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Business Spotlight: Crafting Smiles

Innovative Dental is gaining local and nationwide attention with an array of oral health services and technology for results in one appointment

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Innovative Dental is in growth mode.

The 7-year-old practice, located in a medical office tucked off of National Avenue, is building a $14 million campus expected to be complete in September.

Innovative Dental’s second facility will be a two-story structure spanning 29,000 square feet to serve the practice’s 12,000 patients – a number that’s doubled in recent years. Just south of the Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital off of U.S. Highway 65, plans call for dental offices on both floors, several patient recovery suites overlooking a courtyard and an educational center in the west wing, where the Innovative Dental team plans to mentor other dental practices.

“We’ll invite groups to come observe the team culture, practices and some of the things we do differently that’s led us to being able to make such a difference in dentistry,” says Dr. Grant Olson, owner of Innovative Dental.

The practice offers a wide range of oral health services and utilizes technology to create same-day results for cosmetic dentistry. It specializes in preventative care, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and implants, Olson says, very rarely referring patients out of the practice for dental work.

“The large part of the cosmetic application of what we do is helping the people that need comprehensive care. They have misaligned teeth, missing teeth, broken, stained,” Olson says, “or maybe they know they need multiple components of treatment to put together the smile. Using technology to do that under one roof is pretty rare, and I think that’s what people are needing.”

Half of the patients visit Innovative Dental for general preventative care, says operations coordinator Brittany Gum, adding that many patients receive more than one service when visiting the practice. During their visits, patients can relax by watching flat-screen TVs hanging above the exam chairs, sip on a frappuccino or unwind in a massage chair.

Same day results
Innovative Dental uses technology to create a smile in a day’s time – a process Olson says has been known to take weeks.

When creating porcelain veneers, most dentists typically take an impression of teeth, send it to a dental lab and leave the patients wearing temporary restorations for several weeks, he says.

“What we’re able to do is cut out that process. We’re able to take the impression digitally and make all the restorations here,” Olson says, noting the practice has five machines on hand that lend to the process. “We can do a full mouth in a day, which is a unique treatment.”

Olson says the price tag is $70,000 for a milling machine, which creates veneers, bridges, crowns and other restorations out of a resin. The process typically takes one hour, according to the company’s website.

Springfield Dental Care also uses same-day techniques for veneers and restorations, while other local practices, such as Duff Family Dental LLC, Ascend Dental Design LLC and Buzbee Dental Clinic PC are among those that offer similar services for crown placement, according to SBJ research.

Cosmetic dentistry has been on the rise in recent years, according to research firm IBISWorld. Total revenue for the industry increased by $4 billion in 2018, and the number of businesses offering cosmetic dentistry has increased by 5,000 nationwide. The report points to declining unemployment and heightened disposable income in the United States, plus the milling machine and 3D printer technologies that make the procedures more convenient.

Marketing moves
Gum says 250 of the dental group’s patients are from outside of Missouri, coming from 32 states.

Olson says these patients mainly travel for cosmetic services because of his growing YouTube channel and Instagram accounts.

Innovative Dental has about 130 videos on its YouTube channel where Olson and the firm’s team talk about services available in dentistry. The channel had 60,000 subscribers as of press time. Potential patients can then connect with Innovative Dental to set up a virtual consultation through FaceTime or Skype.

“We sit there face-to-face through technology, and I talk about how I can help them, and it’s amazing the conversion. Two-thirds of them fly here to get care,” he says.

Savannah, Georgia, resident Latasha Summers is one of them. She flew to Springfield in December 2019 to get a full set of veneers, a bridge replaced, an implant and crowns from Innovative Dental after seeing Olson’s YouTube videos.

“I had been researching places for forever but couldn’t find the right fit for me,” Summers says. “There is a place here that offers same-day turn around, but my decision to go with Dr. Olson was him and his personality. ... I felt like he had the technology to accomplish what I wanted, and I saw his work and the reviews.”

Declining to disclose revenue, Olson says the company recorded 15% revenue growth in 2019. He says he’s more focused on tracking the number of 5-star reviews and the new patient count, adding that the goal for 2020 is to open the new campus off of U.S. Highway 65 with no impact on service quality.

“You can build a beautiful space, come up with cool ideas and be innovative,” Olson said. “If you don’t have a team to give that personal touch and caring connection with your patients, then it’s all at a loss.”

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