By Roselyn Poon, Photography by Scott Irving / TNG Models
Dr. Victoria Chen was born in Taiwan and experienced a traditional Chinese family environment while growing up, emphasizing education and family. Her professional credentials are exemplary. She graduated as the valedictorian from her dental class at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, and obtained a DDS degree from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in Loma Linda, California, where she received the Clinic Excellence Award. She received a full scholarship to attend University of Illinois at Chicago to obtain her orthodontic specialty degree and a Master of Science in oral biology.
She has continued to excel in her profession and is the only elite member of Excellence in Orthodontics Organization in Nevada and maintains an active membership in the American Dental Association, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Nevada Dental Society and Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Study Club. Dr. Chen has also appeared on television and radio shows including ABC’s KTNV “Morning Blend” and “Danny Vegas Show.”
After researching Dr. Chen’s scholastic and professional history, it was both exciting and fascinating to meet the woman who maintains a top-shelf personal life while heading up a thriving dental specialist practice with four practices, is a loving “Caddie Mom,” an author of four books, and an award-winning community leader.
Dr. Victoria Chen leaves the Energizer Bunny in the dust.
When we met at the photo shoot for Las Vegas Woman magazine, I was expecting an imposing, serious woman who would fit very well in the military. I could not have been more wrong. Dr. Chen really is like a breath of fresh air. Her presence instantly brightens the room and, of course, she has that incredible million-dollar smile that comes from her heart and radiates warmth and happiness. Dr. Chen is obviously excited about life and helping others to see that they have the power to make their own lives just as wonderful.
Her two daughters, Angelina and Cameron, were in hair and makeup, and very happy to see their mom. She came fully loaded with their golf clubs, golf attire and dressy shoes for their photos. After they exchanged hugs and kisses, it was my turn to speak with the acclaimed doctor. This lady is the queen of multitasking; fitting that our interview was conducted during her hair and makeup session.I started by asking the doctor what she loves about her life here in Las Vegas and she replied with, “Everything!” She explained that the level of activity in her community is inspiring and gives her endless opportunities to give back to a town and country that has given her and her family so much.
Dr. Chen attributes her passion for motivating and mentoring others to her husband, Dr. Allen Huang. Dr. Huang is a well-respected periodontist and dental implant surgeon with an extensive professional portfolio, and, amongst other things, he is a co-founder of Significance Dental Specialists with Dr. Chen.
They both grew up in Taiwan; however, did not meet until they were residents at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the United States. Until meeting Dr. Huang, Dr. Chen was laser focused on developing her professional expertise and career. She had not considered becoming an entrepreneur prior to meeting her husband; however, it was not long before he opened her eyes and mind to the exciting opportunities the world had to offer them outside of their immediate space.
‘Dr. Victoria Chen is the quintessential renaissance Asian American woman. She uses her expertise in orthodontics to help the underserved in the Las Vegas Valley, gives lectures to dental professionals, runs four successful dental offices, while raising two talented scholastic golfers. She is simply an amazing woman everyone should aspire to be.’
–Dr. Phan Nguyen, DDS
Dr. Huang opened his own practice just one year after graduating, and encouraged Dr. Chen to do the same. He encouraged her to expand her horizons and get involved with the community around her. Dr. Chen did not need too much convincing and opened her first practice in 2007. She quickly realized that the more she mixed with other entrepreneurs and people who loved helping others grow, the more her enthusiasm for the same grew, and what better place to start than at home.
Dr. Chen is the proud mother of two daughters who are equally proud of their mom. In fact, they have voted her Best Caddie Mom several years in a row. Dr. Chen is not a “stage mom.” She is a true teacher in that she leads by example. She does not lecture or demand that her daughters follow suit. She shows them how to create a great life by helping them see what can be achieved by rising to challenges. She can see their potential and encourages them to take leaps, knowing full well that she will be there to catch them if needed.
The girls are exposed to her work life, her on-going professional and personal development and her community involvement. They see firsthand what can be achieved if one is willing to push outside of their comfort zone and get involved.
