DR BILL DORFMAN :FIXING SMILES & LIVES
“When you fix a tooth, that’s a great thing. When you fix a lot of teeth, you fix a smile. When you fix a smile, you fix a life.” Dr. Bill Dorfman, famous on television as Dr. Bill from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” and CBS “The Doctors” believes in the importance of helping people look beautiful and live fulfilling lives. He explains that the needs of his patients are always of primary importance to him.
“I never settle for second best. I really strive for perfection, and I think as a dentist, especially when you are doing cosmetic dentistry, one of the most critical things is to really listen to what your patients want.” Dr. Bill Dorfman.
The ability to try in teeth under various light sources and show how they look and to give his patients the opportunity to always give final approval before any permanent cement is used, are his main strategies for complete customer satisfaction. His patients come from all over the world and across the United States. When no surgery or implants are involved, Dr. Bill says he can typically schedule everything needed in just one week. Custom, color-blending, performed by a chair-side DaVinci Dental technician, is another essential feature because it ensures a perfect match with each patient’s teeth and as natural a look as possible, instead of just ordering from a lab. Early in his career, Dr. Bill, realized that cosmetic dentistry patients aren’t always able to articulate, “What they wanted their teeth to look like,” so he wrote his first book, “Smile Guide,” as a visual matching guide for patients, dentists and dental laboratories.
“At the end of the day, after we had these people on ‘Extreme Makeover,’ where they were nipped and tucked and everything else in the world was done to them, then you asked them, ‘what made the biggest change in their life?’ They always said their teeth,” Dr. Bill Dorfman.
He wrote his second book with NY1 News Anchor Paul Lombardi, “Billion Dollar Smile,” after appearing on the television show, “Extreme Makeover,” where he came to the conclusion that while there were a significant number of books on weight loss and changing the body, there was nothing of a similar nature for teeth. The book became a New York Times Best Seller. All proceeds were then donated to the LEAP Foundation. Dr. Bill emphasized that writing and producing the book was, “a great experience,” because it helped both patients and kids.
LEAP is a nonprofit foundation (www.leapfoundation.com) that helps give kids, 15–24, the tools they need to succeed in life. The program runs annually and will continue July 12–18, 2015 at the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) this summer.
I help teach this program called LEAP where we have 500 kids and I always get the same question and the question is, ‘Dr. Bill, what’s the secret to success?’ And, I tell them, ‘The secret is to work your butt off . . . So many people are not ready to put in the hard work needed to achieve. They just count on it to come to them and that has never been my experience,” Dr. Bill Dorfman.
For 20 years, Dr. Bill was also the founder of Discus Dental, the largest manufacturer of teeth whitening products in the world, responsible for Zoom!, Brite Smile, and Nite White. He invented many of the products they sold, but when he came to the realization that he knew more about teeth than business, he enrolled in the extension program at UCLA, “You really only fail when you give up, and if something really matters to me, I refuse to give up. I will keep, as I call it, ‘practicing,’ until I get it right!” When he realized what an impact being on television could have, he took acting lessons, knowing that it could help him better present himself and sell his products, as well.
Most recently Dr. Bill filmed six episodes of the new Dr. Bill Show with Illuminate Studios. The show covers topics like personal achievement, community service, healthy lifestyles and overcoming challenges. In each episode Dr. Bill is working with people, mainly young adults, all of whom have made a pledge to pay it forward.
“Number one, don’t wait for opportunities in life: make them. All of the greatest things that have happened in my life, have happened because I took a very active part in making them happen. I didn’t just sit around and wait. If you want to do something spectacular, make it happen and second, when you are presented with an opportunity don’t take it: master it!” Dr. Bill Dorfman.
Individual success, however, is not enough for Dr. Bill, “I am a firm believer that if you don’t make this world a better place by having been here, then what’s the sense of having been here. And so, I really take philanthropy to heart.” As well as his work with LEAP, he raises money for Tomorrow Trust (www.tomorrow.org.za) in South Africa, a charity for vulnerable children and those whose parents have died. He treats orphans and under-serviced children in the Dominican Republic in a clinic he helped build in the Milan School with his family 3-4 times a year. He also fund raises for Magen David Adom (www.mdais.com), the national blood bank in Israel and helped raise over $7 million this year. His work with other Dentists and the Smiles For Life Program (www.smilesforlife.org) has raised $35 million over the last 15 years for children’s charities.
“To me, success is really leading a fulfilled life, where not only are you fulfilled, but those around you, and even sometimes those that you don’t even know, are fulfilled, as a result of you and your help and your ability to enrich their lives. Because being successful by yourself, to me, means nothing . . . you must share your wealth, your knowledge, your heart and feelings with other people to make their lives better,” Dr. Bill Dorfman.
Organization and teamwork are critical for Dr. Bill when it comes to structuring both his professional and family life. Part of the LEAP program involves teaching his students what he calls the 100 Year Lifestyle which includes living a healthy lifestyle with exercise and nutrition, and without drugs or alcohol. Dr. Bill alternates light weight-lifting and swimming every day, “I am a firm believer in use it or lose it. If you don’t exercise your body, I think it stops working.” Leadership skills are also highlighted, as well as the importance of “paying it forward,” giving back to the community and sharing wealth and knowledge. Values like that certainly are enough to make anyone smile.