Dentalpreneur: From Practitioner to Business Leader

Dr. Mark Costes has spent eighteen years in dentistry with roles ranging from Dental Associate to owner and proprietor of fifteen practices. Currently, he is still overseeing seven while he devotes the rest of his time to dental performance coaching for over two hundred private clients through his company, the Dental Success Institute. Costes thrives by helping others learn from his mistakes, and he travels all over the world to speak as a consultant, mentor, and ambassador of his latest endeavor, the Dental Success Network. In this episode of the Progressive Dentist Podcast, Costes joins host Craig Cody to talk about the hardships and successes he experienced while forging an impactful career that continues to help others in many ways.

While attempting to build his first successful business, Dr. Costes found that he was by no means a natural. Costes was an expert clinician with persistence and grit at his core, but his lack of entrepreneurship experience posed a major challenge during some of the most difficult times in the dental industry. At this point, Costes already learned that adversity will teach you nothing unless you charge through it. It took Dr. Costes three years and twenty-one attempts to get into dental school, but the reality is that every failed attempt increased his desire to become a dentist, and he adapted his plan to succeed.

Failure by Design

Identifying the root cause of your failure is half the battle because there is a lot of value to be placed on mentorship and the ability to find a person or group of people that have already traversed the path you want to travel. There are countless resources that offer a mastermind process so you can learn from the mistakes that have already been made and avoid them. In Costes’ case, the expansion of Horizon Schools of Dental Assisting and the Dental Success Institute gave him a window of opportunity to enter the influencer space and ultimately help other practitioners succeed by sharing his story.

One of the major setbacks for business owners in this industry is that they are often masters of an advanced discipline but lack the fundamental skills to run a company. Dr. Costes experienced this personally at his first practice, where he realized that four years is barely enough time to learn how not to hurt someone when you start working on them—let alone understand the ins and outs of running a profitable business. The lack of knowledge of basic entrepreneurship is a huge hurdle for young professionals in this field, and when they have limited knowledge of their numbers or how things are categorized on the balance sheets, there is no possibility to make effective financial decisions. 

The Dental Success Institute and Network

Costes has been working hard to curb that deficiency, with his efforts spearheaded by The Dental Success Institute and Dental Success Network. With the Dental Success Institute, Dr. Costes is able to provide individual coaching resources that help dentalpreneurs look at their numbers in detail and identify areas of opportunity or room for improvement. The Dental Success Network is a powerful supplementary tool for the industry as a whole. The DSN hosts a slew of resources, message boards, and case studies for every possible faculty in dentistry, tightly moderated by key opinion leaders and experts in their field. It provides access to a focused mastermind process that is shared with other professionals who have similar goals, as well as outlets for continuing education and an exclusive network of preferred vendors.

These days, you can basically learn anything you want about becoming a better business leader for next to nothing, and Costes urges the exploration of free information that’s out there in abundance. There are so many resources available and there is no reason to struggle when you can learn from someone who’s already gone through it. Learn more about Dr. Mark Costes at and check out for more informative podcast episodes with other remarkable guests. Thanks for listening.

Subscribe To Our NewsletterJoin our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!