight of the fundamentals that we learned. The seas of the journey called life sometimes get choppy. Bob serves as a rudder to help keep my practice on an even keel and move forward. Bob’s advice is always thoughtful and pertinent to my situation. I’m 55 years young and as I go through my transition years, I am so grateful to have Dr. Bob Willis in my corner.”

Dr. Brendan Dwyer, Ft. Myers, Florida

"I was looking for less stress, more harmony, more money and more time off. All of my expectations have been fulfilled. The Coaching Program helps you clarify a plan that fits you, the individual dentist, then coaches you so that it gets implemented."

Partners and Practice Growth

Dr. Joe Calerone, Debary, Florida

“Thank you for your counsel over the past three plus years. When my partner and I came to you, we had a difficult situation to unravel. We were sharing a facility, a staff and expenses. We each had different goals and aspirations. We needed help not only in splitting apart but in creating an environment which would still be conducive to growing our respective practices.


The Dental Coach staff, with patience and perseverance, helped us separate our staffs into two teams and create systems to support case acceptance increases, creating a win-win for both practices. My practice grew for the first time in two years by 32%. This was a nice jump for a million dollar practice. This year we will grow by another 25-30%. This growth occurred while successfully transitioning the practices and renovating the facility. My partner’s practice blossomed as well Thank you for being available to act as a sounding board and help me through some of the difficult times. I continue to benefit for our association.”

Practice Plateauing

Dr. Harris Rittenberg, Jacksonville, Florida

"My name is Harris Rittenberg. I’m a general dentist in Jacksonville FL. I felt our practice was actually doing pretty well, but also felt we were starting to plateau. I spoke with several classmates who had recommended Dr. Bob Willis to me as a dental coach. I was generating more each year, but it did not seem like I was getting ahead very much. I talked to Dr. Willis and it became clear he knew what he was doing. He asked me the right questions and shared how the Dental Coach team could help me. He was right.


We grew 20% the first year and got expenses and payroll under control. We had a system and plan that fit us. The staff was quickly on board and could see the benefits and enjoy the rewards very quickly. We have grown every year since. I continue to work with Bob and staff because the are always there to guide me through the challenges and opportunities that occasionally that come up.


He’s there for me for small things like a situation that comes up with an employee or in making prudent financial decisions concerning the practice. He’s seen it all through all the practices he has worked with. It’s comforting and it helps me run an efficient and lower stress practice.


He’s there for big things. A nearby dentist was retiring and selling his practice. There are a myriad of issues when you look at something like this from facility to profitability. He guided me through the purchase including dealing with the real estate part of it and the integration of the new practice. He was already familiar with me and my practice. His advice was extremely helpful.


I think everybody recognizes that we each have our strengths and our weaknesses. Dr. Willis’s and the Dental Coach team’s coaching has allowed me to focus on the things I do best and helped our entire practice become more profitable and less stressful. The only mistake I made was not getting his help sooner."

Revitalizing a Practice

Dr. Al Currey, Manchester, Michigan

“The Coaching Program has been an enormous asset to our office. Our busyness was declining as the Michigan economy around us slowed down. Dr. Willis and his team taught us what we needed to know and showed us what we needed to do. We listened, learned, went home and got to work. And boy – has business picked up. Two months later, we had our most productive month ever – by a lot. Dr. Bob Willis and his staff showed us what was possible, and how to achieve it. And we’ve just scratched the surface.


It’s not a gimmick. They have a practice philosophy based on long-term, quality dental treatment. The coaches are just a phone call away when we need help. Bob coaches me personally and these calls have helped keep me focused, and prevented backsliding. It takes effort to revitalize a lethargic 30 year old practice, but it’s sure not impossible to do. We really benefited from our decision to work with the Dental Coach Team.

Taking Your Practice to the Next Level

Dr. Hank Van Hala, North Canton, Ohio

“I was looking for someone who could help take my practice to the next level. After twenty-seven years I felt I had reached a personal maximum; working five days per week, with two hygienists, a good staff, three weeks of vacation a year, and a very good income. I was a little fatigued, too. Trouble was I felt we could do so much more. I had attended a multitude of practice management seminars and heard many good ideas, but didn't have a cohesive plan to implement all the strategies.


I walked out of the first meeting with Bob, looked at my wife, who is the most perceptive person I know, and asked the logical question. What do you think? She responded, and I agreed, He's the one!


I'm not sure I've changed much personally over the last few years, but my practice and life have. I work three and one-half days a week now in the profession I love, with three hygienists, two fantastic associates, one of whom is my recently graduated son, that slightly altered wonderful staff, who enjoy the highest salary and benefits in our area, six weeks of vacation a year (I sure didn't think that was possible), and a way better income than I imagined.


Dr. Bob Willis and the entire staff he has assembled at Dental Coach have been a God-send to my wife and me. His wisdom in all parts of dental practice is, simply put, superior. When people ask me how I have such a "paid for" high tech, productive office, why I look so happy, and why I am smiling so much, I just refer them to Bob. Funny thing is many of those who have asked the questions have become his clients. I am most proud to say I've gained a great friend.”

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