464: Dr. Dannica Brennan | Flossologie

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Guest: Dannica Brennan

Practice Name: Flossologie

Check out Dannica's Media:

Website: https://www.flossologie.com/

Flossologie Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flossologie/

Dannica Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drdannica/

Other Mentions and Links:

HPSP Scholarship

MacDill Air Force Base

360 Aroma

Ocean Eyes



Working Women of Tampa Bay Facebook Group

West Coast Swing Dance

Deep Work - Cal Newport

Host: Michael Arias

Website: The Dental Marketer

Join my newsletter: https://thedentalmarketer.lpages.co/newsletter/

Join this podcast's Facebook Group: The Dental Marketer Society

My Key Takeaways:

  • You CAN open up full fee for service, just don't expect potential patients to come in without good marketing.
  • Try a scented AC diffuser to add a non-dental scent to your office that patients will love!
  • Take the time to research your demographics and form a customer avatar to find your perfect patients.
  • With influencer marketing, targeting accounts with 5-15k followers can be more beneficial than the larger influencers!
  • When the patient sits down, tell them exactly what is owed for the day so it's not looming in their mind.
  • Be sure to start building your social media before your open your practice to get momentum.

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p.s. Some links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with these products/ company, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money unless you feel you need them or that they will help you with your goals.

Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Alright, it's time to talk with our featured guest, Dr. Danica Brennan. Danica, how's it going? Good, how

Dannica: are you?

Michael: I'm doing pretty good. Thanks for asking. If you don't mind me asking, where are you located?

Dannica: I'm in Tampa,

Michael: Florida. Oh my gosh. Blue water's out there.

Dannica: Yeah. Yeah, it's really nice. Super blue.

Been kind of hot actually, so it's been

Michael: nice. What is hot out there?

Dannica: It's been like the eighties. Oh yeah. Yeah. High eighties. It's real sunny, so Yeah, it is hot. Yeah.

Michael: Especially for right now. What's, what's it like in winter?

Dannica: I guess it depends what time of winter. I think the cold it'll dip down to like the thirties sometimes.

Very rarely but average in the winter's, like fifties and sixties, maybe in the seventies if it's sunny,

Michael: so. Okay. Interesting, Interesting. Awesome. Danica, so if you can tell us a little bit about your past, your present. How'd you get to where you are today?

Dannica: So, uh, see, I'm from Montana originally, and then um, I swam in college, kind of moved around a couple different colleges.

Ended up in Las Vegas where I went to dental school. And then I joined the Air Force. So I got the H P S P program scholarship. And so I did my one year A E G D residency with them at Nellis in Las Vegas, and then moved out here with my husband to Tampa and he was stationed here at McDill Air Force Base for about three and a half years.

And then um, separated, back in December of 2021 and then opened up my own office.

Michael: So, Outta the Air Force in 2021? Yes. Uh, okay. Okay. So rewind a little bit. When was the moment or the time where you decided I wanna do my own practice?

Dannica: Don't get me wrong, I loved being a dentist in the military, but um, when Covid kind of hit, it was.

Not so great it was just a lot of like show face, like, hey, we're still part of the mission and everybody has to show up and be around each other. And keep in mind our flight, which is like the whole dental group was like a hundred and some people cramm in like one office. And so they just wanted us all there just in case.

People deployed, which only needs one dentist, not 12. And it was very like, very unorganized and very not patient centered. And I am very like, let's have the patient have a good experience and make things make sense and organized and they just, We're not about that.

And so I was like, you know, I initially thought I was gonna buy an office 'cause I had listened to another podcast that kind of got me like, wow, other, if other people can own their own offices, I can do it too. And so I initially thought about buying an office. I went through all the due diligence processes and then just decided it just wasn't what I wanted.

And so, I decided to do a startup.

Michael: Gotcha. Where was it where you hit a lot of road bumps in the acquisition process?

Dannica: It really wasn't road bumps. It was more so I just didn't like the offices. If you've seen my office, it's very unlike any other office, and that's kind of what I had envisioned from the beginning.

And I finally just realized I would have to put so much money and time and effort into changing everything. No matter what I bought, I might as well just do it from the beginning to the way.

