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It's a Living

For Warminster dentist, profession marries best of art and science


I would rather give birth than go to the dentist. Do you remember “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)? Do you remember Steve Martin singing “You’ll be a dentist! You have a talent for causing pain?” I do.

It’s been 40 years, and I still don’t get the joke. I see nothing remotely amusing about undergoing dental treatment. Which is why I had managed to avoid the dentist for many years before a broken tooth left me no choice but to succumb.

Dentists are like undertakers. Sooner or later, they get you. I forced myself to drive to Central Bucks Dental Associates in Warminster. I didn’t know anything about them other than they could take me before work, and they accepted my insurance.

As fate would have it, I got Dr. Amanda Kucharzyk and her assistant, Dulce Cano, and I immediately felt better. A pair of gentler and more patient professionals were never born.

I was curious to find out what brought Dr. Kucharzyk to her field. “Dentistry is a profession that perfectly combines art and science,” she tells me.

As a child, she had always known she wanted to pursue a career in one of the sciences. For a while, she considered becoming a veterinarian, nutritionist, botanist, landscape architect, or entomologist (person who studies insects).

“I was always trying a new art project whether it was crocheting, making friendship bracelets, drawing, or learning to play an instrument.” She tried saxophone, guitar, piano, ukulele and banjo.

“I love to work with my hands, and I thought I might major in computer engineering in college. Even though soldering circuits and troubleshooting circuit design was interesting, something about it felt far too mechanical, and I thought I would be missing out on human connection in the field of technology.”

Coincidentally, or maybe not, Dr. Kucharzyk had just gotten her braces off around this time. “The whole process had really intrigued me, so I thought dentistry might be a good option.”

In her junior year of high school, she began shadowing her own dentist, and it was then she knew for sure this was what she wanted to do for her livelihood. At one point, he allowed her to examine some extracted teeth with root canal files. “It was like a tiny white statuette, each curve and crevice expertly chiseled with the kind of unique perfection I have always admired. God creates some truly amazing artwork!”

Kucharzyk got her undergraduate degree in biology from her home state at the University of Delaware. Then, she attended Temple for an additional four years of dental training. She continues her education to stay up to date on new research in dentistry.

I want to know if she had any difficulties in what I’ve always thought was a male-dominated field. “Personally, I did not. I feel there are so many great opportunities for women in this field nowadays. Many of my professors in dental school were women. My graduating class was made up of exactly 50% male and 50% female students.”

She goes on to say in many countries, female dentists are the majority. “My dental assistant, Dulce Cano practiced public health dentistry in the Philippines before coming to America. She told me the majority of her colleagues were female dentists.” The same was true in Costa Rica where Kucharzyk went on a study abroad trip in college.

I ask what brought her to this neck of the woods. “Love brought me to Bucks County. I met my fiancé and best friend, Georgy, in dental school at Temple. We were partners in a cadaver lab!”

I promise myself to one day write a screenplay where the romantic protagonists meet over cadavers. I’d be hard pressed to imagine a better meet cute.

Georgy lives in Bucks County and so will Kucharzyk after they marry in August. “I really love all the culture and history this area has to offer.”

In due time, I got a well-fitted, artistically designed cap. Thanks Dr. Kucharzyk and Dulce! It was a positive dental experience and not at all like what Dustin Hoffman went through in “Marathon Man” (1976).

"It's a Living" is a weekly column showcasing residents who are making a living in an interesting way, or people who’ve reinvented their careers because they could no longer ignore the voice in the back of their heads telling them to start over, take a risk, chase a dream or set out on their own.

These are stories of bravery, persistence, resilience, and vision.

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