Embracing Failure and Thriving in Dentistry: A Conversation with Dr. Travis Campbell


Podcast Summary

In a series of podcast conversations, host Shawn Zajas engages in thought-provoking discussions with Dr. Travis Campbell, a renowned figure in the field of dentistry. These conversations cover a range of topics, including Dr. Campbell’s personal journey, the challenges of the dental profession, and the future of dentistry. 

Dr. Campbell shares his experience of starting his own dental practice from scratch, emphasizing the importance of learning from failures and setbacks. He recounts a difficult period in his career when he faced a lawsuit, which became a turning point for him. Despite the hardships, he learned valuable lessons and grew stronger, ultimately thriving in his profession. 

One recurring theme throughout the discussions is the balance between the clinical and business aspects of dentistry. Dr. Campbell presents an interesting perspective, suggesting that while clinical dentistry offers room for different approaches and techniques, the business side of dentistry is more science-based. He highlights the importance of understanding the fundamentals of running a dental practice and the principles of effective communication, leadership, and patient care. 

The conversations delve into the challenges of implementing changes and improvements in a dental practice. Dr. Campbell offers practical advice on managing change, emphasizing the need for a well-thought-out plan and incremental progress. He advises dentists to focus on one area of improvement at a time, ensuring that changes are integrated into the practice’s culture and embraced by the entire team. 

Looking towards the future of dentistry, Dr. Campbell discusses potential developments and trends. He predicts the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing, which are expected to have significant impacts on the field. Additionally, he foresees a potential integration of dental insurance with medical insurance, given the current dynamics of the insurance industry. 

Throughout these conversations, Dr. Campbell’s passion for dentistry and commitment to lifelong learning shine through. He encourages dentists to seek continuous improvement and to stay informed about advancements in the profession. Dr. Campbell shares his insights and expertise through various channels, including his website, DentalInsuranceGuy.com, where he offers insurance solutions and practice management advice. 

In conclusion, the podcast conversations between Shawn Zajas and Dr. Travis Campbell provide valuable insights for dentists and professionals in the field. Dr. Campbell’s experiences and perspectives offer guidance on navigating the challenges of dentistry, embracing failure as a catalyst for growth, and balancing clinical and business aspects. His vision for the future of dentistry, along with his practical advice, serves as an inspiration for dentists striving to excel in their profession. 

Get in touch with Dr. Campbell on:

IG: @dentalinsuranceguy
FB: @ Travis Campbell
Linkedin: @Travis Campbell

Podcast Transcript

Travis Campbell  00:00 

Look, I can be great. But I can’t beat myself up for the times that things don’t go right. Especially when, when things don’t go right. It had nothing to do with that it did like, I look back and go, could I have done any better? And if the answer is no, then you just have to move on. 


Shawn Zajas  00:18 

The future of dentistry belongs to the innovators. Welcome to innovation in dentistry. I’m your host, Shawn Zajas. And I believe that the future of dentistry is going to be unbelievably great over the next decade in two decades. But the question isn’t that the question is, are you going to be part of what makes dentistry Great? Today, I am with the one and only Dr. Travis Campbell. And I met him hummock think now actually, two years ago, right in April of 21. At smiles at sea. And right off the bat, you stood out. But before I talk about how we met, Travis, is everything in dentistry, you are an author, you’re a clinician, you’re an educator, you’re a course creator. You’re an influencer, you’re an innovator. And that’s a lot. That’s a lot of different things you do. But it’s true. You I feel like you just do everything. 


Travis Campbell  01:29 

Okay, sure, my wife might agree with that, as she probably tells me I do a little too much. I don’t think of it that way. I just I do what’s needed, I do what I see is necessary. And that’s what it comes down to. 


