Home Dental 656: Is Everyone Smiling but You? Level Up Your Life Practice Now – Dr. David Rice

656: Is Everyone Smiling but You? Level Up Your Life Practice Now – Dr. David Rice

by adminjay


If you’re not loving your life, listen to this episode — there’s a way to fix it! Today, Kirk Behrendt brings in Dr. David Rice, founder of IgniteDDS and author of Is Everyone Smiling but You? to share his journey of finding joy in life. Don’t stay stuck if you’re not happy! To learn how to start making changes today, listen to Episode 656 of The Best Practices Show!  

Episode Resources:

Main Takeaways:

Invest in yourself as soon as you possibly can.

Know what to look for in a good mentor.

Make changes one step at a time.

Start now! Don’t wait to change.

Don’t be afraid to fail or live big.

Block out some time to think.

Reach out to others.


“Seasoned pros who wake up and feel like, ‘This isn’t really where I want to be. What do I do? Do I have to be stuck here?’ The answer is no. We talk about all the things you all heard before about vision and habits — and that stuff is important. But we really break it down to, who are the people? What is the process? What is the production side? What do those three things need to look like so you and I can have control in three areas? On the dental side, it’s clinical control. On everybody’s side, it’s financial control. On everybody’s side, it’s systems control. When we have those controls in our life, we actually get to build whatever we want, and that’s a really cool thing to do.” (8:14—9:04)

“It’s the old adage of like, it’s all up here. We get in our own way where sometimes I think people are afraid to fail. Sometimes, I think people are afraid to live so big because they feel guilty about it, like they don’t deserve it, and that to get from level here, where you’re like, ‘Can I do it?’ because it’s too hard to get to, and then people get to this higher level, and it becomes, ‘Do I really deserve to get to that next level?’ The answers are yes, and yes — you do! You can make it happen. We’re not rocket scientists in dentistry. There are recipes that you teach people all the time that are very predictable and work.” (9:21—10:05)

“In its simplest form, most of us have a place that we can go to where we think clearly, where you just breathe better. For me, it’s water. It could be mountains, or it could be the middle of nowhere. For my wife, it’s crazy. She needs all the noise in the world as background, and that helps her think. So, wherever that place is, find it. Literally block out on your smartphone two hours, and just free think. Free write a message, a digital version. Just blurt it all out. Don’t worry about right or wrong, or sequence, and how-to. Just keep unloading. Then, come back to it in a week. And then, you can start organizing. What you’ll find are patterns. You’ll start to see where your values lie, things that matter to you, whether it’s family, vacation, or time off. All those things will start to come to light. But just take a step and lock-and-load for 120 minutes.” (10:37—11:39)

“It doesn’t have to be as difficult as everybody makes it. People start talking about vision, and mission, and core values, and it gets very overwhelming for people that don’t necessarily study it. So, they just don’t do it. Figure out what your very best day looks like, and try to build one great day, and then we replicate.” (13:13—13:34)

“I like mentors in three groups. So, whether you have three of them, six, nine, 12, whatever it is, I like three groups of mentors. I think we’re all used to finding a cheerleader, that person who helps us get up when we’re not feeling it. Every coach under the sun will tell you to be a ten out of ten. And let’s be honest, sometimes we’re like a six. So, we have to have that mentor who can help us get to ten. The second mentor set I like are people who are contrarians, people who see the world 180 degrees from the way you inherently see it, because those people help us find our blind spots. I had a hard time with that, and that becomes a difficult person to listen to. They’re not negative people, they’re just people who see things that maybe you and I don’t inherently see because of who we are. And then, the third one is — this is a Brendon Burchardism. I love the top two percenters. There are so many people who try really, really hard to help us. But if they’re not the top two percenters, then we waste so much time. We lose so much of that message. Like, the nuance is totally gone. So, I’ve always sought out those types of people. And then, depending on what your version of success is, you might need more than one in each category. You might find one person hits two of those categories. You might find that somebody serves you today, but a year from now you’ve outgrown them, or they’ve outgrown you. It all works.” (13:53—15:28)

“I think we’re lucky. When it comes to dentistry — I love educating and teaching. Whether you go to Pankey, Kois, Spear, Dawson, or you’re part of the AGD, there are places that we know you’re going to get really strong clinical mentors. So, invest in yourself as soon as you possibly can. You’re going to meet some really cool people there, and they may check more than one box for you.” (16:03—16:34)

