Born in Oakland, California, Dr. Philip Lee grew up in the nearby East Bay exurb of Richmond with his parents Ricky and Yoko. Developing an independent nature, Lee roamed the streets of the Bay Area in his youth, killing time until his parents returned home from work. After relocating to Las Vegas during his grade school years, Lee went on to attend Sierra Vista high school in the southwest valley.
“I love Las Vegas and consider myself a native,” he says. “I’ve had the opportunity to see this state change, and to see Las Vegas evolve from a smaller town into more of a metropolitan city.”
Majoring in biology at the University of Nevada Reno, Lee was passionate to pursue a career in the healthcare field, initially heading down a medical route. Lee’s decision to pursue dentistry came at the recommendation of a best friend and his fellow fraternity brother, Sam.
With his own trajectory leading into orthodontics, Sam suggested Lee consider dentistry as a career that might interest him, while also having an easier training period than medical disciplines.
“One of the things that jumped out at me was the ability to have a nice life and possibly a family down the road, without having to do a 90-100 hour a week residency for years to come,” he explains.
Following graduation from UNR, Lee lived in New York City for a period to recharge his batteries and prepare for his return home to enter the UNLV School of Dental Medicine.
Lee began practicing at Cheyenne Dental Group, honing his clinical skills while growing as apractitioner by developing his bedside manner. Warm and garrulous by nature, Lee is not shy about meeting new people and finding common ground. Beyond his technical abilities to get someone out of pain or restore their smile, Lee earnestly levels with his patients, communicating that he serves their best interests.
“The first thing I try to get across is that I’m going to be honest, and I will be somebody they can trust and feel at ease with,” he says.
He often finds the best conduits to connecting with new patients have little to do with dentistry, instead conversing over shared interests in food and travel. Beyond the former having universal appeal, Lee finds the latter to be especially helpful with people from different cultures.
Working consistently with the same clinical team since he began at Cheyenne Dental Group, an instinctual cohesion has developed, anticipating each other’s needs in the operatory. One of Lee’s primary dental assistants of two years, Joseph Nguyen, notes the natural compatibility among the team at the Cheyenne practice.
“With all of us working so well together, it makes the environment conducive for great patient care and high-quality customer service,” Nguyen says.
In his personal life, Lee has been a board member of prominent local charity Opportunity Village for two years, which serves the disabled community through vocational training, employment, and advocacy. Though not involved in his capacity as a dentist, he does mention that he would relish the opportunity to do so in the future.
Having found his métier as a dentist, Lee is keen to mention those that helped make his goals a reality, namely his parents. “Their selflessness, always putting my needs before their own, I really admire them,” he says. “I’d like to start my own family in the future, to be able to continue to build my family’s legacy.”