From Ferndown to Harley Street – Manifesting Your Own Luck with Adam Thorne

Can you manifest your own luck? 

Adam Thorne is a firm believer that if you try hard enough to reach your goals, you’ll no doubt encounter a mentor who can help you get there. 

Though it may seem a little spiritual, it rings true for the events that have unfolded in Adam’s life.

Adam Thorne is a Cosmetic Dentist at the Harley Street Dental Group. He talks about the trials and tribulations he underwent before finding his place at London’s most prestigious address. 


Spend some time with your patient. People want to be understood, heard. And once they feel, you are spending time with them; they are more likely to invest in their teeth and take up the treatment. – Adam Thorne

In this episode:

05:11 – Life before Harley Street

11:07 – Getting patients through the door

15:44 Staying competitive in a saturated market

19:04 – What makes a good dentist?

28:01 – What would Adam have done differently?

35:46 – Balancing work and home life

46:34 – Top tips for orthodontic treatments

50:10 – Making your own luck

About Adam Thorne

Adam Thorne is a cosmetic dentist at the Harley Street Dental Group. 

After graduating from the University of Bristol in 1997, he went on to study at institutions in the US,  America, Asia and the Far East. Adam also studied at the renowned Pankey Institute in Florida.

He is an Invisalign® Platinum Elite dentist – a title held by only a handful of dentists in the UK.

Connect with Adam Thorne:

Linked In

Connect with Prav and Payman:


Prav on Instagram

Payman on Instagram


Prav Solanki: Hello listeners, and thank you for tuning into the Dental Leaders podcast. Today’s episode, we are interviewing Dr. Adam Thorne. What an interesting conversation we had with this guy. So many lessons from business, life, the ups and downs, both personally, in business, and so much we took away from today’s conversation, Pay, wouldn’t you agree?

Payman: Yeah. So, going from an associate to principal at one of the biggest practises in Harley Street, and then the personal nightmare that he went through-

Prav Solanki: Wow.

Payman: …and came through. So, it’s a really interesting episode though. I think everyone’s going to enjoy it.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. I think it’s going to be a great episode, guys.

Payman: Enjoy it.

Prav Solanki: What is ‘Adam time’? If you’ve got an hour to yourself or a couple of hours to yourself, what is it that you like to do?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Emails.

Recorded Voice: This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one-on-one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Payman: Really good to have you, Adam.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Thank you.

Payman: Thanks for coming. It’s been a while we’ve been thinking about having you, and I’ve known you for years now. Prav, how long have you known him?

Prav Solanki: 10 years.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Something like that, yes.

Prav Solanki: About 10 years?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Payman: But for me, I’ve only ever known you as a Harley Street dentist, and so there probably was a bit before that too. So that’s what this conversation’s going to be about, the story behind you, so we all know sort of the basics of it. So I’m going to start with some quick fire questions, just to get to know you quickly-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure.

Payman: …for whoever’s interested in that. So it’s either-or.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Okay.

Payman: Google or Facebook?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Google.

Payman: Minimally invasive or traditional?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Minimally invasive.

Payman: Treatment plan or execution?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Execution.

Payman: Endo or perio?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Oh, tough one.

Payman: Hate them both.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Perio.

Payman: Do you hate them both?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I refer out.

Payman: Both?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Both. Yeah.

Payman: So, perio you prefer.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Perio, prefer. Gums are the foundations.

Payman: Here’s another good one, CQC or GDPR?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Whoa. I don’t really understand either.

Payman: Two loves.

Dr. Adam Thorne: They both benefit, but I’d say preference is CQC.

Payman: Prav, what’s your preference? CQC-

Prav Solanki: GDPR, just because I understand it more.

Payman: Because you’re an expert.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. It’s giving you more work.

Prav Solanki: Overnight expert.

Payman: Spiritual or practical?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Practical.

Payman: Trump or Farage?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Oh, good one. Trump.

Payman: Brexit or Remain?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I was a Remain, but now we’ve got Brexit. You’ve got to deal with it and do it.

Payman: I was going to say: Brexit or Ramone?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Right.

Payman: AI or VR?

Dr. Adam Thorne: AI.

Payman: Restaurants or cooking?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Restaurants.

Payman: What’s your favourite restaurant at the moment?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I went to Sabor last night.

Prav Solanki: Oh yeah?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, the Spanish place. It was good.

Prav Solanki: Yeah?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Very nice.

Prav Solanki: First time?

Dr. Adam Thorne: First time there, yeah.

Payman: So is Spanish-Mediterranean your favourite sort of cooking?

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, I like Asian fusion, you’d call it.

Payman: Yeah?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. That’s my favourite.

Payman: So Nobu in that lot?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Nobu in that lot. And there’s a nice one in Chicago called Japanese.

Payman: I don’t think anyone pays for their own meal in Nobu, do they?

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, no.

Payman: That’s the thing. Only Fools and Horses or Ali G?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Ali G.

Payman: Skiing or summer-

Prav Solanki: Is it because I is brown?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yes.

Payman: Skiing or summer holidays?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Skiing.

Payman: Paralysed by perfection or minimal viable product?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Minimal viable product.

Payman: Rubber dam or rubber neck?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Rubber dam because I’m a dentist.

Payman: Flossing or TePe? By rubber neck… I mean some people, they want to see.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: I know that those two things are opposite but… some people want to see everything. They sort of put their head back and-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Payman: …see. Are you that [crosstalk 00:04:02], are you?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I mean now… I mean mostly… I don’t know if you know those OptraGate dams.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: You can get some good isolation-

Payman: Without the-

Dr. Adam Thorne: …without getting the full rubber dam and tying it all around with floss.

Payman: Four-handed or lone wolf?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Four-handed.

Payman: Flossing or TePe?

Dr. Adam Thorne: TePe.

Payman: Oral-B or Sonicare?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I’m a Sonicare man.

Payman: Me too.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: Me too. What are you, Prav? You don’t care?

Prav Solanki: Sonicare, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Payman: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: It’s sort of better [crosstalk 00:04:23].

Dr. Adam Thorne: Which end do you use?

