2020 Top Dentist: Sameet Koppikar

Editorial StaffSeptember 10, 2020
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental School: Marquette University School of Dentistry, 2000
Years in Practice: 20

You have degrees in marketing and psychology. How do you apply these fields to your work as a dentist?
People want to know two things: How much is it? Is it going to hurt? Our team is constantly looking for new ways to increase the comfort level of our patients. We also help people understand price is what you pay, quality is what you ge

Your practice focuses on natural and holistic dentistry. Tell us more about that.
Sure. Antibiotics are getting to be over-prescribed – which has led to an increase in antibiotic resistance. Our goal is to treat the source of the infection, not just the infection. We prescribe antibiotics as a last resort and help patients understand how to keep their teeth healthy from the beginning.

Are there any new techniques or treatments you’re excited about?
An implant bridge is the coolest advancement in dentistry to date. We can rebuild someone’s damaged mouth in two visits. It looks better than natural teeth, and they will never get a cavity! The transformation is life-changing. We keep a box of Kleenex handy for the tears in the room.

Which celebrity’s smile do you personally admire?
Our patients bring in “inspiration photos” of smiles they’d like to have. Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey are everyone’s favorite. Personally, I like Will Smith. He has a big, fun smile. You can see his molars! And he always looks like he is just about to laugh.

Who is your favorite dentist in popular culture?
“Stu” Price from The Hangover! I live vicariously through his Vegas adventure! It was not CGI. [Actor] Ed Helms is congenitally missing an incisor. He has an implant in that area and had the crown removed during filming and then replaced after filming was complete.

What’s the funniest thing a patient has said to you on nitrous oxide?
This one gentleman was giggling for two minutes and goes, “Doc, this is better than smoking up, we need to open a medicinal nitrous store.” I said, “Well, nitrous is only medicinal.” He stopped giggling, stared at me and started giggling again.

We hear you’re an outdoor enthusiast. What are your favorite al fresco activities?
Every year I organize a Grand Canyon hike. We hike rim-river-rim in one day. One year we hiked down and rafted the Colorado River for three days. Incredible! My favorite is Havasupai Falls. It’s the jewel of the desert. The confluence of reggae music and nature makes it one of the most unique places in the country.

What else do you do in your spare time?
My favorite pastime is hanging with my kids, Karina and Kaidin. They make me laugh every day. Besides that, I’m always looking for new workouts. Last year, I trained for a triathlon. This year, I’ve taken up boxing and have become pretty good at the speed bag.

“If I wasn’t a dentist, I’d be…”
In the movie biz. Either a director, editor, cinematographer or something behind the camera. I love the art of telling a story through a camera lens.

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