40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

YELENA BRIKINA AND PRASHANT RAO

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Cedar Walk Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, which they opened together in October 2008

Age:

34 and 35

Name of Practice:

Cedar Walk Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, which they opened together in October 2008

Specialty:

General dentistry

Education:

Dr. Brikina: DDS, SUNY Stony Brook; BS in biochemistry, SUNY Stony Brook. Dr. Rao: DDS, New York University College of Dentistry; BS in psychology, University of North Carolina


Why They Were Nominated

The husband-and-wife team have the ultimate family practice. They not only treat patients like their extended family, but their two daughters are always with them (their eldest napped in a nursery at the back of the office for most of the practice’s first year). “Most [patients] have seen me pregnant, most have seen my kids grow up,” Dr. Brikina says.

Exciting New Trend

Implant dentistry. “It’s unbelievably restorative,” Dr. Rao says. “You’re able to tell patients that they don’t have to worry about not having teeth or
that they’ll have to replace one.”

Biggest Challenge

“Two doctors, two opinions,” says Dr. Rao. “And being husband and wife doesn’t make it easier, because you have to go home together and talk about it.
In the end, I think, we always come to the right conclusion: that she’s always right.”