Today the East Bay Daily interviews dentist Colin Yoshida.
Dr. Colin Yoshida, DDS operates Fremont Dentistry.
Fremont Dentistry provides general dentistry, dental restoration and cosmetic dental services for both children and adults. Dr. Yoshida’s practice emphasizes preventive dentistry which aims to not only stop the progression of oral disease but to prevent oral disease from taking root.
Fremont Dentistry has offices in Fremont, California.
Dr. Colin Yoshida, DDS
East Bay Daily: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? I understand that you’re from Hawaii.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Yes, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I practiced there about 27 years. At that time I was working for my brother who was a dentist there also and the island got a little small for me so I moved to the East Bay. I chose the area just because I went to dental school in San Francisco.
East Bay Daily: Was that the University of the Pacific (UOP)?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: University of the Pacific, the dental school.
East Bay Daily: Did you pursue your undergraduate degree in Hawaii?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Undergraduate was partly in Hawaii and partly at Oregon State.
East Bay Daily: What brought you specifically to the East Bay?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: That’s a funny story actually. One of my wife’s friends lived here and she basically said, “Look at Fremont. It’s a good place to live,” and that was the only advice we were given and we came over.
East Bay Daily: And about Fremont Dentistry, I understand you started your practice 16 years ago?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Yes. What happened is I contacted a practice broker. Practice brokers sell dental practices. So the practice broker put me in touch with a dentist’s office that was right down the street from where I was living. It was perfect. But the broker informed me that there was already an offer pending. But he suggested that I take a look anyway, because the deal had not closed.
East Bay Daily: If it hasn’t closed, it hasn’t sold.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Yes. So I go to take a look at this first dental practice in my search – I want to just get an idea of what I’m looking for. So I came to this dental practice (Fremont Dentistry), looked at it and I think about it. Two days later, the broker called me and said, “Well, the other offer fell through. There’s no funding, so it’s open”. So I said, “Great. I’ll make an offer”, and I wasn’t planning to get it, but I got it anyway.
East Bay Daily: All right, that’s great. It was meant to be.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Meant to be, yes.
East Bay Daily: Exactly. Now can you talk a little bit about your dental practice areas?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: So, it’s mainly general dentistry but I want to focus my practice nowadays on holistic dentistry.
East Bay Daily: OK, but wht do you mean by holistic dentistry?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: So over the past three or four years, I’m trying to incorporate different aspects, different treatments that are more natural. Such as using less chemicals and if I can transform my dental practice into one that does not use antibiotics.
So I’m trying to find alternative treatments to the normal established treatments that if I can find something better, that’s alternative, to cater to that sort of crowd in this area.
East Bay Daily: OK.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: And so that’s kind of my specialty. But I do general dentistry. I do some cosmetic work, oral surgery, tooth extractions. And another specialty that I want to focus on is gum disease treatment.
East Bay Daily: Why gum disease treatment?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Because gum disease and infection in your mouth play such a major role in the rest of your body. If there is infection in your mouth, that affects your heart system and diabetes and a lot of different systems. That can be very serious.
East Bay Daily: So is it a cause? Or a condition that could indicate something else going on in your body?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Either way, so it can be an indication that your body is just weak and your immune system is low, causing your gums to get bad or it could be the other way around where something starts in your mouth and can cause other health problems. Which I would not be able to diagnose those other problems, but gum disease is a bad condition for your mouth, so I want to focus on it as a specialty of Fremont Dentistry.
East Bay Daily: OK. Then what about going back to the holistic aspect of it? Can you talk a little bit more about that? The holistic approach sounds very interesting.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: So the holistic mentality is you want to have your body heal itself. Instead of – the normal way that we’re taught in dental school is we have to do something. We have to prescribe something. We have to provide treatment to help the body. But if we can find a way that’s more natural, that helps your body to heal itself rather than introducing products or treatments that actually – for instance antibiotics. Antibiotics basically kill bacteria, kill good bacteria, bad bacteria…
East Bay Daily: It doesn’t discriminate.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: It doesn’t discriminate and in general, it’s weakening your body first and then your body kind of recovers from that and starts to heal itself. So it’s not a great option, if I can avoid it.
East Bay Daily: OK.
Dr. Colin Yoshida: So that’s just one example that – so holistic is on that principle. If we can introduce something to that treatment that just helps your body recover because your body is sort of a self-regulating mechanism and it doesn’t really need a lot of intervention if you can introduce the right things.
East Bay Daily: Ok, that was a great overview of your dental philosophy and what services your practice offers. What are your ideas on running a successful business?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Treat your customers well. We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience. Our product must be good. I continually take additional training to improve myself and my team. We must always find ways to promote ourselves. People will never find us if they don’t know about us.
East Bay Daily: What types of marketing strategies do you employ?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: We use direct mail, web ads, Facebook and different internal strategies. Also we actively look to meet other healthcare providers and create relationships with them.
East Bay Daily: What do you love about your business?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: I love that I have privilege and ability to help people get healthier. Many dentists are basically tooth mechanics. I look for ways that I can not only fix teeth, but to also help their whole body.
East Bay Daily: What is the most challenging aspect of your business?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: The most challenging aspect is the management of the business. I was trained to be a dentist and not a CEO, but that is exactly what I have to be. I rely on a few advisors to help me with this area of my business.
East Bay Daily: What are you most proud of in your business?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: I am most proud that I know I have performed the best dentistry that I could since day one. My quality has always be high and I have never compromised that.
East Bay Daily: What trends do you see in the dental industry?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Dentistry is heading towards the road that General medicine has gone. Individual solo practitioners will be less common and large group practices and mega corporate practices will become the common thing. It’s becoming harder to compete against large corporate dentistry.
East Bay Daily: Do you have any mentors or role models?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: Dr. Paul Rubin in Seattle has been a great mentor to me and also Dr. Ron Arndt from Ohio has been a great mentor.
East Bay Daily: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs wanting to start a business?
Dr. Colin Yoshida: I guess the main thing that I would say is to be clear on what the purpose of your business is. Your purpose needs to be something that you are passionate about because there are going to be many days when things are not going so great. What keeps me going is that purpose and the mission to create something bigger so that I can better serve my patients.
Contact Fremont Dentistry in Fremont: