[podcast] How Orthodontists Can Bring the Human Element and Personal Touch to Online Consultations with Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis has been in the specialty practice of orthodontics since 1997. He is an orthodontist at Princeton Orthodontics and he is the co-creator of The Aligner Intensive Fellowship. He is also a member of Invisalign® National Speaker’s Bureau and Clinical Research Network where he helps conduct research and development of new technologies and improvements to the Invisalign Technique. He has given over 400 lectures nationally and internationally on aligner therapy.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis completed his dental education at the University of Pennsylvania before attending Temple University for his orthodontic residency. While at Temple University, he received his specialty certificate in orthodontics and a master’s degree in Oral Biology. During his training, he also completed an externship at the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was involved with the care of patients with craniofacial syndromes.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
• Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis' thoughts on the current COVID-19 crisis and his advice to fellow orthodontists and dentists
• How orthodontists can bring the human element and personal touch to remote consultations and online treatments
• Dr. Nicozisis talks about his career and why he wanted to be an orthodontist
• Dr. Nicozisis discusses what the Aligner Intensive Fellowship is about, his future plans for it, and how he keeps it fresh
• Dr. Nicozisis talks about his inventions and the common misconceptions people have about patents
• How Dr. Nicozisis comes up with memorable and catchy phrases for his products
• What Dr. Nicozisis has learned in his practice and what he is doing differently today from what he did 20 years ago
• Dr. Nicozisis talks about how he developed his confidence and why he looks forward to the return to normalcy
In this episode…
The current health crisis has necessitated the adoption of technology to conduct online consultations and treatments for orthodontists and dentists. There has been an increased use of teledentistry and more health practitioners are providing health services to their patients online.
However, many of these doctors find it hard to incorporate their personal touch to the online consultations. The patients often miss out on the human element they were accustomed to in brick and mortar practices. So how can orthodontists bring back their personal touch and human element to remote consultations?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis joins Craig Weiss and Dr. Blair Feldman in this episode of the In Your Face Podcast, to explain how orthodontists and dentists can improve on the delivery of their services by bringing in their personal touch. He also talks about his inventions, creating the Aligner Intensive Fellowship, and how he comes up with memorable and catchy phrases for products. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis' email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsor for this episode...
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What happens when a successful entrepreneur who built a billion-dollar company and a veteran orthodontic specialist team up to share their stories of entrepreneurship and experiences and building a thriving business? You get the In Your Face Podcast. Learn how to survive and thrive in today's ultra-competitive market. Now, let's start the show.
Craig Weiss 0:40
Craig Weiss here
Blair Feldman 0:41
And Blair Feldman here. And together we are the co-hosts of the In Your Face Podcast, where we discuss stories of building a thriving business in today's competitive marketplace. Craig has scaled up a consumer business to over a billion dollar valuation.
Craig Weiss 0:54
And Blair has a very impressive background as a Practicing Orthodontist for almost 20 years and as the team worthless bonus for the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Together we now help orthodontists grow their practice. So this episode is brought to you by Mouthguard Club and Retainer Club. And both of these Retainer Club and Mouthguard Club services bring online services to your brick and mortar orthodontic practice or dental practice in order to help service your existing patients and then also drive new patients, reactivations, and referrals to your orthodontic or dental office. Mouthguard Club provides personalized custom mouth guards to your athletes who are your patients. And Retainer Club is the easiest way for orthodontists to provide patients perfectly fitting retainers at a great price while also sending you a steady stream of new patients into your office who are actively interested in getting treatment. Over 1,000 patients already love Retainer Club and it's easy to use online services to regularly order and replace their retainers without taking up your staff time. Orthodontists love Retainer Club because their long term fans continue to refer new patients to their own office and the smiles they created are being maintained for life. To learn more about becoming a partner office to bring in more patients and make more money, go to retainerclub.com/partner. And if you're interested in Mouthguard Club, mouthguardclub.com/partner for more information.
