Clinical dental technician Michael Joseph recounts his journey from sales rep to clinical dental technician and lab owner.

Michael touches on the dentist-lab relationship and communication, keeping abreast of new tech, and the life-changing business and personal impacts of lab life under COVID restrictions.



In This Episode

00:02:00 – Michael’s journey to becoming a dental lab technician

00:06:25 – Marketing, growth and business models

00:16:10 – Dentist-lab relationships

00:23:40 – Veneers and aesthetics

00:26:00 – Running a lab

00:41:35 – Downsides and challenges

00:51:50 – Parental influence

00:56:20 – The COVID pandemic

01:03:00 – Working with dentists

01:13:55 –  Social media and education

01:23:00 –  Five-year plan

01:27:15 – The future of dental technology

01:31:00 – Fantasy dinner party

01:31:55 – Fitness and flow

01:36:40 – Last days and legacy


About Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph is a clinical dental technician and founder of London-based BiteRite Dental Laboratory providing nationwide restorative support. 

Payman Langroudi: I’d kind of call you an extrovert, though. Not not an introvert. How would you characterise. Yeah, I’m an extrovert. [00:00:05] Yeah. I think a lot of people who work with me, it’s because they they enjoy. We have a lot of fun together. I [00:00:10] have a lot of fun doing this. But most technicians I find are sort of borderline sort of autistic [00:00:15] on the spectrum. That’s the reason why a lot of labs fail. They can’t deal with [00:00:20] the human side of it, the human side of it. So then what is with your top customers? [00:00:25] Are you friends with them? Do you or are you on the phone with them? Some of them I have lunch with once a week. Oh, really? [00:00:30] So there’s one in particular. I talk to him every day.

[VOICE]: This [00:00:35] is Dental Leaders, the [00:00:40] podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders [00:00:45] in dentistry. Your hosts [00:00:50] Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Payman Langroudi: It [00:00:55] gives me great pleasure to welcome Michael Joseph onto the podcast, the second technician we’ve had [00:01:00] in a couple of months. Really? Uh, you know, I found a lot of times a great [00:01:05] technician can turn an average dentist into a great dentist, but the opposite is also [00:01:10] true. You can also have a technician who makes you feel like a terrible dentist. And my [00:01:15] personal story was I my first ever technician, a guy [00:01:20] called John Oliver, an absolute master. I learned more from him about [00:01:25] fixed problems than I did in my whole dental course, and I thought I [00:01:30] was such a brilliant dentist when he was my technician. And then I moved practice and they made me [00:01:35] use another lab, and I suddenly realised that, um, no, I’m not as good at [00:01:40] enters as I thought. And you know, that variable of the technician and, [00:01:45] and the communication I thought was the most important thing with him? [00:01:50] Um, we don’t we don’t give our technicians enough credit for what we [00:01:55] do. So massive pleasure to have you.

Michael Joseph: Thank you for having me on.

Payman Langroudi: So I’ve known you for years. [00:02:00] How long has it been? A good 15 years.

Michael Joseph: A lot I’ve known you since I think you started [00:02:05] enlightened 2000 and 4001 2001. So, yeah, I remember when, uh, [00:02:10] the Royal College of Physicians I was exhibiting, I was working for evident at the time. And you marched [00:02:15] in with this 20 foot tall sign that sort of dominated the whole room. Yeah. [00:02:20] Who’s this guy? And we became friends.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. So at that time, [00:02:25] you were, uh, sales rep for evident.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, I worked for evident.

Payman Langroudi: So were you a technician [00:02:30] at that point? Yeah, I.

Michael Joseph: I trained as a technician in and what I [00:02:35] started initially I worked in the laboratory in Walthamstow as a trainee, [00:02:40] and my brother was going to Manchester to do, to do, um, accountancy. [00:02:45] And I was just reading the prospectus and I saw Dental technology course and I thought, oh, I [00:02:50] fancy going to university as well. So like for that. And I went on the course and then when [00:02:55] I graduated, I worked for, well, John Whibley had just taken over boots and [00:03:00] he’d opened a big laboratory. I went to work for him for a year. But then, you know, I [00:03:05] was earning 12 grand a year. I was like, I can’t live like this. So I came back to London and [00:03:10] I took a maternity position at Everton, and that’s when my sales career started. [00:03:15]

Payman Langroudi: How long did you do that for?

Michael Joseph: I was it evident for about 3 or 4 years. Then I [00:03:20] worked in sales with Sirona. Oh. Did you? And then. [00:03:25] Yeah. Yeah, I worked for, um. Calmann-lévy. The Sarona [00:03:30] deal at the time. And then after that I didn’t really like that very much, doing surgery [00:03:35] sales. And I saw a job with Skill Bond, who you probably know, like the main supplier [00:03:40] for dental materials and like the dental.

Payman Langroudi: Directory.

Michael Joseph: Dental labs. Yeah. So I worked to work for them [00:03:45] for a year, and then after being away from labs for so many years, I sort of thought I really [00:03:50] quite like this. And when registration came in some years before I registered and I kept it up, [00:03:55] so I thought I’d. And then eventually, within a year, I left and opened a laboratory. [00:04:00]

Payman Langroudi: What kind of a kid were you?

Michael Joseph: That’s really naughty. Um, [00:04:05] I was really busy. I was busy doing stuff I was always into. Uh. Where did you grow up? I grew [00:04:10] up in Temple Fortune in, uh, north London, and I just went to a local school, [00:04:15] and I was really into, like, building things and, [00:04:20] you know, like models. And at the time, there was, um, kits for, uh, Airfix [00:04:25] remote control stuff. Tammy. Tammy. Tammy. Tammy. Yeah, I used to. I used to make all those remote [00:04:30] control cars, even though the batteries lasted about four minutes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um. Yeah. [00:04:35] And sort of my interest in sort of building and making things stems from [00:04:40] that. But also I think, um, I had dyslexia at school. So in those days they used most put them down [00:04:45] as like he’s a plumber. Mhm. Um, so I think that’s why I was pushed in that direction. [00:04:50]

Payman Langroudi: So then tell me about that first lab that you opened.

Michael Joseph: Right? [00:04:55] Right.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, yeah.

Michael Joseph: So when I first opened [00:05:00] it. Um, it was just me on my own. So I was literally [00:05:05] doing collections marketing. I got my in those days, no [00:05:10] labs were really doing any marketing. So I put together a letter, had loads of brochures printed [00:05:15] out with like a folder, as you did with a business card. Yeah. And I put them all in envelopes, and I just [00:05:20] gave my mum a list that I printed out. I think I got a database from somewhere and she just posted them [00:05:25] all and people, people started calling me. So it went, it went from that. [00:05:30] So I got a lot of customers like that. And then I did stuff with then I got more [00:05:35] sophisticated. I did stuff with FMC and I was actually in a service office, so I had [00:05:40] this lab in a service office, and I made sure the management never got in because if they realised what I was doing there [00:05:45] and it wasn’t a busy service office, there were no neighbours. Then it got busier, some accountants moved in and they [00:05:50] were complaining about these noises. They were hearing and grinding and, you know, destroyed the [00:05:55] floor. It was like plaster everywhere. And um, they asked me to move out. So I [00:06:00] took a small premises and I refurbished it and built [00:06:05] a lab there where I’m still there today.

Payman Langroudi: So I remember you in doing that FMC [00:06:10] phase. I remember just massive exposure for bitrate [00:06:15] back then. That’s right. Kind of thinking outside the box a bit. You know, [00:06:20] other lab was really doing that. Um.

Michael Joseph: You threw out the McMichael campaign. Yeah, yeah. [00:06:25]

Payman Langroudi: I remember just like being everywhere for a while. And, you know, in general [00:06:30] business skills, I find a lot of technicians are technicians, [00:06:35] technical people, but don’t have those business skills. Whereas every time I’ve talked to you, you’re very [00:06:40] on it from from the business perspective.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. I think that’s because I those [00:06:45] years I spent in sales. Yeah. And especially working with evident you know Stephen Stephen Selwyn. [00:06:50] Yeah. So I kind of it was a small company and I sort of just really he taught me a lot [00:06:55] about selling, about business, about getting leads. And actually when I first opened [00:07:00] the lab, I my skills weren’t as a technician, weren’t as great as they are [00:07:05] now because I hadn’t I hadn’t been practising, I hadn’t been doing any technical dentistry. I’ve been in [00:07:10] sales. So I had technicians to do that, and I just focussed a lot on [00:07:15] going out and getting business because I needed the business, you know, I needed a critical mass turnover [00:07:20] just to survive.

Payman Langroudi: So were you doing sort of as if visiting practices as if you were going to [00:07:25] sell them? Yeah, I took the.

Michael Joseph: Same mode, the same idea using, you know, generating leads, [00:07:30] making appointments, going to see people following up. In those days I couldn’t afford [00:07:35] there wasn’t like all the apps now you can get which are CRMs. He had sales logics at the time, [00:07:40] which was sort of £30,000 investment. So I just had a spreadsheet and I used to tick when I’d called them [00:07:45] back and. And just went on like that. And then as I grew, I got in touch with [00:07:50] FMC. I started doing some work with them and Facebook [00:07:55] advertising. And then it was generally SEO trying to get up the ranks. [00:08:00] I was number one, but they never got anything from that.

Payman Langroudi: So you [00:08:05] had the process of getting a new user, a new dentist to use [00:08:10] you, because most of us have a lab that we’re kind of happy with. Um, [00:08:15] but then a lot of us have a lab that we’re not 100% happy with. [00:08:20] Do you? How do you do it? I mean, do you what’s the general profile of a dentist you [00:08:25] come to? Do you get those guys to say, I’ve got no problem, and then you have to come in on price or on [00:08:30] technology or how does it work? How do you get a new customer? Well, I think. [00:08:35]

Michael Joseph: As you say, for the. For a large proportion. Most [00:08:40] people have a lab they’re working with. They do, because otherwise you can’t practice. Yeah. And then two [00:08:45] things either happens their lab screws up or they perceive that they’ve screwed up and they’ve had [00:08:50] enough and they look for someone else. Yeah. And then you’ve just got to be sort of in their vicinity. Yeah. [00:08:55] Which is how my marketing strategy now works to an extent. Or they’re upping [00:09:00] their game and they realise these are really good for what I’ve been doing up until now. But I’m really starting to [00:09:05] do a lot of aesthetic work and I need a lot. I need a better, better quality work. [00:09:10]

Payman Langroudi: And do is the profile of most dentists that they use more than one lab. [00:09:15]

Michael Joseph: Yes, some dentists use use me primarily and but then other [00:09:20] dentists, you know, they might send their inlays to one lab that veneers to another lab. Implant work. Some people [00:09:25] work like that. They prefer it or. But most people, once you sort of gain their trust, [00:09:30] then they’ll continue and they’ll send you everything. And it’s it’s infectious. [00:09:35] It spreads to their associates, then their associate moves to another practice. It spreads to that practice. [00:09:40] That’s generally how labs. Rely on getting customers basically through reputation. [00:09:45] And it’s a slow process.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, yeah. But then the positioning [00:09:50] of it, I mean, in a dental practice, you’ve got the sort of the NHS [00:09:55] and private. Right. And there’s a similar thing with labs. There’s some labs that [00:10:00] brand themselves as private labs.

Michael Joseph: Right. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So and some, some as NHS labs. But when [00:10:05] you come to position the business, of course you’re going to take into account, you know, your skill [00:10:10] set and who you can hire. And sure. But talk to me about that. I mean, [00:10:15] well, how did the unit economics work? Are are the most profitable labs giant [00:10:20] NHS ones or are they private? High margin, high [00:10:25] end? Talk to me. I think the.

Michael Joseph: Most the well there’s different models. You can either do [00:10:30] volume at a very let’s say fair price. Yeah. But you have to have a lot of [00:10:35] volume and you have to have the processes in place to make that very economical.

Payman Langroudi: And you’re coming in on price, [00:10:40] you’re.

Michael Joseph: Coming in on price.

Payman Langroudi: Well, but but then there’s a price war. Then how does it get [00:10:45] to race.

Michael Joseph: To the bottom, which traditionally has happened with labs. Yeah. But I think that’s that’s one of the things [00:10:50] that’s about right now. What’s happening is that it’s becoming a less of a [00:10:55] price based market. I think that’s why it’s a gold. Despite everyone talking about all the problems with not being able [00:11:00] to get staff, you know, there’s a lack of technicians. I think it’s a golden era for dental technology [00:11:05] in that the market’s moved up. The private market that I operate in has moved away [00:11:10] from price. People are looking more for quality and people are realising. I think it’s to do [00:11:15] with the the continuation of the wellness revolution of the 90s that’s coming to the [00:11:20] Instagram era. Everyone wants to look good. People are prepared to spend money on their teeth. You know, Botox. [00:11:25] Everyone wants to look good so people are prepared to pay for it, and [00:11:30] they’re more aware of what they’re looking, what they’re looking at. They know what looks good and what doesn’t look good. So they go [00:11:35] to the dentist and they and they have a couple of veneers done. And they’re not great.

Michael Joseph: You know, they’ve [00:11:40] realised I’ve got to spend a bit more money and then the dentist realise I’ve got to up my game too. So [00:11:45] the. The market where I’m positioning myself in is [00:11:50] is it’s not on a price based market. I’m not particularly expensive, [00:11:55] let’s say. But, um, it’s on a director led personal service. Yeah. [00:12:00] Um, but the NHS is purely price driven. Yeah. And, you [00:12:05] know, I think in terms of NHS laboratories, I mean, most of it’s done in the north [00:12:10] where Labour is cheaper and a lot of it’s outsourced to China. And do you know what? I think they’re probably getting [00:12:15] a better quality product from China than they are from anywhere else, simply because the economics [00:12:20] of how China works and what they produce is, is they’re getting from [00:12:25] for the money, they can produce better quality. Crown. When you translate that into an R&B, [00:12:30] that’s a decent bit of money and it can make a decent product. Regardless of what anyone says [00:12:35] about Chinese work for the NHS market, I think it’s a good thing. I think an NHS [00:12:40] from.

