Well-known dentist and founder of Southern Cross Dental Laboratories, David Penn, joins us in the Savvy Dentist Podcast today. I am so impressed by David’s business acumen and his ability to take something from other professions/industries and make them relevant to the industry he is working in.

David generously shares his story and experience in growing his dental practice straight out of university. What he did is so interesting and is just the epitome of perseverance and hard work. There is so much to learn from him, whether you are a new graduate or have been in the business for years.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • [02:03] Diving into practice ownership straight out of graduation.
  • [06:34] The things that set him up in his first foray into private practice.
  • [12:02] His dream of having a large enterprise and his ability to spot gaps in the market.
  • [16:34] Dentistry as a people business.
  • [18:48] The early days of Southern Cross Dental.
  • [23:43] Penetrating the Australian market.
  • [29:35] The time frame from starting to becoming a full-fledged business.
  • [36:04] Working through 16 years to build his practice.
  • [40:03] Managing and getting through rapid growth.
  • [47:15] His experience on DMF numbers from when he started versus today.
  • [52:50] Advice for younger dentists to ensure longevity in their career.
  • [57:20] His thoughts on the future of dentistry especially on price-sensitivity.
  • [01:04:28] His wife’s advice for dentists.
  • [01:07:11] Things he loves about Eastern Suburbs Football Club.
  • [01:11:26] David’s advice for young dentists


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