A Story of Hope: Meet Sonia Chopra

Sonia Chopra, DDS, a tooth saver. She’s a board-certified endodontist, TEDx speaker, Forbes contributor, author, endodontic instructor, and founder of Ballantyne Endodontics in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Chopra became passionate about oral health after a dental patient experience in her youth, where her pain was misdiagnosed, and the wrong tooth was extracted. It wasn’t until she was referred to a caring endodontist that she was correctly diagnosed, and a root canal saved her from pain. Now she’s on a mission to save teeth whenever possible. 

On top of running her thriving practice, Dr. Chopra provides groundbreaking digital education and community support to general dentists and endodontists who want to uplevel their technical skills, patient experience, and practice efficiency. Through her thoughtfully-designed courses and in-person programs, such as her award-winning E-School, she is revolutionizing endodontic continuing education through comprehensive lessons. 

What inspired you to start your entrepreneurship journey?

My dental journey was the main inspiration for my career. I’ve undergone nearly every type of dental procedure that exists, so I’m no stranger to being a patient. When I was a young adult, I had a terrible dental infection that led to dozens of visits to various specialists, an inaccurate diagnosis, and having the wrong tooth extracted. It wasn’t until a kind endodontist performed the root canal I desperately needed that I was finally out of pain. This experience helped me understand the value of compassionate and accurate care and motivated me to become an endodontist myself.
After earning my DDS from the University of Maryland and completing residencies in Brooklyn, NY, and Fort Lauderdale, FL, I founded Ballantyne Endodontics in Charlotte, NC. I became one of less than 15% of board-certified endodontists in the United States, as well as the first female board-certified endodontist in Charlotte.

My mission goes beyond being a diagnostician and technician for my patients. I am their healer and advisor. I prioritize understanding their concerns and taking the time to explain my recommendations and the treatment process, empowering them with knowledge and instilling a sense of calm.
Recognizing the importance of sharing knowledge with my fellow professionals in the dental community, I created E-School, the first online endodontics course of its kind. 

What obstacles have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
When I first moved to Charlotte to start my practice, I didn’t know anyone except my husband and his family. Nobody knew who I was or that I was in business, so I had to hit the pavement to promote myself and tell the community about my endodontic services. The same thing happened when I opened E-School; I started at nothing. I had this beautiful, wonderful product, but no one knew it existed.

Putting yourself out there doesn’t come easy to a lot of people, and I was no exception. I don’t enjoy cold calls or sales pitches. I remember the first couple of times I had to walk into other dental practices and introduce myself, not knowing what to say, hoping to become the endodontist they referred to. Reflecting on that experience now, I can appreciate the journey of overcoming my initial struggles in expressing myself, and it has been quite an interesting progression.

However, I have come to understand the value of effective marketing. For example, instead of taking local dentists to dinner one by one to form a referral relationship with them, I prefer now to speak to a group of dozens of dentists at once. Not only does it establish me as an educator and expert, but it allows me to form relationships with many dentists at the same time.

I didn’t learn all of this overnight. I’m not a marketer; after all, I’m a dentist! And they don’t teach you these skills in dental school. It has been a challenge to step outside my field and acquire a whole new skill set to effectively bring my services and product to the communities that need them. I believe that overcoming this obstacle has been one of the most significant accomplishments of my professional life. It has enabled me to start two businesses: my practice and my educational empire.

The other main obstacle I had to overcome was myself. At first, I simply couldn’t get enough done in a day. There wasn’t enough of me to go around. Sure, there was great power in me knowing how to do everything—from answering the phone to performing endodontic surgery. But everything was falling on my shoulders. So, I had to learn how to trust others to handle certain tasks for me so that I could become more efficient at the tasks only I could perform.

I recall a moment when I first launched my practice. Initially, I had only two employees, one at the front desk and a dental assistant. I knew very little about running a business; my expertise was limited to clinical dentistry. So, I had to learn most of the business aspects on the job. I learned from my employees, from reading books, from perseverance, and of course, from making plenty of mistakes! The same applies to my online business: I acquired knowledge through hands-on experience while managing my practice, taking care of my three kids, and juggling life’s daily responsibilities with my husband. This required resilience, and the resilience I learned from running my practice aided me in becoming successful with my educational company. I set my vision, stuck to it, and didn’t give up.

What message of hope do you have for upcoming entrepreneurs?
I believe in the mantra of “Just do it.” Sometimes, you need to take action, even if it’s imperfect. It’s okay to launch something at a B- level instead of striving for an A+. Remember, you are the only one who truly knows your vision, and even if things aren’t perfect initially, you can still work towards achieving that vision by putting it out there. Taking action and taking baby steps in the right direction is what will get you closer and closer to your goal.

What are your top go-to songs for motivation to keep going after your goals?
I like the song “I Love My Life,” created by Niraj Naik, a professional musician, and pharmacist turned holistic health and breathwork expert. 

“Confident” by Demi Lovato is such a powerful song, especially as an entrance song for women on stage. It never fails to evoke a sense of empowerment and determination in me. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but feel like I can conquer anything.

What is your definition of a pretty woman who hustles?
Beauty isn’t about physical appearance. I believe that someone who knows how to hustle but also knows how to switch off and be present in the moment holds great power and beauty. Being able to seamlessly transition between the hustle mentality and a state of flow is truly beautiful. It’s a remarkable quality to embody, and I seek to embrace it in my own life.

You can connect with Sonia Online:



Jakia Cheatham - Myles

CEO/Founder of Pretty Women Hustle Magazine

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