Hilliard, Ohio resident Dr. Rachel Sanyk’s road to a career in dentistry started with her love of working with her hands. As a child, she enjoyed helping her father with projects around the house. “My brothers could barely hold a screwdriver!” she jokes. As she grew older, Rachel developed an interest in health care and realized she enjoyed the instant gratification of helping people in need. These passions molded her desire to become a dentist, and led her to graduate D.D.S. Cum Laude from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 2007.
Dr. Sanyk's approach is simple: to listen. "People want to be heard. A dentist should include patients in their treatment planning and goals. My goal is to educate my patients, give them options, and let them decide. I am their partner, and they are mine," she states.
Rachel spent two and a half years in Texas after graduation working as an Associate Dentist in the Dallas area. The experiences she encountered in Texas laid the foundation for her philosophy of patient education and developed her expectation in standard of care. Upon returning to Ohio in 2010, Dr. Sanyk took the position of Associate Dentist at a large office, where she developed her team management and managerial skills in preparation for starting her own private practice.
Today, Dr. Sanyk is the proud owner and principal dentist at Smile Hilliard, providing high-quality dental care and excellent customer service to a tightly knit community. “I love Hilliard! This is where I want to be as I watch my children grow, and as I continue to take exceptional care of my patients. I am very proud to be a member of the Hilliard community,” Rachel says, adding “I like that Hilliard is a large city but has a small town feel and a great sense of community. The neighborhoods have kids playing outside all the time, parents gathering to chat, teenagers babysitting, older folks walking their dogs… everyone knows and looks out for everyone else. It’s the ideal place to raise a family and run a business.”
When she is not attending to patient needs, Rachel spends time with her family. She married her husband, Nick, in 2007. Together they have two young children. She enjoys taking them to their various after-school activities, the Columbus Zoo, the neighborhood pool, the library, parks, and community events. Rachel also loves spending time gardening, visiting family, traveling, cooking and entertaining, and attending sporting events, especially Ohio State Buckeye football games.
Dr. Stephanie Henderson discovered her passion for helping others during high school back home in West Virginia. She earned the opportunity to join the Health Science and Technology Academy and was mentored at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry, which she would later attend. Her love of dentistry blossomed during her hands-on mentorship at the school. “I knew from the start that this was the profession for me. I specifically remember caring for a patient who had dental anxiety, and if felt so natural to listen to her, comfort her, and let her know her improving her oral health was worth it.”
After graduating from West Virginia University in 2012, Dr. Henderson perfected her clinical skills and established her own high standard of care while working at a private dental office in West Virginia. Her drive for excellence brought her to Columbus where she searched for the perfect office to spend the rest of her career. “After meeting Dr. Sanyk and the team at Smile Hilliard, I knew this is the place I wanted to be,” Stephanie says, adding, “Everyone is always smiling and encouraging one another to be great. It’s rare to find an opportunity where everyone loves what they do.” She has continued to develop her skills as a member of the Spectrum Dental Society and has also taken additional courses through the Pankey Institute.
Today, Dr. Henderson loves getting to know her patients. Her biggest joy is having the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures on a daily basis. “I love speaking with my patients, learning from them and getting to know them beyond providing dental care. I am a true believer in learning something new each day.”
In her spare time, Stephanie spends time with her family. She married her husband, Festus, in 2012, and they have a young son together. She enjoys travelling and enjoying the many parks in the Northwest Columbus area with her son, especially the Columbus Zoo. She also likes to explore area restaurants and is a self-declared “foodie.” She is also an avid reader, with a goal to read one new book every week.
Nick is an integral part of the team at Smile Hilliard. As COO, he directs daily operations, interacts with vendors and suppliers, and constantly evaluates practice policies and procedures to find ways to improve processes for patient care and team efficiency. Originally from Cleveland, OH, Nick holds a BA from The College of Wooster as well as an MA from The Ohio State University and has been working in the dental industry since 2008.
“I got a chance to get my feet wet working for a large dental practice in Texas,” says Nick. “I gained significant experience with planning patient care and handling patient insurance and financials. It was then that I realized a long-term career working alongside my wife could be a reality.” Nick and his wife, Dr. Sanyk, subsequently relocated back to Ohio and opened Smile Hilliard in 2014.