Shawn Zajas  01:42 

So right when I met you, that’s kind of what stood out to me is that you had this powerful presence, like a really quiet confidence. But at the same exact time, I could tell you really were like original. You you tuned into like who you were, and you just walked in that. And I say that because a lot of times, there’s these types, you know, people that we look up to heroes, and you almost feel like in order to be a speaker or in order to be successful in dentistry, you have to be this type. And I saw you there smiles and see wearing your backpack most of the time. And you were just you. And yet it was more than enough. I mean, you command respect. People listen to you go buy different brand monitors. Right, you are the practice whisperer. And you’re, I guess in the last what, two, three years now you’re also the insurance guy. Like how did how did these brands form? 


Travis Campbell  02:44 

So years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing. I mean, I opened a practice from scratch when I first graduated, knew nothing about business knew minimal about dentistry, I mean, a decent education. I’ve learned a ton since. And I screwed up a lot. And I tried to find sources and answers, I hired a bunch of consultants. And I didn’t get a ton out of it. So I started looking for my own answers. And no, and I had some great consultants don’t get me wrong, but it was number one, it put me in a cookie cutter, they want to put me in there for you have an office versus my view of an office. And for us a lot of dentists, I think we have our own uniqueness that we don’t want to change. We just need to improve and be better with who we are and what we are. So that started, you know, I ended up going to some conventions where I ended up being more of what they call an expert, I wouldn’t have called myself an expert back then I just I screwed up enough that I had answers for how to handle the scripts. And during that time period, somebody called me the practice whisperer, and I was like, okay, that’s kind of cool. I like that. At the time. My wife and I were actually watching a show called The Ghost Whisperer, grateful dojo, but I was like, okay, that’s really cool. I’ll play with that one. And then, you know, as that transformed, most of the questions I was getting was about dental insurance. And I mean, there’s a ton of practice management people out there, but there’s almost nobody out there talking about dental insurance in a way that’s actually correct. Meaning they can link back to source information that validates what they’re saying. And so I just started getting more and more questions on that and I still do the practice management stuff, but I focus mostly on the dental insurance side. And that’s where the website came. That’s where most people want me to go speak. It’s usually about dental insurance. Although I was just in another state talking about patient experience. And you know how to improve that for the office, and what that can do for the office. So it’s been fun. For me, I just, I think one of my weaknesses is I get bored really easily. And so being able to do different things throughout the week, make my life fun and exciting. 


Shawn Zajas  05:23 

I literally just said, so many things that I’ve identified as the right mindset for success. And I even like think of it as an innovative mindset, like how to actually fail forward or fail fast, and even have the humility to be like, Okay, that didn’t work next. And, and I feel like, I don’t know, it’s just, it’s such a stark contrast to so much of what I see in dentistry though, where, unfortunately, like, there’s so such a big ego around perceived success, that a lot of dentists don’t really want to talk about failures, or the fact that they screwed up, or they don’t even want to be in a situation where they could fail. 


Travis Campbell  06:12 

I think a lot of that’s the type of people that are dentists and I’m one of them, I mean, very type A personality very much, most of us are perfectionists and dental school just makes that even worse. I mean, it’s, you know, beaten into us from the integrate, we have to focus on being perfect. And yet, if we’ve really boiled down to it, there is no such thing as perfection. And all of us fail, and it’s called the practice of dentistry and the practice of healthcare for reason is, none of us are ever going to be perfect. We’re all going to screw up in some ways. But when I first graduated, did I know that no, I did not accept that I did not believe that it did not come into play. Until I started realizing like, look, I can be great. But I can’t beat myself up for the times that things don’t go right. Especially when, when things don’t go right. It had nothing to do with that it did like I look back and go, could I have done any better? And if the answer’s no, then you just have to move on. I think that’s I had a burnout point, about five years out that I hadn’t learned that lesson yet. And that was one of the lessons I had to learn was failure is not a failure unless you let it beat you down. Unless you don’t take it as an ordinary experience. If you take it as a learning experience, it’s just part of your career. I mean, that’s being a professional working with human body, we have to deal with so many unknowns, and so many things that don’t work the way they should work. And we have to cope with it. And I think that’s, for me, that’s been super important to be able to actually still do dentistry and love what I do. I love clinical. So much. I don’t see myself ever getting out of dentistry. But I’ve definitely had to look at it differently than I did when I first graduated. 