Blair Feldman 2:17
Today, our guest is Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis, and you know, we have a about a 25 minute bio that I was going to read, but I think he needs no introduction. Perhaps if it was 1990, he might need an introduction. But even then he was the star on a commercial for his dad's carpet business. So you probably don't even need an introduction then. But you may have heard Jonathan at one over the 400 lectures he's given nationally and internationally on aligner therapy, when he's not hard at work at a private practices in Princeton and West Windsor, New Jersey, or when he's busy with The Aligner Intensive Fellowship, which he co created. He's on the Align tech faculty and he's a member of the line Clinical Research Network. He's co authored a textbook chapter with Dr or Han fungi. He's a consultant for your ortho coach, calm angle, society member and fashion guru. So for that last one, he is accepting reservations for personal fashion consultations. I think he's booked out through 2020. But in 2021, he is accepting reservations and, and I'm on that list because I need a total makeover. And I know he's the right guy to do it. So, Jonathan, because he says,
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 3:27
Welcome to the podcast. Well, thank you, Blair, and Craig. Wow, this is this is great. You know, at this point, guys, I just want a haircut. I mean, it's now May, it's may 12. Right. I have not had my hair cut, since I think, basically, early March or something. So it's just been crazy. So there's a lot of hair gel at work here. And it's been fun. But, you know, the good news is we're starting to come back online softly next week, the week of May 10. And starting to schedule some people. And, you know, I have to tell you guys just how unique these last several weeks have been. And but you know, overall I, I've enjoyed it as much as somebody can. So,
Craig Weiss 4:16
yeah, that's a it's a great place to start. You know, Jonathan in terms of, you know, we're in the midst of this global pandemic, it's it's really unprecedented To me, the people who say, Oh, well, you know, I remember 911 are like, No, no, this is not the same thing is that at all? I think it's totally unprecedented in our lifetimes. What what are your thoughts on the crisis on you know, like, you know, what, what advice you would give to dentist, dentist orthodontist during this period, how are you? How are you thinking about it?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 4:45
Sure, you know, I not to sound cliche, but anytime there's a big interruption, whatever it is, I think in human nature is chattery or Even in nature, you know, we have to evolve and adapt. And specifically, we have to learn how to figure out how to use the scarcity of our resources, whatever those resources are, that we have available or what needs to be created to be as effective and efficient going forward. And so I think, you know, virtual, op remote online are all buzzwords we're already sick about, but they are legit. And I think, you know, we're going to see a nice shift in our day to day, whether it be appointments, or engagement of new exams are going to have to be, figure out how to best allocate the scarcity of our resources, marry that with the human touch, and deliver a product that is trying to give the same experience as we were pre COVID team. And I think we have to be very well aware of that human element that is so easily lost during the digital, you know, wash over of technologies and what we do. That's what I'm going to be focusing on.
Blair Feldman 6:16
That's awesome. I mean, yeah. Tell it tell us more about that human element. I think that's the trick. I mean, because, you know, we've seen things like Tella, dentistry and online, you know, and and I think the fear that a lot of orthodontist have is that they're going to lose the fun in orthodontics. And I know coming to your office, it's got to be fun. I mean, you bring your personality to every, you know, every interaction you have, but how are we going to do that? I mean, what are your thoughts? How are you how we're working on it's gonna bring the personal touch back, you know, in this kind of Corona age.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 6:43
You know, I, I don't pretend to have all the answers Blair. But I think you just have to go with your gut and let your personality shine through. You know, by way of disclosure, you know, I speak for Align Technology, and they've got that They're online source of remote care and virtual care prior to that rolling out, and I'm going to start incorporating that more. Prior to that rolling out, I use doxy and still use doxy calm. And right before I got on, I got a phone call. And it was a mom and I'm like, hey, Happy Mother's Day. How was your mother's day? You know, I saw you were in she's a professor at Princeton. And so like, so he just got a promotion, you know, to this and that, tell me about it. So I think you have to leverage that interaction. And and so for me to answer your question, Blair, I'm going to be trying to do live video stuff as much as possible. Being able to share screen so we can show stuff in real time together, interact together is I think, great. And, you know, when it comes to these remote consultations, I just incorporated SmileSnap. I don't speak for them. Nobody asked me to mention it. But very quickly I got engagement with that. And rather than just typing in or response and looking at their photos and telling them telling them what I think their treatment plan would be, how long it would take etc. I recorded myself screen capture using what I use to record my lectures, going over their photos in real time and it was a four or five minute video I uploaded to Dropbox shared the link with them. So there I am, speaking in my own voice to them about their own teeth, and showing them what I think may or may not be how long it might take, reinforcing the fact that I do need an in house, I'm sorry, in office, human exam, I need to take x rays need to verify everything. So I think little things like that to use these resources and tweak and turn the knobs and dials to best reflect the human interaction and your personality at the same time.
