Dr. Danial Deheshi entered the field of dentistry in 2007, and in his 12 years of working as a dentist, he has learned a lot about medicine and patients. After years of gaining experience, Dr. Deheshi decided to go solo three years ago and take his career to new heights.
The good doctor, launched his own practice, Solo Dental, in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.
The clinic has gained a reputation for providing top-class dental work and customer service while providing strong relationships with patients. Those relationships have helped Solo Dental gain patients from many destinations, as they love the personal care touch Dr. Deheshi and his team provide.
With over a decade of dental experience under his belt, Dr. Deheshi still speaks about the industry as if he is in his first year of work. His refreshing approach is quite unique for an entrepreneur in any field.
Dr. Deheshi, Solo Dental practice is a general practice and cosmetic dental clinic. Can you start off by telling us about the practice and its growth over the years?
Solo Dental is known for its focus on premium quality dental care and customer service backed by integrity and accountability. With a keen eye for cosmetics and arts, we incorporate aesthetics in all of the dental care that we provide. Our practice is created in a modern setting where our patients can achieve and maintain optimal oral health and aesthetics. We use contemporary and digital dentistry in order to provide minimally invasive treatments with predictable and successful outcomes. In our practice we customize treatments to each individual by identifying their goals and then superseding them with results that they can be proud to show everyone. We top this with a knowledgeable team that provides excellent customer service where our clients feel catered to in a luxurious and attentive manner.
Our practice has seen positive growth over the years. Our central location along with my long career in Vancouver and Burnaby has lead to getting to know many great patients from all walks of life. We are proud to continue to provide our standard of care to them as well as those that they refer our practice. With many professional individuals as well as families amongst our patients, I have had a fruitful career so far making great connections and long-time friends.
You launched Solo Dental in 2016. What led to the creation of your own clinic?
Solo dental was created in 2016 with the combination of two visions. I am lucky enough to share the executive roles in my practice with my life partner and business partner Fereshta Deheshi. Fereshta has worked in the dental industry as an administrator and manager for over 10 years. Having both worked in the dental industry for a period of time; we were able to identify areas where the patients’ overall experiences could be improved. While we worked in other practices we kept our ears open and listened to each client and their feedback. We were able to design our practice philosophy and customer service to overcome any potentially unfavourable experiences patients could have. The “classic” dental experience model at times overlooked the patient as a whole and we wanted to overcome this. Fereshta manages the administrative department of our practice and ensures that our message and vision is continued from the moment our clients enter our practice, up to their last minute in our office. In our office, the whole individual is attended to, not just their teeth.
The design and decor of our practice was an integral part of the environment we wanted to create for our patients. We designed our practice to be modern with a welcoming environment that caters to patients’ needs for comfort. Our office is bright, warm and inviting, complementing our theme: simplicity is excellence. In our clean environment, we are proud to have created an office atmosphere and ambiance that our patients repeatedly comment on in a positive manner. Whether patients are having treatment or relaxing in our lounge, they can feel free to ask our staff for anything that can accommodate their experience and keep them comfortable.
Dr. Deheshi had spent almost a decade in the dental industry before striking out on his own. Those formative years were a time of learning and gaining the experience he needed to launch Solo Dental.
Prior to opening the clinic, what was your career like up to that point?
My career can be categorized in three areas: residency, associateship and ownership. Residency was one of the most impactful experiences I had in my dental career. Spending time in a hospital with numerous specialists in oral surgery, plastic surgery, emergency, and clinical dentistry allowed me to gain a vast amount of knowledge and skills from some of the best and most seasoned clinicians in our area. I also received extensive training in sedation dentistry. I would sum up this time as the most intense yet very educational part of my career.
The second phase of my career was associateship. In this phase, I was able to hone my skills into clinical dentistry while working as an associate dentist in private clinics. The benefit of associateship was mentorship as well as continuation of care with my patients. It was in this part that I started to experience the most fulfilling part of my profession, the relationship and connection that I would build with the person I was treating. Mastering the ability to listen to my patients’ goals and help them achieve those goals within the limitations of biology, form and function became the most satisfactory component of my work.
The third phase was ownership. It is in this phase that Fereshta and I were able to combine and integrate our unique expertise to create an environment that we can control in order to provide our patients with the ideal dental experience. Becoming the leaders of our team we are able to create a dynamic culture in our practice that gives our patients the great experience that we are known for. We created systems and check points so that our team would always be prepared to provide our clients with a seamless experience that is consistent and predictable.
Solo Dental is located in British Columbia, Canada. As many people know, Canada has universal healthcare, but what is the field of dentistry like? Is it covered by the Canadian medical system as well?
Although our federal health care does have niche populations that have dental coverage under universal healthcare, dentistry as a general whole is not universally covered. However, there exist many employee and self-subscriber insurance plans that can help cover if not alleviate the costs. There is a need for more populations to have universal dental care and we continue to work with our local and federal governments to try and improve the access to care, especially for those in need.
