Jolie Lieb is the 3rd generation in the dental equipment manufacturing business and grew up going to the factory and to dental shows and knowing innovative people in dentistry her whole life, especially having grown up in the Philadelphia area where there are several dental Schools. Her grandfather started Star Dental and her father, Nathaniel Lieb built Star into one of the early high-speed handpiece companies and perfected the electroplating process for diamond burs. Spring Diamonds were one of the first single-use diamonds. He later sold Star and started Spring Health Products with her brother, Alex Lieb, who is currently the President and also works on development.
Spring Health Products is a family business, located in Norristown, PA, outside Philadelphia. Spring Health Products manufactures diamond dental burs, LED curing lights and Lab Rotary and sells with almost all the dealers in the US, including Schein, Patterson, Benco, Burkhart, Pearson, DHPI, Midwest, and Atlanta Dental. Jolie, started out working in a completely different career, first working at Christie’s the auction house then moving to London and going to graduate school in London at London School of Economics and working at the law firm Skadden Arps in capital markets. Even though Jolie did not work for Spring Health Products, she always kept her foot in the door. She always worked at the shows, especially the international ones. When Nathanial Lieb passed away, Jolie decided to join Spring Health. She continues to live between Philadelphia and Milan Italy and works in sales and marketing.
VIDEO - DUwHF #964 - Jolie Lieb
AUDIO - DUwHF #964 - Jolie Lieb
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Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Jolie Lieb, all the way from Milan in Italy. She's third generation in the dental field with springhealthproducts.com. Jolie Lieb is a third generation in the dental equipment manufacturing business and grew up going to the factory, and dental shows, and knowing innovative dental people in dentistry her whole life, especially having grown up in Philadelphia, where there are several dental schools. Her grandfather started Star Dental, and I remember that I graduated thirty years ago, and her father, Nathaniel Lieb, built Star into one of the early high-speed handpiece companies and perfected the electroplating process for diamond burrs. Spring Diamonds were one of the first single-use diamonds.
He later sold Star and started Spring Health Products with her brother, Alex Lieb, who is currently the president and also works on development. Spring Health Products is a family business located in Norristown, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia, who just won the Superbowl. Spring Health Products manufacturers diamond dental burrs, LED curing lights, and lab rotary, and sells with almost all the dealers in the US, including Schein, Patterson, Benco, Burkhart, Pearson, DHPI, Midwest, and Atlanta Dental. Jolie started out working in a completely different career. First working at Christie's, the auction house, then moving to London and going to graduate school in London at London School of Economics and working at the law firm, Skadden, Arps in capital markets.
Even though Jolie did not work for Spring Health Products, she always kept her foot the door. She always worked with the shows, especially the international ones. When Nathaniel Lieb passed away Jolie decided to join Springs Health. She continues to live between Philadelphia and Milan, Italy and works in sales and marketing. So how did that Superbowl victory work for you?
Jolie: That was so exciting. I was actually in Philadelphia right before it happened and everybody in the factory wore their shirts for two weeks, they wore a different Eagle shirt every day, we were very excited.
Howard: Well my team wasn't in but I was voting for the Eagles because Howard Goldstein, the dentist in charge of the message board, lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He's the most die-hard Eagles fan. It was the last thing on his sports bucket lists he ever wanted was for the Eagles to win the Superbowl. So I was rooting for them. I seriously didn't think they could pull it off.
Jolie: We were thrilled. So everybody was thrilled and I actually had to leave because I was doing a show in Dubai so I wasn't able to see the game. So I woke up every couple hours in the middle of the night to check the score.
Howard: So are diamonds truly a girl's best friend?
Jolie: Definitely. Well they're a dentist’s best friend. There's something that they all need and there's a big difference between all the diamonds. So that's sort of something maybe people didn't know, there's a huge difference, and there are different types of diamonds.
Howard: Well just to my homies out there. I don't do commercials. She did not contact me, I contacted her. There's no money change hands here. I just thought it's a beautiful American story. I mean when you hear of a third generation family business making your diamonds here, I just wanted to bring you on the show, dentists, we use diamond burrs, but I don't think any dentist out there knows how to make a diamond burr and I don't think a dentist could give a five minute lecture on the different types of manufacturing processes. But you don't think all diamonds are the same, what makes Spring Diamond burrs different?
Jolie: I'll tell you a little bit about our company. We're one of the few companies that actually manufactures diamond burrs in the United States. There's abrasive technology which makes the Two Striper diamond which I'll tell you a little bit about, which is a little bit of a different type of diamond and everybody else produces offshore. So we're one of the few and we refuse to go off shore, so we're still here and we've been doing it for a long time. So we're sort of a company that's under the radar because we're still a small family owned company, but we have really, really nice quality products, and we'd love for everybody to try them. But what makes them different? Basically there are two different types of processes to make diamond burrs, there's brazing, which is made in an oven and they're very, very, very expensive and those are pretty much the strongest types of diamonds.
So the diamonds are never going to come off. Then there's electroplated diamond burrs, and that’s about 99% of the diamond burrs in the world are electroplated, but there's a huge, huge, huge, variety of diamonds and there's a huge difference in the quality of the diamonds, because of the materials they use and because of the plating processes. So I can tell you what makes our diamonds different, or what's the difference in the diamond? So basically a diamond bur, it's a shank of stainless steel and there's all different qualities of stainless steel and this stainless steel can be cut different ways so that they're done on big machines, these giant machines. This stainless steel tubing and there's different strengths of tubing that different companies use. We use 420 stainless steel which is the strongest stainless steel, so you're not going to have any bending in the bur, and we heat treat it, and that's really important because then you're not going to get any warping either and you're not going to get any vibration and chatter.
