Photo by Dante Fontana
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
In 1985, I left my country and traveled to Germany for education – first going to college and then to dental school. After completing dental school, I did one year of residency and a research program. I then moved to California when I realized that I had to open up my own office and started working in 1998. My passion for dentistry comes from my ability to combine science and technology with dentistry. I started using CAD/CAM dentistry in 2004, designing the crown, or onlay, and milling it the same day. Shortly thereafter in 2006, I began laser dentistry – preparing the teeth and gums with the laser. I think the future of dentistry lies in laser and CAD/CAM.
What life accomplishments are you most proud of?
My life so far has had lots of adventures – moving to Germany with a different language and culture, finishing dental school, then returning to the United States again knowing a new language and culture. I never stop learning; last year, I finished almost two years of residency in Cosmetic Dentistry and started working with the California Center for Advanced Dental Studies as an instructor. I am proud of what I did in the past, but what I am really proud of is having a wonderful wife. She gave me two beautiful boys and still works as a full-time medical doctor at Kaiser. She has an M.D., a Ph.D., and finished her residency when she was pregnant with our first son; that was very tough, but she did great and I am very proud of her!
Who is your role model in business or in life, and why?
My father. Everything that I have, I got from him. He guided me through the toughest time in my life in 1985. I got my passport to leave the country and he handed me $2,000 and 5,000 German marks…and he told me: “This is all I have, but you know if I have to I will sell everything, but listen to me, you can do it. I know it because I trained you that way. I can send you to the moon and you will be successful.” Ten years later, I finished dental school and I was ready to go to the U.S. When I returned, I still had the $2,000 my father gave me.
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