Shawn Zajas  08:06 

Everything you’re saying is I don’t want to say it’s overwhelming, but it’s like it’s uncommon. Can I call you Travis? Sure. Okay. Dr. Campbell, Travis, two, five years in. identify that as a limiting mindset. And be able to actually overcome that, like awareness. Sure is the first step to overcoming something, but just because we’re aware of like, oh, man, you know, I have perfectionist tendencies, or I don’t like failing or just thought my whole relationship intention with failure. Just because we’re aware of that doesn’t mean we’re actually going to overcome something. I’m just saying that is so uncommon, from the dentist that I’ve met. You know, that whole idea of like, fake it till you make it. There’s a lot of faking it going on. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But, but your tone of transparency makes dentistry great. I feel like that’s one of the greatest gifts that you bring to dentistry is I’m not hiding. This is my story. I’ve messed up a ton. And I messed up so you don’t have to write. 


Travis Campbell  09:13 

Well, appreciate that. I mean, that was the entire first book I wrote was all about failures. And I just laid them out on a table and go look, this is what I screwed up. This is what I learned from it, and therefore hopefully you can learn something from it too. 


Shawn Zajas  09:29 

Now, one of the themes so again, for like this podcast innovation in dentistry, I don’t really, I’m not as focused on product or clinical innovation. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s much more about like, what is it that allows a dentist or dental professional or someone in dentistry to all of a sudden I don’t know like give themselves permission to pioneer to make dentistry great. And you could have just played by the rules now that there’s like implied rules, but it’s like yeah, like you’re a dentist does there have to be more than that. You have a practice? It didn’t have to be more than that. Like, where did you? I mean, you gave us a little bit of insight in the sense that you say you get bored easily. So you’re like that curiosity. And probably your love for learning probably drove you into what else can I do? But I’m just saying, was there a moment where you felt like someone else gave you that permission to pioneer or you just feel like that was always who you were? 


Travis Campbell  10:28 

I don’t think either is necessarily true. I think it was just, it happens. I mean, I, I can’t look back at my life and ever say, Hey, there’s this one defining point that changed anything. When I wanted to be a dentist, since I was like three years old, so there wasn’t any like, oh, my gosh, I just changed or I didn’t want to be a dentist. There is no point at which I said, you know, hey, I just want to do this one thing it was writing, I mean, I always kind of knew I wanted to own an office and run it. Mostly because I can’t I don’t think I could accept being an employee for long. I mean, that’s, I guess another weakness is just not gonna do that. But I can’t say there was any one moment it was taking the moments as they come, it was, you know, again, we fail we succeed. It’s what do you take from that? What do you learn from it? And I, that’s what I’ve learned to focus on. But I don’t know if there’s any one thing that made me do it, I read a lot. I’ve spent way too much money on consultants. Some for good, some for bad. So just you take what you can get out of every experience, I guess, is the key message. 


Shawn Zajas  11:47 

So it’s my conviction that the greatest strategy for sustained success in dentistry, I mean, really, in any endeavor is to just be original, to the way that you are like, so much of what you’re saying, Travis is like, this is a weakness of mine, and I’m aware of it. You know, you play to your strengths, you’re aware of your weaknesses, but, like, in this journey of yours, kind of, I don’t know, I’m just guessing. Was it 2009 That you graduated dental school? Yep. So I’m guessing you didn’t graduate, and all of a sudden go, Hey, I’m, I’m just me. And that’s the best recipe for me to succeed in dentistry. I don’t need to, I don’t need to look or model, you know, because in the beginning stages of success, we model right as kids, we model our parents, we model, you know, those kids that are older than us that got the girl that we wanted, and we go out, they look cool. They did this, we do that often. But at some point it transitions to, for for true fulfillment, I need to own who I am like, what was that journey for you? 


