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Episode #586: The Story of 2 Superpowers in Dentistry, with Dr. Amanda Seay & Dr. Adamo Notarantonio 

Kirk brings in Dr. Amanda Seay & Dr. Adamo Notarantonio to share their story in dentistry. To learn more about Dr. Amanda Seay and Dr. Adamo Notarantonio, listen to Episode #586 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

ImP.R.E.S. 2023 course registration:

Main Takeaways:

Remember that being a dentist requires a lot of hard work.

Take CE that is transformational, not transactional.

Learning photography is essential in dentistry.

Mastering rubber dam isolation is essential.

Always dream big. 


“There’s so much CE. For me, a transactional CE sometimes are those that — not that it’s bad. You go to learn something specific, or maybe you go because you want to hear someone speak. They’re there at the podium to give you some information, but there’s no engagement. There’s no follow-up. Meaning, if you have a question about what was taught after the class, you’ve got to figure out how to get that answer maybe from another colleague, internet, whatever. And you can do that, there are lots of little courses like that. But the transformational ones are the ones where there’s a relationship. There’s follow through.” (35:27—36:17)

“The first transformational CE I had was the Kois Center. Because John Kois is, of course, the head of that whole center, and he is faculty. But he is the one that teaches that entire curriculum. And he’s such a big, famous guy. I remember going there for the first time and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have this question. I still don’t get it.’ Like, I still don’t get it, but I’m so afraid to bother him. I don’t want to go up there. So, I went up and I asked. And he asked questions back to test my understanding of, ‘Why do you think this? Tell me why. I’m not saying you’re wrong but tell me why you think this.’ And I’m telling him all this stuff, and he could sense my confusion. And he’s like, ‘Can you meet me tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.? Let’s go over this case.’ And I remember that moment. I’m like, ‘You’re going to help me.’ Like, I’m no one. Like, you’ve got thousands of students that you see every year. And he did. And I remember leaving that course that week and coming home. And I’m like, he cares. He wants to see us better, and he’s invested. Like, yes, we paid thousands of dollars to go to the Kois Center and learn from a great educator. But it extends beyond the transaction. And so, I hope that when I stepped into the educator role that I could achieve the same thing.’” (36:20—37:54)

“There are some lectures that are better than others. But the hotel lectures or the study club lecture sometimes, it’s a different experience. I didn’t walk away from there feeling like I was able to do what John Kois did for me. So, it was really cool when [Adamo and I] got together, because now, I feel that when people are messaging us, emailing us, when they pay to come to our course and send us gifts as a thank you, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I remember the first time that happened, and I’m like, ‘Did they just send us a present? That’s crazy.’” (37:59—38:37)

“I’ll tell you, the question that I get all the time from young dentists is knowing where to start, where to begin to get on this track to do the same kind of dentistry. And of course, CE is important. But I think you need to have a place that’s going to teach you the treatment planning, the diagnosis, the comprehensive dentistry, the occlusion, whether it be Spear or Kois or Pankey. Find your home to learn that, because I think that’s critical.” (44:18—44:50)

“For the cosmetics, if that’s what you want to get into, the AACD is a great place to start because it’s inexpensive for so many cosmetic educators under one roof. We’re there, and all of our friends that are educators are there. So, for a very small tuition price, you get a little sampling of all these different educators. And then, when you do that, you can decide, ‘All right. Well, I really like this person,’ or that person, and then make a plan. Make a budget and a plan to say, ‘This is how much I can spend this year on CE. And that’s the cost of closing your practice, travel. And be intentional about your plan so that you’re just not sitting around saying, ‘When I have more money. When I have more money,’ because you’re never going to have more money. I mean, I had nothing but debt coming out of school. You just have to say, ‘This is how much I’m willing to spend and invest into myself.’ And when you’re intentional about it, even if you fall short of taking maybe that fifth course that you want to take that year, you’ve taken three instead of not taking anything, and you slowly chip away at it.” (44:54—46:06)

“I think one of the biggest problems that we’re seeing now — and it’s not their fault. I took eight years to finish the course curriculum, and I was getting accredited. I was trying to do everything. But you can only do so much and comprehend it. This younger generation, and I know there’s a lot of students on this, and I think they should really listen to what I’m about to say and let it marinate for a second because they have the world too easy. What do I mean by that? I’m hungry. DoorDash. Boom, it’s there in 10 minutes. I need groceries. Instacart. Boom, a button in one second. I want to learn how to do sinus lifts. YouTube — no. No, no. There’s a reason that our courses are 25% lecture and 75% hands-on, because we are firm believers in, you want to learn a Class IV composite, you’re going to do it five times in our course, and you’d better do it 50 times on a plastic tooth the next week if you want to develop it.” (46:27—47:28)

