In March 2017, Rockwell Dentistry will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Dr. Dawn Rockwell and her husband, Dr. Alexander Rockwell, have two locations: one on Route 33 in Hamilton and a second office in Middletown.
Dr. Dawn is the primary dentist in the Hamilton office, while Dr. Alexander is the primary dentist in Middletown. He also performs dental surgeries on Thursdays for patients from both offices.
“Everything is done between my husband and me,” Dr. Dawn said. “Patients are not sent to different offices. When you call our office you get a real person, not a series of prompts. I leave my cell phone number on the answering machine.”
The office is open until 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Dr. Dawn also leaves time in the schedule for the inevitable dental emergency.
“We are a family community dentist office,” she said. “We see three generations of patients—from grandparents to grandchildren. Hopefully, someday we’ll see great-grandchildren, too.”
That family feel extends to the doctors themselves, as Dr. Dawn dreams of someday having one of their twin 20-year old children join the practice as a dentist. At the moment, their daughter seems to be the most likely candidate as she is attending Temple University with a major in biology, and has an interest in dentistry. Their son is majoring in biomedical engineering at Rowan University, but he seems more interested in pursuing a career in engineering. Meanwhile, their nephew, Brad Plasha, recently graduated from dental school and landed a job down the shore.
Both sides of the family have strong connections to the medical profession. Dr. Alexander’s mother, Lily Rockwell, was also a dentist. Dr. Dawn’s father, Dennis Plasha, was in pharmaceutical sales.
“He pushed me,” she said. “He wanted one of his children to be a doctor. He said, ‘You can do anything you want to do.’ He was strong that way. He gave me the confidence. We didn’t have the money, but with student loans and working seven days a week when I graduated, they made it happen.”
Dr. Dawn’s bachelor’s degree is from Ursinus College. Her graduate degree is from Temple University. She did a one-year residency at Jersey Shore Medical Center in advanced general dentistry.
She met Dr. Alexander while working for the same dental practice out of dentistry school.
Dr. Dawn notes when she graduated from dentistry school 25 years ago there were not a lot of women in the field, and even less women who went into private practice. But she said she has loved her career path.
“I like helping people,” she said. “I am nurturing. I really like science. With dentistry, I brought it all together. I try to be honest with my patients. I want to give them good dentistry in a warm, caring environment. I try to take the extra time with them if they need it. I treat them like family.”
Rockwell Dentistry has also kept up with the latest trends and technology in dentistry. The office has an anesthesiologist who comes in to administer sedation for patients who need it. It is also useful when performing dental surgery.
With more than 25 years of research behind implant tooth replacements, they are finding implants are lasting a lot longer than past treatments lasted, nearly a lifetime.
“I discuss it with the patient and do what the patient wants,” Dr. Dawn said. “Some people can see the end game, others want to save the tooth conventionally even though it might only last five to ten years. Some teeth can’t be saved. [With implants] there is no reason to have dentures these days.”
ZOOM in-office bleaching—considered the “gold standard” in tooth whitening—is another growing trend in dentistry offered at Rockwell.
Rockwell Dentistry participates in Delta Dental Premier and takes most traditional insurances.
“You will never walk out of the office without knowing what it will cost the next time,” Dr. Dawn said. “We call up the insurance companies and tell our patients what we find out.”
Rockwell Dentistry is located at 2139 Route 33 in Hamilton Square. Phone: (609) 890-9000.