So that's pretty much what all the high end diamond burrs are made of, of this 420 stainless steel. Then there's diamonds and there's synthetic diamonds, which a lot of the really cheap Chinese burrs are using synthetic diamonds where as the high high end companies use real diamonds. But then there's different shapes of the diamonds in different grits, these different shapes and different grits are difficult to plate. So the plating processes really difficult to get it perfect, so the very big grit, so you're super coarse and your coarse are much harder to plate them. For example, the fine or the extra fine. Some companies say that they're making a super coarse when really they're making the coarse because it's easier to plate, and also there are different shapes of the little diamond particles. We use a blocky diamond particle which makes it very fast cut, but other companies might use a different particle. So this has all going to effect the cut of the diamond, and the main aim is to have a fast cut because a fast cut is going to mean less heat, and less heat means less trauma to the tooth.
So what every dentist wants to feel is that their diamond bur is cutting super fast with little heat, and no chatter, and no vibration. One other part about the plating process that's really important is that you don't want the diamond to go too deep when they're plating it, because you don't want any bald spots on the diamond bur. If there's bald spots you're going to get more heat, and you're going to have less surface to cut, less surface that's cutting the tooth, therefore you're also going to get a slower cut. So there's all these little tiny things that are so important to make the good diamond. So buying a cheap diamond bur doesn't necessarily is not exactly something you want in your mouth. You really want a quality diamond in your mouth to have a good fast cut.
Howard: The first thing that was crossing my mind when I'm using the diamond is are they real diamonds? Is that a huge expense for you? Are they cubic zirconia fake diamonds?
Jolie: We use an all natural diamond. So all the good diamond companies will use all natural diamonds, and what they are is they're industrial diamonds. So they're a byproduct of cutting a diamond ring, and the leftover little particles, those are called industrial diamonds. So it's actually all natural diamonds and they're sold by special companies that sell industrial diamonds to cut it.
Howard: Is it De Beers?
Jolie: You can buy it from De Beers but there are lots of different companies, and you can buy it in all different grits and all different shapes. So we buy a blocky shape, but there's all different ones. The diamond is so expensive that it comes in a little jar, it looks gray so it's not all sparkly that when if we make a mistake or there's defects, we take the diamond off the bur and reuse it and then we have to send it back to the company. They sift it and they get it back into the right grains.
Howard: So you're highly educated. I mean, you have an economics degree from the London School of Economics. I mean I have an MBA from Arizona State University. I don't think that competes with the London School of Economics. But isn't the price of diamonds completely artificial because of the De Beers monopoly? Because we always hear from scientists with PhDs that diamonds are abundant in nature, but the price is really high because of the monopolistic...
Jolie: These are industrial diamonds, so the price does vary. But the price is nothing compared to like the diamonds that are used for jewelry or things like that. They're used for a lot of things industrial diamonds, like our company, we also have a part that we do diamond technology for other people. So some other dental companies, which I can't really tell you which ones, if for example, they have scalers that are diamond coated, they send them to us and we diamond coat them. So the diamonds are also used for cutting marble.
Howard: Well if you used fake cubic zirconia would that be cheaper, and the same thing?
Jolie: That's what most of the Chinese diamonds are made with the synthetic diamonds.
Howard: But you don't think they cut as good?
Jolie: Well sometimes some of them will cut okay. Some of them are okay but the best are the natural diamonds.
Howard: Well, yeah. So you like the all natural?
Howard: I just want to say on the record, I am all natural. A lot of people think I've had a lot of surgery, and hair transplants, and plugs, and everything, and I am completely all natural. I am not synthetic. I want to hear more about your side, but I wanted to get you on the show. The main reason I wanted to get you on the show is I want to tell you our side of the problem with diamonds, and you know what that is?
Jolie: Tell me.
Howard: The problem is that when your dad started Star Dental, every dentist had his own place. They all practice alone. Every pharmacists had their own place. Then the pharmacist consolidate into, Walgreen and CVS. Well now group practices is exploding.
Jolie: Yeah. Yeah.
Howard: I mean, it's really exploding and when you're trying to put order and systems into an office, it's pretty easy to get three or four dentists in a group practice. So let's say two or three dentists in a group practice to agree on a type of glove, or a bonding agent, or a lot of things, but everyone in group, what drives the assistants crazy is the burrs. I mean you can't even go into a group practice and say 'can we just agree on five different burrs for a filling, and five for a crown, and I get it because I'm a dentist. I mean there's just stuff I have to have and it's crazy, and I talked to Rick Workman, he owns eight hundred dental offices and he says the bur issue is insanity. Steve Thorne has I think four hundred offices and all these people, it drives them crazy. But you know what I think the genius solution would be?
Howard: It drives the assistants insane to try to get the burrs on. So if you put too many burrs on and the dentist doesn't use them, you still got an autoclave all those burrs and that dulls them. Correct?
Jolie: Not necessarily, what dulls them is using them a lot of times.
Howard: So you're saying the autoclave does not dull them.
Jolie: No. That just sterilizes them.
Howard: So it doesn't. What about carbides?
Jolie: Carbides, I'm not an expert in carbides so I don't really know, and we make some laboratory carbides but they're not used in the mouth.
Howard: What I thought would be great is to be able to go into my office and tell the assistants when you set up the room for a filling, or a crown, or a root canal, you're not charging the burrs. So when your a dentist and you're looking at the schedule and you're going into a room A to do a crown, you would just stop by and there'd be a single use dispenser with the name of each bur, and then you could just sit there and say 'okay, here's the five that I need ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, and you set up your own burrs. Like a Dr Scholls foot deal.