Craig Weiss 9:00
Yeah, I think, you know, for a lot of people, they get hung up on the fact that, you know, digital or virtual is not not as good or not the same as in person. And I actually agree, right? It's, there's no substitute for that in sort of interpersonal in person communication. But at the end of the day, I think the people who are going to survive and thrive are the ones who maximize the the tools and resources that are at our disposal. You know, we've got to do the best that we can with, with the resources that we have available. I'd love to hear a little Oh, God, please.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 9:31
No. And I think we have to be comfortable with the fact is, it's not that we're putting this on people were giving them the option. And people have found I say, people, patients and parents have been very receptive to having that option, someone to come in, you know, regardless, some love the fact that your patients like you, but they don't necessarily want to see you all the time. And if you can give them an option, that's really what it is. And so that's Where I think we need to best leverage and adapt, given the most immediate history and circumstances.
Craig Weiss 10:07
Yeah, it's funny, you know, Blair, he's always say that to me, he said, You know, I can say with all humility, you know, my patients don't really want to see me, you know, even if it's a five minute appointment, it's not five minutes for them. They've got to get in their car, they gotta drive, they've got to park they've got to come in. And, you know, that's the that's sort of that, that trick in the sense that, I think, you know, one of the things that the that the pandemic is sort of teaching us is, there was already this transition that was underway from brick and mortar and retail to online. I think the pandemic was an accelerant to that, to that trend that was already happening. And I think, you know, for brick and mortar to survive, it's not that well, how do I how do I fit online into my brick and mortar business? It's more How does my brick and mortar business fit into online because we've got to be able to meet the consumers and patients where You know, sort of where they where they are and what they need. I'm curious for you, you know, you you went to dental school in the 1990s You know what, how did you kind of evolve from, from your, you know, the your initial career and your sort of national speaking and what you're doing now what what do you prefer between the practice and the speaking and you know, kind of how did it How did you become where you are today?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 11:24
Well, to answer your last question first, what do I prefer between practice and speaking, simply put, you can't have I can't have one without the other. I mean, one feeds off the other. And when it comes to practice, you know, I think that me treating my patients while I've always tried to put my best efforts in knowing that I want to show this case and share it and teach to my orthodontic colleagues makes me just be that much more detail oriented. And those that have seen me speak It's not like I show everything works perfectly. I think where I made my mark is early on, I showed all my mistakes. And here's, here's how I got into it. Here's, you know how I went back to look at the mistake and how I figured out how I'm moving forward. And here's a new case where I was successful in avoiding that mistake based on incorporating what I learned. So one one feeds the other regarding, so I can't have one more than the other, I got to have them both. And at this point, it's like a drug addict where if I don't have one quickly, you know, or enough, I'm scratching my arm, you know. And so, you know, the last 10 weeks I've done plenty of speaking like this so that that itch has been scratched. But getting back to my patients, man, I'm like, you know, I'm up at night just dreaming about that. And that that human interaction we spoke of previously. From the fifth grade, I wanted to be an orthodontist, simply for revenge. motive. I've ever heard that they have Hawes palatal expander that caused jinjo inflammation. You know, the fifth grade I had to get revenge No, but that's when I got the idea. And I always always very focused on that. And I chose my college because they had an accelerated pre dental program with the University of Pennsylvania. So I only spent three years in college and did research to always want to be an orthodontist while there. And then, you know, I've always I took a lot of acting classes in college, just to really be the opposite of organic chemistry, the opposite of biochemistry, the opposite of physiology, and just to scratch that creative itch. And while in orthodontics residency at Temple under oriental gi, I loved it so much because he allowed us to be creative in our answers. And so we didn't have tests, we had papers we had to write Like, here's the question, here's the problem, figure out a solution, whether you want to write something that's a to z, or if you want to go in and out back and forth to get there. I don't care if it's five pages, or 50. Just do it and do it well. And so coming out of four years of dental school, everything was cookie cutter. You do it this way. And don't ask why. Just do it. And Blair, I'm sure can relate to that University of Pennsylvania. Don't ask why Just do it. Having that flexibility to allow my creativity to come out, I think was just planting and watering of the seeds that led me to where I am today.