Michael: Gotcha. Got. So what is your office like?

Dannica: Well, so it's called ology and we have, so a couple like cool things about it.

We're right on the water, which like a little manmade lake. So all my operatories have this big, gorgeous window that looks out into the lake with like gators and turtles my mom was my interior designer, so it's very Uh, how would you say, I guess, mid-century modern, unique, and then the really cool part Tampa is really known for their, like, street artists.

And so I hired a street artist and five of my walls, the one main wall in one of the hallways, and then one wall in each operatory is just like this huge street art mural. Nothing to do with dentistry except for one has like big. teeth and my dogs and, and everything. So it's very different vibe.

Like very instagramy, very street arty. very different. Yeah.

Michael: Where did the vision come from?

Dannica: so in the military I ended up getting a lot of the patients who kind of had high anxiety, which I really enjoyed working on them. for some reason I just am good with those patients and like helping them calm down and like kind of changing their ideas on how I.

It is to go to the dentist. And I didn't want to have this sterile white wall, boring, plain environment. And so I kind of started off with like a med spa sort of idea with the uppity, boutiquey. And then I just thought to myself, that just doesn't really sound super inviting to everybody.

Like I want everyone to be able to feel invited to come to my office. And so, the other thing about like the street art was, I love it and no matter how crappy of a day am having like it sort of inspires me, like seeing it around and it's just like a cool different thing to have. That's how it sort of progressed into what it's been.

Michael: Gotcha. How do you help these patients calm down?

Dannica: So we've got a couple things. So if you ever gone to like Las Vegas in those big hotels and they smell really nice. They have those scents in the ac we have the same, so I ordered that machine to hook into my ac so it smells really good in there.

The murals, the artwork, the whole goal is to not look, smell, or feel like a dental office. So we've got the heat massage and the chairs, the TVs, you know, right above your head with the Bluetooth headphones. And then we're fully fee for service, so we. do a really good job, Lisa, I think I do, of taking my time, explaining everything to patient, answering all their questions, and because we're fee for service, we have the time and the resources to be able to do that.

And so we get a lot of people who travel pretty far to like come see our office and we haven't had anybody upset yet, so they seem to like it.

Michael: Real quick, what is the scent machine? Like? Where do we get that? What is that?

Dannica: It's called 360 Aroma they have different levels, but, I bought the, like fancy one. It's a few hundred bucks a month to rent it and then you get scent with it. And so it basically is this big machine that has this hose that hooks into your your AC system, like the actual.

The handler. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And then, like a hose and then a scent hooks into it and you get those scents sent to you so you can change 'em out each month if you want, or keep the same one. And it basically just diffuses through all your A system. But it's called 360 Aroma. That's one I use.

There's a bunch of different ones, but that's a popular one.

Michael: Yeah. And people, your patients are like, oh my gosh, it smells different. Did they say so?

Dannica: I have not had a single person walk into my office and not mention how good it smells in there. Not a single person. That's the first thing that comes outta their mouth is, wow, it smells so good in here.

And you can turn it up or down. So like we have two air handlers, the front and the back. And so in the back it's turned down a little bit and in the front it's turned up a little bit. Like you can do percentages. the one that I use is called Ocean Eyes and highly recommend everybody.

Michael: Yeah. And interesting. Okay. That, That's something that, uh, never heard of really, you know what I mean? Until, uh, you hear but rewind a little bit. You said sometimes when you have crappy days, you look at your murals, Your walls. What are crappy days?

Dannica: Oh, so, I'm pregnant right now and just for example, congrat, so I'm still in my first trimester and I'm, I feel so sick.

Yeah. So like, usually I love coming to the office, but some mornings I wake up and I just don't feel good. And so, I get there and used to have the patient sitting in the chair and I, do a lot of cosmetic stuff. Uh, a lot of like non-invasive Veneers and things like that that I really like doing.

And so it's a lot of like artistic type of dentistry. The biomimetic stuff as well, where it's all like custom partial coverage with the machine and everything. So I get in and I kind of like just look at like what I built and the murals and the art and it just sort of, I feel better when I'm at work.