Travis Campbell  12:54 

Again, I don’t know if I can point to a specific I will say like, I mean, I started a practice from Scratch Day one upon graduation. Now that didn’t get built for nine months. But it was there, day one. So I associated for a bit, learn some stuff working for someone else about things I wanted to do things I didn’t want to do. And I had a big failure points I got, you know, I had a situation a year after I graduated, they ended up in a lawsuit. That lawsuit was three years later. And that’s just how long it took. But that was a harsh moment, I would say if I have a worst part of my life in my career, that would be it easily. But just, you know, it beat me down for a while, and I just had to learn from it and move on. 


Shawn Zajas  13:48 

Okay, before we move on, before we move on, this is exactly what I say to people. Is it in moments where you don’t know like, people don’t want that to be part of their story. No one says, Hey, let me become a dentist, get into a lawsuit early on. And I don’t know have it, have it affect my identity, have it affect my confidence I would affect all these areas of my life. Like no one says yes, please send that my way. But it happened. And I always believed that these moments can be moments where it’s like a catalyst where you can actually find gold that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find. So other people have experienced hardships. There’s a reason why suicide rates are high in dentistry. The profession is difficult. You are here now. Like you’re you’re ascending the mountain top in certain areas you are the guy people look to like how did you get back up? Like, how did you how did you not just survive that but turn that into something where you could thrive? 


Travis Campbell  14:49 

That’s a great question. Um, I mean, you make a 


Shawn Zajas  14:52 

course on it whenever you figure it out. 


Travis Campbell  14:57 

It was just realizing we are not perfect, we can never be perfect. And just accepting the fact that failures happen. And I mean, having a good support system is great friends, family, my wife. My kids kind of came around after things start working out. So that’s But kids are great. It’s just having people to talk to. I mean, when I first graduated, social media really wasn’t much of anything. Definitely not in dentistry. And I was on dental town. And I really back then, and I just read a lot, I didn’t really post much. But then I started posting answers once I had them, you know, and a lot of what I learned was either through what I learned from others, or what I learned from my own mistakes, but I guess the thing I’ve learned over the years is, it’s not a failure, it’s not something that’s a negative. If you can turn it into a positive meaning, yes, I got sued, I lost. What do you learn from that you can, you can either learn to be negative about it, you’re going to learn that it stinks to be a dentist, because we’re, you know, we’ve got high risk stuff to deal with, you can learn, you know, to take it in a negative light, or you can take and go, you know, how did we get here in the first place? How do we avoid getting here, again, learning how to talk to patients that are learning how to actually take X rays that we should take, which was really the main fault of the problem. Um, instead of letting patients dictate care, you know, and just being able to talk to people and learn that it’s not about the dentistry, the fun little thing you learn around the bend is people don’t sue people, they like people, sort of people they don’t like or when they’re frustrated. So if you’re always there to keep helping, I mean, I’ve had a lot of situations since then that couldn’t potentially turn into a lawsuit. Maybe it didn’t, because I was just there for the patient, whatever it may be, you know, whether it’s to talk to them, or whether it’s to calm them down, or whether it’s to provide the next option. Now, just never giving up, I guess, is the thing. Like I said, it’s just taking that mindset that you need to look at the positive aspects of life. Because it’s, you know, if you look in the positive ways of life, you’re going to have a much better life. If you look at the negative aspects of life, that’s where your life’s gonna go. 


Shawn Zajas  17:48 

Yeah, so So in 2009, you know, you start you become a dentist, I’m guessing. You seem like you’ve always been a man that’s had like a vision. But could you have picture events? Okay, so So 14 years later, here you are, you’re speaking nationwide, you have this textbook that sold out about, that’s like the Bible on dental insurance. You’re in demand in so many different ways. Yeah, you would have been like, oh, yeah, please let me let me do that. But when, like, people would love to be where you’re at maybe maybe with a different topic. Maybe not everyone wants insurance, but in some ways, being able to, 


Travis Campbell  18:25 

I don’t think most people want it. 


