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Dinosaurs, turtles and Koala Bears, oh my!
MOUNT PLEASANT, PA – Not many people would compare their dentist to an artist, but that’s exactly how Beatriz De La Roche, DMD views herself and the profession.
“Dentists must have good motor skills,” she explained. “And they actually are sculpting when they fix a tooth…it’s really quite an artistic field.”
De La Roche took her passion for art a step further when she elected to transform her practice, Tender Care Pediatric Dentistry, into a work of art – pleasing her young clients and their parents.
Not only were her patients impressed, but, so was the staff at Insical Edge Magazine. Last year, Dr. De La Roche’s office was profiled in the magazine for its design as the Best Pediatric Practice; she was nominated by her suppliers and fellow dentists.
“Wow – fun! The décor really caters to pediatric patients,” stated the editorial staff.
Dr. De La Roche, who stated she spent five years planning for the office, personally sketched every themed room. “I’ve been painting and drawing since I’ve been allowed to draw,” she said. “I concentrate on pastels and wildlife and have had my artwork on display and for sale at galleries in Barcelona.”
She turned to a Canadian firm to transfer her colorful creations to the walls and ceilings of each examination room and added a surprising touch: three-dimensional artwork jutting out leaving her clientele mesmerized.
A colorful three-dimensional purple dinosaur carrying eggs protrudes from the mural in the dinosaur-themed room. An adjoining beach-themed room boasts large foamy waves projecting out of the walls complete with fish and a swimmer. A total of six examination rooms, toothbrush station and the sinking ship lobby are housed in a facility where more than 12 professionals tend to the dental needs of their young clientele.
“When I was seven-years-old, my mother took me to the dentist and he hurt me,” Dr. De La Roche explained. “I vowed that when I grew up, I would become a kid’s dentist so they wouldn’t have to go through what I experienced.”
According to De La Roche, psychologists state that a bad dental experience as a child can actually last a lifetime. So, she designed her practice to please her patients.
“In a clinical environment, children become instantly afraid,” she explained. “I wanted to give my patients what they like – dinosaurs, the beach, and bears and the three-dimensional effect helps make the designs more exciting.”
De La Roche, a native of Columbia, came to the United States at the age of 23 and received her degree in dentistry from the University of Pittsburgh. She then attended the University of Puerto Rico, further honing her craft to include specialties in both pediatric dentistry and maxillofacial surgery.
She began her practice by renting out space from local dentists starting with one day a week. She added more days and more patients and finally started her practice utilizing a $2,000 tax return to help her obtain a business loan to purchase equipment for about $100,000.
“It was a big step and a lot of money considering I didn’t know how things would turn out,” added. “But, I put a lot of thought into this practice.”
It turns out there were no cavities in her plan, as today, De la Roche and her team see 70 patients each day for basic exams coupled with another 30 that receive ongoing treatment.
According to Jayne Huston, director of Seton Hill University E-Magnify, the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, these days De La Roche can be found lending her expertise to fellow entrepreneurs.
“She participates in our Women President’s Organization (WPO) peer-to-peer roundtable with multi-million dollar women-led companies,” Huston said. “It’s a chance for women entrepreneurs to share their business concerns in a confidential setting. She [Dr. De La Roche] was able to transform a modest tax return into a thriving pediatric dental practice and now she is affording others the opportunity to learn from her experiences.”
In addition, Dr. De La Roche currently is participating in E-Magnify’s ATHENAPowerLink Program that has provided her with a professional advisory panel during the past year to further assist in growing her business.http://www.e-magnify.com