Michael: Yeah. Yeah. It's like your place, you know what I mean? The place you created Yeah. To make you feel. Exactly. Now, man, so you, your first trimester, is this your first? Yeah. And you've been open for two years? Five months. Five months. Five months. Oh my gosh. Five months. Yeah. And you're, how you

Dannica: feeling? In terms of what?


Michael: with everything, everything happening like right now. Good.

Dannica: I mean, I can't complain. Like I was a little worried and thinking back on it, maybe a little bit ambitious to like start a startup fully fee for service office with zero patients because I was military beforehand. Mm-hmm. So like, I had no patience. But we're doing great. So I, I really can't complain. marketing wise, we do a lot of different types of marketing and a lot of ground marketing and I just am exhausted. But it's fun. I like it 'cause it's mine.

Michael: Yeah. Interesting. Okay we'll dive into the marketing. but before that, did anybody try talking to you or talking you out of like, you wanna do p p O a little bit?

Like at least take some on right now and then drop it. That happened.

Dannica: Everybody, every single person that I talked to told me to do that. And uh, with the type of dentistry that I do and the type of dentistry that I want to do in the office and the atmosphere that I want, it just wasn't something that I was willing to risk.

To not risk, but like, I just said, no, I've always been that way my whole life though. Ask my mom, someone tells me not to do something and I'll go and do it anyways and succeed. So I just figured that's alright.

Michael: Yeah. So then fee for service from day one. No insurances. How what are you doing to make it scale, I guess?

Like what are you doing internally? Also to make, tell yourself like everything's gonna be okay, right. Kind of thing. But also externally, what are you doing?

Dannica: So I'm really particular about how every single thing in my office flows from, you know, the highest technology. The minimally invasive stuff is big.

People really like that. They like the holistic, functional type of approach to dentistry. And so that's really big here in Tampa in general. I did a really good demographic study. I'm in a really nice area in Tampa, so that helps as well. But again, we do like, you know, the.

Sented warm towels afterwards to how our phone conversations go. We have a good script for if someone is a little bit wary about it, there's ways that I train my staff and myself on how to kind of convert those patients and explain to them and give them idea of why they should come and see us instead of a.

And then on top of that, like it's motivating that every single patient that is there in my office wants to be there and wants to be there for me also my hygienist is amazing and that helps. I will say that. Find an amazing hygienist like she is my. Clinical partner, you know, and just my patients love her too.

But no one's there saying I only wanna do it if insurance does it. Everyone is very open and just appreciates our work and that is really nice environment to work in. So that's been really motivating for myself. It is. I enjoy going to work and I enjoy all my patients and I know that they appreciate me.

We kind of weed those other ones out over the phone.

Michael: Let me ask you about that, the phone part. Um, mm-hmm. Real quick, what's the script that you use to convert these patients?

Dannica: So your typical phone conversation is, hi, do you accept my insurance? And we say, yes, we accept all insurances. We just work a little bit different with them.

You pay our full fee up front and then we file that claim for you. And then within a few weeks you receive a reimbursement check from your insurance company. And based on how they respond to that, a lot of the times it's, oh, okay, great. No big deal. Schedule. Sometimes it's, oh, that's kind of weird, or oh y so then we sort of, Move into like, I kind of feel it out.

So I have a couple different ways I can go, but some of the main ones are either asking them Hey, do you mind if I ask why you're looking for a new dentist? Because that's just brings up the, no, I haven't had a single person be like, no, screw you. They're like, let me tell you why I hate my other.

And so that's like a time for us to shine and it's usually not listened to too rough. Aggressive treatment plans, things like that. So that's when I can be like, Hey, let me tell you why my office is different and why you're gonna love it here. Uh, another reason, another thing that I say is, Hey, I know that this is a little bit non-traditional, the way we work with insurances, but that's on purpose.

We are a non-traditional office and we shine because we're non-traditional. And so then that kind of gets them asking questions, well, like, why are you so, but I found like the biggest thing is finding out what they're looking for by just the minute they start hesitating, I'm like, Hey, can I ask like, what are you looking for in a new dentist or with a new dental office?

