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Interesting Dentistry, Fast Loan Pay-Off: One Dentist’s Success Story

Dr. Gabe Holdwick has learned he would rather be from a place rather than just live in a place. The difference may seem subtle, but it makes for a more satisfying career and lifestyle.

Dr. Holdwick grew up in Harbor Beach, Michigan, a town of 1,700 people perched on the shores of Lake Huron. His family has lived in town for five generations, over 175 years. 

He knew that dentistry would give him options to take his career anywhere — but he also hoped to return to Harbor Beach to enjoy the lifestyle and practice “geographic arbitrage.”

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Topics: Real Talk, Small Market

Practice Profile: High-Tech, High Growth in the Mile-High Suburbs

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 4/22/22 7:15 AM
Do you want to build on an already lucrative practice – while still having plenty of time to play in the mountains?
This high-tech, suburban Denver practice is successful on just three days a week. You can choose to expand hours (and profits), enjoy all the mountains have to offer – or both! The affluent, well-educated patients are savvy dental consumers, so there’s plenty of opportunity to provide additional specialty services.
Serving Douglas County since 1995, this updated practice has a loyal following of patients who readily accept treatment.    
This practice is the anchor tenant in a small professional building located in the heart of this suburban downtown, steps from Main Street. The landlord is responsive and takes pride in ownership, while the on-site building manager keeps the building well maintained. The space was recently remodeled with new carpet, flooring, and paint that complement the exposed rock walls, attractive lighting, and oversized trim. 
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Topics: practice profiles

Living and Thriving in Vacationland

Ask Dr. Kala Foster about the advantages of working in a small-town dental practice, and she rattles off a long list: doing dentistry her way, appreciative patients, great work-life balance, a fantastic place to raise a family, and all the benefits of practice ownership. 

Dr. Foster lives in Gaylord, Michigan, the center of what is known as Michigan’s “Vacationland” lake region. With 3,600 residents, Gaylord is the “big town” in the area, drawing vacationers from all over the state while serving as the region’s economic hub. 

After living in metropolitan Detroit, Dr. Foster moved to Gaylord three years ago. Since then, she has built a great life in her new home. 

“We can do ‘vacation stuff’ in the evenings. Boating, snowmobiling, everything’s right here,” she says. “I always have 3-day weekends.” 

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Topics: Real Talk, Small Market

Practice Profile: Associateship, Mentorship, Success!

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 4/15/22 7:15 AM

Are you looking for a mentorship-focused associateship with plenty of room to grow? Are you sick of traffic, looking for more affordable living, or just want more space?

If so, check out this Western Massachusetts associateship! This beautiful, growing family practice needs a part-time associate interested in growing with the practice. The practice owner is committed to mentorship, and new graduates are welcomed and encouraged!

The space and the team will support you as you perfect your skills and gain speed and confidence. The team is committed to learning, and the practice owner is active in organized dentistry and study clubs.

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Topics: practice profiles

The Best of Both Worlds: Rural Practice, Urban Lifestyle

In this week's profile of rural dentists building amazing careers, Dr. Sara Stuefen shows us how she enjoys the best of both worlds: a rural practice and an urban lifestyle.

As a member of the ADA’s New Dentist Committee, Dr. Stuefen often spoke to dental students who assume they need to practice in an urban area to live the type of life they want. But she’s quick to point out, “When you graduate, you don’t know what practice style is right for you until you try. There are so many great opportunities in small towns, and you can afford to have the latest technology!”

She also dispels a common misconception: “Rural doesn’t have to mean four hours to the nearest Target. Besides, you can order everything online these days.”

After graduating from the University of Iowa, Dr. Stuefen wanted to work in a small town where she could know her patients and make a difference. “I know I flourish in a smaller environment,” she says. “I like feeling connected to my patients and being able to rely on myself.”

However, her engineer husband needed to be in a more urban area to find a job. (This was a decade before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to realize how many jobs can actually be done from home.)

