The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 was an all-time low for my practice. I was drowning in debt and production was down. I started looking at different options and was even contemplating filing for bankruptcy. I tried to refinance my loans to reduce my overhead but was turned down by the banks I applied with. The other options I considered were selling to a DSO or hiring a consultant. I was unhappy with the way things were and dreaded going to work every day. At this point I went to Avi Weisfogel’s International Academy of Sleep, Dental Sleep MBA course in Austin. The sleep program seemed like something interesting and possibly a way out of dentistry in the long run. I was excited about the possibility; however, I could not afford to enter the program at that time. That’s when Avi introduced me to his business partner KJ Sturhahn with Midnight Oil Dental Solutions.
KJ and I originally started talking about my practice and what they had to offer. As I previously stated, I had looked at options to include selling to a DSO or hiring a consultant. The way Midnight Oil works is a hybrid of the two. I get the support of a DSO, the insight of a consultant, but still maintain 100% ownership of my practice.
I was frustrated with the practice and the fact that we weren’t making any money. KJ explained to me I wouldn’t be able to move forward with the sleep program until the practice was profitable. He also explained that the reason dentists end up hating dentistry is not because of the dentistry, but the fact of working so hard and not making any money or having anything to show for it….that’s exactly how I felt.
I liked what I was hearing and decided to partner with Midnight Oil; the contract was signed September 28th.
D’Aunn and KJ came to the office for our first official visit. They were able to obtain all the information from the practice and within 1 day D’Aunn already had locked down where certain expenses were killing the practice and ways to fix it. It was very comfortable working with them and for the first time in a long time, I was optimistic about the practice.
Right from the start KJ and D’Aunn evaluated every detail of the practice and began implementing strategies to cut costs. With their contacts for dental supplies, the first order they placed for me saved me 33%. November was also the first time I was able to work with Midnight Oil’s consultant, Lori. She is absolutely fantastic to work with; very easy-going and extremely knowledgeable. She made an immediate impact by fixing issues in Dentrix like fee schedules and PPO adjustments that we had set up incorrectly. She began streamlining our scheduling process and training my front office staff. After feeling so comfortable meeting KJ and D’Aunn; now with Lori on board, I knew I had made the best decision ever for my practice by partnering with MODS.
I had the opportunity to visit KJ’s dental practices in Illinois and Iowa. During the trip, I was able to observe the efficiency at which he runs his offices; in particular, his hygiene department. They had already identified that my hygiene department was draining me financially. I knew this was the case, but didn’t know how to start going about a change. D’Aunn ran an ad for a hygienist that could work accelerated hygiene on a commission basis. Within the first 2 days we had 12 applicants! My optimism continued to grow as I knew we were moving in the right direction.
With the new year, MODS completely took over the financial aspects of my business by organizing everything on Quick Books, restructuring the way I was being paid, managing the budget and paying the bills. We found a great hygienist and were able to transition to accelerated hygiene halfway through the month. That alone has made a huge difference; we went from production of $51,000 in January of 2019 to nearly $88,000 in 2020!! Starting to see the results and knowing the projection of where we’re going has me extremely excited….and I even like going to work now!!
With the new hygienist on board and working accelerated hygiene, she is already producing more than the 2 hygienists I had working for me prior. The morale in the office has picked up and I’m really seeing a huge change in the office. This month we more than doubled the production from 2019!!
One of the things KJ had talked about early on was the ability to get my practice loans refinanced; which I tried to do on my own but couldn’t qualify. This would be a game-changer for my practice because refinancing will drastically cut my overhead and make us much more profitable. Through his contacts, KJ was able to get me to terms on a refinance that could potentially drop my monthly payments from $22K/month to $6K/month; an annual savings of $180,000!! The deal should finalize next month. Incidentally….March 2019 production was $47K; this year as of the 11th of this month we’re already projected at $87K.
To go from desperation and apathy to hopeful, optimistic, and enjoying work again is priceless….and this is just in 6 months of working with Midnight Oil.
