March 8, 2023 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock
Presented By
Category Sponsors
Sponsored By
For sponsorship or ticket information contact:
Tiffany Mattzela
Event Director

Rock Dental Brands

Rock Dental Brands
Category V (500+ Employees)
Little Rock

Rock Dental Brands of Little Rock kept growing in 2022 and set the stage for more expansion this year and beyond.

The company, which supports a network of general dentists and dental specialists in about 100 clinics across five states, secured $45 million in credit commitments in September from Twin Brook Capital Partners of Chicago. At the time, CEO Kristi Crum said the deal would fuel Rock Dental’s plan to “bring quality oral health care to as many individuals as possible” through “smart, stable expansion.” 

The announcement followed a year of acquisitions that brought more than a dozen new clinics into the fold. And that’s where Rock Dental does the work it says sets it apart from other dental care networks.

“We serve those who serve our patients,” said Kelly Grappe, Rock Dental’s vice president of marketing. The goal is to help the company’s dental care providers focus solely on patient care by managing the other tasks required to operate a dental practice, as well as provide opportunities for professional development and access to the latest dental technology.

At the same time, Rock Dental works to maintain the culture of each practice after it acquires them. “We’re not cookie-cutter. We individualize and customize their new world to best meet their needs,” Grappe said.

That approach has provided a scalable business model for the company, whose roots go back to 1986, when orthodontist Dr. Mark Dake founded his first practice in West Plains, Missouri. Dake eventually partnered with Dr. Bryan Hiller of Little Rock, and later Dake’s son, Merritt, to form Rock Dental Brands in 2016 to manage and operate a network of dental practices.

Since 2020, the company has grown its employee count by 29% to 735 employees and expanded its roster of female doctors by 17%. In fact, more than 71% of its senior leaders are women.

All the while, the company has focused on advice from its founder to drive success: “If we focus first on taking great care of the patient, the business will take care of itself.”

That business will get bigger this year. “I expect we will be expanding in our footprint significantly over the course of 2023,” Grappe said.

Previous Arkansas Business of the Year Honorees