Traditional Practice is Dead: Part 4

About a thousand paragraphs ago, I promised to give you the 3rd and best solution to retaining a significant piece of traditional dentistry. That is, the best solution at least by retaining equity ownership as opposed to being an employee at $100K. You got it: A COMFORT DENTAL partnership. We believe we’ve got the best of both worlds.

Each and every one of our 350 or so partners are equity owners in their own partnership from day 1. They have management influence in their practices. For those of you who remember, we are at our core, a bunch of Lean & Mean Group practices. Our partners earn an average of $358K net before taxes and debt service. Comfort partners keep as their income what corporate dentistry takes to buy practices and return profits to investors. We can easily handle today’s educational debt. Our overheads are in the low to mid 40’s. All our partners need are work ethic and a willingness to learn it my way, eschewing what ignorant dsi’s tried to tell them. We love dentists who are interested in the business of dentistry but if they aren’t, we teach them. Now here’s something I have never admitted openly until now. If just ONE of the 2-5 partners in a Comfort practice has management aptitude, his mentoring of the others along with my owner team’s support will yield a successful practice. We are the only all-dentist owned/all dentist invested (ok, a couple of local banks help us help our young partners) multipractice organization of size in the world. No Comfort partner works for anyone but himself . . . certainly NOT business suits. And NO QUOTAS!

Yet, we have economies of scale, branding, locations, marketing, mentoring, continuing education, and community service which are all superior to the best of corporate dentistry. We are more traditional than traditional dentistry and are never understood as such. We are BUSY. We saw 200,000 new patients in 2012 and collected $200M. And we are quite simply, the greatest dental opportunity in history. We are the closest thing to guaranteed success that exists in the profession. While we’re not your Father’s dental practice, we own our own future.
For all the reasoning described herein, recruiting is difficult for us as well. We still believe there are enough dentists out there who seek financial success beyond the $100K per year level and are willing to commit to what it takes to achieve 3-4 times that much. Please see partnership/ for information.

In conclusion, I may surprise you if I say how much I care about dentists and this crazy profession. Don’t get me wrong, a big part of me as a result of swimming upstream for 40 years is “blank you, I make X $Million per year and you don’t . . . you know, more in one year than you make in your career.” Let me tell you about $: Those who know me personally know that no one knows more painfully than I that $ can’t fix the most important things in life. Aside from that, multiple luxury homes, Bentleys, Ferraris, private jets, not doing clinical dentistry yet leading the finest dentists whenever I feel like it, $Millions in the bank IS REALLY FUN!!!!! All of us here at Comfort are on a portion of this path. We believe some dentists still have such goals and are willing to care for their patients with the love, availability and affordable fees as I always have, to get there. They will become Comfort partners.

Having said that: If you cut me open, you’ll see that I bleed dentistry, care about dentists and believe Comfort Dental Partners are the greatest dentists and finest people there are anywhere. And that my greatest professional regret is that I couldn’t make a bigger impact on the profession. I regret that what I have done for this profession will never be recognized by kdt’s and ignorant dsi’s who still have far too much influence on our youth. Next time you are frustrated with our profession, call a kdt or an ignorant dsi or call me. It’s your choice. Thank you my old friend Howard. rk


    • Rick Kushner

      Our 1-5 year partners average $285K. We have never calculated 1-year partner income but my guess is a few ticks above $225K. Please remember that most of our new partners are still NOT fresh grads.

  1. Nora Kinsley

    Hi Dr. Kushner,

    Last week, I came across a link to your blog via my school job board, and I cannot tell you how much I LOVE it. I wish there were more like this out there, so kudos to you.

    Some classmates and I were recently discussing next steps after dental school. Comfort Dental’s partnership opportunity pretty much sums up what most of us are looking for. I’ve shared your site with them.

    I look forward to reading more.


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