Keeping kids smiling


POSTED: Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some kids are scared of the dentist, but not 7-year-old Ethan and 5-year-old Torin Dezzani.





        » Business name: Chris Yamada D.D.S, M.S. Inc.

        » Street address: 3150 Monsarrat Ave., Suite 210

        » Web address: www.yamadadds.com

        » Work hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

        » Phone: 791-1907

It was obvious that the brothers felt right at home at the Monsarrat Avenue office of Chris Yamada DDS, MS Inc.

“;Hi, Uncle,”; Ethan says as he high-fived his dentist Chris Yamada and his younger brother Kevin Yamada, who helps run the office.

It was two brothers taking care of two brothers on Thursday.

“;I've always loved working with kids, probably because I always had my younger brother tagging along,”; said Chris, who got his training from Indiana University and the University of Michigan.

As the brothers grew older, not much changed. Kevin, now 25, followed his brother to Indiana University, and after completing a degree in biology, returned with his brother to Hawaii to open a children's dental practice.

When the Yamada brothers were young, their parents constantly reminded them that as brothers their first duty was to each other, they said.

Now that they are grown, there's no need for reminders. The lessons they learned growing up in Mililani stayed with them and formed the basis for their foray into pediatric dentistry with the opening of their office in January of 2008.

“;We were always pretty close. That's how we were brought up,”; said Chris, 32, who has grown to appreciate his pesky younger brother in adulthood.

Kevin is still tagging after his older brother, but this time it's appreciated.

“;He put everything on hold to help me realize my dream,”; said Chris. “;I couldn't have done any of this without him.”;

Whereas Chris invested most of the capital for the practice, he credits Kevin as an equal partner in the effort.

Not only do the brothers work 12-hour days, six days a week, but to save costs they live together, too.

“;He's really made a lot of sacrifices,”; Chris said. “;He's made concessions for me that I don't think anyone else would.”;

But Kevin sees it differently.

“;Honestly, I've learned so much from my brother,”; he said. “;By working with him, I've gotten the opportunity to be involved in so many things.”;

While Chris sees the patients, Kevin does most everything else from making appointments, entertaining children and their parents, and managing the business, to charting his brother's patient care during exams.

“;I've got lots of sweat equity invested,”; said Kevin, who eventually plans to go to graduate school himself.

Kevin isn't sure whether he'll choose dentistry, but he said he has not ruled out that option.

“;Whatever he chooses, I'll back him up,”; said Chris.

But for now, Kevin said he is enjoying a career that allows him to bond with his brother and with their patients.

“;We feel like every patient that comes in is our little brother or sister,”; Kevin said. “;We're having fun watching the children grow up. They change a lot between their appointments.”;