Payman: I like that. Patient or customer?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Customer.

Payman: Cosmetic dentistry UK or US?

Dr. Adam Thorne: UK.

Payman: Scorsese or Tarantino?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Good one. Tarantino.

Payman: Authoritarian or touchy-feely?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Touchy-feely.

Payman: Prince or Michael Jackson?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Both legends. Prince.

Payman: Rolex or Apple Watch?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Go Rolex.

Payman: Dyson or Hoover?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Dyson.

Payman: Samsung or Apple?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Apple.

Payman: Yeah, I’ll end on that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Okay.

Payman: I’ll end on that one. I’ll end on that one. So yeah, we got a little idea about who you are.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Okay.

Payman: Okay, let’s go back then. Lats talk about… all dentists have an idea that they’ll maybe own a practise.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Payman: Did you always think you were going to be sort of a Harley Street dentist? Or when was the first time that came into the equation?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, I qualified a few years back. You then do VT which had changed now, but it used to be sort of a year, and I think when you qualify it’s almost like passing a driving test. You’ve got all this knowledge but you haven’t really applied it just yet. Yes, you’ve been on clinic, but you don’t know a lot. And I was lucky to be placed in a VT practise which was mainly private, and that sort of set my focus on what I wanted to do.

Payman: Which town was that?

Dr. Adam Thorne: That was down just outside… well, between Poole and Bournemouth, a place called Ferndown. So, I did that for a year. The guy there I owe a lot to because he sort of set my mind straight and said, “Look, this is private dentistry,” and he knew guys who did a lot of NHS dentistry, had multiple practises but if you… He set my philosophy straight and set me on the right career pathway.

Dr. Adam Thorne: From then, I then spent some other time in some other practises, worked for big corporate, but what I really enjoy is I enjoy the treatment planning and seeing the different cases. And I think basing myself in Harley Street was… you attract a customer who wants to have a smart makeover or you’ve got a look… You take a step back as opposed to sort of… I don’t want to sound patronising, but suburban dentistry where it might be sort of a… you have your regular patient base and you just do a filling or two or a couple of crowns. And I prefer to actually sort of think, and take a step back, and do sort of the holistic treatment planning with a multi-disciplinary team.

Payman: And then even people who decide to go down that West End route, a lot of them are sort of single-handed.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: And you guys were really were the sort of… for me, maybe I’m wrong about this, but the pioneers of the sort of associate led Harley Street practise.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: So what was that? Well, did you guys start… did you start with you and Mark, Mark Hughes?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, so Mark originally was based in Harley Street and I joined him just over about sort of 10, 12 years ago, and we decided to sort of expand. But we both did a lot of work with Pankey Institute in the US and we worked in multi-disciplinary care, that’s what we sort of looking at.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And I think as you become time, you become more niche, that’s your sort of niche or your special interest, you can’t say ‘specialty’ but that’s what you tend to focus on. So you can’t do everything, and I think that’s where we sort of said, “All right. Well, we’re going to build up a team of multi-disciplinary associates that we can sort of then in-house refer,” and patients or customers do like that. They sort of like to go to one place.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So I might say, “Right, Payman, you need to get your gums sorted and a couple of endos.” And then they’re like, “Oh, can I do that here?”, and yes, and then they’re familiar and it’s a familiar environment, with a lot of great support team and they’re familiar. So although they might be seeing a different specialist to do the actual work, they feel more comfortable and relaxed because they know where they’re going and the patient flow.

Payman: So how many years with just the two of you, and then when did it become this huge building at number 52? You’ve got a beautiful place.

Dr. Adam Thorne: This tanker. Thank you very much.

Payman: Don’t get me wrong, a beautiful place, but how do they go from the two guys to such a giant thing? It was in stages, right?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. Oh, totally. So we had a sort of two surgery practise. So 10, 12 years ago we had a couple of specialists who worked for us, plus the dontist and the periodontist, Federico Tinti, who’s still with me.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And from there, we sort of were running out of space. And I don’t know how many people know the West End, but it’s all owned by one family, so the de Walden family. So we needed more space, so I ended up acquiring another practise over the road which is on the same sort of philosophy but not fully utilised. So from then we went from two to four chairs-

Payman: Was that the Umbrella-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Umbrella Smiles. Correct, yeah.

Payman: …Smiles. Yeah, okay, I remember that. Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, we were at 42 and this was number 11. And then from there… But it was a bit inefficient because we were at two physical locations-

Payman: Two sides, right.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. I then took another lease on, on the building. We took another chair on, so we were five chairs, but again, at two physical locations. And then my lease was expiring on one of the premises, so that’s when I sort of approached the estate and said, “Look, come on…” And Mark and I had this vision to be able to control the front door, should we say. So, a lot of Harley Street and the old-school kind of practise has that sort of barrier almost with-

Payman: That first receptionist.

Dr. Adam Thorne: The first receptionist. So it’s not controlled by you, and it can be. That’s your first impression and it’s true, first impressions last. So we all needed to have something where we could control the front door, who came in, and then we moved to the new site, 52, in 2013.

Payman: Has it been that long already?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. So-

Payman: Wow.

Dr. Adam Thorne: …I only know that because the leases are coming to expiry.

Payman: What are the common myths? I mean, a lot of people think Harley Street’s the place you want to end up. What’s the best and the worst thing about being there?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So the best, as I say, is the… I mean the location, it’s a fantastic brand. It’s world renowned. As I say, we attract the patients or the customers who want to have the multi-disciplinary care and really, they may have done a bit of research, their dental IQ is quite good, so you’re already… you’re doing the dentistry you really love doing, and you can find your niche.

Dr. Adam Thorne: The downside is the competition. The competition is huge. Marketing, you have to market yourself very well. If you ever walk down Harley Street all you have on your front door effectively is a plaque with your name on. So you-

Payman: Yeah, and de Walden’s quite strict on that, I remember. Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: De Walden’s very, very strict, yes. So you can’t put things up in the window, A-boards out, so it’s tricky. And with competition being fierce, you often get sort of price wars and various other things.

Payman: So we’re talking online competition, then?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Online competition, but… yeah.

