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The Importance of Effective Communication in Dentistry: A Conversation with Dr. Shahin Safarian

By Planet DDS
May 2, 2024

In this episode of The Dental Economist Show, host Mike Huffaker is joined by Dr. Shahin Safarian, the founder and CEO of Lovebites Dental. 

Join them as they discuss: 

  • The importance of simplifying communication with patients 
  • Building a robust sales funnel 
  • Taking a patient-centered approach in the dental industry 
  • The challenges dentists face in running a business
  • The value of social media 

Dr. Shahin Safarian is the founder and CEO of Lovebites Dental, who offer a comprehensive suite of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Dr. Safarian is also the owner of Irresistible Smiles, a dental team dedicated to “providing each and every patient with the best possible care”. He graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 2001 and received his Fellowship from Las Vegas Institute For Advanced Dentistry (LVI) in 2009. 

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. 

Leadership Qualities – Dr Safarian says that he encourages his doctors to enjoy the process. There’s no way to acquire a multi-million dollar practice without enjoying how you get there—it’s about the journey, not the destination! He also emphasizes the importance of clarity, saying “they can’t be a confused leader”. Lastly, Dr Safarian says that communication is of vital importance. Dentists can’t be introverts. They need listening skills, speaking skills, and to practice emotional regulation. 

The Value of Authenticity – It’s important to realize that patients (usually) aren’t dentists, and don’t know about insurance codes, technical terms, and dentistry-specific language. Dr Safarian says you have to “have regular conversations with people just like they’re in your living room”. The important thing is to be a problem solver. That’s what patients come to dental practices for. 

Strategies for Success – Dr Safarian outlines several strategies for dental practice success. Firstly, it’s important to focus on net income over gross revenue—he suggests that “you don’t want a million dollar practice, you want a $400,000 plus net income”. Another strategy is accounting for the fact that most dentistry is elective, so understanding the difference between elective and non-elective surgery is important from a marketing perspective. Optimizing the sales funnel is another way to shore up patient retention. This includes negotiating wisely, effectively communicating treatment, and improving planning and case presentation. 

Putting Doctors in the Right Position – Dr Safarian says that it’s important to put team players in the right position. If a doctor doesn’t have the ability to sell, don’t put them in a position to sell. If their communication skills are lacking, don’t put them on “the front lines’. The doctors might be the most important part of a dental practice, but they don’t have to be the one selling the dentistry—Dr Safarian sees this as one of the most important ideas in his coaching.