The Business Bootcamp competition

We hear from Bhavin Bhatt about Aligner Alchemy and find out more about his Business Bootcamp competition.

For those who don’t know you, can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Bav, I qualified in 1999.

I’ve been very lucky to have owned three practices before.

My claim to fame –I was the first dentist on live TV to extract teeth with no anaesthetic, just hypnosis.

I didn’t understand why I was doing it but it was probably the starting point when I realised I don’t think and act like a normal dentist.

I love to think outside the box.

I’ve had one of the hardest journeys in dentistry from fraud, bankruptcy, ID theft.

Anything you can think of I’ve actually gone through and that culminated in injuring my hand and thinking, shall I leave dentistry or just keep going.

My hand now won’t allow me to give injections, do any Botox or anything like that.

I was working two days a week trying to figure out do I leave dentistry and the honest truth is I was setting myself up to be a maths tutor.

It was my daughter who told me: ‘You tell us never to give up on our dreams. So, why are you giving up?’

I had to find a way to do stress free, risk free, physical free dentistry.

How can I do dentistry without actually doing dentistry? Hence why I stumbled into the Invisalign game.

Last year I achieved what people call the Roger Bannister moment if you’ve heard of that.

I’m now described as the ultimate super associate. I work in a mixed dental practice in east London, I don’t have a dental Instagram profile.

So I’m probably like 90% of the people out there.

And yet they call me a super associate because of the volume of work that we get through.

Bav, now you provide Invisalign treatments. Is that all you offer?

Yes, but I don’t actually do anything because I’m really lazy.

So I, as an associate, work out of three rooms. And I have a team of people around me that do the hard work. That’s what they mean by a super associate.

As an associate, you can do anything if you think about it.

If your principal is 50 years old and has no idea about how to grow the business with social media, you could be the engine that drives that business forward.

And if you can monetise that, systemise that, industrialise it, you almost become bigger than the asset.

You can think of me as a platform – I’m Uber or Airbnb.

It doesn’t matter where I go, I’m going to generate the business money.

A lot of associates are now realising that opportunity and, as a result, some of them are getting a percentage of the additional profits that they generate.

Because what practice owners now realise is, dentistry is a business.

Anyone whose value adds to the bottom line is worth more money.

But I assume you need the principal to be on board, you need the practice on board?

Yes, on my journey, at one point I was working at 21 practices offering Invisalign.

I realised this is a Tinder world.

I’m going to have to keep swiping until I find someone worth sticking with.

The challenge was I’m going to have to work out of a lot of practices to figure out who is the growth-minded principal who’s looking for an associate-led practice and is ambitious to grow.

If you have a principal that has a closed mindset, it’s never going to work.

What is Aligner Alchemy and what do you offer?

I’m approaching my 50th birthday, believe it or not.

As I think about turning 50 I’ve realised that, with modern medicine and science, I’m going to live until I’m 120 years old!

So as a dentist, the first thing I thought is at what age do I wish to retire? And I thought probably 90.

If I intend to be retired at 90 and I don’t intend to buy a practice because that’s not what I’m good at. What do I want to achieve in the next 40 years?

Then we came up with this idea of Aligner Alchemy, because there are three things that we’re trying to achieve.

The first thing is, in dentistry we all accept that there are high levels of emotional health problems.

For over 30 years we speak about depression, drink, drugs, divorce. And we all think that one day the GDC or the CQC or the BDA will come to our help and do something.

It’s not happening.

Some people thought perhaps the universities would change their teaching.

So right now, in the context of the world as it is today, Martin Lewis doesn’t understand why kids don’t know what money and finance and APRs are.

It’s really strange that dentists are not taught about soft skills. But it’s the soft skills that create all the problems.

aligner alchemy

Hands, head, heart

The first thing we want to we talk about is integrating your hands your head and your heart.

If you think of a dentist from university, all they’ve done is focus on their hands. But no one thought about how to integrate the head and the heart.

The head means that your business savvy, you understand the game that you’re playing, you have a strategy and tactics on how to open that game, and you know the different nuances and formats.

We don’t get taught how to talk to different personality types who express themselves with different modes of communication.

