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Episode #476: Why Most Social Media is BS, with Dr. Adamo Notarantonio

the best practices show podcast Sep 23, 2022

There are good things that social media can do for dentistry. But there's a bad and ugly side that every dentist should be aware of. And today, Kirk Behrendt brings back Dr. Adamo Notarantonio, co-founder of the imPRES courses, to highlight what we already know: most social media is BS! Every gorgeous image is the result of education, practice, and a billion more of hours of practice. Don't be discouraged by what you see! To learn the good, bad, and ugly of social media and how to stay motivated, listen to Episode 476 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Main Takeaways:

  • Understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media.
  • Don't strive for perfection — no one can be perfect.
  • Practice, practice, and practice some more.
  • Be authentic on social media.
  • Get educated — a lot.


  • “A cool part of social media for the younger generation [is] they could see what the possibilities are. But I think they have to realize and understand that to get to the level of the educator that we all look up to, like a John Kois or Frank Spear or Gregg Kinzer or Amanda Seed — do you know how much work they had to do to get to that level?” (9:59—10:22)
  • “Instagram is great to meet people. I have great friends — I use it as advertising for my courses. Obviously, that's great. But the amount of work that I do behind closed doors to get to the level that I'm practicing at right now, the younger generation can't fathom because they want — and not to their fault — everything is so fast; the click of a button on a phone, boom, boom. That's not the secret to success.” (10:23—10:45)
  • “We all have work out there we’re not proud of. Maybe the patient loved it. Maybe it wasn't our best. But you learn from it. That's the whole point.” (11:02—11:10)
  • “To do composites at the level I'm doing, I failed a thousand times. I redid 10,000 of them. I practiced a billion times. And I think that gets lost now because, ‘Oh, you need food? Okay, DoorDash. Two seconds. You want this? Boom. Five seconds.’ That's not reality.” (11:11—11:29)
  • “I don't want to bash social media altogether and say it’s BS — it’s not. It’s great for certain things. And I see it more with the younger generation, ‘Hey, teach me how to do,’ or, ‘What camera did you use?’ And I want to reply to them like, ‘I'll send you my camera. You still won't take that picture because you don't understand the settings and the lighting and all that.’ The better question would be like, ‘Hey, where can I go to learn that?’ And I will say, ‘Take this course. Take that course.’” (11:33—11:58)
  • “Social media shows you the before and the after with the nice car and nice clothes. The amount of work that you need to do to get there, everybody wants to overlook that.” (14:25—14:35)
  • “In the sense of how it’s good, [social media] made me what I am or where I am right now.” (15:11—15:15)
  • “The other good part [of social media], you meet amazing people. I'm in a group chat with probably 50 dentists around the world. Their work, every day I'm like, ‘Oh my god. That's insane.’ So, it’s cool for the exposure, to see stuff that — we would've never heard of half these people. And they wouldn't have a shot to come up if we weren't able to notice them. So, I think that's the good, for me.” (16:28—16:50)
  • “My advice to anybody who wants more referrals in a specific area, well, then become the best in that area. And then, all referrals are going to come to you.” (19:33—19:40)
  • “What drives me nuts is when people put a before-and-after, something almost ridiculous, and they're like, ‘Oh, I did that in one visit.’ I'm like, ‘Come on.’ Listen, nobody’s ego needs to be stroked. That's a year-long process, six months long. Explain it. Say it. Even if you don't give your exact steps, that's fine. Because, like I said, you can't teach that kind of dentistry in a post. It’s impossible. So, just say, ‘Hey, this patient went through a full-mouth rehabilitation. It took six months,’ so on and so forth.” (24:07—24:42)
  • “I think the bad stuff is, other people see it who are not trained. They look at it and they go, ‘Oh, he did that in one visit. I could do that.’ And that's a nightmare for a patient — a complete and utter nightmare — because the proper protocols, the proper sequence, the proper treatment wasn't taken into account. It was all for a before and an after. And I think that's what kills me about social media.” (24:42—25:11)
  • “I try to [post photos] that I think are educational. There are some that I don't like that I don't think 80% of my following would even notice what I don't like. But that's the cool thing about your education. As you get better, you see more than you did 10 years ago. I wouldn't have noticed stuff that I see now 10 years ago because my eye wasn’t trained as well. I just think that [social media] is too much [about the] before-and-after.” (25:21—25:46)
  • “Everybody wants it fast. They want it done. And they miss the diagnosis, the risk assessment — all the stuff we put into every single case, that I put up and I know people that I'm close to put up. There's so much more to it. And it’s very hard to control because it’s social media. It is what it is. But I wish that people took a step back and realized it’s a cool platform to share and have discussions, but it’s not the Bible for dentistry. You have to go get educated. And I think that's very overlooked in a lot of areas.” (25:47—26:25)
  • “With social media, all you want is perfection, ‘I want the perfect before-and-after.’ No. You want to fail, and fail again, and fail again. Because once you can say to me, ‘You know what, doc? I should've used a chromatic enamel instead of an achromatic,’ boom, my class was worth every penny that you just spent, 100%.” (28:08—28:26)
  • “I get messages at least monthly where I have somebody that I mentor — and I mentor a boatload of people, especially for accreditation — and they say, ‘I need to quit dentistry. I'll never do the work that I see up on social media, and my work sucks, and I'm a horrible dentist.’ And I'm like, ‘Listen to me carefully. Social media is a highlight reel. That is the one best case that that person had that month or year, and they photographed it seven different angles and got seven posts out of it. That's not what they do every day. And I'm going to be honest, the stuff you see on mine, it ain't what I do every day either, because not everyone turns out that damn perfect.’” (29:30—30:10)
  • “The ugly part of social media is it can be very depressing for a lot of people.” (32:04—32:09)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 3:02 Dr. Notarantonio’s background.
  • 5:17 Being an Elvis fan.
  • 8:37 Why social media is BS.
  • 12:26 Practice, practice, practice.
  • 14:43 The positives of social media.
  • 17:12 How to get more referrals.
  • 19:40 More advice for dentists.
  • 23:24 The bad of social media.
  • 26:25 Educate with your posts.
  • 28:26 The ugly side of social media.
  • 32:58 What’s on the horizon for Dr. Notarantonio.
  • 36:05 Dr. Notarantonio’s courses and how to get in touch.  

Dr. Adamo E. Notarantonio, DDS, FICOI, FAACD:

Dr. Adamo Notarantonio is a graduate of the University of New York at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine (2002), where he received honors in both removable and fixed prosthodontics. He completed his residency in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program at Stony Brook in 2003 and was chosen by faculty to complete a second year as Chief Resident.

Dr. Notarantonio was accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2011, and recently received his Fellowship in the AACD. He is the only Accredited Fellow in New York State, and the 80th person worldwide to achieve this honor. He was further honored by the Academy when asked to serve as a consultant and examiner for the Accreditation and Fellowship processes.

In 2016, Dr. Notarantonio was awarded the AACD’s Rising Star Award. He has been re-elected to serve on the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry®, is the most recent past chairman of the ABCD, and has recently been appointed the Accreditation Chairman of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Notarantonio is a graduate of the Kois Center, where he studied under Dr. John Kois. He also has completed The Dawson Academy Core Curriculum. He has received his fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He has been published in multiple dental journals and lectures nationally and internationally on such topics as CAD/CAM dentistry, implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, composite dentistry, and dental photography. He also volunteers his time at the NYU College of Dentistry where he is a Clinical Instructor in the Honors Aesthetics Program.

Dr. Notarantonio is an avid golfer and is also fluent in Italian.



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