We had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Dr. Akhavan to learn more about her journey in dentistry. To become the dentist she is today hasn't been easy, and she's even had to defy some dental conventions to get here.
Dr. Akhavan has blazed her own path towards a successful career as a dentist; here's how she's done it.
Introduction to dentistry
Growing up, Dr. Akhavan didn’t have dentistry on her radar. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher,” she told us. It was her experience studying biomedicine at McGill University, volunteering with patients at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and working in an orthodontist office that opened her eyes to a patient-oriented dental career.
She eventually set her sights on the Baltimore School of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland, a venerable dental college with a strong clinical program, and upon graduation, Dr. Akhavan joined the Manhattan Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital for her dental residency.
While at the VA, she had access to the best materials in dentistry, paired with a full staff and lab. Anyone who qualified for treatment at the VA received complete care, no matter how complex, without incurring any cost. Dr. Akhavan cites this experience as invaluable; it taught her the most rigorous standard of dental care.
Dentistry is a business
Like many young dentists exiting their residency, Dr. Akhavan ventured into private practice by working as an associate dentist in an established practice. She deliberately chose to forgo opening her own practice, determined to focus all her attention on providing health care without the distractions of running a business.
However, Dr. Akhavan quickly learned that the business decisions of others could affect her dentistry.
As an associate, she was instructed to see as many patients as possible in a given day. “At one point,” she says, “I was told that I needed to start administering four-minute dental exams to keep the practice profitable”.
This didn’t sit well with her.
Administering terse exams meant that she wouldn’t be able to connect with her patients and deliver the level of care that she knew was possible. She felt that cutting corners was misguided and could be avoided. After struggling to conform to the practice’s model of dentistry without compromising her commitment to patients, Dr. Akhavan came to a realization. She would only be able to create the environment she wanted for her patients as the head of her own practice. She thus resolved to venture out on her own, determined to provide affordable, high-quality dentistry.
A new business model
When Dr. Akhavan opened her NYC practice (drakhavandental.com), she knew she wanted to do dentistry differently.
Dental conventions designed to maximize profitability didn’t hold her interest. Instead, she planned to focus on the doctor-patient experience. To run a successful practice on her terms, Dr. Akhavan had to rethink the way that conventional dentistry and business were conducted at every step. Finding a suitable space, working with insurance providers, and hiring exceptional staff to deliver an exceptional experience were just a few of the early challenges that she had to overcome when launching her practice.
With her business off the ground, a central challenge became acquiring new patients to grow the practice and keep it profitable.
After trying a number of potential online solutions, Dr. Akhavan decided to partner with NexHealth. With NexHealth, she was able to add Real-Time Online Booking to her website and other online platforms like her Google My Business Page (allowing patients to book directly from a Google search) and Facebook page.
Dr. Akhavan has also extended the reach of her dental care beyond the patient’s visit, telling us that her "favorite feature is Two-Way Messaging. If a patient has had a major procedure, I like to follow-up with them using NexHealth”.
Best dentist in New York City
Dr. Akhavan understands that high-quality care is not limited to the dental chair, and she has worked hard to improve the entire dental experience.
Before her patients step foot into her practice, she pampers them with simple online booking and appointment confirmations. The four-minute dental exams didn’t satisfy her (or her patients); now, Dr. Akhavan uses her own formula that allows her to spend more time in front of her patients. And after the patient leaves she can continue care with helpful text messages.
The results? 😎
Dr. Akhavan has over 60 reviews on Google, at the time of this writing, all of which are five-star. She feels deep satisfaction at being able to give her patients the highest level of care. Patients have really noticed. One patient noted that, “Dr. Akhavan is easily the best dentist I have ever been to,” and many others have echoed similar sentiments.
Dr. Akhavan didn’t start her dental career with the intent to defy convention, even though she has.
And she isn’t done yet.
Her practice continues to grow and with that, new sets of challenges continually emerges. But with her worldly education, extensive experience, and support from her family and staff, she is ready for whatever hurdles come her way. And with her commitment to quality dentistry, ability to elevate the patient experience, and eye on the ever-changing landscape of dentistry, Dr. Akhavan has improved dentistry on her terms and risen to be one of NYC’s top providers.
If you are looking for the next ticket to scale your practice and blaze your own path within dentistry, feel free to reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 demo with one of our specialists!