Nick has a detail-oriented personality and does his best work when he can plan ahead; both traits help make him a successful COO. “I love seeing all the pieces come together for a patient,” Nick says. “The patient’s history, their current needs and their insurance are the starting point. If we do our job well, insurance estimates are correct, there are no surprises, and the patient is completely satisfied at the end of treatment. That’s a great feeling for everyone.”
Nick is involved with the College of Wooster Beta Kappa Pi Fraternity Alumni Organization and the neighborhood civic association. When he’s not taking his kids to sporting events, the library or the zoo, he can be found cheering on the Buckeyes, playing recreational softball, or enjoying time with his wife and business partner, Dr. Rachel Sanyk.
Registered Dental Hygienist Brooke graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) from The Ohio State University and quickly excelled in her work at Smile Hilliard. She considers herself to be a "comprehensive preventative specialist". Her favorite part of working in the dental field is the connections she makes with her patients. "I enjoy making a difference in peoples' lives by helping them to have a beautiful smile, healthy gums, and better overall health," she states. "I love personally connecting with people and being able to share my knowledge with my patients, which is such a big part of being a dental hygienist."
Brooke is a lifelong Hilliard resident and feels a strong bond with the community which helps her fit in well at Smile Hilliard. "Our team here works together amazingly well to take the best possible care of our patients," she notes. Additionally, Brooke may be the happiest person you ever meet, and constantly has a smile on her face. When not taking care of her patients, she loves to be outside enjoying nature, hiking, kayaking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Registered Dental Hygienist Jen has been in the dental profession since 2009. Originally from Cleveland, she has been living in the Columbus area since graduating from Lorain County Community College after obtaining her Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. Jen has a heart as big as her smile and it shows in her compassion for her patients.
“Connecting with and helping patients reach their smile goals while teaching them more about their oral health is very important to me. It is so rewarding to help change someone’s attitude about dental care from avoidance to enjoyment!” Smile Hilliard has been the perfect fit for her, and she adds, “I love the dedication, attention to detail, and overall patient-focused philosophy at Smile Hilliard. It feels like family here – every team member truly cares!”
Jen shows a true passion for her craft and enjoys learning more about how she can better serve her patients. When not involved with Continuing Education courses, she is spending time with her husband, TJ and their 2 little boys, who “keep her on her toes”. Jen and her family are big fans of the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes, and also enjoy time outside and checking out new local restaurants and breweries.
Registered Dental Hygienist Katie has worked in the dental field since 2010, offering a versatile and complementary background. After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance and a certification to teach Early Childhood Education, Katie realized another joy in life in the field of dentistry. “I love providing care for patients based on their priorities and needs,” she states. At Smile Hilliard, she enjoys her role in giving her patients all the information they need to make wise choices about their oral health. “Being a hygienist allows me to help others learn how to keep a great smile for the rest of their lives,” she explains.
Katie wears a genuine smile on her face every day and loves her job at Smile Hilliard. She has so much fun coming up with creative ways to encourage her patients to take care of their teeth. Katie also has a diverse array of interests, including reading stacks of books and artistic expression through cooking, painting and writing. She is a true “Renaissance Woman” and can intelligently speak on many topics of conversation. Additionally, she absolutely loves spending time with her husband, Matt, and caring for her children.
Registered Dental Hygienist Kristin has a wealth of experience in dentistry that brings a level of excellence and familiarity to her work. Having entered the dental field in 2000, Kristin is a specialist in treating patients with gum issues. “I love helping patients to achieve their optimal oral health and getting to know each patient on a personal level,” she states.
Kristin caught the dental “bug” while in high school while getting braces at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. She first started in the field as a Dental Assistant, but really dove into her career when, at age 30, she returned to school to become a Dental Hygienist. Kristin is a life-long learner as is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Ohio State.
When she is not providing top-notch care at Smile Hilliard, Kristin loves spending time with her family. She stays busy with her step-daughter, who is very involved in activities at Darby High School. She also loves going to OSU sporting events, yoga, jogging, and being involved at St. Brendan’s church.
Patient Care Coordinator Darian knows what it takes to keep people smiling. Having worked in the dental field since 2012, she understands the importance of customer service. “I’ve always loved working with patients, and their care is my #1 priority!” she says. She started her career as a dental assistant but happily transitioned to a non-clinical position as her strengths were well-suited for the role.
Darian always delivers a warm smile to each patient and takes a positive attitude toward every task she tackles. In addition, she thrives in Smile Hilliard’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. “I love coming into an office of smiling people. Whether it’s the patients or my fellow team members, everyone that comes in is happy to be here.”
