The best ‘thank you’ Cam-Tu N. Dalluge receives from her patients is a hug. As the owner of Radiance Dental in Chanhassen, Victoria resident Dalluge receives them often from grateful patients. Seeing her patients' happiness with their treatments and procedures is rewarding for Dalluge.
Before becoming the owner of Radiance Dental in May, Dalluge spent 11 years operating her dental practice in Kenyon, Minnesota. After taking a few years off to stay home with her kids—Elsie, 5, and Noah, 3—Dalluge went back to work part-time. When the opportunity arose to own her own dental practice again, she jumped at it.
Radiance Dental is a family practice that treats a wide variety of patients. Dalluge takes a special interest in orthodontics. “I love being able to change a person’s smile and their whole outlook,” she says, noting that when patients come in for orthodontics treatment, they are guarded in the beginning with their smiles. As the treatment progresses, their smiles get wider and wider and hold more confidence. “It’s amazing to me how much your smile affects your overall appearance and how other people perceive you," she says.
Dalluge has lived in Minnesota for many years; she came to this country by boat from Vietnam when she was 5 years old. After being picked up by an American Red Cross boat, she spent the next two years with her family living in a refugee camp.
She was then relocated to Minnesota, where she started third grade in Columbia Heights as one of only a handful of minorities at the school. “It was a little shocking at first, but everyone was very welcoming and helped me acclimate,” Dalluge says.
Her experience shaped the way she views the country and her life. “That experience has made me appreciate the opportunity that America has given me and has made me very patriotic because, without that opportunity, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says.
Dalluge describes herself as a compassionate dentist. In Vietnam, she had no access to fluoride treatments. She recalls seeing her pediatric dentist frequently when she first arrived in the United States. “Everything in terms of treatment that I am providing, I have endured,” Dalluge says.
Dalluge's interest in pursuing a career in the medical field began in junior high. She first volunteered at a nursing home. In high school, she was a candy striper at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and in college, she worked at a pharmacy.
The idea of dentistry came onto her radar while she was still pursuing her bachelor of arts degree in physiology. She took the Dental Admissions Test in preparation for applying to medical school. Her school received her test scores and asked if she was going to apply to dental school. She did and was accepted to the University of Minnesota’s dental program, where she earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery.
“Dentistry is very progressive,” Dalluge says. “There is always new technology and new techniques to learn.” She is passionate about the ever-changing field. She enjoys the chance to continue learning, attending seminars and offering monthly, in-office continuing education for staff.
When Dalluge is not at her practice, she enjoys spending time with her kids and her husband, Paul. She loves gardening, traveling, fishing on Lake Minnetonka or visiting the zoo.