At Nargiz I. Zadeh, DMD, we believe that it's important for you to feel completely comfortable and at ease from the moment that you initially reach out to us. One of the best ways that we can help you do that is by giving you the opportunity to learn more about our dentist, Dr. Nargiz I. Zadeh. In this interview, you will find out about Dr. Nargiz's background as well as why she is one of the top dentists in the Los Angeles area.
What would you recommend to patients that have had bad experiences with other dentists in the past?
As someone who also had a long past of horrible dental experiences since I was a child, I feel that open communication with your dentist about these experiences is key. I found that when I expressed my fears to my dentist, she was able to really focus on avoiding anything that would trigger my anxiety.
As a dentist, I regularly deal with patients that have bad dental anxiety and seek my care because of it. Whether it’s through shorter appointments, a gentle touch, or even medication, I am always willing to do everything possible to make my patients comfortable.
What makes you different from another dentist in Los Angeles?
I treat all of my patients like family. It’s a very cliche statement, but I genuinely love building a special bond with each and every person that comes to see us. With that in mind, I put a lot of effort into explaining each diagnosis and the required treatment, such as a dental crown, because I know how overwhelming the information can be.
What made you want to become a dentist?
I had always wanted to work in the healthcare field and my mother suggested I look into dentistry because I love working with my hands. My first experience was when I volunteered as a dental assistant at the UCSD Student Run Free Dental Clinics where we treated the underserved within the community. From day one, I was able to see what an impact quality dental care, provided in a respectful environment, can have on people. I specifically remember two patients, one that couldn’t obtain a job because he was missing so many teeth, and a young adult who was embarrassed to go to school because of his smile. Seeing the success in both of their lives after their mouths were restored is the reason I went into dentistry.
Is there a new development in the field of dentistry that you’re excited about?
Computer-assisted design and manufacturing, and 3-D printing. These current advancements have allowed us to streamline many procedures, giving us opportunities to work with new materials that can be manufactured quicker by computers instead of by hand. Additionally, the ability to digitally plan our treatment provides a level of accuracy that almost erases the risk of any human error. For example, patients with minimal jawbone looking to get implants can have a 3-D scan done. The implants can then be digitally planned for precise placement in sites with adequate bone; a surgical guide milled from this scan allows the surgeon to place implants in exactly those sites without any errors in angulation or location. This is just one example of the level of detail we can get into with CAD, CAM and 3-D printing, but there are certainly many more.
What do you like to do when you aren’t in the office?
I love to stay active in the community by volunteering. As the Dental Director of the Conejo Free Dental Clinic, I spend two days a month providing dental treatment to low income patients. I am also the Vocational Committee Chair for the Woodland Hills Rotary Club, and between weekly club and committee meetings, there are always exciting new projects to plan such as our yearly scholarships we award to high school students. Additionally, I participate in monthly dental study clubs which allow me to collaborate with colleagues and talk about what we love best!
When I’m not busy with organizational work, I enjoy staying active with strength training and spinning, playing tennis, or snowboarding. After a good workout though, I am always looking to explore new cuisines and restaurants in the area.
Did you have a favorite subject in school? What was it?
I had two. I loved Calculus II and Biochemistry. I specifically remember Calculus II because I had an amazing teacher that taught me not to give up on any problem, to be patient, and to work through it.
As for Biochemistry, I was so intrigued by how everything worked at the cellular level and how that translated to the way our body functioned every day. I could easily get completely immersed in a Biochemistry textbook.
What is the best thing about being a dentist?
Changing patients’ perception of the dentist. As both a cosmetic dentist and a general dentist, I love it when patients leave their appointment saying they didn’t feel any pain or discomfort when before, they were dreading coming in.
As dentists, we are inherently taught to be perfectionists so I love working in fine detail, whether it’s accurately sculpting the proper tooth anatomy in a filling, or carefully restoring the correct bite so the teeth can function.
What is the most challenging part about your job?
Educating patients about the importance of preventive care as opposed to emergency care. For many years, we have accepted the idea that when something hurts that’s when it’s time for it to be treated and so many patients put off regular checkups thinking they're not necessary. However, research shows that regular hygiene visits are crucial to treating your teeth conservatively and avoiding extensive, costly treatment.
Do you have any advice that you always give to your patients?
When it comes to taking care of your teeth, flossing just three to four days a week will go such a long way. So plan those days and times out ahead of time, write them in your planner or set an alarm in your phone. Pick times that you know you can commit to, they don’t necessarily have to be at night if you tend to get really tired and fall asleep. Consistency is key in keeping your mouth healthy.
Testimonial from Karen, Satisfied Patient
I have had a few really traumatic experiences at the dentist and have a major fear now as a result. Doctor Zadeh and her staff made it possible for me to get dental work done without having a massive panic attack. I am the worst dental chicken ever! But they are amazing. Patient, kind and extremely good at their jobs. I cannot recommend them enough. Debbie, the office manager, is always so nice and non-judgmental. I’m so thankful for them.