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Conversations with Dr. Jon Marashi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Jon Marashi.

Hi Dr. Marashi, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve always been attracted to smiles. From the time I was thirteen years old I remember being fascinated and mesmerized by braces because I knew what that smile would become. I ended up following that path from a young age to become a dentist. I grew up in Spokane, Washington in a middle-class family—I didn’t grow up with many luxuries, but we had all the basics. This taught me early on that I was going to have to work hard to create the life I wanted, and I did! I learned so much from working a ton of jobs during my youth: paper routes, shoveling snow, cutting grass, you name it. I also really enjoyed school, which hasn’t changed much—I love learning. I also discovered skateboarding during my youth and quickly fell in love. It’s still one of my biggest loves today. I think it’s such a metaphor for life, constantly teaching me resilience, and to reach for things where failure is a possibility.

My work ethic got me into college and eventually a part-time job at the dental school during my undergraduate program. It was the dean who encouraged me to make the time to apply and take the entrance exam. I interviewed and got into New York University, and I was happy to keep my head in the books. I also met a mentor there who changed the course of my career. I graduated from the Honors Aesthetic Dentistry program at NYU College of Dentistry, and later became a Clinical Instructor in Aesthetic Advantage, served as Clinical Program Director at California Center for Advanced Dental Studies, and as a Clinical Consultant to a major dental manufacturer where I advised on the development of new products and materials.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it’s never been a smooth road. Being a clinician and business owner is always a struggle. There are so many things being thrown at you at the same time, like managing patients, managing staff, and then there’s everything else that goes into owning a business (i.e. hiring, scheduling, negotiating leases, payroll, how to sustain your business and grow it, etc.)—so it’s a lot! It’s not easy when you’re starting out, because there really is no guidebook on how to do it step by step. You just have to figure it out as you go, and roll with whatever comes your way. One of the greatest myths about becoming a dentist is that you get a practice, and everything just runs smoothly—this is just not the case. But for me, it’s all been exciting and worth the challenge and sacrifice.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a dentist first, an entrepreneur second. I bought my practice in LA, and built it into a multi-million dollar practice over years of hard work and focusing on building relationships with clients and patients. I specialize in veneers and cosmetic dentistry, but the way I work is different—every single appointment starts with relationship building, getting to truly know the person, their fears, and deep wants. My appointments may take a bit longer, but I’m not interested in cutting corners. This part of the process is so key because it allows me to match the teeth to the patient’s personality.

What sets me apart is that I hand sculpt veneers whereas most others are mass-produced. I’m most proud of all the beautiful smiles I’ve helped shape and create, because of how it makes each person feel. They walk out of my office feeling more confident, and ready to tackle whatever comes their way. Helping improve someone’s life is the best feeling in the world.

What matters most to you?
Two things! First, my family. Sometimes I wake up and can’t believe how lucky I am to have the beautiful family I have. My wife and two daughters are so beautiful, inside and out. My wife inspires me every day, and I’m so grateful to be on this journey with her. I love witnessing her growth, especially as a mother. And my daughters are so strong, and they definitely keep me on my toes every single day. I can’t wait to see how they evolve, even though part of me can’t believe how fast they’re growing up.

Second, giving back. I’ve been very fortunate in life, and although I worked very hard to get to where I am today, there is also just some luck involved. Not everyone gets dealt a good card in life, so I believe it’s up to those who can to give back to those less fortunate. It makes the world a better place, and we certainly need that—now more than ever.

Some of the organizations I’ve been involved with include The Skatepark Project with Tony Hawk, the Board of Directors for Learning Lab Ventures (a nonprofit providing education for inner city schools in LA), the Boys and Girls Club and the Pretend City Children’s Museum (Orange County). I also prioritize donating to schools because I believe so much in the power of education and how that can impact one’s life.

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