We had the good fortune of connecting with James Hicks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe the success we have experienced thus far has been from being honest with our treatment recommendations and always providing gentle care. Dentistry, unfortunately, can be very confusing for our patients and parents. Showing them a cavity in the mouth or on an x-ray definitely helps, but receiving dental care still involves a lot of trust. My wife and I both agreed that we will always recommend for our patients what we would do on our own children. When families come to us for second opinions we actually prefer to not know what another dentist said so that we formulate our own non-biased opinion on what is needed. Families also learn, when they meet us, that we never force treatment. We would rather be conservative with our treatment plan or find another way to help the child through their experience rather than cause a scary situation. There are too many adults out there that are scared to go to the dentist because of their bad experience as a child. That is why we are committed to providing gentle and caring dentistry to kids so that they may grow up to continue their pursuit of healthy smiles.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Pediatric Dentistry of Johns Creek was established in 2013. We wanted to create an office that was different from all the corporate type dental offices that didn’t spend a lot of time with their patients. Our goal from the first day was to make sure parents were involved in the appointments, provide care that we could be proud of, and create a work culture that promoted less turnover of team members. It was definitely a challenge starting from scratch and having no patients on day 1. For years we both worked at other offices to help support our own little office. But nothing worthwhile comes easy. Just a few years ago we finally achieved our goal of being self sufficient and we were able to finally work together as a team! We are one of the few “mom and pop” Pediatric Dental offices in the greater Atlanta area that has both a board certified Orthodontist and a board certified Pediatric Dentist. One of the things we are looking forward to the most is moving into our new dental clinic next year that is just starting to break ground now!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In this season of our lives, we are always thinking of ways to entertain, contain, and wear out our kids. We would have to start our one of our favorite breakfast places, Maple Street Biscuit Company. The food there is so good and the one we go to is in downtown Duluth so it’s a cute little area to walk around, visit local shops, and burn off that biscuit. After that we could head downtown to Ponce City Market. Ponce is such a neat place to explore because of all the different shops and restaurants. Getting a picture with the Grinch at Christmas time has definitely been a highlight for us. No one can deny a big warm bowl of Ramen noodles at Ton Ton Ramen & Yakitori because it is perfect for this cold weather. Since we would have to keep the kids entertained and show our guests something cool we would definitely hit up the Georgia Aquarium. It’s easy to get to, never fails to amaze us, and it’s got to be one of the best aquariums in the country. Once they get thirsty we would visit Share Tea. It’s a great place to get bubble tea and quench your thirst especially if you’ve never had boba. At some point we would love to show our guests one of the best views of the Atlanta skyline from the top of Stone Mountain. But no cheating, we would walk up from the base. You can take your time and enjoy the view or turn it into a work out. Our best time so far was 18 minutes and I was packing a 2 year old and my wife was pregnant! If we got in the mood for tapas we would go eat at Ruby Chow’s. It’s an Asian Fusion restaurant and it’s just fun to try a little bit of everything when we visit. When it’s time for desert we would take everyone to Snowy Rolls Ice Cream. Such an interesting yummy experience if you’ve never had rolled ice cream. And, they have one of THE best crepe ice cream deserts anywhere. One of the last places we would visit is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see their Holiday lights display. Bring your warm coats and get ready to walk in amusement because they do a awesome job getting you into the Holiday spirit with their decorations. Honorable mentions to VeGreen Vegan Fusion restaurant in Duluth (you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it), Amazing Burger in Duluth (try the bulgogi sub), Takorea off Collier Road for amazing Korean tacos. And also the cutest mom and pop restaurant with the best service ever, Choi’s Grill in Suwanee.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife, Anna Vu, definitely deserves a big shoutout. She is the reason I started my own practice from scratch because she believed in me. She has been my rock through every single stressful experience as a business owner. I know I wouldn’t have had the energy to keep going if I didn’t have her to kick me in the rear and stay the course. She always tells me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear. I hope our boys grow up and realize how lucky they are to call her mommy.