12 Oct V-SMILE FAMILY DENTAL BY DEBORAH DOVE THE STORY BEHIND THE PHILOSOPHY
A warm individual who enjoys talking to her patients—all of whom she thinks of as family—Dr. Vijaya Tippireddy has collected a lot of stories over the sixteen years she has been practicing dentistry, but one of her favorites is when a new patient with a lot of medical conditions pointed to her tooth and said, “I want to have this tooth fixed.” Dr. Tippireddy quickly ascertained that the tooth the patient was pointing to was the least of her worries—she had numerous broken-down teeth that needed filling, fixing, or replacing. Dr. Tippireddy advised the patient of the additional problems, but agreed to fix what the patient came in for. After Dr. Tippireddy finished, she handed the woman a mirror. The woman burst into tears and hugged the nearest person—who happened to be Dr. Tippireddy’s assistant. Then, turning to Dr. Tippireddy, the patient said, “Oh my God, I look like myself again! I have been to several dentists to have this fixed but everyone wanted to repair everything else but this. Thank you very much for doing this.”
Although what she did seemed negligible to Dr. Tippireddy compared what she could have done for the woman in terms of dental treatment (and, she hastens to add, she would have
proceeded differently if there had been a severe infection of something that affected the patient’s physical well-being), the exchange is always in the forefront of her mind as a reminder of what she should be doing as a dentist and her number one reason to be here—not to lose focus on the importance of listening to her patients.
PATIENTS ARE LIKE FAMILY
“I came from a corporate culture,” says Dr. Tippireddy of her start in dentistry. “It lacked warmth and a personal touch. It was run more like a conveyor belt and was mostly about numbers. Patients didn’t see the same doctor each time, and there was no personal connection. I don’t think that’s right.”
From that arose her desire to have her own practice that could be patient-centric instead of business-centric. “When you do the right things for the right reasons, everything falls into place.”
After researching demographics, she opened her own practice—V-Smile Family Dental—at the border of Frisco and Little Elm in August of 2016. Unlike the corporate-run offices she had practiced in, she doesn’t run from room to room seeing as many patients at a time as possible. “I take my time with each patient, and I only see one patient at a time,” says Dr. Tippireddy. Everyone in her office, which includes herself and four staff members, knows what each patient is coming in for so they don’t have to repeat it over and over.
She also focuses on education over a high-pressure sales job. “It’s my job to educate and give them options. I don’t force them to do anything or play games. I give them a picture of what is going on (with their mouth), but the choice is theirs.” V-Smiles offers digital X-rays to minimize radiation exposure, and everything is computerized, so Dr. Tippireddy can take pictures and show her patients in real time what is going on and explain their options.
Dr. Tippireddy graduated from dental school in India before moving to the United States, working at a dental school, and graduating from the prestigious University of the Pacific School of Dentistry with honors in 2008. Overall, she has over sixteen years of experience in the dental field. She provides all general dentistry services, including exams, cleanings, veneers, tooth-colored crowns, white fillings, extractions, implants, dentures, and wisdom teeth extractions. She also offers nitrous for anxious patients, although many of her patients leave saying “I didn’t feel anything,” or “That was the most stress-free dental appointment I’ve ever had.” For those patients, Dr. Tippireddy takes additional time to talk through their fears, adding that many carry fears of the dentist from childhood that are unfounded now with new and improved technology.
“When someone says, ‘I don’t like dentists,’ I say, ‘That’s why I’m sitting in this chair. I don’t like them either,’” Dr. Tippireddy says with a laugh. That deeper understanding guides her in alleviating their fears, and many patients who used to want nitrous find they don’t need it anymore.
Understanding that patients are busy, V-Smiles Dentistry is open six days a week, including Saturdays, with both late and early appointment times. If patients on record have issues after hours, they can call Dr. Tippireddy, and she always follows up on patients and stresses that if they have questions after they leave the office, they are always welcome to call.
A PERSONAL TOUCH
In her spare time, Dr. Tippireddy loves to read and writes a blog—which you can read on her website at www.dentistoffrisco.com -detailing personal stories and snippets of her life as a dentist, including how she came to adopt her dog, Hoops, from a patient.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else than what I do,” says Dr. Tippireddy of being a dentist. “So many times, I thank God I am here. My primary goal is to give my best service. It sounds cliched, but ‘would I do the same with my own father or daughter or husband’ is etched in my brain with everything I do.”
Remembering her patient with the chipped tooth, she reiterates… “A simple change can change everything.”
For more information visit our website at www.dentistoffrisco.com or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 214.872.2700