Making Your Roadmap

In 1985, Dr. Craig Goldin and his wife, Marcy graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and started their own practice, the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute. They have emerged as leaders in their field ever since.

In the Late ‘80s, early 90s, cosmetic dentistry really started to evolve and Drs. Craig and Marcy became involved with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the largest dental organization for cosmetic dentistry in the world. They started looking at awards offered by this organization, and others, and set out to achieve them. Their office has won Cosmetic Dental Practice of the Year, the American Dental Association’s Dental Office Design Competition and Dr. Craig Goldin has won several bronze, silver and gold medals for his work with smile designs.

“Starting out, we had a vision for what we wanted our office to look like, and we wrote it down. That became our road map. We progressed on that desired path through passion. If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life – that is passion.”

Craig Goldin, DDS, practicing dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute

“Starting out, we had a vision for what we wanted our office to look like, and we wrote it down. That became our road map,” said Dr. Goldin. “We progressed on that desired path through passion. If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life – that is passion. That passion helped us build a successful, cosmetic-focused dental office. In the early days, our office was average and not up-to-date. But we had that excitement around cosmetic dentistry. That grew into passion – the more cosmetic procedures we did, the more we wanted to do. Patients want it and are willing to pay for it – what’s not to love? It allowed us to love what we were doing while differentiating us from other dental offices.”

In 2006, Dr. Goldin started the journey to earn his accreditation with the AACD. He finished and received that honor in 2011 after completing a written test, oral exam and submitting five perfect cosmetic dentistry cases. He then set out to become earn his fellowship. Part of the process of becoming a fellow is to submit 50 perfect cosmetic dentistry cases. The first time he submitted, he did not pass.

“At times you want to give up and you question, ‘Is it worth it?’ It was a very rigorous process, but the part of you that decided to start the process says, ‘It’s okay to fail.’ That’s how we learn and we become better because of it. That and the person I am drove me to become better and try again,” said Dr. Goldin.

Last year, he resubmitted his cases and was happy to find out that he passed! Only 75 people in the world are recognized as a fellow of the AACD.

“I see this as the highest level of anything I’m going to achieve in dentistry. I smiled through it. When I got the phone call, I couldn’t believe it,” added Dr. Goldin.

Looking back on his journey, Dr. Goldin says there are several different areas he has focused on to advance himself and his office over the years.

“You have to build your teams right along with yourselves. Your culture starts with you – are you upbeat, excited, open and setting the right tone? For example, if you want your team members to be comfortable speaking to patients about care, you have to be comfortable speaking with them as well. Show off your work to your team, they will be more comfortable recommending you to patients. Give them a reason to brag! Creating ideal patient experiences is also an important part of your culture. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, don’t be afraid to discuss this with patients for fear you may offend them. You’re not – they expect you to mention it, you’re their dentist. If not, they will go to another office to have the work done. It’s also important to build your environment – your brand. Is your office up-to-date? What is a patient’s first impression when they walk into your office? What is their first impression when calling your office? All of these things need to be considered,” explained Dr. Goldin. “I would also encourage you to seek out continuing education as much as possible. As a Heartland Dental supported doctor, I have access to the Aesthetic Continuum, which is an incredible opportunity to build your cosmetic skills. Dental XP also has great content, as do AACD meetings.”

Those are just a few things we’ve done in our office over the years to move forward on our map to success. We followed recommendations from those who came before us. We implemented what we learned. Change can be hard, but not that hard. As leaders in your offices, you can build your own roadmap to success,” added Dr. Goldin.

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