Surviving a major flood, Hood Dental Care has multiplied production, multiplied profits, and expanded to 5 locations.
practice expansion, team development, overcoming adversity, profitability
If you’re relatively successful and have been working for a while, there inevitably comes a time when you think to yourself “yes, the money is important but I want something more.” So, what is this “something more?”
Become a Giver and Leader in the Community
To become a giver and a leader within your community... help people not as fortunate... leave a strong legacy ... things that are bigger than having a career that brings you the comforts and luxuries of living a good life.
That’s what Dr Ed. Hood wanted. He loves his small community of Denham Springs, Louisiana where he’s lived his entire life. He’s passionate about providing complete care in his dental practice and deeply committed to do whatever he can to make his community a better place. And he wanted to leave a legacy for his family that would last beyond his years. But he didn’t know how.
His situation wasn’t one that freed him up to do so because his practice wasn’t under control. Plus, his practice depended almost entirely on his skills and him trading hours for dollars.
Big Increases in Hygiene Allowed Them to Treat Patients More Completely
There are 51 general dentists in the blue-collar community of Denham Springs, Louisiana, population 53,000. Half of patients have insurance, the other half require financing to pay for treatment. Dr. Hood opened Hood Dental Care in 1985, built his dream practice in 2002, and added his first associate, Dr. Moore, in 2007. That same year he changed his hygiene to a commission model and hired world-famous hygienist and Team Training Institute Co-Founder Wendy Briggs to come to his practice. “That’s the first time we met,” Dr. Hood said. “We got a big increase in our hygiene and it allowed our hygienists to treat patients more completely.”
By 2013, his son, Andrew, had graduated from dental school and joined the practice. The facility expanded from 8 ops to 13. “We were growing but it was just incremental growth every year,” Dr. Hood said. “The practice was getting bigger and so it felt like we needed some help logistically.” Dr. Hood brought in a hygiene coach from Team Training Institute (TTI), Bert Triche, to come in for one day. “We did $30,000 more that month and continue to do that even today,” Dr. Hood said. “It re-energized us.”
Improvements in Profitability
When Dr. Hood joined TTI and first met TTI Co-Founder Dr. John Meis in 2014, Hood Dental Care was already very productive, generating $3.3 Million. However, although Dr. Hood didn’t know it, he wasn’t profitable. “There were times where we were floating money from the next month to pay for this month and there were many, many, many times I’m sure I didn’t get paid at all,” Dr. Hood recalled. “But that’s the only way I knew how to do it.”
At his first TTI meeting, Dr. Hood made a revelation after asking Dr. Meis a single question. “I told him [Dr. Meis] I’m having trouble getting my P & L (Profit and Loss) to fit into the mold that I’ve been hearing from all these practice management people for years,” Dr. Hood said. “I was still trying to get my payroll to 25% and get my overhead into that 60% range... Dr. Meis told me ‘You’re never going to get those numbers, not with what you’re producing.’ Nobody was teaching what those numbers needed to be in a bigger practice. So that was like a weight lifted off of me. All this time I was thinking that I was not managing the practice correctly because we weren’t fitting into those little boxes.”
Soon after, Dr. Hood participated in a Vision Day with Dr. Meis. It was here he discovered that while his practice was very productive, it was only running at 6% to 7% profit. Working with TTI to get his finances in order, he substantially increased his profitability.
In August of 2016 disaster struck. Ninety percent of Denham Springs flooded. Hood Dental Care suffered a total loss. Not only did Dr. Hood lose everything in his office, he also lost everything at his home too. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment were completely ruined. Forced to refinance and purchase new equipment, he lost a third of the year while rebuilding. Plus, he lost a third of his staff.
“It was pretty devastating,” Dr. Hood said. “We wouldn’t have survived the flood financially if we hadn’t gotten our profitability straight. At the 6% profit we were doing before, I don’t think I would have had the money set aside to try to pay staff to keep them. It was a huge learning experience, but also a godsend because we wouldn’t have survived the same way.”
Not only did Dr. Hood survive, he thrived. By January 2017, his doors were open again, adding a second location in August of that same year. This marked the beginning of Dr. Hood’s path to creating his legacy. “I would have never added additional locations had it not been for TTI. My goal has always been to have the best practice that I could have. That was something that just opened my eyes to something that was much bigger. If you have a really good practice and you get all the systems aligned and in place, you should be able to reproduce that in another location. That’s essentially what we’ve tried to do. But that was through TTI that I had the confidence to even attempt something like that. That wasn’t even on my radar.”
Even with having to start over after the flood, in the 5 years since starting their work with TTI, Hood Dental Care has increased their productivity two and half times and increased their profitability between 6 to 8 times. They’ve grown from one location to three, adding a fourth later this year, with a fifth on the horizon. Plus, Hood Dental Care saw 11,000 patients in hygiene in 2019, up 2000 patients from 2018.
