I was a dancer during my youth and participated for the Richmond Ballet. I even had the lead role in the Nutcracker!
I struggled with a fatal disease that caused me to spend one year at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the age of 14 I was less than 40 lbs. By the grace of God I survived. I taught myself the 8th grade and then started a new path as a student leader.
I Entered high school and quickly transformed from a dancer to a nerdy socialite. I was a member of almost every club that existed, including the student government, and I even spearheaded the prom committee. I was a Homecoming Queen and on the Prom Court. I graduated from high school as a happy and healthy nerd.
I went to University of Notre Dame for 4 years after high school and then attended MCV/VCU in Richmond for dental school.
After dental school, I followed my fiance to University of Florida in Gainsville where I completed one year of orthodontic training. During that time, I also worked in a facial pain clinic and did research on Invisalign and on the impact of orthodontics on the jaw growth of children.
I did a 3 year residency in orthodontics at the Ohio State University which I earned a Masters in Oral Biology as well as an Orthodontic Certificate. I also spent 3 years in a Cleft Clip Palate Clinic.
During the last year of my residency, we were ready to start a family so I had my first baby. My family is from Richmond and my husband's family is from Martinsville, we wanted to move back to Virginia. My husband had a job opportunity in Roanoke, so we chose to make Roanoke, VA our home. We moved to Roanoke and started my practice from the ground up: got a business loan, designed and built my own building in Botetourt County, and started from scratch. During this time, I also had 4 kids in 4.5 year time period!
Now we live and work full-time on the border of Botetourt County and Roanoke.
During my free time, volunteer in our community for around 50 hours a year.
I'm required to get 15 hours of continuing education every year, but of course I'm a nerd so I get about 20 hours.
I'm one of 10 orthodontists in the US on the advisory committee for Clear Correct (aligner company)
I'm a basketball coach during the winter and basically a taxi cab driver and cheerleader for my kids during the other seasons.
my primary focus is being the best wife, mother, and orthodontist possible. I treat my practice like they're my fifth child. I put everything I have of myself into the things I love -my patient and practice is included.
I am known as being "extra" , I even decorate my office every 2-3 months. I go above and beyond what others do and put fluoride varnish on the teeth to prevent decalcification AND give free electric toothbrushes to ensure healthy teeth, not just straight teeth. I provide 2 retainers, not just one. I am told that I do more than others, but I am also told I do it at a better fee and with more friendly payment options.
I did not enter this field knowing a dentist's annual salary. I entered the field because I got a lot of cavities in college and "discovered" the field as a result of my life experience. I entered the field because I love Math, Science, Art, and people. The field of orthodontics is a niche where I can share my loves and talents with others.
I did not come from a family of doctors. In order to finance my education and lifestyle, I had to work during high school, college, and dental school (often 1-3 jobs at a time).
Given my background, I am more empathetic with my patients and families of my practice. My goal is to provide the highest quality of care, but to do so without breaking the family's piggy bank!
I have made many mistakes over the years, primarily because I did not go to school to learn how to run a business and manage staff. I have learned and grown. My pursuit for excellence will probably never end. In the past six months, I have upgraded our x-ray equipment, scanner, computers, software, server, phone system, communication systems, and website. I have a list of ways I want to continue improving the care and service we provide. My ultimate goal is to not only create perfect smiles and healthy bites, but to give our patients the best experience possible.
I love my job. I love my staff. I love the community I serve. I invest so much time, energy, and emotion in the people associated with this business. I develop relationships and connections that far exceed the norm. My closest and dearest friends are a product of this practice. Lenk Orthodontics is more than an orthodontic office, it is a place where the doctor and staff know their patients. It's a place that truly cares about the quality care and service every person gets. It is a place where people are truly treated like family and friends because they all end up becoming just that.