Prav Solanki: So, Adam, in terms of your online strategy, what’s your big one thing that helps you drive the majority of patients through the door?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So it’s the website.

Prav Solanki: Okay.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Undoubtedly. I mean, I’d say having been established for sort of 12 years, we do get a lot of word-of-mouth, but still, 60-70% of our customers come through the website.

Prav Solanki: And what do you think it is about your website, or about a website, that makes you more attractive to say, customer A than your competitor’s website?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, information. And that’s in two sorts. It’s the written information. So, it’s how they can find out about what certain procedures are, and then case studies or pictures. Pictures do tell what you can deliver.

Prav Solanki: Do you ever get patients coming into practise referencing or quoting specific case studies off your websites or sort of saying that they saw this case, it was similar to theirs and that was the reason they came in?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, we do. We do get a lot of that. So, “I like the case you produced or showed.” In fact, I’ve got a story of that. So, I mean I did an extension on my property at home a couple of years ago. Well, it’s still sort of on-going. But I live in a Georgian house in South West London, and when I wanted to do this I looked and I chose my architect for… in Google Images I sort of typed ‘the extension to Georgian houses’ and went thorough it and sort of said, “Oh, I like that one, like that one,” and sort of narrowed it down to three architects, one who’s with me now. But it’s… people do sort of reference and say, “Have I got spaced teeth or have I got sort of crooked teeth?”, try and find similar cases and then say, “Well, if Adam can deliver it, I’ll go and see him.”

Payman: Maybe you guys can both put me right on this, yeah, but is it not a vulnerability if your website is your brand that someone can just do a very similar website to you and… you know?

Prav Solanki: So, my take on this is the one thing that’s unique about everyone’s website is their ambassadors, and those are the patient stories, and the individual stories about your case studies. Everyone can say: look, a veneer is a wafer thin shell of whatever that goes over the front of your tooth that changes the shape and the colour of it. You can copy that. You can re-invent it. You can make it sound a different way.

Prav Solanki: But the unique thing about Harley Street Dental Studio when you go online is the depth and breadth of cases on there. You can see the quality of the work. You can see the transformations, the quality of the photography, the emotional videos, all of that’s your intellectual property, and that’s the difference between say, your website and your competitor’s websites.

Prav Solanki: So there’s always that balance of keeping that vehicle moving, right, and making sure that you’re consistently adding to it, that you’re always shooting new videos, you’re always creating new stories, and the great thing I think about the Harley Street Dental Studio website is that you were doing this way before people even had websites.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: And you’ve continued that, and you’re building up this huge portfolio which I believe is the real reason why patients are saying, “I’ll go and see Adam. I’ll go and see Mark. I’ll come see your clinic and I’ll pay a little bit more than anyone else.”

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: Just on that note, does price ever become an issue at the practise? Is it less of an issue because you’re in Harley Street?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think that’s a great question though. We look at prices and do a competitor’s price search quite regularly. There’s some products that… it’s a difficult situation. From the supplier they’re trying to push their name out, so for example Invisalign or even Enlighten. And then people compare those products, your price against my price. And that’s the problem.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So if I just take Enlighten, you want to put it out to consumers: the best whitening system, and I whole-heartedly believe that, but… So one may say: well, how can you justify charging X for Enlighten when the guy down the road charges Y? And Invisalign is a big, big thing right now as well.

Payman: Yeah, it’s a difficulty because the bigger the brand the more that’s likely to happen.

Dr. Adam Thorne: That’s certain.

Payman: And I guess for the dentist, trying to explain to a patient that there’s more to it than the brand and all of that, you can’t do that easily online.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: So I do hear you on there.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: Okay.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I mean, it’s sort of going around, so whether someone just throws out that specific treatment or when it’s sort of looking at the whole picture, so we sort of say, “Yes, Enlighten…”, then we sort of spend some time with them and we sort of say, “Well, look [inaudible] whiten then you’ll have some white-spots we can treat,” and so on.

Payman: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: So Adam, I’m a patient and I want to get my teeth straightened.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Prav Solanki: I want to go from A to B.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Prav Solanki: Why should I pay you two grand more than the guy down the road?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, how I’d justify that is if you are in the chair, I mean we try and give immense value and I really do instal this in all my clinicians for that initial consultation. So, we show what you’re getting, so it’s not just the product of Invisalign or another type of brace. We’re seeing you through from A to B to deliver results you want. It’s a very hard conversation for my inquiry handlers initially, but we’re quite competitive in our pricing.

Prav Solanki: And do you come across that quite often, conversations with patients where they’re saying, “Look, there’s a practise down the road doing this same treatment for a thousand pound less than you.”? How do you deal with that conversation when you’re dealing with, well, it’s a product. When you’re dealing with big brands it almost becomes commoditized, doesn’t it?

Dr. Adam Thorne: It is. And-

Prav Solanki: Where it feels like a… How do you deal with that difficulty?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So we try and… building rapport is number one with the patient. So, we’ll try and engage and say, “Okay, look, you may have had that. Can we maybe have a look at the quote to sort of open it up?”, because often some practises, and I think we’re quite competitively priced, but some people then bolt on various bits on top of there, whereas we say, “Well, that’s included.” So it’s to make the patient aware of all of that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And then it’s just showing the value that we’re going to give them. So it might be that, again, some practises tend to delegate to more junior members of staff. And we’re… so, well, no, you’re seeing your senior clinician or the clinician you’re seeing all the way through with the experience, and we will work until we get the results you’re after.

Prav Solanki: Cool. Do you mind if we take you a few years back? At one point you were a qualified dentist working as an associate in someone else’s practise.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: At what point in your career did you sort of know, “I’m going to be a business man now.”? At what point did you make that transition between: I’m a clinician working for someone else; I want to run and own my own business?

Prav Solanki: Because running a practise is a bit more than being a good dentist, and so just talk to me a little bit about the thought process that went through it, where maybe you had a defining moment where you knew, “I’m going to be a dentist.”

