Architect of a smile

It takes a someone with an eye for perfection to achieve a flawless smile. Since the opening of Apa Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dental Centre in Dubai five years ago, Dr. David Montalvo Arias has been perfecting the smiles of the cities elite, including several members of the Royal family and high-profile figures, such as Mohammed Al Habtoor. Below, he tells us how he got into dentistry in the first place, and what it takes to be successful in the industry where precision and care are crucial.

Apa Aesthetic clinic in Dubai

What was your first job?

Nothing related to dentistry. I was a Santa Claus in a mall, sharing flyers from a communication company. From that experience I learnt how important is patience and perseverance in daily life.

What made you want to go into dentistry?

My father has been a role model for me and he was the first dentist in the family, so I guess that it just happened naturally from admiring how people were respecting him when I was younger. Although my dream was always to become an architect. I guess that’s the reason why I ended up “restoring” the smiles of my patients.

What are the key elements of your role?

From a professional perspective, I am a dual trained aesthetic dentist and a periodontist which allows me to simplify the process of a complex smile makeover for my patients. However, I also like to think that one of my key elements would be my personality and how I interact with them. Establishing a relationship with your patients is key and it really helps in understanding their desires and expectations in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

Apa Aesthetic clinic in Dubai

Talk us through your daily routine.

Well, my life just changed completely since I have recently become a father, so I would say that there is no routine. I am just trying to adapt to this new chapter in my life. But as far as routine goes I still try to keep a balance between my profession and my personal life, finding some time to maintain a healthy lifestyle while I am not at work.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

I would tell that person to try to find his or her passion as soon as possible to make the journey much enjoyable. Once you know what is the goal, it just takes hard work and a bit of discipline to achieve whatever you want.

What do you do on your day off?

I started playing golf 3 years ago and I can’t stop practicing. Being quite an expensive hobby, I can’t say my wife was most pleased when I took it up. Other than that, being a very active person I enjoy some other sports like Padel or kite surfing. But my main focus on my days off is spending as much quality time I can with my wife and son.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

To keep trying. Don’t be scared of failure or taking risks.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

10 years ago I was a pretty well stablished periodontal specialist back home in Spain. However, I wasn’t completely happy with my life. I was not passionate about my profession and I kept telling to myself: “is that it? This is going to be your life for the next 40 years?” That’s when I decided to leave everything behind, my job, my family, my friends. I moved to New York, to start in a completely different environment. I felt the necessity of getting out of my comfort zone. And that risky decision is what opened me the doors of Dubai, when Dr. Apa, a world renowned doctor from New York, offered me to possibility to join his team almost seven years ago. The rest is history.

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