So they compromised: Dr. Stuefen bought a practice in Vinton, Iowa (population 4,900) and the couple moved to Cedar Rapids (with 132,000 people), just 40 minutes away.

It’s turned out to be the perfect fit for all their needs.

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Topics: Real Talk, Small Market

Practice Profile: Do a Wide Range of Dentistry in this Busy Family & Cosmetic Practice

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 4/8/22 7:30 AM

You’ll never be bored in this busy family practice! If you’re ready to step in and take charge, check out this 4-operatory Albuquerque practice. You’ll work with patients from toddlers to senior citizens in their nineties. And these patients are loyal: many families have been coming to the practice for three generations.

Enjoy doing a full range of treatments? This practice does nearly everything except orthodontia, with a special focus on cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. That includes being a one-stop shop for dental implants, from planning to surgery and completion.

All operatories are updated with the latest technology, including CBCT, digital radiographs, and Dentrix software.

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Topics: practice profiles

The Perfect Blend: How One Dentist Found a Close-Knit Community with Ideal Work-Life Balance

Dr. Jenna Hatfield never thought she would end up back in the small town where she grew up. After all, Norfolk, Nebraska has just 24,000 people. However, after dental school in Lincoln, Nebraska (population 283,000), Dr. Hatfield and her husband realized that Lincoln didn’t feel like the right place to raise a family. 

By chance, Dr. Hatfield heard that her childhood dentist in Norfolk was trying to figure out his exit strategy. The timing was perfect: she came in as his associate, then bought out the practice two years ago. 

Today, she’s built an ideal life in Norfolk. She does the type of dentistry she loves, makes a difference in her community, and has the flexibility to care for her family and children. 

“I never thought I’d end up back in Norfolk, but it just felt right,” she says.

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Topics: Real Talk, Small Market

Practice Profile: Live, Work, and Play In Friendly Vacationland

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 4/1/22 8:45 AM

Be the only dentist in a growing town, with plenty of space to expand to the practice of your dreams! This Michigan practice is set on three wooded acres full of resident wildlife, yet just minutes off the expressway for easy patient access.

The office is known for listening to patients and educating them on how oral health fits into their life. The seller maintains a moderate pace, allowing ample time to build strong, lasting relationships and trust – a philosophy that generates lots of word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, new patients keep calling, creating a 4-week wait for treatment and a 20-week hygiene wait.

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Topics: practice profiles

Want a Lucrative Practice With Great Work-Life Balance? Go Rural!

Most dental practice buyers want the same thing: a financially sound practice where they can do the type of dentistry that excites them and keeps them engaged.

However, as they go through the process of considering potential practices, I see many would-be buyers turn down practices that could be a great fit. 

Often, it comes down to a single factor: location. Many buyers assume that they can only have the lifestyle and practice they want in a big urban center or its immediate suburbs. The reality is different, however. While they may find a great practice in a city, it can come with costs: a higher price tag, tougher competition, more expensive housing, and a more hectic lifestyle.  

Over the past several months, we’ve been speaking with some very successful dentists, including several on the ADA’s New Dentist Committee. Each of these dentists has built a satisfying, lucrative career — beyond the big city. Each has also attained a comfortable work-life balance. They practice dentistry the way they want to while living a lifestyle with plenty of time for family, community, travel, and other interests.

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Topics: Real Talk, Small Market

Practice Profile: Lucrative, Efficient Practice Just Minutes from the Mountains

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 3/25/22 9:15 AM

Ready to buy your very own practice? Make this 4 op, updated office in a beautiful mountain setting yours! Last year, the seller took home $474,000 on production of $895,000, thanks to low overhead, fantastic staff, and well-honed, efficient processes.

Many of the patients are professionals who value their oral health, and you’ll be well situated in a thriving healthcare district.

And the community? If you love the outdoors, you’ll be right at home, with greenery views from the large operatory windows and just minutes to the mountains and the water.

Read on for more about this Bellingham, Washington practice.

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Topics: practice profiles

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