Metroplex Dentist Earns Prestigious Fellowship Award
Dr. Robyn Abramczyk
Dr. Robyn Abramczyk, doctor of dentistry and owner of Smile Ranch Family Dentistry, has been a busy person over the last eight years since graduating from dental school. In addition to starting a new dental practice, raising three children, moving to a new home and establishing a naturopathic physician residency, Abramczyk has also achieved one of the highest accolades in dentistry: the prestigious Fellowship Award, through the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Abramczyk received the Fellowship Award during the AGD convocation ceremony on June 9 in New Orleans. It is presented to dentists striving to provide superior care by remaining current in their profession. “It is quite an accolade, and I just wanted to be a better dentist and learn more about the different disciplines to improve my skillset and offer more services for my patients,” Abramczyk says. “It really does help give dentists credibility in their line of work, and only 6 percent of dentists in Texas have this honor.”
Abramczyk initially heard about the AGD Fellowship after graduating from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2010. Dentist and mentor Dr. Henry Wachtendorf, of Royse City, Texas, told Abramczyk about the opportunity and encouraged her to apply. To achieve the Fellowship Award, Abramczyk completed 500 hours of continuing dental education which encompassed specific disciplines including orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, periodontology, oral pathology, radiology and more. She also took additional courses that were not included in or accounted toward the fellowship, such as breastfeeding medicine and infant tongue-tie, a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion.
The other pivotal piece toward achieving the AGD Fellowship Award was studying for the exam; a challenge that Abramczyk equated to the complexity of the Texas State board dental exam. “It’s comprehensive, and it’s one of the hardest exams that I ever took,” she relates. “Since I see patients at my practice at 6 a.m., I’d wake up at 3 a.m. to study before going to work. After work, I’d leave my office, grab my children and fulfill family duties for the remainder of the evening. It required me to be very disciplined and structured with my time.”
Because Abramczyk wants her dentistry to be as holistic as possible, she acquired course requirements in many holistically focused dental courses that were applicable to the AGD award. “I think the main thing is that earning this fellowship has set me apart professionally. Fellowship awards show expertise, and there were also hands-on courses, so we increased our clinical and diagnostic skills,” she says. “In dental school, there’s only so much covered in a four-year period, so you really can’t become an expert. I often think of the ‘10,000-hour rule’, which is when an individual is thought to become an expert in their field of practice.”
Abramczyk has also traveled to Canada, as well as New Jersey, Nevada, Virginia, Georgia, California, Colorado and other states to build skills and knowledge toward achieving the AGD Fellowship Award. Although it’s an accomplishment she admires, Abramczyk is already looking ahead toward future opportunities to continue her education by pursuing mastership in the AGD, which requires 1,100 hours in approved continuing education, 400 hours in participation courses and at least 600 hours in specific disciplines.
Abramczyk is also currently working on a fellowship thorough International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), which she hopes to complete by September. That work entails writing a paper and giving a presentation on tongue-tie and the efficacy of frenectomy.
In addition to membership in the AGD and IAOMT, Abramczyk also belongs to the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists, International College of Integrative Medicine and The Holistic Dental Association.
Abramczyk earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences and human and molecular genetics from the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2006. She is board certified as a naturopathic physician, and in 2016, became board certified in integrative biological dental medicine.
Smile Ranch Family Dentistry is located at 6700 Horizon Rd., in Heath. For more information, call 972-772-7645 or visit SmileRanchDentistry.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.