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Meet Dr. Yoon Kang of Dr. Kang’s Dental Office in Newton Centre

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Yoon Kang.

Dr. Kang, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Actually, I am an engineer by training who later became a dentist. The pathway for me to be where I am currently is unconventional, to say the least. I am a biomedical engineer who did research on biocompatible polymer materials. I received my PhD in engineering from the University of Iowa then came to Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital as a research fellow in surgery involved with biomaterials/tissue engineering projects for burn patients. The research works by various research groups at Harvard were fascinating and cutting edge. However, research works I was involved were all still far from actually being applied to patients for treatments. That was one of the reasons that motivated me to pursue clinical training. I wanted to make difference in patients’ lives immediately. I chose dentistry because, it is, in my view, one of the first forms of medicine providing biomedical engineered solutions. After all, definition of replacing functioning biological structures with man-made materials is biomedical engineering. Tufts University School of Dental Medicine gave me a shot. I was in my mid-thirties at that time. Getting through the school was challenging. My daughter was one year old. My son was born when I began 2nd year. But I got through in 4 years. I was fortunate to be selected as a student instructor my 4th year and helped out 1st and 2nd year students. I started my own office here in Newton Centre in 2011. I wanted to provide quality care to the surrounding Newton Centre residents, especially to those who care about their dental health. I started out with zero existing patient. Instead of investing more money to build and equip new dental office, I got into an agreement with a specialist to share his office 2 days a week when he is not there. That way, I could maintain my initial business overhead cost low. This was very important to me because I did not want financial burden of running small business pressuring my dental treatments in negative ways. I have been steadily growing my office through providing personal and quality care. I am very fortunate to have many patients who see and appreciate my practice philosophy. Up until last year, I split my time between my office here and in another office in Worcester are working as an associate dentist. Last year, I was offered a faculty position at my alma mater for g dental materials research and teaching. So currently, I am a part-time practicing general dentist in Newton Centre and a part-time faculty Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

Has it been a smooth road?
Pretty much until I started my Newton Centre office, I have been a scientist all my life. It has been a humbling experience learning to be a business man. Fortunately, my office has been growing steadily. Perhaps it has been too slow in the eyes of the expert but I am thankful for the growth along with good reviews and feedbacks the office has been receiving.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Dr Kang’s Dental Office – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My office is a dental clinic providing various procedures within the scope of general dentistry. I take pride in educating my patients as well as providing personalized care. I do not schedule too many patients in one day schedule so I take enough time to make sure things are done the right way. One that I take pride is encourage young adult patients to be tooth decay free for the rest of their lives. Most of them laughs but I am a true believer that proper care and education, that goal is realistic to achieve. Also, I take pride in customizing diagnostic x-ray exposure to minimal needed level. One of my patients shared his thoughts this way which I share with all my patients and students: “I rather have cavity than brain cancer.” Who’s gonna argue against that?

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Newton is a fantastic community. I like the fact that I get to provide treatments to many neighboring college students and young professionals. There are many retirees as well. It is a good make up of population. Dislike is for some patients, finding parking is difficult. My office does not have off-street parking, although it is readily accessible via D-line Newton Centre stop.

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