The smartest thing 4 dentists did last year

Solutions can be found even in times of uncertainty.

Four voices from the dental industry chimed in to answer the question, "What is the smartest decision you made in the past 12 months?"

Editor's note: This piece was edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

​Rick Mars, DDS. President of Dental Care Group (Aventura, Fla.): The smartest business decision that I made the last 12 months was to stick to my guns and do the right thing to protect my patients and team through the pandemic despite some objections for personal and political reasons from various sources. This decision, despite inconveniences, has allowed me to prevent any cross-infection among my team and patients.

Jason Faler. Director of Operations of Sunset Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Portland, Ore.): The smartest decision I have made in the past 12 months was to be very intentional about placing people and culture at the top of the priority list of our organizational strategic plan. I'm a firm believer that everything else is only possible with a well-trained, professional, inspired team who feels valued and invested in the hard work ahead. Similarly, the best ideas, strategies and plans are worth very little without the people who execute them. This really is always the truth, but in a labor market such as the one through which we are all struggling, being a place where the best want to work and stay is an absolute differentiator and, in some cases, the difference between keeping the doors open or turning off the lights.

Philip Suiter. Executive Chair of Ladd Dental Group (Kokomo, Ind.): I think for us as a DSO, consolidating all of our practices on a [software as a service]-based dental practice management system was probably the best idea from both a security standpoint as well as being able to centrally ensure that everyone sees the same instance of the same product.

Matt Carlston, DDS. Dentist at the Englewood dentist office building for Comfort Dental (Englewood, Colo.): I'm a recruiter for Comfort Dental and I'm also a practicing dentist. The smartest decision that we've made is talking to these young students who have so much dental school debt about joining Comfort Dental and some of the financial advantages that they could have. So I guess my smartest decision was trying to help these students try to dig out of this debt that they have.

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