Michael Dunn: Tell us about igniteDDS. What services do you offer?
Dr. David Rice: When we first built igniteDDS, we anticipated building a community for dental students and new dentists. Our goal was a home base for mentorship, collaboration and linking the future of dentistry to the RIGHT people. What has evolved is so much better. We are a movement for change and in two short years we are already gaining international interest on how to re-shape dentistry’s future. What we offer is a 10 year head start in dentistry. We bridge the gap in practice management, technology and patient care where dental schools simply run out of time. And the best part is, a dental student’s cost – their commitment to their future and their time. Every service we provide is free!
MD: How did you start igniteDDS? What was your “a-ha” moment?
DR: I love this question. I had two “A-ha” moments that occurred years apart. The latter brought back the memory of the former. So, I suppose in Quentin Tarantino style, the latter first. In addition to my private practice and teaching at Buffalo’s dental school, I’d been consulting dental practices on how to grow 50% in 5 months. One day, I was being interviewed by a colleague and friend. We got on the subject of dental students. Apparently as I spoke, my excitement was more than obvious. My interviewer literally cut tape and said, ” You have to stop consulting with these practices and focus everything you have on students!” In that moment, I remembered the former moment. I had watched a great mentor of mine in his business years before. Essentially, I caught him writing secret checks to several employees who couldn’t afford their kids’ college tuitions. It was the most incredible act of selflessness I’d ever seen. We looked at one another. No words were spoken…but I learned that day that passion, not money and people, not prizes, mattered most. Coming full circle, my passion…my purpose was teaching, mentoring and giving to the next generation so they could pay it forward and build a better future.
MD: What makes igniteDDS unique compared to similar services?
DR: There are many actions which make us unique. That said, what I know truly separates us is that our community is igniteDDS. We are not a company that serves. We are not a corporation that seeks profits. We are our people and our people are us.
MD: What trends do you think will have the biggest impact on the dental industry in the next 5 – 10 years?
DR: The biggest trend on most dentists’ minds is the rise of corporate dentistry. Good or bad, right or wrong, it’s out there and can affect both seasoned dentists looking to retire and new dentists entering our profession. That said, like everything in life, every dental professional has a choice. Our job isn’t to judge. Our job is simply to educate and allow every future dentist to choose what is the best fit for them.
MD: What’s next for you and igniteDDS? What can we look forward to?
DR: We just launched our first Google hangout series, “So you just graduated…what’s next?”. It’s very exciting and an incredible platform for many great conversations with amazing professionals we know will bring exceptional content. We have a few other surprises coming in the first quarter of 2015 that I cannot share just yet. Suffice it to say, they will blow the lid off what we can bring to ignite!
Thank you, Dr. Rice, for taking some time to share your answers to my 5 Questions With… To learn more about igniteDDS or to ask some questions of your own, please reach out to them. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you!
And, as always, I would love to hear from you too. Please comment below or contact me. I welcome your feedback.