Bringing New Life into a Dental Office
Supported dentist rejuvenates practice
Gary Lindemann, DDS has practiced at the same location in Westmont, Illinois for 32 years. After graduating from Loyola University School of Dentistry in 1977, Dr. Lindemann immediately opened a private practice.
For 15 years, he owned and operated a successful practice delivering general and aesthetic dentistry. Dr. Lindemann has had several associates in the past, but in 2007 Dr. Lindemann brought Nichol Houston, DMD to his team. Admiring Dr. Houston’s ambition and caring, considerate manner, he knew she would be a great addition to the Unforgettable Smiles team. The practice continued to thrive until the economy began to weaken. That’s when the business Dr. Lindemann worked so hard to build began to flatline. To bring life back to his practice, he looked at other options. He also began to consider the idea that eventually he would be transitioning out of his practice and no young doctors would have the funds to buy a practice like his. Dr. Houston had previously practiced at a Heartland Dental supported office and talked with Dr. Lindemann about all the benefits this transition would bring to his practice. Because Unforgettable Smiles was already utilizing some of the same systems Heartland Dental used, Dr. Houston thought this was a favorable circumstance for the team. “I felt like it would be a great opportunity to see the office grow in terms of technology and services provided to the patients,” she said. “There were also opportunities to develop the staff, and this provided a great transition for Dr. Lindemann and for myself to continue his legacy once he retires.” Together they decided Heartland Dental was the most ideal transition strategy for them.
Three months before the affiliation process began, Dr. Lindemann sat down with his team and explained to them his decision to affiliate with Heartland Dental. “Naturally the team was a little nervous, because they didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “There were a lot of continuing education courses we all had to go through in the beginning, and the more we went to the courses, the more it brought us together as a team and made us proud to be supported by Heartland Dental. Team members became more than just employees; they became leaders of the practice.”
Gary Lindemann, DDS
practicing dentist at Unforgettable Smiles in Westmont, Illinois
On May 1, 2014, Unforgettable Smiles officially became a Heartland Dental supported office. According to Dr. Lindemann, after the transition he felt a rush of relief and excitement. He was more motivated and enthusiastic about his career, because Heartland Dental had taken the stress out of dentistry. The administrative and non-clinical duties disappeared, which alleviated many of his anxieties and brought the enjoyment back to practicing dentistry. Dr. Lindemann began to see the benefits of the transition immediately. His previous associate, Dr. Houston, became his partner, their team was eager to come into work and business grew by 25 percent in the year following. Dr. Lindemann has also been impressed with the marketing initiatives provided by Heartland Dental. Before Heartland Dental, he said his marketing strategies were expensive and not effective. Now, many marketing initiatives have been successful for the practice, including: direct marketing, newspaper advertisements, social media posts and even creating gift bags to bring to local establishments. Dr. Lindemann has practiced dentistry the same way for 32 years, but Heartland Dental has helped make adjustments that make communicating with current and future patients much more efficient and economical.
Dr. Lindemann experiences other benefits outside the office as well. He attends continuing education classes offered by Heartland Dental and appreciates being able to network and learn from other supported doctors. However, what’s one of the biggest benefits Dr. Lindemann has seen? Free time. He enjoys seeing his family and spending time in Florida, where he hopes to retire, playing golf and boating.
With Heartland Dental supporting Dr. Lindemann and the team at Unforgettable Smiles, he now feels more secure about the future of his practice. “Now that I’m being supported by Heartland Dental, I look back and know I should have done it sooner. If I would have known what I know now, I would have done it 10 years ago. There’s no worry. It’s wonderful to have people behind you knowing that they’re helping you out the best they can.”