Ask Affiliations

Common questions about the affiliation process answered by Justin Wendling, director of affiliations at Heartland Dental

Heartland Dental affiliation is a solution for doctors in many varying situations: doctors who are tired of the hassles of managing a dental office, doctors looking for work-life balance or who want to rejuvenate their passion for dentistry, doctors who have struggled to find quality associateships to help build their office and want professional assistance in building their team, or doctors who want to continue doing what they love but want a transition strategy in place for down the road. No matter the situation, however, almost all affiliated doctors and offices share certain characteristics that made them an ideal fit for our support.

Justin Wendling

Justin Wendling
Director of Affiliations of Heartland Dental


What is the ideal model for a Heartland Dental affiliation?


Heartland Dental's affiliation team knows that doctors and offices with certain traits realize the greatest benefit from affiliation. Most of those that have these traits and have affiliated are experiencing successes such as more patients, lower overhead costs, higher collections, more efficient systems and a network of shared ideas and camaraderie. During the affiliation process, we look at office culture, physical, financial and commitment standpoints. Finding a match in these areas fosters the best possible results for the affiliating office and Heartland Dental.

Emotional: Perhaps most important when evaluating a possible affiliation is considering the emotional match of a doctor with Heartland Dental. We want to create a partnership with each doctor in order to achieve a win-win. We ask that doctors remain open, positive and flexible during and after the affiliation process. Maintaining that mentality facilitates aligned visions and goals that include growth and support.

Physical: Office aesthetics and location contribute to the physical component. An office’s appearance often forms the patient’s first impression of the care they can expect. The physical environment often communicates the level of excellence of the practice; it also ensures the patient’s confidence in the dentist’s abilities. We look for offices with five chairs or room to grow, as, on average, Heartland Dental affiliates gain 62.2 new patients per month, and we want affiliates to be prepared to accommodate that growth.

Financial: We have found that doctors who are open, positive and flexible and committed to growth tend to see that in their returns. Because of these commonalities, we look for offices that have at least $800,000 in annual collections. Doctors seeking affiliation opportunities whose revenues are below that amount are always still considered, as all four of our criteria are evaluated separately.

Commitment: Ideally, doctors affiliate with no intention of discontinuing practicing at all but instead find value in us to support their growth. However in situations where doctors are seeking a long-term exit strategy we ask all affiliating doctors to commit to transitioning with the office for at least two years after affiliation. The success of an affiliation for an entire office stems from the doctor. A commitment on the part of the doctor furthers goodwill with the dental team and community.

At Heartland Dental, these factors help us determine valuation and potential fit. Making a good match, however, goes both ways. A potential affiliate should establish their own list of criteria to ensure Heartland Dental is a good fit for them. As you consider affiliation and look at your own criteria, know that our team is committed to answering your questions throughout the affiliation process.

We see ourselves as a source for knowledge in order to give doctors all of the information necessary to make their decision. Doctors considering affiliation can also speak to individuals in all parts of Heartland Dental, from operations to already affiliated doctors.

If you think your office would benefit from the Heartland Dental support model, or if you have questions about affiliating with Heartland Dental, we encourage you to connect with our team by calling 855-770-8560.