In Dental Fuel episode 3, Dr. Mennito shares about learning from the mistakes that a previous practice manager made that helped him learn how to best communicate with his team.
Dr. Tony Mennito. Dr. Anthony Mennito (Tony) is a private practice dentist as well as an adjunct faculty member at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine in Charleston, South Carolina.
His dental practice, Expertise Dental, focuses on using technology to comprehensively care for his patients while helping to enhance the aesthetics of their smiles.
He is an experienced user of digital systems made by Planmeca, Dentsply Sirona, 3Shape, and iTero and is heavily reliant on digital design and 3D printing for treatment planning complex cases.
He lectures nationally and internationally and currently has 21 published papers on the topics of digital dentistry and dental materials.
Dental Fuel Episode 3: Team Mistake Transcript
In this episode, Dr. Mennito talks about learning from the mistake a previous practice manager made that helped him learn to best communicate with his team.
Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas
Building a team is crucial for the success of our practices. What mistakes have you made that have allowed you to learn and grow from?
Dr. Tony Mennito
Well, it’s interesting the first dentist that I worked for, was actually a dental assistant right out of dental school because, long story, but when I moved to Charleston, I wasn’t able to take the board exam for South Carolina for like six months so I had to be a dental assistant basically, and I worked in a practice where the dentists just was not a good manager of people.
You know, there are ways that you can communicate with your staff that are positive and that are obviously going to be toxic, and this was a little bit of a toxic environment.
So I learned a lot from that experience. And now I’m in a practice where we have a phenomenal culture. I mean, I think that’s really important to have a culture where everybody’s on the same page within the practice.
And I’ve been in quite a few practices where I’ve been an associate and it varies in each practice, really, it’s quite different, but building that culture, and it’s Amanda who’s built that culture, she’s done that because, you know, she’s the boss and it’s her practice and she’s really fostered that. She’s done a phenomenal job, of getting people who have bought into that vision.
And it’s all about the dental patient experience, you know, doing the best dentistry you can making sure the patient has as positive an experience as they can, and finding the people who who are willing to come along that journey with you.
And if they’re not, then it’s okay. You may not be a fit for our practice, you know, just because you’re a great hygienist or a great assistant or front desk, you know, you may not be right. If you don’t have that same vision so I think having the right culture in a practice is really important.
And if you’re the practice owner, it’s up to you to define what that is. You can’t just expect your team to, you know, to come up with that on their own. You have to kind of set the vision for that practice and outline what it is and review it day in and day out.
We talk in our morning meetings about this quite a bit. What are we trying to accomplish today and just reminding ourselves what our purpose is every day? So I think that’s a really important thing.
Notice I didn’t give any mistakes that I made as far as this, and to be honest, I think the one mistake that I have when dealing with people is it’s hard for me, is I hate conflict. So it’s hard for me to if there’s something that needs to be addressed for me to be the one to do that right. Because I’m just not a fan of conflict.
So luckily, I’m not the boss, so a lot of times I don’t have to go and have to make that hard decision.
Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas
Hey, it’s nice to punt our problems sometimes.
Dr. Tony Mennito
It can be for sure, yeah.