You enter the outer office of Dr. Aram Sirakian, an aesthetic and implant dentist in Andover, and you’re struck by both what’s there and what isn’t.
What isn’t there is clutter of any kind. What is there are leather chairs, artwork on the walls, a marble table, an espresso machine, an alcohol-burning fireplace. The color scheme is one of warm beige and brown tones.
There’s a consultation room, also pristine, where Dr. Sirakian has an uncluttered black desk with two chairs and two computer screens to view photos and radiographs taken of patients’ mouths. Here he discusses work
to be done or not done.
“I gather a whole lot of information about the patient,” says Dr. Sirakian. “I sit down and do a case presentation. I don’t have a plan for them. I sit there and say, ‘I can do anything; what would you like me to do?’ By sitting next to the patient, you see the problem over there at the screen. You’re not the problem. The problem’s over there, and you and I are going to decide what to do or not do about it.”
If the patient moves ahead, the work will be done in another room. The patient will settle back in a leather chair and watch a soothing video or listen to a waterfall or music of his or her choice. It could be classical; it could be Pink Floyd. Dr. Sirakian, when he’s alone, prefers blues.
”Dentistry has this bad reputation,” says Dr. Sirakian. (Like many people,
he saw “Marathon Man” as a teenager.) “I wanted to create a space where it can be totally relaxing. I think it makes people calm to not have a mess.”
Dr. Sirakian, who has degrees from Tufts and Harvard, has practiced dentistry for 18 years. Here, in Andover, he promises state-of-the-art work. He uses sedation to ease anxiety.
It’s not unusual that his fee could be five figures. Hence, the tooth fairy has been very good to Dr. Sirakian. In addition to his Andover office, he owns a
practice in Peabody, iSmile, and also puts in a day a week in Brookline at the Longwood Dental Group.
Dr. Sirakian has given more than a little back over the years, too. Of
Armenian descent, he was born in London and raised in South Carolina.
Dr. Sirakian returns to Armenia for a month once a year, working in dentistry clinics that he and an organization of like-minded dentists built. “You’re always an Armenian first before you’re anything else,” he says. “Because of the [1915-1917] genocide. Armenians really stick together to not lose their identity.”
Dr. Sirakian is a slight, soft-spoken man who studied music and philosophy at Northeastern University. A long time ago he wanted to go to the Bahamas to open a bar and restaurant. (His parents didn’t support that idea.) He has a passion for cooking and food presentation, and says if he
hadn’t gone the dental route he’d be “a world-famous chef.”
He’s taken as many cooking courses as dental courses, and that’s a lot. He says he spends about a month every year at dental seminars, keeping up on the latest advancements.
Dr. Sirakian lives with his wife, Asi, a doctor, and their 14-year-old son, Eric, 15 minutes away from his office in a house he landscaped himself. “I like digging holes,” he says, adding that work in the garden counters the lack of physical activity he gets in his office.
The aesthetics of his home mirror those of his office. Everything is in its place. It’s beautiful, but not ostentatious, It’s tidiness on a high scale. So, you wonder…
Yes, Dr. Sirakian admits, he is obsessed by order, and may even have a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder. “Sometimes,” he says, “you can overdo it, neatness. And when you do overdo it, it can bother you. I can’t grab the first thing and start working. Everything has to be organized. Sometimes, you waste so much time on just being that way. I’m not as relaxed.”
And, he was the kind of kid who made sure his pencils were all lined up before he started using them. (It seems Eric has inherited some of this from his dad. Eric’s room has lots of stuff — a number of trophies for public speaking — but it’s everything is in its place.) Dr. Sirakian admits that, while making a dental mold, something might be 1/10 of a millimeter off — not noticeable to anyone but himself. It will gnaw at him, until he steps back and thinks, “What can ruin my day means absolutely nothing when you compare it to what’s going on in the world. You have to step away. It’s happened a couple of times. Something crazy just went on the world, and I can’t believe what I was upset about.”
For the most part, his attention to order and detail has served him well. Dr. Sirakian exudes calm in his voice, and deep knowledge about his profession. Asked whether what he does professionally can be considered an art, Dr. Sirakian replies, “Absolutely. How important is a smile to confidence? To self-esteem? In today’s world, where everybody wants to have a perfect body and smile, it really changes people’s lives.”