Even before Dr. Sam LaChance opened his private dentistry practice in Minneapolis, he knew he had something unique to offer patients.He speaks to people in a way that educates them and puts them at ease and helps bring more clarity to the complex world of healthcare.
Dr. LaChance opened Greenway Dental in September after working in a group practice in the dentistry field for the last 12 years. He graduated from the University of Minnesota’s dental school in 2007. A science lover since he was a kid, LaChance also has a degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This is his first private practice, which is nestled in the Whittier neighborhood at 24th and Lyndale, an ideal location on a thoroughfare in Uptown.
“I’m loving the neighborhood,” he says. “All the patients we’ve gotten so far are so nice.”
At the core of it, Dr. LaChance wanted to create a company rooted in clear and transparent communication with patients. He says most dentists are introverted and science-minded, though maybe not always the best communicators. He wants to build trusting relationships that last and to deliver care that makes everyone feel good. Keeping that in mind, he specifically hires people so the entire team works from the same core values. A small but mighty core group runs the day-to-day operations in Uptown, including Dr. LaChance and his wife, Claire, and four employees.
“Oftentimes, you as a dentist might know what a patient should have, but [dentists are] not good at conveying that information to patients,” he says. “That was my whole shtick with this practice is making sure that patients left happy and understood what they got and why it was needed.”
Another one of Dr. LaChance’s areas of expertise is helping calm, anxious patients. Not only is anxiety the most common mental health problem in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. But some patients have specific fears around getting dental work done. So in addition to the service that Greenway Dental offers, its office decor, color coordination and overall aesthetic were designed to calm patients.
Dr. LaChance is passionate about the field and knows it deeply. In fact, he was awarded the “New Dentist Leadership Award” in 2015 from the Minnesota Dental Association during the Star of the North Dental Convention. His past community involvement includes serving as treasurer of the St. Paul District Dental Society, as well as serving as a board member and leader of the education committee for the St. Paul Executive Council. He also volunteers for Give Kids a Smile, Mission of Mercy and the Hope Dental Clinic.
Greenway Dental’s services include preventive work such as cleanings and exams, dental sealants, fluoride treatments, sports guards and nightguards. The clinic also offers cosmetic services such as porcelain veneers, take-home whitening trays and Invisalign, as well as restorative services such as tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges, implants, extractions, bone grafts and more.
Originally from Northern Wisconsin near the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Dr. LaChance and his wife—who have known each other since teenagehood—live in St. Paul. They are raising two daughters together and have created this business together.
He says he enjoys the Whitter neighborhood, and he’s looking forward to becoming more involved.
“I’m excited to grow,” he says. “I’m on a mission and I want to stick to it.”