Dental Drill Bits with Sandy Pardue

Sandy Pardue of Classic Practice Resources & Michael Arias of The Dental Marketer discuss issues facing the dental practice owner of today. This podcast show features the movers and shakers of the dental industry as well as opinion leaders. Enjoy the fun, laid-back vibe as things get real. Sandy is an energetic lecturer and consultant in the area of dental practice management. She is Director of Consulting with Classic Practice Resources and has over 36 years of “hands-on” experience.
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Dental Drill Bits with Sandy Pardue









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Now displaying: Category: dental practice Business management and marketing
Nov 10, 2022

Should you add 3-4% on the dental bill if people are going to use credit cards? The quick answer is “NO”! This can easily make your patient lose trust in you. Remember people don’t carry cash or checks as much anymore. More and more people are using credit cards. When you add the 3-4% on the patients bill, this is working against your internal marketing!


In this episode Sandy breaks down for us what we should do if our terminal/ credit card charges come with a fee and how we should present it to the patient. We also discuss other great alternatives that you should adopt now to easily get the money from the patient without hassle.

Nov 3, 2022

Did you know if your team is less than 10 employees, you more than likely should NOT have an office manager! Some practice owners put someone who has some dental experience in the front and name them an office manager. That is not the right thing to do. 


In this episode Sandy breaks down the real responsibilities of an Office Manager and when is it time to bring one on. We also discuss how promoting or having someone considered an “office manager” can actually cause more harm than good. We also discuss how to demote an office manager and discuss the proper script and terminology on how to do this.

Oct 26, 2022

There’s a shocking statistic that Sandy mentions in this episode which is: 1.6 million people are changing dentists and 25%-50% patients are lost over a 5 year period. This means we MUST work on our attrition, retaining these patients! 


In this episode Sandy tells us the 3 main reasons why we lose patients and how we can stop making these major mistakes. She also gives us a system on what our team should do to make sure our attrition rate is good. We also discuss and talk about scripts on what we should ask our patients to make sure their experience is always above and beyond!

Oct 19, 2022

You know what? You shouldn’t even call them “performance reviews” anymore! In this episode Sandy lets us know exactly what we should do with the “one on one” meetings we have with our team members. Meeting one on one with team members is always a good thing.


Sandy tells us how we should call them a “one on one” and bring the employee’s:

  • Attendance record
  • Statistics
  • Ask them “how do you think it’s going”?
  • Involve the whole team


She breaks each one of these things down and dives into specifics on how we should handle every point. Another good thing to keep in mind is we should never tie “one on ones” or performance reviews with raises! Listen to this episode to understand why!

Oct 12, 2022

If you haven’t heard “How to Handle “Inter-Office wars” which was the episode before this one, please go do so! It got so much feedback! Because of all the questions we received, Sandy decided to answer those questions and do a part two!

The 2 most popular things that people contacted Sandy after the previous episode was:

  1. What to do if you are new to the office and you witness “inter-office wars”/ what do you do if you are a team member watching on the sidelines “inter-office war” happening? What should you do? 
  2. Team members complaining to the doctor or gossiping to the doctor. Trying to get to the doctor on their side. 

In this episode Sandy dives deeper on these two scenarios and also shows you how to handle them from an employee perspective and a practice owner's perspective.

Oct 5, 2022

Are you experiencing gossip, negativity, conflicts between your team, dishonesty, and employees always shifting the blame to other employees? This episode will help! 


20% of all workers are unhappy with their jobs! This means that 80% are trying to get along with their workers and the other 20% are sabotaging that relationship! A lot of this dissatisfaction doesn’t have to do with the job itself, but it’s with the worker’s attitudes. 


One thing Sandy has observed over the decades of handling employee conflicts and “inter-office wars” is that the more organized a practice is, the more the agreements that are in place, the less “inter-office wars” happen! In this episode Sandy gives us the definition of what “inter-office wars” means, how this is occurring in many offices today (either the front office doesn't get along with the back office, or someone on the team keeps gossiping about another team member, etc.) and she tells us exactly how to handle it!

