Weathering the Storm

Doctor finds silver lining in Heartland Dental.

Dr. Richard Reinitz has learned to expect the unexpected through his more than 30 years practicing dentistry. As the owner of a private practice for most of those 30 years, the burden of handling and recovering from unforeseen trials always fell on him alone.

Dr. Reinitz began his dental career after graduating from the Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, DC, in 1982. He then completed several residencies, the last leading him to Houston, Texas, the state he chose to make his permanent home. After bouncing from one associateship to another, he decided to open his own private practice in 1986. His practice thrived, allowing him to acquire a second office in the same building in 1992. To manage the growth, he had hired several associates through the years. However by 2000, he was again practicing alone.

In 2007, demographics in Houston were changing, so to accommodate, Dr. Reinitz purchased a practice in nearby Pearland, Texas, with the intention of merging offices. Mother Nature forced the issue when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, damaging his Houston facility beyond repair. Reinitz's only choice was to practice out of Pearland and sell what was left of his dental office of 17 years.

"Being a Heartland Dental affiliate has made me happier and healthier and allowed me to take better care of my patients"Richard Reinitz, DDS, FAGD

Richard Reinitz, DDS, FAGD
practicing dentist at Dental Care of Pearland in Pearland, Texas

He persevered and again built up a successful practice in the new location. That success did not come without continuous challenges, however. Dr. Reinitz remembers, "Over the previous five to six years, I started noticing the changes in the dental industry. Full fee was evolving more to complete PPO, and insurances were controlling fees but doing nothing to help with costs. I was doing everything I could to manage but realized just how limited being an individual practitioner made me." He also wearily recalls spending weekends paying bills and invoices and researching technology, leaving him increasingly mentally and physically tired. On top of that, he felt he could not take time off, as every associate he brought in ended up producing less than they cost him.

Despite his reservations about leaving the office, he had promised his wife a trip to Europe, which she booked a year in advance, knowing how difficult it would be to tear him away from work. For the week he was away, Dr. Reinitz actually relaxed a little. That serenity ended abruptly when he returned. "I couldn't believe the disaster the office was when I got back even though I was only gone a week. It looked as if Ike had hit again. That is when I reached out to Heartland Dental."

After weathering not only Hurricane Ike but management and administrative headaches, Dr. Reinitz says Heartland Dental was the right thing at the right time for him. "I had originally been approached in 2009 after opening the Pearland office. Fear of the unknown caused me to hesitate to move forward at that time, but I am so glad I eventually made that call." He remembers the affiliation process as "painless, cordial and relaxed" and the meetings with the Heartland Dental team as "always just conversations―never feeling like a negotiation."

Now, with Heartland Dental as a partner, Dr. Reinitz is not only equipped to weather any storm that comes his way, he is discovering new horizons altogether. "I have all of the support I need, and that is also helping me do things I would never have been able to do before," says Dr. Reinitz. For example, Dr. Reinitz had the luxury to test out new equipment without having to commit to purchasing it. "I am looking into a new impressions system and Heartland Dental provided me with the tools to try it out. I would never have been able to convince a supplier to do that as a solo practitioner." He has already updated his office's technology to include VELscope, a new laser, loops and an intraoral camera, all items he considered out of his reach before affiliating.

Additionally, Dr. Reinitz has always put an emphasis on continuing education, taking 25 to 30 hours per year. He used to feel guilty taking time away. Now, he sees opportunity. "Taking time out of the office means you are not in the office producing. Now that I have Heartland Dental's support, I view it as investing in my education and my practice."

With Heartland Dental by his side, Dr. Reinitz now has nothing but clear skies. "Being a Heartland Dental affiliate has made me happier, healthier and allowed me to take better care of my patients. I know from past experience that as time goes on and challenges in the dental industry increase, things become more expensive for dentists. There's pressure to do more and more in less time, and the quality of care suffers. With Heartland Dental, those stresses are gone. They provide an environment where I can take care of patients the way I always have, providing them the utmost care. Our goals are synonymous."

For more information on what Heartland Dental can do for you and your practice, call 877-526-3989 or email Affiliation@Heartland.com.