Here are 4 Ways Dr. Hood is Creating a Positive Legacy:
1. Same-Day Service
Dr. Hood revealed the biggest impact he’s had in his 34 years of practicing dentistry is the system they implemented for same day, high-level treatment.
“To have a systematic mindset with the whole staff that is about the patient, if we can make it happen that day, not only are we going to feel better because we’re more productive, but the patient is going to tell more people about it. It’s a multiplier... some days it’s 50% to 60% of our production added that day. That’s the next dollar phenomenon that Dr. John teaches... on that day you’ve already covered all your overhead, fixed costs so anything you do in addition to that goes straight to your bottom line.”
Patients not only return to Hood Dental Care because of their experience, the same day treatment also attracts new patients. “Taking that new patient and then putting them in restorative that day or in hygiene that day and being able to just work it in, has been huge,” Dr. Hood said. “It’s great for our new patient experience because they’ve never been treated that way.”
2. Treat Even More Patients
“For me, the business part of dentistry is something that has been huge for me going forward,” Dr. Hood said. “I would have never added additional locations had it not been for TTI. To have his (Dr. Meis’) expertise and training as far as what to look for and the fact that he’s done it, not just read about it, he’s actually lived it.”
In addition to increasing profits, expansion provides more job opportunities in the community. Plus, it allows Dr. Hood to replicate his high standards of complete care for patients on a much larger scale. “From the outset, I wanted to create an asset that was still viable even if I wasn’t the one sitting in the chair,” Dr. Hood said. “I wanted the practice to be such that whether it was me doing the treatment or another doctor in there, the patient was still going to get treated the same way and receive the same good experience.”
3. Grow People
It’s not just productivity and profitability that’s changed. By learning to grow other people, he’s creating bigger opportunities, reducing stress, and creating a better working environment. For example, Hope White started with Dr. Hood 26 years ago as his front desk person with zero dental experience. Today she is instrumental in running his practice, evolving to the Director of Operations overseeing his three, soon to be four locations.
“I have much less frustration,” Hope said. “Previously, on a scale of one to 10, it was a 12. We thought we had to carry the load of everything and that was huge. We felt if we didn’t take care of it, it wasn’t getting done. To have leaders in each of my locations is amazing. They’re really good leaders and I don’t have to worry.”
Dr. Hood and Hope credit TTI for helping them develop their leadership skills in order to cultivate leaders and create an environment conducive for people to grow. “Both of us have gained a lot of leadership ability just by being
a part of this group because it’s not all about how to do dentistry better,” Dr. Hood explained. “It’s how to be a better leader, how to communicate better. There’s so much that goes into it. You can have all the clinical skills that you could possibly possess and be the best at it, but if you can’t get the patient to say yes, it doesn’t really matter.
That resource for Hope has been huge because it’s allowed her to try to grow other leaders, which is not something that I have time or even the expertise to be able to do.”
By growing leaders, he ensures excellent patient care will continue for future generations. Plus, through his legacy, he is providing exciting opportunities too. Whereas many dentists build their practice and sell it as part of their retirement, because Dr. Hood has a
son who is a dentist, he doesn’t plan on selling. “One key for me was how can I use it for my retirement, gain some equity and not sell it?” Dr. Hood said. “Through the TTI CEO Mastermind, he now has a plan in place that will give associates and his daughter (who is a hygienist) the opportunity to buy-in. “The key leaders could potentially buy-in,” Dr. Hood said. This helps him retain good people and provide consistent care while also allowing him to recoup some of the equity in his practice.
4. Give Guidance for the Future
“It’s really 100% about your culture and how you train and teach your employees as well as your leaders,” Hope said. “Letting them know that, ‘Hey, this is how we want to be. This is what we want to do and accomplish.’”
“Those are things we didn’t know until our first year with TTI when we did a Vision Day with Dr. John,” Dr. Hood added. “Through that day, we decided on what we wanted our core values to be. And the fact that we wanted to hire, fire and train based on those. We learned about what our profitability was and what it needed to be and that we were really, really productive, but we weren’t very profitable.”
Dr. Hood’s team makes tough decisions based on their core values–everything from hiring to equipment companies that supply them. These got them profitable and continue to guide them to ensure they stay profitable and provide consistent, complete care. For example, providing same day treatment to ensure they take great care of their patients is prominent in the culture they’ve created. “It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but if it can clinically be done, we do it,” Dr. Hood said. “We’ve worked through lunch and we work late, but we’re going to take care of the patients and everybody’s on board. That’s our culture with everybody that’s here.
Dr. Ed Hood has also been featured on The Team Training Institute's podcast. Click here to listen to his episode: