T-Bone Speaks Dentistry

T-Bone Speaks is a dental podcast dedicated to helping you achieve clinical, financial, and personal balance in dentistry. Dr. Tarun "T-Bone" Agarwal and his co-host Mr. Chuck McKee bring years of practical experience and a unique 'in the trenches' view of dentistry to the podcast. Thanks to their entertaining demeanor and down to earth approach, you’ll be looking forward to each episode. For more great resources on dental learning or to submit a question to the hosts please visit .
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T-Bone Speaks Dentistry



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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

Every medical practice needs to focus on the issue of patient retention. It’s the bread and butter of the entire office team. Retaining patients happens not just because you are good at what you do but because of the personal touch and genuine concern you have for your patients. On this episode of T-Bone Speaks, Tarun speaks with a dentist from his own neighborhood, Dr. Jennifer Matthews. She tells how she got into dentistry, why the personal touch with her patients is so important to her and her office team, and the goals she has for the next year of her practice. It’s a very interesting conversation that turns toward very practical tips you can apply to your practice today. Be sure you take the time to listen.

Patient retention happens because of the EXPERIENCE you give your patients.

Patient care is definitely part of the experience you provide to your patients. Do you do your work with excellence? Are things explained to the patient’s satisfaction? Do you do your best to ensure they are in as little discomfort as possible while undergoing procedures? All of those are important considerations, but there’s more to it than that. There’s a mindset of compassion, even love that goes into good team/patient relationships. On this episode, Dr. Jennifer Matthews tells how she and her team approach patient care and the incredible retention rate they experience as a result. It’s all on this episode of T-Bone Speaks.

Opening your own dental practice will likely mean a pay cut for you.

It’s not uncommon for dentists who practice in an associate role to believe that establishing or purchasing a practice of their own is the key to increased personal income. But most of the time the exact opposite is true. On this episode, T-Bone and his guest Dr. Jennifer Matthews discuss how she discovered that reality when she purchased the practice where she had been serving as an associate and how both of them think about the issue after having a few years as owners under their belts. Don’t misunderstand, there are distinct advantages to owning your own practice, but for the first season, financial benefits will not likely be one of them. Get the whole story on this episode.

Building a dental team through clarity and generosity.

One of the things Dr. Jennifer Matthews didn’t like about serving as an associate dentist in an existing practice was that she had little power over how or whether the office team received compensation increases, bonuses, and other perks that she felt they deserved. Once she purchased the practice those were things she addressed immediately, and the morale in the office has only gotten stronger as she’s implemented even more opportunities for the team to benefit from the excellent work they do. You will learn a lot from Jennifer’s example of generosity - and T-Bone throws in some thoughts of his own on the subject as well - so be sure you take the time to listen to this conversation.

Without clear goals for your dental practice, you will eventually fail.

Every dentist who owns his/her own practice knows that improvements and changes have to come in order to grow the client base and increase revenue. But too often those desires remain ambiguous hopes rather than becoming clearly-defined goals. T-Bone spends a good portion of this conversation with his guest, Dr. Jennifer Matthews drilling down into the goals she has for her practice to help her gain clarity and specificity that will enable the actions that will bring her goals to fruition. It’s a coaching-type conversation that you’ll enjoy immensely if you want to grow your practice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:13] T-Bone’s introduction of Dr. Jennifer Matthews.
  • [4:25] How Jennifer decided to go into dentistry.
  • [7:03] How she got started: a Medicaid practice that was a wonderful experience.
  • [10:36] The lessons Jennifer learned in the Medicaid practice.
  • [12:01] Lessons learned from her first more traditional practice experience.
  • [16:20] The dream of working with lifetime patients.
  • [19:03] The changes Jennifer made once she purchased the practice.
  • [21:59] The pay cut Jennifer took to own the practice.
  • [26:20] Running her practice as a single mom.
  • [30:03] Working to be generous to her team and the difficulties involved.
  • [41:52] The bonus system Jennifer has established for her team..
  • [47:25] Areas Jennifer is looking to improve her practice.
  • [55:20] Considering outsourcing to increase revenue.
  • [1:00:00] Learning to produce more in less time.
  • [1:07:35] How you can connect with Dr. Matthews.

