Providence Smiles

The downtown Hillsborough location of Providence Smiles at 119 N. Churton St.

 

Ever since he opened Providence Smiles on Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough, Dr. Kwame Gyampo has been all smiles.

“I’ve always been attracted to Alamance County and Orange County, and I just love that there’s this feeling of a close community,” Gyampo said. “People do things together. It’s small enough so you almost have the obligation to be nice, but people are nice because that’s who they genuinely are, which is really reassuring. I like the education system here. I like what the community offers, with activities for kids and families and attractions. I’ve always been interested in Hillsborough and I hang out here a lot, so for me it was a no-brainer.”

The dental practice in Hillsborough is Gyampo’s second. He also owns and operates an office in Durham, which is also where he lives with his family. Gyampo said he’s so enamored with the town that he hopes to soon move to Hillsborough.

The News of Orange County spoke by phone with one of the area’s newest small-business-owners.

NEWS OF ORANGE COUNTY: How did you get to this stage of opening a second practice?

DR. KWAME GYAMPO: I graduated from UNC in 2017, and then I worked in Mebane for about a year and a half before I opened my own practice in 2019, in Durham. We opened the Durham office and then in 2021, we opened the Hillsborough office.

NOC: Do you think your location in downtown Hillsborough has been an advantage for your practice?

DR. KG: It has its positives and  its negatives. It’s positive that I have that exposure, if people are walking by they see it. On the negative side, I think some people don’t want to drive to downtown and people don’t want to go through traffic and parking and all that. But it has been wonderful because I get people who are maybe hanging out at the Wooden Nickel, who then walk by and see things through our windows and on our screens, and maybe they become potential clients.

NOC: Was your decision to open in Hillsborough delayed by Covid-19, or were you always planning to open in 2021?

DR. KG: I wouldn’t say was delayed because of Covid, but I think it came about because of Covid. The previous dental practice owner that was in that space was ready retire, so he reached out and said, “I want to step away but I don’t want to give up the space to just anybody.” He asked if I wanted to take over the space, and my immediate answer was “Yes, but not right now.” We worked it out and I’ve never regretted it. 

NOC: What brought you to Durham in the first place?

DR. KG: After UNC, I didn’t want to go back home to Rhode Island, so I just decided to stay around the area. My wife was living in Durham and I lived in Mebane, which is where we got married. We decided to live in Durham, but now that we’re expanding and having kids I think we want to be in Orange County.

NOC: What’s a challenge your practice has faced since opening?

DR. KG: Some of the challenges that as an office we face was availability because we have two offices. Because of Covid, we’ve had minimal staff and that’s going back and forth. I couldn’t open as much as I wanted for the patients and being available. We’ve been open just two days a week, however that’s changing. Soon we’ll be there three to four days a week, so there’ll be more availability for anybody and everybody. 

NOC: What has been the response from your clients in Hillsborough?

DR. KG: One of the things that clients love about our practice is that we’re very digitally focused and there’s a lot of technology. From the way we take X-rays to the way we share information with patients, and do same-day crowns with 3D scanners and 3D printers, and with whitening.

NOC: You and your company are members of the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce: Why was it important to join?

DR. KG: For me it was about becoming part of this community, and so this was a no-brainer. I thought it was important to join and some of its benefits so far have been having the opportunity to talk to other business owners and know that whatever you’re going through, you’re not going through it alone. Also, knowing how other people are doing things similar or differently, and it’s been good to just have that relationship, and then just being informed — knowing what’s going on around town, knowing how someone might want or need you, or how you can help somebody else. That’s meaningful and purposeful. So it’s been great to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce.