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: May, 2017
May 29, 2017

In today’s insurance-driven environment, it is easy to start thinking that insurance is the enemy that will keep you from building the dental practice that you really want. In this flashback episode to his interview on The Thriving Dentist podcast, T-Bone shares his strong belief that dentistry can indeed thrive in an insurance environment. He explains how he has changed his mindset about insurance and how he has utilized dental technology to help his own practice thrive. Listen in to find out how dentistry truly can be everything you want it to be!


How to thrive in an insurance environment


According to T-Bone, the first step toward thriving in an insurance environment is acceptance, a mental commitment to working with insurance. In this episode, he talks about how he has committed to insurance while not letting it dictate what he offers to his patients. T-Bone explains how he uses photography to encourage his patients to have procedures done and how adding orthodontics can help dentists thrive in an insurance environment. Listen to this podcast to find out why insurance does not need to hold you back!


The most important technology in dentistry - #1 a digital camera


When asked about the most important technology for dentistry, T-Bone didn’t have to think twice. A digital camera has made all the difference in his practice because of the way it opens up conversations with patients. In this episode, T-Bone gets specific about the type of cameras you need (and what you don’t) and what to do with the photos once you take them. Listen to this interview to find out how something as simple as a camera can help your practice to thrive!


The most important technology in dentistry - #2 CAD/CAM


CAD/CAM, and specifically CEREC, has slowly changed T-Bone’s dental practice. “If you commit to it,” he says,  “it will take you to places  you didn’t dream were possible for your patients.”  In this episode, T-Bone debunks some of the myths around CAD/CAM dental technology and talks about how it benefits his patients. He also explains the economics of CEREC and how it actually saves you money. Listen to this interview to get accurate information on this technology that can help your practice thrive.


The most important technology in dentistry - #3 Conebeam 3D imaging


T-Bone bought Conebeam to help him do implants. But the unexpected side effect was its use for diagnostics. In this interview, replayed from The Thriving Dentist podcast, T-bone describes the many uses he has found for Conebeam 3D imaging. He also talks about why the implant process should be controlled by the general dentist, how he decides which implants to do and which to refer out, and how Conebeam technology helps him make timely decisions about patient care. Listen to this podcast interview to learn what you need to know about how Conebeam 3D imaging can help your practice thrive!


Outline of This Episode


  • [25] Intro of T-Bone (Tarun Agarwal) and his practical approach to challenging subjects
  • [5:14] First steps in how to thrive today in an insurance environment.
  • [11:38] What do you do with digital photos once you take them?
  • [17:06] How orthodontics helps dentists thrive in an insurance environment.
  • [18:08] Why you have to expand your services if you want to do well.
  • [18:49] What are the most important pieces of technology in your practice?
  • [20:07] The most important technology in dentistry - #1 a digital camera.
  • [24:01] The most important technology in dentistry - #2 CAD/CAM.
  • [29:22] Debunking the myths about CAD/CAM (CEREC) technology.
  • [31:32] The economics of CEREC.
  • [34:55] Can CEREC be used for multiple units?
  • [35:45]The most important technology in dentistry - #3 Conebeam 3D imaging
  • [37:26] Why and how the implant process should be controlled by the general dentist.
  • [43:01] The best advice T-Bone received right out of dental school, and what he would tell a younger version of himself.
  • [48:17] Tarun’s unique training center on the 2nd floor of his office.


Resources & People Mentioned


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May 22, 2017

As The Dental Guys said, “This episode will challenge many of the things you take for granted about your dental practice and it will force you to think differently about what is possible.” The Dental Guys ask direct questions and T-Bone gives candid answers that disrupt their thinking. This high-energy conversation covers a broad range of possibilities that could turn your current dental practice into a thriving dental business.

Figure out what motivates you and let that guide your business decisions

According to T-Bone, most people are motivated by one of three things; money, time, or satisfaction. The decisions you make regarding your dental business can be shaped around your motivation. In this episode, T-Bone challenges The Dental Guys to think about their motivation and make corresponding changes to their dental practices. What motivates you? Think about it and listen to this podcast to discover how to build a dental business that fits your motivation.

Personal and professional savings plans are essential for your dental business

When you are converting your dental practice into a dental business, financial risks are a part of the process. In this episode, T-Bone lays out the details of how personal and professional savings plans prepare you for those risks and make growth and change possible. He explains how to painlessly build up your savings so that financial pressures no longer keep you from building the business that you want. Listen in and get ready to save!

