Dads and Daughters, DDS

Dads and Daughters, DDS

In the heart of Manhattan, a unique dental partnership linking two families has proved rewarding across the generations—and for countless numbers of their patients as well.

By Sean Mickalitis

TWO BLOCKS FROM Central Park, just around the corner from Trump Tower along bustling 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, resides the grandly named Gallery 57 Dental. Inside the practice, a unique team sets it apart—a family-dentistry double duo.

The practice includes two veteran dentists and their daughters in a partnership that strengthens family bonds inside and outside the office. “Having my daughter work with me in a wonderful profession like dentistry is truly incredible,” says Dr. Robert Rawdin, 61. “Not many people have the opportunity to work with their child in the same profession, in the same practice.”

Dr. Rawdin studied at Northwestern University Dental School and later completed the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics at NYU Dental. Early in his career, he worked in two offices: one close to his home in Westchester, New York, where he’d often bring his daughter Samantha to work with him. An artistic youngster, she’d admire the models of teeth she discovered as she roamed the practice, explored operatories and watched lab techs create crowns and bridges.

Those childhood visits likely inspired her own professional pursuits. Now 32, Dr. Samantha Rawdin attended Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Arizona and earned her certificate in prosthodontics from Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. “It’s wonderful working with my father,” she says. “I feel so lucky that we get to treat patients alongside each
other every day.” The work has paid off: Samantha, mother of twin boys with her husband, Adam, was a member of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 class of 2019.

“Growing up with a dentist in the house, I got to see a person who looked forward to going to work, came home in a good mood and was enthusiastic about his career, decade after decade. This was a huge factor in my decision to apply to dental school.”

Dads and Daughters, DDS

TIES THAT BIND: (From left) Drs. Samantha Rawdin, Robert Rawdin, Andrew Koenigsberg and Rebecca Koenigsberg

The other half of the Gallery 57 team echoes that dynamic. Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg, 63, opened Gallery 57 Dental in 2006, and his daughter, Rebecca, now works there with her father and the Raw­dins. “It’s been 12 years since Rebecca applied to dental school, so I experienced her studying for the DATs, applying to school, taking her boards and going through her residency,” Dr. Koenigsberg says. “I’m very proud of Rebecca, as she faced and completed these challenges while also getting married and having two beautiful children.”

When Rebecca, now 34, was growing up, she was inspired by her father, who came home every day with a smile. “Growing up with a dentist in the house, I got to see a person who looked forward to going to work, came home in a good mood and was enthusiastic about his career, decade after decade,” she says. “This was a huge factor in my decision to apply to dental school.” After graduating from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, she completed a one-year residency at Montefiore Medical Center, as her father had.

Rebecca, also among the 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honorees, has worked with her father at Gallery 57 for six years and was one of the first dentists in New York certified to use Solea laser technology.

Working with family in any business can be advantageous but also have drawbacks. “It can be tricky investing in a new dentist,” Rebecca says. “I’ve seen associates take advantage of the practice owner, and owners take advantage of their associates. In this particular situation, my father knows I’m here to stay, and there’s a strong foundation that can be built upon.”

“Growing up with a dentist in the house, I got to see a person who looked forward to going to work, came home in a good mood and was enthusiastic about his career, decade after decade. This was a huge factor in my decision to apply to dental school.”

Dads and Daughters, DDS When they’re devising treatment plans, the two duos partner to determine the best strategy to pursue. The Rawdins often collaborate, sharing opinions and considering alternative procedures. They also occasionally share treatment responsibilities. The Koenigsbergs work in tandem as well, but the office is often busy, Rebecca says, leaving each to plan and treat patients solo.

Off-hours camaraderie is a Gallery 57 fixture, too: The dentists and their families meet frequently for dinner and events around New York City. “As an office, we’ve participated in walks for breast cancer research, prepared sandwiches for City Harvest and organized gift drives for victims of domestic abuse, among other give-back efforts,” Samantha says.

The close-knit teams say their unusual partnership enables them to bestow superior care upon their patients. “You need to examine your relationship with your family members prior to working with them,” Samantha says. “I feel so lucky that my father and I have such a good relationship. I knew that working together would be great.”