Sep 29, 2022

Nowadays there are lots of consultants out there. Specific consultants and consultants who try to cover everything under the sun. However, what is the ultimate goal of a consultant? In this episode Sandy gives us insight on this and what we MUST look out for, when it comes to bringing on a consultant.


Sandy tells us what questions we should ask before hiring the consultant, what their goal should be, how much productions should be going up, how the team should feel, what road-bumps the consultant may face, how can you tell you are getting a “cookie cutter” consultant, and what data they should have.


A consultant's goal is not to be hired and work for the practice forever, it's to work with the practice until the owner (and team) is completely satisfied with the results. Listen into this episode if you have EVER thought about hiring a practice management consultant.

Sep 22, 2022

“Quiet quitting” is nothing new, it just has a name now. According to a recent study: “Quiet Quitters” make up 50% of the US workforce! 32% are disengaged employees and 18% are the type of employees that go on social media and trash talk or display how they hate their employer. Why does “quiet quitting'' happen?


In this episode Sandy lets us know how we can identify these "quiet quitters" and what you should look for before it’s too late. These types of employees will kill your productivity and also drag down your team culture and ultimately hinder your growth. 


As you’re listening to this episode you may start to identify that you MAY have a “quiet quitter”. So listen to this episode to see how you can handle any “quiet quitting” situation.

Sep 15, 2022

Confirming appointments is one of the most important things that a scheduler does every single day. Confirming, when done the right way, assures the schedule will stay intact. 


In this episode Sandy breaks down the mistakes we tend to make when we “think” we have confirmed an appointment but in reality, we have not. A lot of the time we tend to send a text or reminder, but the reality is this is doing nothing most of the time. 


Listen in as we discuss the proper systems and protocols to truly confirm an appointment for a better schedule and a productive day.

Sep 8, 2022

Sandy was doing a mystery call for a practice and noticed a major issue… the practice didn’t answer her phone call… that’s how this episode came up!


There’s two main things we need to do if we want more new patients in our office.


  1. Make sure there are absolutely NO barriers blocking the new patient from reaching you over the phone.
  2. Make sure you take away every single barrier that’s stopping the new patient from walking through your door!


In this episode Sandy tells us ways we can improve and elevate our phone skills to ensure that these new patients are not only scheduling, but walking through your door and accepting treatment.

Sep 1, 2022

You know that one person who's always missing days, calling in, or maybe they save up time off and leave for a long time. Welp, there’s procedures and systems to prevent that and actually improve all of your employees' attendance! 


In this episode Sandy gives us 5 major steps that will improve attendance and help motivate employees to not miss a day!

  1. Sit down with your team and talk about your core values. 
  2. Create an attendance policy. 
  3. Track when people miss work. 
  4. Address these no-shows or last minute cancellations immediately!
  5. Reward good behavior. 

Listen in as we dive deeper into each of these steps and provide a game plan!

Aug 25, 2022

Treatment planning starts much earlier than you expect. If you want your treatment acceptance percentage to increase you first have to know what to look for and then implement these specific actions to see results.


Sandy gives us the 10 bulletproof actions steps that will increase your treatment acceptance. One of the first steps is making sure you’re on top of your “Public Relations”. This is something that won’t get you instant results at the beginning but it is something that every practice owner should be thinking about because… your treatment acceptance starts with your reputation!


Listen in to hear the rest of the action steps so that you can increase your treatment acceptance this month!

Aug 18, 2022

There's nothing worse than seeing the schedule full the day before, or even the week before, then… once the productive day arrives… the schedule starts falling apart. Why is this happening?! Could it have been prevented?! What is killing this productive day!? A lot of us are unaware of how much productivity is being killed in the practice. Some of us are so used to these killers that we see it as a “norm” when it occurs. Anything that kills your productivity is NOT normal!


