Entrepreneur: Swati Patel and Sumit Patel
Photography by Brian Baiamonte
COMPANY Brush Dental
POSITION Founders and co-owners
WHAT THEY DO Full-service, family friendly dental office offering comprehensive dentistry services
ADDRESS 411 Ben Hur Road, suite G
NEXT GOALS Open a second location
Swati Patel and Sumit Patel are glad to be back on their old stomping grounds. Earlier this year, the LSU School of Dentistry graduates teamed up to open Brush Dental near the LSU campus, aiming to provide affordable dental care to fellow Tigers. But their professional partnership isn’t just beginning. The friends began drawing up plans for their ideal dental practice while still undergrads, as members of the same “dental family”—a close mentor-mentee relationship established among students at the LSU dental school. “In a dental family, you share patients, and you learn a lot about the other person’s dental philosophies,” Sumit explains. “Swati and I were always on the same page.”
CLASSROOM TO OFFICE
While in undergrad, Sumit’s entrepreneurial spirit initially led him to pursue a business degree before switching to biology. Urged on by Swati, they decided to pursue the ultimate goal of a dentistry degree: opening an independent practice. After graduation, Sumit completed a residency at UAB University Hospital in Birmingham while Swati worked in private practice, perfecting her use of advanced techniques. Sumit’s refined surgical skills combined with Swati’s commitment to incorporating cutting edge dental technology allows Brush Dental to offer a wide range of advanced services like restorative procedures and complex extractions. The biggest challenge, according to Sumit: “Dental school didn’t really teach us the business aspect of dentistry.”
CLOSE TO CAMPUS
But with the help of Swati’s husband, Karan, and Sumit’s wife, Niraja, they developed a comprehensive business plan for Brush Dental, knowing early on that location was key. Demographic research and real estate development trends led them to a location at Burbank Drive and Ben Hur Road. “Baton Rouge is pretty saturated with dentists, but we knew the proximity to LSU students and young families would allow Brush Dental to thrive,” Swati says. To set themselves apart from competitors, they are emphasizing a patient-centered approach, giving the office a contemporary and comfortable feel, complete with relaxing amenities like sound proof headphones, TV screens in patient rooms, and plush pillows and blankets.
After just four months in business, Swati says Brush Dental has developed a steady stream of clients—mostly thanks to word of mouth referrals and some savvy social media marketing. Though Swati and Sumit are young, they’re not naive and know just how difficult it is to establish a new business in such a competitive industry. “Opening your own practice is not as common as it once was due to the rise of corporate dental offices,” Sumit says. Nonetheless, the dental duo is already dreaming of additional locations in the Capital Region. “At the end of the day, our strength is in our local roots, our passion for our work, and the support of our friends and family who’ve inspired us to take this leap,” Swati says.