Going to the dentist can be a pain, but Dr. Randy Mitchmore’s LifeSmiles clinic in Montrose can make the experience as painless as possible.
Think warm, fuzzy blankets. Headphones to block out distractions. Or how about a poolside view? Just walking in the door, you’ll notice that the large 1930s house has original hardwood floors and a cozy fireplace.
And then there is the staff. “It’s the culture I’ve created,” Mitchmore says. “I tell the staff we are ladies and gentlemen, and we treat our patients like ladies and gentlemen. I spend time with patients and ask them what they want—I don’t tell them what they want. This is a guilt-free environment. There’s no judging if you haven’t been to a dentist in a while. We’re just here to help.”
And you might even get a glass of champagne served on a silver platter when it’s all over.
“Our staff is amazing,” he says. “And we also have the best whiz-bang technology.” The Prettau Zirconia dental implants are made of a biocompatible material that is 200 times stronger than porcelain. “They won’t chip or change color. And we can make them lifelike for people who don’t want a perfect smile,” he explains, remembering a patient who wanted a small chip in a front implant so it would look more natural.
Mitchmore is a second-generation Houstonian who has always had a focus on compassionately caring for people. He started out studying for the ministry, but then switched to dentistry because of an uncle who was a dentist. He has a doctorate from the UTHealth School of Dentistry, and has had his private practice in Montrose since 1997—although he’s been in practice for 40 years. He has advanced dental certificates from several institutes, and has written a shelf full of books on dentistry for both dentists and patients. Mitchmore also holds two-day seminars for dentists who come from across the county to learn his techniques. He is one of the few dentists in the area who is certified in intravenous sedation, a technique that can gently calm nervous patients. His specialty is dental implants.
Mitchmore also spends an incredible amount of time and energy giving back to his community. He was recently appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner as chairman of the Montrose Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), which works to rebuild sidewalks and streets in the district as well as focusing on safety issues. He also volunteers with Give Back a Smile, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s project to repair the smiles of domestic-abuse victims. He spent years on the board of directors at Bering Omega Community Services, which offered one of the first dental clinics in the South for uninsured and underinsured HIV/AIDS patients. He and his longtime partner and husband of two years, Michael Horner, often host fundraising pool parties around the swimming pool behind the clinic.
Although Mitchmore says his work is also his hobby, the couple does find enjoyment outside of dentistry. “Michael is an IT guy, and he’s younger than I am but more mature,” the doctor admits. “We enjoy being outdoors, biking, scuba diving, and traveling. We try to do cocktails at home after a day of work, and maybe have dinner at Paulie’s or Barnaby’s Cafe.”
The couple lives above the clinic in their historic house, but they plan on moving soon. “Michael adopted a black cat he found under the funeral home next door,” Mitchmore explains. LifeSmiles is next door to the Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services, another beautiful home on Alabama where cofounders Michael “Tripp” Carter and his late partner, Ronald Bradshaw, also lived above their business.
“We named the cat Blackie, and we had him for 17 years. I always told Michael that we would buy a home in Montrose after the cat passed away, so now that’s what we’re doing. But we’ll stay in the neighborhood.”
This month, Dr. Mitchmore is shooting a television news segment at the Montrose Center about oral-health tips for those living with HIV/AIDS.
“HIV isn’t the death sentence it once was, so patients need to protect their mouth for a lifetime. The number-one thing I tell patients is to keep their mouth clean. That’s the big thing—brush, floss, and get cleanings. If their meds are working, then they are just like any other patient.”
For more information, visit lifesmiles.us.
This article appears in the March 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.