Dr. Kana Yajima has been helping people smile since 1996. Through Smile Solutions Dental Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois, she provides a variety of treatment options to her patients. Smile Solutions Dental Center provides general dentistry and cosmetic surgery services. The office is multi-cultural and employees are able to speak foreign languages such as Japanese and Spanish.

Dr. Yajima attended Northwestern University School of Dentistry in Chicago and completed undergraduate studies at San Diego State University. She was granted multiple full scholarships. She has a wide range of skills and training in several aspects of dentistry. Some of these include implant restoration or surgical placement, complex oral surgery extractions, and cosmetic dentistry. Of course, her skills also include root canals, addressing gum disease, and almost anything else related to teeth.

She believes in helping the community and provides services to those who are mentally or physically challenged or of low income to help them with good oral hygiene habits. When Dr. Kana Yajima finds free time, she enjoys spending it with her daughter or traveling. She also enjoys reading and watching movies of any kind.

Why did you choose to become a dentist?

I’ve always liked working with my hands and helping people. I’m a very creative person. Becoming a dentist has allowed me to do both.

 What made you choose dentistry?

I was always the support person for family members when they went to the dentist. I watched the family dentist do some of the procedures and got interested in it. I volunteer at a hospital dental clinic and I find it very enjoyable.

What is your daily routine?

I have mom mornings getting my daughter around for school. Then I go to work and check emails, check through the patients listed for the day, and make sure things are set up for that day. I just want to be sure things go smoothly for my staff and the patients. I see patients the rest of the day. I spend my free time with my daughter and my husband.

When you look forward in your career, what is one trend in dentistry that you see impacting your dentistry as a whole? Is this for the better or the worse?

One trend I would say is the CT scan and it’s for the better. Most dentist offices still use a 2D system, we use 3D. For example, with wisdom teeth or root canals, I can see the problem. By using the CT scan, I am able to get a more accurate diagnosis. Because of the increased precision, there would be smaller incisions, less blood, and therefore a quicker more comfortable healing time. I think it’s safer for the patient, too. Once upon a time, x-rays weren’t popular, now that’s standard. I think the CT scan will be the new standard. 

What do you love about your job?

I’m a people person, so the daily interaction with my patients and knowing I’m there to help them. I’m not helping them just to smile, but also improve their overall health. Oral hygiene is something most people don’t think is related to other health issues, but it really is. A bad tooth that gets infected can, in turn, cause infection and problems in other parts of the body, because it travels through the blood stream.

What would you consider to be the greatest accomplishment of your career?

The best accomplishment is providing advanced technology in the office that helps with the various treatments we have available here. Having this technology has helped generate new patients. Seeing the business grow has been great.

Can you share some of your volunteer activities with our readers, please?

Smile Solutions Dental Center is the only office in this area that willingly accepts patients who are challenged. I do it because few others will and challenged or not, they need dental care just as anyone does. I’m very proud to do that for those who otherwise may not get the dental care they need. Sometimes it not easy, but who else will do it if I don’t? I used to go to those that couldn’t come to me, I would go to homes for the mentally disabled. I donated a dental chair for patients with disabilities.

 What do you to keep yourself mentally separate yourself from your job?

I spend time with my daughter and my family and get involved with different activities for school. I take care of my big fish tanks and stay busy at home, or travel with my family. I just try to enjoy life in general.

Where do you want to be in your career in five years?

In five years, I want to be expanding Smile Solutions Dental Center. We’ve enjoyed the growth of business already, but I want it to continue into the future. People will always need a dentist no matter what.

What would you recommend for new parents who are beginning an oral hygiene routine with their children?

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime and seeing a dentist is very important. Prevention is key just like maintaining your car, you have to have regular check-ups. Work to get a routine going and keep it going, it will carry on into the rest of their life.

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