And you get that conversation started and I can usually convert them and at the end I say, Hey. We usually tell our patients, just come try us out and if you love us, great and if not, no sweat. You know, just come see how it works. And we've kept every patient so far. So it's very few that I can't personally convert over the phone

Michael: that way.

Nice. Okay, so when you say try us out, just try us out. Is that like a free consultation or No, you're still gonna have to pay, but. No. Yeah,

Dannica: I mean we make them pay. We do offer to make it easier for their first appointment. We always tell 'em this like, Hey, when was the last time you saw a dentist So we require either a pano or an F M X. Personally, I prefer pano. It's just my preference, but a pano or F M X within five years and then bite wings within a year. And so if they've had those at another dental office, we will call on their behalf and request it. Part of our new patient forms. is a waiver for them to have that.

So we just have that on our system already and we request those x-rays. So it's one less thing that they have to pay for upfront to begin with, just to make it easier for them to come in and Yes. So it's not like $500 for a new patient exam and cleaning, you know? We also do offer cleaning same day as their new patient exam if they want it.

'cause I find a lot of patients that's like, one of their main concerns is, well I really just wanted to switch 'cause I'm due for a cleaning. And so we sort of have, Hey, how long has it been? If it's been, you know, less than three years, we will usually offer that same day cleaning for them.

Michael: Gotcha.

Okay. Dan, are you the one in the front answering phones

Dannica: or, I do a lot of the times. Yeah. I mean, my staff or my hygienist, I will let her as well. My assistants have been on and off with, like one moved and then I'm in the process of firing one and then hiring two new. So I've sort of been up there doing a lot of that phone conversation just 'cause it's so new and I know I can convert patients, so I would rather be the one to take calls.

Michael: Yeah. Also really good for you to make those like. Scripts, right. S o p systems, right. Already ahead of time. You're like, I know how they're gonna react

Dannica: and Yes. You know what I mean? So I'm learning too, what works and what doesn't, so I can train new staff. Yeah. As well.

Michael: You said you're in the process of firing someone.

Talk to me about that.

Dannica: I started off with two assistants and a hygienist. My one assistant, uh, ended up leaving 'cause he was moving. So I loved having him. He was great. And the girl that I had to start off with had some like family issues. So I don't know what happened.

I don't know, whatever, but, so I hired a new girl back in January and she's really young and she seems super motivated and I personally like training and I like teaching and. All this stuff, but she's been a little bit more than I can handle emotionally. we listen to conversations that are recorded and if there's issues with them, I try to train and teach or if there's been issues with the patient, I try to go over things so that way it's not just left unresolved.

And, she cries every single. Try to talk to her. And I try to do it real, really nice way, but I think it's just like an emotional maturity kind of thing. And I just, I'm to the point where like, I just can't, like Yeah. Emotionally keep doing that, you know? So I found I was going to just replace the one, and I found two amazing girls.

And so I, I think I'm just gonna,

Michael: yeah. And the first time that happened, were you like, oh, no, no, no, it's, everything's fine. And then, And then now like, it's like, oh, it's happening again. You're crying.

Dannica: Yeah, the first time I was like, she literally threw up Ah. I was like, we, how do you know? Because I heard her in the bathroom.

Like we were practicing phone conversations together as a team. Yeah. And we would like, somebody would go outside and call in and one person would answer the phone and then we would listen to it and go over it together. And yeah, she like one criticism and She's very young and like really wants to be good and like I know she's gonna be such a great assistant. It's just taking that time to like build up to it. You can get the confidence. So

Michael: yeah. Poor her. Yeah, there's something there. Something there and she needs to figure out. But anyways, so that's the process of firing right now.

I know run a little bit. You said you did a demographic study before you even opened up. What'd you do?

Dannica: I used demographics. So I paid probably like, I think like 700 bucks or a thousand some, somewhere around there. Well worth it. Loved it. That's how I decided which areas to like drive around and look for places to rent.

Michael: Build in. And this was the first spot where you're like, I love it. This is the first one I'm gonna be here. Or this was not the first one?