You need an associate; here’s how to work with one

What are your favorite dental procedures? Do you want to do more advanced dentistry? An associate in your practice can enable you to grow personally and move on from fillings and crowns to the procedures that you enjoy, that are more productive, and that help you build your dental business. In this episode, T-Bone and The Dental Guys discuss this at length, addressing the issues of how to hire an associate, the challenges of working with today’s young dentists, and how to make it possible for your associate to advance his or her skills while still maintaining the high standards of your practice.

Medical Billing: Get paid for what you’re doing now for free

Many dentists are unaware of all the visits and procedures that can be covered by a patient’s medical insurance. Several of these are things that you are doing already, but not billing for. Others are procedures that have a much higher reimbursement through medical insurance than through dental. In this episode, T-Bone identifies three ways to do medical billing and talks about where to get the training you need to make it happen. If you want to make more money in your dental business, you want to listen to this interview!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:25] Jon & Wes, The Dental Guys, introduce T-Bone.
  • [1:12] Why T-Bone decided to stop personally doing fillings and crowns.
  • [5:49] The distinction between a dental practice and a dental business.
  • [7:51] What motivates you?
  • [14:31] Why you need a personal and professional savings plan (and how to start one).
  • [22:02] Why dentists need to update their mindset to 2017 (and what that looks like).
  • [25:49] How to overcome implementation challenges after CE events.
  • [29:51] How to make more money in your dental practice.
  • [34:58] Smart people make money off other people’s efforts. Delegate.
  • [39:24] Figure out what motivates you and let that drive your business decisions.
  • [40:08] You need an associate; Here’s how to work with one.
  • [43:27] Responding to the challenges of working with today’s young dentists.
  • [48:49] How do you help your associate build his or her skillset.
  • [53:38] A mindset of always wanting to learn is essential, for yourself and your associate.
  • [58:06] We don’t lack mentors, we lack good apprentices.
  • [1:06:22] Medical billing: Get paid for what you’re doing now for free.
  • [1:17:05] Three ways to do medical billing.
  • [1:25:56] Synopsis of T-Bone’s practice: Produce more, doing less.

Resources & People Mentioned

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May 15, 2017

What is your motivation for implementing advanced dental technology into your practice? How much money is enough? Is there something beyond money that is motivating you? In this episode, T-Bone talks with Mark Costes on the Dentalpreneur Podcast about why they do what they do, and how to implement the technology and procedures that fit with your goals. You’ll want to take some notes as you listen to this interview jam-packed with information you can use.

Reasons to set up in-office payment plans in your dental practice

Does your dental practice offer payment plans for patients? Are you concerned that it would negatively impact your production to collections ratio? T-Bone uses in-office payment plans to help his patients be able to afford advanced dentistry. In this episode, he explains how plans are offered to patients based on their treatments, how offering these plans benefits his practice and his patients, how these plans enable him to use more advanced dental technology, and how he establishes minimums and payment plan length. Listen in to get all the details and decide if offering payment plans would benefit your practice.

How to transition into a more technologically advanced practice

Are you thinking about integrating more advanced dental technology in your practice? Is investing in technology a sound business decision for you? In this episode, Tarun explains the process of investing in technology that will make advanced dentistry easier for you. He provides insights into when this investment is a good decision for your business and how your mindset affects your decisions about technology. He also explains how the technology can be free for your practice. Listen to this episode and get all the information you need for transitioning to advanced dental technology.

How to determine which technology to integrate into your dental practice

Do you know where to start with integrating advanced technology into your practice? It is not the same for every dentist, in every practice. In this episode, T-Bone talks about key questions to ask that will help you know what would be the best first step for your practice. He also explains the benefits of technology for your patients, and for your practice. Listen in to this very practical discussion to get the information you need to move forward in implementing advanced dental technology.

