My Montrose: Dr. Randy Mitchmore
Dr. Randy Mitchmore, DDS, is the owner of LifeSmiles, and a member of the Montrose Management District’s board of directors.
How did you first get interested in dentistry?
When I went to college, my original intention was to become a Methodist minister. So I went off to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and after a year of being there I went, ‘I made a mistake.’ It was the wrong fit—I was a very poor student of English and religion. But I liked the sciences, and I still liked helping people. My best friend there and I both decided that we would be dentists. It was a good marriage of working with people and using my science background.
So that explains how you got into the field, but what keeps you engaged and passionate about it?
I have a different attitude. I don’t feel like I’m working on teeth; I’m working on people. The theme of my office is, “The Gift of a Life Smile.” When people come to see me they may not get the whole gift right at once, but it’s all about taking people where they’re at, and being non-judgmental and not lecturing people. Just making them feel better about themselves. And a lot of time that can be done by getting them feeling better and looking better.
Sometimes I avoid going to the dentist because I know I’m going to get scolded for brushing the wrong way, or not flossing enough.
We tell people when they walk in the door that they have just entered a guilt-free zone. I have to apologize for my profession several times a day, because most dentists have that mentality of the parent-child relationship: “Sit down, I know what you need, and I’m going to tell you what you need,” instead of engaging with the person and finding out what their goals are, what they want. Anyone who works in my office is forbidden from wagging a finger or lecturing people. It’s just a different philosophy.
Talk about some of the community organizations you’ve been involved with in Montrose.
I’m very passionate about the Mankind project. I volunteer for them. And I’m actively involved in helping victims of intimate-partner abuse, aka domestic violence. That’s very important to me. I call it America’s dirty little secret, because the victims are often embarrassed about it. They don’t like to talk about it. People around them don’t know what to say, and are very uncomfortable about it. I was the national chairman of Give Back a Smile, which is a network of volunteer dentists that will restore the smile of people who have been abused. We do that for free.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Montrose Management District?
I’m not a real estate developer or a big property owner, so there’s nothing in it for me other than wanting to improve the area I work in. We have a vision for the future—there’s a 10-year plan, and a lot of study goes into that. We don’t just do little projects, we do big things. And we’re focused on maintaining the character of Montrose. People don’t know how much goes on behind the scenes as far as planning, economic development, street sweeping, and security. They’re impatient that it’s been a few years now, and they’re not seeing visible projects. We’re working with professional planners and architects, doing a lot of the city’s work for them. And I think people are going to be amazed with the rollout of the some of the projects over the next few months—the bridge lighting, the identity markers. It’s very exciting.
LifeSmiles. 1722 West Alabama Street. 713-714-3555. implantdentistinhouston.com