As employers we believe in investing in our team members and that includes their health. We do our part by providing extended healthcare benefits to each of our employees and their dependents that can help cover many such niches where universal healthcare does not reach.
How has dentistry changed in the time that you have practiced and what have you learned from your time as a doctor?
I have the pleasure to be in my career at a most exciting time. With advanced dental materials, equipment along with digital integration, our field is evolving in a great manner.
Experience in Digital Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Clear Aligner Orthodontics and Cosmetic Dental procedures integrated with Sedation dentistry allows me to overcome any challenge or limitations my patients may have. I am able to design my patients’ treatments to create beautiful results with minimal interruption to their professional lives. Many of my patients are professionals and are looking to improve their oral condition and smile with minimally invasive treatments. We have many solutions that can help address those needs.
A dental clinic is a unique kind of business with its own set of needs. From keeping patients happy to treating oral hygiene issues to purchasing the latest technology for the Solo Dental office, there is never a dull moment for Dr. Deheshi and the team as treat patients in the North Burnaby area.
Dr. Deheshi, what are some of the challenges you face running your own dental clinic today?
As any person running a business would agree, there is never a dull moment, and no single problem has a single solution. That being said, this is the part of operating a business that we enjoy the most. The challenge that I welcome is keeping our customer experience positive and consistent at all times. Being in the healthcare industry, we meet people with a variety of needs and starting points. I welcome the opportunity to help them all achieve optimal health and appearance in a comfortable and accommodating manner. We work diligently to ensure our office and team members are prepared to overcome any challenge a patient has and provide them with a smooth and hassle free experience. Dentistry and business both involve problem solving and I enjoy doing that very much.
Operational expenses can be high in our field and rightfully so. Top-tier standards in infection control, dental materials and equipment can increase the expense of running a dental business. My goal as an executive in our practice is to avoid the pitfalls of “bells and whistles” equipment. I do research and am selective to equipment and materials that are backed by evidence, have shown to have long lasting successful results while still are at the forefront of technology today.
In terms of running a dental clinic, is there still a place for smaller offices in a world that sees people migrate to much larger clinics and organizations for treatment?
It is no secret that in the very expensive world we are living in, larger conglomerations are a more common entity and our field is no different. That being said, there is a very intimate and human component to dentistry that cannot go unattended to. We have actually noted that many of our patients have come from larger group clinics. I don’t believe that we are necessarily better than a group clinic, however, larger groups can have multiple visions and ideas that do not align, resulting in inconsistent patient experiences.
While we are by no means a small practice, we have a united vision with a team that is created to provide quality over quantity. Despite our great volume of patients, we are able to schedule our days to give each person the time and individualized care that they deserve. As our practice is a single doctor model, our vision and approach is consistent amongst our entire team. Therefore, our patients can be comforted knowing the people they refer to us receive the same client care that they received.
The Dental industry has added new technological innovations over the years to provide patients with the smiles they desire. Dr. Deheshi and his team are at the forefront of using new methods and devices to complete dental work and make the end result even better. Dr. Deheshi believes the technology in the dental industry is only going to get better and improve the work his team does.
Technology is something that you implement in various ways at Solo Dental. Can you tell us about some of the tech you use on patients?
Technology in my opinion is in its “sweet spot” for professionals such as myself. Technology is not just revolutionary but rapidly evolutionary. Technology is no longer “icing on the cake”, it is the cake, and when integrated into patient care, can provide our clients with streamlined, predictable results that are not just accurate but beautiful. Some exciting technology and advancements in the care that we provide at Solo Dental are:
Digital scanning, which allows us to avoid “gooey” five-minute impressions, can scan your teeth and oral cavity to provide accurate records that are hassle-free and most importantly environmentally friendly. Digital dentistry allows me to better image, better plan to provide results that are very detailed and accurate. Digital scanning and clear orthodontics allow me to get very aesthetically pleasing results that are beautiful and have minimal disruptions to our patients’ day-to-day life.
Advancements in porcelains and bonding, integrated with digital dentistry can achieve very natural and aesthetically pleasing outcomes that our patients have been proud to show their loved ones. With advanced planning, we can now provide veneers and cosmetic dentistry that appear as though nothing was done to your teeth.
3-D imaging (CT Scanning) allows us to accurately plan implant dentistry and surgeries. By doing so we can have a minimally invasive approach that is much more pleasant for our patients while achieving beautiful results.
Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell integration in dentistry is a very exciting period. We are proud to be at the forefront of this advancement integrating PRF into our surgical treatments. By concentrating our patients’ own healing cells we can incorporate them it into their treatments we have seen improved surgical results and healing time. It is exhilarating to be able to rely on a more holistic approach to surgical treatments and minimize the use of medicines.
Where do you see dentistry going in the near future? Will there be more of an emphasis on technology to complete procedures?
Digital dentistry with automation and robotics are pushing the forefront of our field. With automated computing, we are now able to advance digital dentistry to capture records with accuracy that we could not before. In-office scanning and milling will also continue to reduce the amount of time it takes to achieve results for our patients. Our field is also shifting away from the use of any caustic materials or medicines that can have additional risks and side effects. We are continually re-evaluating the quality and safety of the past dental materials and evolving materials that are safer. Technology will not only continue to advance the procedure, it will continue to advance our materials to be longer lasting and more aesthetic.
