by Arselia Gales, assistant editor
photography by Roberto Gonzalez
Orthodontists spend most of their working hours in their practices, so they don’t get many opportunities to see what it’s like inside another doctor’s office. Orthotown’s recurring Office Visit profile offers a chance for Townies to meet their peers, hear their stories and get a sense of their practice protocols.
In this issue, we introduce Dr. Jason Battle, a longtime Townie and one of the most-followed members on Orthotown’s message boards. With two practices in the Orlando metro area, Battle has found his niche in a saturated market and focuses on treating his largely adult population with a combination of lingual orthodontics and clear aligners.
Read on to see how this young orthodontist transitioned from corporate dentistry to practice ownership and see how he used—and continues to use—the Orthotown message boards to guide him throughout his practice.
Jason Battle, DDS, CAGS
with 2 locations in Orlando, Florida
2,500 square feet and 3,500 square feet
Your uncle was a dentist, which led to you choosing a career in the dental field. Tell us about that and why you thought orthodontics was a fitting career choice for you.
I was drawn to the independence, art and science of dentistry. When I was 10, my parents bought a house from a dentist that had a full lab in the basement. I found it interesting trying to figure out why all the models didn’t fit together the same way.
How has Orlando’s orthodontic landscape influenced what you focus on in your own practice?
Orlando is a great town—everybody’s favorite vacation spot! It does have a transient population and has become a popular place for DSOs (and national chain restaurants). We’ve found our niche in treating adults and those who seek cosmetically focused orthodontics.
Tell us about your career after graduation. How has practice ownership been for you?
After graduation, I was an associate and worked in corporate dentistry, but I decided to open my own practice because I wanted more control over my time. I opened a second location as I reduced my time in corporate dentistry. Practice ownership isn’t easy! As an orthodontist for a corporation, I was responsible only for providing quality orthodontics. As a practice owner, I’m responsible for providing quality orthodontics, marketing and advertising, HR, revenue and overhead, and facility management. It’s a lot to take on and there isn’t much training for most of those roles.
How has your workflow changed since the pandemic? How did your office layout help—or hurt—you implement the new guidelines?
We’ve had to communicate with patients through email, text and phone calls more than ever. It has been somewhat of an adjustment, because my staff preferred communication by phone before the pandemic. But patients really like communicating through text and email, and I find it easier to do this during off-hours from home.
Our offices also have walls between each operatory, which helps in social distancing.
One of the benefits of practicing during a pandemic is that patients don’t demand to come into the office to discuss every minor issue, which lowers overhead a little. I believe flexibility is the key to success here.
You’ve been a Townie for more than 15 years and are one of the most active and most-followed members on the Orthotown message boards. How have you used the forums, and what do you enjoy most about the online community?
Dentistry (and orthodontics) can feel very isolated. Before message boards, practice owners would rarely communicate outside of dental meetings; now, I communicate with at least 10 practice owners per day. It has really evolved my thinking. Orthotown has been a big part of that! As newer and younger members join, the community continues to evolve. They bring special solutions to problems that I may overlook. It’s interesting to witness the perspective of orthodontists at various stages of their careers.
Wave Ortho PMS with
MacBooks and Mac Minis. This has eliminated the need for IT support and provides flexibility with digital charting chairside.
Trios 3Shape scanner. The fastest scanner, with direct connection to nearly all labs.
3M Clarity Aligners. Very comfortable, with excellent customer service and software.
3M Transbond and L-Pop. Superior results and bond strength.
PreXion 3D CBCT. A midfield CBCT that provides a minimal dose of radiation.
How do you stay up to date on the latest advances in orthodontics?
Along with attending the AAO annually, I attend orthodontic meetings all over the world to gain a different perspective for delivering orthodontics.
What does your patient population look like, and how do you separate yourself from other orthodontic practices in the area?
Half of my patients are adults and the other half of our patients are under 18. Our Phase 1 cases account for less than 5% of our practice. Our “specialty” within orthodontics is being mostly adult, cosmetically focused and hidden-from-view treatment.
What’s your favorite patient story?
A patient who was a wrestler in the WWE lost some teeth in a wrestling accident and we were able to return his smile to his past glory. I was a big wrestling fan as a kid. The two of us were able to make a crazy tag-team wrestling video, championship belt and all, which made my day!
What gives you the most professional satisfaction?
Running into a patient 10 to 15 years after treating them and finding out that they’re still wearing their retainer and loving their smile.
Your website says you’re known for “delivering amazing smiles” and “grilling amazing barbecue.” What do you enjoy the most about barbecuing?
Barbecuing is just an opportunity to create fellowship with friends and family. It takes some time to prepare, and your attention doesn’t need to be constantly focused on the cooking, as can be the case with some other meals. It’s a perfect way of catching up, having in-depth conversations and bribing people to spend some time with you that you may not have seen in a while.
What are your professional and personal goals for 2021? What do you hope the new year brings?
My professional and personal goals for 2021 are to travel more, both for continuing education and leisure.
What advice would you give to young orthodontists just getting started in the field?
Be unique! It’s easy to find someone who looks successful and try to copy them. However, the most successful orthodontic practices are those that express the owner’s personality. People are drawn to authenticity and once you find that, no one will be able to copy it successfully.
Be flexible and don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t just step outside of the box, live outside the box.
Always consider your molar occlusion before extracting teeth, and don’t turn a restorative problem into an orthodontic problem. Trust the skills of your high-quality local general dentists.