Cameron, at the great age of 10, has already put her mother on notice regarding her practice. Cameron has declared that she is going to take over the family business and has insisted that her mother keep the practice until she is old enough to do so. When asked why she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps, without hesitation Cameron replied, “Mom is always having fun at work and the money is great.”
Cameron is not sitting around waiting until she can take over the reins of the family business. She is an accomplished golfer and currently ranked No. 1 in the Nevada girl’s 10 to 11 age group. On a more casual note, she loves her dogs, Joy and Strawberry, and having fun with her sister, Angelina.
Angelina is 12 and holds the title of older sister. She is also an accomplished golfer and currently ranked top two in Nevada girl’s 12 age group. We briefly talked about school and she freely admits that it can be challenging at times, but overall it is fun, and she excels at school. She is very keen to do well and does not require reminding with her homework. During the interview, she was relaxed and thought about my questions before answering. She even asked me some questions about myself. In addition to golf and excelling at school, Angelina has been studying the piano, tennis, math and chess since she was 7 and has already given several recitals and tournaments.
Dr. Chen is a great believer in learning by doing; consequently, the girls are already attending public speaking camps and giving presentations to their classmates.
I took the opportunity to ask Cameron and Angelina if they had any advice that they would like to give other young girls. Cameron quickly said, “A beautiful smile trumps facial beauty every time.” Angelina took a few seconds to consider my request and then replied, “There is an issue, which I am not very good at but I am working on it, and that is to not care so much about what other people think of me or what I am doing.” I was pleasantly surprised. This young 12-year-old is working through something that many adults have not yet mastered. This young lady is already ahead of the curve.
Dr. Chen is obviously doing a great job with these girls. Their level of sophisticated, clear thinking is well above their years, thanks to their loving mom.
As Dr. Chen’s business expanded, so did her interaction with other successful business people. One such association was Dr. Dustin S. Burleson. Dr. Burleson is a speaker, teacher, author, orthodontic specialist and provides business training for other orthodontists.
Dr. Chen wanted to learn more about business excellence and enrolled with Dr. Burleson. It was through this association that she connected with an organization called Smiles Change Lives, which pairs low-income children with orthodontists who want to help them. The program has treated more than 6,500 children since 1997.
Over the past few years Dr. Chen’s company has donated over 200,000 braces to the Las Vegas community.
Earlier this year, Dr. Chen’s community efforts were acknowledged by the Miss Asia North America Organization (MANAO) when she was one of six women to receive the MANAO Women of Inspiration Award. Founded by Annie C. Evans and Dr. Alice Chen at Red Rock Kids Dental, MANAO’s mission is to inspire young women to follow the MANAO way: Motivate, Achieve, Navigate, Advocate and Own. Las Vegas proudly boasts a large community of women and MANAO is one of the many women’s community groups that work tirelessly to make this a wonderful, livable city for everyone.
Dr. Chen believes that one of the greatest benefits of reaching out and working in her community is the opportunity to meet other like-minded people. She loves the meeting of the minds and the positive energy generated when enthusiasm meets enthusiasm. Subsequent to receiving her MANAO award, Dr. Chen is now actively involved with MANAO, Annie Evans and Dr. Alice Chen.
There is no shortage of opportunities for Dr. Chen to make a positive difference in people’s lives. She loves inspiring people to use their potential. One example involves a young hygienist who was enrolled in Dr. Allen Huang’s Hygiene Study Club. Dr. Chen did a presentation about writing, which inspired the young hygienist’s desire to one day write a children’s book for her new baby. Dr. Chen encouraged her and provided information on the process of editing and publishing with an emphasis on the value of asking questions and asking for help. The young mother walked away with a twinkle in her eye and a bounce in her step, and at last report she is writing her book. You never know when the opportunity to change someone’s life will arise. Dr. Chen says you need to be out and giving back to your community to make a real difference.