Blair Feldman 14:40
Off That's awesome. I mean, I remember you've always been, you know, a teacher, Craig, we were talking in the in the pre interview we were talking about, Craig asked how long I've known you and it's sort of sad to say but good to say those effects since the 90s. So last century, last century,
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 14:58
Baywatch when we used to watch babies Watch together. And because we live in apartments together when they watch had real new episodes every week, and we used to get together watch new episodes. That's how long ago
Blair Feldman 15:11
new episodes of Baywatch. I mean, that was exciting as it got back in the 90s. kids like to call it the 19th. But back then I remember you, you had a passion for education and helping people. I mean, I remember myself and Rob, my roommate coming into you. Because you knew you wanted to be an orthodontist, even in dental school, and we were asking you questions about dentistry and education and you always had this just natural, helping nature to you, which obviously translated into your creation or your co creation, The Aligner Intensive Fellowship. I know you've you've helped thousands of orthodontist tell us give us an update on where The Aligner Intensive Fellowship is and where it's going and and sort of, you know, how you keep it fresh with The Aligner Intensive Fellowship.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 15:54
Well, thank you. Well, thank you for the opportunity and the kind words from the 19th as your kids As you know, The Aligner Intensive Fellowship now is three years old. We started in April 2017, with my good friend and partner Dr. Maas missionary from St. Louis. And we have just started this past April 27, our 10th cohort, our 10th forum, and we have now on boarded over 3000 orthodontists globally and it's a 17 week online course to 12 chapter, dynamic live textbook if you will of orthodontics all online with 45 hours of video, you watch about an hour and a half to three hours of video a week and you answer questions and answers on a private Facebook group. So it's like a live virtual classroom setting. We have 45 hours of Ada CRP and you don't have to travel So it's really remarkable. And during this COVID-19 experience, we have actively engaged many orthodontic residency programs, their chairperson, faculty, because these poor kids spending all this tuition money and unable to interact with their faculty unable to interact with patients and learn how to put brackets on. I mean, I really feel for these kids. And so we extended a great courtesy to them in terms of the fee reduction and onboarding them. So I think in this cohort we have I'm gonna say 10 to 12 orthodontic programs and their faculty who are actively taking the Fellowship. We've partnered with align, align now allows us are the people who take the course getting back to your question, how do we keep it fresh, we have collaborated with a line to have I pro treatment planning services. So if you are a part of The Aligner Intensive Fellowship, you now can have treatment planning help through technicians in their I pro division that I've taken our Fellowship course. So they are used to what we are teaching. And then after the course, the Facebook group opens up to a treatment planning study club, if you will, if you have questions or need help you put a case up there, and you'll have two to 300 other orthodontist helping look at a case and give feedback. We constantly push new information back to them, like we're just about to have content developed about remote care and virtual care and push that out there. And then furthermore, we also just started in Brazil, the beginning of the year, we have the whole course translated and transcribed with words into Portuguese and we just begun talks about doing the same thing. For Spanish speaking countries, so a lot of spinning plates in there Blair, witch, witch, you and Craig, I'm sure you can relate to.
