In just three years, Dr. Yaroslav Yarmolyuk has expanded Orthodontic Experts from one location to 14. Learn his strategies for business growth.
Regular checkups and routine cavity fillings are the norm for dental patients. But some people require specialized treatments that only a certified orthodontist can provide.
Each patient presents a new challenge to Dr. Yaroslav Yarmolyuk, DDS MS, owner and operator of Orthodontic Experts, with locations in Rockford, Algonquin and a dozen other locations in Illinois and Colorado. He may respond with the latest in braces, but he can also go beyond by teaming with oral and plastic surgeons. His dedication to helping patients achieve the best possible results is predicated on his commitment to the field of orthodontics and his desire to reach as many patients as possible.
A native of the Ukraine, Yarmolyuk immigrated to the United States in 2000, coming first to Rockford and then attending medical school in Chicago.
“I’ve been in the Midwest since arriving, attending the University of Illinois-Chicago dental school and then a three-year fellowship in orthodontics at Marquette,” Yarmolyuk says. “I was interested in medicine originally, but went into dentistry because it offered the quickest way to establish my own practice.”
As a University of Illinois-Chicago student, Yarmolyuk worked with Crusader Clinic and Milestone Clinic for four to six months to get additional experience. “This really connected me to the Rockford community,” he says.
After graduating from Marquette, Yarmolyuk decided to open his first clinic in Arlington Heights in 2012.
“It grew quickly,” he says. “References poured in from all over the Chicago area, and we were able to expand Orthodontic Experts steadily, opening the Rockford clinic as our fourth location in 2016, after Harwood Heights and Chicago.”
Now, just three years later, he operates 12 Illinois locations plus another two in Colorado.
“It’s about communication and having the right team members in the right positions,” he says. “Our team is invested in making orthodontic care accessible to patients who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience the life-changing effects of orthodontic treatment.”
He makes sure Orthodontic Experts consistently provides training, coaching and growth opportunities to its team. And as far as the Colorado clinics are concerned, the same basic philosophy applies.
“It goes back to access of care,” Yarmolyuk says. “It was an underserved market as well as a growth opportunity. The idea is for Orthodontic Experts to take the business model that we have been utilizing in Illinois and expand it to other states.”
While there are challenges to starting and expanding this kind of medical service, Yarmolyuk has overcome them by trusting the right people.
“Growing a practice will never be easy,” he says. “But it can be rewarding and a great experience. I would say it is important to have a plan and revisit and revise it until you have a direction with purpose.”
Now open for three years, the Rockford Orthodontic Experts clinic on East State Street employs nine specialists and 90 support staff members. Altogether, they are able to meet the needs of every patient through their experienced, highly trained network.
“It’s important that patients find a certified, qualified orthodontist,” Yarmolyuk says. “All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Illinois is one of only three states that mandates fellowship training before a dentist can be called an orthodontist. Many dentists include braces as part of their treatments, but it is vital that the patient know this so they can choose to either go with the dentist or find a trained, certified orthodontist for this advanced dental treatment.”
In the cases of alignment problems that braces will not adjust, Yarmolyuk works in partnership with other oral specialists and occasionally plastic surgeons when their services are deemed necessary. The problem may stem from a birth or genetic condition, or trauma to the jaw and neck from accidents, falls and sports-related incidents. Yarmolyuk and other doctors on a patient’s medical team coordinate their efforts to ensure everything possible is done to help the damage heal perfectly.
“Once we begin to treat a patient, we’re there for them,” he says. He even has a call center that’s manned 24/7 for emergencies.
For anyone who has trouble with tooth and jaw alignment, the decision to visit an orthodontist should be obvious, Yarmolyuk says. From straightforward alignment with braces to complex treatment programs that may take years, an orthodontist is a patient’s best choice.
“Orthodontic Experts is patient-focused, not only with the services we offer like 24-hour emergency lines or access to care in multiple locations, but also with team members who are dedicated to those patients,” Yarmolyuk says. “We believe in altruism and we continue to grow our practice on such values.”