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure. So I suppose three or four years out of practise is you’re finding your feet for doing the dentistry, but then you obviously have some sort of frustrations because you’re in a practise which is designed by another guy who has their philosophy or goals. So that probably then harboured that, if I want to go and do dentistry in a specific way then I need to go off and do it on my own. I then worked for a corporate and-

Payman: Which one?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So I was [Dencare] originally, but then Dencare got purchased by Oasis.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: But I was on the clinical and operating board for Dencare and then onto Oasis. So that was a really good experience in terms of I could see sort of how practises ran and different styles of practise, because sometimes the problem with dentistry, I think, is sometimes you’re in a room and you forget, you don’t really open your eyes and you guys might see this, going round to different practises there’s a whole range of practises, whereas working and going round to other practises, and I was sort of a mentor for young dentists, is I could then see that actually there’s a different way to do it, I learnt different management styles, how to read a PNL, how to sort of… [crosstalk]

Payman: Systemize stuff.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Systemize stuff, and that’s key, especially in the big practise we have now.

Payman: Would you say as a recruiter of dentists, would you say you’re a good judge of character? Do you think you’re good at recruiting dentists? I mean, when I think about the people who’ve worked at Harley Street Dental Studio it’s a long list of the famous… our things, don’t you?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: You’ve kind of been there. So, go on, would you say you’re good at that? Or are you the one who does that, or is Mark, or perhaps the both of you?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. No, we both do it. So, I mean I think dentistry’s a sort of small world and there’s all the jokes there. And you tend to know who’s who in a lot of ways. We’ve, again, like any sort of thing, we’ve now systemized and we’ve got a… quite a methodical approach to our recruitment process and interview process and how we deal with the applicants in that way. But a lot of it is still through word-of-mouth.

Payman: Really? Okay.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: So, let’s say there’s a young dentist who wants to work at your place.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Payman: You’re telling me it would be better for him to get to know you than apply for your job?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Well, get to know us, but also-

Payman: I guess that goes without saying overall, doesn’t it? Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I mean, you have to work together at the end of the day as well, so it’s what do we look for is someone with sort of a friendly rapport-building ability, clinically very able, diagnosis is very good as well because that’s key, but obviously the clinical, that’s good [crosstalk 00:20:27]-

Payman: But do you test that in the interview process, any of that stuff, or what do you do?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So we tend to look, and again, with the small world of dentistry is you tend to know that if they’ve done this course with this person or that course then they’re probably got their mind in the right sort of frame, and then we do our sort of portfolio of work which nowadays I think every dentist needs to have.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And you can’t really justify not having that with sort of digital cameras and so on. So… But we tend to look at that in how we appraise it.

Payman: What’s your pet peeve? What’s your pet peeve about an associate? What the thing that drives you crazy about some associates?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Good question. With people who are just pure specialists is they tend to sometimes get a little bit blinkered on the whole picture. So nowadays patients are very discerning, they do a lot of research and they say, “Right, I need an implant,” or, “I need braces,” or some ones they go specific to the specialist and we have that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: But sometimes the specialist is so focused on the implant, but they’re not looking at the other side of the mouth which might have other bits going on. And I think that’s where Mark and I are in the same boat of how we treatment plan and plan it. And we have looked at maybe a triage system once where they could see us first then we could farm them out and say, “Go and see the gum guy,” or, “Go and see the endodontist,” and then-

Payman: But you didn’t do that?

Dr. Adam Thorne: We didn’t do that because, again, we also… we can deliver the dentistry.

Payman: Yeah. I know. Fair enough.

Prav Solanki: Going back to the question about owning a business.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure.

Prav Solanki: You worked in a few private practises, you were on a board. At what point did you think to yourself, “Right, I want to own my own business now.”? And when that happened how different was it from what you expected and in what way?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So I think the tipping point is you lack a bit of information so you sort of say, “Right, I’ve learned various skills and now I’m not really advancing myself.” So you need to be able to push yourself only, and I got to a certain point where I sort of said, “Right, I’ve done the board. I’ve done the young dentists. I’ve done the mentoring. I’ve looked after sort of other practises, and I’m not really going anywhere now. I’m almost sort of hit a bit of a ceiling. So now the next step is, let’s make the leap and actually own a practise.”

Dr. Adam Thorne: The difference from how I thought it would be to actually sort of running it is there’s always… being in the service industry there’s always little issues going on. So you try and sort of systemize it. You think, “Right, I’ve got great managers in place, I’ve got great support staff. This ship should just float easily and I can go and not have a week away, a holiday.” But there’s a thing, “Oh, what’s going on?”

Prav Solanki: Do you find yourself constantly fire-fighting?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Not necessarily fire-fighting but there’s always a little issue. “Prav Solanki’s on the phone and he’s bust us up with cuts. We’re really pissed. What are we going to do with it?”

Payman: I’ve got a friend, he’s looking at opening a nuclear power station and he was telling me that’s less complicated than dealing with people.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: People in the end, there’s such a vast range of things that can happen, and that, we’re talking patients and staff.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Patients and staff.

Payman: How many staff have you got?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So there we’ve got about, well, 14 staff but then about the same number of clinicians and five or six hygienists. But-

Payman: That’s a lot of people.

Prav Solanki: A lot of people.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, it’s a lot of management. But again, this is being a service industry and you’re very focused on the patient. If, in another industry, if someone’s off sick you just leave the work on the desk and they can deal with it tomorrow. Whereas when you’re sort of hands-on and we need the nurse, you need the coordinator and someone’s off sick it stresses everyone out and then that’s when it all sort of… mini eruptions happen.

Payman: And 14 clinicians, not all there the whole time, right?

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, no.

Payman: They’re part-time?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: How many dental chairs have you got?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, eight dental chairs at the moment. We’re about to put a ninth.

Payman: Wow.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. So, over six floors.

Payman: For anyone who’s never been there I would definitely go visit if, I don’t know, if Adam’s cool with that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. No, no, that’s… Just inviting people in, lining up at the door.

Payman: Just visit and have a look.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Like one of those NHS… I’ve just opened an NHS list and they’re queuing round the block.

Payman: Visit and have a look because it’s just-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Thank you.

