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Meet Elisa Ochoa of Pilsen Smiles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elisa Ochoa.

Elisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a proud Chicago south-sider! My parents emigrated from Mexico and first settled in Pilsen. My desire to become a dentist came at a young age and never once deviated. The idea of being able to directly affect someone’s life and improve his or her health was magnetic to me.

When I began the adventure of starting my own practice, the advice I received was far from what I wanted to hear. They said to open up in the ‘burbs and to absolutely stay away from a startup. The one problem, I knew exactly where I wanted to set up shop and only a startup would do. I understood that the road I wished to take was much more daunting, but I was very specific about my vision and would settle for nothing less. After searching for a couple of years for the perfect spot, we finally found it. It fit the criteria: Pilsen, on 18th St., corner entrance. Unbelievable! The whole place needed a massive makeover. Quickly, the rehabbing began. My father did most of the work and we steered the whole project together. In time, Pilsen Smiles was up and running!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

The whole process of getting here has been anything but easy. From difficult college courses to dental board exams, it felt like I was taking finals every day! Naively, I thought that journey was the hardest part. Being a small business owner is far from easy with endless work. However, I would not change a single part of this amazing journey!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pilsen Smiles – what should we know?
At Pilsen Smiles, we are very passionate about serving our community and playing a very active role in it. We service people of all ages for their oral health care needs with a strong focus on educating our patients. The more people understand what their issues may be, what proper oral hygiene habits are, and importance of prevention, the motivation to maintain great oral hygiene increases. Prevention is the key! After all, dentistry is not expensive or painful, neglect is!

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Image Credit:
Malrie Sonier
Kyle Lamere

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