I believe blogs are powerful tools, and we would all benefit from writing one. I began writing at OneLooseTooth.com in 2013, and it has resulted in several opportunities that I would not have had a chance to pursue otherwise. Before One Loose Tooth, I was writing as the Engaging Dentist (a site I deleted while in dental school). In 2014, 2015, and 2016, I compiled a list of the best dental blogs I could find around the web.
Since graduating from dental school in 2015, life has been much busier, and I did not publish a list of the best dental blogs in 2017 or 2018. I’d like to get back to publishing annual lists for my readers, and I think that Practice Pirate is the perfect platform to do so.
A lot has changed over the last three years, and dental podcasts have garnered much more attention than traditional blogs. But content within podcasts is still not easily searchable, and blogs are still an important tool in the distribution of great content. In 2019, there are several blogs worth reading and they are:
The Practice Whisperer with Dr. Travis Campbell (Dr. Campbell is a dentist in Plano Texas who focuses on helping dentists understand dental insurance): https://practicewhisper.com/articles/
Practice Biopsy (a new dentists journey into practice ownership and financial success): https://www.practicebiopsy.com/
Brian Hank’s blog (Brian is a CPA and CFP focused on helping dentists buy the right practice): https://brianhanks.com/blog/
Dental Nachos with Dr. Paul Goodman (Dr. Goodman offers a fun and refreshing take on the stresses of being a dentist): https://dentalnachos.com/blog/
There are very few books published by practicing dentists about dental practice management. In 2019, Dr. Travis Campbell published his first book titled The Practice Whisperer. His goal in “writing this book was to help others avoid similar mistakes and learn ways to grow professionally”.
Dr. Campbell graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2009, and opened a dental practice in Plano, Texas from scratch in October. While his practice is currently thriving, a startup comes with many challenges. This book describes what went wrong, and how other dentists can avoid the mistakes the author made.
One of my favorite pearls from the book is that “when you notice the patient needs periodontal treatment, focus just on the perio. You can put a preliminary plan together and do an extremely quick review for the patient of their overall oral health, but focus on the perio only so that you can use that time for same-day treatment. You are going to want to see that patient back in four to six weeks anyway, which is the perfect time to discuss the rest of their treatment needs.” This tip alone is worth the price of the book in my opinion, but it is filled with several others.
It is typically recommended to delay home ownership until after a practice purchase because the practice generates income, while the home does not. Furthermore, ownership of a person’s primary residency is often more of an emotional transaction (it is a lifestyle decision) as opposed to a financial one. With this in mind, it is often wiser to purchase a practice before purchasing a home for two reasons:
1) Your debt to income ratio when you go to purchase a practice will likely be higher if you have a mortgage. Depending on the size of your mortgage, the practice you have identified to purchase may not have enough cash flow to support all of your monthly obligations.
2) More importantly, when you own a home, the radius that you are interested in buying a practice is often limited and it is easier to find a home near your practice than to find a practice near your home. Once you own a home, you are often emotionally invested in the community – you build relationships and develop habits that are difficult to leave behind regardless of how good the opportunity may be.
Art Widerman is a CPA in Tustin, CA who focuses on dentists. He has a podcast called the Art of Dental Finance and the episode linked below explores home ownership and practice purchases.