“Organized dentistry has great opportunities, at least to provide you with the community. You’re going to walk into a room, and you’re going to meet 20 somebodies. But there’s going to be that one or two that you’re like, ‘There’s something about that person that I really, really gravitate toward, that resonates with me.’ Those are great cases. If you’re young and you want to come to IgniteDDS, do. We’ve got like 50,000 young professionals. They’re you. They might be you yesterday, you today, or you two or three years from now. And it’s your community. It’s really not mine. I’m just a goofball who started it 10 years ago. Come talk to other people who are walking a similar path to you. Find out what’s going well, and maybe where they’re struggling.” (16:36—17:27)

“At the end of the day, [mental health is] probably the most important thing we can talk about to be happy, to feel true content, safety, joy, and all that stuff. There are so many people who are in a bad spot. So, if you’re in a bad spot, or you remotely think you’re in the slightest of bad spots, open up to somebody, a family member or friend. I’m with you. I’ll listen to anyone. So, anyone who’s listening to this, you can text me, you can call me, you can DM me. I will absolutely listen to you. If I feel like something is really happening, I’m going to tell you you need to get some real professional care because that’s not me. But if you just need two ears, I think we’ve got a lot of really great people in dentistry who really want better for other people out there.” (18:13— 19:00)

“There’s a chapter in [Is Everyone Smiling but You?] that’s all about like, social media is a win, and social media is also a really big loss, potentially, because it’s a snapshot. So, you see somebody on their best day from their best angle. I joke with people all the time. I’m like, ‘If you see a picture of Anastasia and I, guaranteed, Anastasia has asked me to take that picture like 37 times to get the right light, the right angle. And you’ve done it — we’ve all done it. So, don’t worry about that perfect picture that you think is remotely what you’re shooting for because that’s not real life. Everybody has challenges, issues, good days, bad days, and bad moments. So, take all that stuff with a grain of salt. Everybody you meet out there who’s like, ‘Oh, I’m a dentist. I make $500 million a year and work half a day a week,’ guys, it’s garbage. It just is.” (19:33—20:33)

“I think we forget — we get so deep in it that we forget that “DMD”, that “DDS”, buys you incredible opportunities. You can pick up and move to another area. You can say, ‘You know what? I don’t want to do clinical dentistry ever again.’ I can go work for a manufacturer. I can go be an educator. I can work in public health. I can go be an influencer, for goodness sakes. I’ve got a list of dentists I know who do quite well in life, and they do it on YouTube and Instagram. There are a million things we can do. So, if you’re not loving your life, I think it’s probably just the strength to stand in front of the mirror and forgive yourself because it’s not your fault. You’re one of too many people. I was one of those people. Get those mentors and just take a step. Take one step today to get where you want to go tomorrow.” (21:26—22:25)

“There are so many options for you. If you don’t love your life today, start asking all the people that you can, and you’re going to find people who can help you take a step.” (23:12—23:23)

“Reach out. Don’t wait. Don’t wait another six months or another year. We think it’s a straight line from where we are to where we’re going. It’s not. It’s a trajectory. So, the longer you wait, the harder it is, the more money it costs, and the riskier it is. So, take a step today.” (27:16—27:37)

“This current situation that you’re in, and a future circumstance that you want, you’re on a path. If you’re on the right path today, there are definitive steps you should be taking to stay on that right path. If you’re on the wrong path today — which, a lot of us are as young people because we weren’t taught that in school, or residencies, or in the practice that we’re associating in — you need to get off that path ASAP. Because if you wait six months, you wait a year, you wait two years, you’re further away from where you want to be than where you are right now. So, I would encourage you to ask good questions, ask for help, and do it now. Don’t wait.” (27:47—28:28)


0:00 Introduction.

1:43 Dr. Rice’s background.

3:14 Reach out to others.

4:55 Why Dr. Rice wrote his book.

8:00 Don’t stay stuck.

9:05 Don’t be afraid to live big.

10:05 Find your thinking place.

13:35 Three types of mentors and where to find them.

17:41 Open up about mental health.

19:00 Social media is not real life.

21:05 Make change one step at a time.

23:26 More about IgniteDDS and how to get in touch.

27:39 Last thoughts.

Dr. David Rice Bio:

Dr. David Rice was born and raised in Western New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine with honors. He completed his postgraduate training in 1995 at the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Because continuing education is of the utmost importance to Dr. Rice, he has furthered his studies over the past years with an emphasis on restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry at the world-renowned Pankey Institute and Dawson Center. He is one of only two Western New York graduates of the Pacific Aesthetic Continuum who have a special interest in cosmetic dentistry.

In addition to maintaining his private practice, Dr. Rice holds a position in the Restorative Department of the State University of New York Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He also lectures nationally to his peers on cosmetic and restorative dentistry. He is an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association Eighth District Dental Society, and Erie County Dental Society. 

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