Shawn Zajas  18:28 

That’s why yeah, there’s a uniqueness to it. But somewhere along the line, sometimes people you know, talk themselves out of it, or they have some sort of limiting belief that they can’t overcome. Did you have a limiting belief? Mindset wise, it seems like you’re giving yourself grace and realizing, hey, failures happen to everybody. So I might as well just lean into them and learn as quick as I can, instead of trying to avoid them that 


Travis Campbell  18:55 

way. There’s absolutely my beliefs. If you’d asked me even a decade ago, if I would write a book I would told you hell no. If you told me I’d get up and do public speaking, I would have given you a lot more expletives. No. I’m a natural introvert. I mean, I know that seems weird if I go out and speak but it’s it’s a difference of I tell people this all the time when I go to conferences. If I’m not the one speaking there, I’m usually the one on the corners watching and anything else? When I’m a speaker, people come see me. So I get to be basically the dentist, you know, I can talk to people one on one easy. I can talk to small groups easy. That’s not the challenge. I’m not the one that’s gonna go walk around the room and go meet everybody. That’s an extrovert. That’s not me. That would drain that drives me nuts. But at the same time, at the end of the day after a conference, I usually go home and either go straight to sleep, which is weird because I’m usually up fairly late normally, but you know, after talking to people all day long I I’m drained. But I enjoy it too. It’s fun. So it’s one of those things of like, would you have ever been able to convince me? I wouldn’t be where I am now? No, no way possible. But it was at the same time of when opportunities arose. Did I turn them down? Not really. I mean, that was the thing is I’m I was up for almost anything, even if it was like, Well, I don’t know about that. That’s kind of uncomfortable. My my first time I kind of did public speaking was with 12 dentists locally. That a little scan center. And this just because the scan center would give us this place for free. And I people asked me about how, how to make dentures work. I was like, Okay, great. Let’s talk about that. And so did a little two hour session and had some dinner. And that was it. And that wasn’t too bad, because I was talking to just dentists. And that was fun. So it just grew from there. It wasn’t like a head like, oh, my gosh, I went from doing nothing to speaking to other people. No. And at the same time, when I first started speaking, I would rehearse and rehearse and rehearse over and over and over again, you know, that whole business mentality that I had to get perfect. And then I realized over time, even speaking, I can’t get things perfect. Like, I’d never write anything down any more of what I’m talking about. I just put together some slides to give me a framework of where I’m going. And then I just go and do. And that works out a lot better. Because at least for me, if I tried to write down a speech, then I know I end up missing things that I would have wanted to say. And then that throws me off of thinking, Oh, what did I miss? And then I try to think about backtracking. I’m like, No, I’m just gonna go in and just do it. So it’s the same thing like patients, like when I’m working with patients, I don’t look and look at their chart and go, this is exactly what I’m going to talk about. I don’t have that framework, I just say, here’s the challenges. Patient, what about you? What’s important? You know, what are your goals? Know, do these things concern you or not? And then just let the conversation go from there. I don’t try to force anything on it. So I guess, flexibility going with the flow. Adaptability has been pretty important. 


Shawn Zajas  22:22 

I mean, those are things that you’ve had to develop, like conscious, yes, maybe they weren’t quite as innate. Yeah. 


Travis Campbell  22:30 

Because still school, I mean, for all its positives, it’s also got some negatives, it puts you in a very, it puts you in a box. And that’s the only way to teach it, I don’t think there’s a better way to teach it. It’s just it puts you in a box. And so you have to learn to think outside that box of, you know, there’s a million different ways to do clinical dentistry. That’s the fun part. And there’s a million different ways to run a business. Now, granted, most of them don’t work so well. But there’s a lot of ways to do it. And so it’s the trying out new things, and constantly striving to see, I think a lot of us do this naturally and clinical is striving to find a better way to do dentistry. But then you have to take that same mindset and strive to find a better way to communicate with people a better way to run the business, a better way to lead the team, and realize you’re never going to reach the best you can be. And so keep keep going keep improving. Even if it’s just a tiny bit, that’s all that matters, is just find one thing to improve and keep going. 


