Dr. Jon Alan Long stopped by the studio this week and I had a chance to get his perspective on the business we call dentistry. Our conversation covered a variety of topics, from his biggest challenges to advice he has for anyone starting out, and all points in between! I’m sure you will find something that you can use from our discussion so listen in and enjoy episode 45 of the Business of Dentistry.
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Dr. Long and I went to the same dental school, but our friendship really began about 15 years ago when I called him to ask his thoughts on opening a private practice in Lebanon, Tennessee. From then on we’ve traded phone calls, texts and referrals, and have become great friends in and out of our respective practices.
On this episode, we talk about how Dr. Long got his start running his own private practice, why his biggest obstacle was himself and how the Dawson Academy courses changed not just his practice but his lfe.
When Dr. Long was first starting out, he was deciding where to settle down with his new bride. He thought they should live in between their parents, but his father-in-law told him to go back to his hometown of Carthage so they did. In Carthage, Dr. Long found two dentists in private practice there, one was Dr. Wright who was nearing retirement age.
Dr. Long and Dr. Wright struck up a deal that allowed Dr. Long to slowly take over Dr. Wright’s practice over a period of no more than two years. During those two years, Dr. Wright helped Dr. Long get his feet under him and to grow his client base.
Although it was primarily a transactional type of dentistry, it worked out for Dr. Long and allowed him to get settled and grow his name within the community – two things that are often big hurdles for new dentists.
The biggest hurdle he did face was himself. Early on, he talked himself out of offering some services to his clients for any number of reasons: the area was too rural and no one would want the work he offered is an example he highlights today. But it boiled down to one thing and one thing only: Dr. Long was afraid of failure.
Taking the Dawson Academy courses turned all of that around for him. He learned more about TMJ, occlusion, coordination of muscles, teeth and the bite. He also learned how to create treatment plans, and how to create an environment that was welcoming to new patients.
Doing the coursework and applying it to his practice made him a happier person, which made his staff happier and, in turn, made his clients happier. He now understands how important it is for the head of the practice to be happy, and how, as the owner, all you do and who you are directly impacts every aspect of your practice.
Also on today’s show, we talk about why it’s important to have both transactional and transformational dentistry and how he has faced the other challenges of bonuses, leadership, contractual write-offs and staff interactions.
Dr. Long is a wealth of information, humor and so much more. Tune in to catch it all on this special interview edition of the Business of Dentistry!
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