After growing up around dentistry his entire life, it was only natural for Dr. Christopher Green to work toward his very own license in dentistry. However, he took it step further and opened his own practice after moving from the Chicagoland area to Colorado.
The 2018 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree (shown below) decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Chris Green, and late grandfather, Dr. John Green Sr., and opened Green Dental Care in Parker, Colorado.
How it started
“My grandfather practiced dentistry for 50 years and my father and two of his brothers are both dentists,” Dr. Green said. “What really inspired me to become a dentist was watching my father and grandfather interact with patients. Their ability to cultivate relationships and make patients feel at ease is special.”
“When I was in high school and college, I helped as a dental assistant in my father’s practice. During this time, I learned a lot about different aspects of the profession and realized that dentistry was a passion of mine and that I would pursue dental school.”
“I found fulfillment in dental school when I realized I was working toward a goal that I was passionate about,” Dr. Green continued. “This drove me to work very hard as a dental student and that has carried over into life as a practice owner.”
Practicing for the practice
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s the same for Green Dental Care. Studying on the business aspects of dentistry is a must for future practice owners, according to Dr. Green.
“It comes down to always being a student in the profession,” Dr. Green said. “In the past, dentists were afraid to share their wins and failures with each other, but I don’t see that being the case.
“Podcasts, books and the abundance mindset that many dentists now embrace has changed everything. Podcasts especially have shortened the learning curve for so many dentists.
The information to build and grow a practice is readily available. It’s just up to the doctor to put the time in and make it happen.”
Facing the faults
Tough situations are only as difficult as we make them. Though the odds were stacked against him in building his practice, Dr. Green didn’t allow himself to sit around and wait until things sorted themselves out.
“During some of the delays in construction, [my team] focused on grassroots marketing, got systems in place and did everything possible to hit the ground running once the doors officially opened.”
“Challenges are always present,” Dr. Green continued, “but the way we interpret challenges is what makes them easy or difficult to overcome.”
Dr. Green is an engaged member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Colorado Dental Association (CDA) and the Metro Denver Dental Society (MDDS), but he explains the challenges of active participation in these organizations if a dentist has a strict schedule.
“There are many dentists who no longer believe in paying dues toward these types of organizations,” Dr. Green said. “It’s important to remember what the organizations have done to create many of the opportunities we take for granted as dentists.”
The ADA, CDA and MDDS offer many benefits for new dentists in the profession, such as assisting with continued education, providing up-to-date policies and regulations concerning dentistry, offering retirement plans and many more.
For every patient Dr. Green takes care of, he makes a donation to the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD). The NSCD creates opportunities for people with disabilities, including disabled veterans, to participate in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, skiing, horseback riding and kayaking.
At the NSCD open house this past September, Dr. Green had the chance to see adaptive sports equipment on display. He even got to try an adaptive sit ski to see what the experience was like.
“I was talking to the main coach at Winter Park [Ski Resort] and I found out that an entry -level sit ski costs about $3,000,” said Dr. Green. “The ones that are used in the Paralympics can run up to $20,000 or more.
“I was blown away by the price until I realized the money is really giving more people an opportunity to get out on the mountain and enjoy snow sports, which is something we all take for granted.”
“There are so many new trends, both clinically and from a practice management standpoint,” Dr. Green said. “I see many hungry young dentists eager to learn the business side of dentistry. Clinically, I think digital dentistry is really changing things by helping us provide more efficient and predictable care.
“I see our society moving toward more online scheduling. Our lives are so busy these days that often when patients think, ‘I need to get to the dentist,’ it’s already late at night and our offices are closed. The convenience of online scheduling allows patients to schedule at their convenience.”
Making time to shine
Routines are a must for someone with a strict schedule. Though Dr. Green hasn’t perfected his own routine yet, he commits to some activities to decrease stress.
“About five days a week, I will get up early enough to do some meditation,” Dr. Green said. “I write in a journal to reflect on life and then I work out.
“It’s always a work in progress, but this type of routine helps me clear my mind and win the day.”