2000 Gilroy High School graduate opened her practice in October 2016
By Iván Silveira Aguilarte
Kinberly Antrim knows people feel squeamish about laying in a dental chair and anticipating the invasion of a needle or drill. To help alleviate the anxiety, the Gilroy dentist created a cozy office in a Wren Avenue medical center where patients getting their teeth examined or cleaned enjoy tunes on headsets or a film on TV while relaxing in a massage chair.
For Antrim and her staff, clear communication is the most important tool to help their customers deal with a fear of pain or discomfort during a dental procedure.
“When a patient comes in and they look nervous to me, I ask them what can I do to make you feel more comfortable. Just let me know what scares you and get through,” she said. “Most of my patients are afraid of shots and so we use topical medication. Most people don’t like the sound of the drilling, and so we provide headphones to patients to watch TV or listen to music. We try to make the experience as comfortable as possible.”
The dentist has lived in Gilroy since her family moved here when she was 2 years old. Many factors played a part in her decision when she was 18 years old to go into a career working on people’s teeth and gums. She thought it was something she would love doing with her life. After she graduated from Gilroy High School in 2000, she went to San Jose State and earned a degree in biology. She then went to the University California, Los Angeles to attend dental school and build her skills. She did a residency in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she helped low-income residents improve their dental health. She moved back to Gilroy and worked for a period of time at a local dentist office. In October 2016, she opened her own dental practice where she does general exams and treatments on patients.
“The thing I love about general dentistry is I can do pretty much all aspects,” she said. “The more difficult and challenging cases are for the specialist. I like (general dentistry) because it is so diverse, and I can do different things every day. The work is challenging and interesting to me. And also, I can develop relationship with my patients, watch then grow, catch up and it’s neat.”
Antrim enjoys working with her staff who work closely with patients to make sure their experience with a check-up or cleaning is as pain-free as possible. Her patients range from toddlers to a centenarian.
“My oldest patient is 100 years old,” she said. “I am proud of what I do. I enjoy working with the people that I meet, and I enjoy helping people.”
She recommends to her patients that for the health of their teeth, they eat a good diet, brush and floss every day and see the dentist for a regular checkup to catch dental problems early before they get out of hand.
The dental business for Antrim and her staff is all about the customer experience and good service. “It’s really important to us to make sure everybody is comfortable,” she said. “My staff and I work hard to see we achieve that goal.”
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