Dr. Nirjal Patel, a proud practice owner of Affordable Dentures & Implants in Kinston, North Carolina, says dedication and hard work brings him success and satisfaction. Read about his journey here.
Being unexceptional is unacceptable
Vincent Van Gogh. Andrew Carnegie. Henry Ford. Will Smith. Aside from being public figures, the one thing these gentlemen have in common is their denouncement of mediocrity.
Even in dentistry, perhaps especially so, mediocrity just won’t cut it. Dr. Nirjal Patel, one of the newest dentists to join the Affordable Dentures & Implants (AD&I) ranks, will emphatically tell you that.
“I don’t like mediocrity — being average is not who I am.” says Dr. Patel, “Would I want an average dentist working on me? No. I’ve never thought, let’s make an average denture.” On the contrary, he explains it’s all about, “dedication, hard work, and doing your best. Every day. Day in. Day out.” Being unexceptional is unacceptable. Perhaps his commitment to excellence is the reason behind Dr. Patel’s swift rise, not only at AD&I, but also in the dentistry field at large.
It’s all about “dedication, hard work, and doing your best. Every day. Day in. Day out.”
It was only 2½ years ago when Nirjal Patel became Nirjal Patel, DMD, upon graduating from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry. And it was a mere 9 months ago when he became the practice owner of the AD&I-affiliated practice in Kinston, North Carolina. Talk about progress. Talk about achievement.
Every dentist has a reason for entering the field. Without hesitation, Dr. Patel can recall exactly why and when implant dentistry became his calling.
“It began when my uncle got dentures. Our family would all sit around the dinner table eating great food while he was eating grinded food. Then he got implants.” The immediate countless benefits that implants brought his uncle didn’t go unnoticed. “From that time, I wanted to be an implant dentist — someone who performs surgery and gives teeth back. Anybody can take teeth away, but not everybody can give teeth back. At AD&I, that’s what we do. We give teeth back.”
AD&I entered the picture 2 years into Dr. Patel’s career while he was working as a senior associate at a prosthodontist office in Houston, Texas. At the time, Dr. Patel, the forever-learner, was enrolled in the TexMAX® AAID MaxiCourse®, where he mentioned his desire to focus on implants and dental surgery. A colleague immediately referred him to a friend who was an AD&I-affiliated dentist.
“He told me how he was able to do the dentistry that he likes to do; that he had clinical autonomy; that he made a good living. At that point, the only person I wanted to work for was myself or Affordable,” Dr. Patel remembers. In June 2020, he got both.
Dr. Patel has experienced tremendous success already, fortunate to place his two feet on the summit and stand “on top of the world” for a while. However, he’s realistic, ever-conscious of the downs that can accompany the ups. If he and his staff have a tough day, he tells them, “Today is just a valley.”
And when Dr. Patel and his staff reach a peak, it is celebrated. In the first week of December, for example, he was thrilled to learn that his Kinston practice ranked 10th in the nation and No.1 in North Carolina in regards to revenue. “I told my team, ‘This is an achievement.’ I told the lab, ‘You guys made [the prosthesis]. I may have [done the extractions], but you made them.’ I’m thankful for the lab and for the staff. It was a proud moment — like, we can do it. See! Here we are!”
He was able to get here for a few reasons. First, by keeping his uncle, his entire family, in fact, in mind as he works. He makes a concerted effort to treat his patients as if they were his own family. “That’s when it becomes, and that’s when you see success. You start thinking, ‘OK, what would I choose to do if this person were my own blood? Would I put an implant this close to a nerve or would I not?’” Dr. Patel says.
Along with patient care, another piece of the success puzzle is resourcefulness. One of the many benefits of being part of the AD&I network is the network itself. Once again, Dr. Patel, that forever-learner, jumps at the many opportunities the network presents.
“Learning from others is something that I do, and I’ve done it here. I look at the other successful AD&I practices. I’ve seen what the doctors there have done, how the teams work, the attributes of AD&I, and how to maximize potential. If I want to get there, and if others are already doing it, then I can do it,” Dr. Patel says.
Completing the success puzzle is talent and experience. Dr. Patel has over 500 hours of implant training. And in only 2 months, he placed a whopping 70 implants. “Doing this more and more often just takes you to the next level in this discipline. It makes you a really good surgeon.”
Dr. Patel is proud to be in Kinston, the same town where Affordable Dentures began back in 1975. It’s heartwarming for him when a patient comes in who tells him that his grandmother came to AD&I, and then his mom before him. He enjoys knowing there is longevity here, that there are “three generations of a patient pool,” he says, “Who else can claim that?”
The Kinston practice has gotten so busy, in fact, that Dr. Patel has called in a recruit, his classmate and best friend from Temple University. Dr. Philip Afshar will be working alongside Dr. Patel as an Associate Dentist. Dr. Patel is looking forward to this partnership, for both himself and Dr. Afshar. “I think it’s going to be a good relationship, and if he wants to have his own AD&I-affiliated practice one day, he can do that.”
And so, here is Dr. Patel. Only a few years into his dentistry career and already a practice owner. Though mediocrity is restricted from entering the practice, outside of work, Dr. Patel lets himself unwind and “forget about dentistry for a while.” He spends his time with friends and family, traveling, watching sports, and, as a recent transplant to North Carolina, furnishing and settling into his new home.
“You have to work hard. You have to keep learning if you want to achieve the success you’re after.” By fulfilling what he set out to do, Dr. Patel is now able to live out this new phase of life. “Finally, it has all come to fruition for me. Now is the time to enjoy my life. I don’t think it gets any better than this.”
This information was provided by Affordable Dentures & Implants (AD&I).
Ian Topelson, an Affordable Dentures & Implants owner in Colorado, says that providing implants is the “intersection of science and art.” Find out more about this philosophy here: https://implantpracticeus.com/ian-topelson-dmd-ficoi-faaip/