Craig Weiss 19:09
Amazing, amazing, I would love to hear you know, I am a recovering patent attorney, I spent a decade as a patent attorney before I became an entrepreneur and, and have got almost a dozen patents of my own. And I know you've got some inventions, I'd love to, to hear about what inventions you have and how you know how you came about them and how they kind of manifested in professional life.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 19:30
Sure. So my very first patent my widget was for an aligner removal tool. And I got this idea back in 2000 to 2003 when I had so many female patients threatening to give me their manicure bills. Because back then, you know, the material was harder and they were trying to remove it and they kept breaking their nails and then I had a young man Who I had so many attachments on the one side. So I was trying to digitalize like, you know, 18 millimeters or something like that. On the one side, I forget how much most it's something completely ridiculous back in the wild west when we didn't really know what we were doing and moving to and he's to carry around with him a salad fork in a ziplock bag to try to pry as aligner off, and he slipped and he lacerated the corner of his lip, and like kind of smokes, there's got to be a better way. So I just got I don't know how I did it. But I contacted this person, that person got the plans up, and I went to align three times I'm like, you need to, after I apply for the patent, like you need to, you know, help me get this into your auxiliary auxiliary store. And they just weren't interested. And so I went to the next best thing and plastics back in the early 2000s, which was raintree Essex. And so I spoke with Dan Schwartz used to be head of raintree Essex before they were born. acquired by densify. And he helped me get it to market we did our licensing deal and and I still get a royalty from it, you know now there are a lot of knockoffs obviously right? And so when I spoke to my patent attorney about defending it, you know the challenges as you well know, Craig is once you fire off a letter about either a cease and desist or asking for so much or the royalties, you start you trigger these legal things that go back and forth. And I don't have 10s of thousands hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend this little widget that Yeah, I make some money on it but it's it's I don't know you know, it's so so that's that my other patents have to do with moving a tooth movements with relaxing that company I helped start my relaxing project back in ortho orthodontic residency was help develop a therapeutic that we would inject into the gums or to the sulcus or through a patch. To get this hormone, this naturally occurring hormone to help mitigate relapse to help unstress jinjo fibers instead of doing a fiber Atomy with a scalpel, you put this gel on which organically helps the body the elastin codes and fibers relax so that the teeth would not relapses readily in retention. And so we patented that helped raise $23 million of venture capital funding, went through the FDA clinical trials, yada yada yada acquired by Novartis to treat acute heart failure in a critical care setting. Yeah, the the best or the best part.
Craig Weiss 22:49
It reminds me of my famous you know, joke that I used to make, it's like those are like those, those overnight success stories that took like nine years, you know, like, you know, people people don't realize that yada, yada are like that those are the painful, brutal, you know, not days or weeks or months, but years of suffering. To get to the final outcome, I mean, it's funny I, you know, when I, when I used to be a patent attorney, we would have, you know, there are all these misconceptions that people thought, Well, I have this great idea. So I'm going to get a patent and then you know, the world's going to beat a path to my door. And of course, that's not how it works at all. You know, you're very fortunate, if you ever persuade anybody to take on a license on your patent. That's already amazing. But you know, patent litigation is the most expensive form of litigation there is. And to your point, you know, if you're, if you're focused on Well, I'm going to sue, that's never a winning business strategy, typically. And so it's great that you were able to monetize one of the patents with a licensing deal. But yeah, no, it's, it's you know, we've we've been very focused on it. I know you mentioned venture capital, you know, from from, I think for a lot of venture cap. Capital investors, for private equity investors having quote unquote IP or patents is a very important, you know, kind of box checking exercise for them. And so we're certainly aware of that at retainer club mouthguard club. We filed multiple patent applications so far, for mostly Blair's smart ideas. My smart idea was partnering with Blair, and so yeah, so now it's your legacy.