Payman Langroudi: The regulatory perspective, is that still doable? I believe so, yeah.

Michael Joseph: I don’t [00:12:45] think there’s any any issues there.

Payman Langroudi: So then what’s the downside? How long it takes? [00:12:50]

Michael Joseph: I think so. Yeah, I think so. It takes it takes a lot of time.

Payman Langroudi: Quality [00:12:55] control, quality control.

Michael Joseph: There’s there’s all kinds of issues with it. I mean, if you’re running a [00:13:00] high end private laboratory, you’ve got to do as much as you can in-house. Yeah. Um, [00:13:05] even even even like. Using Createch very high quality [00:13:10] milling centres based in Spain that’s owned by Straumann. Even that, that takes a bit away [00:13:15] from you if you can do it yourself, which is something I’m trying I’m doing now and expanding. [00:13:20] You have more control and also time with private work. People think want things quickly, you know, [00:13:25] and createch you’ve got to wait a week for an abutment, whereas if you can make it in-house, they can make it straight away. [00:13:30]

Payman Langroudi: And as far as the scope of the work, is there some lab work that is [00:13:35] more profitable than others? And for instance, do you do everything? Do you do dentures the least?

Michael Joseph: No, I [00:13:40] don’t do denture work. But the least profitable thing is the thing that is always been [00:13:45] the cheapest thing. It’s the most expensive to make, which is the bonded crown. Oh, really? Yeah. I [00:13:50] hate doing bonded work. If anyone sends me a bonded crown, I call them on. Why? Why do you want a bonded crown? Let’s [00:13:55] do a metal free. Because it’s so labour intensive. It’s the most. Traditionally it was. It was viewed by the [00:14:00] dentist as the cheapest. Yeah. Crown. Yeah. It should be the [00:14:05] least expensive crown. And it. And it was always very labour intensive to produce. But now it’s [00:14:10] become even with digital technology, even more labour intensive. We don’t have a casting machine anymore. [00:14:15] Really. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So. So you try not to do them at all?

Michael Joseph: No. And [00:14:20] if we do do them, we’ve got a partner skill bond who will use SLM selective laser [00:14:25] melting and produce a coating for us. We’ll send them design. And so.

Payman Langroudi: If a dentist [00:14:30] keeps on sending you bonded crowns, do you have a chat and say, yeah, if.

Michael Joseph: They send one. [00:14:35] Why? Why do you want this? I think they’re stuck in that.

Payman Langroudi: I think the teaching kind of still, [00:14:40] still something in the teaching. It’s kind of a gold standard.

Michael Joseph: And full contoured zirconia. [00:14:45] Zirconia crown is is probably the best crown overall [00:14:50] I’d say. Okay.

Payman Langroudi: So that’s that’s a very strong crown. And is it now aesthetic as [00:14:55] well. You can layer it and all that.

Michael Joseph: You don’t need to layer it 95% of the time. You don’t need to layer [00:15:00] it.

Payman Langroudi: So how do you get the aesthetics from it.

Michael Joseph: Using surface stain the the technology of surface stain with [00:15:05] um, things like Myo, which is the American staining system where you’re creating you’re not creating [00:15:10] the it’s not three dimensional, but you’re giving the illusion of it. And and it’s [00:15:15] really it’s really up there. I mean, there’s always going to be a place for layering. Yeah. For [00:15:20] now, I think eventually everything will be printed.

Payman Langroudi: So if we’re talking [00:15:25] a percentage of your work, what percentage is 90%?

Michael Joseph: Is full contour.

Payman Langroudi: Full contour [00:15:30] zirconia. Yeah. Not Emax either. Oh how interesting. Yeah. Is that because [00:15:35] you steer them that way.

Michael Joseph: I steer them that way. And it’s the quality of the product and [00:15:40] the results are very predictable.

Payman Langroudi: I think the market is the market [00:15:45] sending you 90% zirconia. The market’s not so aware of zirconia being aesthetic. Not [00:15:50] really.

Michael Joseph: But I’m educating people one by one. Yeah yeah yeah yeah I’m I mean I’m I’m putting [00:15:55] out a PDF this week all about that. Oh really. That’s what you should you [00:16:00] should be doing. Emax is great, but you can’t do knife edge prep with Emax. You can with zirconia. [00:16:05] And Emax has its has its problems. It’s more difficult to mask [00:16:10] a dark stump post and core zirconia. It’s pretty simple. Plus the production is [00:16:15] from a laboratory perspective producing. Zirconia quickly [00:16:20] and in volume. This is is not difficult.

Payman Langroudi: Why is that? What’s the difference? [00:16:25]

Michael Joseph: Well, if you producing Emax, if you either got to press it or mill [00:16:30] it. Now if you’re going to mill emax, you can’t always mill the undercuts. Then you end up spending loads of time [00:16:35] physically fitting it to to the die. Yeah. And if you’ve got to press it. So [00:16:40] let’s say you’re doing digital. You’re going to have to design the coping or the three quarter crown or the full contour [00:16:45] crown. Then you’re going to mill it in wax, invest it, press it, divest it, fit it. [00:16:50]

Payman Langroudi: A lot of extra jobs, a.

Michael Joseph: Lot of extra jobs. Whereas zirconia, you’re either going to you know, you’re going to design, design [00:16:55] it on screen, send it to the milling machine, mill it out, fit it very [00:17:00] quickly. They fit very well, minimal adjustments.

Payman Langroudi: And are you doing all [00:17:05] of those bits in house. Yeah, because some people send the design away right. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So we we [00:17:10] have design in-house and also we use, we use other designers [00:17:15] because a lot of people work from home. The problem now is, is anyone who’s become really [00:17:20] good at design, they’ve realised, hang on, this is an opportunity for me. I buy my own software, have it at home and I can work as [00:17:25] a contractor. And also to have one person do so much work or two. [00:17:30] People do so much work. It’s just it’s just not practical.

Payman Langroudi: Mhm.

Michael Joseph: So having [00:17:35] one person doing design in house and then other designers all over the country.

Payman Langroudi: So [00:17:40] from the prep perspective, what’s the difference between a zirconia prep [00:17:45] and an Emacs and an Emacs. Well you can.

Michael Joseph: Prep less an Emacs. You’ve got to have a shoulder. If [00:17:50] you don’t have a 360 shoulder, you might get away with that deep of a shoulder millimetre all [00:17:55] the way around. Yeah, people. People do less. Yeah. But in the end, what happens if the material is designed? [00:18:00] But if you look at the Emacs prep guide, they want you to make a millimetre shoulder occlusal 1.5mm [00:18:05] reduction. You can get away with doing less and you can make them really thin. And people, you know, and I’m sure they’ve been [00:18:10] there for a very long time, people have done that. But ultimately the material stops functioning mechanically [00:18:15] when you get thinner than one millimetre, 0.6. Yeah. And [00:18:20] you’re not getting the full characteristics.

Payman Langroudi: That I think is so interesting. Yeah. Because I’m sure you [00:18:25] talk to a bunch of dentists who say, I do Emacs, I do less than that prep and I’m fine. Yeah, [00:18:30] but when you see thousands of cases, that’s [00:18:35] when you start to see the situation as it actually is. Yeah. Yeah. Because [00:18:40] you know, obviously as a technician you’re seeing way, way, way more cases than a single dentist is. [00:18:45] And so for instance, we have a similar thing, you know, three times a month [00:18:50] we get this very patchiness weird patchiness comes up in bleaching right now. [00:18:55] I talked to some dentists. This has never happened to me. Yeah, okay. It’s never happened to you because you’re doing [00:19:00] 12 cases a year. When we’re doing thousands of cases a month, we start to see the patterns [00:19:05] of what’s working and what isn’t. And, you know, the question of what [00:19:10] you can learn from your technician. I think we underestimate [00:19:15] that in the same way as we underestimate what you can learn from your sales rep. Yeah. So while [00:19:20] you were working at evident, you were trying to get in and talk to dentists and all that.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:19:25] a lot of dentists have gatekeepers, don’t they? They have these people trying to the receptionist. Yeah. Stop [00:19:30] you from getting to them. Yeah. And whenever I visit a practice I try to impress on, on the, [00:19:35] on the dentists that, you know, a salesperson is a massive fountain of knowledge [00:19:40] because you’ve got knowledge from the whole market. You’re hearing things, you’re you’re seeing [00:19:45] things. And, you know, you should look at a salesperson or a lab technician [00:19:50] as knowledge base and use that knowledge base. [00:19:55] Absolutely. You know, that that it’s an important point and as far as, you know, constantly [00:20:00] trying to keep away from technicians, away from, you know, the the value add, I [00:20:05] would say from the difference between a brilliant technician and a good technician, is [00:20:10] that communication because fit function [00:20:15] aesthetics, of course. Right. All of that is real. But the amount of [00:20:20] education you can get from your technician now, what do you do about that? Do you do you [00:20:25] build in something regarding feedback on the guys prep? [00:20:30] Yeah, I.

Michael Joseph: Will I’ll tell people if if it’s I’ll let [00:20:35] them know that’s that’s not going to be great. And then like do your best.

Payman Langroudi: That’s the most [00:20:40] common answer right.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Do your best with what we’ve got. And I’m and they’re like the patients are really difficult. I’m like they’re going [00:20:45] to be really difficult when this doesn’t work out. So it’s easier to get someone back for a re prep than [00:20:50] it is when something doesn’t fit. Yeah. They start to think, hang on, what’s going on here?

Payman Langroudi: So tell me, [00:20:55] there must have been times where you told the dentist this impression isn’t good enough. [00:21:00] He said do your best and then it didn’t fit, or there was a contact point issue or whatever. [00:21:05] And he wants to remake. And now he doesn’t want to pay for a remake, right? That must [00:21:10] have happened. That must happen all the time. Well, I tell them.

Michael Joseph: At that point, if and that usually stops people doing it, I say, [00:21:15] if you want to go ahead with this can be a fully chargeable remake. And then I own. Because [00:21:20] I understand the pressures they’re under. Yeah. You [00:21:25] know the diaries for got to get them back in again. But it’s worth it the [00:21:30] point. And it improves and it improves. We they improve. They’re more careful. [00:21:35] Yeah I think.

Payman Langroudi: You know from the dentist side. Yeah. The especially [00:21:40] less experienced dentists might think that if I have to bring the patient back in it’s embarrassing [00:21:45] and it’s almost an admission of having done something wrong. Mhm.

Michael Joseph: Whereas [00:21:50] I’d say the opposite.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. If you speak with authority and you and you’re honest [00:21:55] and you say look it didn’t quite go the way I wanted it, I want to improve it, [00:22:00] that, that should build relationships rather than. Great. Absolutely. But [00:22:05] too many of us are so worried about bringing the patient back in. Yeah, you can understand [00:22:10] it. You can understand it.

Michael Joseph: I understand why there’s the pressures of the diary, the, um, you know, they’ve done this great selling [00:22:15] thing. We’re going to make you these veneers and it’s going to go on and you’re going to beautiful. Yeah. Behind that is a [00:22:20] lot of work to get that right. And. At every step. It’s got to be done correctly. [00:22:25] So I would say if you’re doing a ten unit prep and you’re running out of time, stop. [00:22:30] Put a temporary on, get them back in again. Yeah. So it’s perfect.

Payman Langroudi: It’s [00:22:35] let’s talk veneers. Mhm. Because they were very much in fashion 1520 [00:22:40] years ago. Yeah. We we used.

Michael Joseph: To do the, the Rosenthal stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Then they kind of went [00:22:45] out of fashion and you know a line bleach bond. Now that feels like they’re coming back into fashion again.

Michael Joseph: They [00:22:50] are.

Payman Langroudi: Is that right or am I wrong about that.

Michael Joseph: I’m getting more cases. They’re coming a bit more into fashion. [00:22:55] Well I think it’s as we said, people want their aesthetic demands from [00:23:00] Instagram. Yeah, people want to look better and better. And some people, they, they, they look at cosmetic [00:23:05] bonding as the cheaper option. Yeah. And veneers is the more expensive option. [00:23:10] I think cosmetic cosmetic bonding has its place, but it’s only going to last a few [00:23:15] years depending on how well it’s done. Yeah. And it’s it’s really it’s really hard to do it.

Payman Langroudi: Well [00:23:20] it is and I think in the US a lot of our colleagues they call composite just transitional. [00:23:25] You know, they don’t think of it as a permanent material. You know, because it’s so hard to do. [00:23:30] Well you know that. That’s right. But let’s talk veneers. What what [00:23:35] are you getting asked for? You’re getting asked for contact lens. Minimal prep a lot more.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. [00:23:40] Some some of the time. Yeah. You get asked that. But I always say to people why.

Payman Langroudi: Well because I don’t want to prep. [00:23:45]

Michael Joseph: If you’re going to cut the tooth, the tooth is never going to be a virgin tooth again. That’s it. You’ve cut [00:23:50] it. And if you if you do this, you know, people talk about minimally minimal prep and all that. All you end up [00:23:55] with is really bulky stuff. Yeah, yeah. In most parts there are some cases where [00:24:00] there’s smaller teeth, of course, gaps between the teeth. Yeah, you can do no prep, but they’re few and far [00:24:05] between in reality. I know you see them on Instagram. That’s the one case out of a thousand that they could put up there [00:24:10] that yeah, looks good.

Payman Langroudi: The thing is there’s a few things about it. You want to stay in enamel. Yeah. [00:24:15] Because the bond to enamel is way stronger than the bond to dentine. Right. And [00:24:20] if the tooth is in the wrong position to pull that off, then you’re going to be the [00:24:25] one who’s got the problem. Yeah. Because the dentist is trying to stay in enamel and there [00:24:30] is this tension anyway. Every single time you do a prep and send it off to a technician, of course the technician [00:24:35] would want massive occlusal clearance, big, big shoulders. But as as [00:24:40] the dentist you’re constantly trying to not not cut.

Michael Joseph: Yeah I think with these cases you’ve got to start [00:24:45] backwards. You’ve got to start with the end result. You’ve got to do a digital wax up. Yeah. And [00:24:50] then mock that up in the mouth with no prep and see where things stick out.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. And what about [00:24:55] shade if you’ve got a dark tooth. Mhm.

