New dentist’s focus is on comfort and aesthetics
By Tara Nelson
Bryan Chen’s new dentist office in Blaine may offer residents a change of pace from traditional dentistry.
Chen opened his Blaine and Birch Bay Family Dentistry office at 310 Martin Street in March, offering basic dental services such as cleaning and check-ups, extractions, fillings, and dentures.
Chen, however, specializes in using ultra-quiet dental tools, “state-of-the-art” digital x-rays sensors, which are smaller and less sharp than their traditional counterparts, massaging dental chairs upholstered with ultra-soft leather, and dvd players.
A digital display offers patients a computer-generated view of their teeth accompanied by a list of recommended procedures and prices as part of what Chen calls a “co-diagnosis.”
“When they come here, they can know what’s going on right away and how much they can expect to pay while they are still in the chair,” he said.
New visitors may also be surprised by the clinic’s cozy atmosphere. The former athletic club has been remodeled with lots of dark greens and earth tones to complement the building’s wood floors and cedar paneling while slate tiles, candles and stainless steel designer sinks add to the visual appeal.
“It feels like a spa,” Chen
said, laughing. “The
designer tried to choose colors that would create a warm,
comfortable atmosphere. It’s not like the typical
dental office, which tends to be sterile looking.”
Chen grew up in Taiwan and earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Soochow University in Taipei.
At the age of 25, he moved to Manhattan and attended the
New York Institute of Technology, taking prerequisite classes.
In 1999, he earned his doctorate in general dentistry from New York University and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked for a dental group practice for five years.
He discovered Whatcom County during a vacation with his wife, Nancy, and son Nathan, 2.
Chen said they immediately
fell in love with the beauty of the area, but were equally
impressed with the friendliness of the Blaine community.
“We were looking for property and we realized that this area is growing very fast and we saw a lot of potential here,” he said. “I did some research and I think a lot of people are likely to move to this area because of its location by the bay. I also didn’t expect that people would be so nice here.
very nice town with a great view.”
Chen’s current location, however, has caused some confusion with residents as Blaine’s other dentist with the same last name, Dr. Darryl Chen, of Associate Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry at 357 Martin Street.
Darryl has practiced dentistry across the street for 13 years.
Paulette Fenn, office administrator for the Associate Cosmetic and Impact Dentistry, said she hopes her customers will realize there are now two dentists on the same street with the same last name.
“We’ve had so many people confused over this,” she said. “The number of calls from customers has just been outrageous.
“In the long run, though, I think as the weeks go by and we get our new building on Peace Portal Drive, things will get better. We will be able to have our patients and he can have his patients, but right now it’s just confusing.”
Blaine and Birch Bay Family Dentistry is open Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. They be reached by calling 332-9534.