Through our Dental Spotlight Series we are taking the time to highlight successful professionals in the dental industry. If you’re an aspiring practice owner, or a current dentist looking for your next big move, we hope you gain some valuable advice from these successful individuals and their stories.
Michael Stapleton, DDS
Where did you grow-up and what is special about your home town?
I grew up in a small town east of Houston, called Dayton, Texas. Dayton is a really tight knit town, with very high community involvement. In fact, my senior year in high school, we played our state championship football game in the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas. The city was practically a ghost town, almost everything was shut down.
Why did you decide to become a dentist?
I decided to become a dentist to improve peoples confidence through cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry is an art that can completely change the way a person carries themselves.
Where did you go to dental school and when did you graduate?
I went to dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. One of the most prestigious dental schools in the nation. I graduated in 2016.
Who is/was your mentor?
My mentors are my parents. Both of them grew up in poverty and received no secondary education. They are now both in high level positions at their companies and have been happily married for 30 years. Truly role models. I was the first person in my family to go to college and took it to another level by going to dental school, and I could not have done it without their guidance.
What is your favorite dental instrument? Why?
My favorite dental instrument is the Bisco NB anterior. It is a gold plated anterior composite instrument that is named after Nasser Barghi. One of my dental school faculty, a great cosmetic dentist!
How do you like to relax?
I like to relax at home with my wife with a glass of Malbec and a good movie.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I feel my greatest achievement was getting my own practice! Having a business that you shape to fulfill your vision is very rewarding. It was my lifelong goal ever since deciding to become a dentist.
What do you most look forward to doing in retirement?
I look forward to traveling with my wife during retirement. The world is a beautiful place but is very large. I would love to try and see as much of it as I possibly can.
What is the biggest challenge facing dentistry?
The biggest challenge facing dentistry is corporate dentistry. The major goal of most corporations is profit. Profit at corporation level is achieved by taking advantage of the consumer and the employees. Corporate dentistry is running private practices out of business.
What is the best advice you’ve received for your career?
The best advice I have received during my career, is: “Just do good dentistry.” As a practice owner, this is the primary goal, everything else is secondary. When you do good dentistry, your business will prevail in the long run. Everything will work itself out.
How do you make practicing dentistry fun?
I make practicing dentistry fun by getting to know the patients and by practicing areas of dentistry that I am interested in. I love cosmetic dentistry, so doing cosmetic procedures is always fun for me. And getting to know the patient on a personal level is really fun. You make great relationships and it makes the appointments a lot easier to look forward to, both for the patient and the doctor.
What advice would you share with someone looking to purchase their first practice?
The advice I would give to someone looking to purchase their own practice is to find a practice that has a retiring doctor that has similar personality and treatment ethics that you do. You want the transition to be as seamless as possible, retaining as many patients as you can should be your primary goal. This is best achieved when the new dentist is similar to the old dentist, as simply put.