The Way We Work Now

I’m a Dentist Bringing in New Patients Through TikTok

‘I did a parody of the WAP dance that made me go viral’

Mai Tran
Published in
3 min readDec 31, 2020


Photo illustration; source: Dr. Richard Lam’s TikTok

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Dr. Richard Lam, 30, is the founder of Refine Dentistry in Stafford, Texas. He spoke with Mai Tran about gaining 40,000 followers on TikTok to help attract new patients during the pandemic.

I was thinking about opening my own dental office for a while. I signed the lease in the beginning of 2019 and started planning and designing it. I opened for three weeks in March of 2020, then the government placed a shutdown in Texas, and we closed the whole month of April. My employees were able to get unemployment, but the office wasn’t able to get any government stimulus because we didn’t have a history of income.

Before the quarantine, business was pretty slow because we were new. When we reopened in May, we saw way more patients because people were working from home and had more time to come in. A lot of patients called and asked what precautions we were taking. Masks are mandatory, and we give them a hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse to decrease their bacterial load. We also utilize a dry shield, which is a piece…