Earlier this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, Dr. Torie Richardson purchased Kluth Family Dental. Though such a daunting challenge might scare some people off, that’s not Richardson’s personality. Young and formidable, she embraces new possibilities and relishes the chance to work in a field that can profoundly impact people’s lives.
“I care deeply about dentistry. If a person has never experienced the unfortunate circumstance of a chipped or broken front tooth then it can be more difficult to envision the benefits of what we are able to do for them, and being able to help someone through that is so meaningful,” Richardson says. “It sounds corny, but it becomes about more than ‘fixing a tooth’ because when someone is self-conscious about their smile, that person simply avoids smiling and making eye contact with others. In as little as an hour-long visit with us, that same person can exit our office beaming, smiling and ready to engage with the world.”
Though Richardson is new to owning this practice, she is not new to Noblesville. She first started working at Kluth Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in 2018 after Michael Kluth’s wife Joni, also a dentist, retired. Right from the start, Richardson witnessed what made the practice and community so special. She particularly liked working in a family practice that provided comprehensive care for patients of all ages.
“What separates us from other practices is that we serve the whole family and treat patients like our own family. We want to see your kids grow up and watch them have a family of their own. We listen to and address your dental concerns, but we also want to know about your families and hobbies,” Richardson says.
She, herself, is family-oriented and has had family values instilled in her from a young age as someone who grew up surrounded by lots of family, which she thinks contributes to her style of practice. Being a part of this tight-knit community is so important to Richardson, who takes the time to get to know each of her patients personally.
“We see kids as young as 2, and our oldest patient is 101,” Richardson says.
The practice offers the latest in technology, including an itero scanner and same-day crowns via CAD-CAM technology. Other services include cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, root canals, Botox and filler, and teeth whitening. Both Kluth and Richardson enjoy taking continuing education classes, learning new techniques and staying up to date on advancements in the field of dentistry.
One of the things people don’t realize is how many people suffer with dental anxiety.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t have a patient tell me, ‘I’d rather be any place than here,’ or ‘I hate coming to the dentist,’” Richardson says. She knows that just one bad experience can prompt a negative impression on someone’s view of dentistry. Some people become fearful at the thought of having to get an injection in their mouth, while others feel stress over the noise of the high-speed handpieces.
“We understand that dental anxiety is a real thing. We try to work with the patients on making their experience as comfortable as possible and create positive experiences at the dental office,” Richardson says. Therefore, the office offers noise-canceling headphones and televisions to distract patients during procedures.
Kluth was kind enough to mentor Richardson and teach her business aspects of owning and operating a dental practice that aren’t taught in dental school.
“It’s crucial that you learn all of this when you’re starting out, because the business side of things is a whole other ballgame,” says Richardson, who is grateful for the way the 10-person team has rallied around her during the transition process. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team. All the staff who were there with Dr. Mike and Dr. Joni I still employ now. They have been supportive of me, which I so appreciate because it’s hard acclimating from a dentist who has been in practice 20-plus years to a doctor who is new to the practice. There is a learning curve.”
How did she get into dentistry?
“I was exposed to it though my mom who was a hygienist for 30 years. At first I thought I wanted to be an orthodontist – I had to bend some wire and then I was out,” she says with a chuckle. “I wanted to pursue a career in which I could achieve a healthy work-life balance. That’s why my end goal was to one day own my own practice, so that I could set my own hours and therefore achieve that balance.
Richardson, 30, was proud to graduate from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in the first class that consisted of more women than men.
“I think it’s a turning point in our society that women are undertaking more important, higher-level leadership role in companies,” Richardson says. “Our society is seeing the value of women in entrepreneurial positions and especially in the area of healthcare. Dentistry is a great industry to work in as a female leader due to the nature of the work—helping people and families—while also balance work and life.”
In her free time, Richardson likes to try out different restaurants and breweries. She enjoys IPA beers and Italian cuisine. She’s working on her golf game, and also likes going to the Indianapolis Art Center for their wheel-throwing pottery classes.
“I’m by no means any good, but it’s fun,” she says.
As a business owner, Richardson is committed to giving back to the community in any way possible. For instance, in the past, she and Kluth have collected book bags for kids and school supplies for teachers. Around the holidays, they also adopt a family in need.
“Mike and Joni are really involved with the church as well,” Richardson says. “We just like to help out with anything that directly helps the community.”
Richardson is eager to meet you and assist you with your dental needs. Come by and see her so you, too, can become part of the family!
Kluth-Richardson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is located at 16000 Prosperity Drive, Suite 400 in Noblesville. For more information, call 317-770-1050 or visit kluthrichardsondental.com.