Shawn Zajas  23:38 

Again, you just keep dropping these bombs, like they are just so profound. And I don’t want like our listeners to take for granted the fact that like, you didn’t just arrive at these conclusions. And this super strong mindset of like it like you’re saying incremental gains, the freedom from not having the target be perfection, because then you always feel insufficient, like everything you’re saying is something that allows you to almost like be someone that encourages yourself to keep going, instead of continuing to hit a crossroad where you lose heart, or you get discouraged, or you feel like you’re not enough, because battling that is exhausting. Instead, it seems like almost you’re like no, like, I’ve got this, I can figure it out. It’s okay if I don’t know how to do it perfectly. It’s okay if I deliver speech and it’s not perfect. And all these things are just gold. But I also want our listeners to remember you literally just said, I’m an introvert and you 100% Are and yet you’ve succeeded as a speaker as an influencer as someone that goes to conferences. And, and I see I’ve seen you at conferences now two different times. And I see that you are still so good about being almost like out of your element, but yet still finding ways to connect with people in the way that that you can which is what One to one in small groups. I just think that’s so encouraging again, like you break the mold. It’s not like someone has to be some crazy extrovert, you know, most people pick me just as a pure extrovert, just because when I talk, I get excited, I come alive. But I get so drained by meaningless connection, or by being misunderstood. So like if I had to do like sales, or cold calls, or go to a trade show, and try to like solicit people, oh, my gosh, I get drained so fast. But if it’s something that I feel seen or known, or I’m excited about it, I come alive, you know? Okay, so there’s always been something that’s fascinated me. And the way I’ve seen it is like, there’s the science of dentistry, you know, very clinical very, you want to reduce liability. You’re not trying to experiment, get creative, at the expense of a lawsuit or something like that. I’m not saying you can’t push the bounds in certain ways. But then there’s like the art of business. In at times, I felt like, there’s a tension that dentists experience between trying to almost like, like, take the glasses off with the clinical piece of, again, Low risk, low liability. And then if you take that into business, you’re going to play it safe. When really, there’s no safety in the marketplace, like, safety is an illusion, right? Like, just try things. But you can’t have that same mindset in, in dentistry. And yet, somehow, you’ve navigated both of them incredibly well. Do you see it not quite as distinct? Like, how do you navigate? 


Travis Campbell  26:40 

Oh, I guess I’ve never thought about the difference between art and science. But I would actually say there’s more of a science of business, and an art of clinical. And the reason I say that is because there’s so many ways to do clinical and get a good outcome. And that’s how dentists can argue till they’re blue in the face all day long that two people are wrong about a clinical case. And yet they’re both right. It’s funny to watch people argue about clinical, when I’m like, you actually both have a point. Um, and they’ll do it to feed the Great’s it’s really entertaining. But with business. Most business principles are fairly solid, like, what works in one business works in all businesses. Now, the nuance may be a little bit different. But there’s more of a science of running a business than there is a science of running the practice, or running the clinical side of a practice. Because this is never changes, the market is the same the market is the market people are people. Money is money. It’s not like the human body where well, what works on one person may not work on another. And that’s the upside I’d like because I actually find myself interested in reading clinical discussions, but I don’t tend to get into them nearly as often because I know they’re just going to end up in a slugfest of dentists yelling at each other. versus business. It’s there’s not a lot of disagreements, it’s what’s your results? Well, that’s an easy thing to show. versus clinical, I guess it’s harder show other than obviously, people love pictures of before and after in dentistry and things like that. But there’s lots of ways to do stuff. So I’ve always, I guess, like I said, I’ve never thought of that before. But I see the business side and the communication side and everything else actually been a lot more science based. If you look at Sciences a there’s a right or wrong versus clinical. There’s lots of rights and other small things. But there’s lots of rights. 