Why and how to do medical billing in your dental practice

What aspects of dental treatment can be billed to patients’ medical insurance? How will implementing medical billing benefit your practice? And how do you get started with medical billing? T-Bone answers these questions and more on today’s episode with Mark Costes on the Dentalpreneur podcast. Medical insurance can cover more than you might think, and can also support your integration of dental technology. Listen in to get the details about why and how to implement medical billing in your dental practice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:28] Thoughts on owning multiple practices.
  • [5:00] How much money is enough? Why am I actually doing this?
  • [10:12] Why and how to implement in-office payment plans.
  • [15:05] How in-office payment plans affect your accounts receivable and your production to collections ratio.
  • [17:34] Printing financial menus for each patient.
  • [19:13] Why payment plans have to be on an automated system.
  • [21:55] Rationale for getting on the road and speaking
  • [25:53] How to transition into a more technologically advanced practice.
  • [29:40] How to make sound business decisions about technology.
  • [32:24] The right mindset is essential for getting advanced dental technology.
  • [35:11] Dentalpreneur Podcast sponsor info. Unified Smiles. Overhead and cash flow control.
  • [37:07] How to determine which technology to integrate into your dental practice
  • [41:17] How to get started with medical billing.
  • [46:38] Things we do for free that could be covered by medical insurance.
  • [52:52] How to do medical billing and why it may not be working for you yet.
  • [57:25] T-Bone’s medical billing, sleep apnea, and 3D workshops.
  • [59:42] We need to get back in touch with the hassles we are creating for our patients.
  • [1:03:55] Three phases of dental practice - General, Advanced, and Emotional.
  • [1:06:09] The economics of implants in T-Bone’s practice.

Resources & People Mentioned

Listen to the entire interview

May 8, 2017

Dr. David Juliani has built a two million dollar, state-of-the-art dental practice in Rochester, Minnesota. In this episode, Dr. Juliani tells the story of starting his practice from scratch 20 years ago and how it grew into the thriving business that it is now. Whether or not you want a facility of that size, you’ll want to hear this interview and benefit from Dr. Juliani’s wisdom about building a thriving dental practice.

Why a calculated risk is worth taking

Dr. David Juliani took a huge calculated risk with the amount of money he invested into his new, state-of-the-art dental facility. In this episode, Dr. Juliani talks about how he came to the conclusion that the risk would be worth taking, and what the outcome was. You’ll hear about the decisions he made and what their effect has been in his practice. Listen in and find out how to determine what kind of risk may be worth taking for the future of your dental practice.

A dental practice that can run smoothly without you gives you a lot of freedom

Dr. David Juliani would like to do more advanced dentistry and take on more speaking engagements. His question in today’s episode was about how T-Bone can take so much time off from his practice. What has he done so that the practice can run smoothly when he is not there? T-bone explains the ways that he has given autonomy to his team and freed them to work in his absence. He also talks about the work-in-progress this is and how he continues to work on his strategy. Listen in for some great tips for empowering your staff to run the practice when you are absent.

Focus on replacing yourself so that you can become what you envision for yourself

Has your dental practice grown to the point where you are ready to hire an associate? How will you decide what type of person you want to choose? In this episode, T-Bone and Dr. David Juliani talk about hiring associates and strategies for passing on basic dentistry to them. They share some of their own frustrations and mistakes and provide some specific questions for you to think about so that you can replace yourself in some areas and be freed up in others to do the things that are most important to you.

The decisions you make today for your dental practice will have long-lasting effects

Dr. David Juliani’s highly successful state-of-the-art dental practice did not happen by accident. It was what he did 10 to 15 years ago that enabled him to be where he is today. In this episode, Dr. Juliani talks about the decisions that he made and the steps he took early on that ultimately led to his success. Listen to today’s podcast to hear what those decisions and steps were, and how the choices you are making today will affect the future of your practice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:16] Intro to this episode with Dr. David Juliani in Rochester, MI.
  • [6:33] Dr. David Juliani’s story: How he started from scratch and built a thriving practice.
  • [11:36] Is merging with a retiring practice worthwhile?
  • [13:50] Why Dr. Juliani decided to build a new facility.
  • [16:14] Being a PPO dentist does not preclude you from doing great dentistry or from having the best technology.
  • [24:42] The decision to refer out or add new procedures to your practice
  • [32:16] How to have good relationships with your associates.
  • [38:55] David Juliani’s state of the art office, with Sirona package.
  • [49:19] Why a calculated risk is worth taking.
  • [54:08] Why you should pay yourself like an associate.
  • [59:13] Focus on replacing yourself so that you can become what you envision for yourself.
  • [1:08:23] How to make the change to not doing fillings and crowns.
  • [1:10:14] How Tarun’s practice can run smoothly when he isn’t there.
  • [1:15:07] What to look for when hiring an associate.
  • [1:18:25] The decisions you make today have long lasting effects.
  • [1:20:02] T-Bone’s takeaway from this conversation.
  • [1:21:21] Dr. David Juliani’s speaking topics and how you can contact him.