“Everybody now, because of social media, and Instagram, and all this, they see all these people with so many followers, and they want to be famous. And they’re missing the point. You need to educate yourself at a pace that you’re capable of understanding it, and apply it, and then you go to the next step. I didn’t get my fellowship for one year. It took me six years. I did 1,000 cases for the 50 I put in. I learned every one, and I got better. Life is too easy now. Everybody can get anything in a half a second and they don’t want to put in the work that Amanda put in to get where she is, that I put in to get where I am. They think we woke up, threw a case on Instagram, and all of a sudden we’re famous. It’s not true.” (47:30—48:10)

“I understand how [through social media] they can become enamored with, ‘Oh, this is the lifestyle of a cosmetic dentist who lectures.’ or whatever it may be. But what they don’t see is that we’re grinding it out in a storage unit, counting compules of composite for our courses, and bagging them, and labeling them, and doing — I mean, there’s a lot of not sexy stuff that we do behind the scenes that we don’t always show. And his resident, Sarah, who helps us with our courses, the first time she came to help us prep for the course and clean up, she looked at us and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. I had no idea of all that you guys do. I didn’t even know how you do this.’ And there’s no magic button. There’s no like, ‘Take this CE, and all of this will magically come to you.’ You’ve got to work. You’ve got to grind it out. You’ve got to fail. You think you’re going to go home and take your first photo and it’s going to look good. No. You’re going to do your first composite. It’s not going to look good. But you keep doing it. You get up, and each time, you get better.” (48:34—49:46)

“I think photography is absolutely essential. I think that you can’t really evaluate your own work if you don’t know how to take a photo. And you can’t get better if you can’t take good photos. You can’t get better outcomes if you can’t take good photos. Dr. Brian LeSage says don’t let your photography hurt your dentistry.” (51:10—51:40)

“[The rubber dam isolation course is also important]. Let’s go back to the highlight reel. You see somebody slap on 20 veneers on every single patient, and then, a) some people, you don’t know how they even cemented them. B) you see some of the video, and I cringe because I’m like, ‘There’s saliva all over the teeth.’ I’m like, ‘Wait a second.’ Yes, you want to be famous, and cosmetic, and blah, blah, blah, but is your stuff going to last? And what is the foundation for everything we do in our office, with the exception of surgery? It’s bonding. You cannot bond without good isolation. There’s no argument. I don’t care if people say there’s no data, or research, or this and that. You cannot bond if you get moisture contamination. So, how do you do that? Rubber dam. So, you could take our class for a composite course and make beautiful composites. But do you know how to stick the composite to the tooth? You could take our veneer course and learn how to prep, and smile design, or injection mold. Can you make it stay as long as humanly possible?” (51:52—52:50)


0:00 Introduction.

2:02 Dr. Notarantonio’s background.

7:33 Dr. Seay’s background.

12:44 The story behind how they met.

19:58 How they started ImP.R.E.S.

25:24 Their individual superpowers.

27:54 Dr. Notarantonio’s “why”.  

31:31 Dr. Seay’s “why”.

35:13 Transformational versus transactional, explained.

39:00 Dr. Seay and Dr. Notarantonio’s current and future courses.

44:02 Last thoughts.

46:07 It takes hard work to be a dentist.

50:03 More about ImP.R.E.S and how to get in touch.

Dr. Amanda Seay DDS, FAGD, FAACD Bio:

Dr. Amanda Seay is the award-winning Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Clinical Director of Expertise Dental in Charleston, South Carolina. Her expertise ranges from complex restorative treatment planning to comprehensive preventative and reconstructive dentistry.

Dr. Seay is a recognized leader in the dental industry and has been featured in various dental publications for her influence and dedication to the profession. She was named the 11th Most Influential Person in Dentistry by Incisal Edge Magazine. She is the 85th dentist in the world who has earned the honor of Fellow Accredited Member status with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Seay is the Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Seattle Study Club, an international and preeminent continuing-education organization for dentists. She is also the co-creator of imP.R.E.S. Dental Courses, an internationally recognized dental esthetics continuum.

She holds a clinical instructor position at the Kois Center, one of the most prestigious dental institutes in the country, and has published over 70 articles covering the art and techniques of esthetic dentistry. She also serves as the Restorative Section Editor for Inside Dentistry.

She is a Key Opinion Leader for many leading dental companies and is involved in the testing and creation of new dental products. She was named Top 25 Women In Dentistry in 2012 by Dental Products Report. Dr. Seay was the recipient of the Lucy Hobbs 2015 Award for the Woman To Watch in Dentistry.

In addition to operating a thriving full-time dental practice, Dr. Seay is a dedicated wife and the mother of four children.

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

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’sRising 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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