Dannica: No, I had found another place and started negotiating a lease and the tenants ended up not wanting to move out, so that ended up not working out.

So then in that scramble, I sort of, oh, I can't even, I skipped work and I was still military, so. I would be like, Hey, I'm sick. And I'd go and I'd drive all day and like look around and, uh, I finally found this place. So they, the people just happened to be like leaving and there was a sign and I was like the first one to like figure out, because it's a really good spot and it was a really good deal and I locked that down real quick.

Michael: So. Nice. So you were, you were already over your other job, right? Like your other associateship at the.

Dannica: I mean, I was active duty military, just a dentist on base. So, yeah, I think I was doing administrative work at the time, so it wasn't like I was calling, I wasn't seeing patients at the time. Yeah, I was just doing like front desk stuff, so,

Michael: yeah.

Interesting. Yeah. No, no, No, I get you. Okay, so then fast forward to now, marketing's way different for fee for service, right? Than, well, actually technically, like P P O or any insurances is a marketing expense, right? If you think about it, 'cause. Yeah, to come to you. So what are you doing for marketing?

Dannica: We, I mean, I throw a bunch of things out there.

I'm still in the process of like figuring out what consistently works. One of the big things that I do that really works is I'm part of a lot of Facebook groups, like meetup groups. One's called like Working Women of Tampa Bay. So it's a lot of women who like own their own businesses and I go to their monthly, weekly meetings and I meet these women and I make connections and I get a lot of people from that.

They come in, they love it, they post about it, they tell other people about it. So a lot of referrals that way. We do, I think I heard actually on, on your podcast from somebody else about influencer marketing and so I started doing that as well where you bring in the influencers. My office is. Perfect for it.

And that was part of the design as well, was to be able to bring in like a. Population too. So we do influence your marketing giveaway, free teeth cleaning or teeth whitening or whatever in exchange for like a reel in stories, and they help promote certain promotions at our office. I do a lot of social media, so I do all my own social media, myself, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, things like that.

That's actually worked really well too, like boosting those posts, doing ads on Facebook. And then I did have a marketing person for a while, and I was spending like four grand a month on like Google and ss e o and I finally just quit that because I wasn't getting anything, not a single thing. So, we ask everybody on the forms where they found us and every single one was either social media or verbal referral.

Michael: Mm-hmm. The person who was doing your marketing, how long did you stick it out with them?

Dannica: Like four, five months.

Michael: Oh

Dannica: man. So five times four. Yeah. It was recently that I just decided not to continue. Yeah.

Michael: To let that person go.

That's been, that was a lot of, that was like almost 20,000 right there if it was 4,000 a month. Right. Like, what was their, can you give us like, what was their reasoning

Dannica: So they also did my website, which, uh, technically I did my website, also against like, so if you look at my website, it's also very non-traditional.

And that was on purpose too. And they bought, and bought with me. 'cause I sent them design, like my mom and I built a website and sent it to them and then they built it based off that on their own platform. Mm-hmm. Um, But I was just like, Hey, this is what I wanna see in my ads. These are the things I wanna push out.

And they would say no. And then I said, okay, well show me what you're putting out. And then they couldn't show me. And then when they did, I was like, that's not correct. I would have to constantly be like, I don't do Zoom whitening. There's no light. I do core, no light. Please don't say in my ads that there's gonna be light.

So it was just constantly, like, they're great. They're such a wonderful company for like somebody who just isn't picky about things and is like, just somebody do it for me. I don't want anything to do with it. But for somebody who's really particular, yeah, it just isn't a great fit.

Michael: So, I mean, even if they got that information wrong in the ad, I mean, somebody's gonna come in and be like, where's the light kind of thing.

You know what I mean? Right.

Dannica: So I had somebody call and be like, Hey who's the other dentist? And I was like, No other dentist. They're like, oh, office, this ad, it says that there's multiple dentists and you would get to pick who you saw. And I was like, what ad are you talking about? Yeah. So just little things like that.