Resources & People Mentioned

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Submit a question for T-Bone

If you’d like to have T-Bone address a question or issue you’re having in your practice he’d love to respond and answer your question on the show. You can submit your question by completing the contact form here.

Attend one of T-Bones LIVE events!

If you are interested in attending a LIVE event that T-Bone is hosting you can find one near you by checking out the map and event descriptions here.

May 1, 2017

When Dr. Max Johnson was ready for his own practice, he decided to buy a dental practice instead of starting a new one. Dr. Johnson is a young dentist and has had his own practice for just over two years. In this episode, Max tells the story of how he got where he is, and he and T-Bone talk about the growth and changes that are happening in his practice and the challenges that go along with them. If your dental career is still fairly new, or if you want to inject new life into your dental practice, you’ll want to listen in and get some great advice and ideas from Dr. Johnson and T-Bone!

The role of continuing education in establishing your dental practice

When you’re starting out in dental practice, should you focus on learning on-the-job, or from books and courses? Is it worth taking classes when you don’t yet have a lot of patients? In this episode, Dr. Max Johnson and T-Bone talk about continuing education and how it benefits your practice from day one. They also recommend specific resources and courses that they have found to be helpful. Whether you are buying a dental practice, starting from scratch, or looking to grow an established practice, this episode contains lots of useful information on CE that you can use.

The hurdles that Dr. Max Johnson overcame after buying a dental practice

Buying a dental practice was what worked best for Dr. Johnson when he was ready to go on his own. But there were also significant hurdles that he had to overcome along the way. In this episode, Max shares what some of those hurdles were, and the things that he has done to move through them. You will be inspired by this energetic, forward-thinking young dentist as he talks about everything he has done to re-make the dental practice he bought into a practice that works for him and is growing and thriving.

Public Education and Facebook Videos create awareness in your dental market

Dr. Max Johnson quickly figured out that he and his staff were hearing the same questions over and over again from their patients. So he started doing a weekly Facebook Live video to answer those frequently asked questions and has found this to be a great way to connect with his patients and his community. In addition, he is starting to offer public education classes on new services and technology that he is offering. In this episode. Max and T-Bone talk about these platforms and how they are helping to grow his dental practice.

How do you go about establishing goals for yourself and your practice?

Having attainable goals for yourself and your staff is essential to the growth of your practice. In this episode, Dr. Max Johnson asks T-Bone about how to establish those goals. Listen in to hear T-Bone’s response and learn how to set your goals, help your staff to set their own goals, and how to work together to make it all happen. If you are ready for your practice to move forward, listen to this conversation to help you set the goals that will motivate your whole team.

Outline of This Episode

  • [00:16] Introduction to today’s guest, Dr. Max Johnson
  • [3:39] Dr. Max Johnson’s story of how he became a dentist and how he came to buy a dental practice.
  • [13:16] Dr. Johnson describes his dental practice and what was in place when he bought it.
  • [16:29] Questions and challenges with buying an existing dental practice.
  • [22:18] Max Johnson’s Continuing Education wish list.
  • [25:21] The value of including Continuing Education that helps you with patient communication and leading them to treatment.
  • [28:56] How much do you learn on the job and how much can you learn in a book?
  • [34:23] Dr. Johnson and his wife are both dentists, working in different spheres.
  • [40:33] How Max Johnson overcame the hurdle of limited cash flow.
  • [43:27] Your hygienist is your best resource for putting patients into the treatment funnel.
  • [47:08] Weekly videos for your dental practice are a great way to connect with your patients and your market.
  • [53:15] Record patient testimonials to spread the word about your dental practice.
  • [55:45] Why Max Johnson came to T-Bone’s course (and wishes he had brought his team).
  • [1:01:15] Dr. Johnson’s public education night, “Stop Snoring Now.”
  • [1:12:48] Thoughts on going digital: 3D and Cad-Cam.
  • [1:22:17] What Continuing Education is T-Bone taking?
  • [1:26:04] How do you go about establishing goals for yourself and your practice?
  • [1:33:29] How do you handle staff turnover? What on-boarding process is needed?

Resources & People Mentioned

Listen to the entire interview