Howard: Or if somebody came out with an actual dispenser, a wall hanger. So it wouldn't even take up shelf space, and an easy dispense though where you just push a button and the bur would come out. Then the assistants could keep all their hair, they'd get off Xanax, they wouldn't have to drink liquor after work, they wouldn't have to go to happy hour and drink two margaritas because it is crazy. Then when you're in the middle of a filling, or a crown, or a root canal, and you say hand me the this and she's got to take off her gloves, get up, open a drawer, pull out, it's crazy. I don't think anybody should leave the room once the procedure's started, I wouldn't want to be in the middle of a bypass and every five minutes the doctor asked for something and the nurse has to leave the room to go get another instrument. I mean know what you're doing. But I think from an operations logistics point of view a bur dispenser, that was easy. Or I could just go there ding, ding, ding, ding, and now those are the five burrs I need for a crown.
Jolie: We could try do that. Some people make the little drawers, but the little drawers that you have to go in and pick it out, the little dispenser is a good idea. But then it's always a problem because maybe one dentist in the office wants one company's burrs, and then they went another, and then they went a different grit. So it is a little bit difficult.
Howard: Well they've got a compromise. I mean like they've just got to compromise because the one thing they can't have is they can't have their supplies jumping all around from five, six, seven, 8%. You can't control your costs, your order is, it's like Southwest Airlines. They're the lowest cost airline because every single plane is the same, It's a 737. So everybody knows how to fly it, everybody knows how to fix it, they have all the parts for it. But when you go to like American Airlines where they've got 727, 737, 747, airbuses, McDonald Douglas, [inaudible 00:16:47], it's crazy. So in a dental operatory the fastest way to raise quality and make everything faster, easier, higher quality, lower cost, is to set up every operatory exactly the same, it wouldn't matter if it was for a hygienist. So when you're in that room, everything you need to do your filling, crown, cleaning, everything's there, you can sit down, knock it out. Nobody has to leave the room.
In fact I always joke to dentists that every time their assistant has to leave the room, they should get one of those air horns that you see in the Super Bowl game. I mean if the assistant leaves the room you just tell the patient, 'hey, cover your ears' and then just lean back and blow that horn until the office manager shows up there, and say 'come on man, I've done ten thousand fillings. Why did the assistant have to leave the room? They'll say 'oh well she needed to get this'. Well that's not my cost. My cost is a 42% reduction from my fee to the insurance PPO fee, 25% labor, 10% lab, 6% supply, 5% facility. I can't stop my operation because my dental assistant's got to go find a bur.
Jolie: Dentist usually start using the burrs that they started in dental school, and every dental school teaches somebody with a different technique with a different bur, so different parts of the country the different shapes will sell better, because it's depending on where they went to dental school. So if you have an office filled with people who went to different schools, they're going to use a different shape for different technique, so that's one thing. Then in the beginning a dentist's start using the burrs that they used in school, and they usually are one of the giant companies like Brasseler who gives the school the burrs for free so they only know those. But then they start wanting to experiment after a couple years with different brands and then it's fun because it's like a mechanic, you get to use different tools so you get to have different drill bits.
Howard: Do you know what dental school I went to?
Jolie: Which one?
Howard: I actually bought my dental degree on eBay.
Jolie: No you didn't.
Howard: I did, I bought my dental degree, my eagle scout, my black belt, three, three for nine ninety-nine.
Jolie: Oh, wow
Howard: Is that amazing? So you make burrs, you make diamond burrs.
Jolie: We make LED for curing lights too, but diamonds we're known for more.
Howard: So what is the top five selling diamond burrs for dentists?
Jolie: Well the top one for sure is 285 point five to football.
Howard: Oh yeah, two eighty-five point five.
Jolie: Point five to football.
Howard: Well that's not true.
Howard: Yeah, the eagles use a football like that but football in Brazil is round.
Jolie: That's true.
Howard: 90% of all footballs are round soccer balls.
Jolie: Yeah, right.
Howard: Only Americans call that shape a football.
Jolie: You're right, okay. We could call it occlusal. But did you know in Italy that they have the second most amount of dentists in Europe next to Germany?
Howard: Really? How many dentists are in Italy?
Jolie: I don't know. But I know that there's a school of dentists the second most amount next to Germany.
Howard: Do you know that the most interesting thing about Italy? Half the implant companies in the world are in Italy, I think they have one hundred different companies making dental implants.
Jolie: I thought they were in Israel to, that must be the second one.
Howard: Israel has a lot too, but I mean a lot of people think of Nobel Biocare, they'll think of Straumann.
Jolie: Yeah. Yeah.
Howard: I mean Italy has over a hundred different implant companies. Have you visited a lot of them? Or talked network with one of them?
Jolie: I know people from the different companies from going to all these shows, mostly I know the distributors because I'm trying to sell my product. It's funny because actually all of Europe pretty much is still like America used to be with lots of little family-owned small distributors. It hasn't consolidated like America even though Shein has bought up the big distributors in most of the countries, like they bought up Krugg in Italy which was the biggest distributor. But the Italians still like buying from their friend who they've been buying for in there for years and it's like a completely different market than in the US. Although they're starting to get the group practices a lot in Europe, but it's still a ton of small distributors rather than like the giant distributors we get in America.
Howard: Well you're from the London School of Economics. What are the pros and cons of having the supply distributors in America pretty much all roll up into probably Patterson does a quarter to sell, Shein does a quarter of the sell, What do you think of a consolidated supply industry? Does it make it faster, easier, more efficient, or not really, as opposed to small town family businesses in Italy?
Jolie: Well it makes it a lot harder for the manufacturer that's for sure, because it's almost impossible to get a new product into one of the big guys, also your product gets lost because they're carrying a lot of things, and also you have to spend an awful lot of money with these distributors because they're making money through your advertising to. So the manufacturers have to pay for advertising with dental publications, and the key opinion leaders, and they also have to pay Schein, Patterson, and Benco for advertising too.