Outside of the office, Darian enjoys volunteering at AMVETS, reading, cooking, going to country music concerts, and cheering on the buckeyes. Most importantly, she spends as much time as possible with her young daughter.
For Patient Care Coordinator, Kayla, the best part of her day is building relationships with our patients. “I love when I can make a positive impact in someone’s day,” she says. Kayla got her start in the dental field in 2017 and feels that she grows personally and professionally each day. “There is always something new to learn and I really enjoy the endless opportunities I have to broaden my skills and knowledge,” she adds.
Kayla is a lifelong central Ohio resident. When she’s not helping patients, she is busy spending time with her husband and 2 young children. The are active in their local church and enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring area parks. She likes to relax by reading and nurtures her creative side with adult coloring books.
Patient Care Coordinator Zel was born in the Philippines and came to the US in 2005. She has since lived in Virginia Beach and West Palm Beach before relocating to Columbus. While earning her BA in Health Services Administration, she searched for a career that was both challenging and rewarding. “Seeing a person’s life change by restoring their confidence through their smile is an amazing feeling,” Zel says. “I am so proud to be a part of that process!”
Zel entered the dental field in 2016 and quickly learned the importance of a strong team. “At Smile Hilliard everyone gives 100% towards making each patient’s visit an enjoyable one. I love being part of a team who always goes above and beyond,” she says.
In her spare time, Zel is interested in true-crime podcasts and documentaries, reading, and spending time with her dog, Kingston, a Maltese/Cavalier mix.
Certified Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Ashley has been working in the dental field since 2014 and has quickly increased her clinical skills and dental knowledge. A native of Groveport, Ohio, she attended Eastland Career Center Vocational School for Dental Assisting and Sinclair Community College for EFDA training. Her passion for education has enhanced her clinical abilities as well as furthered her love of caring for patients.
Ashley’s interest in dentistry started when she had braces as a child. “I loved seeing my orthodontist and dentist. I really enjoyed seeing the benefits of oral health care in my own smile.” Ashley’s favorite aspect of working at Smile Hilliard is interacting with patients and getting to know them. “I feel that once I learn more about each individual patient, I can truly make their experience here a better one.”
When Ashley isn’t placing beautiful fillings at Smile Hilliard, she enjoys relaxing with her friends and family. She loves to travel, watch movies and go shopping.
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Certified Dental Assistant Niki truly has the perfect combination of customer service and clinical experience. She graduated top of her class at the Ohio Institute of Health Careers and has almost 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. As general manager of a busy restaurant, Niki gained valuable skills that seamlessly correlate to a busy dental practice. “My job is to help Smile Hilliard run as smoothly as possible,” she says, adding “I love the way everyone communicates and works together.”
Making the career change to dentistry was an easy decision for Niki. “Dental Assisting is a perfect fit for me because it allows me to work both independently as well as with other fellow Assistants, Hygienists, and Doctors,” she states. “I also get to work with great patients that put their trust in me.” Niki especially enjoys learning about the latest dental products and techniques and applying them to be more efficient in giving the best care to our patients possible today.
Currently residing in Plain City, Niki enjoys the quiet scenery away from the hustle and bustle of the city. She likes to complete DIY projects around the house, cooking and spending time with her family. She loves to travel and go on various adventures with her husband, from sky diving in Las Vegas to wandering through Europe and exploring the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. She also participates regularly in The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event and enjoys donating her time to this wonderful cause.
Certified Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Tara considers herself to be a “small-town girl”. She is originally from Ansonia, Ohio, but loves being in Hilliard. “Since I grew up in a small town, the family atmosphere at Smile Hilliard makes me feel at home, and patients feel it too,” she remarks. “I love working with a tight-knit team that truly cares for each other and every patient.”
Tara fell in love with dentistry while attending vocational school during high school and worked her way to becoming an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant in 2013. Since then, she has honed and perfected her skills. She enjoys assisting in the care of patients and witnessing the transformation when they see their new healthy smile. “I love being a part of helping a patient reach their oral health goals and feel a real sense of satisfaction when I know my work helped them to achieve it,” she states.
Tara enjoys volunteering with KidSMILES, a non-profit group with the goal of providing access to dental care for all children. Outside the office, she likes to hike, canoe, and visit with family and friends. She also loves to snuggle with her 110-pound lap dog, Moose.
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