Dentists spend most of their waking hours in their practices, so they usually don't get many opportunities to see what it's like inside another doctor's office. Dentaltown magazine's recurring Office Visit profile offers a chance for Townies to meet their peers, hear their stories and get a sense of their practice protocols.
Name: N. Cory Glenn, DDS
Practice name: Glenn Dental
Graduated from: University of Tennessee,
Health Sciences Center
Practice location: Winchester, Tennessee
Practice size: 2,400 square feet
Staff: Two dentists, two assistants,
two hygienists, two administrative office
In this issue, we introduce Dr. Cory Glenn of Winchester, Tennessee. Glenn has been an active member of Dentaltown since 2009, and in that time he's posted more than 3,000 times and amassed more than 300 followers. He's one of Dentaltown's most popular Townies not only for his thousands of helpful posts on the message boards but also for his many contributions, candid advice and teaching efforts within the dental community.
Tell us the story of how you became a dentist.
I always knew I wanted to do something in the
I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but wasn't sure what. I took a college course, "Intro to Medical and Dental Careers," where every week different medical professionals came in and spoke about what they did. The recurring theme I saw was that most of the physicians were burned out and frustrated—except for most of the dentists, who seemed pretty content. The class was taught by a local oral surgeon, and I ended up working for him during my last three years of college. Once I saw what he did, I was hooked.
How is your practice laid out? What's the workflow like?
We have a main hallway through the practice with all of the clinical areas. Patients enter from the waiting room and encounter the two hygiene rooms first. Farther down the hall is our cone beam and then three doctor operatories. Our sterilization and lab areas are at the end of the hall with the staff break room and finally the storage areas.
What is your practice philosophy?
We treat others as we'd want to be treated. Our focus is to comprehensively care at the highest level, but to do it affordably while using the latest technology.
- Sirona Orthophos XG 3D.
Panorex + cephalometric + cone beam.
Juell 3-D printer.
Surgical-grade ProHD LoupeCam.
NSK electric handpieces.
BlueSkyBio software, implants and guided surgery kit.
What do you think helps set your practice apart from others?
One of the biggest differences is the amount of video and photo documentation we do. I take a lot of pictures, which I use for patient education. I've always believed that the best way to get patients to accept treatment is to show them what's needed, by taking high-quality photos or by doing their exam and letting them watch it live on the overhead monitor through my HD LoupeCam. I teach a lot, too, so I use the photos, the LoupeCam videos and my microscope camera to document procedures to teach other dentists.
What aspect of your work are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the progress we've made in bringing guided surgery to the masses by making it more affordable and accessible. There's no reason that guided surgery should ever cost more than $30 per case.
What's an aspect of dentistry that never ceases to amaze you?
There's no ceiling to how good you can get in dentistry, and I love that because there's always something higher to aspire to. There's always a new procedure to learn.
What are your favorite marketing techniques? How do you get the word out about your practice?
We don't market very much at all. I will occasionally post pictures of our work on the website or Facebook page, but that's about it. Everything else is from internal marketing.
What do you think is the biggest problem dentists face today?
The high debt load required to get into dentistry in the first place.
What's your patient philosophy?
I spent a lot of time early on trying to make everyone value their teeth like I do, and it was really frustrating in my practice demographic to see patients opt for what I considered subpar treatment. Eventually I realized that teeth are not for everybody. Now, I try to educate and show patients the benefits of treatment but I don't worry myself to death if they refuse ideal treatment. We simply try to do our best work with whatever treatment route our patients choose.
What can you not practice without?
My cone beam.
3M Ketac Cem Glass Ionomer Cement
3M Scotchbond Universal Adhesive
NeoDiamond Microcopy Single-Use Burs
Sultan Healthcare Genie Fast Set
• 3M Filtek Supreme Ultra Universal Restorative
• Apex Titan Flowable
• CEL Robox 3-D printers
• Zeiss OPMI Pico microscope
• Sony a6000 digital camera
• AMD Lasers Picasso Lite Diode Laser
• Canon EOS Rebel T2i camera with 100mm macro lens and Eyefi Mobi Pro WiFi SDHC memory card
What is the greatest advancement of change you've seen during your tenure?
The use of 3-D printing in dentistry, surgical guides, digital wax-ups, study models, digital dentures. It's amazing—all the applications that are coming down the line. Eventually, I think every dentist will want to own a printer.
Looking ahead, what would you like to see dentistry do in terms of the way it operates as a profession in the next five to 10 years?
I would like to see a reduction in high-cost dental technology and a movement toward everything being open source.
Describe the most successful or rewarding experience
in your professional life.
The most rewarding (and also humbling) experience of my career was seeing the outpouring of support from my patients and colleagues when I was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2015. I had dentists I didn't even know offering to fly in and work in my practice a few days a week, or even have their bone marrow tested in case I needed a transplant. I was completely out of the practice for eight months and yet with the help of my dental colleagues, the practice thrived in my absence.
What has Dentaltown done for your professional life?
For your social life? What's your favorite feature?
It's no exaggeration to say that Dentaltown has built my career. Early on, it was the primary place where I learned about dentistry and it's what informed my decisions on what CE to take and whom to take it from. More recently, the following and exposure that I've gotten by posting a lot has built my lecturing career.
Give us a snapshot of your life outside of dentistry.
I'm married and have three little girls, so most of my free time revolves around spending time with them. We spend a lot of time on the lake swimming and fishing, and in the winter I like to hike and hunt.
If you could send one note back to yourself before you began practicing, what would it say?
Stay balanced. There's more to life than becoming a "super dentist" so you need to focus on your mental, physical and spiritual health as well.