Michael Joseph: With [00:25:00] a veneer.

Payman Langroudi: For a veneer or for a crown. What’s the what’s the best [00:25:05] way of number one? Communicating with the technician machine. So [00:25:10] what does that mean?

Michael Joseph: I’m actually this is another thing I’m putting out a PDF all about this. So if you’re going to [00:25:15] do a way of doing a single, let’s say any anterior teeth and getting it right 95% of the time, [00:25:20] yeah, get the patient in and tell them initially I’m going to take a pre-op impression, [00:25:25] take some photographs. Right. Then send them to us for a shade. [00:25:30] Pre-prep. Pre-prep? Yeah. Then when at the beginning of the process, you explain to them that there’s [00:25:35] going to be the process is like this. You’re going to go to the lab, I’m going to prep, then we’re going to do a trying. [00:25:40] And I’m probably going to need we’re going to need to send it back for an adjustment.

Payman Langroudi: Right. [00:25:45] You set them up for them. Set them up for the ability. Right? Right. Okay.

Michael Joseph: Then come to the lab. [00:25:50] We take a shape. They. They take SLR photographs of the stump with the stump. Proper [00:25:55] stump shape guide. Not a V to shade guide.

Payman Langroudi: So what is that? What’s what’s that called?

Michael Joseph: It’s called a [00:26:00] natural guide material. It was made by by Ivoclar. It’s instead of ABCd it’s Nd1 [00:26:05] and D2. Right. Absolutely. You take a photograph with that.

Payman Langroudi: Percentage of dentists have that very few.

Michael Joseph: Some [00:26:10] do those. Yeah some do. I used to give them out.

Payman Langroudi: Because it made [00:26:15] your life that much easier.

Michael Joseph: I used to give them out. And then when the patient comes for. So [00:26:20] we glazed the crown. We want to get it right first time, but the patient thinks it’s a trying use [00:26:25] trial cement because often this happens. It looks really good. And then you cement it in. Yeah. [00:26:30] Just I just had a bit of translucent. So I stuck that in crown changes colour, use trial paste [00:26:35] and then use the corresponding cement to the trial paste. So it’s the same colour. [00:26:40] And maybe first time you’ll be able to cement it. But. And [00:26:45] then the patient’s elated, wow, we got it. We just what? No need. This wasn’t a trade. Or you can tell them this was [00:26:50] it’s come out right. So yeah. And if it’s not right take some more photography with [00:26:55] it in send it back and likelihood. Second [00:27:00] time is going to be right. And and I know a lot of people think I get this. Some people say I paid, I send you them [00:27:05] a shade and it’s not right. It’s artistry. Everything in dentistry we can make to [00:27:10] the micron fit everything but colour, shade. You’ve got to take in [00:27:15] the stump, shade, the thickness of the material, the type of material.

Payman Langroudi: Cement shade.

Michael Joseph: The cement shade. All [00:27:20] of that’s going to be taken into consideration. There’s some really good ways of doing it now with with [00:27:25] a shade I which actually if we use it in the lab, it gives us a prescription.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, so [00:27:30] the machine that gives you the shade. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: And it gives us the prescription and it’s very accurate. [00:27:35]

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: It’s very good really. You have to know how to use it. It’s like anything. It’s just a tool. You’ve got to you’ve got [00:27:40] to learn how to use it.

Payman Langroudi: Is that the Vita?

Michael Joseph: No, it’s it’s made by, um. [00:27:45] I can’t remember the name of.

Payman Langroudi: The shade I.

Michael Joseph: It’s called a shade. I it’s not really [00:27:50] for a dentist, it’s for a lab. And then there’s a guy called Matisse in Switzerland who works with them, who’s developed [00:27:55] this whole system that gives you a, um, accurate shade more than that, gives [00:28:00] you the recipe, tells you what type of zirconia to use, whether you should use Emax, which [00:28:05] stain colours. You should use a mix up to get the desired effect.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, brilliant. Yeah. [00:28:10]

Michael Joseph: But it has to have person with the skill to use that, like a top top [00:28:15] ceramist to be able to do that, to get it right.

Payman Langroudi: So let’s talk about the prep. [00:28:20] Um, outside of the obvious, okay. You need good margins. [00:28:25] Yeah. What would you like from your veneer prep? Would you would you like.

Michael Joseph: Contacts split, the.

Payman Langroudi: Contacts [00:28:30] broken?

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Break the contacts.

Payman Langroudi: Does that help? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Because otherwise it’s just a [00:28:35] there’s no separation on the model. Yeah. So split contacts [00:28:40] and as much reduction as possible. So even enamel and according to the, according [00:28:45] to what we’ve the wax the wax surface. So it’s got to follow from that. So you have to have a [00:28:50] wax up. Then from the wax up you want to have a invasive, what I call [00:28:55] an invasive wax up. And this is all done functionally on an articulator I’m actually worked with I have a [00:29:00] designer who just does this for me. Um, and in the.

Payman Langroudi: Proximal proximal [00:29:05] thing.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Nice shape and no undercuts because the knees can’t [00:29:10] go around. They can’t go around corners. You won’t be able to fit them.

Payman Langroudi: And the path [00:29:15] of insertion of a veneer is that sort of facial straight in.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. You want to ideally you want you [00:29:20] want to you want to fit Central’s outwards. Yeah. Because if something’s not [00:29:25] 100% right it’s 99% right. It’s going to be a tiny bit off somewhere over here. Not here. [00:29:30]

Payman Langroudi: And which cement do you like or do you don’t mind.

Michael Joseph: I don’t I don’t.

Payman Langroudi: You [00:29:35] know.

Michael Joseph: I don’t I don’t know much about it. That’s another, another thing [00:29:40] is with zirconia now you can you can etch it if we treat it with a lithium disilicate. Lithium [00:29:45] disilicate is, um, is what Emacs is made out of. Yeah, yeah. So when we glaze it, we spray [00:29:50] on the wings if it’s a Maryland or glaze that and then we. And then that’ll [00:29:55] stain just like, uh, just like a non-precious Maryland will stain veneers [00:30:00] as well. Do inlays, onlays from zirconia.

Payman Langroudi: You know [00:30:05] we we’ve got a lab. You just you just saw our lab. Yeah. And we make one item bleaching tray. Right. Simple. [00:30:10] Um, most technicians laugh at me when I talk about it because it’s just the [00:30:15] one item that we make. And yet they have so many hassles, so many hassles [00:30:20] with technicians leaving the time it takes to train one. Believe [00:30:25] it or not, it takes time to train someone. Yeah, no, our bleaching tray takes a bit of training. [00:30:30] How do you manage all of that? From the sort of the business management perspective, how many guys have you [00:30:35] got working there? How do you make sure that if one of them leaves, you’re not suddenly stuck?

Michael Joseph: That [00:30:40] you have that every the each technician could do more than their [00:30:45] own job and then you sort of constantly recording. Yeah. Yeah. And, and also I can pick up [00:30:50] the slack as well if need be. And just building a team where people don’t want [00:30:55] to leave. Creating an environment where people want to stay.

Payman Langroudi: But so the labs that I’ve [00:31:00] had some experience with, they they tend to have people stay late and, you know, it’s [00:31:05] a deadline business. Yeah. Yeah. So does that happen or do people clock off [00:31:10] at 530. What happens? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Some people finish off a bit later. [00:31:15] Some some people have their own working hours. I’ve got one guy starts 4:00 in the morning, goes home at two. Really? [00:31:20] Yeah. And then sometimes he comes at three and he works till 910 at night. That’s [00:31:25] just what he does. But. Ideally, you can be organised [00:31:30] in a in a way that 95% of the stuff is done on time.

Payman Langroudi: But [00:31:35] from the recruitment perspective, I mean, we recruit.

Michael Joseph: We’re all having is impossible right now.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, we’re all having trouble. [00:31:40]

Michael Joseph: Yeah, it’s impossible to find anyone.

Payman Langroudi: But technicians particularly.

Michael Joseph: Particularly. Yeah, there’s less on the register. [00:31:45] There’s a thousand less than a few years ago than pre-COVID. But I see I, I, [00:31:50] I see that despite all of that, I see the great opportunity because technology means we can do [00:31:55] more and more with less people. Yeah. And I think the most important [00:32:00] thing we’ve got right now, we can, we can use properly is our time. So if we can minimise [00:32:05] the time doing mundane tasks, which is where I think in the next few years most of the tasks, [00:32:10] such as booking in work, does. A lot of the designing will be AI. Yeah, AI [00:32:15] is really going to come in. I don’t think it’s five years ahead. I think it’s 12, 18 months around the corner. [00:32:20] Yeah, yeah. It’s really it’s really there. So that’s going to take save loads of time doing that.

Payman Langroudi: So [00:32:25] when you recruit a technician, are there technicians that are very artistic and [00:32:30] they’re technicians that are very functional.

Michael Joseph: Yeah some are more more. More [00:32:35] technically brilliant than they than their aesthetics, and they both have their value. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So then [00:32:40] do you end up having one guy do one bit of it and the other guy do another bit of it? Is [00:32:45] that how it works? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So I have one ceramist who only does posteriors. Another guy that gives [00:32:50] most of the most of the anterior work to and the larger cases.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:32:55] tell me about scanning versus traditional impressions. What [00:33:00] do you prefer? Scanning. Because of the workflow? Yeah, because.

Michael Joseph: Of the workflow, the accuracy. [00:33:05]

Payman Langroudi: But what about what are the limitations? I mean, my, my understanding.

Michael Joseph: Is limitations.

Payman Langroudi: For [00:33:10] large. Yeah. My, my understanding of it is unless.

Michael Joseph: You’ve got a, um. One [00:33:15] of the a special scanner because you have to verify the position to say you’re doing an [00:33:20] all on four, all on six. So you scan your the scan bodies. But how can we verify. That’s right. [00:33:25] So in the end you end up making a model using open training session code. Pink’s making [00:33:30] a jig picking up an impression, working from a plaster model. There’s no really good way of doing that right now. [00:33:35] And verifying.

Payman Langroudi: Okay, but my understanding is that a scanner is not as good for subgingival. [00:33:40] Stuff. Obviously not.

Michael Joseph: Retraction cord?

Payman Langroudi: Yes. Do you need [00:33:45] to be more aggressive with retraction?

Michael Joseph: Well, the beauty of it is, is when you take an impression, sometimes it’s hard. It’s [00:33:50] hard to read everything back to front. But when you’re scanning, you can see on your screen there. If it’s [00:33:55] not there, start again.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, but but from the clinical perspective, I suspect [00:34:00] you have to you have to be more more retractive. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: You need to retract.

Payman Langroudi: Retract [00:34:05] more.

Michael Joseph: You can’t get away with not using cord or spraying a bit of extra. So it’s not going to work. Yeah yeah, yeah. [00:34:10]

Payman Langroudi: What else? I mean, what other situations is scanning? Not as good. Um. [00:34:15]

Michael Joseph: It’s really just a full artwork. Really? Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:34:20] do you have a preference on scanners? I mean, you must be scans coming in from all different.

Michael Joseph: They’re all pretty good. The [00:34:25] Dex’s seitaro. Three shape. They’re all pretty good. I [00:34:30] mean, there’s some off market ones and some made by different companies in China that are just as good.

Payman Langroudi: So [00:34:35] you don’t see any pattern of one scanner being better than another.

Michael Joseph: Not that I’ve noticed, really. [00:34:40] No.

Payman Langroudi: I find that surprising than you’d imagine. Yeah, I.

Michael Joseph: Would, I [00:34:45] would have thought so, but they’re all pretty. I maybe I if I probably did a study [00:34:50] you might find came from where I might find something. But they’re all they’re all pretty good now the technology is really [00:34:55] good. But also with scanning things got to be dry. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:35:00] you must have people who don’t check their scans properly. Sort of. Just [00:35:05] send it off. You can.

Michael Joseph: See it. It’s staring you in the face.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, but I mean, dude, we get [00:35:10] impressions sometimes.

Michael Joseph: Sometimes impressions. Yeah. We get impressions.

Payman Langroudi: And scans that are wrong. [00:35:15]

Michael Joseph: Sometimes. Sometimes.

Payman Langroudi: You know, and if I do.

Michael Joseph: Call me up and they [00:35:20] say, can you have a quick look at this? Do I need to re scan. Yeah. While I’ve got the they’ve got the patient [00:35:25] there. Yeah. So yeah. Um but sometimes you get stuff and you’re like what the hell is that. Yeah. [00:35:30] And I always think, why are you, why are you only scanning half the arch.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. It’s like using a triple [00:35:35] tray.

Michael Joseph: Yeah I hate triple tray D ah.

Payman Langroudi: Do you still receive triple injections? [00:35:40]

Michael Joseph: And I know people are going to say yeah, I’ve had I take triple triple all the time and everything fits great.

Payman Langroudi: It doesn’t [00:35:45] it can’t do right. I mean I never understood it that people think that it’s as good. [00:35:50] It’s an American.

Michael Joseph: Thing isn’t it.

Payman Langroudi: Great.

Michael Joseph: Save time and money. Yeah. The 3 in 1 go. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: See, [00:35:55] you know, the more, the more I sort of think about it, the more I realise. Just [00:36:00] do the basics very well.

Michael Joseph: I get implant impressions. People take people.

Payman Langroudi: Trace. You’re [00:36:05] kidding.

Michael Joseph: And then. Yeah, and they complain about contact points. I’m like, no, I make them videos of [00:36:10] the whole thing moving around before I make the model and send it to them. That’s a yeah. [00:36:15] It’s. Triple tree is fine if you’re doing NHS [00:36:20] work. But if, like someone sent me the other day, they’re doing two veneers, patients come for a shade and [00:36:25] they sent me a triple tray. And I just called them up and said, you got to retake it. Also, [00:36:30] I could see there was a piece of the margin missing, but triple trade, when they’re buying, the whole thing distorts. And I know [00:36:35] there’s probably loads of people use it day in, day out. It’s fine. Maybe if they changed [00:36:40] to taking either scanning or taking full arch impressions, they’d notice they’re adjusting less. I [00:36:45] think people can become unaware of. They’re just like, I’m satisfied with that. Yeah, yeah. [00:36:50]

Payman Langroudi: Tell me about the international situation. So you did some training in Norway, [00:36:55] I remember.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, I know, well, I worked in neon. They were like [00:37:00] a their testing centre. Yeah. And at the time when I was in Norway, it was a really strange experience because [00:37:05] it never got dark. Yeah. So you’d be out at night like three in the morning. It’s like we’re.

