A Rising Tide

Dr. Cody Calderwood champions ‘rising tide’ philosophy in dentistry, advocating collective growth through team investment & continuous improvement.


About Dr. Cody Calderwood

Dr. Cody Calderwood received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his DDS degree from the University of Maryland school of dentistry. He is a solo practicing general dentist in Park City, Utah. He is a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, a fellow in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and is a former president of the Utah Dental Association. He remains active in organized dentistry and currently serves on the state dental convention scientific committee.

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management and training.


Welcome to Dental All-Stars. We are talking about a rising tide. And our guest is Dr. Cody Calderwood. Cody is a dentist, and he’s the former president of the Utah Dental Association. He is also a mastermind member here at All-Star Dental Academy. Please welcome Cody.


Thanks. Good morning. Hey, so I wanted to, you know, get you over here quickly on a very short podcast, just around this one subject. I was very impressed with that quote. So we were at our mastermind meeting a few weeks ago and you talked about this quote. So tell us about this quote about a rising tide. What is it and what does it mean?


So the quote, rising tide lifts all boats, is actually originally attributed to John F. Kennedy when he was talking about investing in our economy. But it’s a very applicable quote in many other areas of life. And I love it for dentistry. I used it when I was president of the Utah Dental Association, speaking to the dentists of the state about insurance plans. The American Dental Association,


has done a bunch of research and found there’s a direct correlation between the participation rates and reimbursement rates. The higher the participation rates, the lower the reimbursement rates. So I was just chatting with the dentists in the state here in Utah and said, you know, we’re our own worst enemy and we need to quit signing up for these terrible reimbursement plans where we just sit around and complain. And I mentioned to them that if some of them would just drop the lowest plans, everybody would benefit. Everybody would. All the dentists would rise with that tide.


dental office, which is kind of where I brought it up at our Mastermind meeting. When we invest in our practice, everybody benefits, the patients benefit, the employees benefit, the doctor benefits. It’s, it’s wonderful because as we, for example, with All-Star Dental Academy, as we receive the training, the customer service training, the scheduling training, the foam training, all that training, our team members, the employees, they are happier, they’re more confident in their work, they enjoy coming to work more.


Um, the practice becomes more profitable and even the patients love, they love coming to it. So everybody benefits, everybody’s rising with that tide as it goes up. So as we put that effort in, as we put that investment into it, everyone wins. Rising tide lifts all boats. I was thinking as well as I was preparing for our short interview here is just how impressive you are and how you, your work life balance. That was a big theme at the meeting.


And I talk about these five steps to an all-star practice. So you have your vision, you have your team, making sure you have the right team, you’re training your team, you’re coaching your team, you’re coming to events, right, that speak to that. And then you’re doing the secret six step, which is the mastermind. And it’s so fun to see someone that’s doing it right. You don’t overthink it.


Right? In terms of like that system makes sense. I do it over again and again, and I keep getting great results. Uh, obviously you’re the one doing it, but you’re following the plan. It’s just so nice to see that rather than trying to, you know, we talk about this too ego, I know better, so I’ll do a different way. So anything you would speak to that, uh, about following that process? Yeah. It, um, earlier in my career, I.


I used to think that there was a silver bullet to success for the dental practice. I used to think, okay, if I can just get a good marketing system in place, or if I can just get some better clinical skill. I used to think there was a silver bullet and I came to find that in dentistry as well as in life, it’s not one big thing. It’s doing lots of little things well and we can always do better too. So with regards to training, as you mentioned, just that continual training and once we’ve gone through it, starting over, refining it.


perfecting, getting a little bit better, a little bit better. Just like professional athletes, we’ll take Steph Curry, Tom Brady too, the greatest athletes in their respective fields. They never stopped working on fundamentals. They never stopped practicing, repeating, going over and over again. So that’s kind of how I feel in dentistry is, whether, like I said before, whether it’s phone skills answering the phone or verbiage with treatment case acceptance.


asking for referrals, there’s just so many things that it really is never ending, which is kind of a cool thing about dentistry is you’re never going to perfect it. You can constantly be improving and growing. It’s much like your presentation at the event where you talked about being healthy and the different areas or goals you work towards. And it’s little by little every day in these four modalities that you spoke about, that is where you get success. It isn’t where you were joking. Well, you want to do this weightlifting competition. You’re like, wait a second.


I’m missing the point here. And the same thing with your business, both clinically and from the practice management side, it’s putting these things in play little by little, bringing your team on, and I think to this quote about a rising tide, you’re raising the level of your team, everything of the office, the standard of the office, and every boat is rising from that investment and that you’re looking at. Cause a lot of times, Dennis will just invest in themselves clinically, but they won’t invest in their team.


from the soft skills, emotional intelligence, all these areas that little by little have a big effect on the practice revenue, but also in the joy of the practice and retention, because the team realizes they’re part of something.


Well, and as you mentioned that with retention, it reminds me too, a lot of is pretty much everybody knows dentistry is hard to find employees right now. And it gets to the point where a lot of other offices try to steal employees away from our practice. And it’s funny because is they even if they do look occasionally at the other office, they see how things are run there. Just kind of how some doctors, unfortunately, can be kind of egomaniacs and control freaks. And when my employees see that in work environment, there’s like, nope.


I don’t want to work there. They love coming to work because we are truly a team and they have amazing ideas. I mean, yes, ultimately I’m the practice owner and I have the ultimate say, but I also recognize that they have amazing ideas. They have amazing insights and that the cheesy cliche together we achieve more, you know, with team together, everyone achieves more. Sorry, I said that wrong, but they do that wonderful ideas. I’ve had a receptionist that I


kind of let her run with some marketing. She came up with some great ideas on social media and TikTok. And I was impressed. I would have never thought to do that. So yeah, it’s good. Like you said, put our ego aside and work together with everyone. It’s just a joy being around you and how you look for success. I don’t think you’re trying, you’re doing it. Like, cause success again, revenue is part of it, but enjoying your life. So you have all the systems in play and we talk about this also in the mastermind,


making investing simple, making a lot of things, making training simple. Let’s not overthink it. Let’s be consistent little by little over time. And I see you enjoying your family. You have a big family. You’re a great dad, great husband. You give back to the community, but you just live a joyful life, a happy life with contribution and connecting with people. And I think for those listening, I don’t know, I think it comes a little easier to Cody. He makes it look easy at least.


But he’s doing the practices that are there. And I just think you’re a shining example of this topic, a rising tide. You set the example as the leader, the visionary of the practice. And as you raise, as you raise the tide, everyone is raised with you and you have to pour into them. You have to invest in them and bring them on their way. And with leadership, if they don’t want to be on that way, then they can go somewhere and you bring someone else, but everything, all that energy is rising.


I love the quote. I said, oh, I want to do a podcast about that quote. I was going to do it myself. I says, no, that’s Cody’s. He did it so well. I want to hear what’s in his head, that beautiful bald head of his like me, where he’s thinking. So Cody, thank you so much for sharing that beautiful quote and the insights for our listeners. Thank you so much, Cody. Well, thanks for having me. Remember to follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. Get the episodes as they are released. Share with your friends.


And until next time, go out there and be an All-Star. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All-Stars. Visit us online at allstardentalacademy.com.

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