Howard: They have to put an add in their catalog, right? They have to pay for that?
Jolie: The manufacturers have to pay for that, sure. The catalog page, no, but you have the flyers that you get every month, the manufacturers pay for those those ads and they pay a lot.
Howard: Well that's a great segue to my next question. I mean two Thanksgivings ago, Amazon had a big booth at the Greater New York meeting in New York City, one of the largest meetings in America and they were there this year too. You're not going to believe this, but more Americans have Amazon Prime than have cable television in their house.
Howard: That is the craziest statistic, and that statistic comes from Professor Galloway at the Stern School of business in New York City, and I'm a big fan of Professor Scott Galloway. So are you going to sell direct on Alibaba for China and Amazon?
Jolie: I think that people still want to buy probably through the big dealers. I think because they still like the relationship with their rep who comes by.
Howard: I mean McDonald's has a drive through. Some people like to go in and sit down and eat and have their kids playing the ball, some like to drive through. Why not do both?
Jolie: Yeah, I think occasionally maybe they will, but I think that all the dealers also have everything online too. So then I think it's easier and they can call if they have a problem. They can call their technician maybe certain things like the spotlight and observe plastic cups or things like that would be easy. I think for the other things it's going to be a little bit harder. They're just like any other dealer so we could just treat them like another dealer.
Howard: I have my dealer on speed dial, but that's a whole other question. But so you don't see really Amazon making a big dent in the US dental supply?
Jolie: I think that the other companies are really pushing so hard too. So with all their online things, I think it's just going to be all fair competition.
Howard: Well, you know what, I'm going to tell you a historical story. When I started Dentaltown it was in 1998, Amazon started in 1994. Everybody was telling me that I should monetize Dentaltown by selling supplies, and when I started Dentaltown, when I saw the internet, what I wanted was that no dentist ever have to practice solo again. I saw this internet as a way to connect all these lonely dentists. I mean there's only a dentist for very two thousand people. Nobody gets what we're going through, and I said Dentaltown, no dentist ever practiced solo again and I thought maybe fifty people would sign up. In the first month a thousand people signed up, and every month since a thousand people or more have signed up. I don't know where we are at right now, like two hundred and fifty. Because I had the president of 3M Dental on the podcast just a couple of days ago, and I asked him about that and he's about are you going to sell to Amazon? He said 'you know what nobody's asking us to, we don't have any requests to'. I think it's because again, for the same thing that started Dentaltown hasn't changed, that the rep is a connection to the outside world.
Howard: I mean I know my rep rep sixty thousand skew items and has never done a filling, root canal, or crown. But I liked the connection of like, well, what does Brad Gettleman use? What endo file does he have? She's connected. I remember when I was a little kid, and I was twenty-five and owned my own office, every time I asked Al Hughes a question, he would make a phone call to some fifty-six year old dentist and say 'can I bring Howard by Thursday afternoon and watch you do this, and use that, because he's thinking about buying this, and I know you'd be a good role model for him'. He'd drive me clear across town, so it was that connectivity.
Jolie: It's also the service thing, because I guess if an air compressor goes down and you can call your rep or the company, that technician will come right over, otherwise you've lost business for two days. Yeah, I agree, all the dentists I know are really good friends with their reps.
Jolie: So I think that that's a big thing, and I mean of course people are going to buy on Amazon because maybe they're looking for a lower price, but I think that all of the big dealers are offering low prices. Then also now the group practices they get, through special markets, they get a very good price.
Howard: Yeah. There's a big lawsuit on that. Did you see that put out by the Justice Department?
Jolie: Yeah, what's going on now.
Howard: I just posted it. I don't know what's going on. I'll read it, that was pretty interesting. This was just breaking today.
Jolie: Oh gosh.
Howard: It says the off of Reuters, US files complaint against three biggest dental supply firms. The US Federal Trade Commission said on Monday has filed a complaint against the three largest US dental supply companies saying they had broken antitrust laws. The FTC said that Benco dental supply, Henry Schein and Patterson companies had conspired to refuse to serve or give discounts to dental buying groups reporting by Diane Bartz. But, yeah, that was interesting, I don't know what's going on there. I've tried to get all the CEO's to come on the podcast to talk about it. They go 'dude, my lawyers never going to let me do that'. I couldn't talk about anything but that. But I'm not going to come onto your show because I know you're going to talk that.
But back to Amazon, it was about 1994 that I was first aware of it. That was when Amazon came out, and social media back then was just email groups like firstname.lastname@example.org or dentist@CompuServe and that's in the early days, and there were these email groups like ruziex, and generation knacks, and Internet dental forum. That's where I met like Mike Barr and all these guys, but they said the Internet was going to do five c's, was going to commerce, connectivity commercials, content and community and Dentaltown went with community. I think that even though now it's a generation later, we've gone from baby boomers to millennials. The millennials are still keeping their rep because that rep is the outside human link to their local dental community.
Jolie: That makes sense. Of course.
Howard: You know the technology might change from...
Jolie: A small space and you want to talk to some people out there, and also see what other people are doing. It makes sense.
Howard: But they say in business everything's got to be faster, easier, higher in quality, lower in cost. Do you recommend the single use bur? I mean is that faster, easier, higher quality, lower cost?
Jolie: Actually we market our diamond as a single use, but it's really a multi-use because if you autoclave it it'll work just as well, and a lot of people do. But I think when my father started he felt that it was really the best, because you really do the first time you use it, you get the fastest cut for sure, and it will dull a bit after several uses. But you could use it over and it's still very, very, very good.
Howard: Like how many times?
