Dr. Dennis Hartlieb

Interview with Dr. Brian LeSage

Interview Part 1: Video
Interview Part 2: Video
Interview Part 1: Audio
Interview Part 2: Audio

About the Sharecast Interview

How can an early passion for building relationships with people lead to a fulfilling career as a restorative dentist? What methods and tips can help with running a successful dental practice?

In this episode of the Dental Online Training Sharecast, Dr. Dennis Hartlieb welcomes Dr. Brian LeSage, a highly skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist based in Beverly Hills, California.

With an impressive resume boasting fellowships in prestigious dental organizations, Dr. LeSage has made significant contributions to the field of aesthetic dentistry. This interview offers a unique opportunity to catch up with Dr. LeSage and delve into his professional journey and influences. In part 2 of the interview, Dr. LeSage shares many tips and lessons he has learned throughout his dental career that have helped him have more success and fulfillment.

Meet Dr. Brian LeSage

From his website, Beverly Hills Institute of Dental Esthetics

"In 1983, Dr. Brian P. LeSage earned his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. He graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. And he completed a general residency program at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.
"He began private practice in Washington, D.C., with an emphasis on esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. He relocated to Beverly Hills and, in 1990, established the Beverly Hills Institute of Dental Esthetics, where he practices with his wife, Dr. Afsaneh Malaekeh.
"Dr. LeSage is an international lecturer on various aspects of dentistry, including cosmetic dentistry (porcelain veneers, composite bonding, color), restorative dentistry (adhesive dentistry, porcelain inlays and onlays), CAD/CAM, implants, practice management, and minimally invasive dentistry."

Episode Highlights


Present Day & Childhood Influences

As Dr. Hartlieb shares at the beginning of the episode, Dr. LeSage's numerous fellowships in esteemed organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry, are a testament to his exceptional expertise. These fellowships are earned by dental professionals who have made significant contributions to the field of cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry. 

Dr. Brian LeSage's journey from an aspiring dental student to an accomplished cosmetic and restorative dentist showcases his passion for dentistry and commitment to excellence. Through his extensive training, teaching endeavors, and compassionate patient care, Dr. LeSage continues to make significant contributions to the field of aesthetic dentistry. His expertise and unwavering dedication serve as an inspiration to dental professionals worldwide.

Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. LeSage's exposure to healthcare through his father's work as a pharmacist ignited his interest in medicine. From his early exposure to the pharmacy side of medicine, Brian knew that he wanted to help people within health care.

Interest in Dentistry

However, it was Brian's early experiences as a dental assistant in a mobile dental clinic that steered him towards dentistry instead of other areas within health care. The opportunity to witness the transformation of children's smiles and alleviate their dental fears left a lasting impression on Dr. LeSage.

Brian's passion for meticulous handiwork, nurtured through childhood projects and model-making, further solidified his decision to pursue a career in dentistry. 

The Importance of Relationships

Dr. LeSage's dedication to personalized patient care is evident in his approach to dentistry. He believes in forming strong connections with his patients and creating a comfortable environment.

A firm believer in the power of touch, Dr. LeSage often greets his patients with a warm embrace and ensures their emotional well-being is as prioritized as their oral health. This personal touch allows him to establish trust and foster long-lasting relationships with his patients. 

Discovering a Love for Dentistry

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Dr. LeSage talks about how his experiences assisting with the dental school bus early on led him directly to a lifelong passion for dentistry.

Dental School and Building a Practice

Dr. LeSage shares about his journey through dental school at the University of Maryland and his residency at UCLA in California. 

Dr. LeSage and Dr. Hartlieb discuss the importance of new associates growing their own practice and building up their patient base when they are working within a larger existing practice.

Brian emphasizes the need to develop effective communication skills and connect with patients in order to offer the dentistry they need. Dennis and Brian both acknowledge that building a practice takes time and effort, and it's essential to have guidance and support from experienced mentors. 

As Dr. LeSage shares, building a successful dental practice requires more than clinical skills. It demands a commitment to continuous learning, effective communication, and overcoming personal challenges.

Dentists must actively seek growth opportunities, embrace fear, and engage in lifelong learning to provide the best possible care for their patients. By focusing on these aspects, dentists can navigate the complexities of dentistry and find fulfillment in their profession. 

Part Two Coming Soon

Tune in on Tuesday, June 20th for Part 2 of Dr. Dennis Hartlieb's interview with Dr. Brian LeSage!

Getting Comfortable with Talking Finances

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Dr. LeSage shares about the power of managing the financial side of your treatment planning with patients. He talks about how he is always the person to discuss costs with patients at the beginning of treatment. 

Managing Fees in Your Practice

As Dr. LeSage shares, it's beneficial for dentists to train themselves to be comfortable discussing fees and treatment plans including the price of the procedures and services. 

Brian shares that when it comes to treatment planning, being able to talk about budgets and pricing is so important in helping patients get the best care they can get at a price that they can afford.

Leading those conversations rather than passing them off to support staff can help with patient relations and helps with transparency. 

The Power of Referrals 

Dr. LeSage shares that the best way to grow a practice is through referrals.

He shares the method his team uses to encourage patients to refer their friends and family members. 

How to Get Patient Referrals

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Dr. LeSage talks about the importance of getting patient referrals, and he shares the way that he and his team approach this vital component of working with patients.

Adjusting Patient Expectations 

Dr. LeSage shares that in his preliminary meetings with patients where he practices in Beverly Hills, his primary objective is to lower patient expectations. 

Dr. LeSage talks with patients and explains that if they come in with a  magnified mirror, they will be able to detect transition zones where dental work has been done. 

To his patients, Brian says, "You've got to evaluate my dental work at an arm's length." 

Managing Challenging Cases

When it comes to working with patients, Dr. LeSage talks about how some patients have unrealistic expectations because they want the dental work to be identical to natural tooth structure. 

Dr. LeSage shares about the importance of photos and documentation when ti comes to treatment planning. 

Brian talks about the artistic nature of cosmetic dentistry and how he discusses that with patients when they are trying to direct how the work goes. He reminds them that he is using his artistic skills when completing dental work, and he assures them that he does the best work when he has the freedom to approach treatment planning based on his dental expertise. 

Brian and Dennis share about making mistakes and that we as dentists are allowed to make mistakes, but it's vital to be honest and sincere with patients and to let them know how you will make it right. 

If you'd like to connect with Brian, you can email him directly with questions and thoughts.  

Brian shares this advice: "Know yourself. Be yourself, and let your patients get to know you." He recommends that dentists find mentors, continue studying, and consider how you'd like to learn and grow.

Managing Prototype Costs

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Mini Tip for Dentists: Dr. LeSage shares this quick tip about how he manages costs for patients who prefer a lot of prototypes before getting into the actual treatment. 

Dennis Hartlieb, DDS, AAACD

DOT Founder

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