Dr. Alla Anastos
Talks to Sophie Larder
Photos by Sergey Koshkin
When did you start your career?
In 1995 I graduated in dentistry in Russia. Then in 1998 I went to the USA. After all the initial exams, I entered Boston University dental school. I loved it there and really didn’t want to return to Russia. I had formed friendships, relationships, and put down roots. In 2005 I decided to specialise in Implantology and entered NYU.
I love everything about dentistry, even those times when it’s boring! I carefully consider the needs of each individual and I really give myself one hundred percent to my patients. They can call me any time, even when I’m travelling all over the world.
Tell us about your work at US Dental Care.
Our clinic has Russian and American dentists. In fact the clinic serves as a training school for dentists from Moscow Institutes. It’s another of my aims here in Russia, to change some very outdated methods and reform dental education in the schools. One of the top implantologists in the world wants to open an institute here in Moscow, so generally it’s an exciting time to be around.
The surgery has a really relaxed feel about it, even for someone like me who is completely terrified of the dentist! How do you do that?
We really depend on the girls at the front desk to make the clients feel at home; they’re the first point of contact and we have a really great team here. Our decor is designed with our patients’ comfort and relaxation in mind. In each of the treatment rooms there are pictures of a different US city, and in some of the rooms, panels of clouds line the ceiling. The biggest compliment I get is when people tell me that they were initially afraid of the dentist but now they love coming here!
Who are your main clients?
At the moment it’s fifty-fifty expats and Russians. We’re well known throughout the Moscow expat community and proud of it. Whole families come here to have their teeth treated and they’re all generally good about their six-month check-ups. With Russians it’s harder work. Here there’s no concept of teeth needing check-ups or cleaning.
What was your motivation for becoming a dentist?
I’m from the south of Russia, from Ossetia, where my parents still live. But I have dual citizenship now, Russian and American. The reason I decided to become a dentist; well I have a really smart father. From the beginning he had an idea of what each of his children should be. I really wanted to be a doctor at school, but he told me so much about dentistry that in the end it was the only thing I wanted to do.
So are your children going to be dentists too?
Not necessarily, but I do strongly believe that all parents should do what my father did. He is a really educated man. He was offered Canadian citizenship because of his talents in math and physics, but because of the language barrier decided to stay. He’s lectured all over the world and is still teaching in his seventies.
Any last advice for those still trembling at the thought of visiting the dentist?
I know that lots of people are afraid of the dentist, so here we aim to relax people straight away. The clinic’s atmosphere is like a home and my best recommendation is that people fall asleep in my chair. I have people actually snoring in my chair!
My final advice to patients is this: I know it’s one hundred percent painless!