Greenbrook resident opens Kind Smiles Dental Health in Lakewood Ranch.
Greenbrook’s Allison Konick knew from the age of 5 that she wanted to be a dentist.
She wasn’t sure why, but she always had a fascination with teeth.
When she was able to shadow her family dentist her sophomore year of high school, her passion for dentistry only increased.
She watched as Dr. James Smith interacted with his patients, gave them each his individual attention and made them feel more like friends rather than patients.
“For me, it was something where I was a bright student, and I liked science, but I knew I wanted to have a family someday but also be a health care provider in our community,” Konick said. “Once I got to spend some time in his office and see how exciting it is to work with your hands, help people’s pain stop and make them smile, it was a lot of things that kind of checked all the boxes as far as what I thought I wanted to do.”
Konick is now hoping to provide the same family atmosphere at her own practice, Kind Smiles Dental Health, which opened April 5.
“I’ve always had a good work-life balance, but it wasn’t my own office,” Konick said. “Now I can have my family come by and be a part of it and work within the community where I live. It’s truly something I have dreamed about my whole life.”
Kind Smiles Dental Health serves adult patients and provides all aspects of general dentistry as well as other services including crowns and bridges, root canals, teeth whitening and implants.
Konick said she saw a trend in corporate dentist practices that were more focused on quantity of patients over quality of care. It made her want to open her own practice.
“I’m 10 years out of school, and I probably have another 30 or 35 years to be a dentist and do it on my own terms with treatment plans I believe in without having to be motivated by people who are financially invested,” she said. “You can still treat the patient as the patient and offer treatment that’s relevant on a patient-by-patient basis. That to me was the most important thing.”
Opening a practice in the heart of Lakewood Ranch gives Konick a chance to work in the same community in which she lives.
Konick and her husband, DJ McSherry, moved to Lakewood Ranch eight years ago. The couple has three daughters — Scarlett, 6; Kenna, 5; and Hazel, 3 — with a fourth child on the way.
“As my children are going through school, I’ll be able to treat these families and grow with them,” Konick said. “It’s important to me that I would really know my patients.”
Konick wants to develop relationships with her patients, so they feel at ease coming to see her and trust her with their dental needs.
“The mouth is such a vulnerable area, and a lot of times, patients don’t come until they’re in pain,” Konick said. “When patients come in, they don’t have to be afraid or embarrassed because a lot of times, they’ve gone years before they’ve seen a dentist, and I tell them all the time getting in the chair is half the battle because if you’re here, then I know you care, and we care.”
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.