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Karina Ramirez: Dentist adds flavor to private practice

Dr. Qing “Peter” Lan took a methodical approach to choosing the name and even the decor of his new dental practice.

“I want to make the environment very comfortable for the patient, so I wanted to make the hand soap, the smell, everything vanilla,” he said. “So I did a little search. The vanilla flavor comes from the vanilla bean plant and that comes from a family of orchids. My last name, Lan, means ‘blue orchid.’ So that is why the walls are painted this way.”

Lan, a recent transplant to Denton, opened Vanilla Family Dentistry last month in the Lakewood Square shopping center on Teasley Lane.

His private practice provides children’s dentistry, general dentistry, crowns, fillings, extractions, root canal therapy, orthodontic services and other services.

His focus on comfort extends to the office’s Planmeca ProMax machine, which can take patients’ X-rays without using bitewings.

What sets him apart from other dental locations, Lan said, is that he owns his practice. He said the growth of dental chains has made it difficult for dentists to practice or even to compete.

“There is nothing wrong with them, they have good systems,” he said. “But they are owned by corporations and are not owned by dentists but by financial institutions — that really makes a difference.”

Part of his job, he said, is to educate the patient about how he runs his practice in comparison to a chain establishment.

Lan said he likes where he is and he takes his time when he treats patients.

“I may be slow-paced, but I want to be that person, to tell me this is an awesome place,” he said. “We have a guarantee everywhere in our materials. I do not double-book, and I do not rush from room to room, and [I] do the things right.”

Originally from Beijing, Lan came to the U.S. when he was in fourth grade.

“I did not speak any English and got picked on,” he said.

He grew up around medicine since his mother was the president of a hospital.

“I grew up in a hospital with her. I got to see all the departments — pharmacy, dental, surgery, emergency,” Lan said, remembering walking through the departments around the age of 4 or 5. “What fascinated me the most was the dental area — it had the most tools. When I was a kid, I would look at all the drill bits and thought they would look like missiles.”

He grew up in New York and completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2008.

Lan has also lived in Fort Worth but moved to Denton earlier this year. He said he liked the small-town feel of Denton and felt it was the right place to open his practice.

He does not have set hours yet, he said, since he is still trying to find a schedule that works for him. But the office is open Mondays through Saturday.

For more information, call 940-387-2273 or visit


In July, Denton County auto dealerships sold 482 cars and 1,351 trucks, for a total of 2,600 vehicles, according to the Freeman Metroplex Recap. So far this year, county dealerships have sold a total of 16,474 vehicles.

The Freeman Auto Report tracks new and used vehicle registrations statewide.

Coming up

The University of North Texas’ Innovation Greenhouse Startup Cafe will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Big Mike’s Coffee, 1306 W. Hickory St.

The startup meeting is an informal gathering of innovators from UNT and the Denton community who talk about ideas and find solutions.

The group is part of the Innovation Greenhouse, a co-working space for UNT students’ innovation activities, collaborating and leveraging with university resources while building partnerships with regional businesses, not-for-profit organizations and governmental agencies.

For more information, visit


Target will have an exclusive shopping event on Wednesday night for UNT freshmen, from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at 1801 S. Loop 288.

Students can take a free shuttle from campus to the store so they can shop, play games and enter contests to win prizes.

There will be a live DJ and dancing at the event, as well as photo opportunities with Bullseye, the Target mascot. The event will also include gift bags, digital scratch-off gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $100, and text messaging contests.

For more information, visit or

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.