Dr. Chen has published four books thus far, including: “Ignite Your Life,” coauthored with Brian Tracy; “The Ultimate Guide to Straighten Your Smile So You Can Look Fabulous – An Orthodontist Mom’s Secret Recipes for Using Braces & Invisalign”; “The Ultimate Guide to a Million Dollar Smile”; and “Who Said I Don’t Need Braces? The Secrets to Look Fabulous”…
She also believes that motivating others to do things makes everything she does more worthwhile.
Prior to interviewing Dr. Chen, I had to consult Google to find out exactly what an orthodontist is. Just in case you are not too clear either, an orthodontist is a specialized dentist who focuses on overbites, occlusions, over-crowded mouths, and misaligned teeth and jaws. In simplest terms, all orthodontists are dentists, but only the top 2 percent of dentists graduating from school are orthodontists. Dr. Chen is very keen for people to understand what orthodontics are and how specialists like herself can help people with their misaligned teeth. She feels that there is a lot of confusion about orthodontics and it is important to her that people are in a position to make well-informed decisions based on clear and concise facts.
Dr. Chen is a confirmed doer and just being concerned about something is not good enough for her, so she is writing her next book titled “The Orthodontic Bible for Smart Parents.” Her aim is to answer questions regarding straightening our smiles and even some questions we did not know we had.
In keeping with mentoring at home, she has assigned Cameron and Angelina the task of writing their own chapters for inclusion in her new book. She wants her daughters to publish their very own books by the time they are 15, and feels that there is no time like the present to get started.
Obviously, the girls are not responsible for definitions and technical explanations, though I have a suspicion they would give it a pretty good go, but rather expressing their opinions on the power and benefit of having a great smile in daily life.
Dr. Chen has published four books thus far, including: “Ignite Your Life,” coauthored with Brian Tracy; “The Ultimate Guide to Straighten Your Smile So You Can Look Fabulous – An Orthodontist Mom’s Secret Recipes for Using Braces & Invisalign”; “The Ultimate Guide to a Million Dollar Smile”; and “Who Said I Don’t Need Braces? The Secrets to Look Fabulous” (Chinese edition 2018). Dr. Chen explains that the most important talent required to become a successful, published author is self-discipline. I have to agree that self-discipline is a key ingredient; however, passion about your topic is equally important, and this is another area where Dr. Chen excels. She is so passionate about helping people to be the best they can be that she cannot help but write and speak on self-development using every tool available to us.
Long-time family friend, and fellow dentist, Dr. Phan Nguyen at Town & Country Dental introduced Dr. Chen to a community program called Serving Up Smiles. It is a free dental clinic for homeless and low-income Nevadans, established thanks to a partnership between The Salvation Army Southern Nevada and the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, a volunteer organization dedicated to medicine and education.
Like Dr. Chen, Dr. Phan is very appreciative of his good fortune since moving to Las Vegas and takes every opportunity to give back to his new home. He actively recruits his dentist friends to donate a Sunday two to three times a year and provide free dental services to the program.
The mission of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, guided by the four Buddhist principles of kindness, compassion, joy, and giving is a volunteer-led charitable organization that strives to ease suffering on earth by inspiring a worldwide network of volunteers to provide spiritual support and humanitarian services to all regardless of race, nationality or religion.
“Dr. Victoria Chen is the quintessential renaissance Asian American woman. She uses her expertise in orthodontics to help the underserved in the Las Vegas Valley, gives lectures to dental professionals, runs four successful dental offices, while raising two talented scholastic golfers. She is simply an amazing woman everyone should aspire to be,” says Dr. Phan Nguyen, DDS.
Every aspect of Dr. Chen’s life is powered by her enthusiasm, passion to help others reach their potential and create their own fabulous life. She motivates her staff by creating a fun working environment with themed weeks where everyone gets to go to work dressed in their favorite baseball team colors or pajamas; her patients to stay with her by giving them a lifetime guarantee on their orthodontic work; everyone in her community to roll their sleeves up and get involved. Most importantly, she motivates her daughters to be the best they can be at everything they do. Dr. Chen’s enthusiasm for growth and engagement is apparent and contagious to those whose lives she touches.
6018 S. Fort Apache Rd., Ste. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89148