Payman: …beautiful. I mean I stopped doing dentistry and every time I go there I feel like, “Oh, I want to be a dentist again.” It’s like one of those feelings. And you get all the clichés about Harley Street being an address instead of a qualification, but it’s nice. It’s nice to see someone who’s gone for it in such a big way. And whenever I go there I always think you’re obviously reinvesting hugely.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: Have you got a five year, ten year plan, or did you have? Or… Tell us about that. Are you a big planner?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, yes we are. I mean, we sort of tend to look at sort of three to five years of where we are. I mean, I’m early 40s now, so I’ve still got a few years left doing this. So I haven’t got necessarily an exit route. I mean obviously if someone came with a big check I might look at that. But-

Prav Solanki: Just for our listeners out there, if you have a big check and you want a lovely practise in Harley Street.

Payman: Any Russian billionaires.

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, we tend to look at that and obviously you have to keep up with where we are and where we position ourselves on the market, you have to keep ahead of the game, so we do have to have the latest technologies.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Again, consumers and patients are discerning with the internet. And the internet’s a double-edged sword because people research things so they have a… what we call a ‘high dental IQ’ which is good, but then sometimes they have the horror stories that go along with it. So you have to allay those fears. But people love new things as well and new ideas so as a clinician we have to juggle that it has the justification behind it that will deliver those results but have the new technology to go alongside it.

Payman: What was your answer to my question about touchy-feely or authoritarian? Did I ask that question?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Touchy-feely.

Payman: So, go on. How do you manage teams? How do you manage people? It is you, isn’t it? You’re kind of the person looking at your practise, you’re the person handling that side of things.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, so communication’s the key. And the problem I have with so many clinicians and someone may be in there for two days, someone may be in for four days, is how you roll out the information, whereas as a small practise, when I’ve had small practises it is you can sort of get the team together over a lunch time and say, “Right, this is our plan for Monday. We’re going to roll it out.” Whereas ours is a bit of a tanker, to use a cliché.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And then you have to sort of roll the information out and then there’s an email goes out to everyone, and then someone answers back to ‘reply all’ saying, “I don’t like it,” and then you’re batting against it. So… But that’s key.

Dr. Adam Thorne: The hardest thing I find also is time, being able to sort of support staff members. So you have to sort of be aware, be available to staff or team members. But they do value that. So if you give them support and you’re quite humble and you sort of say, “This is how I’d do it,” So, people make mistakes and I’m happy for people to make mistakes just as long as they admit to it and then they correct it. So I don’t mind if that happens, and then I can try and just train them and show them how they can learn from experience.

Prav Solanki: Adam, if you could turn back the clock and do Harley Street all over again what would be different?

Payman: That’s a great question.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Good question. I suppose I’d have probably gone bigger earlier, okay.

Prav Solanki: How?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Just I mean, we sort of expanded and we sort of waited for a lease to expire and just carried on and I think we lost some efficiency by having two sites, or definitely did that. So I’d have sort of jumped in. Obviously when you’re a bit younger you’ve got a bit more energy so you can do things and really drive it forward.

Prav Solanki: And just, did the reason you didn’t push big earlier, is it because you’re risk averse or Mark’s risk averse or you were being cautious?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think it’s more just sort of… you get to a certain stage and then you sort of find your feet, and then you like to sort of have some stability and then you sort of grow on there.

Prav Solanki: Sure.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Especially managing a team and when you’re managing or treating people you need to have some stability, so you can’t be so reckless but also you have to have that growth in mind.

Prav Solanki: So you wanted to scale up faster, ideally, if you could turn the clock back, knowing what you know now you would have just gone for it big time?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: What advice would you give to somebody who’s just bought their first practise, has got visions of growing, scaling, a little bit wet behind the ears when it comes to business systems, processes, what’s the best bit of advice you can give, not from a clinical but from a business perspective of growing a practise?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure. I’d say find yourself a mentor who’s done something very similar and that doesn’t necessarily have to be in the field of dentistry. Business is business and there’s a lot of sort of parallels with other…

Dr. Adam Thorne: I’ll tell you actually, correcting myself, service industry business because there are a lot of parallels and you can find that and people… we make mistakes on a daily basis but we correct them and learn from them. And experience is key.

Payman: Did you have a mentor?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Not a one that’s seen me through, but at different stages I had sort of-

Payman: That first guy in Poole.

Dr. Adam Thorne: First guy in Poole.

Payman: What was his name?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Kevin Durant.

Payman: Shout out.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. And then one of my business partners now, [Jacksy 00:29:27], has come on and he’s 10, 12 years ahead of me, and he’s very good on managing operations and cost control and he’s come from an NHS background and running practises, but that’s helped with nailing down sort of costs and so on and so forth. So, that helps and we now tend to have a set up where I tend to do the front end, some of the marketing, bringing the patients in and clinicians and he tends to do the sort of… shall we say the backend, and looking after the figures, and monitoring suppliers and so on.

Prav Solanki: So what would you… you’ve got obviously different team members, business partners, you’ve got yourself, you’ve got Jacksy, you’ve got Mark. What would you say each of your unique abilities are?

Prav Solanki: Because one of the things that I find especially being in business with different business partners in different businesses, I feel we’ve all got unique abilities that we excel at. Let’s start with what you feel your unique ability is and then onto your business partners and how you all contribute to the running of the business.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure. Yeah. So my skill or what I have, what I bring to that, is growth. Initially it was sort of acquiring other practises. We’ve had other practises alongside Harley Street, as you know, in London that we’ve bought and sold. And so it’s growth, bringing the team together, the marketing and the planning or sales of dentistry, as in our dental products and treatments, [inaudible] the team along.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I’d say Mark is a fantastic clinician and he is also very good at the sales, but he tends to focus a little bit more now on the clinical ability, his clinical work. And then Jacksy, who’s come in, tends to be a little bit more on the operational, handling suppliers and so on, and sometimes you need to be a bit tough with suppliers.

Prav Solanki: So would you say in summary you’re more of a nurture people type person who can help nurture all the relationships in the practise with a focus on marketing? Mark is more sort of clinical or clinical lead, would you say?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. Clinical lead, yeah.

