Image of Courtney Lavigne in Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 photo shoot with her artwork.

Want to start a fee-for-service practice from scratch? Get a few pointers from this Massachusetts dentist. #ie40under40

A Self-Made Woman

After working as an associate in four different offices, Dr. Courtney Lavigne, DMD, FAGD, started a fee-for-service practice from scratch in 2014 (Courtney Lavigne Dentistry in Wayland, Massachusetts) in order to create a place where patients felt listened to and heard, and where she could have the freedom to use the highest quality labs and materials.

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“Today, my practice is largely referral-based, with a focus on cosmetic dentistry and full-mouth rehabilitations.”

The challenges of starting a fee-for-service practice

The Cambridge, Massachusetts resident discussed the challenges of starting a fee-for-service practice from scratch.

“Very few people thought it would work, especially being out-of-network with insurance in a new area where I didn’t have a built-in reputation. I followed the encouragement of my mentors who knew the quality and type of dentistry I wanted to provide wouldn’t work under the guise of insurance contracts, and I’ve never looked back.”

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She combined her favorite pastime in the mix.

“Interior design is a hobby of mine, so it was by far my favorite part of the start-up process. I love coming to a beautiful office every day that feels like mine, and patients recognize the attention to detail I gave every aspect of it.”

At 33, Dr. Lavigne has completed a Fellowship in the Pierre Fauchard Academy, a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry,  began writing for Spear Digest online and contributing content for Spear Education’s digital suite.

In organized dentistry, she serves as secretary and treasurer of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and as an Affiliate Committee member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Did we mention Dr. Lavigne was recently honored among the country’s best young dentists in the 2017 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40? (She’s shown above in NYC for the magazine’s annual 40 Under 40 photo shoot.)

How did she accomplish all this just a few years out of dental school?

Dr. Lavigne shared two secrets of her success with thedailyfloss.com:

  1. Prioritize the importance of advance continuing education at an early age, despite the cost

    “I quickly learned in private practice that single-tooth dentistry doesn’t fit my personality. I typically take around 150 hours of continuing education yearly in comprehensive dental care, esthetics and cosmetic dentistry, and occlusion. I have a particular passion for making dentistry beautiful and natural, whether it’s a front tooth or the furthest one in the back. I’ve found the course continuum at Spear Education and the annual meeting through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry to be the most valuable for me since graduation.”

  2. Becoming an educator early in your career.

    “I’ve started authoring articles in peer-reviewed journals, writing for Spear Digest online, and lecturing in the last two years. I was given amazing opportunities early on through some fantastic mentors. I feel a responsibility and a sense of duty to the profession to provide the same to others that are striving to continue to improve in their dentistry. “

Find more here!

Hear more firsthand, from Dr. Lavigne: http://www.courtneylavigne.com/

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Dr. Courtney Lavigne with members of the construction team during her practice build-out.

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