Blair Feldman 24:29
Jonathan, I have a question. So I remember that the that the appliance removal tool, it was called like the art wasn't it? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So I remember in informally talking to you, and you informally termed it the Nick pick that so you know, that Nick pick was, I think, one of the first times and maybe it wasn't, maybe, maybe you'll help me remember. But you have this unbelievable knack for creating these like quotable phrases and the few that come to my mind are plastic Fantastic share of chair
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 25:03
share chair was not me that was a line sales team. So I can't Okay, I can't I can't claim for that. But
Blair Feldman 25:09
I'm willing to bet that you put a bug in their ear on that one. Give me first of all, give me some more because I love these. And second of all, like, Where on earth do these come from? And now that I know about acting class, which I didn't know about, or I mean, we might give some credit, but you know, where does this come from? What did what are some reasons you have any new ones?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 25:25
Well, you know, I just have, honestly, I think a lot has to do with just my childhood friends. Ted and Jeff, that you may remember partying with back in Philadelphia, Blair. You know, we just always had a knack for creating song parodies. No, it's like Weird Al Yankovic growing up in the 80s was our muse, you know, but there was always I would hear a song that I would just make up words to it that would make me laugh or make me remember something. And so, you know, when I did my thesis on relaxin, back then The X Files were big. And so when I turned in my title, I had a big x. Right? And then on the letters next to it, we're relaxing a much smaller fault font and the title of my thesis was a relaxing files with what look like, you know, The X Files was big x, you know, and in our hand really enjoyed that. But, uh, you know, recently Yeah, plastic fantastic. The plastic employee, you know, that's something that I think, you know, really just resonates with people.
Blair Feldman 26:44
Because it does. I mean, I mean, it's a it's, again, what I was saying earlier, but you're just sort of natural ability to educate. I mean, those things help. Those are the mnemonics and tools I guarantee you when the plastic employee came out, people that were resistant to no bringing More Invisalign into their practice, really, you know, really got to those those stats that you were presenting, or I've heard you present before, and sort of the benefits of a line or clear aligner therapy in your practice. But it's those those funny mnemonics or those quotes or those illustrations, you know, that, that really create those images in your head and I think about the plastic employee all the time, you know, in terms of, you know, when I can send a patient out for longer than a typical braces patient, I'm like, Oh, my plastic employee is hard at work,
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 27:30
right? Or my plastic employee is funneling patients to my practice, you know, my plastic employee doesn't come in with a bad attitude, doesn't ask for time off, you know, doesn't have health insurance premiums increased by you know, 18% every year. So, you know, I, I may or may not take claim to the latest announcement about switching people out of braces into aligners. They just don't But you know, it's called Invisalign switch. And I may or may not have had certain conversations and planted a bug in people's ear about what it should be called. So I know where they come from, you know, my father, who grew up in the retail business where and and my father who did his own commercials on TV was always about marketing. And you have to be able to make something memorable for people to want it or to remember it. And so for me, it's just kind of a natural thing for a while, whether I'm teaching or talking to my kids, or my wife or my, my staff or my patients to just make it memorable with something catchy,
Blair Feldman 28:46
so that so that's, I guess, my follow up question, which will really tell the you know, how much how powerful these images are your wife and kids and you have a beautiful family do your wife and kids appreciate these are they like a another one
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 28:59
Oh, Well, depends. This depends on what else is going on in the day. I have, I've been known to have to repeat things a certain amount of times, etc. But, you know, my kids definitely roll their eyes sometimes or they like today my, my daughter has online school she has to do. One of her projects is creating a restaurant. And she's got a right to the mayor who's her teacher, what the restaurant is called, what they're going to sell this and that. So like, we went to my restaurant be called. And I'm like, Well, what do you want to sell? Like, we want to have a lot of desserts to snap. I'm like, you should call it confections with affection. And she's like, Oh, that sounds great. And like, Wow, that's really good. With affections, and then that that makes sense. You know, so I, you know, I write my own radio ads for when I advertise on radio, not them. I sometimes record it. So times other DJs who have treated recorded but you know, there's no better person than can put out the message and what I want to say with the understanding of my industry and what I'm selling or offer to patients than me or to any other orthodontist out there. So just have to be creative. And sometimes if I'm in a funk You know, sometimes the best creativity i've i've had is when I'm on an airplane with a glass of wine in front of me typing on the keyboard in solid solitude. So, you know, a glass of wine, a song, listening to a favorite song or lyrics that might really hit you a certain way and a different perspective really is always been the nicest of my creativity.
