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The first guest on the podcast is Dr. Ben Rutherford, a dentist with a growing dental practice based in Topeka. Find out how he decided on this career later than most, how he took over a practice at 28, the challenges of running a business during a pandemic, and the lessons learned along the way. Plus he’ll throw in a few dental tips for kids and adults.

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Show Notes For This Episode

COVID-19 changed the way many business have to operate but it’s been a particularly tough challenge for the dental profession. Having to work in and around the mouths all day requires extra precautions for both staff and patients so it’s a pretty high-risk scenario during a pandemic.

We wanted to find out just how impactful the past few months have been for Ben Rutherford, D.D.S., and his team at East Topeka Dental Associates, so we asked him to be the first guest on the Small Business Big Deal podcast.

As a Topeka native, he has deep roots in the community and continues to stay very involved. So we’ll find out how he finds ways to manage his time but still focus on growing his business. He must be doing it pretty well because they’re in the middle of moving into a new office, which is always an exciting change.

The interesting thing about Rutherford, as you’ll learn, is that he didn’t decide to become a dentist until his sophomore year in college. His uncle was a local dentist and he spent time in the summer helping him out to earn extra money. After learning more about the profession and the career, he decided to pursue the same path.

He eventually moved on from school and into the field. At the age of 28, he found himself running a business and overseeing a staff that included an experienced doctor. He admits that the biggest challenge he faced early on is understanding the best ways to manage that team and it’s still something he’s still learning to this day.

A few of the things we’ll get into from the business side on the show:

  • Lessons learned
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Challenge of working on the business vs for the business

He’s also nice enough to share some dental tips so make sure you stick around to find out when children should start going to the dentist, which toothbrush to use, and the truth behind flossing.

If you want to learn more about his business, check them out at EastTopekaDental.com.

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Check out the first show by using the audio player above or click on the timestamps below to skip ahead to a particular segment.

[0:42] – The goals for this show.

[1:48] – Ben Rutherford, D.D.S is our guest today. Some background on him and his business.

[2:59] – Let’s start with what led you down the path of becoming a dentist.

[4:23] – What was your first year in the profession like?

[5:22] – What do you know now that you wish you knew then.

[7:01] – How do you find time to work on your business rather than for your business?

[9:44] – What effect has COVID-19 had on the business and what changes have you made

[12:39] – Continuing education opportunities.

[14:38] – How many employees across all of your locations?

[16:09] – What are the biggest problem areas for patients when it come to their teeth?

[18:12] – At what age should children start going to the dentist?

[19:31] – How important is flossing and how often?

[20:46] – Any toothbrush and toothpaste recommendations?

[23:06] – Best way to get in touch with East Topeka Dental

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