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In 2014, Scott Asnis, D.D.S., founded Dental365, an innovative dental practice with more than a dozen sites across the New York City area. And the growth continues, as both patients and doctors enjoy the benefits of exceptional dental care that can accommodate todayâ€™s busy lifestyles.
In short, it’s all about caring for the patients.
From the soccer field to the dental office? Not exactly a natural transition, but one that has worked out incredibly well for Scott Asnis, D.D.S., a partner in the White plains, New York-based practice of Asnis & Echelman.
“My aspirations were to be a professional soccer player,” Asnis recalls. “I loved soccer. But I saw that I was not going to make a living out of it.”
Always good with his hands, Asnis began studying the sciences and opted to enroll in dental school. Thirty-four years later he’s the founder and CEO of an innovative, state-of-the-art dental practice, Dental365.
DENTAL EVERY DAY
It was three years ago while treating a physician friend that the idea for Dental365 took root. The patient, an emergency room physician who was responsible for several urgent care startups, asked Asnis if there was any way he could take his type of evidence-based dentistry and make it more convenient and affordable.
Asnis pondered that possibility for a long time. Then he made the move.
“I saw that dentistry was changing,” he says. “And I decided to take what I’ve been doing all these years, make it more affordable and convenient, and make it available when patients want us to be open. And, to have enough really high end specialists so that our patients do not have to go to other offices.”
And yes, Dental365, which now has multiple sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island, is really open 365 days of the year. But there were certainly challenges along the way.
The first was getting used to be open on Christmas, or Labor Day, or any other holiday, for that matter. The second was accepting a patient’s insurance, something Asnis had not previously done. He overcame both of those challenges, and today — in just three years — has become the largest employer of dentists in New York with 14 locations, and several more coming online by year’s end.
CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES
Asnis says there are several keys to the rapid success Dental365 has experienced. The first is a focus on providing only evidence-based dentistry.
“We only do dentistry that is necessary,” he explains.
Second is location; being in a retail space on main or major roadways. And last is building beautiful, state-of-the-art offices that’s designed for patient comfort. In short, it’s all about caring for the patients.
But being open every day of the year? There were certainly some skeptics, and some pushback early on.
“Dentistry is very fragmented in New York, and [Dental365] is organized dentistry,” Asnis explains. “In other parts of the country it’s the norm. But in New York, it had never been tried.”
It’s corporate dentistry in a higher end way, he says, where the patients feel like they’re getting amazing service.
“Yes, there was pushback,” Asnis says. “But now it’s pretty much an accepted thing. Like urgent cares, we are open every day of the year.”
THE SECRET SAUCE
When the first Dental365 office opened, Asnis promoted it not as a clinic, but as receiving care in a private practice setting. Still, the fears were present.
“It’s very scary opening a new site where there’s not one patient,” he says. “And I could not tell you in all honesty that I knew this was going to work. But within two or three months, we were packed.”
Having new, beautiful, sterile offices was key.
“If I drove up to a house that I was thinking of purchasing and saw the lawn and other things were in disrepair, I’m not going to purchase that house,” Asnis explains. “The same is true if I walked into a medical or dental office.”
The logical question would be, how do they care for their patients if they don’t care for the way the facility looks.
“And now you’re understanding our secret sauce,” he says. “Our offices are so spectacular and modern that people feel good about being there. We really take pride in them.”
A MIX OF DENTISTS
When the first Dental365 office opened three years ago, the majority of dentists were younger. They worked in Asnis’ private office first so he could vet them and teach them; teach them how to create value for patients. How to only perform evidence-based dentistry.
And still there were challenges.
“In the beginning I had a bull’s eye on my back,” Asnis says. “People didn’t understand the concept and were a little intimidated by it.” But now many older dentists in their 50s and 60s are looking to sign up. “They see this is where the future is.”
Asnis says Dental365 averages more than 150 new patients each month, and is currently looking to expand into Connecticut, New Jersey, and down the East Coast. Is he surprised by the amount of success these first three years?
“I am shocked,” he admits. “We’re all so excited. Our motto is, ‘Walk in and smile out.’ And we believe in it. Our dentists are partners, unlike other management groups. So it’s not owned by private equity. It’s owned by dentists.”
The work schedule is set up based on preference and rotations. Asnis explains that some dentists, for religious or other reasons, only want to work on Sunday and not Saturday. Others prefer Saturday. Holidays are handled on a rotating basis.
Asnis says that dentists need to look at what has happened in medicine over the past five years and recognize that it’s now happening in dentistry. But that’s not a bad thing.
“It’s really good for our patients that they can come into a practice and receive the best services,” he says. “And it’s good for doctors to be able to join together, have the ability to make money, and just be dentists. I think it’s a trend that’s here to stay.”
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