Craig Weiss 30:46
I was gonna I was gonna make my next question what's an airplane but I yeah. And so but instead I was gonna ask you know what, you know, you've had you've been around now for I don't want to say for a long time, but by From the 19th you know, what have you, what have you learned along the way? What are you doing differently today than what you were doing maybe 20 years ago. In terms of your practice?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 31:12
Well, certainly much more aligners than braces number one, about 85 to 90% aligners in my practice, and I happen to use Invisalign because I just think it has all the other X Factor attributes, you know, I welcome this other competition, it's going to be great and it should come but you know, until other into other aligner players get the marketing aspect that I see personally no reason why I should switch. So that's number one. What's different? You know, I think we see you know, back when I first came out, overhead was 40% and net was 60. And I think you see from all the all the newsletters, all the accounts newsletters it's certainly overhead now is more than 50% in the average orthodontic practice. Why is that? Back when I came out 20 years ago there was no websites there were there was no all this support software support for you know, not only websites but patient engagement on the websites you know, online chats, SmileSnap. Now like all these added things cost more money, health insurance for staff cost more money. And our fees have, you know, increased but not to the same amount that that boggles my mind in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania when I grew up and had my orthodontics in the mid 80s. By by orthodontics was 30 $200. Fast forward to you know, 2020 Princeton, Princeton, New Jersey which is above average social economically. Cost of living is above average I'm at you know, 60 $800 it's barely doubled in that time. Look at the rest of healthcare. It's spiraled out of control with the cost of delivering health care. So I'll get off that soapbox. But you know, I think less braces, more aligners in my practice, less staff, more plastic employee, less analog and more digital. And I think that's only going to, to evolve in that direction. But as we previously said, trying to keep that human element that human engagement with that will be the key to most of our success, and relevancy.
Blair Feldman 33:35
That's good stuff. I mean, that's awesome. So, what we'd like to do now is actually go into some short answer some lightning round questions. And after that, we would definitely want to get some locations that listeners can get ahold of you or get a hold of The Aligner Intensive Fellowship. So the first question I always love to ask is, what do you feel like your business superpower is what what do you have that you feel like you're like, Thank you every day. That I have this power.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 34:04
Well, I've never, as you can tell, I have no idea what these questions were. So I don't have one answer a pair. But I think that I've never really thought about this but I think I'm very grateful for my in terms of specifically business is for my confidence, and not not my competence. Like I think I'm all that great. But my 20 plus years of experience as an orthodontist, lending to that confidence me growing up in the retail business that is lending to that confidence. me getting a paper out in fifth grade when my parents told me no, they wouldn't buy me a BMX bike. So when I've got a paper out and say for six months to buy my BMX bike, that confidence so all those things that have led up to this confidence, so that when I've got a staff member that has a concern, or a personal issue, when I have a parent that may not be happy for whatever reason or a patient, I'm able to face them with confidence and not worry about how I'm going to answer that.
Blair Feldman 35:14
I love that answer. I mean, for full disclosure, we did not give you the question. So I didn't mean to back you into a corner but I could I could have thought of 10 or 15 for you, but actually love confidence. You know, I it is a superpower that some people have more easily than others. So that's a great answer. Yeah.
