Matt Parsons, The Master Of Composite!
From not considering cosmetic dentistry at all, to becoming one of Liverpool's most successful composite dentists. Instagram to the dental chair, this is Matt Parsons' story.
Behind the funny and lovely Matt Parsons, there is a dentist who takes chances, and that’s not as common as you could think. When it comes to his composite journey, it all started when his nurse showed him some composite work on Instagram, and he asked her if she wanted him to do that for her, it was an affirmative answer from her side.
So off he went to do 10 teeth in between patients. Matt managed to get the composite on the teeth but they didn’t look very good, and he realised in the time he thought he could do a whole set, he only managed to put two centrals on. He knew then he needed to learn how to do this properly, he rang up his friend from uni and said he was going to book a composite course and asked if he wanted to join.
Do a really crappy set of composites before you come on the course, that will be your springboard when you’ve got to redo them
That was September 2018. Right after that he went back to practice and implemented all he had learned at the Mini Smile Makeover course with Dipesh Parmar. He then realised that by doing a bad set of composites and learning from that mistake he was able to know exactly what he did wrong before. “Do a really crappy set of composites before you come on the course, and that will be your springboard when you’ve got to redo them”, Dr. Parsons claims.
When he got round to fixing his nurse’s teeth, he did such a good job that his nurse’s friend ask him to have her teeth done as well. This led to an existing patient wanting to whiten but suffering from bad sensitivity so they settled for a set of composites. This was the first ‘before and after’ picture he had taken and the practice shared this on their dental account. Matt’s brother then saw an opportunity to encourage him to have his own Instagram page to showcase his work, and he did exactly that. It boomed within the first couple of posts!
Matt’s Instagram account went from zero to 5k followers with a lot of work and patience within a 2 years period and from 5k to 40k in a week. The interesting thing, especially for a guy who is camera shy, doesn’t want to appear on social media and sticks to it, is how he managed to do it. He stayed true to himself, watching others and improving the formula.
Competition time! Tag, like and repost!
Anyone who knows Matt Parsons would know he is not a fan of appearing on the Internet, and he stuck to that. He allowed his work and very high-quality pictures to speak for himself and started to do what other dentists do, a giveaway, with two significant additions: the giveaway was offering aligning, bleaching, and bonding, which in other words, is a competition worth entering for a patient. He was also asking patients to tag him in the post which is where he found his own unique formula.
“I put up saying, composite smile makeover competition, you’ve got to like this post, comment on this post tagging three friends and all of those friends have to be following me for your entry to count, pick your favorite smile from my page, share it to your story and tag me in it, and I think that last bit was the one that no one else had done”.
Once he had realized that this method of interacting with his followers was working, he started to see people liking different styles of composite makeovers. He would have girls from Liverpool with rollers in and big fake eyelashes liking the more square, whiter composite cases and they would be liking, tagging their friends and sharing the competition onto their pages, and others followers were liking and sharing more natural cases. This bought in a large variety of patients for him to start booking in and doing different types of composite on.
The secrets are revealed!
Matt’s new phrase to his patients now is ‘Like, Tag and Share!’. The success that came from the competition just blew up his appointment diary. He was booked up with consultations every day for 6 months, and his receptionist almost had a heart attack!
The phone was non-stop ringing. He had around five thousand inquiries that he and his team sat down and started to reply to. He set up an online waiting list which encouraged a steady pace of patients being answered. This gave him a constant flow of people that he was able to practice his skills on. The more patients he can practice with, the more perfect his techniques will be.
Practice makes perfect. Pardon the pun.
He loved that his work bought him patients who wanted to be in the dental chair, as opposed to those who were nervous and scared about being there. He had his work buzz. “When I first started doing this kind of work and got patients from Instagram, I had a habit of giving what they wanted”. He realized that he had defiantly tackled cases that would have been best solved with different methods other than what the patient asked for. For example, he previously fixed a patient’s teeth with composite when it would have been better to be fixed with orthodontics.
If it’s not the right option for the patient let’s look at X, Y or Z instead. The overwhelming reaction is, Thanks for your honesty
He never did this to take the patient’s money, he simply wanted to keep the patient happy and agree to their terms. However with more practice he understood that with power comes responsibility, which may be the best outcome for the patient’s dental future. “If it’s not the right option for the patient let’s look at X, Y, or Z instead. It’s never ever ruffled a patient’s feathers the wrong way. The overwhelming reaction is, Thanks for your honesty“.
Even if the patient doesn’t agree, its always best to suggest other methods, as patients don’t usually know what they want. He knew he needed to just trust himself and be honest. With all these years of practice and improving on his composite techniques and knowing what is best for the patient, he gives some super useful techniques to take into practice.
Its All About The Technique!
Tips and tricks are nothing without technique. The Mini Smile Makeover course taught by the king of composite – Dipesh Parmar, delves into every best way to construct, shape and polish composites. It’s all in the technique! And that’s what Matt and his friend picked up at the course.
All in all the technique methods are a bit similar to taking advice. You need to practice, practice and practice again, and then after a while, you become confident and excel at it. After attending the two-day course, which is full of informative lectures and practical work, he had some golden clinical tips.
- Make sure you sandblast before you etch because there is plaque, tartar and calculus on these teeth. Get all that off and you’ll be amazed how much cleaner your etch looks.
- Cure through glycerine. If you are leaving the uncured resin in your contact points then the patient is then going to go away and stain and discolour, that is when you get that interproximal staining quite quickly.
- Keep the composite thin, the thinner you keep them, the better they look for longer, and much easier it is to clean, you don’t get the dark interproximal areas.
- With a diastema, pick where you want your contact point to be. If you have got two centrals and they are the same width each and you have got a 2mm gap, then you want to add 1mm to the middle of each central
These are the top tips that have helped him carry out so many great cases of composite. These top tips have helped educate not only himself but his whole team. In dentistry there is no I in team. When you see a super qualified dentist that is highly recommended, there will always be a team who helps and he is very passionate about this.
There’s no I in TEAM!
Before Matt moved to the practice he is working at now, he worked with an amazing team and realized that work isn’t always just about waking up in the morning and making money, it’s about a well-run practice and care in the workplace.
You want them to be empowered and give feedback, I think the traditional model of dentist and nurse is a load of crap
He has seen how being nice to your nurses and other dentists really benefit you in the long run. “You want them to be empowered and give feedback! I think the traditional model of dentist and nurse is a load of crap“.
He knows that it is super important to remember everyone is a human being at the end of the day, and although work may become stressful, everyone works better as a team. As a boss, if you are horrible to your staff, that will show in the quality of everyone’s work, so it is important to create positive working relationships and a happy environment.
It takes two to tango!
Dentists and dental nurses have a work/relationship stigma, where dentists have been known to be dismissive and unpolite to their staff… this needs to be seen as a thing of the past. Matt works in two very successful practices that are run with kindness, and empower the workers around him.
Being a dentist is one thing, but being a successful and happy dentist who gets on with all of his staff… that’s something else. He knew that to be a valued part of his practice doesn’t just involve skill and education, it involves working as a team.
A lot has happened since he did his nurse’s teeth and attended the Mini Smile Makeover course. He was one of the delegates who actually put to use what he learned at the course and he currently works for two very successful practices: The Abby in Liverpool and the Ruh Dental in Manchester. We have come to an end of Matt Parsons story, however, if you wanted to listen to this episode in the Dental Leaders podcast, click here!
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