Payman Langroudi: In the north.

Michael Joseph: No, I was, [00:37:10] I was in Oslo, but it’s also the same in midsummer. It’s like that. Yeah. And I remember they were testing Emacs. [00:37:15] I didn’t know it at the time. They had it there. And I walked into a room and there was some discussion and they came with an NDA. [00:37:20] You got to sign this. Never going there again. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: But but technician [00:37:25] wise, yeah. Are some technicians from some countries known to be better. Better at something. [00:37:30]

Michael Joseph: Sometimes. Yeah it was. The German technicians have always had a reputation. But right now I’m noticing [00:37:35] the best technicians in this country come from Romania.

Payman Langroudi: Romania generally.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Romania, [00:37:40] Romania and Hungary. Dental the best guys right now. I’m thinking [00:37:45] of them. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And when you look at the profile of the people you hire, [00:37:50] how many are trained here and what percentage are.

Michael Joseph: No, they’re all foreign. [00:37:55]

Payman Langroudi: All foreign.

Michael Joseph: Except one. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: That’s the pattern that you’ve been seeing. [00:38:00] Yeah. So what’s the reason for that. Why do people not want to become technicians in the UK?

Michael Joseph: Well [00:38:05] before you ever tell. If I ever tell anyone I’m a dental technician, they’re like, what’s that? There’s no awareness of it. Yeah, [00:38:10] no one knows about it. Really? Unless. Unless you’re in it. You don’t know. Unless you’re a dentist, you don’t know much [00:38:15] about it. And also there isn’t there isn’t really a structured career path. Plus lots [00:38:20] of the places where they’re teaching it don’t exist anymore. And I guess the wages [00:38:25] previously are not very appealing. But now they are. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: You [00:38:30] see. You see some some labs doing really well. Right. Something for millions and [00:38:35] and then you see lots of labs struggling as well. Mhm. What’s your analysis [00:38:40] as a, as a businessman as you are. You’re very good with business. What’s [00:38:45] your analysis of the reason some labs do so badly and some do so. Well [00:38:50] I think it’s like.

Michael Joseph: John Whibley used to say I used to work for in his northern accent. Say [00:38:55] there’s always work for those who can do it. Mhm. Meaning? Yeah, [00:39:00] if the better your work, the more traditionally if you if you notice, you’ve probably noticed there’s not [00:39:05] much marketing by labs. There’s a bit more on Instagram now, a little bit more. No one. You’ve never seen massive [00:39:10] campaigns by laboratories in this country. You know, that’s because it’s on reputation. So one [00:39:15] dentist tells another tells another, and associate moves. And that’s how people build. [00:39:20] And you just get to know who’s who’s who’s good.

Payman Langroudi: But I mean okay, good work. [00:39:25] But I don’t know why I think this, but I’m thinking there are plenty of technicians who do good [00:39:30] work whose businesses fail.

Michael Joseph: Is that because they’re technicians? They’re not business.

Payman Langroudi: People. [00:39:35] Yeah. So so what are the classic errors? Are they the the same classic errors.

Michael Joseph: Not doing too [00:39:40] much for not enough money.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So so and not understanding the economies of the economies [00:39:45] of employing people staff. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: The expenses and working in [00:39:50] the business rather than on the business.

Michael Joseph: Right. Like I don’t work at the bench. You can’t I don’t think you can work on [00:39:55] the business while working in it, being in the midst of it.

Payman Langroudi: So how often are you on the bench? [00:40:00] Very, very little.

Michael Joseph: Very rarely.

Payman Langroudi: I ever.

Michael Joseph: See everything. Yeah, but most of the time I’m [00:40:05] in my office either checking things on the way in or on the way out, or if there’s some questions, what are [00:40:10] we going to do here? So I’ll look at something. I’ll make a plan. The guys will execute it. If there’s a problem, [00:40:15] they’ll come, they’ll come and tell me. But generally most of my time is working on the business. [00:40:20] Thinking about the future. I mean, I’ve just moved. I’ve just refurbished and moved. I [00:40:25] moved out for a few months and completely refurbished the laboratory, fully state [00:40:30] of the art now, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to do this again in two years. Hopefully. So a bigger place.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:40:35] what about.

Michael Joseph: I’ve already got no room. Yeah, machines or people.

Payman Langroudi: So already one thing I’ve noticed [00:40:40] that one of the biggest differences between having a lab and having a practice is [00:40:45] that the cost of technology and the frequency of having to [00:40:50] update your technology is way more in a lab than it is in a dental practice. [00:40:55] I mean, we think in a dental practice, you know, you’ve got expensive machines and things in a lab. It’s just [00:41:00] the.

Michael Joseph: Capital expenditure is enormous. That’s why it’s huge. There’s a lot of right now. There’s a lot [00:41:05] there’s a couple of PE companies buying up labs. Yeah. And where I think they’re going to come a cropper is when they, [00:41:10] the capital expenditure that’s realised the cash needed just to run the business.

Payman Langroudi: Just to [00:41:15] renew everything and stay up to date. Right. Yeah. And what do you do about that? I mean staying [00:41:20] up to date. I mean, you’ve got to be a very technical person. Number one, just.

Michael Joseph: Keep watching [00:41:25] the.

Payman Langroudi: Trends.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, yeah. Watching the trends. And I think meaning is coming to an end. [00:41:30] I think it’s going to move into printing. Yeah. You’ll print the zirconia, everything will be printed. And [00:41:35] eventually I think where it’s going to go is that your, your draw a shade diagram [00:41:40] or the photo with the shade tab will be the eye will absorb that and translate [00:41:45] that and print that out. Exactly. And it will just be a matter of finishing it.

Payman Langroudi: But you know, you [00:41:50] were looking at my printers downstairs and we were both talking about how they’re they’re accurate, [00:41:55] but they’re slow and they’re expensive. And, but when we bought them, we bought them for a reason. Right. They were much [00:42:00] better than the previous generation.

Michael Joseph: But that’s that’s the thing. Now everything is moving so quickly. And the [00:42:05] pace of things. Yeah, every week there’s something new.

Payman Langroudi: So then you have to number one from a business perspective, [00:42:10] have this constant like I’m going to have to be spending money on new technology. I think you got to [00:42:15] watch.

Michael Joseph: It very carefully and be very it’s very myself. It’s very easy to become excited about [00:42:20] a new. Yeah, a new thing. Like how much was that carbon, the carbon printer. [00:42:25] Yeah. Well you can’t buy one. I don’t have one. Okay. It’s a subscription model. Oh, it’s about [00:42:30] 5000 a month plus VAT.

Payman Langroudi: Wow.

Michael Joseph: But it’s a brilliant printer. [00:42:35] In the sense it never goes. It’s a production machine. It’s what you need.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, [00:42:40] it is what I need. It is. Yeah, I was I was in a hit, slap hit Palmer and yeah, I’ve been there maybe [00:42:45] three times. And every time he’s there unboxing and and plugging stuff [00:42:50] in and, you know, continuous CapEx. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Just in the last two weeks [00:42:55] I’ve got a I’ve got a new wet mill and a new printer.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: It’s continuous [00:43:00] I think at the moment it’s, it’s getting to the decisions. Right. I know one [00:43:05] lab in particular that was very, very successful. They embraced digital very, very [00:43:10] early on. And he made the right decisions about which direction to go. If [00:43:15] you can imagine when when zirconia first started there were the three machines. Yeah, right. [00:43:20] The 200, there were 250 K bloodier. And all they could do was mirror zirconia, [00:43:25] crown or bridge. And then within three years, Roland made a machine for 20 grand [00:43:30] that did the same, in fact, probably better. It moves like that. [00:43:35] You know, it’s really like even me, I my first printer like using a £12,000. [00:43:40] Yeah. Can print two, three models on the build tray. I’ve got smaller, smaller one. And then. [00:43:45] I realised I can get a something like a frozen print. 20 models [00:43:50] cost £2,000.

Payman Langroudi: So [00:43:55] then when your business moves forward and you need to grow, [00:44:00] you have to constantly like sort of think about the financial implications of [00:44:05] growth. Massive CapEx. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. All the time.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. So [00:44:10] you must have done this several times in the past right? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So recently being the the the biggest [00:44:15] one.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. So, so like how much did you spend.

Michael Joseph: A 500,000. [00:44:20]

Payman Langroudi: 500,000. Yeah. Just on this latest evolution.

Michael Joseph: On, um, [00:44:25] that’s refurbishing the place. I mean, like ripping everything out the floor, the plumbing, putting a proper [00:44:30] cat6 network in a proper compressed air network in, um, proper [00:44:35] flooring, benching. I didn’t even if I was gone for, like, sort of carbo benching. That’s million. [00:44:40] I had it custom made. It was just cvos just out of reach to have like Italian proper [00:44:45] made benching hundreds of thousands just for the benching. Really? Um, yeah. [00:44:50] So I had custom made benching. And then there’s all the equipment, there’s the hand pieces, the, the extraction [00:44:55] sandblasters, mini machines, furnaces. Herm [00:45:00] pieces.

Payman Langroudi: And I mean, do you worry that you spend that money in it and you’ll never [00:45:05] get it back like that? That worry must be constant, right?

Michael Joseph: Yeah, I think over, over [00:45:10] time. I’ll get that back.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, I’m sure you will. I’m sure. Yeah, I’m sure you will. But. But in general. Yeah, of course. [00:45:15]

Michael Joseph: It’s a massive expenditure. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a big risk to take.

Michael Joseph: And every month there’s always something.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah yeah, [00:45:20] yeah.

Michael Joseph: You know, you know, like in any business, you know it can be it can be anything as well. It’s not always. It’s [00:45:25] not always the machinery. Last week it was the front door.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah yeah yeah.

Michael Joseph: It just wouldn’t [00:45:30] shut. Let’s get a new front door.

Payman Langroudi: What about trends [00:45:35] as far as dentists? I mean, how do you stay abreast of those? I mean, now there’s this VAT prep, [00:45:40] right? Do you does that surprise you? Something must do, right? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: I’m just I’m just sort [00:45:45] of monitoring it and see see what’s going on. Yeah. You know, see see see how well that works for [00:45:50] people before I sort of dive in and think, oh, we’ve got to do it like this. I think there’s also the, [00:45:55] you know, using, um, full arches with no bases or abutments. [00:46:00] The what’s it called again? The rose and screw.

Payman Langroudi: You know. And I know what you’re talking about.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. [00:46:05] So instead of, you know, when you’ve got a zirconia frame so you have some titanium [00:46:10] bases or a framework inside. So now no frame screws straight into zirconia.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, [00:46:15] really? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So just seeing where that goes.

Payman Langroudi: And [00:46:20] from the implant perspective, um, what are what are you seeing [00:46:25] happening more now? I mean, I saw you had that document on how to how to fix a [00:46:30] malaligned implant. Yeah. And I scanned it. [00:46:35] Man. It was kind of a bent screwdriver sort of thing.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Talking about angulated screws. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So [00:46:40] the screw itself is angulated. Yeah. The, the.

Michael Joseph: The screw height is, is hexa [00:46:45] lobule. And the screw driver can engage. Come in from the side. Yeah. Come in from the side. That’s one one of the things. And [00:46:50] even now using multi units. Multi units. Correct the angle. And then you can on top of that you can use [00:46:55] an angled screw with the multi unit.

Payman Langroudi: I.

Michael Joseph: See. Yeah. Because you want everything to be screw retained. [00:47:00] Its the best. You don’t want to use cement around your implants.

Payman Langroudi: Periodontitis on [00:47:05] this port. We like to talk about mistakes. And if you read [00:47:10] black box thinking. Yeah about plane crashes. Um and it’s about [00:47:15] when there’s a plane crash, they, they first of all figure out what [00:47:20] went wrong without assigning blame. Right.

Michael Joseph: Whereas air [00:47:25] crash investigation. Yeah. The first thing they want to get is the black box. What went.

Payman Langroudi: Wrong? What went wrong? As [00:47:30] soon as they find out what went wrong, they share that with the whole pilot community [00:47:35] again without assigning blame. And then the whole pilot community [00:47:40] learns from that mistake because there was a, you know, massive crash. People died, right? Mhm. But [00:47:45] in medical, when things go wrong, we tend to try [00:47:50] and hide. And particularly the blame part of it because [00:47:55] we tend to look for someone to blame. Mhm. And so to [00:48:00] sort of counteract that. On this pod. We like to talk about biggest mistakes you’ve [00:48:05] made. And there must be many.

Michael Joseph: Um, [00:48:10] I think one of the biggest, the biggest mistakes was not embracing digital technology early [00:48:15] earlier on. Yeah, I could have, I, I should have I should have got into that [00:48:20] earlier. That’s one of the biggest things, and. [00:48:25]

Payman Langroudi: I’d like a juicier one than that, though.

Michael Joseph: A juicier one.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Like this one in particular. So yeah, a situation [00:48:30] that went wrong for you, you know, like, uh, some [00:48:35] crown you made wrong.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. I once made a full arch for someone, [00:48:40] and and and we were using, what, the time they call, um, southern passive [00:48:45] abutments. And I ordered hexed ones without [00:48:50] knowing it, so they were engaging. So you got six. So you need non hex. You need so it doesn’t engage [00:48:55] the hex. Yeah. And I only noticed this when I went to glue them on and it’s never going [00:49:00] to fit. So I thought oh I’ll just order the non hex ones and they’ll fit the same. And they had a different fitting [00:49:05] and I spent. About six hours trying to grind [00:49:10] off to get them to fit. I got them to fit. It’s actually the best piece of work I’ve ever done. Yeah, [00:49:15] right. Still, I was talking to the dentist. I did it for the other day. I was saying to him, I need the photos, I want them for Instagram. [00:49:20] And that was fun. Things like that.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. But yesterday [00:49:25] they went right. I want something that went wrong.