Shawn Zajas  28:42 

I think that absolutely fascinating, because I’ve been talking about this with Dr. House, who I podcast with, you know, on the authentic dentist, and I’ve never heard that perspective. So I think it’d be fun. Maybe someday we go live on Facebook. And we just kind of have some debate that gets a little bit dramatic because I feel like the complete opposite still, like it’s crazy to me because I feel like the body might change with like micro evolutionary stuff. But it’s like a tooth is a tooth is a tooth, where I feel like the markets always changing because there’s new cultural things that happen. There’s new, you know, social media type things that change how people interact. Now, I don’t want to get into that now. But I’m still fascinated because you actually backed up what you’re saying, and I can see it from that perspective. Now, the one thing that I that I would highlight is like the relationship with failure. I feel like as a clinician, you can’t say I’m just going to embrace risk and embrace failing because failing feels like liabilities seems like lawsuit. We’re in business. It’s like I feel like that’s when it comes to the relationship affiliate. You almost have to be like, no, no, don’t play it safe. Just just try something like if you bomb a marketing campaign, you learn something. 


Travis Campbell  29:55 

I agree with that. Absolutely. 


Shawn Zajas  29:57 

You know, you can’t bomb something in someone’s mouth. Are you shouldn’t you shouldn’t be that careless? 


Travis Campbell  30:03 

Well, I mean, the one thing to think about is, how do you come across any large case? I mean, yes, you could be doing, let’s say clinical, for the dentists, you could be doing a case that you’ve haven’t done that type of case before, that you’ve done every component of the case. So the risk isn’t in what you’re doing, per se, the risk is in putting it all together. That’s how we grow we learn, you know, if you learn to place one implant, okay, well, now you can take that a step further place one and put one right behind it. I mean, it’s not that much more difficult. Versus if you look at it and go, I got to place these two implants, I get to place them right the first time, it’s a lot more difficult. Looking at the big picture versus looking at step by step. I mean, old adage is how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So with clinicals, the same ways, how do you handle a major case with a patient? One treatment step at a time? How do you handle a business, one improvement at a time I talk to people that go to conferences all the time. Now when I’m hosting them. And near the end, a lot of times what I’m focusing on is how to handle implementation. Because I’ve been to conferences before where I wrote down a ton of stuff. And then magically, two months later, nothing’s changed. And it’s because I didn’t write it down. But more importantly, it’s, I didn’t come up with a plan. I tried to say, hey, let’s change all of this. And that doesn’t work. Versus Okay, here’s the, let’s say, eight steps I want to change. Let’s pick one a month, and make sure each step actually changes is integrated into the culture of the practice that people stop thinking about it before you move on to the next one. But then things stick around things stay, things are consistent. And you grow faster. taking it one step at a time than trying to jump hurdles, in my opinion. So 


Shawn Zajas  32:03 

I almost feel like I have to stop you. Because if you share too much more practical things to charge people. Because this has now become free consulting. Because that is damn good advice. Travis, so many dentists go to trade shows, and they get all excited. But when it comes down to I’m back in my practice, what am I going to implement? How am I going to break it down? I mean, that’s the story I heard all the time. The dentist came back, the team knows they’re going to be excited for a few weeks about something that they want us to do. And if we just kind of nod and say, Yeah, we know it’s gonna blow over. And four or five weeks later, we’re just gonna go back to business as usual. And it was a great attempt for that dentist to try to lead and initiate change. But when it comes down to it change management is challenging. It’s a whole nother expertise that you wouldn’t learn in dentistry. But so much of what you’ve learned, you haven’t learned in dentistry because I feel like you’re just committed to being a lifelong learner. So let me tee you up for something here. As someone that is making dentistry great, leading on the forefront, when it comes to the next three years, five years, 10 years or dentistry. I’m just curious about the vision you see, again, whether whether it’s something on the clinical side, whether it’s something on the insurance side, or when it’s something that just comes to innovation and where you see the industry going, what are what are your thoughts on that? 


Travis Campbell  33:31 

Recent are fairly soon, AI is gonna become huge, in lots of different ways, but you know, it may come huge. 3d printing is going to become a much bigger thing. And I’m not a 3d printer yet, but I can see it coming. From a long term point of view, from a business side, I actually see that single doctor offices are going to become very small part of the market. It’s either going to be group individual practice, private practice, or DSO. I mean, that’s pretty much the two options. I see happening only because of economies of scale, ability to keep costs low, works better in groups than it does in singles, even if you’re talking about groups that are independently owned, because there’s lots of membership groups and buying clubs and things like that now, well, that’s part of the the transition. And then interesting part, I’d say maybe within a decade or so. I would not be shocked if dental insurance got absorbed by medical. 


