"After growing and expanding my practice to a certain point, it became overwhelming to handle, plus I wanted to establish a long-term exit strategy. HDC helped me address both of those concerns."
Ongoing success creates the necessity for ongoing growth, especially in dentistry. More patients create the need for more team members and more space. This was the case for Dr. Leo Wheat, who started out with a small practice, but went on to expand into several locations. In order to help manage this growth, Dr. Wheat turned to HDC.
Before venturing into dentistry, Dr. Wheat joined the Air Force as an Aircraft Mechanic and eventually became an Air Force Recruiter. While recruiting, he also went to school full-time, pursuing a biology degree. Upon graduation, he moved on to the Medical College of Georgia where he received his dental degree. About a year after graduating dental school, Dr. Wheat opened his first office. He also maintained his military affiliation, serving as a base dental surgeon with the Reserves for 22 years.
"My first practice was in a small house in Newnan, Georgia, with one assistant. That practice grew staff-and patient-wise, so we added another practice," explained Dr. Wheat. "Likewise, that practice expanded to the point where I was running four practices, with 12 dentists and around 50 employees."
The amount of time needed to support each of these successful practices was becoming a burden. So, Dr. Wheat began looking into avenues to help resolve this issue, and that's when he heard about Heartland Dental Care.
"After researching HDC and speaking with them, I liked what I was hearing and what they were doing in the dental industry, so I decided they would be the right avenue," said Dr. Wheat. "It was nerve-racking at first convincing our dentists and staff that HDC was the right opportunity for us. However everyone has been very impressed with their systems and emphasis on communication."
In May 2011, Dr. Wheat affiliated two of his four practices with HDC, Wheat Family Dental and It's a Small World Children's Dentistry. He is pleased and excited about the transition process. HDC's support has taken a lot of pressure off the business side of dentistry and provided new opportunities to help him enhance his practices.
"This opportunity has allowed me to practice dentistry again. Before, I was focused on the day-to-day operations of running the practices, but now I have time to make my patients top priority. This increased time has also allowed me to progress as a dentist. I can take advantage of HDC's continuing education courses and technology to explore new areas of dentistry and take my skills to the next level," said Dr. Wheat. "Heartland Dental Care has helped improve the quality of my personal life as well. I now have more time to spend with my family, and I can even go on vacation without my computer. With HDC I have time to stop and focus on what's truly important - family."
Having too much success and not enough time to manage it is a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. With HDC's assistance, Dr. Wheat can be a dentist again without the management burdens.