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The Business of Dentistry: An Interview with Dr. Tarek Aly

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Issue 156, Issues | 0 comments

A periodontist with a passion and talent for business development and management, Dr. Tarek Aly transitioned from practicing dentistry to becoming a business owner whose companies support other dentists' businesses....

A periodontist with a passion and talent for business development and management, Dr. Tarek Aly transitioned from practicing dentistry to becoming a business owner whose companies support other dentists’ businesses. By combining his dental and business expertise, Dr. Aly fulfills his family’s dream for him and his vision for himself, all while providing valuable business support for fellow dentists.   

 

Dr. Tarek Aly, BDS, MBA, CVA

Dr. Tarek Aly is the co-owner of two businesses: OrthoDent Management LLC and Modern Smiles LLC, both based in Texas. He began his career in dentistry, although his true calling was business. 

“I’m from Egypt. When you have Egyptian parents, you know you don’t negotiate with them. They wanted me to be a doctor like them and my brother, so I joined dentistry to please them. I fell in love with the dental field after I joined it,” he shared.

Dr. Aly received his dental degree from Alexandria University in Egypt, followed by a periodontal residency. He took his board exams at Tufts University in the U.S. and earned an MBA and CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst).

 He settled in the U.S. in 2007. That same year, he stopped seeing patients and focused on business that supports the dental field.

 “I’ve always been fascinated by business and how some business disciplines can enhance people’s lives. And I’ve wanted to make the dental industry much more effective, efficient and patient-centric,” he explained.

 

Getting the Word Out

“I don’t practice dentistry anymore, even though I love dentistry,” Dr. Aly said. “Instead, I’m focused more on enhancing the practice world and the industry in general. I feel like I can have a lot more impact by doing that.”

Dr. Aly has produced and co-produced several written publications and videos, such as the article ‘The 6 Steps of Practice Mergers and Acquisitions‘ and the videos ‘Flying, Driving and the Importance of Key Performance Indicators in Your Dental Practice‘ and ‘Accelerate Your Growth with Associate Alliances: The Science of Systems and a Culture-First Mentality.’ He is currently writing a book about enhancing dental groups.

He also enjoys delivering speeches at dental conferences, seminars, webinars and other organizations serving the dental industry.

.“Sharing the knowledge with other dental professionals enhances the industry,” Dr. Aly explained. “The biggest winner is the patient. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.”

 

The Business Side 

Dr. Aly is using his combined dental and business knowledge to help bridge a gap in many dental practices. 

In an interview with DEO Magazine, he observed that dentists do not learn about business, such as marketing, accounting, finance, strategy and operations. 

Dr. Aly believes that neglecting the business side of the practice is detrimental. Taking care of business produces less waiting time, happier team members, efficiency and the best quality patient care. Good business ultimately benefits patients.  

“The elevated patient care — patient-first and staff-first mentality — looks like affordability for the public. We know that dentistry is expensive. As the economy deteriorates or fluctuates, people are forced to decide: Should I take care of this tooth, or should I pay my rent? So, I think there should be a wide movement of making healthcare and specifically dentistry readily affordable for everyone,” he explained.

 Dr. Aly pointed out that this is especially important because dental health correlates with overall physical health. Conditions such as heart or kidney disease can be associated with dental problems. 

 

OrthoDent

Dr. Aly compared the goals of practicing dentistry and those of his current business activity. 

“Back then, it was mainly about enhancing clinical care and how to best serve the patients. Now it’s how to support the dental offices on a mass scale so that they can help the patients on a bigger scale. So instead of having an impact on 10 to 20 patients a day, I’m now affecting tens of thousands of patients a day,” he shared.

OrthoDent is a dental support organization built for dentists by dentists. OrthoDent’s team has the dental experience to thoroughly understand what it takes to run a dental office and how to manage it with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Member practices maintain their unique identities and can stay focused on providing high-quality, affordable patient care.

OrthoDent and Dr. Aly’s other business, Modern Smiles, comprise 20 locations, with a recent merger netting 82 locations. 

 

The Best of Both Worlds

Dr. Aly envisions a future with increased dependency on automation.

“There is a big movement for automation using technology, AI machines and software to enhance the quality of patient care,” he said. “It minimizes human interaction, which is trending due to COVID-19, there is a labor shortage, and the accuracy in automation is increasing while inaccuracies and costs are decreasing.”

But whether patients encounter automation or real people during their visits, the goal is always the same. 

“With every patient, you can see in pre- and post-treatment a dramatic difference. They’re smiling, more outgoing, wanting to socialize with others. But it’s not just the smile that makes the difference. It’s a whole behavioral change that family, friends and loved ones notice,” he explained.

 With the help of OrthoDent, dentists can put in place sound business practices and attain a higher level of efficiency, producing benefits that dentists can pass on to their patients, such as less waiting time, lower costs and an overall positive experience. 

Also, with sound business practices and the efficiency this affords, dentists have a better chance of making dentistry readily affordable for everyone. 

“It doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be high-quality care of the health of the patients,” Dr. Aly concluded.

 Dentists with both the best techniques and business practices will give patients the greatest chance at the best possible experience and outcomes.

Gaye Newton
Gaye Newton