Shawn Zajas  34:44 

Interesting, so so not as much or no divide at all, because right now medical is huge. And Dental is like the stepchild. Yeah. So you’re feeling like there’s going to be possibly some sort of unification of that in the future. 


Travis Campbell  35:00 

Mr. Because dental insurance right now is often sold as a add on, or even a giveaway in order to get the medical sold. 


Shawn Zajas  35:11 

Yeah, no, I hear you on that. Okay, so I have one question for you and close. But before we go there, I want to know, is there anything you want to share just that you want to bring attention to that either like a passion project of yours right now, an upcoming event, or just something that you’d want eyeballs on? 


Travis Campbell  35:32 

You know, I could talk about stuff I do. But people should focus on what is going to drive them. And so if it’s something in your office that is not working, fix it, find a solution, whether it’s, you know, you’re not getting enough new patients, their solutions for that, whether it’s your treatment, acceptance is low. Well, there’s solutions for that. First solution is actually look at your treatment acceptance number. I talked to somebody earlier today, I was coaching, and he thought his treatment septons was a lot higher until he actually put numbers to it, and you start watching it, he’s like, he actually did really well, one month, he was like, 60%. And then a couple other months, he was like, 30%. And he’s like, Oh, my gosh, it’s a lot lower than I thought. Like, yeah, so let’s talk about how you fix that. And we spent two hours and he’s like, Oh, my god, that’s amazing. So it’s, it’s fine, the solution you’re looking for. Now, I’ve got insurance solutions. On my website, I’ve got, you know, the practice management solutions with or conferences. But there’s also lots of other solutions out there. So whether people come to me or not, is important. I think the important part is that people look for what they can improve, basically, what is not going perfect. And assuming that you’re never gonna get perfect, you can just reach for it, and then find what’s going to get you that next step of the way. That’s what to focus on, in my opinion. 


Shawn Zajas  36:57 

Okay, so this is a question. Hopefully, it takes you by surprise, but if not, that’s okay. So, you today, meet Travis Campbell of 2009. He just graduated. And you have some parting sentiment, some sentence, paragraph, minute, whatever, what is it you would say to him knowing what you know, now, 


Travis Campbell  37:22 

I know you’re signed up for that Invisalign course, and you love clinical, and you’re gonna go sign up for a bunch of clinical stuff too, because it’s fun and exciting. Don’t go focus on how to talk to people how to be a leader, how to communicate with patients, that is what’s going to change your career, then focus on the clinical. But don’t focus on the shiny clinical objects. First, focus on the talking to other human beings focus on how to work with a team focus on how to talk to patients, how to understand what they want, so that we can provide it for them. And then go add clinical later because I have taken so many clinical courses that gave me zero benefit in the long run. Because I wasn’t ready to get patients to accept getting that treatment done. 


Shawn Zajas  38:15 

Wow, that was incredibly concise and like, you just you just hit that straight on. Okay, so someone wants to follow you. They want to connect with you. Maybe they want to hire you to be a consultant, or they want to be part of your tribe. Where do they go? 


Travis Campbell  38:30 

Dental insurance. guy.com. Practice was or.com. I’m on Facebook, a ton. Dental insurance guy has an Instagram page. It’s fairly active. So there’s lots of ways to find me. 


Shawn Zajas  38:45 

Awesome. Hey, Dr. Travis Campbell, thank you so much for your time. I totally appreciate it. You’re just crushing it. I’m so on board with everything you’re doing in dentistry. And I just want to honor you not just as a leader, but as an innovator. So again, thank you so much. 


Travis Campbell  38:59 

Well, thank you, Sean. 


Shawn Zajas  39:02 

Thanks for listening, and be sure to follow so you never miss an episode. To learn more about what’s going on in dentistry. Check out innovation in dentistry.com 

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