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updated: 8/25/2014 5:14 AM

Buffalo Grove dentist runs his practice with a family feel

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  • Dr. Laren J. Garfield and his wife Marlene run a dental practice in Buffalo Grove.

    Dr. Laren J. Garfield and his wife Marlene run a dental practice in Buffalo Grove.


Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: I feel so fortunate to be in the dental industry in today's time. So many advancements have been made in the last 20 years and I enthusiastically embrace them. While working at Mt. Sinai Hospital and running a satellite office in Chicago, I opened my dental practice in Buffalo Grove in 1991. A year later, my wife heard our 5 year old son answer the phone and say, "No, my daddy doesn't live here anymore." That was when I realized that working seven days and four ights a week was too much for a family man. I cut back to just working at my Buffalo Grove office and it was the best move I ever made. I was able to make my own schedule so that I could coach both my son and daughter in Little League, basketball, soccer and be present at many school functions.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: I chose the field of dentistry because I loved the sciences and always wanted to be in the health field. I felt that dentistry would allow me to fulfill both dreams and spend time with my family.

Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: Today I find dentistry to be so rewarding because with technology I can improve people's oral health, improve their smiles and give them greater quality of life. With the recent research linking oral health to cardiac disease, cancers and other systemic diseases, I feel I have so much to offer my patients. Plus, in today's world there is no reason for patients to go toothless. Dental implants have become the new standard of dentistry. I am enthralled with technology. It allows me to use cad-cam dentistry to make crowns in 2 hours, use digital X-rays to reduce radiation exposure, and detect cavities at their earliest stages with a laser tool. I can show patients what the inside of their mouths look like using my intra-oral camera. Now they just don't take my word when a problem exists, because they can see it themselves. My latest tool is an instrument that allows me to give painless injections!

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running a small business?

A: So many patients are dental phobic due to past experiences, or growing up in a time of no technology or pain control. For this reason I spend quality time with each patient to help educate them, answer questions, address concerns and work with them in partnership to decide the best options to take. I spend time developing relationships so that my patients trust me and know that I have their best interest as my priority. Perhaps this is what gives our office a family feel. It helps that my wife Marlene is our office manager and greets each patient by name as they walk through the doors. I am happy that after retiring from teaching, she actually wanted to work in my office. Thus, our motto "we treat you like family."

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Really nothing!

Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?

A: A tip for a new dental graduate would be to find an outstanding mentor who still loves dentistry.

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running a small business?

A: The biggest obstacle in running a dental practice- successfully surrounding yourself with a team who shares your same vision.

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