Sit down and listen to our latest podcast, a conversation with Dr. Chris Hart, a dentist, businessman, and product inventor. He’s also known as the mind behind Oventus. In this podcast, Dr. Hart goes on to explain about: - Health issues that can adversely affect dental health- The importance of continual education- The path to trying out new things in dentistry (and other places)Enjoy!
Dr. Luke Heazlewood: Cool. So, if you just want to tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you grew up? Where you went to university? Why did you choose to do dentistry? And how on earth did you end up product invention?
Dr. Chris Hart: No worries. So, I grew up in Rocky *indistinct* in central Queensland. Went to boarding school down here. And ended up in university at *UOQ*. When I was at school, it was 80% unemployment in school leavers. So I just wanted to be able to find my way and was interested in healthcare. So I threw down chiropractic, studied science, biochemistry, physiology for a bit. I threw down physio and dentistry. Dentistry came up so, I thought I better finish one of these degrees and start the rest. It was kind of a, you know, a bit of a fluke really. But then, you know, I was probably...I’ve always had an equal interest between the clinical side and the business side. So when I first graduated, I actually went and did some research at Cambridge University and then came back and had a couple of subjects left in the science degree in biochemistry and physiology. So I mugged up the rest of the studies. Pretty much told myself into coming back. Started buying practices. So I bought three. *indistinct* went to the bank and borrowed a heap of money.
Dr. Luke Heazlewood: (Chuckle)
Dr. Chris Hart: And my first business was really practices and I started Smiles Group. So we ended up, I think at the most, all up we had fifteen that we either bought or managed. And the most we had at one time was about twelve. I then started exiting that *indistinct* practices after the GST and the *indistinct* and everything else. And it was about 10 years since I started. So I set myself a ten year timeline to sort of get in and out of that side of the industry. So I started exiting and sold my last half a dozen or so to private equity investors three years ago.
Dr. Luke Heazlewood: Wow.
Dr. Chris Hart: In terms of how I ended up in product invention, it was just patient need. You know, to be honest with you. I myself was a severe *indistinct* suffering from over congestion. Steroids and other constrictor treatments weren't that good long-term. Surgery hadn't worked. and I was desperate for some air, so I got a couple of saliva injector tube and I bend them down the back of my throat one night and secured it with some *indistinct* material.
Dr. Luke Heazlewood: (Laughter). That’s awesome.
Dr. Chris Hart: And that was the first *indistinct* device.
Dr. Chris Hart: Because at the time, I had a dozen practices, we had about 250,000 patients under my care. And I started actually delivering them to my patients who had *indistinct* congestion *indistinct*, otherwise intolerant to other oral appliances. Cuz the reason being, if you've got a blocked nose, you can't shove a big bit plastic in your mouth, you can't breathe through either. So...