SIXTH-GENERATION SMILE DESIGNER DR. CHRISTIAN COACHMAN ALMOST QUIT DENTAL SCHOOL—BUT THEN BECAME MESMERIZED BY THE PROFESSION’S DIGITAL POTENTIAL.
MY FAMILY WAS featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest dental lineage. My brother and I are the sixth generation; the first was my great-great-greatgrandfather, who graduated in 1848. This year, we celebrate 170 years in dentistry.
My dream, as a teenager, was to become an architect or designer. I was about to quit dental school when I found my path: I realized I could become a “smile architect” and a “smile designer.” My company, Digital Smile Design, is focused on my three passions: projecting beautiful smiles (like a designer), developing treatment plans (like an architect) and creating great stories (like a marketer).
Digital Smile Design comprises six pillars. First, education, the primary one. Besides my own courses, we have an international team of DSD speakers giving courses about the methodology all over the world every week. Second, the DSD app. We launched it one year ago, and it’s growing rapidly.
Third, the DSD Planning Center. We started this service because we realized it was difficult for dentists to take the course and afterward buy and learn all the technology. The Planning Center enables dentists to become completely digital right after the course without having to invest or become IT experts.
Fourth, DSD Labs, which complement the Planning Center. The Labs produce all the devices to make the project become reality in an affordable, replicable way.
Fifth, DSD Community. DSD is much more than a company—it’s a methodology, a philosophy.
Sixth is DSD Marketing. We realized that the brave doctors who have dedicated energy to move away from their comfort zone and invest in this new vision of digital smile design needed help to tell better stories about the advantages that come with offering all these new ideas.
It’s powerful to accept that everything that happens to you is for your benefit even when things looks disastrous. People don’t like change, and many get aggressive when you discuss new trends. I have been attacked on social media because of my ideas. People make fun of you or try to destroy your reputation. You have to believe in a bigger purpose to continue.
DR. CHRISTIAN COACHMAN, 44, is the founder and CEO of Digital Smile Design (DigitalSmileDesign.com). He lives in São Paulo, Brazil, with his wife, Nicoly, and their three sons. (A baby girl is on the way.) Incisal Edge recently named Dr. Coachman No. 19 on its annual list of the 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry.