Dr. Trevor Thomas, a cosmetic dentist, has always had a heart to work in public service.
His mother was a nurse, and his father served in law enforcement, but growing up, he didn’t think he’d make people smile in such a big way through his work.
Thomas, who earned a doctorate of Dental Surgery from Howard University, wanted to dedicate himself to uplift, inspire, and change the lives of those that modeled his momma’s vibrant characteristics. And for him, there was no better way to do that than to transform a person’s life by helping them feel better and beam with pride when they open their mouths and show off their pearly whites.
Through his work, at Corona Hills Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics, in Corona, California, Thomas offers cosmetic, implant, and full mouth rehabilitation services to patients. Thomas has also become the go-to cosmetic surgeon to the stars and earned a large following of celebrity clientele from the Migos, Michael Blackson, and Chief Keef, to name a few.
BLACK ENTERPRISE talked with Thomas about his career, how social media and celebrity clients assisted in growing his business, and the advice he has for anyone who wants to succeed in their profession.
How did going to such a prestigious HBCU (Howard University) prepare you for opening your practice?
The rich history of Howard University and its attendees is one characterized by a consistent dedication to growth and achievement in all endeavors. Quite naturally, being immersed in this environment for eight years (between my undergraduate and dental studies) only further fueled a mindset to be the greatest servant possible to God and His people. I want my reach to mirror that of Howards… global. Yes, I want to impact the community around me; however, I aim to indirectly touch the world by cultivating a community of minority healthcare professionals with similar aims.
When it comes to obtaining celebrity clients, how were/are you able to do so? Is your approach different than how you treat your regular clientele?
I get this question often. Honestly, I feel my “success” in attracting celebrity clients is remembering that we all literally put our pants on the same way. Keeping this in mind is a subtle reminder to treat all of my patients as equally as possible. I do not alter the quality of care, my availability, prices, etc., for patients based on who they are or what they may or may not have. I practice by the motto, “treat every patient as I’d treat my mom;” because at the end of the day… I always know my intentions and actions toward mom will be the most pure… or she’d beat my a**!
I first got into the “celebrity dentistry” space via Instagram. I owe my loyal followers the recognition for spreading my brand as my clinical skill grew. Folks began to eventually notice my God-given ability to perform some of the most difficult smile makeovers. This, combined with long nights of reaching out to folks for an opportunity, eventually paid off, and the rest is history being written.
Celebrities are influencers; with that, working with them has definitely been a blessing to my business. Generally speaking, quality care is associated with working with notable figures. I would say about 30% of my patients are from branding and referrals, and the other 70% are from my local community.
What inspired you to pursue a career in dentistry? How difficult was it for you to open your practice?
I’m a country boy at heart, born in the town of Douglas, Georgia. My father works in law enforcement, and my mother, a nurse. These careers also encouraged me to enter a career in public service. Dentistry affords me the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with my patients… while at the same time educating them on the mouth-body connection. I am particularly enthralled by the ability to make life-changing transformations on those who their entire life felt they wouldn’t have such an opportunity.
What advice would you give someone interested in getting into the healthcare profession and starting their own business within the field?
Simply, I want to instill in students that when you treat every patient as you’d treat your mother… you can always sleep at night. Never lose sight of the purpose for your calling. Change lives for the better, and yours will be changed in the same manner. In sum, God blesses those who bless others.
The one unique thing about a career in dentistry is that you get out what you put in. Your success is literally a direct reflection of how hungry and humble you are. I encourage all young docs to grind out their early years in this field so that they may reap more fruitful rewards later. Learn your patients and practice daily how to better treat them. Complacency is our greatest downfall.
Are there any plans to expand your business and/or get into something outside of dentistry?
Of course, I want to create generational wealth. In the near future, I have a few more locations that will be opening up. I can’t say too much… but let’s just say I may be bi-coastal! I also want to get into the real-estate arena. I get super intrigued by the house flipping shows. I think I have a thing for amazing “before and afters” beyond dentistry.