Dr. Ben Burris
Braces by Burris
Category: Business Executive of the Year
Dr. Ben Burris wants to see everyone with a smile that lights up a room.
In 2008, Burris, an orthodontist and owner of Braces by Burris of Jonesboro, started the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation to help children who can’t afford orthodontic care.
The foundation has spread to 30 states, and more than 100 chapters have been formed. It has donated about $10 million in care and treated about 1,900 patients. Burris’ clinics give four children a month a set of braces that are worth on average about $6,000.
Burris bought his first clinic in Jonesboro in 2004 because he saw a need for orthodontic care. Since then, Burris has started or acquired more than a dozen practices in Arkansas and Missouri, mainly in rural areas that weren’t served by orthodontists, said Burris.
Burris said he became an orthodontist to help people. Orthodontists “create beautiful smiles, improve self-image, boost confidence and enhance the lives of our patients,” he said.
His business strategy has been to advertise and use social media to get his message to patients and potential patients. In his spare time, Burris started and writes for the nationwide trade publication The Progressive Orthodontist, which comes out quarterly and focuses on the business side of the practice.
In 2011, he was named a finalist for the American Business Award’s Executive of the Year in the Health Products & Services category. Also in 2011, he was named Executive of the Year at the first Northeast Arkansas Business of the Year banquet.
Burris attributes his success to his 85 employees. “We deliver a great product affordably, and we build offices where there is a need for providers,” he said. “But it’s our customer service that makes us different. We would be nothing without our wonderful people.”