Secrets from a successful dentist: Dr. Shannon Maddox

December 7, 2013

Continuing our series we first began in the November issue of Dental Practice Management, I recently sat down with Oklahoma City's Dr. Shannon Maddox. She talked with us about what has made her dental practice a success.

Give our readers a brief overview of your practice.

My name is Dr. Shannon Maddox and I practice at Lake Pointe Dental Group in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We pride ourselves on the personal care we provide to each patient, focusing on their oral health, but also helping to reach their goals for their mouth, teeth and smile.

How has your practice grown, both in terms of patient size and bottom line?

When we originally took over the practice, our team wanted to enhance our patients’ views on the possibilities of dentistry: empowering them with the knowledge they need to participate in their oral health rather than passively allow us to just “fix the problem.” Consistent focus on this philosophy has increased the internal referrals and allowed the practice to attract a patient population that desired involvement in their dental treatment.

What first drew you to dentistry?

Dentistry is the perfect blend of patient care, science, and artistry. It provides a constantly challenging environment requiring innovation and opportunity for lifelong learning. It is an incredible gift to help people achieve health while being challenged and pushed as a practitioner.

What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?

Our team is intent on delivering quality care that meets the goals of every patient, every day. The challenge is achieving quality care, while also exemplifying what I want the practice to become to my teammates. Each of us contributes to the culture of the practice, beginning with the way we speak to patients on the phone, to the execution of the treatment plan. Each step has the ability to solidify and enhance the relationship that we hold with each patient. Motivating and challenging the team to project the mission and vision of the practice is vital to its overall sustainability and growth.

How do you balance the roles of dentist and business owner?

Implementation of Jameson Management dental systems has been vital to managing my roles as team leader and dentist. If the ideals with which I treat patients are reflected in all aspects of the practice, it offers me a great deal of freedom. Knowing that each patient is receiving the highest quality service allows me the opportunity to focus on providing the best possible dentistry.

What one piece of technology would you say, has benefitted your practice the most?

Without a doubt, the use of digital photography is the single greatest benefit to my practice of dentistry. One of the greatest obstacles to our patients achieving optimal health is the non-relatable and intangible nature of oral disease. Photography bridges this gap, allowing us to visually communicate a level of education to patients that is unparalleled to the traditional verbal method. The motivation patients reflect is a great affirmation of their trust in us as their dental team.

What are your near- and long-term goals and plans for your practice?

In this first year, we have already solidified our identity as a team and as a practice. In the short term, we want increase our efficiency, finding ways to be smart with our work and our time, and continue to explore avenues for increasing new patients and referrals to the practice. I want every team member to share and implement ideas, both big and small, to better serve our patients. The goal is to create a culture in which we are constantly seeking ways improve the service we are providing, in order to show our patients that we truly care about them. When seen from a broad view, our practice ideals may look the same as any dental practice. However, we feel what we achieve on a daily basis is unique and different. It isn’t any one thing, but rather a culture and belief system that is implemented into every word and action. Long term, I would like for our patients to view what we deliver as a model for superb service and outstanding patient care.

What is the one-piece of advice you would offer your colleagues?

Surround yourself with people who believe in what you are planning to achieve. The biggest thrill of building something new is that it reflects your values. Find people who value why you do what you do. They will stand alongside you, work to achieve the goal, struggle through the trials and ultimately protect the integrity of the work.