No one likes going to the dentist. Even now, you’re probably admitting to yourself that you’ve been ignoring a dental issue for just that reason. But what if there were a dental service that could change your perception of those dreaded trips to the dentist?
Look no further than Houston’s Bayou City Smiles.
“Today’s work environment demands that everyone put their best foot forward,” states Chelsea Flack, Bayou City Smiles’ office manager. “A smile is your first ‘handshake,’ and we will ensure you have your best possible smile. That is exactly what we do here.”
Bayou City Smiles was founded by Dr. Marcus de Guzman, a proud member of the city’s LGBTQ community. Coming from a long line of medical professionals, he received his dental-medicine degree in 2000 from the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia at the age of 25.
“My grandfather and three of my great-grandfathers were doctors or dentists,” De Guzman explains. “I guess my path to medicine was pretty much set, but I wasn’t sure of what direction to take. At the ripe old age of 19, I took the dental aptitude test and started attending dental school a month after my 21st birthday. There was no turning back from there.”
After graduating and working as an associate dentist for nine years, De Guzman opened Bayou City Smiles in 2009, when the space had just two chairs and one employee. Today, his office at 2313 Edwards Street is an 8-chair, 22-person operation. De Guzman and his team have served over 10,000 individuals during that time, and his base continues to grow.
Bayou City Smiles is opening another office this month, housed in the stunning new Montrose Collective on Westheimer Road near Montrose Boulevard. (UPDATE: The opening has been delayed until October, 2022.)
While his professional passion is dentistry, this doctor also cares deeply for his community and has initiated many charity dental programs over time. He spearheaded free oral-health screenings in local public elementary schools, HIV clinics, and even nightclubs. He was an invaluable volunteer at ASIAC (AIDS Services in Asian Communities). To this day, De Guzman provides his services to those less fortunate throughout Houston.
He is also an active member of many professional organizations, including the Greater Houston Dental Society, the Texas Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
As a result of this dedication, there is virtually nothing Bayou City Smiles can’t do. “We are committed to treating each individual with respect and integrity, and we work hard to stay on top of the most up-to-date techniques in dentistry,” De Guzman explains. “Our mission is to deliver uncompromising excellence in dentistry, to the very best of our abilities.”
So just how does Bayou City Smiles help patients who are nervous about their visit? “I think that fear and anxiety are manifested when people don’t understand what is about to happen,” De Guzman notes. “I take time to guide our patients through the procedures in advance and explain the importance of the treatment being rendered. I’ve found that the more patients are informed, the less fear and anxiety they have.”
Helping patients feel comfortable is a team effort at this doctor’s office, where the committment to assuring a pleasant visit starts at the front door.
“We greet every patient with a smile,” Flack says. “The entire team here is excited to come to work each day, because we like each other and we genuinely care about our patients. Forming good relationships with our patients helps us to meet their needs. They can tell the difference, and they really appreciate it.”
“Many of my patients have been coming to me for over a decade, and many of them have become friends,” De Guzman says. “Knowing that I have played a small part in their well-being and developing friendships within my practice makes it all worthwhile for me. The bonds I have developed with the people I treat are my greatest reward,” he concludes with a smile.
Dental hygienist Hilda Garcia, who has worked with De Guzman for 16 years, says there is nowhere else she would rather be. “The crew here is wonderful in all ways. The dental services this team offers are excellent. Working with nice, caring people who produce outstanding results makes all the difference in the world.”
Well said, Hilda.
For more information, go to bayoucitysmiles.com.
UPDATE: Bayou City Smiles has delayed its opening to October, 2022.