Aside from running a dental practice in San Antonio, Texas that offers family and cosmetic dentistry, and implants, Dr. Josh Austin involves himself on many levels within the dental community. When he’s not writing a monthly column and weekly e-newsletter for Dental Economics magazine, Dr. Austin serves as a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Dental School, his alma mater. Oh, did we mention he co-hosts the dental comedy podcast, Working Interferences? How does he make it all happen? The Daily Floss catches up with this Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 alum for his secret formula, and to see what he’s been up to since his 2011 win.
Tell us how you do it all. What’s your best leadership tip?
Build your team of people to help you through the day, because you can’t do it without them. It’s impossible to be an expert in everything. I’m stretched really thin between my practice, speaking, writing, the podcast. My day is stressful and there is no way I could get through without help from a capable team — office manager, lead hygienist, legal counsel, and accountant. There is no way you can do it all on your own.
What’s the best innovation you have implemented at your practice since your “40 Under 40” win?
We just started digital scans on every patient. In the hygiene room, scans have replaced our charts, because they’re way more accurate. Involving the patient in what’s happening – showing them a 3D chart – has been a huge advantage with case acceptance. A scan takes five minutes or less, so we just scan everyone. Digital smile design fun to work with; I’m certainly glad that innovation is here.
What’s has been the most vital innovation or change in dentistry since your win?
Digital smile design. Turning 3D digital data into a smile test drive and a motivational mockup to show a patient before we even touch their tooth, to me, is the biggest shift in dentistry. Look at companies like Warby Parker; they create an augmented reality app to try on glasses from home with a smartphone. The idea of doing a smile try on, whether it’s augmented reality or DSD, and giving patients a sneak preview of what their look would be after treatment is super cool.
Favorite technology at your practice?
My digital scanner. I have so much more control and can do so much more with it. I would not love dentistry nearly as much as I do if it weren’t for my ability to shift to a digital workflow.
What did the “40 Under 40” honor signify to you?
Since that list, I feel like my career took off. That’s when I got my gig writing for Dental Economics magazine. I’m in an interesting position, because my career also includes lecturing, teaching, podcasting, and dental media.
Advice for other dentists aiming to join the #IE40Under40 ranks?
Lists are not what get me up in the morning. Be involved and do good things within your community and dental community. Become a lifelong learner within the industry of dentistry, pursue further education, do the right thing, treat people well, and give back. Don’t live your life shooting for lists; do the right thing, and when awards and lists come, enjoy it but do what’s right for industry and community.