Robert “Pete” Pickron was born in Tampa, Florida and attended University of Florida, Emory University School of Dentistry, and University of Alabama for Orthodontic training. Graduating in 1967 at the age of 26, he established a practice in Atlanta, GA with 1500 sq ft and 3 chairs. He expanded after 5 years to an 8 chair clinic. His practice continued to expand and he opened a satellite practice in Lilburn Ga with 10 chairs.

Direct advertising was frowned upon by the dental community at the time, but Dr. Pickron found a new and untapped source of ready and easy-to-treat cases. He continued to expand in the Atlanta area, utilizing dental offices to expand. He utilized local dentists and recent graduate orthodontists to assist him. He tried to maintain control of treatment by personally seeing the patients every third visit.

His childhood association with Dr Gasper Lazzara created an opportunity to setup a practice in a pedo office in their hometown of Tampa, FL in 1980. Advertising a lower fee along with no down payment created an opportunity to access an untapped segment of the population that was not included in the orthodontic patient population at the time.

Practices exploded in both Atlanta and Tampa, and soon money was available to expand into both markets. Full-service dental centers were opened in regional malls in 1982. 17 dental centers on the West coast of Florida and 5 in Atlanta soon followed.

In 1987, with the birth of another son and the adoption of a daughter, to add to his family, Dr. Pickron decided to focus only in Atlanta. His practice continued to grow in size and coverage.

He noted the success of Orthodontic Centers of America in 1994 by Dr. Lazzara, and in 1997, decided to put together a rollup of successful orthodontists into a public company, to be known as OrthAlliance. The company consisted of 55 founding orthodontists in 147 offices in 16 states, and was listed on the Nasdaq.

OrthAlliance was eventually merged with Orthodontic Centers of America in 2003. Dr. Pickron purchased his practice from OCA in 2005 and continued to expand in Atlanta, eventually having 23 locations and 10 associate orthodontists with revenues of $15M.

In 2011, at the age of 70, he sold Pickron Orthodontic Care to a private equity group and retired. He spends his time, part-time consulting and part-time fishing, maintaining a home in Atlanta and Key Largo, FL.

Tune in to this episode to learn about:

-Efficiently running multiple practices without compromising your core values
-The future of orthodontic practice – DSO and private practice
-Tips for practices big and small
-Advice for new graduates

This episode is sponsored by The Aligner Intensive Fellowship

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