“Creating a different patient experience, that’s been something that’s been really important to us… Everything goes from the patient first.”

Dr. Hieu Pham | Founder Atlas Dental

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Dr. Hieu Pham knew early on he wanted a career that blended art, science, and community. Since childhood, he‘s used breakdancing as a creative outlet, and in college, was fascinated by science’s aim to understand the world at the molecular level. Growing up, Dr. Pham’s father juggled multiple responsibilities while maintaining his own interests as a musician. “One thing from a business perspective that has really helped me is the fact that my parents are immigrants,” he says. “There’s something about having that background that makes you want to work harder.” 

Dr. Pham fulfilled both his strong work ethic and understanding of work-life balance in October 2018, when he opened Atlas Dental in Lents Town Center. He and his wife Sereyneth did everything from the floorplan to the marketing themselves,and Pham even found time to film a dance video in the space’s unfinished buildout.

When considering where to make a home for Atlas Dental, Dr. Pham knew he needed to find a growing area that was anchored by long-time residents, and more importantly, he recognized the strength of the insights he gained from his upbringing. “I wanted to build Atlas Dental where I felt a dentist was needed. I wanted to treat people who resembled my parents, and my parents are immigrants from Vietnam. I wanted to treat the working-class family,” he says. The Lents neighborhood was a perfect choice. Atlas Dental is surrounded by subsidized housing and shares a zip code with the largest Asian American population in Oregon. The Asian Health & Service Center is right across the street. 

The neighborhood attracts young families, many low-income, so keeping treatment accessible is central to Dr. Pham’s practice. At Atlas Dental, they are always thinking about how to accommodate peoples’ lives. They offer extended and weekend hours for patients who can’t afford to take time off work for appointments, as well as programs like #SmileBig Free Dental Day, where each patient gets one chief complaint taken care of. Those without insurance may opt for affordable monthly repayments and memberships. 

“Creating a different patient experience… has been really important to us. Everything goes from the patient first,” he says. That experience begins in Atlas Dental’s bright and modern front office, managed by Dr. Pham’s wife Sereyneth. In the exam room, dental tools are situated behind the chair out of patients’ view. Instead of harsh light, a small TV—and massage chairs—offer comfortable distraction. 

 “I want Atlas Dental to be known for being awesome, doing things differently [and] setting a precedent for patient care,” he says. In the meantime, you can also catch him and his impressive moves at occasional dance competitions and with his dance crew, Moon Patrol.


Author: Emmeline Eao 
Photos: Kim Nguyen
Published: December 2019


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a: 9151 SE Woodstock Blvd
p: 503.433.2414

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