Dr. Arti Jagirdar, Dentist and Founder of Flatiron Dental

Mar 20, 2024

Meet Dr. Arti Jagirdar, Dentist and Founder of Flatiron Dental located at 17 West 24th Street, 2nd Floor in Flatiron. 

1. Tell us about Flatiron Dental and why you chose the neighborhood to establish your practice.

Flatiron Dental began as an idea four years ago and was built to reflect my vision of the ideal dental experience. I’ve thought of every touch point through the five senses and worked on making the experience more relaxing. Meanwhile, we are focused on best clinical practices, utilizing new technologies and evidence-based treatment.

With each patient I speak to the connection between oral health and whole body health, with the goal of creating healthy smiles conservatively.

Having lived in this neighborhood for over a decade, I had a front row seat to its explosive growth and evolution. The central and accessible location allows my patients traveling in from all over the metro area to reach us easily.

These are some of the reasons I chose to build Flatiron Dental in this neighborhood. But in the most simple terms, it has a sense of community, warmth, and vibrancy. I love it here. It’s my home.

The small businesses here are led by some of the most inspired and gracious people I’ve met. I’m fortunate to embark on my entrepreneurial journey in such sparkling company. To me, there is no better place.

2. What types of procedures do you offer and what’s popular among your patients?

Flatiron Dental provides general, preventative, restorative, cosmetic, surgical, and advanced treatments. Some of the most popular procedures in my practice are Invisalign and KöR Whitening. The aesthetic work I do is often in conjunction with those treatments.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is available in each treatment room and I use a small device (single tooth anesthesia or STA) to give anesthetic painlessly, often targeting only the tooth we’re working on so patients leave feeling more normal. Of interest, many of my patients are referred in as they learn we are able to manage a high level of dental anxiety.

We treat patients comprehensively, looking at factors well outside the teeth alone. As a practice focused on wellness first and foremost, our initial visit and exam are quite thorough. Every home care plan is customized to the patient, making manageable incremental changes and aiming to reduce the need for future interventions.

3. What aspect of your role as an oral health care provider excites you the most?

As cliché as it may sound: Making a difference.

Let me explain. I do a fair amount of aesthetic work. When patients ask me: Are veneers worth it? Is KöR Whitening worth it? I ask: How freely are you expressing your joy? Are you smiling in photos with abandon? Laughing unreservedly? Because life is tough enough. If you’re suppressing joyful emotions, I think those things are worth it.

I like to say that what I do exists at both the top and bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Giving my patients more confidence and freedom in their self-expression is at the top of the pyramid. Attending to my patient’s health and well-being is foundational—and I am focused on raising the bar on what that can look like in dentistry. It’s not uncommon for me to discuss gut health, nervous system regulation, or posture.

Adding technology keeps my work interesting and adds efficiencies that didn’t exist even five years ago. We recently incorporated 3D printing and AI design into our workflows.

4. You earned a BA from Emory University, a DMD from the Medical College of Georgia’s School of Dentistry, and have more than a decade of experience in the field. What inspired you to choose this profession?

I actually applied to art school at the same time as dental school. I spent two years post-college creating a fine art portfolio for MFA applications. I couldn’t decide what path to take. What brought me back to dentistry was gratitude for the opportunity to care for people. I have patients that have become parents who now have tweens that come to me. What an honor!

Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family I like that dentistry is still a small business. Seeing my immigrant parents conquer their American dream encourages me to pursue mine.

5. For those who desire to have their own business, what professional advice can you share?

Start with your vision and your “why” then reverse engineer the process. Many days will look nothing like your vision and resilience is key. My dad once told me, there is success and then there are learning opportunities. Failure doesn’t happen when you run out of money, it happens when you run out of inspiration.

Above all else, take care of yourself first. As an entrepreneur, everything comes from you. And if the “you” that’s moving through this process is depleted, uninspired, exhausted, the result you get will be depleted, uninspired, exhausted. Fill up your cup first.

Thinking about how you want to make an impact can inject much needed meaning into the journey. For me, providing my team with a comfortable livelihood, supporting their motherhood journeys, giving them a self-care allowance, make my job as a “boss” meaningful.

The practice, from its first inception, has had an impact goal. My first project is working with Room to Grow, they have a three-year program supporting families raising babies born into low-income circumstances. I want to make sure mothers have the resources and information needed to care for their child’s dental health. My next goal is to donate services. For instance, refugee populations often have little access to resources.

Success in a business will come. What we do with our success is what will give our lives meaning.

6. You’re also a resident of the neighborhood. How do you like to spend your time in Flatiron and NoMad? What do you love most about these vibrant communities?

I adore Madison Square Park. Our children are 5 and 7 now, but they took some of their first steps on the playground there. It’s been our backyard. We visit the art installations, listen to a jazz quartet, and share a picnic with friends. The park is an anchoring and magical place.

A regular stop for me is Rizzoli Bookstore. The selection is diverse and they have wonderful events. I always leave with a bit of inspiration tucked under my arm.

My favorite places to grab a healthy lunch are Little Beet and NAYA. Anita Gelato is a special treat with the kids. Drinks on top of the Ritz-Carlton is beautiful. My go-to restaurants lately have been Upland and Verōnika. Gramercy Tavern will always be a favorite. I’d love to visit COQODAQ soon. Friday lunch at GupShup has become a tradition with a group of my friends. Kanyakumari is in a class of its own. I had my 40th birthday at BLACKBARN, the team there is so wonderful and we had a blast.

The Flatiron and NoMad neighborhoods have so many thoughtful projects that support wellness. I love Rescue Spa, their treatments are unbeatable and it’s a great local place to snag one of my friend Sara Naghedi’s eponymous handbags. I’m going to Remedy Place for the first time later this week with a wonderful friend who actively helps me “refill my cup.” I see my Pilates trainer Andre Rivera at The Space at 900 Broadway once or twice a week. He is an absolute gem of a human and helps me stay strong enough to do all of the things I do.

7. Finally, choose three words to describe Flatiron and NoMad.

Iconic. Dynamic. Inspiring.

Header & Thumbnail Photo Credit: Michelle Rose Photo

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