Michael: kind of sounds cookie cutter then, right? Like they would just copy paste uhhuh. Yeah. It was time to drop. I'm like, oh, while ago. Yeah. You know what I mean? Kind of thing. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. So when it comes to the influencer marketing or the Facebook groups as well, the ones that you're a part of, Do you offer anything like a specific incentive or anything like that or,

Dannica: The Facebook, like the meetups and stuff?

Mm-hmm. No, not really. I get plenty of people who are looking for a dentist anyways. A lot of these people in these groups have just moved here and they're looking for other networking opportunities. So a lot of them meet a new dentist and a lot of them really Really appreciate the, like functional type of, like I said, non-invasive, cosmetic type of office.

Like just a different feel, especially here in Florida 'cause there's a lot of older dentists here, so, I don't really have to offer anything for those ones. And then the influencers, I do, like I said, the free teeth whitening or free teeth cleaning in exchange. So that's the only thing I really offer.

A lot of 'em end up actually becoming patients of mine though afterwards. Mm-hmm. Pay for treatment.

Michael: Yeah, you just message them on Instagram or Hey, come on in like that.

Dannica: Yeah, we have like a script written up. I have found that you sort of do have to be pretty detail oriented on it because like there was one influencer we brought in and our whitening isn't cheap, you know, and we usually do it on a day off where like they can film and video.

And this girl like did like one story and it was the crappiest story, didn't even put in our name on it. And then when I messaged her she was like, oh, I'm sorry, that's. That's reserved for paid collaborations. And I was like, shut the, you know? Yeah, yeah, Yeah. So we're now we're like clear like, hey, this is an exchange for this, this, and this. Mm-hmm. And like then if they agree,

Michael: oh man, normally what do you target? Do you target like a hundred thousand follower people or.

Dannica: I actually target like five to 15,000. Okay. because the people who have more than that, a lot of the times it's More than just Tampa followers, right?

The ones that are like five to 15 are still growing their accounts. So they're more likely to agree, more, likely to do more for you, for less. And then their circle is big enough here in Tampa. They have a lot of Tampa friends that they can tell you about the ones that are like hundreds of thousands.

It's like there's no. Really big benefit. We found the best with the ones from five to 15. So far they've been the nicest, the most like appreciative of it. They become patients, they tell all their friends, they do the best reels, the best stories. And that's kind of what I don't get a lot of sass of like, well, it's not a paid collaboration.


Michael: that'd be, I don't know. I feel like, oh my gosh, what a wait. You know what I mean? Kind of thing. But uh, no, I get you that, that makes a lot of sense. Awesome. So then how many new patients are you getting right now? Mostly.

Dannica: We averaged like 35 to 45. Um, wow. from that. So a lot of friends come and see me, which is nice, but that's about what I'm averaging. So dance community. I do a dance called West Coast Swing, so I do it socially and competitively.

Mm-hmm. And it's, it's, yeah, it's global. And so I go twice a week and do like social dancing and then I go monthly to like competition type of thing. there's a huge community here for it. And it's very well off people, not a cheap hobby. Kind of a nice thing to all those people have been wanting to be patient.

Michael: Interesting. Okay. Okay. We're gonna have to Google somebody, one of the listeners, Google Danica and be like, swing dancing and Yeah.

Dannica: Yeah, I think I'm on. I'm not like that. Good. I've known it for like five, six years though. I'm like advanced level, but that's like level three of five, But um, it's fun. It's a really good like stress reliever and I really like just kind of moving and grooving. Yeah. Also my husband like super social and. He's my little social butterfly. I'm a little bit more introverted and he will like, no kidding, go to these women's group events and just thrive and like make best friends and be like, all right, I got you like He's been a great referral source as well. Yeah.

Michael: You tell him Go fly. Go fly, go. Yeah. That's awesome. So then what systems right now? Would you say are unique in your practice that you're like, I love the systems we've created so far.

Dannica: Just the whole, everybody is on the same page with everything. So we do morning huddles every morning about every single patient.

So there's never a point where a patient leaves the back office to come up to the front to see someone new, and that person does not know what we just did and what we plan on doing next. so everyone is very, think with that. At least that's the idea. We're doing pretty good at it.

