In today’s dental world, clinical skills are just the starting point. The real standout factor is in the finer details of culture, connection, and customer experience. This was the key theme in a recent episode of the “Happy Practice” podcast, where we had an insightful chat with Debra Nash. With decades of experience and accolades like the prestigious Gordon Christensen Outstanding Lecture Award, Nash’s contributions to dentistry are truly remarkable.

Nash’s journey in the dental field is a testament to her dedication and passion for not just advancing dental practices clinically but also enhancing the patient experience. Her roles, ranging from leading the Nash Institute of Dental Learning to being the president-elect of the American Academy of Dental Practice, underscore her influence in shaping the landscape of dentistry towards a more patient-centric approach.

The Essence of a Happy Practice

Central to Nash’s philosophy is cultivating a positive and nurturing culture within a healthcare practice. She articulates this with clarity and conviction, “Culture is what drives the practice. It directs everything.” This culture, according to Nash, is not a superficial layer added to the practice but the very foundation that supports every interaction, decision, and strategy within the organization. It’s about creating an environment where every staff member is aligned with the mission of delivering not just care but care that encompasses the patients’ emotional and psychological well-being.

Leveraging Technology to Enhance Connection

An interesting part of Nash’s discussion revolves around how technological advancements are crucial in bridging the gap between practices and their patients. Nash shares her firsthand experience with these tools, highlighting their effectiveness in ensuring continuous communication with patients. This aspect of accessibility, she notes, is crucial in today’s fast-paced world where the absence of immediate communication can lead to patients feeling neglected. By employing technologies that facilitate 24/7 connectivity, practices can significantly enhance patient retention and satisfaction.enhance patient retention and satisfaction.

The Importance of Customer Experience

Diving deeper into the components that forge a strong healthcare practice, Nash places a significant emphasis on customer experience. Drawing from her extensive experience, she stresses the importance of personal touches, timely communication, and an overarching approach that focuses on making patients feel valued and understood. “It’s about how we make them feel while they’re in our care,” Nash says. This philosophy underlines the idea that a visit to the dentist is more than just a clinical encounter; it’s an experience that can leave a lasting impression on patients.

Tackling Challenges

Addressing the inevitable challenges that come with running a healthcare practice, particularly in the age where online reviews can make or break a reputation, Nash offers sage advice. She speaks candidly about the importance of facing negative feedback head-on, responding with humility and a willingness to rectify mistakes. This approach not only helps in maintaining the trust of existing patients but also in demonstrating to potential patients that the practice is committed to excellence and accountability.


The conversation with Debra Nash illuminates the profound impact of culture, connection, and customer experience on the success of healthcare practices. It’s a reminder that beyond the technical skills and clinical services, the heart of a practice lies in its ability to make patients feel seen, heard, and cared for. As Nash beautifully puts it, doing the right thing inevitably leads to positive outcomes. This principle, simple yet profound, is what can elevate a practice from merely good to truly great.

In adopting these guiding principles, practices not only enhance their level of care but also forge stronger, more meaningful relationships with their patients. These relationships, built on trust, understanding, and genuine care, become the lifeblood of a thriving practice, ensuring not just its success but also its lasting impact on the community it serves.

Want more Happy Practice content? Be sure to follow us on:

Instagram Logo

Spotify Logo

YouTube Logo

TikTok Logo

Pinterest Logo
Instagram Spotify YouTube TikTok Pinterest
Want to see
more about

9 out of 10 people check online reviews before choosing a business

Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.

Schedule Demo