Originally, I went to school on a football scholarship, and that was sort of my only dreams, and going to the NFL to go play. Actually out of high school, I lost a lot of scholarships due to my grades. I really didn't put no effort into what I was doing in high school and everything. I actually lost a lot of scholarships and ended up going to community college first. Well, when I went to that community college, when I went there, I just said you know what, let me actually try to do well in school. When I started trying, I went from being a 2.0 student to a 3.7, 3.8, and just really just changed it around. So at that point, now I'm on a full scholarship. and I figured, well, I better, I guess, take advantage of this opportunity.
And I had tore my knee in high school, I had to do some physical therapy. So I actually started going the physical therapy route after getting into the program and everything. And they changed it around to a doctorate program. I ended up actually going into medicine. And then once I started going into medicine, I just kept running into different people who kept telling me about dentistry.
Personally me, I grew up, I hated the dentist. I didn't like the dentist. I had bad experiences at the dentist. So the dentist was the last thing that I wanted to be, and when people would tell me about it, I'd be like, "Nah, I'm good. I'm okay." Like I said, that's the last thing that I'll be as a dentist. But for some reason people just kept telling me about it.
I finally went to, when I was playing football at North Dakota State, I went to go meet with the dentist who played football there. And he showed me around his office. And when he did, it really expanded my mind on dentistry and how things were. And I saw, he knew his patients by name, everybody there was treated like family. He got to use his hands. And in undergrad I used to cut hair and I was always good with my hands. So I looked at this and I said you know what? Maybe I can go and make a difference in this field and try to give people a different experience than what they usually did, the dentist coming in and giving them a bad experience and not liking their dentist. And if I can change that around and be able to help out people and also be able to use my hands, just like I used to cut hair, be able to design peoples' smile and help them to look better and feel better about themselves, get their confidence back, I said I think I can make a change in his field.
I started going down the field of dentistry, and it's worked out really well. Loving being able to help out a lot of people and change a lot of lives.
I think it's the biggest thing is when people come in here and the first thing they always tell me is, "Nothing against you doc, but I just, I hate the dentist." And for them to leave and them say, "Man, I never really thought I would actually like going to the dentist. And in the way you took care of us, the way you treated us, we just so comfortable being here. We weren't in pain. You didn't hurt us." Those type of things, being able to change people's perception of the field. And then also too, just being able to change peoples' lives. I mean, when
“Sorry, Doc, nothing against you, but I just don’t like the dentist,” is what a lot of patients flat-out say when meeting Dr. LaVant for the first time. Dr. LaVant had that exact attitude growing up as a kid. When trying to decide which health care sector to make a career out of while on a full-ride football scholarship at North Dakota State, that was the exact same reason he decided to become a dentist.
Dr. LaVant knows that many people avoid the dentist because of previous bad experiences. This causes them to neglect their overall health care, which starts in their mouth. Dr. LaVant wants to help change how people see the dentist and make it a great experience so this doesn’t happen. That’s why he provides a place where patients don’t feel judged for the condition they are in, where they are treated like family and are given the best care possible by a top dentist. Dr. LaVant and Italian Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry deliver that each day.
Dr. Isaac LaVant was born and raised right here in Phoenix, AZ. He began his education at Phoenix Christian High School, then went on to North Dakota State University for his undergraduate studies. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, he went on to complete dental school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN.
Upon graduation, he completed an intense one-year general practice residency at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital (now the BronxCare Health System). This residency is specifically dedicated to providing advanced dental training in the areas of general dentistry, full-mouth rehabilitation, dental implants, emergency family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures, and restorative/preventive dentistry.
To stay up-to-date on dental treatments, Dr. LaVant takes far above the mandatory continued education required by the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners. In recognition of his dedication to his craft, Dr. LaVant received the distinguished award of Top Dentist 2020. He was also voted one of the Top 15 Healthcare Influencers in the January 2021 issue of Phoenix Entrepreneurs magazine.
Dr. LaVant married his best friend and the love of his life, Massa. They share a commitment to strong family values like honesty, kindness, sharing, and stewardship. Dr. LaVant was raised by parents who were committed to those very ideals. He grew up in a large family, with three brothers and three sisters. His family has expanded quite a bit in the last few years, and he now has 18 nieces and nephews.
His mother was raised in Phoenix as well in a large Italian family of 11. His father is from Savannah, GA and was raised in a family of eight. His parents have been married for over 37 years and have demonstrated the values of commitment and hard work through their love for one another and their family!
Outside of the office, Dr. LaVant loves to play, watch, and participate in sports, especially football and basketball. He also loves to relax, spending time with his wife and 1-year-old son, “Sir Isaac Amaziah.” You can catch Dr. LaVant hanging out with family and friends around the grill, cooking, eating, and just enjoying life. Dr. LaVant also enjoys eating his mother’s homemade marinara called Mamma Letizia’s Gravy, which can be found in local stores, farmers markets, and on her website at mammaletizia.com.