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Elevating the Nature of Dentistry
When Debra S. Zombek, DDS, decided to build her "dream practice" in Rocky Mount, N.C., she knew she wanted a facility that would not only make her patients feel special, but one that also would be gentle on the environment.
"I tried to make the office like a spa," she said. "People don't like going to the dentist but everybody loves going to the spa and so I tried to create an environment that didn't necessarily feel like a doctor's office."



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To accomplish this goal, Dr. Zombek incorporated into the construction process environmentally friendly design elements recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. She also made those environmental requirements as aesthetically pleasing as possible. "I didn't want a cold, sterile box. I wanted something with curves and glass and flow."
A Green Foundation
Dr. Zombek began her dental career shortly after graduating from high school in 1978. She became a Certified Dental Assistant and worked as a CDA for seven years before leaving the industry to raise her two children. Once they were old enough to go to school, Dr. Zombek went back to college to pursue a degree in environmental engineering. Along the way, she said, "I got sidetracked with dentistry, so I never finished out the engineering."
In 1998, she enrolled in the dental hygiene program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she realized how much she wanted a career that would allow her to perform dental procedures. In February 2000, Dr. Zombek entered into the school's Doctor of Dental Surgery program. A nontraditional student, she proudly completed the program in 2004 at age 43.
Chuck McKee, a Patterson Dental sales representative based out of the Raleigh, N.C. Branch about 45 minutes away, remembers meeting Dr. Zombek back when she was about to finish dental school. He has since become good friends with the doctor and said that Dr. Zombek is extremely focused on pursuing her dental career, even though she entered the profession later than many of her dental counterparts. "Her thing has always been that ‘I don't have time to recoup any mistakes,'" he said of her passion for dentistry.
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Elevating the Nature of Dentistry

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