Michael Joseph: Yesterday I mailed a full arch and the the [00:49:30] block was upside down. So the translucency, instead of being in the tips of the eye [00:49:35] like that was in the tissue, that was yesterday. And that was because when [00:49:40] we imported the file it was upside down. The bridge was upside down. Okay. So when [00:49:45] when did you notice I didn’t nest it? I, I only noticed it yesterday afternoon. It’s got to go out tomorrow [00:49:50] okay.

Payman Langroudi: So it didn’t go out at least. No. That’s something that went out. Dentist got pissed or something like that. [00:49:55]

Michael Joseph: Loads of times.

Payman Langroudi: Well I was wrong I think. I think what I’m really interested in here, some technique [00:50:00] that you brought in that turned out to be a [00:50:05] turkey and then you were seeing failure on failure on failure, failure going forward [00:50:10] because we’ve all done it as a dentist, right? Someone said, hey, try the procera crown [00:50:15] or something, something some turkey, and you’ve done a 40 of them and then [00:50:20] they start coming back break broken or oh yeah, whatever it was. Oh.

Michael Joseph: Doing [00:50:25] implant restorations, denture teeth with bars. You know, like a hybrid. Yeah. I won’t do any of those anymore. [00:50:30]

Payman Langroudi: Because they kept breaking.

Michael Joseph: They keep breaking because if the bike’s not perfect, the function’s not right. They’re going to break. And [00:50:35] they just. And they just keep coming back for repairs and repairs, and you end up spending thousands or [00:50:40] something you build a couple of grand for. It’s like, it just just won’t do it. Had you.

Payman Langroudi: Done a bunch before, [00:50:45] you realised.

Michael Joseph: I had loads of them, about 20 of them, and some in particular that [00:50:50] were like the weekly, you know, it’s back in the end. I said to me, but I’m just going to remake it [00:50:55] just in full contour and it just done it. That’s that’s also a great thing [00:51:00] about digital. Now if you if you made if you before you went through the whole pace of process of making [00:51:05] a full arch, let’s say. So you’ve done a you’ve done a denture trying, you’ve done the verification [00:51:10] jig, you’ve made the frame, you’ve cast it in metal, you’ve layered the ceramic. If anything [00:51:15] happens to that, it breaks. You’ve got to start at the beginning. So now let’s say we do a full arch [00:51:20] on a titanium bar that’s bonded together with a zirconia sleeve on the top. And this has [00:51:25] happened. Someone fell off their bike, smashed the front two teeth. Guy called me out. [00:51:30] He says, what can we do about this? I said, I’ll mill another one from the file. Stain [00:51:35] it, get it ready, then bring him in on Tuesday morning. Unscrew it. Send it to us. [00:51:40] Getting to hang around in the practice because he can’t walk around without any teeth, and we just bonded [00:51:45] the old one put the other one together. It was a bit risky. There’s no model. These things are not. And [00:51:50] then the afternoon bang done. That was nice. That saved 15 appointments and [00:51:55] 20,000 hours work and yeah so but loads loads loads [00:52:00] loads of screw ups loads. You know over.

Payman Langroudi: In the last 15 years, 20 years, whatever it is you’ve been in [00:52:05] business was your hardest day in business.

Michael Joseph: My hardest day. I [00:52:10] think it was. It was a day my dad died and I came in and and [00:52:15] someone was screaming at me on the phone. Something was totally their fault. And I was just I was [00:52:20] just listening to it. And yeah, that was really that was really hard because [00:52:25] it wouldn’t be professional for me to say, well, actually, my dad just died and leave me, leave me alone. Yeah. Um, [00:52:30] and they were completely in the wrong and they were just venting their own frustration. Which [00:52:35] I can understand, you know, and I standing there listening to it and at [00:52:40] the time. My my operations manager is just sitting there going, [00:52:45] but she knows what’s going on. And I was just like, okay, okay, okay. A [00:52:50] week later, he called me and he realised. To which normally I might have argued [00:52:55] with him, but at that point I was just like, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So you were at work when you heard [00:53:00] about your dad?

Michael Joseph: He died that morning. But the nature of the lab is [00:53:05] you’ve got to go. I can’t leave it. People are relying on me. I can’t that can’t [00:53:10] be an excuse.

Payman Langroudi: You went in on the day you passed away.

Michael Joseph: I spoke to the the the people [00:53:15] that arranged, you know, the funeral. And I actually went to go to [00:53:20] the the office and get this bit of paper signed so they can release the body. And it’s like running around to a few offices and [00:53:25] not waiting. And then I got this piece of, I think it’s a green bit of paper. So the hospital [00:53:30] released the body. So I got that done and I thought, okay, I’ve got an hour before the funeral, so I’ll go [00:53:35] quickly to work. And just as I walked in, this, this guy called and I happened to pick up the phone. I don’t [00:53:40] know why. I was a bit in a daze. I just picked up the phone. Hasn’t sunk in what’s happened? But yeah, that’s a pretty hard [00:53:45] day.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Batman. I don’t want to get too Freudian, but [00:53:50] how was your relationship with your dad?

Michael Joseph: It was good. He was my. He [00:53:55] was my. He was a really interesting guy. You know what? My slogan right now is? Keep smiling. [00:54:00] I’ve got it in on a neon sign now in the in the office. And it’s [00:54:05] on my boxes. It’s on. You’ve probably seen it on all my all my marketing stuff. And I actually [00:54:10] got that from him. He was an osteopath. And in the 70s he was kind of way ahead of his time. He went [00:54:15] to to the Parker School of Chiropractic in in Michigan. Like in these, these [00:54:20] mid-winter, darkest Michigan in mid-winter to learn cranial osteopathy and bring it to the UK. [00:54:25] And while he was there way before Anthony Robbins or any of these guys even existed, [00:54:30] there was Zig Ziglar, if you’ve ever heard of him. Right. Zig Ziglar to the Zig Ziglar seminars, really. [00:54:35] And I had I remember my first Zig Ziglar tapes. They were tapes because they were in his car. He used to listen to [00:54:40] them, and he had this business card that said, keep smiling on it. [00:54:45] And that was his thing. You got to keep your patients smiling. It was like a 70s American thing. And [00:54:50] till he died, he had that. He had that business card. So I’ve kind of [00:54:55] using Keep Smiling Now as my slogan. Yeah, he was a big inspiration [00:55:00] for me.

Payman Langroudi: And was it, I guess another like a business owner, [00:55:05] right. Did you learn some of the business skills from him?

Michael Joseph: Well, he was an osteopath. He had a practice, but he also had other businesses [00:55:10] in orthotics and making medical devices. Oh really? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, no orthotics business. And [00:55:15] yeah, he was very into business and. He [00:55:20] was encouraged. He was encouraged me to do things like that. And he was like, he was actually [00:55:25] how I got the job in a lab was I’d been travelling and I had this. I, you know, I’ve been as [00:55:30] you do after school. And I came back and I’d grown an interest in dental technology through [00:55:35] working overseas as a courier on a bike, taking stuff from labs to [00:55:40] to practices. And I came back and is the days of the Evening Standard and he saw [00:55:45] a trainee dental technician wanted he didn’t even tell me he called them up. And so yes, [00:55:50] he was premiered in in East London and he, he called up John Gerrard and [00:55:55] he said, I’m going to bring my son down, you know, and I’d been travelling, you know, I was like taking it easy. And [00:56:00] that’s how I got into it. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Also my, my job [00:56:05] with evident was that him as well evening standard. Um [00:56:10] Stephen he was he was advertising for someone to cover. Do you remember saffron. [00:56:15] Saffron Saunders. Yeah. Yeah. So I was her maternity cover. Yeah. Oh, and [00:56:20] that’s how I got into it. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Oh I see, and did you not think about doing something around [00:56:25] loops yourself? Yeah I did.

Michael Joseph: Oh you did. Yeah I did. Initially I thought that. But [00:56:30] at the time there was just Horoscopic and a couple of others. But I really [00:56:35] did learn so much from him about selling and being professional. [00:56:40] Whatever he had, that, that thing, whatever happens, you know, he was very he was like almost like a strict [00:56:45] taskmaster. But I remember getting my first sales and realising, yeah, [00:56:50] this stuff, he’s right.

Payman Langroudi: This works well ahead of his time. Stephen. Yeah, yeah. [00:56:55] Well ahead of his time.

Michael Joseph: And he taught me I learned from him doing something properly. Yeah. [00:57:00] Like even his database. There wasn’t an out of place comma, a capital letter that shouldn’t [00:57:05] be there. He was. Yeah. I learned a lot from him in those years about.

Payman Langroudi: I know [00:57:10] you’re divorced. You must have had periods of stress in that. No, I [00:57:15] mean, as it relates to work, though, do you have times where I.

Michael Joseph: Was completely [00:57:20] burnt out? At times.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: I mean, during the pandemic, obviously we were closed when that happened. [00:57:25] That was like, I remember I was in the I was at the Sharks, Chicago at the day [00:57:30] Midwinter. Yeah, I think that was the end of February. Yeah. It was a beginning of March. [00:57:35] It was freezing. It was freezing. It was quite mild. It was it was a mild one. And I was out [00:57:40] there and I came back and I got off the plane in the morning and I was, you know, the train that takes you from terminal to terminal in Heathrow. [00:57:45] And I was holding on to the thing and I was looking down and there’s a guy sitting down, he’s wearing a mask. And I thought to myself, well, [00:57:50] Wally, what are you wearing that for? And then within three weeks we were all in lockdown, the lab was closed [00:57:55] and I was just my, my, my wife at the time had [00:58:00] to watch. She kept working from home. She worked for a clothing manufacturer, and I used to take my son every day [00:58:05] to the park the whole day to get him out of the house, because he was two and we were living in a small house [00:58:10] and she had to work.

Michael Joseph: And then when I came back when we opened in June or July, [00:58:15] you know, some of my staff had gone. They’d left, they’d gone to Poland, and I didn’t have [00:58:20] the staff anymore. I lost a lot of business. I couldn’t maintain what I was doing. I lost probably [00:58:25] about half the customer base. Wow. It was. And then I was and I was also completely burnt out. [00:58:30] Wow. Yeah. And then and then got divorced and [00:58:35] then coming out of that. So a couple of years ago, I was actually looking at all different things. [00:58:40] I mean, I was even looking into producing suppositories for things [00:58:45] at the time. There was glycerine suppositories. They couldn’t buy them in this country. And the [00:58:50] pharmacist next door to me, I was looking into I was looking to all kinds of things. And then it kind of dawned on me, I know how [00:58:55] to do this dentistry thing really well. And I’m going to focus on this. [00:59:00] And that’s when I embrace digital. And then a few months later [00:59:05] I realised I need a new lab. I need to gut this place and start again. [00:59:10] And that’s what I did.

Payman Langroudi: And what would you say? I mean, you’re kind of framing it as the timing [00:59:15] of your divorce was also the timing of the business dropping. Would you say that that [00:59:20] the pandemic.

Michael Joseph: The pandemic.

Payman Langroudi: Accelerated your divorce somehow?

Michael Joseph: No. [00:59:25] Not necessarily.

Payman Langroudi: Was it on the cards? How did you feel about it was on.

Michael Joseph: The I guess it was on the cards. It [00:59:30] was on the cards. And I realised it’s the best thing. For all [00:59:35] of us. But it all came together. Burn out. It all happen at the same. Yeah, it was a really [00:59:40] getting getting that way.

Payman Langroudi: And when you say burn out, what does that actually mean? [00:59:45] You don’t want to get out of bed?

Michael Joseph: No. Just no passion for it. Oh, it’s [00:59:50] just.

Payman Langroudi: Like just going through the motions. Yeah, yeah. I’ve been through periods [00:59:55] of my life like that. Not necessarily because I’m working too hard, but just somehow it wasn’t.

Michael Joseph: From working too. [01:00:00]

Payman Langroudi: Hard. Oh, okay. Just too much.

Michael Joseph: Point for the previous few years, right. Five years. It just [01:00:05] been going along business okay growing particularly, but [01:00:10] I was maintaining what I was doing. I was pretty happy. And then then I realised it kind [01:00:15] of just I suppose over a period of time it got to me and then the pandemic and then I had a lot of time [01:00:20] to think. And normally you don’t have time to think. I don’t have time to think.

Payman Langroudi: And I [01:00:25] think, you know, with a, with a it’s definitely.

Michael Joseph: The pressure.

Payman Langroudi: Cooker. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, yeah it definitely it, it [01:00:30] kicked the stuffing out of the business in me when.

Payman Langroudi: When you’ve spent years [01:00:35] building something up to watch it drop away quickly is [01:00:40] particularly painful.

Michael Joseph: It was painful because when I came back [01:00:45] the start the customers were all there. I just lost staff, [01:00:50] critical people that I couldn’t, I couldn’t replace.

Payman Langroudi: You can actually do the work.

Michael Joseph: And there weren’t any [01:00:55] staff. It was like now it was. I couldn’t and I couldn’t physically do it all myself. So [01:01:00] I, you know, that all dropped off. And then a couple of big clients, they were like. [01:01:05] And especially then they just come back from the pandemic. They were inundated with work. [01:01:10] That’s right. And I couldn’t I couldn’t keep up.

Payman Langroudi: That’s right.

Michael Joseph: The thing that really got me one [01:01:15] day was I was making a bridge for someone who selectively extracts teeth and [01:01:20] places a temporary. Okay. Yeah. Then. And he called me up and he said, he said to me, this [01:01:25] is like a4 lc for B1. And I realised. [01:01:30] Explain this. I’m just too stretched. Yeah, and I lost [01:01:35] it. And that’s a ten year customer. One of my originals.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a nightmare, [01:01:40] man. It’s a nightmare. Because, I mean, I remember before furlough [01:01:45] came into play.

Michael Joseph: You having nightmares, too, about it?

