Drs. Irene Blaess and Stan Zebrowski craft custom dental experiences for each patient that joins their oral health family.
There’s a quiet laugh that floats through the tranquility. From staff and patients, smiles abound the De Zavala Dental office and Northwoods Dental Spa. While it may seem an uncommon place for genuine joy, Drs. Irene Blaess and Stan Zebrowski have excelled in their mission to establish comforting practices that deliver uniquely positive experiences for all the patients that join their dental health family. The transcontinental journey to create these dental oases was powered by a passion to provide a truly soothing environment that fosters quality experiences and care.
Born in the former U.S.S.R., Dr. Irene Blaess and her family immigrated from Moscow to Houston, Texas in 1981. At 8-years-old, Dr. Blaess became a full-blown Houstonian, later graduating early from Sharpstown High School. Following high school, she attended, and graduated from, the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate degree.
“It’s changed [dentistry] and you have to change with the times” -Dr. Irene Blaess
At that point, Dr. Blaess decided to enroll in dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, which at that time had one of the most reputable dental programs in the nation. Her motivating factor to study and practice dentistry stemmed from childhood.
Early in life, Dr. Blaess had a traumatic dental experience that required her to be sedated for years after whenever she underwent oral health procedures. This drove her “to show people that it is possible to have pain-free dental experiences.” Dr. Blaess graduated from dental school in 1997 at 23-years-old and began her practice two years later at 25-years-old.
“At the time, I was one of the youngest practicing dentists at 23-years-old and soon after started my practice. I actually still have two of my original staff members working with me,” Dr. Blaess recounted with a laugh.
The decision to stay in San Antonio was simple in Dr. Blaess’ mind. Once she was already here, Dr. Blaess saw that the Alamo City was a great place to raise her family and practice.
“It’s a place I fell in love with really. It’s a such family oriented city that makes it easier to feel welcomed,” Dr. Blaess shared.
“At the time, I was one of the youngest practicing dentists at 23-years-old and soon after started my practice” -Dr. Irene Blaess
San Antonio’s familial feeling transferred into Dr. Blaess’ practice as well. Naturally, the staff and her all feel a connection to one another and their mission to provide exceptional experiences to their patients. Indeed, Dr. Blaess and the De Zavala Dental staff treat patients from 2-weeks-old to over 100-years-old. The expansive age range they treat necessitates that they act as an advanced general practice which utilizes numerous cutting-edge technologies.
From fillings and crowns to pre-natal oral health care and implants, De Zavala Dental and the Northwoods Dental Spa deliver the full-spectrum of oral health procedures and lifelong dental care.
“That’s where a partnership is incredibly helpful,” Dr. Blaess said.
In the way of partners, Dr. Blaess was fortunate to cross paths with Dr. Stan Zebrowski. Born and raised in Ukraine, Dr. Stan Zebrowski essentially grew up in the trade as his father was a dentist in Ukraine for 30 years.
“The idea was to combine the concepts of a day spa and dental office” -Dr. Stan Zebrowski
“My dad was a prosthodontic specialist, and since I was a kid I watched him work and I’d always wanted to be a dentist,” Dr. Zebrowski shared.
Dr. Zebrowski went on to complete his dental training in Ukraine in 1997, and shortly after, he moved to the U.S. where he underwent additional schooling at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, which had one of the best dental programs at the time. The benefit, he feels, was that since he had been through dental school in Ukraine already he was able to finesse different skills that he’d wanted to refine.
“The training was a lot better than what I’d had in Ukraine, but having gone through it in Ukraine I knew exactly what I wanted to learn and refine. Dental school here had great hands on training,” Dr. Zebrowski explained.
After graduating in 2003, Dr. Zebrowski began working with Dr. Blaess at her De Zavala Dental practice. Though both are alumnae of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Drs. Blaess and Zebrowski actually befriended one another prior to working together through the Eastern European expatriate community.
“My dad was a prosthodontic specialist, and since I was a kid I watched him work and I’d always wanted to be a dentist” -Dr. Stan Zebrowski
“We have the same background, we speak the same language, and we met through mutual friends,” Dr. Zebrowski said of his meeting with his future business partner, colleague and friend.
One year later, in September of 2004, Drs. Blaess and Zebrowski agreed to partner and open the Northwoods Dental Spa with the mission to provide patients exceptional treatment in a soothing environment.
“The idea was to combine the concepts of a day spa and dental office. In every way possible, we shape our environment so it’s reflective of a spa, rather than a dental office, to comfort patients. We cater to patients’ phobias and focus on alleviating them,” Dr. Zebrowski explained.
In helping patients conquer their fears, Drs. Zebrowski and Blaess utilize sleep dentistry and various relaxation techniques to help them overcome phobias brought about by past traumas.
Alongside their cosmetic and general dentistry services, Dr. Zebrowski and the Northwoods Dental Spa staff offer an array of spa offerings like paraffin hand treatments as a relaxation technique, among many others, and the option for patients to watch movies on virtual reality glasses while getting dental work done. With their array of offerings, the Northwoods Dental Spa and De Zavala Dental office are united in their mission to deliver stellar treatment with state-of- the-art technology.
“We cater to patients’ phobias and focus on alleviating them” -Dr. Stan Zebrowski
Indeed, both locations boast 3-D imaging technology for implants that allows patients to receive one-of- a-kind work. This technology makes patients’ experience a lot easier, Dr. Zebrowski shared. Coupled with this, Dr. Zebrowski is certified for Invisalign, invisible braces, and he’s been trained to use soft tissue lasers.
This dedication to furthering themselves is representative of Drs. Blaess and Zebrowski’s fundamental ideals to offer patients only the best. The partners remain devoted to ensuring the consistency of quality service to continue to provide patients dental treatment that comes from the latest body of knowledge with the cutting-edge technologies.
“It’s changed [dentistry] and you have to change with the times,” Dr. Blaess said passionately regarding continuing education.
Acknowledging this, Dr. Blaess regularly participates in continuing and furthering her education. She regularly attends continuing education courses every year, far beyond the requirements to maintain a dental license. Similarly, Dr. Zebrowski is perpetually furthering his education on numerous aspects of of general and cosmetic dentistry; he also is an active member of the American Dental Association, San Antonio District Dental Society and Texas Dental Association.
With over a decade of experience in treating patients in soothing environments with contemporary technologies and ever-expanding skill sets, Drs. Blaess and Zebrowski will undoubtedly continue their tradition of excellence in caring for the Alamo City for many more decades to come.
For more information on Northwoods Dental Spa visit www.northwoods-dental.com or call 210.495.7800. The Northwoods Dental Spa is located at 18160 Highway 281 North, Suite 104 in San Antonio, TX 78232.
For more information on De Zavala Dental visit www.dezavala-dental.com or call 210.691.1333. De Zavala Dental is located at 5999 De Zavala Road, Suite 122 in San Antonio, TX 78249.