What advice do you have for young dentists or doctors interested in opening their own clinics?
Never give up on a dream, never assume you cannot do what others have or have not done. That being said, soak in any opportunity you can for mentorship. The drive to achieve along positive mentorship can allow one to accomplish anything.
Not only is Dr. Deheshi a dedicated dentist and business owner, but he finds time to enjoy his hobbies and interests outside of the office. Dr. Deheshi has found two interest outside of dentistry that many patients may never expect him to have. Motorcycles and art are his two loves and Dr. Deheshi participates in both with a strong passion.
Dr. Deheshi, What is a day in your life like?
A day in my life can be described in one word: blessed. My day starts with waking up to my beautiful children and partner. Once our children are attended to and off to their programs and school, we turn our attention to our business. When we arrive to our work, our focus is our team and our clients. We start each day with a morning meeting where any concerns and all patient needs are identified and planned for. Any questions or concerns any team members may have are addressed and resolved. After our meeting (which has a very collaborative and positive atmosphere), we are ready and receive our clients as though our pace never stopped as of yesterday. After completion of another predictable day, we end with a positive debriefing and send off amongst the team. We then return to our family and children and enjoy a great evening together reflecting on what we experienced and learned from the day. Time with family is the best medicine to a full and hard-working day.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Something that people don’t know about me is that, although I am a dentist, I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I found my education in psychology quite fulfilling and enlightening. Because of it, I find that I am able to comprehensively understand my patients and identify any underlying causes of their fears and phobias. This allows me to individualize the experience for my patients so they are comfortable and relaxed at all times while achieving their goals.
Another unknown fact about me is that I love to ride motorcycles. I enjoy the art of motorcycle design and have been and avid rider for most of my life. The sense of freedom and connection to nature while traveling long distances is one of the most enjoyable activities that I do. It may not be what most people expect from a dentist but it is something that I enjoy.
What makes you smile?
I could create and endless list of things that make me smile as I am grateful for every minute that I get to live and experience the opportunities that come my way.
However, if I was to choose one, it would be the moment my patient looks at me directly in the eyes and asks in some shape or form, if I can “help take care” of a loved one they have. It is at that moment that business does not matter whatsoever. At that moment, I am happily reminded of the impact I can have on someone and of the trust and belief they have in me. That is why I wake up everyday and it puts a smile on my face.
What scares you?
Complacency and bias. These are two qualities that we can be unaware of when they are affecting us. We avoid these qualities by keeping a team approach in all that we do. Although Fereshta and I are the leaders of our practice, each team member is given a significant voice and the ability to have input in what we do. We cultivate and promote individuals and their ideas and opinions. By doing so, we can construct a system together that alleviates any potential pitfalls of bias and complacency.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I am lucky to have work that overlaps with my hobbies, as I have been a lifelong artist and art admirer. From photography to sculpting, I have been passionate about performing these techniques and relentlessly seeking art for admiration. When I was young, I realized that art is an integral component of dentistry. It was then that I knew I had crossed paths with my lifelong career choice. Art is about capturing and creating and this relentless pursuit is what I love about my profession as well as my hobbies.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
The historical figures are admire are the countless scientists and clinicians that pushed when no one thought we needed the push to achieve accomplishments that we have today. They are the many sung and unsung heroes that dedicated their lives to the science of dentistry. They are the countless authors in the compendium of evidence-based scientific journals that are in my collection and that of the great dentists that I admire. I am daily enlightened by the numerous figures past and present that impact our profession.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Forget about your competitors, just focus on your customers.” – Jack Ma
“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
To change one thing would be to equalize the world a little more for everyone. Despite our abundant resources and advancements in care, access and distribution are not equal for many amongst geographical and socio-economical barriers. That being said, since we don’t have the power to completely fix this, we do our small part to bridge any gaps that we can reach. We commit to community involvement in many shapes and forms. We improve oral education within our communities by providing dental education to elementary schools. We believe in being charitable in the form of donations to groups in need as well as providing free dental days those that do not have any supplementary support for their dental misfortunes. It is quite gratifying to be able impact members of our community and we continue to do so in any chance we find.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s been a pleasure engaging in this interview. It has been very pleasant to work and communicate with your team. You carry a lot of the qualities in a business that we also self-identify with which has made this a very enjoyable experience. Thank you.
Dr. Deheshi has built Solo Dental from the ground up and is still building it every day. As most entrepreneurs know, they must continue to work hard and develop their brand to make it successful.
Solo Dental has embraced technology to provide better care for its patients and will continue to do so as new techniques are developed. It is a positive approach to dental medicine and one that continues to win over patients to Dr. Deheshi and his team.
For more information on Dr. Danial Deheshi and Solo Dental, please visit www.solodental.ca
Images credit: Gabriel Lascu Photography
Journalist and author. Contributor