Changing the World One Smile at a Time

dental clinic services dr. rachna fernandes

This article was originally published in the Goenkar Magazine written by Alisha Nicole Carvalho.

“Tell yourself you can, and you will”

Walk into the Smile Factory at the north-goa and you cannot help but look around amazed at how a dental clinic such as this has been decorated so tastefully. There are three color-coded rooms that have cheerful names. The Cherry room, the Kiwi room, and the Sugarberry room. And then my attention is commanded by Dr. Rachna, dressed in an orange and black dress, with beautiful heels, she is patiently explaining to her patient how a certain product should be used.

We head into her office and the interview begins. A journey that began twenty years ago, Rachna was just like any other clueless adolescent. With two options, Medicine and Engineering hovering above her, she had a decision to make. The routine, mundane life of a doctor, checking patients and prescribing medicines and late midnight calls did not encourage her in this direction. As a child seeing her father’s lifestyle as a Civil Engineer, with the freedom to create designs for buildings and various constructions had in a way left its mark in her mind. But unfortunately, she could not take up Engineering.

One day while she was dissuading her cousin from taking up dentistry, she got fascinated by various creative aspects of the field. That was it; she finally knew what she wanted to do.

And thus she began, with her mission to make people smile.

There were many hardships along the way. While studying she was also an apprentice where she gained hands-on experience. A turning point for her was many years ago when she started out. It was the same time that popular toothpaste brand Pepsodent started a campaign to eradicate a competitive brand from the market. While Rachna was part of the campaign she was paid a rupee per patient that she checked. As such this hard-working lady, at the end of the campaign that had lasted a month, made a whopping Rs 25,000. That money made it possible to buy equipment to start out with.

Nine years ago she set foot on Goan soil and started her practice in Vrundavan Hospital. There she had her clinic for seven years and she got recognition. A change in the management at Vrundavan Hospital seemed like the right time for this smile maker to have her own factory. She chose to set up in Candolim as she had already established herself there.

Why the name Smile Factory? Well because she wanted to produce a smile on a large scale! And this is exactly the case. Every patient comes out with a broad smile.  And according to the amazing doctor, the feedback, letters, and surprise visits from patients are what she looks forward to and it makes her job worthwhile.

Upon asking her to share an anecdote, she smiles and reflects back on her past. She seems at peace with her life, and the subtle music playing in the background makes me relax in the white patented chair. The narration starts, while visiting Snip Salon and Spa in Panjim one day, she bumped into a former patient who saw her could not hold back her enthusiasm.

The patient excitedly told Dr. Rachna about her dental work. She was confident and smiled a lot. People were noticing her and she was enjoying the attention. All thanks to Rachna’s marvelous work.

With this, the interview comes to an end but not without a little advice. This is what the suave lady says, “Believe in yourself. Everyone needs determination, should work hard and have their minds focused”.


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