Dr. William Chen Shares a Clinical Mistake and the Importance of Digital Dentistry

Host: Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas
Guest: Dr. William Chen
Edited By: Candy Velez CRDH

We had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Bill Chen, a highly successful dentist based in Sebring, Florida.

Dr. Chen shares his insights and experiences, including a clinical mistake he made and how it relates to the world of digital dentistry. 

Building a Flourishing Practice

Dr. Bill Chen’s journey in dentistry began with an associateship after graduating from the University of Florida. However, he soon realized the associateship path would not fulfill his dreams.

Therefore, in 2005, he took a leap of faith and built his first dental practice, Chen Dental, with just four chairs.

Over the years, Dr. Chen’s practice has grown exponentially, and he now operates with 17 chairs and a team of six associates. Dr. Chen’s success can be attributed to his dedication, hard work, and the guidance of his coaches at the Scheduling Institute.

“Anyone who is successful that I have found, has had a coach and I have had a coach now for about thirteen years.”

The Mistake of Waiting Too Long

Dr. Chen believes that the biggest mistake we can make is not knowing when to start. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing opportunities and taking action sooner rather than later.

One area where he wishes he had taken action sooner is digital dentistry. Dr. Chen acknowledges the significant cost savings and efficiency of embracing digital technology, such as digital impressions and X-rays.

He advises dentists to make the transition quickly, as the benefits of digital dentistry far outweigh the initial investment.

The Pitfalls of Technology

While digital dentistry has proven to be a game-changer for Dr. Chen, he also acknowledges that not all technological advancements are worth the investment.

He shares a personal experience with a hard tissue laser that cost him $68,000. While the laser had impressive capabilities, Dr. Chen realized that it did not align with the day-to-day operations of his dental practice.

He advises dentists to carefully evaluate the practicality and ROI (return on investment) of new technology before making a costly purchase. As for that $68,000 laser, he kept it around as a trophy until one day, he decided to move on and gave it away to a friend who could get better use of it for no cost.

Dr. Chen’s willingness to learn from his mistakes and let go of what no longer served his practice, like the unnecessary equipment, demonstrates his commitment to running a successful and efficient dental practice. 

“If you’re not set up in your practice to use certain technologies, why are you playing with those big toys?”

The Power of Learning from Mistakes

Dr. Chen’s journey in dentistry is a testament to the power of learning from mistakes.

He emphasizes that mistakes are only truly mistakes if we fail to learn from them and repeat the mistakes a second time.

By recognizing the areas where he could have acted sooner or made better decisions, Dr. Chen has been able to continuously improve and grow his practice.

His willingness to share his experiences and insights is a valuable resource for other dentists facing similar challenges.

Conclusion and Future Outlook

In this thought-provoking episode of Dental Fuel, we had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Bill Chen, a dentist who has built a flourishing practice through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn from his mistakes and acquire coaches.

Dr. Chen’s journey highlights the importance of recognizing opportunities and taking action. Caution is needed when evaluating new technologies before incorporating them into a dental practice.

By embracing digital dentistry and avoiding unnecessary investments, dentists can streamline operations, improve the patient experience, and achieve greater success.

As the dental industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for dentists to stay informed and adapt to new technologies and practices. Dr. Chen’s story serves as a reminder that mistakes are an inevitable part of the journey, but they can also be valuable learning experiences.

By sharing our experiences and insights, we can support and inspire one another to navigate the unspoken challenges of the dental world and fuel our success. Stay tuned for more episodes of Dental Fuel, where we uncover the middle ground between the before and after.

Until next time, keep learning, keep exploring, and fuel your dental dreams with knowledge!

Dr. William E. Chen, DMD

Dr. William E. Chen, DMD

Dr. Chen is the founder, CEO and visionary of Chen Dental in Sebring, Florida. Dr. Chen received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology at Rollins College and attended the University of Florida College of Dentistry where he completed his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2001. Chen Dental was established in 2005. Dr. Chen has served the community for 20+ years as a modern dentistry leader for ensuring healthy smiles. Over 14,000 patients from three countries, thirty-eight counties and thirty-three states visit Chen Dental each year. Dr. Chen has been voted Best Dentist nine times, received multiple business of the year awards, and the Innovation and Leadership Award. Giving back is very important to Dr. Chen who has trained with renowned financial expert, Dave Ramsey, to learn financial and biblical principles about healthy money management. This has allowed Dr. Chen positive growth in his business and increased his charitable giving. With the support of the community, he has helped raise over $300,000 to benefit organizations such as Lindsey's Wish with Champion for Children, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and more. Dr. Chen established Chen Dental Lab in 2017, the first in-office digital dental lab in Highlands County, Florida. He is a member of several dental associations including the American Dental Association, Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the International Dental Implant Association to name a few. Dr. Chen is also a Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce Circle member. Dr. Chen has a deep passion for his family. He lives an active lifestyle through surfing, wake surfing, hunting, fishing, and camping with his three adventurous boys and has enjoyed 22 years of marriage with his beautiful wife, Geri.