In this episode Sandy reveals the 5 most common productivity killers that happen in your practice every week. We discuss them and show you the difference between each one and how some play off of each other if you let it slide or handle it the wrong way. Then Sandy lets us know how we can prevent each of these 5 killers and what systems need to be in place today… to ensure that we are keeping the productivity in our office high.

Aug 10, 2022

When you're listening to this episode we want you to think about your accounts receivable balance. We want you to think about how many patients have accepted treatment, have received treatment, maybe only paid a portion of the whole treatment cost or not even a penny... and never came back.

This means the patient has committed premeditated fraud. How did this happen? Why does this continue to happen? How could we prevent this?

Sandy gives us a formula so you can have predictability with each of your patients & a formula on how to ensure your employee who handles your money will be trustworthy.

Aug 3, 2022

September has been widely known in dentistry as “Sucktember”. Everything seems to slow down, no shows are high, production is low, and the schedule seems to fall apart insanely fast. In fact, some of you even decide to take September off! DON’T!

In this episode Sandy breaks down the reason why we had a horrible September and how we can prevent “Sucktember '' from happening by doing these 5 steps today! The sooner you do it the better, and not only will this prevent your production from slowing down but it will also provide you with a “Rocktober” (Rocking October).

Jul 28, 2022

Key takeaways from this episode:

1. What do patients that "no-show" have in common.

2. Every practice needs an "appointment wrap up" process.

3. What to ask a patient in regards to following up with them.

4. What's the best script for confirmation calls.

5. What to do when presenting treatment plans to ensure a second visit.


Jul 21, 2022

We know how convenient it is to have your employee order supplies for you, deal with credit checks, and even order things on Amazon for you and handle any returns… but you need to be more aware of it. Why? 

Well, Sandy received a call about a situation the other day. And this isn’t the first instance an office has called her to see how they should handle it. This is common. The Office Manager had been using the practice’s Amazon account  to make purchases for her own birthday party, Christmas, etc. 

Sandy gives us 3 systems that most employees use to steal or establish fraud and she gives us the systems to prevent this. In our practice and in life, we want certainty, we want predictability, so it’s crucial you know what is going on in your practice and not depend solely on your employees' words.

Jul 13, 2022

When it comes down to it, there's basically two reasons why patients don’t pay: the first is dishonest patients, and Sandy gives us a breakdown on how to stop these type of patients to save us any headaches.

The second, and probably most important reason is: patients can get mad or upset with a situation. Your team can make patients mad or the patients can misunderstand and perceive something wrong. Patients who are mad or upset won’t pay. And when you initiate the collection procedure against the angry patient it gets them even more upset! So what can you do? Well, Sandy lets us know that when you deal with people it’s important to have really good people skills. Something we need to keep in mind is to communicate and acknowledge the patient and what they are saying. 

Sandy goes much further into detail on how we can handle upset patients who don’t want to pay and she gives us a script on what to say to find a patient's problem that will get them to pay!

Jul 7, 2022

Overall, when it comes to excelling at customer service, we need to build more and better relationships with our patients. Remember that our patients have a choice, they can either choose to continue to come to you, or move on at any moment. They can get their teeth cleaned and get turned off so fast or be highly impressed to the point they want to bring everyone they know to you. That’s the difference between average and exceptional customer service. 

In this episode Sandy tells us 10 strategies we need to be thinking about weekly, if not daily, to make sure we are providing exceptional customer service. There's 1.6 million people changing dentists…every month! Make sure you are one of the dentists that patients love and feel acknowledged and valued at. That is something you will notice fast about the first two strategies, how acknowledging your patient is crucial.

Listen to this episode and make sure you write down the 10 strategies somewhere visible, where your team can see it so they can use it as a checklist or reminder to apply these strategies daily.

