About Dr. Nidhi Pai, DDS
Dr. Nidhi Pai, DDS, graduated from the Goldman School of Dental Medicine in Boston University and has spent more than 20 years perfecting the smiles of patients that fly to see her from all across the globe. She is one of the top dentists in America, specializing in cosmetic dental procedures like full mouth reconstruction, veneers, and Invisalign – where she is the top submitting dentist. She has also been featured on ABC 7 News, NBC, and hailed as Expertise’s Best Dentist in Palo Alto for 2021.
Dr. Nidhi’s Journey To Becoming America’s Top Dentist
Growing up in a tiny village in Africa, Nidhi spent most of her childhood days chasing goats and chickens in the wilderness. And when she wasn’t playing with animals, she would always draw in her sketchbook. That’s why her childhood dream was to be a permaculture architect.
When Nidhi was 8, she accidentally struck her brother while playing. Scared of the impending consequences, she took off running, fell, and broke her front teeth. She had to be taken to the dentist, but it wasn’t easy for her to go because she was terrified of them. She was a horrible patient. She disliked anything that had to do with seeing people in white lab coats. But, with a funny twist of fate, Nidhi’s mother decided to surprise her with a secret getaway, and do you know where she went? Yup – you guessed it. She was dropped off at a boarding school for Dentistry. As a typical Indian mother, Nidhi’s mom wanted her to become a doctor so she could find a more suitable match. Nidhi hated every second of being in Dentistry school and wanted to get it over with as fast as she could and then pursue her real passion for architecture.
However, as she spent more time learning about Dentistry, she slowly came to love certain aspects of it. As an artist, she especially enjoyed tasks that involved sketching the anatomy of the mouth. And because she has an architect’s way of thinking, Nidhi always had a holistic approach to dentistry, which gave her an edge over everyone else. “To me, the whole mouth matters. From the beginning, I’ve always addressed the whole mouth, and that set me apart from my colleagues.” Not long after she graduated, Nidhi was arranged to be married and then came to the United States, where her career took off. “I have so much admiration for this country [USA] because it literally gave me my wings,” she tells Top Doctor Magazine.
Put Yourself In Someone Else’s “Smile”
Dr. Nidhi believes that her whole journey has led her to be exactly where she is supposed to be today. “Everything that I’ve been through made me a better, more humble, more compassionate dentist.” As someone who had also lost her smile, she knows what it’s like to lose confidence in yourself. Nidhi sees herself in every patient she treats; every time she treats them, she feels as if she is going through the whole journey again.
In her interview with Top Doctor Magazine, we could hear through her words just how much heart Nidhi gives to each of her patients. Every time she can give her patient their smile back, her whole being lights up with joy and is filled with an indescribable sense of contentment and relief, even more so when her patients turned friends send her selfies with their new smiles, telling her just how much confidence they have regained with their beautiful smiles.
Nidhi has performed the same procedures millions of times, yet she still gets nervous from all the pressure she puts on herself to give her patients the perfect smile. However, she hopes that the butterflies in her stomach will never go away because it is precisely the kind of adrenaline she needs to ensure that she is always giving her best.
How The Pandemic Affected Dental Practices
When the pandemic hit, Dr. Nidhi was blessed enough to still have a growing business. “A lot of patients were very self-conscious of being on Zoom, so more and more people wanted cosmetic work,” she shares. To cater to her steady influx of patients, Nidhi had to shell out time, money, and effort to create a safe space for her patients, including a private treatment room behind closed doors for each patient. Although it was quite an expense, she was glad to have taken the extra precautions because she can confidently say that none of her patients or employees have contracted COVID-19.
Even though her practice was doing great, Nidhi still faced some hurdles during the pandemic. She lost half of her employees because they chose not to return to work after hearing about the unemployment benefits. This resulted in her having to hire and train new employees with no dentistry background. It was a tough challenge, but they powered through, and Nidhi couldn’t be more grateful for her phenomenal new team members.
However, as fortunate as Nidhi is with her practice, she realizes that not everyone is as lucky. She worries that if the pandemic continues, more private practices will move into corporations because they can no longer keep up with the costs. She humbly asks everyone to be nice to their dentists and doctors and to support small businesses during these challenging times.
Dentistry’s Cool New Toys
As we move into a more hopeful new year, Dr. Nidhi is excited to share the recent innovation she has been working on. She is developing a device called ZeroBrush which will replace brushing and flossing. It’s specifically useful for individuals with motor problems like arthritis who have trouble keeping up with good oral hygiene. The oral device will make its debut on the market by 2022, so she tells us to watch out for that.
Additionally, more and more technology is changing the game of dentistry. Nidhi is a big fan of using 3D scanners and Artificial Intelligence (AI). They help provide her with a more accurate reading on fixing bite corrections and tooth rotations. Laser technology has also been a personal favorite of hers because it removes the pain from experience, and it also has a better recovery time.
Be More Aware
Dr. Nidhi is pleased to see that patients are becoming more educated nowadays. It is always such a delight for her to treat patients who are so engaged and ask many questions. “When patients are aware of their health, they are more involved in taking care of it and make better decisions,” she points out.
However, she is worried about all the misinformation on social media regarding dental health and its effect on people’s dental procedure choices. Teeth whitening and veneers, for example, should only be done by a professional who knows precisely what they’re doing. Many people just want quick results, and there are many discreditable dentists online that are willing to give it to you without making sure everything in your mouth is addressed. “Please be selective and don’t believe all the messages you see on social media. Do your research,” Dr. Nidhi begs the public.
The Smile Maker
Despite the numerous successes Dr. Nidhi has had in her career, she remains a humble, down-to-earth, and genuine person. She lives a simple life tending to her edible garden and farm animals and hopes to spend her later years giving back to the environment. It is clear that she is nothing short of a giver, and she will continue to give, whether it be a new home for animals or a perfect smile for her patient. “There is no greater satisfaction than seeing my patient’s life light up. I sleep better when I make them Smile. That’s my degree – Smile maker.”