Jolie: I guess you could probably use it maybe four patients probably, it depends on the procedure. But it will last quite a while.
Howard: I only single-use my root canal files, because when a file breaks it's stuck in the canal and even though I can always get it out it's not pretty and it takes some time. Sometimes you've got to do an apicoectomy and come up from the bottom. But if a burr breaks, I mean it's almost never an issue. I mean it's just almost never an issue. But I'm glad I had you on today because I always thought that autoclaving dulls diamonds and carbides, I always thought that.
Jolie: I'm not sure about carbides, it just sterilizes them. What dulls them is using them.
Howard: Hey, If any homie out there listening knows, Jolie's saying it, she's an expert. She's third generation in making diamond burrs, that it does not affect diamond burrs. If you know anything about does it affect carbides, please start a thread on Dentaltown under dental supplies on burrs. Because again I podcasted probably every CEO of every DSO that has more than fifty or a hundred offices. When you talk about supplies the main issue they have is getting dentists to agree on the burr setups.
Jolie: Like for example our diamonds are relatively cheap, they're under $2 a piece. So you might as well just use one and throw it away. It's easier and faster, it saves you time, and you're going to get a faster cut. So maybe it's better gemistry just to throw it away.
Howard: Okay, so now let's switch over to curing lights. We've talked about diamonds are a girl's best friend, we've covered that. Tell us about your knowledge and experience in curing lights.
Jolie: We’re one of the early curing light manufacturers. We started with the halogen light and then we were one of the first LED curing light manufacturers and we started out with the corded one, and then we manufactured several cordless ones, and we then started manufacturing one that gets directly installed into the delivery system. Then within the last ten years there's probably been about two hundred lights on the market. So there's a huge, huge range from Chinese lights that are $25 to super expensive lights that are fifteen hundred. So there's a huge range in price and quality, and our curing light is sort of a medium priced light. It's sort of like the Chevy or the Ford. It's a very reliable medium price light, but very high quality, it's always going to work. The problem with buying a cheap curing light is you don't really know how long it's going to last, you don't know if actually the power is what they say it is, you don't know what type of lens they use, so there's a lot of reasons not to use a cheap light. But it just depends on what type of dentistry you want, if you want something reliable or not.
Howard: Well when I bring on experts in adhesive dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry, and whatever, and you start asking why do poster composites fail? First thing they say every single time is the curing light, and a lot of dentists will have a curing light go weak, or bad, or under cure, and doesn't even know it for a year.
Jolie: Yeah, they don't know. Also a cheaper light like for example our light, when the battery diminishes it's not going to diminish power, it's going to have the same amount of power. So that's important. Also there's different lenses, like we have our lenses specially cut and so they're super high quality lenses, and that's directing the lights. It depends on how many LED’s that they have inside, there's a lot of difference in the light. So it is important to have a good light even though you can buy one and it will cure, but you don't know the quality of the curing. The other thing about curing lights is that some of these cheaper lights say 'oh, we're two hundred or two thousand milliwatts' and nobody wants that, twelve hundred is perfect. If you're going to get too high Howard, you are going to get shrinkage with the composite. You're going to burn the pulp in the mouth. They're not even safe, you're going to have a lot of heat. It's all a marketing thing this one second cure, that's just impossible.
Howard: So you started with halogen, now you're LED. Do you still sell halogen?
Jolie: No, we don't sell the halogen, but we still sell the corded light and believe it or not, a lot of people still like the corded one, and we sell them to some of the universities like the corded one. I know, when you think nobody wants the corded light any more, but…
Howard: Well who can do, those who can't teach. So it doesn't surprise me that the dental schools are using cords. Yeah, they don't have an overhead that they have to meet every day to pay all the bills. But, yeah, a cordless just seems so much a better deal. So what's your star cordless light? What's your hottest?
Jolie: The best seller is called our TC-CLII which is a silver cordless one, and it's a little bit different than most of the lights on the market because it's all metal, it's made of aluminum and we don't have any glass rod in the light, and the LED is actually in the head of the light. There's no glass to travel up so it's quite powerful. But what's the really nice part of it is that it has no glass rod, so when it drops there's nothing to chip, or crack, or break. So it's very durable.
Howard: So if the assistant gets mad and throws it at my head it's not going to break.
Jolie: Yeah, really it's not going to break.
Howard: Nice. Nice.
Jolie: Also they drop and then you people come with a little glass rod and it's chipped and broken, so it's very durable.
Howard: Do you know what the most expensive drop is in the room?
Jolie: Tell me.
Howard: The x-ray sensor. I mean those things are so much money and they get dropped all the time, because you've got a cord from that sensor to the machine and just whatever happens.
Jolie: You must just go whah.
Howard: I mean I see it bounce off the floor once a month. I mean it's just never going to go away.
Howard: I also liked the fact that on your website, which is springhealthproducts.com, by the way I always retweet my guests website to my twenty-five thousand twitter followers, but I don't see any social media. Do you have a twitter account?
Jolie: No, we're really slow in that. We're sort of under the radar, so that's my next thing to get a Twitter account.
Howard: Well, I get Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.
Jolie: Well LinkedIn I have three thousand people so I'm getting better at LinkedIn. But we've been a little bit slow, but we're going to do that within the next month. So we'll have a Twitter account and a Facebook account, so we would love everybody to follow us and friend us.
Howard: Pinterest is 95% women, so it's a great place to market to women dentists and women love women role models. So I think that'd be a unique selling proposition for you. Say 'come on girls. Let's check out my diamonds, they're a girl's best friend'. That should be your deal. Jolie Lieb says spring health diamonds are a girl's best friend.
Jolie: Okay, isn't it true that there's about 50% of women are dentists now?
