Dr. Sam Shamardi was born in Malaga, Spain and raised in Newport Beach, Cali- fornia. He attended Corona del Mar High School, becoming Class President in his senior year and nishing with a 4.0 GPA and as a 4-year Varsity tennis letterman. He moved to La Jolla, California to attend the University of California, San Diego and majored in Political Science with emphasis in International Relations. While simultaneously completing the rigorous sci- ence classes required for dental school, Sam was recognized for his academic achieve- ments in Political Science and immersed himself in community activities by joining the Alpha Phi Omega community service fraternity, taking part in numerous events to help the less fortunate.
Sam next traveled to Boston, earning his DMD degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. While at Tufts, Sam had the honor of being elected Class President for each of his 4 years. is position was tremendously gratifying and taught him valuable lessons in time management and leadership. His experiences at Tufts cul- minated with the honor of addressing his peers at Commencement and have contin- ued with lifelong friendships with faculty and classmates.
Dr. Shamardi trained for his Periodon- tal certi cate at the prestigious Univer- sity of Pennsylvania Periodontal Program. During this training, he had extensive nonsurgical and surgical experience for procedures such as sinus lifts, implants, mucogingival surgery, crown lengthening, osseous and guided bone and tissue regen- eration. Additionally, the exposure to the unique Periodontal Prosthesis program has allowed him to better understand
the restorative aspect of the profession and the importance of proper treatment planning. Having graduated in 2010, Dr. Shamardi returned to California, spend- ing one year working in multiple practices and becoming a Diplomate of the Ameri- can Board of Periodontology, the highest honor in his eld. He then returned to Boston in July 2011 and has since been working full time and teaching part time as a Clinical Professor at the Harvard University Periodontics Department.
Dr Shamardi currently lectures both nationally and internationally at several major dental meetings each year, and in January 2014 he founded and launched Dental Innovations LLC, a start-up dental company. He is set to debut his rst major product at the Greater New York meeting this fall.
In his spare time, Dr. Shamardi enjoys to travel extensively and play multiple sports while following his favorite soccer club Real Madrid. He is uent in three lan- guages and still enjoys following current a airs and politics.

Dr. Sam Shamardi – My Story


What is the dental dream? After seven years of dental and periodontal training, one year practicing in Southern California and now in my second year working in Boston, the simple question is still unanswered in my mind. It wasn’t that I never had an answer … I had thought of many over time, yet none of them stuck.

I knew what we were taught to aspire to in dental school—graduate, own your own office one day and work for 35 years until you retire! That was the gold-standard plan. More ambitious colleagues had the different approach of buying multiple offices over time and building them up until they would have enough to hire associates and just oversee them. It was higher risk, but if it worked as planned, that route had a very high reward. That’s IF it worked, and from what I had seen thus far on both coasts among friends and colleagues, the odds weren’t as strong as they sounded.

Being a periodontist isn’t what it used to be either. The whole world is pushing their way into implants and “easier” perio procedures, thus opening your own perio practice with expectations of a strong referral base would be a significantly greater challenge today than it was a generation ago.

I was always teased by my dental school friends that I should never have been a dentist, as I had a political science degree and would spend much of my time imitating faculty members. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy any of it, rather that I wanted to do more than treat patients forever. I came across a book titled The Four Hour Workweek just weeks after finishing dental school that left a permanent impression on me and went against everything I was ever told or taught. The ultimate was goal wasn’t to accumulate more degrees, more offices or more titles. Instead, it was to have a self-sustaining business and create more free time for yourself!

Yet dentistry, unlike the majority of businesses, does not allow for much flexibility, remote work opportunities or a shared chain of command. From the beginning it’s on you, and you have to choose where to lay roots and spend years making it grow. Thus, I would have to find another way to succeed within the dental-career structure. In the spirit of this, I found a calling to address needs in the dental field. After many years of brainstorming and thinking of countless ideas, taking a commercializing science course at Harvard Business School finally made things click, and soon after, Dental Innovations LLC was formed.

The process of creating a company and a product is long and costly. Legal fees to setup an LLC, register as a corporation with your state, corp taxes, intellectual property and trademark paperwork, and manufacturing/prototyping was just the tip of the iceberg. Once my first product, the DI15 High Fidelity Electronic Earplug, was launched, the much larger challenge of educating the field, marketing the product and generating sales came into play.

