North Woodbridge Dental – A Home for Smiles

North Woodbridge Dental’s welcoming atmosphere and professional service brighten smiles across the city

There’s a sign on the door of North Woodbridge Dental that reads, “Your Neighbourhood Smile Professionals.” For owner and practising dentist Dr. Robert Penning, these words carry a considerable responsibility. “It’s not just a nice-sounding phrase,” he says. “Every word, to me, means something.”

North Woodbridge Dental is not just a clinic where patients can find a variety of first-rate procedures in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry and even orthodontic procedures such as the innovative Invisalign system. It’s a practice that also creates and maintains beautiful smiles that patients will want to share confidently and where the enthusiastic staff is committed to the utmost dental standards and long-term dental health. Most of all, it’s a place where patients can feel at home.

“As someone who has travelled as extensively as I have, I really love to get to know my patients,” explains Dr. Penning, who’s visited over 20 countries in his lifetime. And it’s not just about what they do for a living, either. A regular day at the office may see patients from four or five continents seated in the dentist chair — something Dr. Penning feels is one of the amazing things about working in a cultured community like Vaughan. “Patients are sometimes surprised by how we ask about what country they’re from,” Dr. Penning adds. “For many, it’s a big part of who they are, and I take great pride in making them feel like this is a place where diversity is welcomed.”

Patients will find the welcoming staff at North Woodbridge Dental go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable. The clean, modern facility is fitted with heated and massaging chairs and flat-screen TVs with access to Netflix for entertainment during longer procedures; an independent water system ensures a bacteria-free environment; and new adult patients are given a free $300 whitening procedure. There are also plenty of smiles. “We like to have fun,” Dr. Penning says. “There’s a lot of humour and laughter in our office,” which maintains a friendly atmosphere to dissolve any anxiety patients may have.

While Dr. Penning has run successful practices for over 20 years, his path to dentistry is anything but conventional. He originally graduated from the University of Toronto as an electrical engineer and worked for IBM, where he received several excellence awards. But at 30, when most are taking their careers to the next level, he decided to step back and forge a new path. He took an interest in his own dentist’s practice, where he appreciated how the profession was part technical, part business and part people. “The bonus,” he says, “was that helping others on a daily basis was actually very rewarding.”

After graduating from dental school, Dr. Penning spent eight years practising in the Yukon, where he made several trips flying over remote regions of the Arctic. But during that time, he says, “I always considered myself an engineer who was doing dentistry. I never thought of myself as a dentist first.” Until, that is, he discovered cosmetic dentistry.

In his youth, Dr. Penning worked as a photographic model, which provided unique insight into what made a great smile as well as stoking a love for photography. When he opened a practice in the Greater Toronto Area, he began submitting photos of his cosmetic dental work into competitions. Thanks to the creativity and beauty of his implant treatments, a number of those photos were selected to appear in dental trade magazines, including Dentaltown Magazine.

“Photography is the cornerstone of good cosmetic dentistry, because it allows you to analyze and communicate,” Dr. Penning explains. A testament to that is the before-and-after wall illustrating the success stories of those who found new confidence through North Woodbridge Dental. “To watch that change when people feel good about their teeth and about themselves, it’s very fulfilling,” he adds.

Recognition poured in for his work and Dr. Penning was soon recruited to join the executive of the Toronto Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, where he was eventually named president.
This comes at a time when the parent organization, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is holding their annual convention in Toronto for the first time. Dr. Penning believes this is a testament to all the great cosmetic dentists from Canada that have influenced the organization over the past few decades.

Over time, he grew his practice into three offices, but found he preferred the front-line patient care over the managerial role. He decided to downsize to his current two offices, his flagship North Woodbridge Dental, where he works alongside Dr. Nari Farshai, who moved here after practicing for seven years in Australia, and Schomberg Dental, so he could maintain that one-on-one relationship with his patients.

But while he excels in cosmetic dentistry, such as porcelain veneers and teeth whitening, he still enjoys general dental work just as much. For Dr. Penning, success is more than just recognition from his peers. “I think it’s the feedback from patients that really gives me my daily flow,” he says. “No matter what the procedure is, seeing them happy is what it’s all about.”

Dr. Penning’s generous spirit also led him to volunteer in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Give Back a Smile program, which works with adults who have suffered domestic and sexual abuse. “These individuals have gone through a traumatic period, and the physical damage left to their teeth can make it hard to look in the mirror, to apply for a new job, to start a new life,” Dr. Penning says. Doing this work makes a huge difference, and not just for those patients. “It’s a matter of setting a good example for my sons,” he adds. “I learned that from my parents and I hope that they do similar things in their lives in that same way.”

When asked what he feels is the secret to a successful practice, Dr. Penning points to those around him, explaining, “You can be the best dentist in the world, but you need to have the support of your team to reach the highest level of professionalism and care.” Which is why it all comes back to the sign on the front door. “I’m so proud of what our team has achieved. They’ve made our practice one where people are happy to bring their families and call it their own. That’s the biggest reward of all.”

10375 Weston Rd.
Vaughan, Ont.

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