Published July 22, 2003
Volume 11, Number 7

Robert Dimayuga Shows That Honesty is the Best Policy  

By George Walsh
Network Editor

Few people would say that going to the dentist is the highlight of their day, but because it’s a necessary part of healthcare, everyone hopes that they feel as comfortable as possible while they have their teeth cared for. To ensure your comfort at a dentist appointment it’s important that the dentist listens to your needs, is straightforward about the procedures and their costs, and gives you the feeling that he really cares. Combine all of those qualities with top-notch dentistry skills, and you’ve described Hacienda’s Robert J. Dimayuga, DMD.

Robert DimayugaRobert Dimayuga was born and raised in the Philippines, where he also received his dental training at Centro Escolar University in Manila. He intended to target his studies toward becoming a general medical practitioner after his first year of pre-med. “My grandfather was a doctor. I figured that if you were a doctor, you could go anywhere in the world and still earn a living and still be able to treat people,” Dimayuga says. “I think that was my initial motivation, and I always knew that I was good in the sciences.” Dimayuga’s best friend, however, made the suggestion that he switch to dentistry so that they could study together and give each other moral support. The idea was attractive to him because he was eager to join his family, who had moved to the U.S. The pre-dental program only required two years, whereas the pre-medical program required four. He would also still be able to work with people anywhere in the world, just as he would have if he had become a medical doctor.

Dimayuga received his degree in general dentistry at the age of 24 in 1989. Then, he moved to the U.S. to continue his education as he built a practice based on general dentistry. “With a general dentistry degree, I was able to offer a lot more services. I could see many more people than I could if I had limited myself to just doing orthodontics or something like that,” he says. “I could do cleanings, fillings, crowns, whatever the patients needed.” In addition to his initial education in general dentistry, learning specialized skills through continuing education has been a major part of Dimayuga’s life and career. Last year, he completed his residency in endodontics at UCLA and he will start his residency this August in cosmetic dentistry. He has taken a number of courses at the University of the Pacific and UCSF and has future plans to attend the Las Vegas Institute of Dentistry, which is considered by many to be one of the foremost schools of cosmetic dentistry in the world. “I like to attend seminars and classes to update my skills and stay abreast of the changing technology and advancements in dentistry,” he says. “What they taught us in dental school does not hold a candle to what is being taught now.” From whitening procedures to caps and veneers, Dimayuga strives to learn as much as he can. “Just like computer technology, dental techniques are constantly becoming more powerful and complex, giving patients many new options.”

While building his practice, Dimayuga has never taken out any advertisements to attract patients. His entire business has been built on word-of-mouth recommendations about his skills and his character. “I, as a person, am very honest. I run an honest, upright, and caring practice. We try our best to treat every patient like family. I believe that if you do good dentistry and you’re honest, people will come back to you and refer their friends and loved ones to you.” It’s a philosophy that has worked well for him as he’s seen his practice grow and flourish.

Despite his best efforts, Dimayuga is aware that many people are afraid of visiting a dentist and thinks that pinpointing what causes the discomfort is the first step in overcoming it. “We cater to cowards,” he says jokingly. “The first thing we do is to identify what the patient is really afraid of. Is it the dentist? Is it the white lab coat? Is it the needle? Is it a root canal? Once we identify the basis of the fear, we can then try to figure out how to help our patients deal with it.” Dimayuga goes to great lengths to make fearful patients feel more at ease. “I have a patient who just hates the way a dental office smells to the point of feeling ill when she comes into the office. When she comes in for treatment, we light scented candles. Another patient told us that she just hates the sound of the drill, so we provide headphones so that she can listen to music. For patients who are afraid of needles, I use a lot of topical anesthetic so they don’t feel it as much. I try to comfort them by talking and having them think about something else while I give them the injection. We try our best to cater to the patient’s needs and wants.”

Family ties are extremely important to Dimayuga, as evidenced by his move to the U.S. after dental school to be closer to his parents and siblings. “They all were here when I finished my general dental education,” he says. “One of the biggest benefits of my profession is that a dentist’s skills are needed everywhere.” Though he spent his youth in the Philippines, Dimayuga is definitely a local practitioner. He has lived in Pleasanton and San Ramon and currently makes his home in Danville. A married man with four children, his leisure time is typically spent with his family. “The majority of our weekends are spent in activities for the children,” he says. “I’ve coached youth soccer for the last seven years, which I played myself when I was younger.” The Dimayugas also like to explore the California countryside by hopping in the car and taking road trips together.

Dimayuga opened his office at 4825 Hopyard Road Suite 17 in 1996 and estimates that he now has between 1,200 and 1,400 patients. Because of his ethnic heritage, he is able to serve patients who speak Tagalog, the native tongue of the Philippines. He is also able to treat Spanish speaking patients through the language skills of his staff. He accepts a number of different insurance plans, but the main reason for the success of his practice seems to lie in his attitude. “My foundation for going into dentistry was my love for the sciences and my desire to help people,” he says. He’s also aware of the fact that the cost of dental care can vary widely depending on who is providing it, and that most people don’t realize this fact until after the work is done and the bill is paid. “If two dentists have the same skills, but one is rude or dishonest, you know that the honest guy will always have a more successful career.” Most people would probably agree that if there’s a time when you really want to trust the person who’s providing your healthcare, a visit to the dentist is probably one of them. The knowledge that your dentist’s skills are as up to date as possible is an added bonus. Integrity combined with caring and education should add up to a long fulfilling career for Robert J. Dimayuga DMD.

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