You’ll learn a lot during your residency, but you’ll learn even more when you’re in the real world. To help get you started, we reached out to our tops Docs and asked them for their advice and inspiration. We are happy to share with you these Words of Wisdom from our tops Docs.

Use the menu on the left to navigate through our four categories of advice: Practice Focus, Business Focus, Patient Focus, and Inspiration.

Ready to get started with tops? tops offers a substantial discount to new grads who are opening a new practice or buying an existing practice. For more information, contact Gretchen Hale at +1 770.627.2527 or ghale@topsOrtho.com.

Check out the Startup Checklist and Advice from Char Eash, CEO/Founder of Profit Marketing Systems South!

“Take as much risk as you feel comfortable with and just do it! Everything will work out just fine…”
Fernan RodriguezSmile Design Orthodontics

“Live like a resident for as long as possible and watch your bank account grow.”
Steve RicciRicci Orthodontics

“More offices with more doctors. The ability to share and access information makes this more viable.”
Dr. William CrutchfieldOrthodontics by Crutchfield

“Live below your means.”
Dr. Rick BallardBallard Orthodontics

“I should have visited even more practices before opening my own, asked more questions, and taken more pictures.”
Dr. Kate McCroryMcCrory Orthodontics

“Start conservatively but plan for growth.”
Dr. Denny JohnsonJohnson Orthodontics

“tops software! Start with the best and forget the rest!”
Dr. Kevin ChapmanChapman Orthodontics

“Start little. Don’t borrow a lot from the beginning. No need. Invest in your practice as you grow.”
“Get the best practice management system – topsOrtho!”
Dr. Elena BlackAppalachian Orthodontics of Lynchburg

“[I wish I had] Gone paperless earlier in my career. I never have to find a lost chart now!”
Dr. Thomas MerrillMerrill Orthodontics

“Graduate with little or no debt and then borrow to be totally digital.”
Dr. Ed AmleyAmley-McEntire Orthodontics

“Buy into an established practice instead of starting on [your] own.”
Dr. Dale WheelerWheeler Orthodontics

“As a new graduate, I was very nervous about dealing with parents and their influence made me question the right treatment options. DO NOT let them walk all over you. You are the BOSS, not them, and their opinions are based on google research.”
Dr. Steven ScottBrisbane Orthodontics

“Instead of opening an Ortho office out of residency, I would have looked harder for an associateship to work at for one year then opened a pedo/Ortho practice and hired a pediatric dentist.”
Dr. James VandeBergVendeBerg Orthodontics

“Become a partner or buy a practice or start your practice immediately. If you become an associate do not wait more than 1 year before the partnership papers are presented…It may never happen…”
“Set up your 401k and Pension Plan your FIRST day of practice…Do not wait.”
Dr. Michael V PalaszLititz Orthodontics

“Don’t get overwhelmed by the to-do list. Prioritize, and pick things off one at a time and it will get done. Don’t be an empire builder. Do the good dentistry and the money will follow. No Kidding.”
Dr. Keith KingKing Orthodontics

“Don’t settle: don’t accept a position because it is expedient, instead continue to seek out the opportunity that feels “right” for you.”
“I was an associate/employee for many years while trying to grow my practice. I wish I had made the transition to my own office sooner.”
Joseph A Persichetti, DMDJoseph A Persichetti, DMD PC

“It will all work out. Work towards paying down your student debt but know that it will be ok!”
“Visit more offices before opening my own. Gathered ideas from other offices.”
Dr. Camden BrownCamden Brown Orthodontics

“Evaluate what you are doing.”
“I would have moved to Canada sooner.”
Dr. Edsard van SteenbergenEVS Orthodontic Clinic

“Build a practice from scratch earlier.”
Dr. Silas DudleyDudley Smiles

“Go into a successful practice instead of a turn-around situation.”
Dr. Scott SmoronSmiles by Smoron

“Live lean your first years out to jump start your retirement savings!”
Dr. Thomas MerrillMerrill Orthodontics

“You have learned how to move a tooth, that is easy, now learn how to manage a practice and be good at it too! Enjoy the process while you are at it!”
Fernan RodriguezSmile Design Orthodontics

“Take more business classes, try to avoid highly competitive markets, and get lined up with a highly qualified dental specific accounting firm.”
“Obtain much more understanding about the insurance processes- maybe through webinars, meetings, conference calls, etc.”
Anthony DitcharoDitcharo Orthodontics

“Find a mentor or advisor that you trust and admire.”
“Learn everything you can regarding marketing.”
Steve RicciRicci Orthodontics

“Try to create your own original signature and don’t copy other people’s marketing. What works for them might not work for you. Stay true to yourself and you will be successful.”
Dr Mahya FarniaSonrisas Orthodontics

“The latest greatest technology doesn’t always pay for itself, be sure you have a plan to regain your investment before diving in.”
“[I wish I had] Save[d] more for my kids college, started saving earlier.”
Dr. Kent StarlingStarling Orthodontics

“Get rid of not so helpful employees.”
Dr. Rick BallardBallard Orthodontics

“Study Biomechanics, Growth & Development, Surgery, use technology.”
Dr. Denny JohnsonJohnson Orthodontics

“Ask for advice from dental consultants sooner. You are too poor not to do that!! They help you grow so much faster that it’s not worth trying to reinvent the wheel by yourself.”
Dr. Elena BlackAppalachian Orthodontics of Lynchburg

“Although early with tops, Damon, and Invisalign, I should have invested more in technology and less in a local bank.”