Thank you KJ, D’Aunn, and Lori!!
End of March 2020
My last entry came just prior to the COVID 19 shutdowns. Our trajectory was on a great path for March and April thanks to Midnight Oil; however, the end of March started the shutdowns. The projected $87K in March was curtailed; we ended up finishing at $69,504. Even with that, we still surpassed the $47,529 from 2019.
This is the first full month of the shutdown. Thankfully, here in Texas we were never completely shut down. We were at least able to treat emergency patients, which kept us going through the ordeal; yet, still at a very small capacity.
Thanks to Midnight Oil’s expertise, we were able to remain open safely and still deliver safe, quality care to those patients with dental emergencies. This month was our hardest hit; yet with the massive shutdown, we were still able to collect $33,514 by the month’s end.
At this point we are still seeing emergency patients only, but by month’s end, we still collected $45,632; which barely missed topping the mark in May of 2019 at $45,848!
By now we are returning to full capacity. At first, it was slow, as patients were still leery about returning to the dentist for routine care. By month’s end; however, we finished at $86,017 in collections, which blows away 2019’s final collections of $45,452….despite the new situation we find ourselves in!!
By now the momentum is building. We were able to bring our staff back to full capacity and I brought my Associate Dentist on full-time. Keep in mind, that I only operate a 4-op practice. With my hygienist working accelerated hygiene out of 2 rooms; with my associate on full-time, that only leaves two practicing dentists with 1 op each. However, with the new growth starting, this was the perfect opportunity to bring her in full time and start growing her practice within mine. Midnight Oil saw this opportunity and encouraged the growth.
By month’s end we finished at $92,774.65 in collections, which eclipsed the $49,903.49 from 2019. The amazing thing was the 65 new patients recorded this month!
We hit the ground running in August. My Associate is now developing a strong foundation. Our monthly goal has always been $100K; with an amazing 83 new patients this month, we were able to finish the month with $115,985.83 in production!!
As I had previously mentioned, before the shutdown we were working on a refinance. With COVID, banks were so focused on EIDL and PPP loans that this process was completely put on hold. Despite that, with Midnight Oil now controlling my finances; and with their access to discounted rates on dental supplies, we were able to pay off some debt, decrease overhead, and get us into a positive cash-flow situation.
By far the biggest month in my 5 years of practice at this location. In September of 2019, I produced $72,815; but that pales in comparison to 2020’s $118,083!!
For the first time in a long time, I was able to deliver a bonus to my staff!!
At this point the only problem we currently have is not enough space in my 4-op office. My Associate is now looking at becoming a partner and we have started putting in plans to add an additional 6 operatories to the office!
Coming off the biggest month in my practice’s 5 years, we had a new opportunity arise. Rather than building onto my current practice, we now have the chance to purchase a second practice and grow that way instead. When this opportunity arose, KJ and D’Aunn put everything on hold to drive from Illinois to Texas to view this new possible venture. Thankfully, I now have someone with the expertise to help in making the right decisions and negotiating for me moving forward.
Last October was the first month I started with Midnight Oil and we finished at a commendable $91,548; however, to date we are now projected at $93,949….and we are only halfway through the month!!
Prior to starting with Midnight Oil, I was completely disenchanted with dentistry and owning my own practice. I was prepared to sell my practice and find another career. Their initial injection gave me hope….then COVID hit. They helped carry me through the worst time in our nation’s recent history. With their help, my practice survived, and is now thriving. With Midnight Oil by my side, I have not only renewed my love for dentistry, but am excited to own my practice and have all the confidence in the world moving toward the purchase of a second practice.
None of this would have been possible without the partnership of Midnight Oil Dental Solutions and the expertise and friendship of KJ, D’Aunn, Lori, and now Randy.
Teaming with them has truly been lifechanging!!
If anyone has any questions of the validity of this testimonial, please feel free to contact me personally!
Brandon Pack, DDS
Frontier Family Dentistry
315 13th St
Bandera, TX 78003