Resources & People Mentioned

Feb 20, 2017

Dental excellence is something every dentist will SAY is a goal, but too many have no idea what it really means or what it will take to achieve it. This conversation with Dr. Eric Ballou explores the pursuit of the very best work we can do, as a dentist, as a caring professional in the lives of our patients, and as a great leader to the teams who work alongside us in our offices. You’re going to hear some of the approaches T-Bone has learned in all of those areas - as well as a good deal of conversation about how to improve the “sale” of sleep apnea treatment both with and without the help of a sleep apnea physician. You’re going to get a lot out of this one, so be sure you listen.

The incredible benefits of 3d imaging technology.

T-bone is fond of saying, “X-rays are lying to us.” It’s not because X-rays themselves are inherently flawed, it’s just that with the advent of 3D imaging there is so much more information available to properly and effectively treat all kinds of dental problems. In this conversation, you’ll get to hear from 3 Dentists who use 3D imaging. Each of them has their own particular love for the technology but in the end, you’re going to realize this is a group of Docs who are entirely enthusiastic about the changes the tech is making to how they approach treatment, and their bottom line. You won’t believe it until you hear it.

Simple steps to increase your ability to treat sleep apnea in your dental practice.

Most dentists are aware of their ability to treat sleep apnea, but the hoops it appears you have to jump through in order to do it are a bit intimidating to many. But it doesn’t have to be that way. On this episode of T-bone Speaks, T-bone addresses the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea from a dental perspective and gives dentists a handful of tips for beginning, leading, and ending the conversation in a way that will make your sleep apnea treatment more profitable. You’ll want to hear this one.

The pursuit of dental excellence requires that you be conscious of the human side of the business.

When you think of what it takes for your average patient to make it to their dental appointments you’ll realize that it’s not as simple as showing up on time. That’s especially true if you’re talking about children who are patients. Your patients have to take off work, rearrange their schedules, arrange for babysitters, and much more. When you are mindful of those kinds of things, you’re taking into account the very real things your patients have to deal with in order to take care of their health - and you can make the processes they need to follow inside the walls of your office more conducive to their personal concerns as well. This episode’s conversation covers that topic and a whole lot more, so make sure you listen.

What are your bold goals as a dentist?

When you pursue excellence in your practice, don’t forget about setting goals that have to do with what you are trying to accomplish in your own life. Where do you want to be in 5 years? What will it take to get there? Do you even think about your practice in those terms? You should. In this conversation, T-bone makes a very hard but powerful challenge to you and offers advice for how you can be honest about your personal goals with your office team in a way that will fuel your goals and theirs at the same time. This section alone is worth the time it will take you to listen.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:15] Today’s recording studio: The kids’ bedroom!
  • [0:55] Introduction of Dr. Eric Ballou and his background in dentistry.
  • [9:07] Erin’s entrance introduction to 3d imaging technology.
  • [15:25] Sleep apnea issues and specialization.
  • [18:40] How T-bone and Erin met.
  • [20:06] The mistakes Eric made trying to implement procedures around sleep issues.
  • [28:58] The 4 step process when dealing with sleep apnea patients.
  • [33:10] Getting past the myths dentists are lead to believe regarding sleep apnea.
  • [42:00] Learning to be conscious of the human side of the dental business.
  • [45:37] The goods and bads of Eric’s experience in his practice.
  • [57:41] Why dentists need to fund their business like a business rather than be cheap.
  • [1:04:08] Learning to be bold about your future as a dentist.

Resources & People Mentioned

Feb 6, 2017

This is an ENCORE (replay) of an interview I did with the fine folks at DentalHacks on utilizing an in office payment plan and the importance of having a financial menu.

Remember we resume regular episodes on Feb 20 for Season 2 of TBone Speaks.

Do us a favor and visit and submit your questions for the show.

Feb 1, 2017

This episode is a replay of my interview on the DentalHacks podcast.  We talk about quite a few different things, but the overall theme is about my belief in the need for experienced dentists and/or dental owners to stop doing fillings and crowns.


It's a great listen!

And an announcement ....


Season 2 will resume Feb 20, 2017 with more great interviews and fresh content.

Ask T-Bone segment needs your help....  please visit and submit questions.