Craig Weiss 35:34
I've got one which is you know what? You know, this is maybe a softball for you since since Blair hit you with the the harder the harder superpower question. But what do you most sort of looking forward to right now and you can answer that question either personally or professionally in your life. What are you most looking forward to?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 35:54
Immediately right now, I think I'm looking forward to it. All of us, as humans, just getting back to normalcy, I'm looking forward and not just in in orthodontics I'm talking, you know, globally here, I'm looking forward to learning how to live with whatever is ahead of us, getting through it. And, you know, getting through that initial day, week, month of our day to day, so that I think our collective apprehension and logical concern will dissipate. Then, yeah,
Craig Weiss 36:39
I mean, it Yeah, it's great. I know I'm a hugger. And I'm like, I think my kids are sick of me hugging them, because I've got no one else to hug, but it's, uh, I think I think I might be a year or two away from from hugging people again, but it's tough, right?
Blair Feldman 36:55
So if you were given a book to read, would you read it on paper? Or are you an audio book? That kind of guy
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 37:02
here right in front of you, the go, the go giver, like I don't do, I don't do digital. When I have to have a paper, I have to have the physicality when I like I just got asked to review an article for the angle society or the angle orthodontist. I always print out anything I need to read and review and edit and draft I can I need, I need to have my pen, my markings my notes on there. I cannot do it digitally. That's just my creative process.
Craig Weiss 37:38
It's easier for me since I'm illiterate, so I can only do the audible, but that decision got made for me. So I, you know, my last sort of question is, you know, Blair really piqued my interest with these sort of Nico isms. So, what's your favorite Nico ism of all of your creations?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 37:55
Oh, boy, that, it's like a child. Pick your favorite child choose your favorite yes. You know I was the one that made you laugh when you made it the most that you sat there and giggled about your own creation I know that happened for sure really stuff like I'm not even in my head anymore now
Craig Weiss 38:22
We should ask Blair and so this one is for you what Blair, what's your favorite ecoism?
Blair Feldman 38:26
Oh, you know he remind me the plastic employee I love the plastic fantastic because it was just so Jonathan like it's so it's big and brash and bold and you know, it just it hits you and it literally most of them are really jigglers like, you know, it's funny because you're a serious guy but you're also you just you just have a very light way about you that makes you approachable and and those those quotes just do it for me. I don't know they cry, you know.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 38:52
So I think the one that I still giggle about his which is kind of is the umbrella over Everything is, you know, one of my titles of my lecture I used to give, which I think still is the overarching title of anything I talk about is secrets of a tooth whisper. And I consider myself a tooth whisper like, you know, people are horse whispers and can relate to horses somehow, somehow I figured out a way to whisper to teeth, through plastic and technology and a keyboard was somebody in Costa Rica who I've never met or spoken to. And at Honestly, I think one of my favorite ones,
Blair Feldman 39:31
that's a good one. I hope it's not too much harder with a double layer of masks and a facial.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 39:37
Well now just mind melding and raise a plastic Jedi mind trick,
Blair Feldman 39:42
so it's gonna become a tooth mine maybe in the future. Well, Jonathan, you are always a fun interview. And I love chatting with you for our listeners. What are good ways to get ahold of you and find you out there in the web?
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 39:55
Sure. I mean, you can if you want some of my publications, Go the public safety publication section at Princeton orthodontics.com. If you're interested in learning more about the curriculum of The Aligner Intensive Fellowship, and what the course is about, you can go to alignerintensivefellowship.com. And if you want to email me, I'm old school. I kick it old school. You can hit me at email@example.com odd now, I love it. So yeah,
Craig Weiss 40:32
That's it. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much, and we really appreciate you being on the show.
Dr. Jonathan Nicozisis 40:38
Well, thank you, I appreciate the opportunity guys. Be well, stay safe, and can't wait to see you all the next meeting. Thanks so much.
Thanks for listening to the In Your Face Podcast with your hosts Craig Weiss and Blair Feldman. Be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web, and we'll see you next time.