Interview with SmileAward winner Dr Barbara Sobczak

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Interview with SmileAward winner Dr Barbara Sobczak

Dr Barbara Sobczak (left) in her practice in Poland. (Image: Barbara Sobczak)

Thu. 31. March 2022

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Every day, thousands of dental professionals across the globe use Straumann products to give patients the confidence to smile again, to laugh freely with friends and to eat the foods they love. Straumann’s mission is to change people’s lives by giving smiles back. But whereas Straumann produces dental implants and everything related to them, it’s not the implants that change lives—it’s the dental professional who does. To highlight this fact, Straumann launched the SmileAward contest in 2021. Dr Barbara Sobczak was one of the ten winners of this first edition. In this interview, she speaks about what motivated her to participate and what an experience the SmileAward has been for her and for her patient.

Evaluation of the scanned data. (Image: Barbara Sobczak)

Dr Sobczak, what motivated you to participate in the 2021 SmileAward?
I was invited to take part in the competition by Dr Fabio Cozzolino, co-founder of Zerodonto. However, I had already considered participating for two reasons. The first reason was that I wanted to show my treatment protocol—the Sobczak Concept in combination with Straumann Pro Arch—to a greater number of dentists. The second reason was that I wanted to take part in a worldwide competition for dentists, as such a competition gives you a feeling of unity with your colleagues and allows you to see how they are managing their patients. During the competition, on the one hand I had the feeling that I absolutely wanted to win, but on the other hand I had favourites and was keeping my fingers crossed for them.

What did you like most about the contest?
I liked this great union of dentists. Eventually we started writing to one another to share our appreciation of one another’s work and videos and how touched we were by certain patient stories. This competition reminds us that we do our work not only in terms of craftsmanship but also for specific people, our patients. Most dental content on social media is about showing the outcome of procedures. This competition is about the state of the art and emotions, and that’s what makes it so special and engaging.

“This competition reminds us that we do our work not only in terms of craftsmanship but also for specific people, our patients”

What did you obtain beyond the prize?
I believe that I obtained more visibility. My patients were proud of my achievement and so were my teams at the clinics. I was happy that the Straumann team was open and understanding and allowed me to change my prize to materials with which I can perform a pro bono case and change the life of a particular patient. I will be happy to share that case soon. But besides that, I just had a great time and really enjoyed the contest.

Documentation of the final result. (Image: Barbara Sobczak)

For this year’s contest you will be a part of the jury. How does that make you feel?
I am honoured to be a part of the jury. The SmileAward is very important, and I take my position on the jury very seriously because I know exactly how it feels to participate. I am really looking forward to the great adventure of learning about inspiring cases from all over the world.

Where do you see the link between the purposes of both the contest and your profession?
Working as an implantologist is all about giving our patients the best treatment. That’s why, in addition to planning and performing surgeries on a daily basis, I love to attend courses and symposia. This is a very necessary inspiration for my work. This contest enables us to be both inspired and motivated by our colleagues.

“[My patient] cannot imagine going back to the time when she could not eat freely and smile”

What impact did the competition have on your patient’s life?
My patient was very proud to take part in this contest. Now, after the surgery, she is very happy. She says that she divides her life into two parts: before the surgery with the Sobczak Concept with Straumann Pro Arch and after. She cannot imagine going back to the time when she could not eat freely and smile.

Editorial note:

Dr Barbara Sobczak graduated from Warsaw Medical University in Poland in 2007 and Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 2017. She owns three different clinics in Poland: Dr Sobczak Klinika Radość, Dr Sobczak Klinika Babice and Dr Sobczak Junior Wilanów.

More information on the SmileAward can be found at www.straumann.com.

Contest SmileAward

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