The Origin Story of Porth Personalized Orthodontics
It all started with a name; Personalized Orthodontics (PORTH). There was that before there was anything else, aside from the dream I had to start my own boutique ortho clinic . The name came to me before we had a space, and never I wavered from it, even though so many other things evolved over time. Because at the heart of it all, my vision was to create an experience for people. Straightening teeth is the main component of that experience , but like so very many things in today’s world, the PORTH experience comes with a feel that is unique to each patient.
Early in my residency at the University of Washington my wife and I went for a hike east of Seattle. (Fun fact: she’s not that into hiking so I told her it was 4 miles roundtrip when it was, in fact, 4 miles each way. I’m waiting for her to get over it…any day now.) On the way home we stopped at Homegrown on 228th in Sammamish (how sad to see that go!) and I immediately felt something for this place. It had a small town feel, but with a diverse population and a strong sense that it was on the brink of change. This town is growing in leaps and bounds – with the construction to prove it – and I wanted to be a part of it. A few weeks later we were this way again and we drove up 228th where I saw a large construction site near Eastside Catholic and a TRF sign. A few seconds on google got me the name of the real estate broker, and the rest is history!
Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. Building a practice from the ground up is immensely involved. My wife and I often joke that we have two babies; our toddler Milo and Porth (Personalized Orthodontics). We were fortunate to work with a wonderful design and architecture firm and contractor, and we loved (almost) every step of the process. As tedious and time consuming as it was sometimes, I stayed firmly committed to my vision of an understated space that felt modern yet inviting, high-tech yet comfortable. The only way to see my vision through was to create it myself.
Along the way there were brief side-steps. I seriously considered purchasing two existing practices or taking other positions. There are definite pros and cons to all paths in this field but at every juncture I came back to what I initially set out to do, which was to create a practice where the patient was completely and 100% at the center of their treatment. I wanted to create my own systems of doing business and treating patients that valued interpersonal relationships, along with exceptional orthodontic care , as the utmost priorities. Creating this atmosphere meant that I had to create the physical space, the workflow, assemble the team and build the patient base on my own.
The Orthodontic Team at Porth
Our team is tiny-but-mighty right now. In addition to Dr. Rooz in the office, we have Crystal Li who joined us within the first few months of our operation. She is usually at the front desk and reaching out via email or phone to you. She’s the insurance master and keeps that part of the day-to-day going smoothly. Crystal’s background is in the hospitality industry including five years of work in New Zealand and Singapore. Making the step over to the healthcare industry was a big one, but Crystal has found that while the content of her work is different, providing the best customer care is the same! This has been a great fit for her, as Crystal loves the Sammamish community and interacting with people in it.
Despite our naive claims to the contrary, back when PORTH (Personalized Orthodontics) was still just a vision, we are a family-run business. My wife Elly is our community ambassador and works primarily from home, planning our community events. She also dabbles in our social media and seeks out new points of contact in our community. It is a priority for us to have our finger on the pulse of this community and to keep us in contact with our neighbors. Elly’s background is in social work and she works hard to make sure that PORTH (Personalized Orthodontics) gives back and provides care to patients in need, regardless of their resources. She’s also been known to bring our youngest team member, Milo, to events and office visits. He already shows a predisposition for tinkering with the water jet at the patient chairs, and I trust he’ll take over the whole operation sooner than later.
A central focus of our clinic is that we are transparent, accessible and supportive. We sought to create that in our physical space as well as in our patient care. We have an open-concept office where we’re all out front. The clinic was designed with patient care in mind.
Porth’s Amenities and Open Office Concept
A central focus of our clinic is that we are transparent, accessible and supportive. We sought to create that in our physical space as well as in our patient care. We have an open-concept orthodontic office where we’re all out front. The clinic was designed with patient care in mind. There are small stools next to patient chairs for parents and kiddos who want to stay close to one another. The adult room has a dividing glass wall for privacy during appointments. While you wait you can have a cup of coffee, charge your devices and let the littles draw on the chalkboard. We care about how you feel when you’re inside our walls. We also care about your experience as our patient outside of the hours you spend at appointments. From online scheduling to 24/7 access to me via text to little goodies and greetings throughout your treatment, we care about you and your teeth. All of these things combined are the essence of personalized care. It is for and about patients from top to bottom, start to finish.
We are thrilled to celebrate our first birthday alongside all of you, and look forward to more in your company!
After 5 years in Sammamish, PORTh is now in Bellevue as well. The PORTH team expanded to 10 amazing team members. Our cutting edge technology has immensely expanded including offering virtual consultation and treatment progress check.