Executive Inc: How a Scottsdale dentist created an A-list roster of patients

Phoenix Business Journal


Besides being professional athletes, what do Devin Booker, Albert Pujols and Wayne Gretzky all have in common? John Badolato has placed his hands in their mouths.

Badolato is the founder and CEO of Studio B Smiles, a dentistry practice with offices in Scottsdale and downtown Phoenix that is frequented by some of the biggest names in sports, as well as other celebrities.

“Football, basketball, baseball ... I’ve had guys and girls from every sport, whether they live here in the Valley or they are flying to see us,” Badolato said.

Badolato, who is known by his patients as Dr. B, has been honored as one of the top cosmetic dentists in the state and the country. His skills have gained him popularity with high-profile clientele.

“It was through word of mouth that I started taking care of these guys,” Badolato said. “It’s a very small community with athletes where they all talk to each other, their wives all talk to each other. And it was a great thing for me growing a practice from scratch when I had the word of mouth.”

Through that word of mouth, he got hired on by the Phoenix Suns 15 years ago to be the team dentist. Then five years ago the Arizona Diamondbacks brought him on. Badolato also works with the Phoenix Mercury, Grand Canyon University basketball and the Phoenix Suns Dancers. Additionally, he was the official cosmetic dentist for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition."

His proximity to athletes has helped him develop friendships with many of them. It has even lead to working with them on charitable ventures. Accompanied by Pujols, Badolato has performed dental work on those in need in the Dominican Republic. He is currently working with Booker on projects with the Phoenix Suns Charities and the Special Olympics.

All the benefits do come with more work outside normal office hours. Badolato is at every home game for the Suns and Diamondbacks in case there is a dental emergency. This NBA season has been more complicated because Badolato is required to be tested for Covid-19 two out of the three days before each home game.

Besides being tested for Covid nearly every day, how has the 2021 NBA season been for you? This has been a really fun year for me. For the first 20 games it was just me and five other guys from our medical staff, and we were the only fans. It was surreal. It was like I basically had an NBA game for myself. Since we brought fans back, I’ve gotten closer. I’m sitting right behind the benc.

Why do teams like the Suns or the Diamondbacks need a team dentist at the games? If someone gets popped in the mouth, I'm there.

Are there a lot of injuries to the teeth during a basketball game? I have more people that have had busted teeth in basketball. It’s always usually the front teeth. Steve Nash, Grant Hill; they always crack their tooth. Some of these guys won’t wear mouth guards after the fact. I fixed Steph Curry’s teeth. He wears a mouth guard, but it’s a funny story. He broke a tooth in a game and he was chewing on his mouth guard so much, he cracked his tooth where he chewed on the mouth guard. But the ones that don’t wear mouth guards, they have me lose sleep.

How did you get into this type of dentistry? When I got into dental school, in the first six months I was there, one of my teacher said to me, “You know what? You’d make a really good cosmetic dentist.” I said, “What’s a cosmetic dentist?” She showed me this guy who was out in Beverly Hills and what he was doing with veneers and makeovers and whitenings. I was like, “Wow!” I got super excited and I was all about cosmetic dentistry. I got trained. I went out to Beverly Hills. The doctor that was my mentor was actually the doctor on the first "Extreme Makeover."

When I think of sports injuries and teeth, I mostly think of hockey. Would you work for a hockey team? I’ve been offered numerous times the Coyotes job. I would love to take care of those guys, but they actually need me every game. I don’t need to be in Glendale at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday working on a guy’s tooth. So I fix all their teeth when they’re done playing. That way I sleep easy because I know they’re not going to get popped in the mouth.

Besides teeth and your family, I know your other passion is golf. How do you find time to play? About five or six years ago, I changed my schedule so I come into work on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and I’ll work until 7 p.m. It affords my patients' times with executive hours. They can come in at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and they love that. But it’s my favorite day of the week because I get to golf in the mornings.

Read article: https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2021/04/15/executive-inc-word-of-mouth-scottsdale-dentist-h.html?b=1618504780%5E21886631