And all dentist challenges relate to feeling hurt in their heart because emotionally, we’ve not been taught these soft skills of grit, tenacity, resilience.

And we don’t understand how to empathetically listen, respond and communicate.

If you were to ask dental law companies to describe the dentist who always gets into trouble, it’s those who cannot communicate, empathise and listen properly.

Why aren’t we learning these skills?

Imagine how much grief the average dentist would save themselves if university just taught them this.

But we realised there’s just not an appetite from vested interests to deal with the problem.

So we said we are going to talk about that and we’re going to help people to integrate their head, heart and hands.


The second thing that we’re trying to do is to say that, as dentists we’re incredibly good at prevention – gum disease is down, cavities are down and the next territory is accelerated or premature ageing of teeth.

This relates to the way your teeth come together and work as a machine.

One of our goals is we want to destroy the full mouth reconstruction business.

We personally think it’s criminal that people have all their teeth crowned for £40,000 when 20 years ago, they should have just had some simple treatment to remedy that and look after it.

But dentists are not taught to have these conversations.

We’re not taught what to look for, how to find it, how to create ownership, accountability on the patient side.

And yet you know the biggest business in the world right now is anti-aging.

As dentists, we’re not monetising that and we’re letting people’s teeth literally become little stumps and then we’re really proud of ourselves when we rehabilitate it.

Young dentists really resonate with this message – a full mouth reconstruction is a dentist 20 years ago not having the courage to articulate in sophistication and finesse what the challenges are.

So the Aligner Alchemy course is not just Invisalign, it’s all-encompassing?

Dentists don’t want to attend courses on soft skills and personal development growth.

In the same way we hide the spinach in children’s pasta, I need to find a way to hide the most important skills that our dentist need in the content they want.

I understand why the market might think this is an Invisalign course but it completely isn’t.

But dentists would not sign up for this unless they thought they were going to make lots of money.

But actually the biggest thing is associates are trained to do Victorian dentistry on the NHS.

So in the context of today where associates don’t want to work on the NHS and they want to work part time, there’s a fundamental shift.

If you were to ask dentists in my generation, ‘What’s your advice for a young dentist?’, ten years ago it was work three or four years on the NHS and learn your trade.

Today, it’s avoid the NHS at all costs.

Today, it’s find a really good private dentist of a certain age who’s passionate about mentoring, teaching and sharing knowledge.

And do a two or three-year apprenticeship under them and master your craft.

In summary the course teaches delegates:

  1. How to integrate the hands, head and heart within your practise
  2. How to promote prevention
  3. Improve your aligner value propositions.

What do associates need to have in place before they start on your course?


There are some people on our programme who are doing five units a year with it.

By the end of the course they’re doing 50 units.

There’s no prerequisite except an open mind. Fundamentally we’re going to try and shift you.

If you’re a young dentist and you want to phase into digital, cosmetically-driven care that is holistic and comprehensive, there are lots of courses that teach you how to do the delivery of your service.

There’s no one out there explaining how to talk to normal people and to solve the problems that exist inside their mouth.

So now the challenge is that if I’m not solving a problem inside your mouth, I’m having to sell you something.

Dentists don’t like selling.

What we’ve done is created a workflow where you go through a guided process at the end of it.

The question then becomes, what do you want to buy to improve your health?

Now you’re running a competition for those looking to come on your course. What does that involve?

Absolutely, we’re really passionate about helping the next generation to level up.

We have an amazing competition for a boot camp.

All that we’re doing is asking people to enter the competition through an application form.

Your application form will be assessed and we’ll announce the lucky winner.

When does that competition open?

The boot camp will be for next year in February.

And the competition will be starting around the end of September, early October.

Could you just put into just one paragraph, what would delegates take away from your course?

When I speak to young dentists who’ve been through it, the first thing that they say is confidence.

Love, less self-sabotage, less negative self-talking and more love for dentistry and what they’re doing.

And then passion, which feels like life is effortless and fun again because they’re doing what they love.

Most of our delegates did dentistry because they had a vision of what their life could be.

For some of them, it felt like it was a bit of a nightmare as soon as they started and now this was the dream that they signed up to and they’re just absolutely loving life.

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