When it comes to a healthy mouth, Dr. Luis Galvan has something to smile about. One of six highly specialized dentists at the New You Smile Center in San Antonio, Dr. Galvan spends his days changing peoples’ lives, one tooth at a time. Born, raised and educated in Mexico City, he first practiced general dentistry in Mexico, where he became interested in implant dentistry at the cusp of its inception. In 1995, he came to the United States to complete a residency in general dentistry and went on to earn his DDS degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, graduating magna cum laude. Now professionally affiliated with ICOI, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he has received numerous awards for his work in the field of implant dentistry and has dedicated his life to improving the oral quality of patients all over the world as well as in San Antonio.

I caught up with Dr. Galvan to find out a little more about his passion for patients and what brought him to our fair city.

Q: How did you become interested in dentistry?

A: Dentistry has been a way of life for me. Both of my parents are dentists, as were my grandparents and several aunts and uncles. I fell in love with the profession when I was young and knew I wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. As a small boy, I remember playing with my Star Wars figures and using endodontic files as swords!

Q: Cosmetic dentistry is often associated with making pretty people prettier, but much of what you do changes lives. Can you elaborate?

A: I love engineering, mechanics and biology, and I love helping people and giving them a better quality of life. When I discovered implant dentistry, it blended all those specialties together in one profession. With this technology, I could finally help people who had been miserable. I could increase their confidence, self-esteem and ability to eat, and give them a longer, healthier life.

Q: One aspect of your business that sets you apart from other dentists in town is your desire to serve patients no matter what their financial situation. Why is this so important to you?

A: A human being should never be deprived of a technology that could change his or her life because of limited finances. I became a doctor to help people, and life is priceless. I also believe in hard work, and that God will provide to those who work hard. I have never viewed dentistry as a business, and because of that, I have always been successful in business.

Q: You are known for taking complicated cases that no one else will take. Why is helping people so important to you?

A: I had been seeing those difficult cases since I was a little boy watching my father practice dentistry in Mexico. I have 11 years of dental training as well as 15 years in practice. Now it is my turn to help, do what I know and exploit all that training. If not, what a waste, don’t you think?

Q: Aside from an improved smile, what other benefits do your patients receive from your services?

A: They are able to eat the foods they were unable to eat before; they no longer have to use the denture glue (which is nasty!); and they can kiss their loved ones with confidence. I give them health, aesthetics, confidence, the opportunity to have a good job and a return to their romantic lives. Those little screws bring about many good things!

Q: Many people avoid seeing the dentist like the plague. What would you tell someone who desires your help, but fears the dental chair?

A: The great majority of my patients are ready, so we just help them with sedation dentistry to calm them down at the time of the procedure. Today’s procedures are painless and fast; we can do a full arch in as little as 40 minutes, with the majority of cases taking approximately one hour and a half. So come on in and change your life!

by: Courtney Burkholder