We're still getting there. Yeah. That's one thing that I feel like is unique and patients really appreciate. Trying to think of other things unique wise. I think we just, we do a really good job of like, Because we're not insurance driven. It's not like, okay, every new patient it has to be this, or this.

We're very accommodating to what patients are looking for and just price things different based off of that. So we can be a little bit more selective and flexible with how we bring new patients in if that

Michael: makes Yeah, makes a sense. Yeah. I mean, you can.

Customize everything basically, right?

Dannica: Yes. Which patients just so appreciate and They're really not frustrated coming in. They're not frustrated leaving, I will say, because we're fee for service. One thing that we do that I feel like has been really important that my hygienist thought of that I'm really happy she did is every patient, the minute they're sat back in the room is told exactly how much is owed for the day.

So that way there's never any surprises. You always go over treatment plans, but those get forgotten and then they schedule treatment. And so one thing we do is we have these routes slip that are morning huddles we go through and then it follows the patient throughout the office. so there's never any question about anything.

And the patient's always told, this is how much you're gonna owe for today. And so there's never any awkwardness after the appointment. It's just, oh, I didn't expect that. Then guess what? We just don't do as much that day. That has helped tremendously with patients feeling comfortable throughout treatment and after treatment.

Michael: So you let them know beforehand.

Dannica: Yep. Yeah. Ah. Um, We also, like my staff is trained to, you know, if we're doing a lower left tooth and there's another tooth next to it that needs it mentioning to the patient, Hey, also while you're numb and isolated with rubber dam on, do you wanna just do this tooth, it this much money as well?

And so, they're also trained to like mention that at the beginning in case the patient ends up like they forgot and they're like, oh, well yeah, let's just do that then as

Michael: well. Yeah, that's good. That's like a little mini, I mean, not a mini, but like it's an upsell kind of thing, but at the same time it needs to be done.

Right, right, right. Okay. Interesting, interesting. So I like that mentioning at the beginning of the, the whole appointment, you know what I mean? That way they're not caught off guard or they're like, you're trying to, I knew, you know, they're at more at ease and then you can overdeliver at the same time.

Yeah. Interesting. Okay. So then right now, I guess from the moment you decided, let's talk about from the moment you decided to leave, right? The Air force and then all the way till today. What's been some of your biggest struggles or fails? Your pitfalls?

Dannica: Building the office for sure. The construction legally, per my settlement, I'm not allowed to talk about my construction company, but that should be a good enough statement alone.

Yeah. Let's just say I was the gc, so my mom, my mom and I designed the office. She like moved down here for like six months and helped me design it. It went from a three month build out to like a seven month build out. That was a big struggle, honestly, like just trying to make sure everything was built the way we wanted it.

I think that I felt so, like I needed to be so in charge and so on top of everything, and as much as I loved doing that, that was really hard for me. So, I mean, it turned out exactly the way I wanted it, which is good. But being that involved in it was very difficult without having the proper help for that.

I think that part of my, like, downfall with things is just stress and I, I really can't take my mind off of work. I come home and my poor husband has to listen to everything about work. Luckily he's super supportive, but like if I had somebody different, they'd be like, can you just like stop talking about work.

I wish I would've taken like a little bit more time for myself to like help do stress relief. And didn't do a lot of that and I had a, like lot of medical complications last year because of stress and so, that's kind of been like the biggest thing, but honestly it's all been worth it and I'm happy now and

Michael: yeah, no.

So man, Danika, it sounds like there was a ton of stress, was a lot of the stress 'cause of the. The construction part or?

Dannica: percent.

Michael: Yeah. I know we can't really talk about the settlement, but can you I guess give us a range of like, well, we got what we wanted kind of thing, or more of what we wanted, or you guys did. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Dannica: I got a cheap build out, let's just say that.


Michael: Wow. So there was a bunch of headache going on with that then. Yeah. So a hundred percent that was the stress right

Dannica: there. Yes, a hundred percent. So like for example I guess I, I think this is okay to say, but like, plans, right? So from architecture to design to then here's one good example.

