Orthotown June 2019 - 39
Drs. Matthew and Courtney Dunn are rapidly and methodically growing their community-oriented orthodontic
practice across several demographic areas in and around Phoenix. Right now, the Townies balance their days
between four practices and three children, while staying active in professional and community organizations.
Courtney is also the founder of the national networking and study group Women in Orthodontics, while Matthew
is the author of Brace Yourself: The Ultimate Guide to Braces, Invisalign and a Beautiful Smile.
The couple met at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, where both earned DDS degrees as well
as postdoctorate degrees in orthodontics. Courtney was born and raised in the Valley of the Sun, where the
couple decided to move in 2006 to start practicing orthodontics. In a Q&A with Orthotown editorial director
Dr. Dan Grob, the Dunns discuss some of the challenges they face as busy clinicians and parents-increasing
their presence in the Phoenix area, and shuttling between orthodontic practices and school athletic practices.
During the past several years, you've grown
from a one-office, two-doctor practice to a
three- soon-to-be four-office practice.
What prompted you to do this?
When we moved to Arizona in 2006, our original plan was to
run a two-doctor, single-location practice, so we opened a scratch
practice in Litchfield Park, a fast-growing Phoenix suburb.
A year later, the plan started to change when a highly respected
orthodontist in central Phoenix passed away unexpectedly. That
orthodontist had a satellite practice in Wickenburg, a small town
about an hour drive from our current office. We already had some
patients coming from Wickenburg, so it seemed like a good fit. We
reached out to the orthodontist's family to ask about buying the
satellite office, but they weren't interested in splitting the practice;
they wanted someone to purchase the entire business.
While we had some initial hesitancy, we'd already started to
realize a year into our startup that it was probably going to take a
long time to grow a single location to the point where it warrants
having two doctors present. With that in mind, we bought both the
central Phoenix and Wickenburg locations. Ironically, we ended up
closing the Wickenburg office within a few years, while the central
Phoenix office is now one of our largest offices.
After the closure of the Wickenburg office, we really focused
on growing our two locations with no intentions of adding others.
But once again, opportunity came knocking: an office space in
just the "right" location with two fantastic general dentists as
neighbors was available. That opportunity resulted a scratch-start
third office in 2014.
In 2019, another opportunity presented itself: An office in
Scottsdale came on the market. After looking at the practice,
meeting with the owner and evaluating the area, it seemed like a
good fit, so we took the leap again.
So, while our original plan was a two-doctor, single-location
practice, over the past 13 years of practice ownership, we've learned
that we need to remain flexible and willing to jump when the right
opportunity comes along.
With only two doctors, you must need to spread
yourself between the offices. How does that work?
We get that comment a lot but honestly, it's really not a big deal.
There are plenty of single-doctor orthodontic practices with two
locations. We are two doctors with four locations; it's essentially
the same thing. We make sure that all offices have availability
every day of the week, which means a lot of driving for us, but
we're willing to do whatever it takes to make it convenient for our
patients. We have an alternating Week A and Week B schedule,
so we do need to keep track of which week it is or we could end
up in the wrong place. (It hasn't happened yet!) It may sound
complicated, but it works quite well, and our patients can get the
appointment times they need.
Some would say that having multiple offices
only adds to increased overhead and other issues.
How do you manage this?
Well, the simple answer is, yes, expenses do increase with
multiple locations. But going from one location to two locations
does not double your expenses. Things like rent and utilities will
definitely be higher, while other expenses such as accounting and
website costs don't really change ... or at least don't change very
orthotown.com \\ JUNE 2019
Orthotown June 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Orthotown June 2019
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