Payman Langroudi: Hell, [01:01:50] yeah. I mean, we closed maybe two weeks before the [01:01:55] word furlough came out.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Me too.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, and we closed before they told [01:02:00] us to close. Maybe, I don’t know, a week before they told us to close, but we [01:02:05] we got our team together, and at the time, we were overstaffed. We’ve got [01:02:10] fewer people now. That time we had a lot of people. And, uh, we said, look, [01:02:15] we’ve got to either fire half our team or everyone’s got to take a 50% pay cut. You know, [01:02:20] what do we do? What should we do? And they all kind of, uh, said, [01:02:25] we’ll take a pay cut. And a bunch of all of them. They were losing their flats and [01:02:30] things because their roommates were suddenly getting up and leaving and going home, and it was a really [01:02:35] weird time.

Michael Joseph: It’s weird. I remember that period.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. And everyone went, I was thinking.

Michael Joseph: That, do I have to let [01:02:40] everyone go? Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: No, but, you know, it’s not a it’s not a it’s not a story that, that every single business went through [01:02:45] it. Yeah. But the feeling of I’ve spent 20 years building this thing and [01:02:50] in 20 days time, it could just disappear. It’s gone. Yeah. It’s a really strange feeling. [01:02:55] And we’re in business in general. You have got that feeling of it could all end tomorrow. [01:03:00] You know what keeps you up about the business? What keeps you up at night? [01:03:05]

Michael Joseph: Keeping the work coming in. Yeah, sometimes [01:03:10] I do. I do think about particular bits of work can get me up at night. [01:03:15]

Payman Langroudi: Oh, a particular job? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: As I feel. I feel the, you know, you feel a lot of pressure. [01:03:20]

Payman Langroudi: A lot of dentists can relate to that.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, sure. I, you know, I might call them up and said, you know what? [01:03:25] If I called this the dentist up, who’s involved? He’d probably say, yeah, I was thinking about that. Yeah, [01:03:30] yeah, yeah. Sometimes there’s a lot of a lot of pressure to get things right and [01:03:35] on time. And there’s no there’s no leeway. It’s either right [01:03:40] and on time or it’s not. It’s not nearly that, you know, it’s not one of those, you know, it’s not an essay. [01:03:45] It’s decent but not good enough.

Payman Langroudi: It could be a technician, could be a thankless job as well, [01:03:50] insomuch as it is. Yeah. Insomuch as you don’t see the final.

Michael Joseph: As a technician. [01:03:55] Anything that happens in a dentist’s life is your fault. I used to have a joke with one of my clients [01:04:00] that said, you’re one of your kids falls over in the playground. Somehow that’s my fault. I’m [01:04:05] somehow involved in that.

Payman Langroudi: But even when it goes brilliantly, you don’t end up really [01:04:10] seeing that. I mean, I guess I don’t.

Michael Joseph: Care about that. Well, I don’t need the recognition. Well, you.

Payman Langroudi: Kind of want [01:04:15] it, don’t you? I don’t mean recognition in public. I mean just just from other dentists. No, [01:04:20] just as a dentist. Okay. You do a brilliant plan. You prep it properly, you scan it, you [01:04:25] send it off, then this fit day, right? And you fit it and it all works. And then you’ve got appreciative patients [01:04:30] saying, thank you so much, paying their money as a technician, you miss out on both [01:04:35] ends of that, right? And even if it goes really well, most often you’re [01:04:40] not getting call from a dentist saying, hey, that really fit well.

Michael Joseph: You only hear when it’s wrong.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, [01:04:45] yeah. Well, do you sometimes get that call occasionally?

Michael Joseph: Yeah. I don’t for me, that’s never. [01:04:50] If I don’t, if I don’t hear, if I do ask and it’s right and it and [01:04:55] it it fitted well, then I’ve done my job. That’s my job. I’m [01:05:00] not bothered by public recognition. I want the word to spread [01:05:05] that my my work is good, but I’m not bothered by that. My motivations are. [01:05:10] But I’d kind of.

Payman Langroudi: Call you an extrovert, though. Not not an introvert. How would you characterise. [01:05:15] Yeah, I’m an extrovert.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. I think a lot of people who work with me, it’s because they they enjoy. We have [01:05:20] a lot of fun together. I have a lot of fun doing this.

Payman Langroudi: But most technicians I find are sort of borderline [01:05:25] sort of autistic on the spectrum.

Michael Joseph: That’s the reason why a lot of labs fail. They [01:05:30] can’t deal with the.

Payman Langroudi: Human side of it.

Michael Joseph: The human side of it.

Payman Langroudi: So then what is [01:05:35] with your top customers? Are you friends with them? Do you or are you on the phone with them? Some of them.

Michael Joseph: I have lunch with once [01:05:40] a week.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, really?

Michael Joseph: So there’s one in particular. I talk to him every day, and I know when [01:05:45] he calls me up and he goes, you know, when I did this yesterday, that wasn’t right. And, you know, it wasn’t good enough. I know he’s just it’s [01:05:50] that morning bad mood. I don’t say anything. I’m just like, yeah, yeah, just [01:05:55] let him. Yeah. And like this guy, right? I’m friends with him. But even though we’re from [01:06:00] the same community, he’d never invite me to his house for dinner party to a dinner party. [01:06:05] I’m the friend he’s got. He can be real with. There’s no social [01:06:10] norms to be adhered to. He can go to lunch with me, say whatever he wants. It’s not connected to his family, [01:06:15] his wider social circle. It’s like. Like like a priest, [01:06:20] almost. Yeah, yeah, not not so much. But he can, you know, he can tell me everything. He can’t tell any [01:06:25] of his other friends. I’m also. And I see he makes an effort to keep me out of that. [01:06:30] And he’s quite happy with that. I like that. I mean, in.

Payman Langroudi: Life we do sometimes do have this compartmentalisation [01:06:35] kind of thing. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: We all do have friends that we don’t mix. Yeah, some circles [01:06:40] don’t mix.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, because we’re different people in different situations. But I’m interested in this [01:06:45] sort of I want to unpack some of the sort of hierarchy of it. [01:06:50] And I bet there are dentists who sort of they feel like they’re above you and [01:06:55] they, they order you about, or you come back with something. You shouldn’t have come back [01:07:00] with that because they’re they made the decision. And they may tell me about that, that it must [01:07:05] happen.

Michael Joseph: It does. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So I’ll unpack [01:07:10] it for me a little bit. Well, that’s.

Michael Joseph: You know what it reminds me of? Um. [01:07:15] It’s like, well, let me explain first. I’ll tell you my analogy. [01:07:20] I just know it works like that. I’m I’m doing the [01:07:25] technical work. Klipsch is doing his bit and sometimes there’s a bit of [01:07:30] it should be a collaborative approach, but a lot of the time sometimes it just it just feeds down. You [01:07:35] get the negativity. That’s part of it. That’s part of the business. Just accept it so it doesn’t [01:07:40] look great with, you know, it’s like, have you seen The Godfather Part two? Yeah. When Hyman Roth. [01:07:45] Meets Michael Corleone. And he said. And he talks about when he killed Moe Greene. He didn’t. [01:07:50] He just says, this is the business we were in. That’s how I view it. This is the business we’re in. This is how it works. I’m trying [01:07:55] to change it. You know, it stems from it actually being [01:08:00] an upstairs downstairs business. Yeah, 100%. But it comes from that, [01:08:05] that hierarchy socially in in this country for sure.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. But [01:08:10] what I’m saying is sometimes that hierarchy must get in the way. Right. Because [01:08:15] sometimes you’re right. He’s wrong. He pulls rank. What are you doing? Do [01:08:20] you. You must have had a situation where it’s come.

Michael Joseph: To sometimes.

Payman Langroudi: Blows.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes it’s [01:08:25] ended the relationship.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: It’s ended the relationship.

Payman Langroudi: Go on, tell me. Explain it. Go talk me [01:08:30] through a situation.

Michael Joseph: Sorry, I sent I sent a guy a verification jig. We’re doing a full arch. [01:08:35] What is that, a verification jig? So he’s taken a primary impression with just pre digital a few [01:08:40] years ago. Yeah. Taking a primary impression. I’ve taken made a model. Taking the impression copings off. I’ve [01:08:45] screwed them in the model. Linked it all together with Jewel, sliced it up and made it a [01:08:50] special tray to go on the top. So the idea is he screws that in the mouth, links up the the [01:08:55] jewel and takes an impression. Yeah. So he sends me the impression I make the frame bearing [01:09:00] in mind with Atlantis thousand quid to minute. Well. And he [01:09:05] gets it back for trying. He says it doesn’t fit. And I’m like, what? And I remembered I [01:09:10] hadn’t asked him to take a photograph on his phone of the verification. So I said, have you got [01:09:15] a photo of the verification? He said, yeah, sure. And he sent it to me and he he’d screwed it in on the model, [01:09:20] his original model. Linked it all together and send it back to me. [01:09:25] So we verified. And I said to him, well, [01:09:30] you know, I’m going to charge you another grand. We never we never we never did the work. And [01:09:35] he said, what should I do with this stuff? And I was just like, just keep it.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Did he pull around [01:09:40] it? Yeah. What did he say? He said.

Michael Joseph: I verified it, you know, I know what [01:09:45] I’m doing. I’m like, you just sent me a picture of a model where you you meant to verify in the [01:09:50] patient’s mouth. And I realised you haven’t got a grasp of what we’re actually trying to do here. Not [01:09:55] not, you know, and a lot of [01:10:00] a lot of the time I work with people I see immediately. Wow. These guys different level. [01:10:05] I got to keep up here and I got to learn here. Yeah, I.

Payman Langroudi: Mean, technicians, [01:10:10] probably the best person to ask about who’s the best dentist, right?

Michael Joseph: Yeah. People always ask me for socially. [01:10:15] People ask me. I always tell them the same thing. What? Go to the same people. I’m not going to say oh, [01:10:20] something the same because I know they’re never going to go there. Never, never. I’m done with like [01:10:25] sending people to like dentist. I know because it always comes back to me somehow. They’re not happy, or [01:10:30] so I just tell them. Go to the most expensive dentist in town. You probably know. Yeah. [01:10:35] And then they call them up, find out this and that, and then when they get it wrong, I [01:10:40] say, I told you you should have gone there.

Payman Langroudi: But but as part of that issue, you see [01:10:45] loads of preps coming in. Yeah. Some people are consistently doing [01:10:50] excellent preps, excellent impressions. Yeah. And the opposite right.

Michael Joseph: And the opposite is some people I [01:10:55] literally make everything twice. I’m just used to it. Yeah. It’s so.

Payman Langroudi: Interesting. Is it.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. And some [01:11:00] people it’s so precise.

Payman Langroudi: And then what relationship is [01:11:05] there between sort of the, the status of that guy. And I mean.

Michael Joseph: All [01:11:10] we say all the same, I don’t, I don’t.

Payman Langroudi: Know. But what I’m saying is, do you see some general [01:11:15] practitioner that no one’s heard of doing brilliant work.

Michael Joseph: Yes, absolutely. Someone is [01:11:20] literally the dirtiest mic surgery in in, I don’t know, wherever [01:11:25] it is, wherever it is in terrible part of London or something. Doing fantastic work. Yeah. And [01:11:30] then you get someone in the swisher’s practice, you know, with the famous name all [01:11:35] over Instagram, all over the place, 150,000 followers, consistently, consistently [01:11:40] giving you rubbish. Absolutely. Oh, yeah. Interesting. [01:11:45] But, I mean, there’s no everyone [01:11:50] gets I, you know, I deal with everyone in the same in the same manner, trying to provide them with the very [01:11:55] best service I can, the best work the best. And I try, I try [01:12:00] to be there. You know, like a good. If [01:12:05] you’ve got a good assistant, let’s say good operations manager, who knows [01:12:10] you, you’ve got this appointment and you’re likely to forget your keys. Yeah, she’s standing there with your keys, [01:12:15] or he’s standing there with your keys. So I know that if I’ve sent someone. A job which [01:12:20] needs an angled screwdriver. I’m going to call him up and put a big sticker on it, because they’re not going to remember [01:12:25] just thinking ahead because they’re busy.

Michael Joseph: Or I remind them, we’re doing this. [01:12:30] Don’t forget to do that. You know, or call me up and let [01:12:35] me know what that takes a picture. Let me. You know, because I’m thinking ahead. I don’t want him to have to do something again or. And [01:12:40] they appreciate that. Yeah. I’m thinking for them that’s part of the service. We’re thinking, [01:12:45] what what are you going to encounter? I love that. So if you’re gonna. Yeah. It’s [01:12:50] like I send someone. In the other day. It was they’ve done a central [01:12:55] and for some reason very deep, and I didn’t think, I thought they may be the impression coping hadn’t engaged [01:13:00] properly, because the crown is in the mouth is like two millimetres shorter than it is on the model. [01:13:05] So. When I sent him the crown, I wasn’t sure. So I made him a special tray [01:13:10] because he complained, you can’t cut through the tray at that corner. It’s very thick to [01:13:15] take an open tray impression, and he was using a closed train. I think that was the problem. So try and think [01:13:20] ahead.

Payman Langroudi: So notice now you’re much more on social [01:13:25] media. Yeah. Is that sort of an active effort to get back this 500 [01:13:30] grand you just spent?

Michael Joseph: Yes, absolutely. And and then [01:13:35] just live on Instagram.

Payman Langroudi: I know, I know that, I know that. So, you know, but you yourself are on [01:13:40] camera demonstrating stuff, talking about stuff.

Michael Joseph: And there’s loads more [01:13:45] to come. I’m going to be doing a masterclasses. So our lunchtime, uh, webinars. [01:13:50] Yeah. Webinars to learn about stuff that I see like. Yeah. The sort of topics [01:13:55] that. Like doing implant work, which, if they use scanning, don’t just have one [01:14:00] scan like this, have a whole range for the same implant, depending on what you want us to make, because they all [01:14:05] limit you to different things. So things like that. But we talked about full [01:14:10] contour zirconia. Um, if you’re not going if you’re not scanning, why not? [01:14:15] I’m going to I’m going to do a master class on that. Why you should be scanning and using digital. [01:14:20]

Payman Langroudi: Because I think, look, there’s a an area of dental education [01:14:25] that is how does dentistry relate with the lab? You [01:14:30] know, the whole lab. The whole lab part of it.

