We’re kicking off our first Partner Spotlight of the year with Newfoundland based dentist Dr. Greg Elliott. We sat down with Greg to discuss his journey into dentistry, his practice teams’ commitment to giving back, and the importance of getting to know patients in close-knit communities.
Greg currently practices as Principal dentist at four practice locations across Newfoundland – Mount Pearl Dental, Elliot Dental Studio, Carbonear Dental, Southern Shore Dental.
Tell us about your journey into dentistry.
My journey into dentistry began in my second year at Memorial University with weekly shadowing of my mentor, Dr. Don Walsh. He was gracious enough to share his clinic and patient time with me as I watched over his shoulder for several years. One summer, he hired me to do all sorts of jobs around the clinic. Looking back at this time, I learned a great deal about the dental business.
Don acted as a reference for me for dental school. Upon graduating from Dalhousie University in Halifax, I moved back to Newfoundland. After working at a practice in downtown St. John’s with a very talented dentist, Don contacted me to come work at one of his practices. We worked together at Mount Pearl Dental for years, and I eventually took over his two practices and grew two additional clinics. It has been a full circle journey. Don and I still work together each week and I continue to learn from him.
What’s the best part about being a dentist?
For me, it’s interacting with patients of all ages. As a general dentist, I see a significant amount of paediatric patients, and I have watched these kids grow up for the past 14 years. Every patient presents with different problems, expectations and personalities, which keeps me on my toes.
How has your Partnership with dentalcorp impacted the way you practice?
Seven years ago, when my wife, Claire, took an OBGYN position outside of the St. John’s area, I knew things were about to get tough. When the opportunity to join dentalcorp was presented to me, I was initially skeptical. After talking to Partners in the network, it became clear to me that they could provide the help that I needed to run four clinics and start a family while Claire pursued her career aspirations.
The Partnership has also introduced me to top-tier practitioners within the network. These interactions along with access to continuing education programs have advanced my skills in treating patients. One example is my time spent with Dr. Gary Glassman, an internationally renowned endodontist, who took the time to share his knowledge with me on so many topics. Gary is always there to answer my calls, texts, etc. on any topic and I now consider him a friend. dentalcorp’s support throughout the pandemic has also been a tremendous help. The sourcing and pricing of PPE was a full-time job and access to their Procurement team and buying power helped us continue to operate while keeping costs down.
You’ve grown your practice into multiple locations across Newfoundland. What do you think makes your practices so successful?
People in Newfoundland originate from smaller communities where getting to know people is important. In addition to delivering exceptional patient care, we also strive to form deep, lasting relationships with our patients and their families. We believe in taking an interest in our patients and making them feel welcome to keep them wanting to come back and referring their friends and family.
Tell us about some of the local organizations you support and what giving back means to you.
Our practice teams are active members of their communities. We support several different groups in Newfoundland and in each practice region, from local sports teams to arts programs. We support a program associated with the Mount Pearl Sport Alliance, where we recognize an outstanding young student who exhibits hard work, generosity, and community spirit. We also support the local Kids Eat Smart program, which provides children the opportunity to eat breakfast at school each morning. We have also participated in dentalcorp’s charitable Give Back, Smile Back program that provides free dental care one day each year to local charity groups such as the Gathering Place, Momma Moments, Choices for Youth and the Association for New Canadians (ANC).
What advice do you have for emerging dentists in Atlantic Canada?
Get to know your patients and the communities you are looking after. Not only will it benefit your practice, but also you as a person. People want to get to know you. Let them. Take care of yourself. Your career can be long and fruitful, but only if you are healthy and happy. Find things that bring you joy, both inside and outside of work.