Finding the perfect country dental practice

Moving to the front line of Australia’s regional dental crisis has given dentist Dr Shayne Scott a place to call home.

  6 minutes


From Zimbabwe to Victoria via Western Australia, Dr Shayne Scott found herself on the front line of Australia’s regional dental crisis—and she couldn’t be happier. 

Her surgery, RP Dental, is based in the rural border town of Wodonga, 300kms north-east of Melbourne. RP Dental currently has five staff, including two dentists—one of whom is the previous owner. The minute she moved to Wodonga to work there, Dr Scott says, she applied for, and was awarded a partial grant for capital works and infrastructure from RHWA through the Dental Relocation and Infrastructure Support Scheme (DRISS).

She’s planning on using that money, along with some financial help from BOQ Specialist, to modernise the practice.

Renovating a country dental practice

Stage one of the renovation kicked off in April 2015 and saw two rooms refurbished, with the larger rooms receiving new cabinetry, flooring and A-dec chairs. 

Long term, Dr Scott says she plans to make this location her base. “I can’t see myself expanding beyond the four dental surgeries here at the practice. I would like to employ another dentist or oral health therapist in the future, but the refurbishment of the sterilising room must happen first to accommodate another practitioner. 

“I want to be able to offer all the modalities currently enjoyed by people living in the city—modern facilities, all general treatment and coordinating complex treatment. I feel pretty strongly about this, I don’t want any patients to be disadvantaged simply because they don’t live in a capital city.”   

Finding a medical mentor

Dr Scott says she has always been interested in the human body but was persuaded towards a career in dentistry after enduring full-fixed orthodontic treatment before she turned 12.

Upon graduating from the University of Western Australia at the end of 2000, the then 23-year-old moved to Brisbane where she secured a Saturday job with Richmond Road Dental (RRD) under the tutelage of practice owner Dr Jane McAdam.

Dr McAdam went above and beyond to show her young charge the ins and outs of practice management and was, says Dr Scott, the mentor every young person wishes they had. “She was the bridge between the theoretical dentistry I had learned and the practical dentistry that we actually perform," Dr Scott says now. “She has had the biggest impact on my career of any individual other than myself.”

The perils of purchasing a practice

In 2012, after around a decade working with RRD, Dr Scott made the move to Melbourne but was surprised to find how much the dental market had changed since she’d last looked for work.

“I found it really difficult to find my niche and work in a practice that actually had enough clients for a full day’s work. I had a variety of jobs that exposed me to a number of different styles in running a practice. It made me realise that I could own my own practice one day.”

With the Victorian capital experiencing a glut of dentists, Dr Scott began investigating the possibility of purchasing a surgery as a means of circumnavigating this issue.

She was leaning towards purchasing an established business in Melbourne, and around this time was told about a practice in Albury-Wodonga that was for sale. The instant she met with Dr Rod Paton who owned the RP Dental practice in Wodonga, she realised that his connection with the community and connection with people is what she had been searching for in Melbourne. 

Finding the perfect dental practice

It was then she had the good fortune to cross paths with BOQ Specialist consultant Trevor Knowles.

“The negotiation with the owner of the [Melbourne] practice dragged on forever and one day around about the time I was thinking about the practice in Wodonga, Trevor called me to touch base and find out what was happening. I put in an offer for the Wodonga practice and within a few days had moved there.” It was meant to be. She says having endured a frustrating couple of months, her experience with BOQ Specialist was like a breath of fresh air. 

“Everything was so easy. Trevor called me and I never had to chase him to follow up on paperwork. He seemed to go out of his way to take the load off my shoulders. The hard work was finding the practice. BOQ Specialist sorted out the finance which was not as difficult as I thought it would be, thanks to Trevor.”


Thinking about starting a practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for setting up a practice. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

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