Howard: Yeah, when you go to when your dad started the company, you went to the twenty richest country all the men were in all the professions where there's money. So all the med students, dental students, law students, they were all men, but when you go around the world just like where there's no money in it, it's always women. Like in America there's no money in teaching, so it's all women. So when I go to Africa, Asia, Latin America, where there's no money in dentistry. like if you go to Kathmandu, Nepal well a man's not going to go into dentistry, they're all women. The men will go into government, military, business, whatever. Men only show up if there's money involved, and if there's no money involved there's no men. I mean that's just a rule of thumb. But now the dental schools are pretty much 50/50 men and women.
Howard: So it's a great change. I tell you what I think, I think they're going to be amazing because I think, I know this is sexist, or racist, or whatever, but I just think women have maternal instincts and they have more empathy and sympathy. I watched that with my four boys, they'd play with me, loved me, everything would be great. But if they fall down and hurt themselves and cried, they'd run clear around me to mom. I mean if they were in pain I was invisible, they wanted mom. So I just think women [inaudible 00:41:30] and also about ninety-four, 95% of all healthcare appointments made according to Regina Herzlinger, Phd Medical Economist at Harvard University, who we get to podcast next week. I've read all of her books, I'm so excited about that. Women make all the appointments when a woman doctor tells a woman something she's ten times more likely to ask questions and engage.
When a man tells you something they're more likely to just say 'okay', 'do you have any questions?' 'No', then when you leave, they turn to the assistant and the hygienist who're women, and ask them all the questions. When I was little boy all the gynecologists were males, now they're all girls. We're seeing that in pediatric dentistry. I'm in several dental schools a year, and when I am in those pediatric residency deals, they'll have like six students. They're all women. I think I only saw one man in a pediatric residency program in the last several years, so I think pediatric dentistry will be the first profession to follow gynecology, and just go completely female. Mom's taking the kids in, she doesn't want to talk to a man.
Jolie: Yeah, that makes sense.
Howard: Yeah. By the way you've got perfect teeth. Is that third generation dental teeth?
Jolie: Veneers. Veneers done by my cousin who's a dentist in Philadelphia. Ernie Delheim.
Howard: Nice. They look just completely perfect.
Jolie: Oh good. I'll have to tell him. He also teaches at Temple University Dental School.
Howard: Oh yeah, Temple. So what have they got there? They've got to temple.
Jolie: They have Temple, they have Pen.
Howard: Are those both in Philadelphia?
Jolie: Yeah, right in Philadelphia.
Howard: Yeah, and then how far is Philadelphia from New York City in a car?
Jolie: It's about two hours in the car.
Howard: Two hours.
Jolie: It's like an hour and a half on the train.
Howard: My favorite deal when I'm lecturing in Pen, or Temple, or Philadelphia, is the Norman Rockwell Museum right downtown by the Liberty Bell. Have you ever been there?
Jolie: I've never been there, I didn't even know it was there.
Howard: [inaudible 00:43:57] is always telling me what they love the most about Phoenix, and it's like they'll say 'what resort do you recommend?' It's like 'dude, I have a house here. I've never stayed at a resort in Phoenix, I don't know all the tourist traps'. But yeah, right down by the Liberty Bell, right across the street from it is the Norman Rockwell Museum and my God, I love that area. Just absolutely love it.
Jolie: Yeah, it's a nice city. It's a nice city.
Howard: So what else did you want to talk about on lights? By the way, your picture on Linkedin. Is that you in a jet?
Jolie: No, it's a little airplane. It's my friends' airplane.
Howard: Okay, it's an airplane. I knew it was a plane or something.
Jolie: I know my friends tell me I better change to picture.
Howard: Why change the picture?
Jolie: I don't know. They're like you've got the same picture for a long time.
Howard: No, that's a damn cool picture. Then when you told me that you live in Philly but you're going to be lecturing from Milan. I told Ryan, I bet she flew there in her own jet from her LinkedIn picture.
Jolie: That plane was my friends' plane, I was petrified flying in it. It's the smallest little thing you ever saw.
Howard: My craziest small airplane story is I was lecturing in, I think it was San Bernardino and then the next day was in Bakersfield, California. This dentist there named Chip Castine, went to my seminar, and he couldn't go to the next day it was in Bakersfield. He said 'hey, how are you getting to Bakersfield? I said 'I'm going back to the airport and fly' and he goes 'well, I flew here, I have my own plane'. He goes 'screw that, just come get in my plane and we'll just fly back'. I thought 'well, that's cool'. So he went to the airport, got his plane and we took it off, and then he put his hands back behind his head and I said 'dude, what are you doing?' He said 'dude, you better grab that wheel or we're all gonna die'. That was so damn funny. That was the craziest ride. So your friend's got an airplane?
Jolie: Yeah, now he has a family. So they don't use it so much.
Howard: I've got two more serious questions about your light curing deal. So the main thing is the light goes bad, you don't know it. So you'd have a spring radiometer where you have a deal that checks the power.
Jolie: Oh that radiometer, it just got best product from CR, from Gordon Christensen CR.
Howard: From Gordon Christensen.
Howard: So how much did that cost?
Jolie: It's about a hundred and twenty dollars, I think.
Howard: If you tell them you heard about it on Dentistry Uncensored it's actually free, they'll just send it to you free of charge. But anyway, so it's a hundred and twenty?
Jolie: You know what, actually I can run a promo. I think maybe I'm running one, maybe one of the big dealers, Schein perhaps, where you buy a light and you get the radiometer free.
Howard: Speaking of Gordon Christensen, what did he give you?
Jolie: Well for our diamonds he gave us best product, and he loves them. He just gave this one in his last best products thing, a best product.
