Compassion, service and excellence. Those are key words Dr. David Cappuccio likes to use to describe how his business, Seneca Ridge Dental at 3626 Seneca St. in West Seneca, keeps putting healthy smiles on the faces of his patients. We recently had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Cappuccio to discuss the latest trends in dentistry and his team’s efforts to promote dental health.

What is it about dentistry that made you want to open your own practice?

Ever since being accepted into dental school I had aspirations of practice ownership. Through providing dental care to underserved rural patients in New York’s Southern Tier and through an expansive and rigorous associateship, I gained valuable clinical and administrative experience in the dental field. Having completed an MBA in 2017, I felt empowered with excellent dental experience, as well as a foundational business background to run a dental practice. The ability to help care for patients’ dental needs with autonomy and integrity was what was most attractive about practice ownership. I am so thankful that, with the support of my family, I was able to make the leap of faith required to start Seneca Ridge Dental.

Based on your experience, what is the secret to good dental health?

I have to apologize for the boring answer here, but there isn’t really a secret. In my experience, I find that the people who have the best outcomes when it comes to establishing and maintaining exceptional oral health are the patients who are accountable for their overall health. These patients have learned that oral health is a proxy for systemic health, and therefore invest the time and energy required. Good home care habits, a healthy diet, and a general concern for a healthy lifestyle tends to lead to great dental outcomes. We attempt to educate our patients so that they will have the best chance of achieving their oral health goals, while performing the highest quality dental procedures possible.

What do you want people to know about your company’s mission/values?

Seneca Ridge Dental has spent time as an entire staff establishing a roadmap for why we are doing what we do on a daily basis. In order to do this we needed to recognize the values that were most important to us, and then derive a mission statement that served those values.  Compassion, service, excellence, diversity and retention are the five key values of our practice. At Seneca Ridge Dental, we believe in providing you with the best possible dental care using state-of-the-art technology and modern best practices. We foster an environment of love and support with our employees, laboratory experts, distributors and all other integral members of the practice. We attempt to improve the lives of the people we serve, always showing gratitude and respect. We are empowered to care for the underserved and to give back to the communities that enrich our lives.

How does Seneca Ridge Dental give back to the community it serves? 

Last year our practice started the J.D. Cappuccio Memorial Scholarship, which honors the life and achievements of my father, Dr. Joseph Cappuccio. The scholarship award of $1,000 is available to any high school student in the Western New York region who answers the question listed on our website. We look at this scholarship as a way to give back to our community, as well as remember my Dad, who passed away in 2009. Additionally, we will frequently provide free or heavily discounted dental services to patients who we determine are deserving of such a gift. We hate to have financial barriers come in the way of quality dental health. Lastly, I volunteer through the Remote Area Medical (RAM) organization and through the University at Buffalo Dental School by providing free dental care to those in need.

Many people fear going to the dentist; what is the atmosphere of your office like and how do you help patients overcome that fear?

Dental anxiety is certainly a factor when trying to help patients with their oral health needs.  The key to our ability to provide compassionate care for patients who may be afraid is that we practice servant leadership. Essentially, we try to serve the needs of our patients without pretense. We find that holding our personal wants and needs secondary to the needs of others enables us to provide compassionate care. Additionally, I try to serve the needs of my employees rather than asking them to serve a production goal or the bottom line. I think that looking externally and meeting the various needs of our patients allows us to derive more satisfaction in our work. This entire mindset is evident when you walk in at Seneca Ridge Dental. Many phobic patients have turned the page on those fears because of the unique atmosphere that is fostered here.

With your extensive knowledge of dental procedures and services, what is it that you like most about dentistry?

As I have progressed in my career I’ve found that providing “life-changing dentistry” is the most rewarding and enjoyable. Ninety-nine percent of dentists can do fillings, 75% perform root canals and maybe 30% place implants. But a small percentage of dentists are providing dentistry that significantly alters the quality of life for their patients. Implant dentistry and orthodontics are frequently the types of cases that provide our patients with the “wow” moments. The most rewarding parts of our work are the patients that feel compelled to give our staff members hugs and the handwritten notes or calls expressing sincere gratitude for our services.

If you could offer one general piece of advice to your patients about their teeth, what would it be?

The health of the oral cavity is related to many facets of a patient’s life. People with straight white teeth are generally better received at job interviews. People with bad breath don’t do well in social situations. People with sleep apnea often feel fatigued and lethargic. As a dental practice, we can hopefully help you address any concerns you may have. Our advice is simple; we are here to help you achieve the best version of yourself, and we invite you to come to our office to start you on that path. 

If you are a West Seneca Chamber of Commerce member and would like to participate in the “Seven Questions With … ” business profile feature, please contact the Chamber at 674-4900.