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Episode #292: "What Holds You Back in Dentistry & Sleep?" with Dr. Erin Elliott

the best practices show podcast Apr 12, 2021

Maybe you want sleep and airway in your practice, but you’re feeling held back. Today, Dr. Erin Elliott returns on the topic of airway with advice on how to get started! Kirk Behrendt and Dr. Elliott talk about the most common obstacles dentists face and the best practices on how to overcome them. For tips on positive thinking, staying motivated, and having confidence in your work, listen to Episode 292 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Don't let medical billing be a roadblock to doing sleep in your practice.
  • Fear of being sued shouldn't stop you.
  • Avoid thinking about the “what-ifs" — most of those fears never happen.  
  • Have confidence in your work. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back.
  • Learn how to communicate and talk to your patients and team.
  • Always think about what's best for your patients.
  • Don't try to do it all — delegate.


  • “Complexity is the enemy of implementation. And dentists do one thing really well, is overthinking and making things more difficult than they need to be.” (04:29—04:40)
  • “I recently took a poll on the forum that I mentor on from people that have attended the course, ‘Why are you not doing as much sleep as you want to?’ And number one was medical billing.” (05:35—05:49)
  • “If you take care of the patient and do what's best for them — there are some jerks in this world. But to get to the point where you're sued, legally, it’s standard of care. And it’s also clinically acceptable work — you won't get sued. They have to have an expert witness in order to win. Ask me how I know, because I had to go through the process.” (09:21—09:45)
  • “You do feel like you're behind the ball all the time. And then, of course, people only post their most amazing work, and you're like, ‘Man, I am a crappy dentist,’ when really, you're getting patients out of pain, you're restoring their smile, their function. You're doing everything well, [but] you always feel like a failure. So, you've just got to get out there.” (10:48—11:11)
  • “Don't start expecting physician referrals if you don't even know what to do with a patient when you get them.” (22:42—22:47)
  • “It’s really the team that gets things going, and I think we don't utilize them enough.” (27:37—27:40)
  • “Stop being nice. It doesn't mean not to be nice, but it means that people are okay with you leading them. And it’s not being a jerk to have certain expectations that you expect them to meet. And if you have to correct them, they have given you permission just by being your employee.” (33:59—34:24)
  • “Just know that: (1) you know what you're doing; (2) you won't get sued; (3) take care of people, [and] you'll find satisfaction in your job.” (45:00—45:06)


  • Dr. Elliott’s background. (02:53—07:18)
  • Don't let your fears stop you. (08:09—12:06)
  • Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back. (12:59—14:41)
  • Have your “why” to keep yourself motivated. (15:21—16:19)
  • You can't do everything yourself/the champion concept. (17:07—21:13)
  • Other obstacles holding you back from doing sleep in your practice. (21:35—24:35)
  • Mistakes made and lessons learned. (25:46—27:45)
  • Have confidence in leading your team. (28:31—32:11)
  • Heidi vs. Howard study, and the origin of the word “nice”. (32:11—39:30)
  • Don't be easily defeated. (40:02—41:16)
  • Dr. Elliott’s sleep courses. (41:33—43:03)
  • Dr. Elliott’s contact information, website, and S1 course. (43:11—44:07)
  • Closing. (44:08—45:42)

Reach Out to Dr. Elliott:

Dr. Elliott’s website: https://3d-dentists.com/

Dr. Elliott’s email: [email protected] 

Dr. Erin Elliott Bio:

Dr. Elliott grew up in Southern California but went away to a small NAIA school in Western New York, where she played collegiate soccer and graduated summa cum laude. She graduated Creighton Dental School in the top 5 of my class. After school, she settled in North Idaho and began her dentistry career. She has a passion for Dental Sleep Medicine, Short-Term Orthodontics, and integrating CAD/CAM and cone-beam imaging into a general dentistry practice. She regularly lectures on these topics.

She is an active member of her local American Dental Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and was the president and a diplomate of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy.

She teaches 2-day sleep apnea courses with 3D-Dentists and Dr. Tarun Agarwal. She also privately coaches practices about sleep!

She spends her free time with her stay-at-home husband, Tom, and her two sons. She loves to spend time with friends, golfing, traveling, playing soccer, reading, and serving her community.

Dr. Elliott is dedicated to sharing the tools she has developed and honed over the years in the industry and she knows these tools will help your practice succeed.




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