For Dr. TuTrinh (Gin) Do-Casano, the inspiration behind her work pays tribute to her parents.
Do-Casano’s parents worked minimum-wage jobs in welding and assembly-line work before fleeing to the United States during the Vietnam War in search of a better life for their children.
“My parents didn’t really have much growing up and the Vietnam War pushed them out of the country,” Do-Casano says. “It was my brothers and my parents who fought their way to get over here. My parents just wanted a better life for us. I feel sad whenever I talk about my parents, because they worked low paying, tough jobs just to get by and make sure we had a good education. They basically gave everything that they could for us and that’s why my siblings and I strive so hard to have a great profession or be in a good position where we could take care of our parents. We just want to make them proud.”
On a path to fulfill that goal, Do-Casano is embarking on her next chapter: opening Illume Dental Studio.
Illume Dental Studio has been in a soft-opening phase since December 2022, but Do-Casano hopes to host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony this spring.
The new dental studio is a unique experience from before the patients even first enter the office.
Digital forms allow patients to complete their paperwork before they arrive, and part of the digital forms include a spa form. The spa form asks patients how they would like their room to be prepared — with questions catered to drink choice, preference of television show or channel, cooling neck pillows, blankets, heated masks for those that have high anxiety, ear plugs and even noise-canceling headphones.
“That feeling of comfort really resonates with our patients, because they feel that it’s a totally different experience from what they thought a dental appointment would be like,” Do-Casano says. “Me being a millennial, I just love places that make me feel at home. The type of dental office that I wanted to build was something with aesthetics to make people feel welcome. I wanted something that made people feel comfortable and we wanted to bring something that was new and vibrant to the community.”
Do-Casano has been a dental practitioner in Orlando for eight years and honed her skills in cosmetic dentistry.
She has specialization in noninvasive cosmetic bonding and enjoys creating digital smile designs. As an active member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, she also performs Botox and dermal fillers for facial enhancements, and to treat frontline TMJ, headaches, and orofacial pain.
Do-Casano, 35, was born in Panama City and raised in St. Petersburg.
Although she said she always knew she wanted to be in some type of health career, wanting to take care of her parents who are Vietnamese immigrants, she first knew she wanted to be a dentist in ninth grade.
“I started seeing that a lot of people who are not from this country have a big fear of going to medical and dental offices, just because they feel like things will get lost in translation,” she says. “They either need to find an interpreter or they kind of struggle through the whole process.
“I realized it’s not just immigrants who go through this; it’s everyone,” Do-Casano says. “When you go to a medical office or a dental office, you just don’t quite understand the lingo being used. When I saw that was something that I could be beneficial in, I knew that was something I wanted to do … to make sure the community gets the communication and treatment they deserve.”
Do-Casano moved to Orlando, where she received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of Central Florida, before continuing her doctoral education at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, from which she graduated in 2015.
She practiced as an associate at a corporate office, where the work was fast-paced. The large number of patients she saw gave her the ability to hone in her skills.
Although Do-Casano lives in the SoDo area, she eventually wants to move to Baldwin Park. She says her biggest goal is to provide an experience for her patients.
“I want to make sure they feel comfortable and they feel heard,” she says. “The biggest concern that I had while I was growing up and going to dental offices was that I always felt like medical professionals would brush you off or assume your symptoms and diagnose.”
As the business expands, Do-Casano would love to open more offices. Her goal is to devise plans for the next office in the next five years.
Her hobbies outside of work include trying new restaurants (Do-Casano and her husband are big foodies); traveling (she has visited more than 20 countries); and spending time with family.
Although her father died a few years ago, her mother now lives in Orlando with one of her three older brothers, who also all pursued fields in the medical industry.
Throughout her journey, everything Do-Casano has done has been for her parents, and she hopes she can continue to make them proud with the next chapter in her story.
“It’s plain to see from our marketing, our atmosphere and the amenities we provide that our focus has been on delivering complete dental care in a thoughtfully curated patient experience that feels elevated and luxurious,” she says. “However, if there’s one thing that we want people to know us by, it’s more than just our ambiance, but rather by how we build and foster life-long relationships. We want you to come for the clinic but stay for the team.”