Michael Joseph: I want to educate more than anything. I don’t I don’t want to [01:14:35] just be. Wow, look at us. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s an element of that. We’re saying these are this is what we can [01:14:40] do for you. But I’m. I’m saying to Emma, who does the social media, I’m saying to her, let’s not tell them. [01:14:45] Let’s show them. Yeah, let’s show them our quality. Show them what we can do by example. [01:14:50] So you can tell people as much as you want. But seeing is believing. Like when, when.

Payman Langroudi: When someone does a [01:14:55] master’s in fixed promise. Yeah. A big part of that first six months they do the [01:15:00] lab work and then those guys, they come out with this massive kudos, um, and [01:15:05] knowledge right of, you know, they know both sides of it. Or sometimes you get the [01:15:10] odd technician who becomes a dentist. Yeah. You know, famously Christian coachman and all the. [01:15:15] Yeah. Um, and again, those guys, you know, they.

Michael Joseph: Can be really good.

Payman Langroudi: They tend to be really good. So. [01:15:20] Yeah. Um, Neil Gerrard, there’s a yeah, there’s a few.

Michael Joseph: I [01:15:25] work Neil Gerrard with Brendan. Oh really. His dad was John. So I worked there. But he was in dental school [01:15:30] at the time. His brother Paul. Paul who’s also a brilliant technician. Technician. Yeah. Very good. [01:15:35] Yeah. Yeah. So I know them from back then.

Payman Langroudi: Quite different to each other. Yeah. But so [01:15:40] my point is that, you know, that side of it being a dentist and knowing exactly what happens in [01:15:45] the lab and, and getting the best out of your lab, the whole lab part of being a dentist [01:15:50] needs addressing because most of us haven’t got time to go on a [01:15:55] fixed postmasters. So yeah. So these webinars you’re doing, I think, you [01:16:00] know, it would make a lot of sense for someone and.

Michael Joseph: Lab visits as well. Come and come and see and see [01:16:05] what. Yeah, yeah. I’ve got, um, a calendar just for that. It’s on my Instagram [01:16:10] book, a lab, is it? Come and see us or come? Yeah. People come, people come. Um, I’d like [01:16:15] more people to come. Because if I sit down with you and show you what we’re doing. And then when you’re [01:16:20] doing your work, you’re thinking, oh, you know. You know, I need to do it like that.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [01:16:25]

Michael Joseph: Save time. And things have changed so much. The possibilities [01:16:30] and the ways of doing things are so different now, especially small design and stuff like that. Like [01:16:35] the coaching and stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s really if it’s done properly, it really works [01:16:40] out. Well.

Payman Langroudi: Give me a couple of factoids. That stuff [01:16:45] that you wish more dentists knew. That [01:16:50] they don’t know.

Michael Joseph: Most of each made a crown. [01:16:55] Just one once.

Payman Langroudi: In their life.

Michael Joseph: To understand what what [01:17:00] is required. The skill level. I think people are doing cosmetic bonding, especially [01:17:05] if you’re doing it freehand. If they’re trying to do it freehand and not using a wax up and [01:17:10] the zealous, then yeah, they really see how difficult it is. [01:17:15] Yeah. You see some I see some work on Instagram.

Payman Langroudi: I’m thinking no line angles.

Michael Joseph: I [01:17:20] think if I take new veneers that look like that, you punch me in the face. But [01:17:25] I think when you make something yourself, there’s something in it. You think, wow. [01:17:30] Books that I made it. It’s a psychological thing. Yeah. So give me.

Payman Langroudi: Then regarding [01:17:35] that, regarding aesthetic anterior aesthetics. Yeah. What’s a what’s a [01:17:40] kind of a hack? Hack? I don’t like the word hack because it implies cutting corners. But [01:17:45] what’s an aha?

Michael Joseph: Draw the line angles.

Payman Langroudi: With a pencil.

Michael Joseph: With a pencil. Sure. [01:17:50] Draw on. Draw on their teeth. If you if you’re going to be doing this, draw it on. Yeah, yeah. [01:17:55] Get a really good wax up done. Really well defined.

Payman Langroudi: Look, [01:18:00] I find for me with composite, every time you adjust the facial, you [01:18:05] have to readjust the interproximal. Because every time you adjust the face, you push the line angle out. Yeah. [01:18:10] You’re almost delete the line angle if you’re not careful. Yeah. And so continuously [01:18:15] re re it’s really difficult in interior.

Michael Joseph: Work is to get [01:18:20] it to get it to look right, not to look flat. You see loads of bacteria.

Payman Langroudi: Just don’t don’t. [01:18:25]

Michael Joseph: The worst it’s getting it’s getting the angles right. Yeah. But then you get those [01:18:30] late line angles right.

Payman Langroudi: With you guys there’s not not only is there a shade question, [01:18:35] there’s also a shape question in that there’s a shrinkage or not with the ceramic. [01:18:40] Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. It’s not as much as it used to be but is that right. Yeah. But it’s it’s um, I [01:18:45] mean.

Payman Langroudi: Imagine that if you, if you.

Michael Joseph: If you’ve got to build everything up about 10% bigger.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. I mean if it. [01:18:50]

Michael Joseph: Shrinks down.

Payman Langroudi: Composite if you had to constantly think that, that after everything is going to shrink by [01:18:55] 10%, that would just, just make it even more.

Michael Joseph: That’s the great thing with with full contours. [01:19:00]

Payman Langroudi: You don’t need to know when.

Michael Joseph: We meet it, it’s two and a half times bigger in the green [01:19:05] state, and then it’s centred overnight and it comes down to the right size. Yeah, you’re doing it there. [01:19:10] But yeah, it’s it’s I often think that I often, I often think that [01:19:15] about building up fillings. Well like you see some posterior fillings people post [01:19:20] on Instagram look really nice where they rebuilt the occlusal surface. I’m like, wow, that’s really, really good. [01:19:25] Yeah. So we were.

Payman Langroudi: Talking about that. Yeah. Some it’s something that is becoming making beautiful posters [01:19:30] is a funny thing because there’s sort of this aesthetic side of it because people are taking a lot [01:19:35] more pictures.

Michael Joseph: No one’s going to see it.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, it’s like Victorian.

Michael Joseph: Buildings where they’ve got yeah, great [01:19:40] ornate architecture on the other patients.

Payman Langroudi: Will see it if you take a picture. Right. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: So there.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah [01:19:45] there is that. But just knowing.

Michael Joseph: It’s there like that.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. But also you know it’s simple things like [01:19:50] you know if you’re going to do a filling, make the angles, the cusp angles the same [01:19:55] as they were before. It’s hard to do it.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. It’s really hard.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Or a sticky [01:20:00] material that sticks.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Or use articulating paper before you start. [01:20:05] Right. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: See where things are.

Payman Langroudi: Where things are hitting um, simple [01:20:10] tips like that’s.

Michael Joseph: With lab work. Just. You just made me think about that. [01:20:15] Most people want three things. They want to [01:20:20] go on the context to be right and not be high. That’s it. You [01:20:25] keep as a technician, you’re keeping most of your customers.

Payman Langroudi: What do I do if I if I’m coming to fit [01:20:30] a crown and it doesn’t fit because of the contacts being too tight, [01:20:35] what’s gone wrong there?

Michael Joseph: Either. The models worn.

Payman Langroudi: By [01:20:40] actors come in and out so many times.

Michael Joseph: While they’re making.

Payman Langroudi: It. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: On a plaster model. Yeah. [01:20:45] Or they’ve not checked it with floss. I checked everything with floss. It’s got a click right on the solid, [01:20:50] not on the sexual model. On the on the solid model. Well, they’ve just they’re [01:20:55] just not judging it. Right.

Payman Langroudi: So so so what do I do there? [01:21:00] Do I start prepping. Do I start cutting some porcelain. Yeah. Or do I send it back. Send [01:21:05] it back, send it back.

Michael Joseph: If it’s really if it’s sometimes it’s a little bit snug. Yeah. [01:21:10] Rubber wheel. Once you start cutting into things with the burr, with the turbine, [01:21:15] they’re ruined. It’s going to break at some point. You’re introducing.

Payman Langroudi: Introducing.

Michael Joseph: Cracks, cracks [01:21:20] and fractures. Yeah, it should fit.

Payman Langroudi: It should fit.

Michael Joseph: And if it doesn’t [01:21:25] fit, they should have asked you for a new scanner or a new impression.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. See, when I said to you about going from [01:21:30] my super duper technician to the one who wasn’t that strong. No, with the super duper [01:21:35] that it never happened once, that the thing wouldn’t seat. It never happened.

Michael Joseph: Ever. [01:21:40]

Payman Langroudi: He. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Because he he made it out of the boy.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Right. So it’s at [01:21:45] least half a millimetre out.

Payman Langroudi: Well I’m talking about the contact points. Oh the contact. Yeah. Yeah. He’s [01:21:50] got them just right.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. Because he knows from experience. Yeah. That’s gonna ruin a site that’s not going to be.

Payman Langroudi: I [01:21:55] changed lab and they made me use this other lab. It was happening 1 in 4 cases that the Crown [01:22:00] wouldn’t see because the contacts were too tight or something. Right. And, you know, at that point, I realised that previous [01:22:05] technician was so good.

Michael Joseph: It’s because it does consistency. You’ve got to be consistent, reliable in [01:22:10] the lab business. You’ve got to be consistent and reliable. Those are the two things.

Payman Langroudi: Like the restaurant business, [01:22:15] the consistent.

Michael Joseph: And stay that way. Um, [01:22:20] yeah. Because why do you keep going back to what’s the success of McDonald’s? [01:22:25] It’s not the quality of the food. Definitely not. It’s the consistency. What you’re going to get no matter where you go in the [01:22:30] world. Yeah, it’s going to taste roughly the same.

Payman Langroudi: What do you reckon if, if, if you had like [01:22:35] a magic wand and we were projecting forward five years, [01:22:40] um, what would be your sort of ideal outcome? What does the future hold for [01:22:45] me? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Business. Why, sure.

Payman Langroudi: Let’s [01:22:50] go both directions if you want.

Michael Joseph: Size of business or.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, like, [01:22:55] what’s the future hold? I mean, I know it’s a weird. I’d like.

Michael Joseph: To. I’d [01:23:00] like to quadruple the size I am in terms of business and [01:23:05] much more automation. Something, something I’m working on right now is a there’s [01:23:10] no decent lab software out there, you know, like you’ve got software of excellence. I don’t even know how many different. And they’re pretty good [01:23:15] because if you think about it, the market for what you can charge a dentist, how many dentists there [01:23:20] are in the world, it’s worth it for a big software operation to really invest in time. The lab software [01:23:25] is crap.

Payman Langroudi: Does it exist?

Michael Joseph: Yeah. It’s rubbish. Like if I told you it’s [01:23:30] it’s not cloud based. And if you want to send an email through it, you’ve got to have [01:23:35] another module. And it’s like I had two choices. Either get a server [01:23:40] which is like white today. To have a server is ridiculous. Should be on the cloud. And if I [01:23:45] wanted to host it on the cloud, they don’t provide that. It was so expensive to host it myself on the cloud I [01:23:50] decided to get a server. Also, it’s so complicated and because the software [01:23:55] was designed when we were doing manual processes, there’s nothing digital. [01:24:00]

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, it’s stuff.

Michael Joseph: That’s been modified, but it’s all pretty rubbish.

Payman Langroudi: And is there a [01:24:05] dominant product?

Michael Joseph: Yeah, there’s a couple. There’s uh, there’s lab track. There’s [01:24:10] another company called evident the American Program, but they’re all rubbish.

Payman Langroudi: And why are we talking [01:24:15] about this? Because you think you could do better. Is that what you’re saying? Yeah. Like that? Yeah. [01:24:20]

Michael Joseph: I’m actually something I’m working on is to provide us a system [01:24:25] where the user interface is easy to use. The dentist, the [01:24:30] apps in three versions, there’s the version we our login as a technician, there’s the admin, [01:24:35] there’s practice admin, and then there’s the dentist on his phone.

Payman Langroudi: That’s a good idea.

Michael Joseph: Never asked [01:24:40] for a statement. Never ask where something’s at in the production, where it’s being delivered, [01:24:45] where is it going? It’s all there. The tracking numbers. It’s. You don’t need to call us.

Payman Langroudi: That’s a good idea.

Michael Joseph: And [01:24:50] for us, similarly as things come in. It automatically [01:24:55] has intelligent stock. Check to check. We’ve got the right components. If [01:25:00] not, it’ll it’ll send our advance we can get with. This is. It’s something Exocad [01:25:05] the main software designer is looking at. But. And if [01:25:10] you’ve got 500 boxes, work in the lab. How do you manage that? So [01:25:15] at the moment, the workflows with these softwares that manage that are not there [01:25:20] to they’re over complicated. I won’t get into the tech and they’re not fit for purpose. [01:25:25] I mean, we want to have 3D QR codes printed on all the models. And [01:25:30] tattoo the inside of the crown. Typekit QR code on [01:25:35] it.

Payman Langroudi: Is that doable?

Michael Joseph: Yeah, it’s all doable. Well, it’s not a tattoo, but it’s like, yeah, [01:25:40] it’s something like that.

Payman Langroudi: So if you quadruple the size of the business as far as [01:25:45] revenue. Mhm. What’s your estimate on the sort of on the other side. On the people [01:25:50] side would you have to quadruple the number of people or.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, I need. [01:25:55]

Payman Langroudi: Like, how many people? You know.

Michael Joseph: 30 people.

Payman Langroudi: Are you, like eight? Nine people now? Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah. [01:26:00] But I think as technology, as things change in the next few years, technology.

Payman Langroudi: Is going to reduce.

Michael Joseph: The I think AI [01:26:05] is going to is going to really kick in in the next year. But so [01:26:10] simple crowns will be designed by AI. A scan will come in the. It will [01:26:15] be booked in automatically. It’ll go into design. It’ll be designed. They’ll be checking processes [01:26:20] that might need a bit of a touch up. Then it’ll go to be milled and then the [01:26:25] finishing will be relatively. But then won’t that.

