40-year friendship develops new-concept Birmingham dentistry

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Brian Barnes and Ron Beasley of Stone Creek Dental Care. Photo via Bham Now

After 40 years you probably know someone pretty well, but do you trust them enough to go into business together? For the founders of StoneCreek Dental Care the answer to that question is an easy yes. Eight years later, their business has not only become a major success story, it’s introducing a new culture of dentistry shaping Birmingham and beyond.

Meet Dr. Brian Barnes and Dr. Beasley

Dr. Ron Beasley at his office in Vestavia. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Dr. Brian Barnes and Dr. Ron Beasley’s 20 years of professional experience and personal relationship are building StoneCreek Dental Care in a way no one else is. Before we dive into that, let’s look at how this little empire got started.

The origin story

Dr. Barnes and Dr. Beasley have known each other since kindergarten days and grew up playing pretty much any sport that involved a ball together in Gardendale, Alabama. Despite attending different colleges for undergrad, Dr. Barnes at the University of Alabama and Dr. Beasley at Samford, they remained close friends.

If it weren’t for Dr. Beasley, actually, the two may have never been dentists. As Dr. Beasley studied for his MCAT one day, the hospital courier prompted him to take the DAT (Dental Admission Test). He called up Dr. Barnes in Tuscaloosa and convinced him to take the test as well. They both ended up attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry.

After practicing dentistry separately, in 2012 they combined talents and formed StoneCreek Dental Care. They continued buying more and more practices across Alabama, including locations in Tennessee, and soon an entire community was formed.

“What started StoneCreek Dental Care was friendship”

Although StoneCreek Dental Care is the first dental practice the two have owned as partners, it’s not their first business venture. They’ve both always enjoyed the business world and worked on various projects together. So, why not create an opportunity where they could both work in the industry they know best under one brand?

“The great thing about Dr. Beasley, in my opinion, is I don’t know if there are many people on the planet that I would trust any more than I trust him.

It’s rare you get an individual that speaks their mind. It’s unfiltered, it’s genuine, there are no angles at all behind what he’s doing. He has a clear vision of what he wants, and he wants the best.”

Dr. Brian Barnes

Their strengths counterbalance each other and an attitude not of “How will this affect us,” but “How will this affect our employees and patients” is what’s making the business thrive.

Changing the industry through education and communication

Dr. Barnes says one of the favorite parts of his job is chatting with patients. Photo via Bham Now.

Any doctor will tell you patient care is the center of their practice, any good one at least, but I don’t think they’re doing it quite like StoneCreek Dental Care. Although the relationship they have with their employees and patients comes organically, a lot of dedication is put into making the office feel that way. Really, you can look at it in three parts: education, care and communication.

Education

In a new generation of dentists, and even in Dr. Barnes and Dr. Beasley’s generation, both doctors realized many new practicing dentists felt like they were an island on their own. They did not have the training for managing other aspects of running a dental business practice and were frustrated spending time on that versus using the skills they learned in school.

“The better we train and the better staff we have, the better we care. If we can make offices efficient—the best technology, the best training—that always dominoes to how well you do your job and that’s become our goal now.”

Dr. Brian Barnes
StoneCreek Dental Care
Prepping for the next patient at StoneCreek Dental Care. Photo via Bham Now.

That theme of education doesn’t just apply to the other employees in their business, it applies to themselves, too. As the industry is changing, Dr. Barnes and Dr. Beasley are adapting to that and providing hands-on mentorship to dentists.

“People wanted guidance, which forced us to sit down and evaluate what do we want from the company? As we grew we knew we had to start developing a concept, a vision—what other great companies do. I think it forced us to stretch ourselves and learn.”

Dr. Brian Barnes

A commitment to training their staff and setting a model for how the culture should be at all of the offices transformed into a practice that is consistently giving the best possible care to their patients.

Care

Inside StoneCreek Dental Care you’ll find patients from generations of families, entire office staffs and more because the kind of care they’re receiving is unmatched to other dental practices. Part of this is because the doctors and staff are trained to acknowledge how the patient feels.

Seems like a simple concept, right? But most people dislike going to the dentist for a reason and often it can be considered a cold place. However, at StoneCreek Dental you’re always met with a smile. Doctors will always keep you updated if they’re running behind schedule, because they know your time is important. They ask for your advice on what they can do better, how you can be more comfortable and take time to listen.

While this kind of attention is important, StoneCreek Dental Care is also focused on making the visit worth that morning you took off from work.

“Really what we try to do is maximize your hygiene visits and do a little bit more than clean your teeth. We try to give you an oral cancer screening, Flouride and a periodontal screening.

In the wake of COVID-19, these screenings are critically important. We try to do all these things where you have a more comprehensive visit to the office.”

Dr. Beasley

Communication

Everyone always says communication is key, which is kind of ironic for a dental office where holding a conversation is nearly impossible. However, StoneCreek Dental Care is mastering when to listen to patients and their staff so they can improve their methods and foster a positive environment.

“Success is usually surrounding yourself with people who are better and smarter than you. The best thing we do is pick the right people and tell them what we want culturally and from a philosophy standpoint.”

Dr. Barnes

Stressing the importance of oral health

Panoramic X-Ray
Panoramic X-Ray at StoneCreek Dental Care. Photo via Bham Now

Look, having dental work done is scary. I honestly don’t even like coming within a 3-foot distance of any kind of dental tool, but oral care affects the rest of your body. Dr. Beasley described it as if you had a torn ACL, you wouldn’t walk it off—so why are you treating your mouth with so much less care?

Financial stress, the environment and other factors definitely play into that way of thinking. As their business grows, StoneCreek Dental Care will always be committed to ensuring you’re in a position where you feel comfortable.

Learn more about StoneCreek Dental Care through their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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