Prav Solanki: Clinical lead. And Jacksy’s more sort of in the background, getting the cost down from various suppliers and stuff and running the financials of the business, almost like a CFO.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Correct, yeah. No.

Prav Solanki: Yeah, cool.

Payman: How about clinically, what kind of dentistry excites you and doesn’t?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I love treatment planning.

Payman: Oh.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I love… yeah, yeah, the initial consultation and being able to take a step back and saying, “Right, that’s happened because of this,” and then how we can sort of plan it and pull everything together. It’s almost like a conductor. Hands-on wise I like doing… I do a lot of Invisalign and do a lot of veneers and bonding.

Payman: How many days a week do you actually practise?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So I’m between three and four clinical at the moment and that sort of tends to vary with numbers of associates that are in or… and so on, or filling spaces. I mean with a large team you do get people away on holiday, so I can sometimes step up and step down.

Payman: How long ago did you go to three or four?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Well-

Payman: Ever worked six days a week?

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, no, no, no. So every time we take on a new premises or growth then you-

Payman: Then seven days a week?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, seven days a week, and then you try and scale it back a little bit.

Payman: Because as a dentist I remember when I cut down from five to four I actually became a much better dentist, enjoyed it much more and didn’t see any drop. I know it’s become a bit of a cliché to say this now, but I see a lot of people working long, long hours.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: [inaudible 00:33:00].

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: 9:00 till 9:00 and so forth. But how do you feel? I mean because you’ve recently cut down so much or…

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, I mean I’ve cut down sort of a couple of years ago, but I think it’s time and like you said, I think you were going to say that you didn’t necessarily see a drop in income-

Payman: No.

Dr. Adam Thorne: …and it gave you a time and you do need time to sort of sit back and think and that’s true from the initial patient consultation as well, and I think a lot of people try and rush and see as many patients and it’s almost like a badge, “Hey, I saw 40 patients today.”

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: But you’re actually more productive if you see maybe between five and eight, spend some time with them. People want to be understood, be heard, and they feel if you’re spending time with them then they’re more likely to invest in their teeth and take up the treatment.

Payman: What’s a mistake you made that you would give yourself… like if you were giving a talk to someone else who’s going into this process. I know he’d be your competitor, strictly, but what’s a mistake that you made that you wouldn’t make again?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think sometimes we’ve been too ambitious and sort of take on a bit more and I think when we moved into… we had this great vision, and it was a vision, to move into this new site in 2013.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And we spent a lot of time planning it, but we were in sort of almost like you see, you try and work to a budget and then that sort of goes out the window. And I think we should have been a bit more focused and strict on nailing down the costs initially with that.

Payman: On the building costs?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Building costs and leases and squeeze suppliers a little bit more, because I think we overpaid on some things. It was almost like sort of when you get married you have a budget and then the last week you’re like, “Get out the check book, I don’t care, just get it done.”

Payman: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Payman: I mean, the building’s such a pain, isn’t it?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: I mean, there’s always something.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: That’s whatever…. And okay, and what’s the best decision you ever made in your professional life?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Going out on my own and building a practise that I’m really, really proud of.

Payman: In the West End?

Dr. Adam Thorne: In the West End, yeah.

Payman: Yeah. So you’d really say that, would you, if someone was thinking about it now, would you say, “Yeah, the West End’s a good idea.”? Because I speak to people on both sides of that coin, people who say it’s actually one of the hardest places to make a success-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: …and kind of what you’re saying.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I would just take a step back and say: what kind of dentistry do you like doing? And if you like doing the complex cases like we do and we get, then pitch yourself in the West End or in maybe a large city centre, say the centre of Manchester, or centre of Bristol, or Edinburgh. If you prefer to maybe just run the business and have your own business and that’s a sort of… almost a lifestyle business, shall we say, where you’ve got a nice three or four chair practise, maybe look at sort of a location you’re more familiar with outside of London.

Prav Solanki: Adam, let’s talk work-life balance-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure.

Prav Solanki: …and switch off. I’m a big believer that switching off both physically and mentally from work enables you to accelerate quicker, but how hard do you find it to switch off when you go back home at the end of the day? Or your emails are coming through to your phone or your Facebook messages from patients or associates, just talk to me about it. Do you find it hard to switch off and do you switch off?

Dr. Adam Thorne: It is very, very hard, especially and like you said, with the size of the practise and then being in the service industry there’s always something that’s going on. I find the easiest way to switch off is doing… I mean, one of your quick-fire questions was: skiing or summer? And I love a summer holiday, but skiing because you actually… you’re just-

Payman: You’re going to fall.

Dr. Adam Thorne: …there for skiing. Yeah.

Payman: You’re going to fall if you don’t pay attention. Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Because, yeah, but you’re focused on, “I’ve got to get down this mountain,” and you can just forget about everything, and it’s one of the best ways to switch off and that’s why I love it.

Dr. Adam Thorne: But otherwise some sort of sport or doing those, and as we get older it gets harder because recovery times are harder, but that’s the way to sort of almost just release it. But it’s totally true, if you can clear your head you think a lot more freely and then it gives you more opportunity.

Prav Solanki: Have you tried or looked into anything like meditation or something, any techniques for clearing your mind, just sort of switching off in the moment, so to speak?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, I mean I tend to… I try to run a couple of times a week and try and do that, and maybe one or two yoga sessions I try and do, to sort of just… which is like meditation-

Prav Solanki: Sure.

Dr. Adam Thorne: …but again, just focusing on something else so you can just try and put away things. But with a couple of young kids it’s quite hard.

Prav Solanki: Sure. Tell me about your kids. Just describe them to me, personalities.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure. So I’ve got two young boys aged now two and seven, so they’re great. I think boys are easier to handle than young girls, but you might correct me on that.

Payman: Hmm, yeah. Well, yeah, my boy is easier to handle than my girl, but I don’t know if it’s a rule.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think boys, if they’re hungry or they’re tired, then they’re grumpy so you just… And it’s the same as we get older.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So no, they’re good but, no, I lost my wife just a couple of years ago to quite an aggressive cancer, so I’m looking after them, bringing them up on my own. But they’re doing well. They keep me focused, they keep me grounded. So, that’s quite hard.

