Soham Apte

School: Kornberg School of Dentistry
Degree: DMD, doctor of dental medicine, 2022
Hometown: Mumbai, India

Soham Apte, DEN ’22, fell in love with dentistry while shadowing his father, a dentist, in a clinic in India. “It was then I realized that dentistry was a perfect amalgamation of science and art, the two things that I like the most,” he said. 

Dental bonding 

In the three-year advanced standing dental program at Temple, Apte gained important skills by having access to cutting-edge facilities, like Temple’s digital dentistry lab. Equipped with scanners, the lab can build dentures and crowns on the site itself using 3D printing, decreasing the amount of time patients need to wait.  

“It was the latest technology, which is now common practice in most dental offices,” Apte said. “We were lucky to have this technology implemented in the dental school and it made me well prepared for my current job.” 

Root causes 

Working in Temple’s dental clinic, which accepts government insurance, Apte discovered a zeal for community service. Among his most transformational moments was treating a patient who had a hard time getting care anywhere else in Philadelphia because he had Medicaid. “When I completed his care, there were tears of joy in his eyes and he said, ‘I can now finally smile, eat and function like a regular person.’”

That’s when Apte—and his wife Juili Shivde, DEN ’22, who was his classmate at Temple—decided that after graduation they would work together to give people in underserved communities access to the dental care they need.

Routine treatment 

Apte and Shivde now work in Janesville, Wisconsin. The couple are both associate dentists with Familia Dental and Apte also works at the Beloit Community Health Systems. Both family practices accept government health insurance.  

“When we came to Wisconsin, there were a few patients that said, ‘Before I saw you, the last dental visit I had was four years ago,’ because there weren’t any dentists around,” Apte said. 

Soham Apte poses for a photo.
Soham Apte poses with dental equipment.

“When I completed his care, there were tears of joy in his eyes and he said, ‘I can now finally smile, eat and function like a regular person.’”

–Soham Apte
Associate dentist

Thanks to the training the couple received at Temple, they can treat patients on the spot, even when complex procedures like surgical extractions are required. 

“We feel confident performing advanced procedures and are happy we don’t have to refer the patient to a specialist two to three hours away,” Apte said. 

The pair are acutely aware of the shortage of practitioners in their part of the country. Because their current practice wasn’t able to recruit a dental hygienist, Apte and his wife must do hygiene services as well. The result is 10-hour days, five to six days a week.  

But, they say, it’s all worth it when they see a patient flash their pearly whites in a smile at the end of a visit.