Payman Langroudi: Won’t that just be run.

Michael Joseph: Of the mill.

Payman Langroudi: If [01:26:30] it’s like.

Michael Joseph: Saric. Saric market is never really grown that much because there’s only a particular [01:26:35] type of dentist that wants to sit and mess about with that. But you know [01:26:40] market size is stayed the same.

Payman Langroudi: If it’s if it’s that brilliant here that it it does it all itself. [01:26:45]

Michael Joseph: But it needs it needs supervision. The job of the technician will [01:26:50] become understanding that technology and getting it to do what we want it to do, that’s going to be very [01:26:55] complicated.

Payman Langroudi: So I was I was talking to a dentist yesterday.

Michael Joseph: It’s like now with the, [01:27:00] um, with, with like car manufacturing if you look at it like that now. Right. Yeah. Used [01:27:05] to be when they made a Rolls-Royce, it was all handmade. Yeah, yeah. Now it’s all machine made. [01:27:10] But the technicians controlling that machinery and understanding the milling [01:27:15] protocols and strategies and to produce all these parts, they are just as highly as their [01:27:20] skill set. Just doesn’t lie. Underneath a car, screwing something on it. On a computer [01:27:25] screen.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, but the, you know, the notion of Ireland five years time, could [01:27:30] it be that there’s no need for a technician at all?

Michael Joseph: No. It’ll always [01:27:35] be.

Payman Langroudi: Needed. Are you.

Michael Joseph: Sure? Because what’s going to happen? It’s like. It’s like. It’s like any. It’s like. It’s like any [01:27:40] industry. What’s going to happen? It’s like, what are you seeing now in the fashion industry? It went from mass production to people [01:27:45] want things handmade. What’s going to happen, I think, is that everything’s going to be digital, and then someone’s [01:27:50] going to go out and launch an old fashioned habit. Handmade. And [01:27:55] that’s going to be a thing. It’s going to go full circle because like now what do people want? Handmade clothing [01:28:00] and everything. Artisan handmade. This is put together right.

Payman Langroudi: Talking [01:28:05] of handmade do you do feldspathic as well. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Don’t want to. Yeah. [01:28:10] Is it hard. No they’re just they’re just they’re weaker but they have their place. Yeah. More beautiful. Really [01:28:15] really thin veneer. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And you can’t do them digitally at all. Is that right? [01:28:20] No.

Michael Joseph: No, it’s just there’s no design. You just you just make it on the die. You [01:28:25] just do it there and then. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So look, this this question of whether or not [01:28:30] a technician is necessary is I’m not attacking technicians. Right. It’s all of our jobs [01:28:35] are in danger. All of us. Everybody. I’d say good. 80% of jobs. Have you seen. [01:28:40]

Michael Joseph: Did you hear about the thing they testing in China now.

Payman Langroudi: For.

Michael Joseph: The. I think it’s [01:28:45] a treatment to. Get your teeth to regrow. Yeah, right. Listen, [01:28:50] in China, let’s see. But no, I just think the roles will change. Roles will change. [01:28:55] It’s like. It’s like the skills will still be different.

Payman Langroudi: I think you’re right. It’ll [01:29:00] be. It’ll be a case of fewer technicians doing more work. Yeah. You know, it’s a [01:29:05] possibility eventually.

Michael Joseph: This is what I think is going to happen, is that the design will pretty [01:29:10] much be all automate all AI automated, but it will need controlling. And then the crowns will just [01:29:15] be printed out in the right colour and they’ll need minimal hand finishing.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. But [01:29:20] then someone will come up with this unit that will print Chairside and then the design piece. [01:29:25] Okay, you can.

Michael Joseph: Already do it. You can use a cerec.

Payman Langroudi: I know, I know, I know, but there’s only will [01:29:30] be more, more more more like easy to use than it is right now. Because right now it’s still very [01:29:35] clunky and.

Michael Joseph: Always been like that, even even when it’s in the version I see in. It’s not [01:29:40] clunky. It needs attention. Mm. Interesting. We’re the most advanced machine in the [01:29:45] world. Nothing is going to be more advanced than us.

Payman Langroudi: Everything.

Michael Joseph: Everything that’s come, [01:29:50] it comes through us. We’re the most sophisticated machine in the world. It’s [01:29:55] because all the other machines have been made by us.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a funny time to try and predict the future, you know, [01:30:00] because it’s changing. It’s changing very quickly.

Michael Joseph: Dentistry, landscape, landscape. [01:30:05]

Payman Langroudi: Just generally, you know. Yeah, I the way it is.

Michael Joseph: Like, [01:30:10] what if they. What if they get a vaccine for caries. That’s it. Dentistry is finished. It’s just [01:30:15] hygiene.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, you say that, but I’m not going to lose your teeth. There’s [01:30:20] very few for trauma. There’s much less. There’s much less caries than there used to be. Yeah. Um, especially, [01:30:25] you know, the practices you’re dealing with. Yeah. The private practices. Mhm. Caries is a [01:30:30] lot of it. You’re right though is historical dentistry that’s failed.

Michael Joseph: Um [01:30:35] there’s loads of young people that brush their teeth. Fortunately [01:30:40] for us, fortunately for you.

Payman Langroudi: All [01:30:45] it’s been a brilliant conversation. I’ve really enjoyed that, man. Yeah. Me too. I’m going to end it with our usual [01:30:50] questions. No. First getting the sector. Um.

Michael Joseph: I [01:30:55] just switched it off.

Payman Langroudi: Fancy dinner party. Three guests. [01:31:00] Dead or alive. Who?

Michael Joseph: David Bowie.

Payman Langroudi: David Bowie. Wicked. Good answer. [01:31:05]

Michael Joseph: Sadhguru.

Payman Langroudi: Oh really? Yeah, really. [01:31:10]

Michael Joseph: And my dad are brilliant.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: David [01:31:15] Bowie. You know, I say David Bowie. Why he’s so accurately [01:31:20] predicted the future of music. If you’ve seen any of those videos and [01:31:25] his whole take on general culture. Yeah, how it was going to evolve with.

Payman Langroudi: It all the way [01:31:30] to the end.

Michael Joseph: He sold his music rights years ago. Everyone’s doing that now, you know, you saw it back then. I [01:31:35] need to do this. And Sadhguru to be in the presence of an [01:31:40] enlightened being who’s had a massive effect on my life as he.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. So [01:31:45] what?

Michael Joseph: Just stripped away all the bullshit.

Payman Langroudi: So kind of that Buddhism angle. [01:31:50]

Michael Joseph: Yoga, but not as in, like, contortion in the gym.

Payman Langroudi: The mental [01:31:55] yoga. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you died for obvious reasons. Yeah. [01:32:00] Final question. Its deathbed question. On [01:32:05] your deathbed, surrounded by all your loved ones. One [01:32:10] of three pieces of advice you’d leave them.

Michael Joseph: Be kind [01:32:15] to everyone. Uh. Always [01:32:20] do your best with everything you do and everything you do, do it properly. [01:32:25] It’s the best, best of your ability. Assess those. That’s the same thing and [01:32:30] don’t get into dentistry. Um, [01:32:35] yeah.

Payman Langroudi: You know, I mean, the last one. [01:32:40]

Michael Joseph: No no no no no. But I think being kind and considerate, [01:32:45] I think my zig Zig Ziglar said that. He said, you know, be what did he say? Be compassionate [01:32:50] with the weak. Be kind to the young. Um, be respectful of the of your [01:32:55] elders, because at one point in your life you will be all of these things. Um, yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Zig Ziglar [01:33:00] was when was it? 60s? 70s? He was 80s. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Yeah, yeah. [01:33:05] No, he died in the, in the, I think in the, in the late in the early 2000. [01:33:10]

Payman Langroudi: I mean, the videos I’ve seen, they look pretty black and white or something old. Yeah. It hasn’t [01:33:15] aged. The information has not aged the same.

Michael Joseph: It’s universal.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Yeah. And [01:33:20] it’s interesting. You know the basic principles stay the same, you know. And you can say this about [01:33:25] lab. You can say this about dentistry. Like the things you’ve been saying, right. Don’t cut corners, [01:33:30] do things properly, do the simple things.

Michael Joseph: Right.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. I mean.

Michael Joseph: We were discussing this the other day. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Now [01:33:35] I could come and change everything. Yet the basic principles will be the [01:33:40] same. And it’s.

Michael Joseph: But the AI learns from us.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Look, I’m [01:33:45] not as optimistic about that as as you are. I mean, learns from us, but, you know, imagine the [01:33:50] AI has every single input that every single human has ever put in. [01:33:55] It’s a it’s a different learning than. If you heard from me and you. Yeah. [01:34:00]

Michael Joseph: I see what you mean.

Payman Langroudi: You know the pattern recognition part of it. [01:34:05] Like, in a way, I see, you know. Are you on tick tock? Yeah. Tick tick tock. Serves you. [01:34:10] It serves you exactly what you’re after.

Michael Joseph: So that’s the algorithm though.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, but let’s just call that let’s [01:34:15] call that the AI. The way. The way it serves you exactly what you’re after. Very. [01:34:20] It learns. It learns who you are very quickly. You know what I’m getting at the moment? What are you getting?

Michael Joseph: I [01:34:25] know why.

Payman Langroudi: I’m getting bent. Cops. Cow, cow [01:34:30] hoof trimming.

Michael Joseph: You know that one? I’m like, I get those [01:34:35] these videos about these guys trimming councils, you know, like the count foot doctor. [01:34:40] Yeah, like a.

Payman Langroudi: Coroner or something. He’s like, you know, it’s.

Michael Joseph: Quite interesting.

Payman Langroudi: Hammering the. [01:34:45]

Michael Joseph: Yeah. No, no, no, no trimming like toenail cutter. I [01:34:50] get bent.

Payman Langroudi: Cops. I get a lot of bent cops.

Michael Joseph: Cops. I think I know what [01:34:55] you want. Yeah, I don’t I don’t look at TikTok that much. But it’s very easy. [01:35:00] I find, you know, it can fall into it.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Michael Joseph: I can be sitting on the sofa. It’s about 10:00. I look around, it’s 1 [01:35:05] a.m. and I’ve been.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. My latest hack on that is on the, uh, walking machine. Running [01:35:10] machine? Watch TikTok. Yeah.

Michael Joseph: Time passes.

Payman Langroudi: Quicker. Yeah. Much quicker. Much. Seriously, man. [01:35:15] 30 minutes on on that thing. Yeah. Before you for me, you just feel like six hours. No, [01:35:20] no, no.

Michael Joseph: Just when I used to run, I never I never listened to music. [01:35:25]

Payman Langroudi: What would you do? Because you suddenly started becoming very fit, right? So when you started running, what what [01:35:30] was the sort of did you meditate? No, no. But how did you what was going through [01:35:35] your head?

Michael Joseph: I’m thinking about what? Work. Thinking? No. Thinking about nothing. If you don’t, if [01:35:40] you just concentrate on what you’re doing, you get into the state of flow. Sometimes I could [01:35:45] go for an 18 mile run and feel like half an hour. Yeah, because it’s gone. [01:35:50] Especially. I’m doing a route. I know where there’s no cars or anything. I’ve got to think about it. I have to think about [01:35:55] it. You get to that flow state and that’s to do with separation. That’s all. That’s [01:36:00] all to do with yoga. Yeah, it’s very.

Payman Langroudi: Much the opposite of my.

Michael Joseph: Dancers. Say they experience flow. Yeah yeah yeah [01:36:05] yeah. Any coffee? Coffee pickers. Technicians technically [01:36:10] even know there’s a phone ringing, so someone has to go.

Payman Langroudi: We used to have it. We have. We used to [01:36:15] have a technician here. But when you walk into the room, you could see it in her face [01:36:20] that whether or not you could interrupt what she was doing. Because if you [01:36:25] could somehow you could tell that if you interrupt her now, there’s going to be a situation [01:36:30] because she was so in it, you know. Yeah. You can get.

Michael Joseph: Into what you’re doing. Yeah. For sure. [01:36:35] It’s a flow state. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: How would you like to be remembered?

Michael Joseph: The [01:36:40] data.

Payman Langroudi: I could do.

Michael Joseph: So. As [01:36:45] a coin person.

Payman Langroudi: Louis. I mean, it’s been a [01:36:50] massive pleasure to have you. Thank you. Likewise.

Michael Joseph: Thank you for having me on.

Payman Langroudi: Thanks for coming in. And, [01:36:55] uh, you know, Prav told me that, uh, you’re working with Prav now. Yeah. Prav [01:37:00] told me that you, of all of his clients, the one who quickest does [01:37:05] what he says. You know what?

Michael Joseph: I called him up. I said to him, I realised what you’re doing to me, it’s like the Karate Kid. [01:37:10] Wax on, wax off. Go and make lead magnets. Do CRM, do this, do that. [01:37:15] I’ve done it all. And then suddenly it’s all coming together. Yeah, but.

Payman Langroudi: That, you know, that says a lot, [01:37:20] man. It says a lot. Oh that’s great. But it says a lot about the fact that you’re sort of, you know, you’re [01:37:25] willing to get out of your comfort zone to do this. Because I remember having the conversation with you about social media before. [01:37:30] Yeah. And you saying, oh, it’s not my bag and it’s got to be. And two years later, it [01:37:35] perhaps telling me you’re his number one executor. Executor on social [01:37:40] media. So you know. Yeah. Well done man. Thank you. Thanks a lot for coming in.

Michael Joseph: Yeah a pleasure. Thanks [01:37:45] for having me.

[VOICE]: This is Dental Leaders, [01:37:50] the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. [01:37:55] Your hosts. Payman Langroudi [01:38:00] and Prav Solanki.

Prav Solanki: Thanks for listening, guys. [01:38:05] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and [01:38:10] pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to [01:38:15] say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Payman Langroudi: If you did get some value out of it, think about [01:38:20] subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get [01:38:25] some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Prav Solanki: And don’t forget our six star rating. [01:38:30]

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