Prav Solanki: Do they motivate you? Are they your reason for your ambition and your drive?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, I think so. I mean, at the moment it’s helping them sort of develop and grow but obviously I do want to sort of give them something that they’re proud of.

Payman: I think, I see you were pretty ambitious before they came along as well though-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: …that’s from what I remember.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, yeah.

Payman: And I was laughing a bit when you said ‘risk averse’ because that’s the last thing I would describe you as, risk averse, but with Melissa a couple of years ago how did you handle it? Did you throw yourself into work? Or…

Dr. Adam Thorne: No, I tried to keep some normality going, and it is almost like an escape. So I tried to keep the schools going for the boys. I mean my youngest was only seven months when she passed away, but my oldest boy Jack, he was five at the time, so I kept that normality going.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And then for me it was almost some sort of… it was a focus, so there was a benefit to doing it. I mean things went through my head of, “Do I sell up and focus on the boys for a few years?”, and then I thought, “Well, actually, I’ve spent a lot of time building this thing and kids will grow up and then what do you do?” And you… Oh, I didn’t really want to start back from square one, but it gave me a good focus and helped keep my sanity almost, sometimes.

Payman: That’s interesting, isn’t it? That work, which is the thing you’re running away from sometimes, can actually keep your sanity.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: And the kids, do you talk to them about Melissa or not?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, oh, regularly. I mean, my eldest, he has some sort of therapy sessions as well to try and… We all deal with things in different ways and being a bit older and a bit wiser, you can sort of handle maybe things, and I don’t know whether I’ve handled it correctly. I mean I feel I’ve stayed quite focused and quite positive, but I don’t want to put the way I deal with grief or other problems, expect my son to do the same. So I’m trying to explore all opportunities or options for him. But no, we regularly talk about it and keep up memories, and there’s a memory box that we have and we get out occasionally and talk about things and remember the good times.

Prav Solanki: What’s the toughest thing about being a single parent bringing up two young boys? Because I know if my wife goes away for the day, leaves me with the kids, [crosstalk] it’s a hell of a lot harder than going to work. It’s challenging. It’s so hard.

Prav Solanki: So I couldn’t possibly imagine being in your position and doing what you do, running a successful business, doing the best for your kids and balancing the two. I mean, what’s the hardest thing about bringing the boys up?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think it’s the planning. Yeah, well two things actually. The planning, you have to be super slick with the planning, especially I mean we’ve just come off the back of summer holidays and it’s sort of like, wow, we’ve got through it and I feel like we survived. As any parent out there knows.

Prav Solanki: Yeah, any parent knows that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So that was a logistical challenge, and then the second thing is to sort of… switching off and like you mentioned earlier, sort of I might finish and leave the office at sort of 5:30, 6 o’clock.

Prav Solanki: Sure.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Get back home. I have sort of a day nanny at the moment, but get back home at 7:00 and then the kids are sort of so pleased to see you but then you’ve got to sort of do all the story time and so on and spend… They take… and I love giving the energy to it, but then it’s 9 o’clock before you actually get any ‘Adam time’. And then you’re up again in the morning and dealing with it.

Prav Solanki: So what is ‘Adam time’ if you’ve got an hour to yourself or a couple of hours to yourself, what is it that you like to do?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Emails. No, joking. No, again, a bit of sport, I think.

Prav Solanki: Okay.

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, doing that. So just to sort of get out there and I think it’s the only time I can really switch off, is when you’re sort of on a run or something or doing some gym or something like that.

Prav Solanki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Payman: What would you have been if you weren’t a dentist?

Dr. Adam Thorne: So, if I could be anything I think probably a professional footballer or professional sportsperson but-

Payman: Sure, but if you didn’t have that particular talent. I don’t know. I mean-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Very diplomatic.

Payman: …it’s a valid answer. It’s a valid answer.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. So, I’d run a service industry. You could run… you know what, there’s a lot of parallels to things like hairdressing.

Payman: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve always thought that.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And I think hairdressing’s almost dentistry without the equipment.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And our equipment is so cost heavy.

Payman: As dentists came from barbers-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: …back in the day, really.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Exactly. So you could almost run a chain and I’ve, as you guys know, I had some practise in London, so Mark and I were looking at running a group of practises and then with my personal situation we scaled that back. But you could run a successful group of hair salons, I think, and without all the sort of expense of equipment.

Payman: I was listening to an interview with the guy from Zappos, you know the online shoe…

Dr. Adam Thorne: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Payman: They’re obviously famous for customer service and all that. And he was saying he doesn’t like shoes, he doesn’t know anything about shoes but he knows all about customer service. And it’s really interesting, isn’t it?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: I mean the service industry, I find that one of the challenges of it is recruitment for it, because it’s hard to know for sure if people want to give service.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: And it’s a state of mind that I’m not sure you can instil, like it’s and attitude.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Exactly, yeah.

Payman: But some people want to be of service and they’re happiest being of service and others aren’t.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Payman: And finding those people is the key thing, I’ve found, in the service industry.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I like people who are humble and they listen, and it’s the old cliché but you have two ears and one mouth and not try and sort of state their case and push it forward. And they tend to make, as long as they can deliver the dentistry, they make very, very good dentists because they get to know the patient, they build the rapport and then there’s a great relationship from there.

Payman: What was your hardest day in your professional life? I’m sure there have been a few.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think sitting finals is not a great experience.

Payman: No, [inaudible 00:44:31]. But any stories where you’ve… practise stories, of course you had Melissa and all that, but I’m talking about when you’re building a business or something, something went wrong and… terrible moment-

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think when we moved into the new site and we were quite heavily geared up at that stage and then we had a flood and the whole sort of… everything goes out of action. You think, “God, I’ve just bought that server and I’ve just bought that [Telecom] system and now-”

Payman: It all got ruined by the flood?

Dr. Adam Thorne: All got ruined.

Payman: Oh!

