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Dr Gustavo Vivaldi on moving to Australia and starting again

Despite his experience in his home country of Brazil, Dr Gustavo Vivaldi had his work cut out for him when he moved to Australia with his family.

  4.5 minutes

Dr Gustavo Vivaldi had a great business and growing reputation as an educator, but he couldn’t stay away from private practice. “I like teaching,” he says, “but I love transforming smiles. That is me. Some people are driven by money, some people are driven by status. I’m driven by delivering the best possible results. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t practising, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable teaching if I wasn’t practising.”

The problem was, as a relatively recent immigrant from Brazil, Dr Vivaldi still had to sit his accreditation courses to practice in Australia (as is the rules for every immigrating medical professional), even though he could find plenty of demand for his orthodontics knowledge. “It was quite challenging,” he says. “When I left Brazil, I was one of the top Invisalign doctors there. Fortunately, through that connection, I met a lot of great and kind people in Australia that helped me with the process. When I arrived, I started doing accreditation courses for dentists to start working with Invisalign. However, it was hard starting from ‘level one’ again.”

He started helping other orthodontists and dentists to treatment-plan their cases using Invisalign software. What began as an ad hoc arrangement grew into a business called The Ortho Partners, and he started receiving invitations to address conferences. Meanwhile, he and his wife Patricia, also a dentist, went about re-establishing their qualifications. “Patricia got her accreditation in 2014 and I got mine in 2015,” he says. “Since then, we worked in other practices, for other people. I wanted my own place, but we were establishing our family here and I accepted it might take a little longer because of this.”

Then COVID hit, and in Dr Vivaldi’s words: “It triggered me—I realised I cannot be in someone else’s hands.” 

Time to move

Dr Vivaldi trained and established his first practice and his reputation as an orthodontist in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba. Here, he established himself as one of the top ten Invisalign doctors in the country. Even though his career was flourishing, he was increasingly uncomfortable raising a family there.

“There are political problems and unrest there,” he says. “It is not a safe place. For instance, my daughter’s first time riding a bicycle in a park was when she was seven, after we moved here. We never felt comfortable taking them out to the park, and just wanted to give them better opportunities.”

When looking at their options for obtaining skilled migration visas, Australia and Canada were the two possibilities. Dr Vivaldi had come here as an exchange student when he was 18 and felt like he knew the place and the culture.

When the COVID lockdowns started, he saw an opportunity to regain a bit of control over his own destiny. “At that time, a lot of businesses closed in the CBD,” he says. “I had always wanted a practice in the CBD so I thought that would be the perfect time because I knew there were a lot of vacant properties. That’s when I made my move.”

Looking ahead

He found a place in a small laneway at the bottom of the Arc building in the centre of Sydney. It was a former restaurant site, surrounded by cafes, apartments and offices, so full of potential for growth. Finance came from BOQ Specialist after dealing with them a few years before. “Right after I got my qualifications, I bought my first 3D intra-oral scanner and I financed it with them. I thought they were—and I still believe they are—the leading bank for dental practitioners.”

“Dr Vivaldi came to us in September 2021,” recalls BOQ Specialist’s Luke Truscott. “He had been working in different locations across Sydney and he had a vision for having his own practice.”

Luke says BOQ Specialist could recognise Drs Gustavo and Patricia Vivaldi as an ideal fit for the bank. “Gustavo was working at a number of different practices, so had a patient base. He also had his Ortho Partners business, which was where the dentists get help on their orthodontic cases. Finally, he’s a Diamond Invisalign provider, which is the highest level you can be.

“So from our point of view, this was a strong transaction as we had two professionals, a husband and wife team, with strong qualifications and a good and growing business.”

“They are a great example of how BOQ Specialist was still supporting clients through a period of setting up a new practice during COVID.”

Vivaldi Smile Artisans opened in June of this year. Now he has his own dream practice, Dr Vivaldi is focusing on organic growth. “Our aim is always to strive for the best customer service and up-to-date treatment modalities,” he says. “In the future, we want to grow from the excellent work that we will be providing, not just with orthodontics, but on the cosmetic and dental side of the business with Patricia. We do have a lot of experience and have undertaken a lot of training so by combining our knowledge, I believe we can help our patients to get a better outcome in the end.”


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