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712: How Did This All Begin & How Did You Get Here? – Dr. Dennis Hartlieb
Episode 71229th March 2024 • The Best Practices Show with Kirk Behrendt • ACT Dental
00:00:00 01:31:03

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712: How Did This All Begin & How Did You Get Here? – Dr. Dennis Hartlieb

In this special crossover episode, the tables are turned! Kirk Behrendt is interviewed on the Dental Online Training Sharecast, a podcast by Dr. Dennis Hartlieb, founder of Dental Online Training. Kirk shares everything from his early years, the origins of ACT Dental, and his thoughts on the current state of dentistry. To learn more about Kirk and hear his great advice on dentistry and life, listen to Episode 712 of The Best Practices Show!

Learn More About Dr. Hartlieb:

More Helpful Links for a Better Practice & a Better Life:

Episode Resources:

Main Takeaways:

  • Surround yourself with people who inspire and energize you.
  • Take risks and make mistakes while you're young.
  • Working evenings and weekends is dumb.
  • Establish your core values ASAP.
  • Develop great systems ASAP.
  • Have a love for learning.
  • Join a study club.


0:00 Introduction.

3:11 About ACT Dental and its origin.

5:19 Get good at people.

8:00 Kirk’s non-dental background.

11:08 The mind of 18-year-old Kirk.

14:57 The best years are in front of you.

18:31 How working in a restaurant can prepare you for dentistry.

23:53 The importance of establishing your core values.

27:09 Being hungry, humble, and smart.

29:52 Some of Kirk’s influences.

31:57 Never stop learning.

33:50 Be around people who inspire you.

37:28 Kirk’s time as a dental supply rep with Bob Popp.

41:23 Young Kirk’s thoughts on dentists.

46:20 Things that changed Kirk’s outlook on dentistry.

54:02 Dentists then versus dentists today.

56:59 Kirk’s alternate path and the start of ACT Dental.

1:03:40 Take risks and make mistakes.

1:06:17 Things Kirk got right and wrong.

1:12:48 Lean into your core values.

1:15:31 Recommended reading.

1:17:20 Always be on the lookout for great people.

1:22:40 Every practice should have a “bench”.

1:23:57 Create margin for your practice.

1:25:11 Seeing patients on evenings and weekends is dumb.

1:26:57 Have regular team member check-ins.

1:28:50 More about ACT Dental and how to get in touch with Kirk.

Dr. Dennis Hartlieb Bio:

Dr. Dennis Hartlieb is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He maintains a full-time practice, Chicago Beautiful Smiles, in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Illinois. Dr. Hartlieb is an instructor at the Center for Esthetic Excellence in Chicago and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Marquette University School of Dentistry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He lectures extensively to dentists throughout the U.S. on the art and science of anterior and posterior direct resin techniques.



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