Dr. Adam Thorne: And then you’re chasing it and then you’re fighting insurance companies and you think, “I’m up against it already and I’m now another 20K potentially in [crosstalk 00:45:08]-”

Payman: I haven’t even started yet.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Exactly.

Payman: Yeah, that would qualify. What are five things you wish you knew earlier? Forget five, just a few things you wish you knew earlier.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Sure. Slow down to be more productive.

Payman: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Adam Thorne: When you’re treating people. So it’s not the numbers you get through it’s spending some time with them and building it. Occlusions obviously a big key. You’ve got to get your occlusion right and for longevity. Touch wood I haven’t had to-

Payman: Occlusion’s a funny thing, isn’t it? The more you go into it the more questions.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, yeah, I know. I think people make a sometimes a bit too much of a call on it.

Payman: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: And then maybe from experience you learn sort of what works and what doesn’t work.

Payman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Adam Thorne: But that’s key to [crosstalk 00:45:55].

Payman: But yeah, you’re right, not knowing about it is a giant error. That’s the thing. Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah. I’d say orthodontic approach, I wish I’d done a bit more orthodontics initially. I’ve done a lot now but-

Payman: You studied in Bristol?

Dr. Adam Thorne: I was in Bristol.

Payman: Was it strong on orthodontics?

Dr. Adam Thorne: It was strong on orthodontics but again, that may be the way the market’s changed now. So I mean, I, gosh, 10 or 15 years ago we used a prep tooth till the cows came home. And now there’s a lot more orthodontic and people are happier for conservative treatment even if it takes a bit longer, and wearing braces is much, much more acceptable among the adults.

Payman: Yeah. That’s about it?

Dr. Adam Thorne: That’s about it. I mean, my tips would be: make sure you have loops, a light, camera, photograph everything. Photographing is key, if you photograph it’s really… you can really sort of self-appraise. You can put it up on the screen. It’s a great education tool to the patient. It obviously helps you ethically sell things, you don’t need to sort of… I sometimes put some photographs up on the screen of an occlusal shot of their teeth and then they say, “Oh, I don’t like that. Can we change that? And I don’t like this. Can we change that?” And you’ve already sold some dentistry there. But yeah, but also photograph after and then you can sort of say, “Well, maybe I should have moved that a little bit more or polish that a little bit more, or maybe that veneer’s just a little bit too off.” You learn from that experience.

Payman: If you met your 23 year old self, the day after finals self, what would you tell yourself? What sort of…

Dr. Adam Thorne: I’d say go and do a year sort of learning the industry in the right practise like I was lucky to do, and then from there do a nice balance of courses, but again in the experience maybe for about three or four years and then look at where you really want to go, what kind of dentistry you want to do, and if it is in the West End treating complex cases then take the plunge and go for it because you’re young.

Payman: So what, you’d tell your younger self to do exactly what you did?

Dr. Adam Thorne: If he wanted to do that!

Payman: But I mean-

Dr. Adam Thorne: Train to be a footballer.

Payman: Yeah. No, with a bit of hindsight is there anything that-

Dr. Adam Thorne: I think obviously-

Payman: Would you just say, “Listen, go for it.”?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, it’s going to be all right and get yourself a mentor. Just go for it and build that big practise earlier on.

Prav Solanki: We’re all here for a short period of time, right?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: Life is short.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: What would you like to be remembered for?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Clinical, in terms of professional here, nationally famous for the clinic that we delivered fantastic care to the patient in terms of dentistry and fantastic sort of team environment.

Prav Solanki: So, you’re on your death bed and someone comes up to you and says, “Adam, you had a renowned nationally recognised clinic.” Is there anything else?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Me?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Personally?

Prav Solanki: Personally. How much does that mean to you in the whole-

Payman: Your legacy.

Prav Solanki: …picture?

Dr. Adam Thorne: The legacy.

Prav Solanki: Yeah, your legacy.

Dr. Adam Thorne: I mean that’s my professional… I’d like to mentor people as well. So, a great teacher, supporter and obviously just the boys, my kids have done well for themselves and, yeah, I think that’s it.

Prav Solanki: Cool.

Payman: How much of progress do you think is down to luck and how much is down to effort and intelligence and all of those?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Splitting the three. So, I mean I think you have to be switched on, especially in our field, you have to be able to multitask. So, and what I do, you’re treating patients and they’re demanding patients, and they’re quite rightly, but because of where we put ourselves, but then you have a sort of five minute space between them and someone comes and says, “Oh, Enlighten Smiles are on the line because he was less sore,” or something.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Yeah, to sort be able to switch and juggle between suppliers and pushing things forward. So, multitask is a big thing. So you have to be intelligent and we’re able to do that. But then hard work. It’s hard work, and there’s no short-cut.

Dr. Adam Thorne: A bit of luck, yeah, I mean I think you make your luck and it’s also finding the right people at the right time. If you sort of want to go and do something, you give yourself a goal, that person will come into your life. And that seems a bit sort of spiritual, but you do find that, I want to go and do stuff and you’re researching things or looking at different things and then someone pops up and then before you know it you’ve got a mentor or sort of a guide.

Payman: Let’s finish it off with like a Desert Island Disc type question type thing. If your house was on fire and you had your family and all that, what’s the one thing you would rescue?

Dr. Adam Thorne: Probably a laptop.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Payman: Not bad. Not bad. It’s been brilliant.

Prav Solanki: It’s been great.

Payman: I enjoyed it.

Prav Solanki: It’s been great. [crosstalk] Yeah, yeah, yeah, it has.

Dr. Adam Thorne: Thanks for inviting me.

Payman: Thanks a lot for coming in [inaudible 00:51:00].

Dr. Adam Thorne: Appreciate it.

Payman: Thanks, Adam.

Prav Solanki: Thanks, Adam.

Payman: It’s been brilliant. Thank you. Bye bye.

Recorded Voice: This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one-on-one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Prav Solanki: Thanks for listening, guys. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for future episodes. Subscribe in iTunes or Google Play or whatever platform it is. You know, we really, really appreciate it if you would-

Payman: Give us a six star rating.

Prav Solanki: Six star rating. That’s what I always leave my Uber driver.

Payman: Thanks-


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