By Christian Yaste, D.D.S. and Joe Hufanda, D.D.S.
We were introduced to Arrowhead Dental Laboratory. Our subsequent partnership—and total team training from Arrowhead—have made all the difference.
A doctor in Arkansas who had trained with Dr. Barnes at Arrowhead and was part of our group practice was doing a lot of what we would call “fun” dentistry. The group brought him to North Carolina to do an over-the-shoulder training course. Wow! We never saw so much complex dentistry done at one appointment, and so quickly.
We soon found out that if you have a system set up for doing crown and bridge/implant dentistry efficiently, then you can do a lot of it fast, without cutting corners. Well, we were ready to do all of this dentistry, but we didn’t know how our patients were going to pay for it. That’s where Tawana Coleman, who we affectionately call “mom,” came in. She showed us how to help people fit this kind of dentistry in their budgets and lifestyles by utilizing third party financing and other creative methods.
We started sending our lab work to Arrowhead Dental Laboratory shortly after our training with them. For the first time our lab was giving us constructive feedback about everything from our preparations to our impressions. It didn’t take much time to realize that most of the problems we ran into with the fit, occlusion, color match, etc. could easily be fixed. The techniques that we were shown for prep design, bur selection, impressions, bites, and temporization helped us hone our skills and make complex restorative dentistry more predictable and stress free.
Four years ago we decided to take it to the next level. We opened the doors to Ballantyne Center for Dentistry. We had reached the point where we had the confidence and experience to start our own fee-for-service practice. In Charlotte, two partners had never started a dental practice from scratch before. Our accountant just shook his head, but we knew with our background we could make it work.
Our mission was to reach people who really needed complex restorative dentistry. From the architectural blueprints to the amenities offered to patients, we designed our practice around making our patients as comfortable as possible. The goal was and is addressing our patients’ fears, assisting them by fitting dentistry into their budget, and restoring their smiles and confidence in a timely manner. This has enabled us to help more patients attain the type of dentistry they had only dreamed of in the past.
The training and lab work we receive through Arrowhead allows us to “deliver the goods.” Since our initial over-the-shoulder training, we have completed many other dental courses that the Barnes group offers including other over-the-shoulder courses, clinical hands-on, and total team training. Being dental management junkies, we have seen, heard, and read many ways to introduce patients to complex and comprehensive dentistry.
There was a time that we strayed from our initial training with Arrowhead and disappointment followed. After we reinstituted the essential methods taught by Tawana and got re-“Barnsified,” our production and case acceptance nearly doubled.
Our expected production goal for next year is close to $3 million between the two of us and our two hygienists. We know that much of our success stems from the relationships we have developed with Arrowhead and the individuals there who have been instrumental in supporting us. Specifically we would like to thank Dr. Dick Barnes, Tawana Coleman, Pat Steele, Sandy, Jolene, Kent, and Lamont. Also kudos to our awesome ceramic technicians!! ■
Christian Yaste and Joe Hufanda are both graduates of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and each has had extensive post-graduate training. Both are partners in the Ballantyne Center for Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Yaste is also a clinical instructor at the Carolinas Medical Center Department of Dentistry