The fact is, doing this on your own is very expensive and takes a tremendous amount of your time and energy. Ideally, you want to start the process with a solid business plan and long-term strategy. Are you hoping to grow the company and create multiple products with your own workforce, or build the name and sell your product for profit? Have you tested the market for a fair price point and seen if a short online campaign creates enough hits to confirm interest? The greatest ideas, regardless of what you personally feel, only can work if others ultimately feel the same way. Hearing loss is a significant unaddressed issue in our field with decades of literature and thousands of dental professionals affected each year, yet you are still fighting an uphill battle.

Since launching the product in November 2014, we have signed distribution deals with Patterson Dental and Crown Dental in New Zealand, with other possibilities for the future. Like everything in the dental field, the initial pushback is there, but I am convinced this technology will soon become standard of care as dental loupes became many years ago. Ultimately, nothing in dentistry comes easy, not even when you actually try and help dentists themselves! Until then, I will continue pushing forward with my goals and am excited to see if I succeed in creating free time for my future.

Christiana Harris, DMD was born and raised in Dallas, TX and her passion for dentistry began when she was only 8 years old. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Praire view A&M University and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry School of Dentistry in Nashville, TN. While in Nasheville she served as chaplain for her class and devotion leader in the Christian Dental Association. Upon graduation from Meharry, she received the Brassler USA Award of Excellence.

My Story


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My initial interest in dentistry started from a very young age and by unfortunate circumstance. You see, I was a rather rowdy child growing up in Dallas, TX and I definitely had my fair share of injury to my two front teeth. So much so that I spent my adolescent years being taken out of school for dental visits. And most of the time, they were dental visits that my parents could not afford. My general dentist was my super hero though! Although we could not always get the “recommended” treatment, he always came up with a solution to make me feel comfortable and cared for. He was the first professional to tell me that I could do anything! I was eight years old at the time.

From that point on, I knew that I wanted to become a dentist and do whatever I could to help those around me. While attending my dental school interview at Meharry Medical College, I read that the mission of the college was to ‘Worship God through service to mankind’. Naturally, I jumped for joy when I learned that I was accepted to this service oriented college. I immediately began to search out ways that I could be of service to mankind. My junior year, during a transition of new faculty entering the college, I heard of an opportunity to do mission dentistry in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. This opportunity would be like none other in that not only would we be offering our skills to this beautiful country and its citizens, but we would have the opportunity to collaborate and learn alongside Haitian dental students as well. What an amazing week we had together and a huge impact was made on my life and my own professional development.

Shortly after graduating from Meharry in 2013, I vowed to myself that I would seek out opportunities to do mission dentistry as often as I could. In March of 2015, I was able to take an adventurous vacation to Nairobi, Kenya. Although I had not planned my trip around doing any mission work, the group I went to Nairobi with had planned for us to spend a day in the Kibera Slums at a primary school where we could help fill up their empty library with books. We received massive donations from all over the USA and were able to overwhelm the children with reading material. But this was also an opportunity for myself and a dear friend and colleague on the trip to serve these young children through dentistry. Although we were not equipped to do screenings or administer fluoride, we were able to teach the children basic hygiene skills and pass out toothbrushes and toothpaste. This simple act was something these children had never been exposed to and most of them never owned a toothbrush of their own. The smiles we received that day will forever be imprinted in my thoughts and it motivated me to continue to do all that I could in dentistry to serve the world around me.

You ever feel as if it was your destiny to do a certain thing or be in a certain career? Well again, becoming a dentist and offering this amazing skill to others just began to follow me throughout my life. This past February (2016), I was randomly browsing LinkdIn (which I rarely do) and discovered a post from an orthodontist who was recruiting any interested dentist who wanted to do mission work in the Dominican Republic the very next month. I wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to attend or even able to take off work, but I inquired about the trip and from there it was divinely prepared for me to go! It was an all expense paid experience for a week that I was easily able to take off from work for and I later discovered on the trip that I would be accompanying several of my colleagues from dental school that would be on the mission as well. It was an absolutely amazing time of hard work and retiring at the beach nearby each day we were there.
In between my world travels and excursions, I have been called upon by many in education and in churches to speak with young people about my journey and oral health. This too has helped shape my outlook on how my career has so many facets in every area of life. I now mentor young people who shadow me at work and want to someday become a dentist as well. The opportunities to share my passion for dentistry are endless.

Fast forward to today, I am in my third year of practicing dentistry and I literally wake up everyday and thank God that my childhood dreams have come true! Being a dentist not only challenges me for professional improvement, but it is an absolute joy to have such flexibility to help others in many ways. I can envision myself leading a small community center practice that not only treats the needs of it’s people, but educates and empowers the same people to improve their oral health and help create that opportunity to others, near and far. I do not know what the future holds for me within this amazing career. But what I do know is that I want to help others. I want to give back to the universe what it has given to me.

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