Multiples Hats: Esteemed local dentist paves the way as ‘supermom’
By Jordan Houston
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to womanhood, today’s “modern woman” is typically expected to strive to “have it all.”
She is complex and juggles multiple hats, shifting roles as a mother, homemaker, daughter, successful entrepreneur and everything in between. But with the increasing pressure to balance motherhood with a healthy work-life balance, it begs the question, what does it “mean” to have it all?
Cue Scottsdale resident Dr. Sara Vizcarra, DDS, DABDSM, DABCP, DABCDSM.
Dr. Vizcarra founded Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, at 10465 E. Pinnacle Peak Parkway, over 16 years ago. She has since made a name for herself as not only a powerhouse leader in her field but as a philanthropist, educator and, ultimately, supermom.
The dentistry, recognized as one of the premier dental offices in the Valley by multiple publications in Phoenix and Scottsdale, offers preventive cleanings, pediatrics, orthodontics, prosthodontics and implant dentistry, as well as more specialized treatments like cutting-edge lasers to treat gum disease.
Dr. Vizcarra, a single mother of one, also specializes in dental craniofacial medicine, including treatment for orofacial pain, TMJ disorders and sleep apnea at her AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions practice.
“As a business owner you have to wear different hats,” Dr. Vizcarra says. “When I put on my white coat and my loupes, I change my shoes and I’m on the go. It’s my dedicated time with my patients, and I owe them that courtesy.”
Despite staff shortages and other economic hurdles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry continues to flourish, adding new doctors, specialists, exam rooms and state-of-the-art laser equipment.
And it isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
“It’s encouraging,” says Dr. Vizcarra, highlighting the addition of husband-and-wife duo Christine Tran, DDS, and Christopher D. Bebeau, DDS, MPH, to the team. “I could not do what I do without them. It takes a village.”
Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry now offers a new water-based laser that aids in tissue preservation, regenerative and bone-building procedures relating to periodontitis. The BIOLASE laser minimizes bleeding, swelling and bruising, according to Dr. Vizcarra.
“We are doing periodontal surgery without sutures and without cutting the gums, so it leads to less pain and faster recovery,” the dentist says.
“The main thing is it’s painless,” she adds. “The alternative is to send patients to a periodontist to peel the gums off to expose all of the roots in the teeth, scrape and clean them, and then put the entire flap back.”
On top of expanding the number of exam rooms, the staff at both Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry and AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions continues to take courses on the latest technology and procedures for better patient care.
Dr. Vizcarra highlights education and the company’s culture as a necessity for the success and health of her business.
“We feel we are creating a family environment — we call it a dental family,” Dr. Vizcarra continues. “It’s so important to me because I want everyone to come to work and be happy. Over the years, we have worked on creating a culture where staff members feel they are in the right place, providing the best dental care for their patients.”
Dr. Vizcarra graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry in 2003. She practiced public health, helping the underserved population, before exploring the continuing education courses that ultimately changed the trajectory of her career.
After completing several residencies, coupled with years of treating these conditions, Dr. Vizcarra has become a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and the American Board of Craniofacial and Dental Sleep Medicine.
A proud mother to her 11-year-old son Luis, Dr. Vizcarra champions balance and organization as means to a bountiful life.
“I’m good at compartmentalizing. When I’m at home, I try to remove myself from work. I still send quick texts here and there, but my focus is on family and home life,” she says.
“During the early years of my practice, I was going from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and it took a toll on my well-being. There was no way I could do that and be a good leader,” she says. “To grow, you must allow for trust, you must employ the right people and delegate. I love teaching and then letting my team fly and flourish. Micromanaging is not my style, and delegating, as well as trusting, have become a big part of my life.”
Dr. Vizcarra also fills her cup by nurturing both her mental and physical health through daily exercise, meditation and yoga.
“I am very good at staying healthy and exercising,” she says. “I pray and meditate — I do all those things that feed my soul.”
She also never underestimates the power of sleep, she says, with a strict 9 p.m. bedtime and 5 a.m. wake-up call.
The esteemed dentist’s top priority, though, is spending time with her son.
“I make it a point to (either) pick him up from school or we’ll do homework and dinner together,” says Dr. Vizcarra, adding she will be joining Luis on several Boy Scouts trips this fall. “Most of the time I cook every meal, and we always pray.”
Although life-career-parenthood is a series of compromises, Dr. Vizcarra says she never views her choices as a loss — and vacations don’t hurt either.
“I don’t look at them as sacrifices, I look at them as what I’m supposed to be doing,” she says. “I do make sure I take time to take vacations, because I am much better when I do that — I feel more balanced.”
Dr. Vizcarra, who is studying to become fluent in Italian, says her dream vacation is a 6-month stint in Italy on the Amalfi Coast.
For more information about Dr. Vizcarra and her services, visit ppfdental.com.
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