Business

Dentist sells practice and heads to Harvard

  • Dentist DeVon Binns is selling DaVinci Dental Services so he can continue his dental studies (Photograph supplied)
  • Dentist DeVon Binns is selling DaVinci Dental Services so he can continue his dental studies (Photograph supplied)

After 11 years of making patients “open wide”, dentist DeVon Binns is selling his practice DaVinci Dental.

Next Wednesday, Aleesha Maybury will become the new owner of the business on Washington Street.

“It was a tough decision,” Dr Binns admitted.

But the change was necessary, because Dr Binns has received a Harvard University surgical dental implant fellowship in Boston, Massachusetts. For the next two to three years he will be taking an advanced course in implantology.

“Harvard University continues to be a world leader in the field of implantology and digital dentistry and I will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with giants in the industry on a daily basis,” he said.

“The fellowship matriculates just two residents a year from a pool of worldwide applicants, so getting accepted felt a bit like winning the lottery.”

When he returns he will have a more specialised practice that will be almost exclusively implant based.

His patients will have lost teeth due to things such as extreme bone loss, illness or accident.

“There is most definitely a need for this,” he said. “Implantology is headed towards becoming the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. I believe that just like the advancement of computers in our lives, implants will become a first option as opposed to second or third option for tooth replacement.”

He said traditional removable dentures are being phased out.

“In the next ten or 20 years almost all forms of dental restorations will probably be supported by implants,” he said.

Dr Binns said understanding the digital aspect of diagnosis and treatment will be an important part of his training.

When the 44-year-old was first in dental school he learnt a lot in two dimensional imaging, but now imaging is almost exclusively in three dimensions.

“Treatment can be a lot more predictable than in years gone by,” he said. “The speed we can fabricate prosthetics is a lot faster.”

He’ll be based near Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“Mass General is Harvard’s teaching hospital so I will have to do rotations,” he said.

As a teenager he was inspired by his godfather, dentist Vincent Bridgewater, to go into dentistry. When he finished his schooling, he worked for Dr Bridgewater for several years, before starting his own practice in 2008.

He feels the strongest thing about DaVinci Dental, was the doctor-to-patient contact.

“We tried very hard to make people feel special and comfortable in each treatment session,” he said. “We often got positive feedback.”

When he told his patients he was selling his business, they were upset he was leaving, but supportive of his educational plans.

He thanked his patients for their trust and support over the years.

“I also want patients to know that despite their universal reluctance to visit the office, usually verified with the quotidian ‘Doc, I like you, but I hate coming here’, that started most appointments, I gave them my absolute best each and every time they sat in my chair,” he said.

“I want everyone to know that I am not leaving them per se, but am simply adhering to my responsibilities as a healthcare provider for lifelong learning.”

Dr Binns also thanked his staff, and called them “unsung heroes”.

He is not nervous about going back to school, but thinks he will be anxious to get back to the private sector.

“But I know this is a small side step in order to go forward,” Dr Binns said.

He said he is leaving his patients in Dr Maybury’s “very capable hands”.

“She has 18 years of dental experience as a hygienist and ten years as a dentist,” he said.

Dr Maybury is now accepting new patients at DaVinci Dental. Children are welcome. DaVinci Dental will be offering all general dentistry, Invisalign and dental implants.