As part of our ongoing interview series, we were honored to speak with Dr. Sam Muslin of Face Lift Dentistry in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Muslin is a Doctor of Dental Surgery, was honored to receive the “Master of the Academy of General Dentistry” award, was featured on The Doctors, and developed Face Lift Dentistry®, VENLAY® Restoration and JawTrac® bite correction. But he’s not just a leader in advancing new procedures; to grow his practice Dr. Muslin also had to cultivate his business management skills and shares key lessons with us today.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In what ways does that relate to what you do now?
When I went for my very first dental visit, the dentist took me around his office, and I was fascinated with all of the equipment. Then, he opened a closet door and inside the closet was a Bunsen burner with a flame. Fire in the closet pretty much “sealed the deal” for me and I told my Dad that I wanted to be a dentist. A few months later, I decided that I could ride down a stairway on my bike, flipped over the handlebars and knocked out my front baby teeth. The dentist took care of me, and I learned a couple of lessons that day. One was that stupid ideas cause pain, and the other was we all need a dentist.
Today, I am a dentist of 40 years, have utilized all of the technologies, dental implants, gum and jaw surgeries, full mouth reconstructions, cosmetic dentistry and veneers and braces for nearly 20 years. When you put all of that experience together, I’ve pretty much have seen it all. Now, I have developed a unique form of non-invasive bite correction dentistry that transforms lives, faces and health without surgery, braces or drilling down the patient’s healthy teeth. This method is a game changer.
What steps do you take to ensure that the services you deliver are in alignment with your mission, core values, and vision?
My core value is simple. Every patient that I see will benefit from what I do. Communicating is vital, and again new developments helped in this area. Using “in your mouth” cameras are the key to communicating with the patients so they can see what I am saying and understand why I am saying it. Cameras and communication have helped my patients improve their health daily. My hygienists work in other offices all over Los Angeles, and they tell me that my patients have a higher level of health than any other dental office they have ever worked in. The precision fit of my magnified dentistry combined with great visual communication has improved the health of my patients.
Name two organizations or well-known business people you admire and explain why.
We moved from Pennsylvania when I was in the third grade to Santa Monica. Sixty years ago, Santa Monica Bay was a contaminated mess. The Hyperion Plant was dumping raw sewage, and chemical companies were dumping DTD into Santa Monica Bay. Our storm drains were filled with all sorts of toxins such as motor oil, and they all drained into the bay when it rained. Today, this has all changed. I appreciate what our Country, the State, County, and City, combined with both political parties did to clean up the bay. When we work together, great things can happen. Today Santa Monica Bay is much cleaner, the water is clearer, no floating trash, and the diverse bird life improved, porpoises are everywhere, sea lions, fishing and swimming are safer.
What are your top three priorities for the business?
- It’s not about dentistry, its about health. It’s not about a beautiful sparkling smile, it’s about your entire face. I strive to optimize the beauty within by optimizing the jaw and bite through non-invasive dentistry.
- Avoid unnecessary jaw surgery, braces, chin implants, and especially drilling away the patient’s healthy teeth.
- Optimize the functionality of the jaw joints, jaw position, and bite to maximize their biologic potential.
How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?
Every patient is unique. There are no two bites that are alike. Every patient moves their jaws differently, shape their lips differently, speak differently, and has different bone structures and tolerance levels. From overbite to underbite correction, facial collapse, open bites, anti-aging dentistry and TMJ correction, to deliver my non-invasive type of care there is a new challenge every single day. At this level of care there is simply no place for complacency. Together with the staff, we function like a well-oiled machine to ensure every patient’s results.
What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business leader?
Be conscious of the fact they everyone has good and bad times in their lives and occasionally needs extra consideration when that happens. I have had broken hearted patients and staff for one reason or another, and you just have to help them through it.
What’s the most critical piece of business management and leadership advice you would give your younger self?
A dental practice has a compassionate health-care component and a business-management component. You find yourself weaving through a maze of changing regulations, insurance benefits and state laws. I am a dentist in solo practice with a revolutionary treatment method. Be adaptable as this world is changing fast and you need to stay on top of changes. I never forgot during basic military training, one of the officers said, “there are only two types of people on the battlefield, the quick and the dead.” You have to adapt quickly.
How do you grow talent in your business?
Frankly, I try to help each of my employees to be better people by compensating them well for their effort. This helps me keep and grow talent. One of my employees wanted to be a chef and needed money to go to chef school. I loaned him the money, and today he is a chef and loves what he does. Sometimes you need to grow talent even if it’s not in your business.
About Face Lift Dentistry®
Face Lift Dentistry® is a revolutionary method designed to reverse the effects of aging at its source and align misaligned jaws without jaw surgery. Patients from ages 14 to 93 are successfully treated because it is safer, faster, and more predictable than any other choice.
Face Lift Dentistry® is non-invasive and has unsurpassed aesthetic benefits, way beyond veneers and cosmetic dentistry. One feature that makes it so unique is that your healthy teeth remain healthy and are not drilled down to little pegs. The second major feature is my method of locating the ideal jaw position which is what makes it an alternative to jaw surgery for underbite or overbite correction. The third feature is that this treatment can be completed in two visits, making it faster, safer, less risky and quicker than any other bit correction treatment.
Why would a 14-year-old want to reverse the effects of aging? Because right after getting her braces removed, her teeth were straight but, you could not see her upper teeth when she talked, she had facial collapse, the wrong position for her lower jaw, a short round face like that of a much older person, and a bite that did not synchronize with her facial structures. Porcelain veneers are useless for these types of health problems.
Why would a 93-year-old want this method? Because she can get better breathing, a larger air passage, restore her short yellow teeth with a new porcelain layer without drilling them down, look 10 to 15 years younger, get pain relief, improve chewing and digestion, and do it more predictably than with other choices. The “no prep” component makes this method the method of choice for everyone.
The jaw position component of this method makes it seem “too good to be true.” How can JawTrac®, VENLAY® Restorations, combined with the Face Lift Dentistry® Method, make a small looking chin look larger, and a facial profile look more attractive without jaw surgery and a chin implant? The secret is to locate the ideal jaw position that functionally harmonizes with your facial structures.
With Face Lift Dentistry® underbite correction, the facial profile looks much more natural, and the chin looks smaller because of the new JawTrac® jaw position. Once the underbite is corrected, the jaw looks more normal in size. Suddenly the patient with an underbite has a better-proportioned face, a better profile, improved self-confidence, and an incredible smile in just two visits. The first visit is about 2 to 5 days and the second visit three weeks later is five days.
Many patients decide to begin the VENLAY® phase of treatment after only one day of testing because they know the other choices of treatment are not nearly as advantageous. The patient’s new jaw position becomes a reality with non-invasive, non-surgical VENLAY® Bite Restorations.
Patients that have already had jaw surgery, braces, clear aligners, full mouth reconstructions, cosmetic dentistry, and porcelain veneers can benefit from this method as well. Why? Because they never received the JawTrac® jaw position before getting all of those other treatments. The Face Lift Dentistry® method maximizes the functionality combined with aesthetics, and there is nothing quite like it anywhere else.
Face Lift Dentistry®, VENLAY® and JawTrac® are the registered trademarks of Sam Muslin DDS.