Dr. Thi Nguyen knew from a young age that she would one day be a dentist, running her own practice and helping others.
As Thi explains, growing up in a “low socio-economic environment”, dental care was often only sought when severe pain forced a visit.
“There was no empathy, we were not talked to,” she says. “I was often reduced to tears as a child and the experience remained with me for life. There was real fear there.”
Driven by those formative experiences, Thi spent years crafting her vision, one where empathy, service and care are a focus, so no one has to go through what she did, at least while in her care.
The result is Lotus Smiles Dental in Sunbury, which Thi opened in February this year.
“It doesn’t matter how long the visit takes, I want all of my patients to feel respected, to feel at ease and to have a positive dental experience,” she says.
“That is my motivation. I enjoy that people appreciate the extra effort I go to to make sure everyone is comfortable.”
“Also, because of my experiences as a youngster, I am passionate about early dental care, and as such donated free check-ups, toothbrushes and toothpaste to children at the local childcare centre.”
Thi says that when she interviews for new staff, whether dentists or nurses, the first thing she looks for is an empathetic nature.
“It is imperative for me that my staff share the same priorities as me and the result is that we have a really caring team,” she says.
Lotus Smiles Dental makes an effort to be as affordable as possible and offers payment plans for those on tight budgets. All works, advice and treatment plans are tailored to suit individual patients.
“We have kids with special needs come into our clinic and we love making sure they are comfortable,” Thi says. “Whether it takes 30 minutes or 45 minutes doesn’t matter… the goal is that they are not scared and have healthy teeth and gums.”
Thi is passionate about her focus on comfort and a caring approach, evidenced by the business’ motto: “A spa-like dentistry”. Aromatherapy in the waiting room calms the senses and a water fountain creates a zen-like atmosphere.
Lotus Smiles Dental may be a new member of the Sunbury community, but Thi is already a big part of it, offering the Sunbury Football Club mouth guards at cost price.
“One of my dental nurses has links with the footy club so we reached out to help the kids,” she says. “We also offer work experience opportunities for students and do our best to make sure they have a great experience in their chosen field.”
“We have beautiful patients who bring in cookies. One helped us with assembling our lockers … some just pop in for a cup of tea, which is what it’s all about.”
Lotus Smiles Dental, 92 O’Shanassy Street, Sunbury. Inquiries: 8732 7377 or visit www.lotussmilesdental.com.au