For Dr. Amin Damji, opening his second ARTIS Dental Centre a year and a half ago was like coming home.
While Damji established his first clinic in uptown New Westminster in 1993, the North Shore resident now doesn't have to stray too far afield when he's tending to patients at his new location next to Thriftys Foods at 845 Marine Drive in North Vancouver.
"I always wanted to have a second clinic here on the North Shore," says Damji, who graduated from UBC with a doctor of dental medicine degree and a master's degree in oral biology. "It's wonderful to be closer to my home and my family."
Much like his New West location, Damji's latest ultraboutique family dental clinic can perhaps best be described as "state of the ARTIS." It's important to him that every patient is afforded exceptional care and service. It's no surprise his motto is "Experience the extraordinary".
Damji prides himself on providing his patients with a wide selection of the most technologically advanced dental treatments available. Besides the full gamut of traditional dental services offered by Damji and his associates, ARTIS also provides dental implants, laser-assisted periodontal therapy and oral cancer screenings, teeth-whitening services, Lumineers, Invisalign treatments and even Botox.
"The success of business in dentistry relies on patient retention and growth and we work very hard to deliver the highest level of dental care and service possible. "Even for people who may have been neglecting their dental health - whether out of fear or simple procrastination - "it's never too late to get back on track", says Damji.
Regular visits to the dentist not only promote the benefits of a whiter smile, but the betterment of one's overall health in the bargain. "At minimum I tell my patients to at least come in and understand where they are in terms of their dental health and find out where they lie in terms of dental caries (cavities) and gum or periodontal disease. It's better to do that than avoid coming in at all. To awake the perils of harbouring active dental disease can be brutal. Dental infection can progress very rapidly if left untreated and end up affecting your systemic health."
Damji has become something of a guru when it comes to allaying patients' fears about dental visits. Much like at his New Westminster clinic, where he removed nitrous oxide sedation in favour of soothing music and creature comforts like plasma-screen TVs and hot towels, he follows the same principles at his North Vancouver location.
With the advent of cutting-edge technology like intraoral cameras, rotary instrumentation for root canal therapy and diode lasers, today's dentist is armed with a wide array of pain-free solutions to help soothe the most worrisome of patients.
"Dentistry today is nothing like it used to be," says Damji. "Now, it's painless, quicker and quieter. I personally believe that the best way to eliminate a patient's fear is by providing education. We have the technologies to help a patient understand exactly what their problem is and how we're going to treat it. One should never underestimate the power of patient education - it's a true means to alleviating fear." Damji laughs when it's suggested he's as much therapist as dentist at times. "You always have to wear two hats," he admits.
"Personally, I find it very rewarding to address my patients' concerns, be it a missing or painful tooth, a lesion on the tongue or simply helping them improve their smile. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do."
GET TO KNOW ME
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy reading, going for walks and spending time with my family.
What was your favourite subject in school?
I was always fond of the sciences, especially biology and chemistry.
What is your favourite wine/ beverage or food?
Favourite beverage: a spicy virgin Ceasar Favourite food: definitely French cuisine.
What is your favourite spectator sport?
Growing up, I used to enjoy watching a lot of tennis, but now both of my sons have ignited in me a passion for basketball!
What is your favourite room in your house and why?
Without doubt it's the family room, because that's where my family spends quality time together.