Dr. Heather Hruskocy has a lot to smile about. Just last year, she opened her own family dentistry practice, The Smile Loft, gave birth her second daughter and moved from Chicago’s North Center to Lake Forest, a town where she grew up. Since then, this mom of two sweet girls has seen over 400 patients in her judgement-free, modern and cozy office. Get to know more about The Smile Loft, and this female dentist’s start in the field in this Small Business Spotlight!
Hi Heather! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
Hi! My name is Heather (Hruskocy) Wynn. I am originally from Lake Forest and recently moved back to the area with my husband Doug, and my two daughters. After living in the city over the past 10 years, we decided it was time to move our family to the burbs. We have loved having a yard and some extra space for the girls to play! Lake Forest brought us not only an opportunity to find a great home and community but also offered a perfect space for The Smile Loft.
You’re a mama! Tell us about your children and feel free to brag away!
I am a mother of two beautiful girls ages 3 and 18 months. They are the sweetest sisters and truly look like twins. My 3-year-old just started preschool at the School of St Mary’s in Lake Forest while the 18-month-old is looking forward to starting school next year. I’m also a dog mom so let’s not forget our 13 year old pitbull, Buddy.
You are a DMD. Please tell us about your practice, The Smile Loft. When did you open your doors?
I opened The Smile Loft in Lake Forest in November of 2022. It is a brand new private practice dental office in Lake Forest. The Smile Loft focuses on general dentistry including cleanings, restorative, cosmetic and family dentistry. I love working with patients of all ages. I built an office that is modern, and one where patients feel comfortable immediately when they walk it. It feels homey and warm, unlike some of the older dental offices that we grew up with.
What did you do before starting The Smile Loft?
Since 2014 I have been an associate dentist in the North Center neighborhood of the city. Leaving my patients has been bittersweet. I had some wonderful patients over the last ten years but starting my own office in my hometown was always going to be the next chapter for me.
Do you take dental insurance?
Yes! I believe that if you have dental insurance you should be able to use it. We are in network with many dental insurance plans. We will submit all your insurance claims for you and are happy to assist in determining what your dental benefits are. We want the patient experience to be as simple as possible.
Why did you choose dentistry as a career?
It wasn’t until college that I decided dentistry was the right direction for me. My parents were both in the medical field and so I have known that I wanted to be a “doctor” since I was very young. After working for a dentist one summer, I realized that dentistry required the perfect mix of patient care and artistry. This blend is what really got me interested in becoming a dentist.
It’s so nice to know about, and support, a female dentist! Do you see this field growing with women?
Yes! Dentistry is a great career for women. It allows you to have a degree as a doctor and take care of patients while having a more flexible schedule. My dental school class (ten years ago) was already made up of half women! It has since grown even more. You would be surprised how many people seek out a female dentist and will search specifically for an office owned by a female.
You mentioned that patients experience a judgement-free approach at The Smile Loft. How does this stand out from most dentist offices?
I think it goes without saying that all healthcare providers should provide judgment-free care. However, I have many patients come into the office saying “please don’t judge me.” I hear this a lot particularly from young moms. They have been putting their babies first for many years and now it’s finally their time to take care of themselves. It’s not uncommon for patients to feel embarrassed. I do not judge these situations because we have all been there, including myself.
What’s on the horizon for you both personally and professionally?
In my personal life I am happy to be settling into our new home in Lake Forest and meeting some new friends and families in the area. It was a tough year buying a house/moving, starting a business, and having Chloe all in 2022 so we are looking forward to enjoying some downtime. Professionally, I see big things on the horizon for The Smile Loft. In less than a year we have already treated over 400 patients. In the future I hope to bring another female dentist into the office with me!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or your business?
When I was a sophomore in college my mom passed away from breast cancer. Navigating motherhood without my mom has been a scary challenge, but it has shaped who I am today; it taught me that if I am strong enough to do that without her then I can run a business on my own too! I am just as dedicated to providing dentistry to my patients as I am to being a mother. And I have many long term patients who can attest to that.
Give us your dets!
You can book appointments directly on our website: www.lfsmileloft.com or call us at (224) 416-3780. We are located at 1089 Conway Rd. Lake Forest IL 60045. We are accepting new patients so I hope to meet some of you soon!
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