Today we’d like to introduce you to Harjot Chawla and Parvathi Pokala.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Harjot and Parvathi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
At BRSH+FLSS, we are two board-certified Pediatric Dentists who are focused on three things every day: ethical patient care, conservative treatment approach and building relationships with patients and their families. Our love of children and passion to create healthy smiles inspired us to open BRSH+FLSS!
The story of our practice starts off 7 years ago at a mutual colleague’s wedding of all places! I was a Pediatric Dentistry resident at a hospital in New York and Dr. Pokala was in private practice in San Diego. When we met at the wedding, she shared with me that she had also completed her residency at the same hospital 20 years prior. This would be the first of many things that we had in common professionally. We kept in touch and when I finished in New York, I joined her practice.
Fast forward, a few years and sometime in 2015, we decided to open a practice near San Diego State University in the San Carlos neighborhood. The inspiration for the practice and the name (BRSH+FLSS) was to keep the emphasis on the fundamentals: if we can teach patients and parents how to keep their teeth cavity-free by focusing on diet and hygiene routines, we can help start them on a lifelong journey of having healthy mouths. This is at the center of our passion!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No business comes without challenges. We are no exception. Setting up a dental practice “from scratch” with zero patients on day 1 was a daunting task. Aside from all the details to make this venture work, the uncertainty of what the future holds was challenging. But we kept our focus on why we did this. Treating kids, the right way and hearing appreciation from the parents made us feel like we were headed in the right direction.
For me, the timing of our venture was very challenging because my wife and I had two boys under 2 when we opened our doors in February 2016. I should say my wife had two boys under 2 since it seemed like I was never home! For Dr. Pokala, being involved in two practices is no easy task!
Fortunately, the road seems to be getting smoother as time goes on.
BRSH+FLSS Pediatric Dentistry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in kids of all ages. From birth (some babies are born with teeth!) till college, we love being a part of kids’ childhood stories. As board-certified pediatric dentists on staff at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, both of us feel very comfortable treating healthy and medically-compromised children.
We feel what makes us unique is while we employ the newest technology and dental techniques, we always bring oral health back to the basics of how to keep problems from starting. This is one of the reasons we recommend a dental visit at a very young age of 1. Our focus is always on education and prevention. The more we can share our expertise with parents, the less treatment children have to go through.
We are most proud of doing things the right way. We treat children ethically and empathize with what parents experience with their kid’s oral hygiene at home. Both of us are parents and know how challenging all of this can be. It is not easy and every child is different. We customize the dental care of every child because every mouth has a unique environment. Slowing the appointments down and having a conversation with parents allows us to form a relationship with the family and work towards a common goal: healthy smiles for the children in our community!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
For both of us, becoming a board-certified Pediatric Dentist with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry was our proudest moment. It meant reaching the pinnacle of our specialty and being bestowed a Diplomat status was incredibly gratifying. It is a badge of honor because it means being recognized for our expertise at the highest level.