“Stick to your knitting! As Warren Buffet advises: ‘…put your investment dollars in businesses you understand and know most about…’ i.e. your practice.”
Dr. Ed AmleyAmley-McEntire Orthodontics

“Read more about business/staff management during residency.”
Dr. Neal Patel Orthodontic Associates

“Find good people and keep them.”
“Evaluate a practice by the people who work there.”
Dr. Scott Smoron Smiles by Smoron

“Live lean your first years out to jump start your retirement savings!”
Dr. Thomas MerrillMerrill Orthodontics

“You have learned how to move a tooth, that is easy, now learn how to manage a practice and be good at it too! Enjoy the process while you are at it!”
Fernan RodriguezSmile Design Orthodontics

“Take more business classes, try to avoid highly competitive markets, and get lined up with a highly qualified dental specific accounting firm.”
“Obtain much more understanding about the insurance processes- maybe through webinars, meetings, conference calls, etc.”
Anthony DitcharoDitcharo Orthodontics

“Find a mentor or advisor that you trust and admire.”
“Learn everything you can regarding marketing.”
Steve RicciRicci Orthodontics

“Try to create your own original signature and don’t copy other people’s marketing. What works for them might not work for you. Stay true to yourself and you will be successful.”
Dr Mahya FarniaSonrisas Orthodontics

“The latest greatest technology doesn’t always pay for itself, be sure you have a plan to regain your investment before diving in.”
“[I wish I had] Save[d] more for my kids college, started saving earlier.”
Dr. Kent StarlingStarling Orthodontics

“Get rid of not so helpful employees.”
Dr. Rick BallardBallard Orthodontics

“Study Biomechanics, Growth & Development, Surgery, use technology.”
Dr. Denny JohnsonJohnson Orthodontics

“Ask for advice from dental consultants sooner. You are too poor not to do that!! They help you grow so much faster that it’s not worth trying to reinvent the wheel by yourself.”
Dr. Elena BlackAppalachian Orthodontics of Lynchburg

“Although early with tops, Damon, and Invisalign, I should have invested more in technology and less in a local bank.”

“Stick to your knitting! As Warren Buffet advises: ‘…put your investment dollars in businesses you understand and know most about…’ i.e. your practice.”
Dr. Ed AmleyAmley-McEntire Orthodontics

“Read more about business/staff management during residency.”
Dr. Neal Patel Orthodontic Associates

“Find good people and keep them.”
“Evaluate a practice by the people who work there.”
Dr. Scott Smoron Smiles by Smoron

“Take as much risk as you feel comfortable with and just do it! Everything will work out just fine…”
Fernan RodriguezSmile Design Orthodontics

“Use the Two-Three years to learn and question as much as you can. Never stop asking questions. There are always different ways to treat a patient.”
Dr. Harold O. Enoch

“Be open-minded and don’t be an idealist.”
“Read as much as you can and learn lots of different techniques.”
Dr Mahya FarniaSonrisas Orthodontics

“All you hear now is that this is the worst time to begin your orthodontic care. I could not disagree more. Now is the best time to begin your orthodontic career. Digital orthodontics, advanced diagnostic capabilities, information systems and all other technology will take orthodontics to another level. It will be exciting to be a part of it.”
“My orthodontic program director said, ‘A successful orthodontic practice is not based upon the patients you treat, but the patients you don’t treat.’ This seems to still ring true after 30 years.”
Dr. William CrutchfieldOrthodontics by Crutchfield

“Be patient with yourself and your practice growth.”
Dr. Rick BallardBallard Orthodontics

“Choose your best mindset daily.”
“Visit as many practicing orthodontic offices as you can multiple times to learn how they function.”
Dr. Kate McCroryMcCrory Orthodontics

“Be honest, sincere, and confident. Do not sell, but believe in yourself and that you are a bargain. Don’t press or push. Your confidence will show through.”
Dr. Michael Lanzetta

“Befriend an older doc to mentor you along the way!”
Dr. Thomas Merrill Merrill Orthodontics

“Never be afraid to ask for help.”
“Be patient while building your practice, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Dr. Neal PatelOrthodontic Associates

“Enjoy the break. Go on a great holiday even if you can’t afford it.”
Dr. Steven ScottBrisbane Orthodontics

“Don’t be afraid to admit to your colleagues you don’t know what you’re doing. Ask for advice a lot.”
Dr James VandeBergVendeBerg Orthodontics

“Work hard.”
Dr. Eric LeberLeber Orthodontics

“I have had my share of failures, and in the grand scheme of things they are not catastrophic, and are great learning opportunities. Don’t take yourself too seriously, you will make mistakes and you will need to sincerely say sorry, but most of all don’t regret the experience, rather learn from it.”
“Pushing yourself until you feel uncomfortable means you are on the right track.”
Dr. Keith KingKing Orthodontics

“Love your work cause you have the best profession on the planet.”
Dr. Jeffery RoederRoeder Orthodontics

“Be proud of all you’ve accomplished and thankful for the great career you are about to embark in. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to smile!”
Dr. Camden BrownCamden Brown Orthodontics

“Enjoy your co-residents, because for many of you it is the last time you will be working alongside your colleagues. Many times when you are in private practice you are all alone at the top, with no one else to go to during the day to discuss cases, etc.”
“You control your attitude, so always strive to have fun!”
Dr. Silas DudleyDudley Smiles