Howard: Well you should post that on Dentaltownown, on your thread.
Howard: You should just flaunt it.
Howard: But here's another thing with Gordon that I have to ask you about, because you also sell an orange shield eye protection and we're always told we can't look at the light, we can't look at the light. But you and I are both Gordon Christensen fans.
Jolie: Ours is only this big, it fits on that part of the light.
Howard: Yeah, Gordon, he's just always right. I mean the guy is just always right. But he talked to an eye doctor, an ophthalmologist scientist guy, and he said 'when you're up there in Utah, Gordon's up in Provo, Utah. When you're up there at a ski resort, when you're at fourteen thousand feet and the sun's beating on that white snow, and you're out there skiing for eight, nine, ten hours. He said looking at that curing light is nothing. He said, you want eye damage? Go skiing. Then this ophthalmologist, when Gordon totally explained to him, showed him everything, the whole curing lights. He says that's a non issue, and it's kind of like the mercury deal.
I call bullshit on mercury and these anti amalgam dentists because they just won't answer the simple question. Mercury in a filling, it's half mercury and the other half is silver, zinc, copper and tin, and it's bond into this inorganic rock. That if you swallow it a day later you pass it, you can rinse it off, weigh it, it's the same amount. But when you burn coal then it goes into the atmosphere, and it falls down into the ocean. The ocean from 1950 was one part per million mercury, now it's four part per million, but the mercury settles to the bottom and it's eaten by all the fish on the bottom like shrimp and all this, and it's ethyl and methyl mercury which is completely absorbable.
Then I talked to a neonatal scientist at University of Tucson who has done all this fetal research, and he says all the mercury in the brain is from eating seafood period, end of story. So these dentists that are against amalgam, and take them all out and replace some of the composite is telling me this at dinner, while his appetizer is six shrimp in a sauce, and then he's ordering big fish like salmon and tuna which drink gallons of water at a time. In fact the Centers for Disease Control wanted to put a warning that pregnant women should not eat fish. But you know America money's the answer, what's the question? The big money people got their congressmen and the senators to stop that. They also can report on the increase of suicide by gun ownership.
I mean it just makes me so upset that our colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control, fourteen thousand people are not allowed free speech. Because when you're thinking about buying a gun, well if you've got a kid who's depressed, you've got kid sad. I mean, you just really raised their suicide rate. Someone close in this neighborhood, on our street that that happened.
Jolie: So sad.
Howard: Yeah, so the mercury thing is bullshit and Gordon thinks the curing light does not hurt your eyes. What do you think of that?
Jolie: I'd say our little shield is so small, I would say 90% of the people who buy our light don't even bother using the shield, it comes with them and it's replaceable. You can order a few for like $15 if you want replaceable ones, but what they should use on the curing light, which they don't use, are the barrier sleeves.
Jolie: I think it's a good idea to use them. A lot of times one of the biggest repairs we get is that the lens is either covered with composite or covered with blood.
Jolie: One of the FDA rules is that whoever opens the repairs, they have to wear gloves when they opened them up.
Howard: I'm bald and I'm Irish, and every time I pull four wisdom teeth, when I go into the bathroom afterwards I always see little drops of red blood on my head. So you know that stuff is splashing all over the place.
Jolie: I mean you can just disinfect the light but a lot of times people don't, and so it's a good idea to use the barrier sleeves when you use the curing light.
Howard: So you're making it a great point, there's three points in that. Is thirty years ago when people were getting food sick at a restaurant, or a dental office, or whatever, it was hard for anybody to track it down. But now with DNA sequencing when people are showing up and they start saying, they can go back and say these guys all got it from this restaurant, these people all got it from a dental office. We're talking about lights not working and not testing, because they don't buy a hundred and twenty dollar device that you sell to test your light. They also don't check their autoclave, and there are some really good old boys that were thrown under a bus in the last couple years all over the newspapers, social media, it was all over Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and I knew these guys and I knew other guys that knew these guys, and it's like this was just like the all American boy, great office, ten, twenty, thirty years.
They do a complete bankruptcy because they didn't know their autoclave had broken down, they weren't testing in protocol. When seven or eight people end up with hepatitis and someone needs a liver transplant, I mean you're just shut down. So, yeah, sleeves on the lights, testing your autoclave, testing your composite light. Again, I've done a thousand podcasts and every damn cosmetic composite adhesive dentist expert. When I asked him 'what are the top three problems with composites? Number one is always the light, it's not working, it used to work, it died.
Howard: Dentist doesn't know it, he might not know it for a year or two. Then he's sitting there thinking that this composite's causing sensitivity, maybe I should change my bonding agent. It's like 'dude, maybe you're light doesn't work'.
Jolie: All they have to do is get a radiometer, and they could just have one in the office and use it for every light.
Howard: Yeah. So you also sell handpieces?
Jolie: We sell some handpieces. Yeah. We're not a big handpiece maker, but we sell a few. The one that we have there was evaluated by Reality, tt got four stars. But my brother has just developed a new electric handpiece which we just got a patent on, and we're going to probably start doing something with that that's a little bit different.
Howard: Tell us about that. So you're in Italy, are they mostly air handpiece driven or are they electric?
Jolie: I think there's a lot of electric ones, but I think mostly air.
