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Authentic Secrets to Create a Comprehensive Dental Practice



On this episode of The Best Practices Show, Kirk and Kevin spend time talking with Dr. Joshua Austin. Initially, Josh points out that he strives to always be authentic because he doesn’t want others to think that he’s anything other than a normal comprehensive dentist. It’s easy to look at social media and assume that because you aren’t doing big complex cases, that you aren’t a good dentist and Josh encourages listeners that this isn’t true.

Josh goes on to explain that comprehensive dentistry should be a goal for everyone. For the sake of your patients, you want to be able to offer those services to them. Both Josh and Kevin recommend educational courses as a way to work towards comprehensive dentistry. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of having a mentor. In regard to the cost of continuing education, such as Seattle Study Club’s Symposium, Josh shares that this is the year to do it, as it is virtual, and the tuition is very cheap in comparison.

Josh goes on to share steps to implement what you learn through your continuing education. First, he recommends increasing the level of your comprehensive examination experience for your patients. An important component of increasing your level is to include some sort of imaging, whether it’s photography or an intra-oral scan, so that you can communicate with the patients. This helps the patients understand the issues more and trust you to treat them. Additionally, it’s important to give the patients plenty of time, even if that means bringing them back for a second appointment.

While transitioning to comprehensive care can feel intimidating, Josh recommends starting by just setting aside one half of a day a month for comprehensive exams and treatment. By starting with this amount of time, you are actually starting to do comprehensive care and then that amount of time will grow over time.

Another important aspect of comprehensive dentistry is to have a team of specialists around you. These relationships with other specialists evolve into mutually beneficial relationships. You are able to ensure that your patients receive the best care, that you are only doing work you are genuinely qualified to do and capable of, and then you often receive referrals from the other specialists you work with. Something like Seattle Study Club’s Symposium is a great way to find a good team of specialists to work with.

Main Takeaways

Comprehensive dental should be a goal for everyone (12:38)

The cost of continuing education is well worth it (24:16)

Incorporating imaging into your comprehensive exam goes a long way (28:41)

Slowing it down and taking more time with a patient is of great value (33:30)

Start by setting aside half a day a month for comprehensive care treatment and examinations (37:30)

Key Quotes

“Comprehensive dentistry is a goal that we should all have.” -Josh

“You don’t just go to these educational courses and all of the sudden become a comprehensive dentist overnight.” -Kevin

“The best clinicians are going to be a part of the Seattle Study Club, and they’re there to lend their expertise.” -Josh

“You can’t treatment plan it if you don’t examine it.” -Josh

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, an inter-oral scan is worth a billion words.” -Josh

“Never be afraid to do a second appointment.” -Josh

“Every challenge is going to be a series of steps, the most important one is the first one.” -Josh


“You have to have a team of specialists that you work with.” -Josh


12:37-15:19- The importance of working towards comprehensive dentistry

20:31-20:47- The cost and value of continuing education such as the Seattle Study Club

24:24-28:55- Improving the level of your comprehensive exam

36:24-41:50- A practical way to get started doing comprehensive dentistry

42:01-46:05- The importance of having a team around you

46:53-49:50- The importance of being in a group like Symposium


Bio of guest

Dr. Joshua Austin is a native San Antonian who graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Dental School and recently served as a faculty member in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at UTHSCSA Dental School. He is a member of the prestigious Seattle Study Club and a published author who lectures nationally on restorative dentistry and reputation management.


Dr. Joshua Austin





Joshua Austin, DDS

Joshua Austin, DDS, dentist in San AntonioJoshua Austin, DDSFAGDFACD, is a native San Antonian. After attending San Antonio’s Health Careers High School and the University of Texas, San Antonio as an undergrad student, Dr. Austin graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Dental School. UTHSCSA Dental School has been one of the top ranked dental schools in the nation since 1993. Dr. Austin excelled in dental school and was voted president of his graduating class. He capped off a successful senior year by being awarded the Texas Dental Association Outstanding Senior Dental Student award.

Dr. Austin is a member of the prestigious Seattle Study Club, which is a network of professional dental study groups dedicated to ideal comprehensive dental care. Dr. Austin’s other professional memberships include the Academy of General Dentistry, the Texas Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association, and the Rotary Club of San Antonio.

Dr. Austin is a published author and lectures nationally on restorative dentistry and reputation management. He has a monthly column and weekly e-Newletter in Dental Economics, the most read dental magazine in the world. In the past, Dr. Austin has served as a faculty member in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at UTHSCSA Dental School. Dr. Austin has received several awards during his dental career. In 2009, the Texas Dental Association honored Dr. Austin by naming him Young Dentist of the Year. In 2010, the Texas Academy of General Dentistry named him New Dentist of the Year, the most prestigious award it gives for dentists who have graduated in the previous 7 years. Dr. Austin has earned a Fellowship and Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry. To be named a Fellow in the Academy, one must pass an exhaustive written examination and complete over 500 hours of continuing education. To be named a Master, another 1200 hours of continuing education must be completed. Less than 2% of the general dentists in the United States have achieved Master status. In 2014, Dr. Austin was awarded with a Fellowship in the American College of Dentists for his outstanding commitment to ethics in patient care.

Beginning in 2014, Dr. Austin has been named a Super Dentist in Texas Monthly Magazine.


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