First-of-its-Kind Luxury Dental Office ‘Paste Dental’ Opens in Downtown Toronto with Plans for Expansion [Interview]

For the first time in Toronto, there is a dental office people won’t want to run away from. Paste Dental, which opened last month, has dedicated its time perfecting every small detail to make sure your dental experience is less scary and more comforting – because going to the dentist should not be a pass when it comes to your healthcare.

Dr. Derek Chung

Located at 373 King Street West, patients can have an elevated dental experience as Paste Dental has changed everything the average person hates about going to the dentist, well almost everything, including the small details such as the surroundings.

“I started this office because I thought there was a void for going to the dentist. When I moved to the big city, I saw there were a lot of people spending a lot of time, energy, and money making sure every aspect of their life is perfect – but when they thought about the dentist, it was a pass. We have been here for about a month, but this dental concept has been in my head for about ten years,” says Dr. Derek Chung, the CEO and founder of Paste Dental.

Chung has been keeping a record of things people hated, what his family hated, and what he hates about going to the dentist and gathered his insights to make the perfect dental office.

Paste Dental offers the same type of services as any other dental offices, but makes it elevated with its towel service, luxury design, and uses different technology.

Technology Driven Dental Care

Paste Dental at 373 King St W (Image: Paste Dental)

Chung uses a variety of technologies to take away stress patients endure during a dental visit. For instance, instead of scraping teeth to clean them, Chung uses Airflow, a powerwash tool from Switzerland.

“We have a powerwash tool for your teeth and there is very little scraping, 80 percent of it is with a power wash. We have created something where we are exfoliating your teeth, so it is a facial for your teeth. It is from Switzerland and I am the first to have this in Toronto.”

If you need an impression of your teeth, at Paste Dental – the goopy tray mess is gone as Chung uses two scanners to digitally take impressions. The camera takes 3,000 photos every second the team digitally designs it. This helps people with braces as usually the dentist would come in and place a tray in your mouth.

“The two scanners that we have spent a lot of money on eliminates the goopy mess and gagging and eliminates a lot of chair time and a lot of long appointments for services that otherwise would take two weeks.”

Paste Dental at 373 King St W (Image: Paste Dental)

The scanners can also be used if a patient needs a crown on their tooth. When usually getting a crown, you are left with a temporary one until the dental office receives the permanent one, which could take two weeks and you will have two or three appointments. The same technology can be used to replace misplaced retainers, which are printed with a 3D printer.

At Paste Dental, Chung says they can scan your teeth and design everything immediately, send it to their in-house mill, and have it ready for the patient within two hours. If the patient decides to wait two hours, there is a lounge where people can relax, watch television, enjoy the towel service, or take advantage of Paste Dental’s deluxe coffee machine.

“I can make you a crown in two hours in one day. So there are no temporaries, you are not living two weeks in anxiety worrying that your temporary crown will come off – you are able to complete your service on the same day. So that is really huge for us and that is what makes us different.”

“The technology is really big and the ambiance is huge. With the level of service, the coffee, the towel service, we have created a space where you want to spend time in and hang out, where in a normal dental office – you want to hit the ground running.

Emotional Element

Paste Dental at 373 King St W (Image: Paste Dental)

“We spent a lot of time with the surroundings, we wanted people to disconnect from the busy downtown world. We wanted a hospitality service level, we wanted to be able to offer good technology. We wanted people to not only have the best quality of dental care, but also have the experience of it being more curated.”

To make the office more comforting, Chung uses a lot of roundness and tries to stay away from sharp corners when possible. Chung said this was an important factor, because round objects are less intimidating and “there are enough sharp things at the dental office.”

Chung’s office is very warm and welcoming with the tone of colours and furniture choices as they are less office-like and more homey. Even when it comes down to the dental chairs, Chung took a long time deciding which ones to use and had them custom made to ensure great quality and comfort.

A Different Experience in Every Room

Paste Dental at 373 King St W (Image: Paste Dental)

To make the experience even more elevated for his patients, Chung realizes everyone is different, so everyone’s experience should also be different.

Before a patient appointment, they are encouraged to fill out a form where they can decide what type of lighting they want in the room and what music they would like to listen to. Each room has a different sound system which allows everyone to enjoy their preferred music. In addition, patients have their choice of what fluoride to use, and at Paste that includes the choice of salted caramel flavoured fluoride. Chung said he flavoured 50 other fluorides and this was the best one.

“There is a form where you can upgrade and elevate your appointment and it just adds an extra layer for people to feel comfortable, to feel at home, and to feel like they are treating themselves. Everyone’s a little bit different, so we wanted people to have a chance to feel as comfortable as possible. We have TV’s that turn 90 degrees, noise cancelling headphones, and we have a lot of technology and there is more coming.”

Staying Local

Image: Paste Dental

As Paste Dental is local, Chung wants to support local businesses as much as possible from the equipment he uses to his towel service.

Instead of using a big linen company, Chung decided to use a smaller business where the money would be going straight into their pocket instead of some big corporation. Chung also uses local suppliers for the dental equipment and for cleaning.

“My cleaners are husband and wife, so they are not a big cleaning company. I am a small business, so I want people to support me and I try to support everyone else as much as I can and I also give back a lot of business to my patients. My cleaners have been my patients for five years. Every transaction our office does, I try to see if there is a local alternative and I will use the local alternative.”

Chung said as for any expansion plans, he would like to expand into areas that have similar values.

Paste Dental at 373 King St W (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“And that is always changing, I think more people are starting to think the way I have always felt – that a dental office shouldn’t just be offering really good dental care, but have more of a modernised approach, so where I expand to next will depend on that social response and how the world changes. I think that this is kind of what is next, being responsible and also being a dental office. Hopefully within the next couple of years, people will continue to catch on and have the same values so we can expand everywhere.”

Chiung said at the top of his head he could see expanding in Leslieville or the West End. In terms of the current office changing, Chung is always looking for new technology to bring into the office to make his patient’s appointment easier and less stressful. Paste Dental will continue to upgrade its devices, the office, and to make sure it is always modern.

“I wanted to create a dental experience where people could use as an opportunity to elevate their life as opposed to seeing a dental as a pass on their lifestyle, so being a private dentists in Toronto for seven years, I have noticed Toronto people are so busy and going to the dentist was really the only time they were forced to not do anything but sit down and chill. So why not make that forced break into something more enjoyable? It is taking that little slice out of that person’s day and elevating it to make it better, so let’s make this better so we can elevate the dental experience.”

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