In my mind when I consider the heroes of dentistry, I think about G.V. Black, S.S. White, and Roy Smith.
I know he doesn’t go by the same cool initials as the forefathers of our profession, but you would just about have to hear him tell his story in his soft, Texas drawl to fully understand all the frontiers this humble dentist has trail blazed and conquered.
First, Roy got through pharmacy school. That wasn’t enough.
Then, Roy finished dental school and started his practice up solo in terrible circumstances and found amazing ways to grow it when most people thought he couldn’t do it. More about that later.
Then, Roy became one of the most efficient producers of general dentistry in the nation and managed a Texas-sized practice to the point that he was one of the most sought out advice-givers in our profession.
He has been on some of the biggest stages in the dental speaking world and had world famous consultants organize days where they brought tens of dentists into his practice just so they could get a glimpse of him. They bused them in. That wasn’t enough.
Then, Roy decided he wanted to learn something about sedating dental patients with oral conscious sedation. He became so good that patients flocked to his practice to the point that he was forced to hire associates just to do the overflowing general dentistry. That wasn’t enough.
Then, Roy wanted to learn how to help people who just couldn’t get relaxed even with the oral sedation, so he flew to New York and learned IV sedation, back when it was hard to find an IV course for a general dentist to take.
He came back and totally revolutionized his practice again. This time, he became so “in demand” for his sedation services, that he brought in nurse anesthetists to assist him. I saw his office running at this peak of perfection and, let me tell you, it was a sight to behold.
Imagine a pristine, hospital-type setting with associates and assistants buzzing around like bees. Amid all the business, Roy stood tall and calm. Methodically treating complex cases on sedated patients and talking to me just like we were on the banks of the Trinity River fishing.
Nerves of steel doesn’t really do it justice. Perfectionism? Yes, but that’s not a good word to describe Roy either.
Problem Solver Supreme. That’s a mouthful, but maybe that’s a better way to put it. Roy Smith will not ever stop looking for a solution to a problem for himself or his patients until he has found the perfect one. And then, he won’t stop until he achieves the answer, no matter the difficulty or the personal cost.
Heck, just recently, Roy found that he was torn by the desire to see his grandchildren more often, and the long drives across the Lone Star state were taking away too much of his precious time. Guess what he did to solve this problem.
He learned how to fly a plane and bought his own.
That’s the kind of guy Roy is. So, it shouldn’t surprise you either that when you learn that Roy finally decided that he should ease off into retirement, he looked at all the potential problems and decided to solve them ahead of time.
Did he want to sell to a corporation and just say that he’d put in his time and go play golf? Now, that just wouldn’t be Roy would it? Not that the corporation would necessarily be a bad owner of his practice, but his legacy wouldn’t live on in exactly the same manner in that setting, would it?
He could have just told the associates that they could have it for his big (and well deserved) price tag, or he would put it on the auction block for the highest bidder. And, there were many willing suitors salivating at the chance to get their hands on this flagship practice of East Texas.
No, Roy solved this problem in the way that only Roy would do such a thing. He set up a one-of-a-kind retirement plan that allowed him to step away, keep a very healthy income, and, most importantly, keep his handprint on the practice intact. It is still the amazing House that Roy Built.
I have managed to get Roy to agree to share his remarkable story at our Big Event this summer in Dallas. It was a tough sale, but I explained to Roy that I was having a problem finding speakers that I KNEW would give 100 percent and only have the attendee’s best interest at heart.
As you can imagine, Roy saw my problem. And solved it.