Dr. Vu grew up in Phoenix and was a summa cum laude graduate from Arizona State University. She then pursued her career goal as a dentist at the University of California, San Francisco where she was selected to be a member of the OKU National Dental Honor Society for being in the top of her graduating class. After dental school, she completed an additional year of training at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System in restorative, cosmetics and implant dentistry. These days, Dr. Vu stays involved with her community by providing free dental care to those in need at events such as the Arizona Mission of Mercy as well as mission trips to Honduras and Guatemala. She has also been selected by her peers to be a delegate for the Central Arizona Dental Society and board member of the Arizona Dental Foundation.
Dental School: University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry, 2012
Years in Practice: 9
Why did you decide to open your own office?
Running your own office definitely requires more work, but also allows me more time to spend with my patients to ensure they are receiving the best care possible. I prefer being in a small, boutique dental office since I value quality over quantity. I believe that if you take good care of people, they will take good care of you. It’s about the relationship and the community more than just teeth.
What advice would you give for achieving optimal oral health?
Everyone knows that you need to brush and floss twice daily. But our diet is often overlooked. The bacteria that cause cavities love carbohydrates (sugar) and a consistent acidic environment(snacking all day). If you’re going to enjoy something sweet, try to consume it within 20 minutes and wash it down with water afterward! We recommend visiting the dentist twice a year to make sure we catch any problems before they get worse.
What do you find most fulfilling about your work?
I truly value the personal aspect of dentistry. I enjoy the camaraderie with my staff, patients, and knowing that I am treating people, not teeth. I have met some amazing individuals as patients and have learned so much from them. I love being inspired and I hope to live a life where I can inspire others.
What factoid would your colleagues or patients find interesting about you?
I’ve been told that I’m very driven, but personally I think it comes from my independent nature. I started working when I was 13 years old. From there, I saved enough money to buy a car and even got my own braces at 16. I remember telling my parents I wanted braces and they said, “You don’t need them.” Well, that didn’t stop me, I worked enough to make the monthly payments and finished my treatment all while in high school. Then, after graduating high school, I gifted myself a round trip ticket to China and spent 19 days there!
You seem well traveled, what is the favorite place that you visited?
This is a tough question because I truly enjoy every place I’ve been to. I used to watch Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain and would be inspired to go wherever he went. I do enjoy lesser-known places and love exploring local cultures and cuisine. I have probably been to 30 countries and would go back to at least 15 of them.