Jun 29, 2022

If you’ve followed a recipe before, then you’ve followed a system. In this episode Sandy gives you the recipes to make sure you have a successful practice BEFORE you open your doors to the public. There are about 42 systems every single practice needs to have in place and Sandy discusses and dives deeper into each of them.

Now just having these systems is not enough, Sandy discusses how being consistent with them is crucial for success. Consistent action gives you predictability. These are the systems that her 2 million dollar solo practice’s implement and practice consistently. She discusses the systems we tend to leave out and the systems we make major mistakes on as well.

Jun 22, 2022

When does a day need to be saved?

When you’re not meeting your daily goals (which you should set daily goals). You can determine if you’re reaching your goal or not by mid-day. If you notice around the middle of the day, that you are behind or REAL far behind with your daily goals, then this episode will help you to apply strategies to reach those goals!

Sandy lets us know how there are so many missed opportunities because we are not looking or listening. Therefore she gives us 5 specific opportunities we need to look for (which you WILL find during the day) that will push you and your team through the finish line! From this point on, there shouldn’t be a reason for your team to not reach their daily goals.

Jun 17, 2022

In this episode we take on questions that you (our listeners) have for us! 

We answer these specific questions:

"Is anyone doing (or done in the past) patient surveys? We would love to see what we are doing right that our patients enjoy and what recommendations they have or concerns, if any.
Any suggestions or sample questions would be greatly appreciated!"

"I have a couple questions about 'The 4 Departments Every Front Office Needs.' When you say 1-18 people one person can run the front and then 19 you would have 2 people and then 32 you would have 3, does this include the office manager or would that be in addition to the OM? We have 4 days a week with 1 doctor and 2 full time hygienists and we have 1 day with 2 doctors and 2 full time hygienists. I have another question. I know you talk about checklists to hold people accountable. Do you recommend every person on the team have their own checklist?"

"What is the best way to prevent hygiene no shows?"

Jun 9, 2022

Is your A/R out of order?! Have you ever overcharged a patient for treatment, perhaps their insurance company covered for more than what was initially stated, so now your patient has credit? What do you do with that credit? Some practices let that credit accumulate. Some may even feel like they can keep it. You can’t and Sandy let’s us know why.

This is a hidden topic that not many practice owners talk about, but exists and can really set you back if you are not careful. Therefore it must be addressed! This is especially helpful if you are looking to buy or acquire a practice. Make sure you check the A/R reports and see if there are any patient credits.

In this episode Sandy gives us a system on how to minimize patient refunds. She also lets us know how to slowly start chipping away at it (if we have accumulated a large sum of patient credit). We discuss the script you must tell the patient, how to handle these situations, and who to let know in the practice and who should NOT be aware in your team.

Jun 2, 2022

Confirming patients for their appointment is one of the most important things your front office can do. It’s not an afterthought and it’s definitely not something you just call and wing. You need a recipe for this. Systems are a recipe.

When it comes to patient confirmations, it’s all about having good control.You need to decide how protocols should be approached and then analyze and see that your protocol/ system is producing the best results. So this leads to the ultimate question: is your confirmation process producing the best results?

In this episode Sandy breaks down this process and creates a system for us that has 7 main points, so this is going to be an episode where you really want to take notes! She also lets us know some bonus points and verbage we need to have when writing confirmations, texting confirmations, and calling for confirmations.

May 26, 2022

The hardest part of practice ownership is the relationships, the people in our practice. In this episode Sandy helps us to understand and know how we can master these relationships.

There’s a few basic steps that most practice owners and people in general tend to overlook. One of the first steps is to hire the right people, acknowledge our employees when they do something good, recognize when things are not going well, and then learn to quickly handle the situation by confronting the person. This is just part of one step!

This means that systems and protocols must be in place, in order to  handle and create better relationships with people in your practice. We dive into more of this in this episode and reveal more steps with detail and instructions on how to implement them.

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