We designed our cabinets to all be floating. So plumbing into cabinets needs to come up through the walls, right? And For about two months. 'cause I didn't notice this two months when my mom was gone for her anniversary. And then she came back and right before the walls and the floors were gonna go in, she walked into the office and immediately was like, why is the plumbing coming up from the floor?

And it had been like that forever. And so, then timelines got pushed back. We had asked multiple times like, Hey, you sure you have the updated floor plan? You sure you have the updated floor plan? Yes, yes, yes. And then all of a sudden, and I got told I'd get walkthroughs, never got walkthroughs framing went up all wrong.

They had the wrong floor plan. Like it was just a lot of like delay because nothing was. Going that way. There was no site manager. So the people, the subs were just doing whatever the heck they wanted. Yeah. Yeah, so, so my mom moved down here with me and we took over doing there every day.

We did all of our own tiling. We did all of the, my front wall, the wings, coat wall. We did, my mom is an interior designer and does tiling, and so we have like, Two huge walls of tile plus two huge half walls of tile, like complicated tile that took us weeks to do. And so we did all that ourselves. We built, some of the walls.

I learned a drywall, I learned frame, I learned to put up, and paint and all this stuff. And so I helped the subs move things along. It's kind of fun. I learned to do a lot of things, but, um, I was there every single day for. Six, seven months.

Michael: Wow, man. Halfway through the tile process. Were you like, I don't even care anymore.

I just put up a wall. It doesn't matter. Or were you still dedicated to it? I

Dannica: was still dedicated to it, but yeah, there's just a lot of like, mom, can you just like be quiet.

Michael: Just leave it alone, mom. Just like, no, I get you. But you know what? Throughout this whole, I guess time, we've been talking, your mom's been coming up a lot, and so she really wants you to, you know what I mean?

Like, I'm here for you. I'm here for you. I'm. And it's so good to be like, even I know a hundred percent you can do it right. But it's so good to be like, just in case my mom,

Dannica: you know? Yeah. There was a lot of times where like my marketing, my gc everybody, I'd be like, Hey, my mom's gonna join in on this conversation and join in on this Zoom call.

And they were like, what the heck? And then by the end of it, like she knew that design and now she designed every cabinet every. Floor, paint, color, everything. She designed my office from the ground up, other than the murals I had designed. But so she was in on that project and knew, let me tell you what, we know how to build a dental office.

Yeah, It would not be anywhere near what it looks like or what it is like without her. So I was really thankful for her to help me out.

Michael: Awesome. Danika. So one of the last questions I wanna ask you is, What's a piece of advice that you've received that you'd like to give to our listeners who maybe are in the process going through the process or thinking about that process?

Dannica: so if you're, if you're thinking about like a fee for service startup, it's definitely doable. There's a lot of people who can tell you it's not. But a couple like pieces of advice would be don't just expect patients to come in. You're gonna have to do some ground marketing yourself. You know, walking around with fires, meeting people, doing all the things, get social build up your social media first.

Don't do it when you're open. Like build up your social media first. Such a great marketing tool, and if you have more followers, people are more likely to come see you and see your reels and see your ads. So do that first. Build it up. Don't be scared to look a little silly on Instagram. Kind of fun actually.

And know like what your vision is, what type of patience you want. Like I had two specific. Patients in mind that I were my ideal patients and I built a whole story around them. And that's how I sort of built my office was around that. And it's been consistently showing that it's working. I mean, I was in the black, is that what it's called?

In the black, where you start making money month two. So like I, did very well just from having these Ideas and plans beforehand and being so hands-on, and so it's not an easy thing to do, but it's definitely doable.

Michael: Nice. Awesome. Danica, thank you so much for being with us. It's been a pleasure.

But before we say goodbye, can you tell our listeners where they can find you?

Dannica: Yeah, so, Instagram's a good one. Ology with an ie. Or Dr. Danica is my personal one. I don't have as many followers, but still find more from my personal life. anybody can reach out to me through, um, Instagram or email or our website, ology com, or I'm happy to give my cell number too, if anyone has.

Michael: Awesome. So guys, that's all gonna be in the show notes below. And Danica, thank you so much for being with us. It's been a pleasure and we'll hear from you soon. Thank you.