Howard: The main thing that Michael Miller changed in my world, he rocked my world when I was visiting him in Houston, back to these composite things. He says 'dentists, hell, they don't even read instructions'. So like this bonding agent will say 'brush on for fifteen seconds' but the dentist doesn't have a timer, and then every time Mike's in that office, he's timing behind them and they brush it on for five seconds. Then he took us to extract a tooth, another guy who did this to me was UltraDents' Dan Fisher. Dan took me in his lap and he said 'okay, here's my bonding agent, here's ten extracted teeth, shaved off. I want you to scrub this on for five seconds on these five, and then like my instructions say ten seconds on these five teeth and then let's bond them, and then let's take them to the machine'. Then oh my God, when you follow the instructions everything works twice as good, and Michael Miller was the one who made me go put a stopwatch in every damn room. So you cannot sit there and say 'okay, hit and you're curing. Say you want to cure for ten seconds, or say you want to brush the bonding agent, and if you're not measuring it, you're not managing it'.
Jolie: Well our curing light, which is nice, it has a beep every two seconds. But it also has a programmable timer between twenty seconds and two seconds, so it'll turn off automatically and you can program it. The timer's built in for however long you want to do it for, so it makes it really easy.
Howard: Nice. Well my gosh. I'm trying to think. Is there anything I wasn't smart enough to ask you?
Jolie: Wow, you know everything. Well I just would love anybody to try our stuff, I'd love to give anyone samples if they want to reach out to me.
Howard: How do they reach out to you?
Jolie: Well I'm now a townie.
Howard: You're a townie.
Jolie: So they can send me a message and I'd be happy to send them diamond bur samples to test our products out and see how they like it.
Howard: Your website is springhealthproducts.com.
Howard: Is there a contact on there? Yeah, contact us,
Jolie: On the website it says email@example.com. But they can contact me at Jolie J-O-L-I-E @springhealthproducts.com and just let me know what they want and I'd be happy to send them a sample.
Howard: So what was your mom an artist, or hippy, instead of going with Julie she went with Jolie so you'd be a unique hippie artist. Do you wish you were Julie, or are you glad she went with Jolie?
Jolie: When I was a child It was difficult because people didn't have sort of different names, but now everybody does. So it's fine.
Howard: I read in the book 'Freakonomics' set in the State of California, there are over two hundred and eighty different spellings of the word unique as a name.
Jolie: Oh gosh, well now my grandfather was called Joseph, so they wanted a J.
Howard: That's what it is, it's Joseph. It's Jolie it's very cool. I like that, so you're Jolie@springhealthproducts.com.
Howard: She's third generation. I hope you all learned about the plight of the dental assistants, you're stressing them out. A dental assistant should not leave the room during a procedure. If you want to be faster, easier, higher quality, lower cost, figure out your burr blocks. We just learned today that autoclaves don't dull your burrs, you can use them four or five times. Jolie, I think you are amazing. Do you think that dental economic economy in Europe, the United States is healthy and growing. The one thing I've learned, I'm fifty-five, when I got out of high school in 1980, I mean God it's 21% interest rates. Paul Volcker was breaking inflation, we had double digit inflation, unemployment. Then I got out of school May 11, '87, October '87 that horrible crash, and then there was the internet bubble that crashed March of 2000, and then we had this last bubble that the Lehman brothers in 2008. So in my walnut brain it's like every ten years there's a damn disaster and it's been ten years since the last crash, the 2008, now it's 2018. The markets are getting jittery, you went to London School of Economics. Do you think the dental economy of Europe and United States is solid and growing, or do you think it's volatile and in a dangerous predicament?
Jolie: Well, I think it's going into group practices for sure in America, I think that people are really concerned about their health a lot more than they used to be so they're going to spend money on it. But, of course, the economies have bubbles so people will stop maybe getting cosmetic work for a bit, but they'll go back.
Howard: How old was it from your father starting Star Dental to now? How has it reached the century or how long?
Jolie: His father started Start Dental but his father died when he was nineteen, so Star Dental's a hundred year old company now.
Howard: What was it 1918?
Jolie: No, I think Star Dental was about 1916 probably.
Howard: 1916, so it's a hundred and two.
Jolie: When I was growing up my father sold Star because it was a family company, and then he had a non-competition for many years, and then many years later he started Spring Health Products.
Howard: Nice. Well, hey, it was a pleasure meeting you. I wished Ryan would've told me you'd been in Milan, Italy. Then I would've had you send me your private jet and fly me to Milan, Italy like the one in the picture. Ryan, I could have flown into jet.
Jolie: You told me he's never been to Italy.
Howard: Oh, Ryan has never been to Italy.
Jolie: Yeah. I said I'm sure your father has for sure.
Howard: Yeah. I could take all my boys when school was out, but when school was in usually I would only take like one. But the last time I went to Italy I took my oldest boy, Eric, and we lectured in Venice and oh my God he absolutely fell in love. What I think was the neatest thing about Venice is when you grow up eating Mexican food in Arizona, when you drive a thousand miles into Mexico and order a hard taco and Enchilada, they don't even know what you're talking about. I mean it's all turned into seafood and all that stuff. It was so funny in Venice, I thought well, Americas we were built on Italian, so I'm sure our Italian food tastes just like their Italian food. Oh my God, it wasn't even close and theirs was ten times better, and I was sitting there eating at these Italian restaurants. I'm like, what happened to our Italians? Do we need a fresh group of Italians to migrate to the United States and say 'hey, you guys kind of lost the recipe. Your great grandmother has been gone a century' But I mean, like the lasagna, I mean, you could eat it with a spoon. I mean the food was exquisite, and Eric still says this day that nobody who's never been to Italy has ever had Italian food.
Jolie: Every region is different. The food is wonderful.
Jolie: Also the funny thing is the Italians are so into aesthetics, the way they look. The offices, you've never seen furniture and offices look like they do in Italy, and they have their uniform matching the chair and they're beautiful. I never saw offices like that.
Howard: Thank you so much for coming on the show today and edumacating us all on burrs and handpieces and curing lights. I had an honor to podcast you and I hope you have a rocking hot day.
Jolie: Thank you so much. It was a great pleasure for me too.