By Meredith Knight
There was recently a graduation ceremony at the office of Dr. Karen Williamson. It was after hours, and none of the patients knew it was happening. Dr. Williamson had just completed yet another field of study, this time in forensic dentistry. She could not attend graduation with her class, and her team would not let the occasion pass without acknowledging their boss’s latest accomplishment.
“One of my hygienists gave me the sweetest note,” Dr. Williamson said. “In it, she told me what an inspiration I am by constantly seeking further education. It means so much to me to know I’m motivating my team to keep growing and learning.”
Continuing education is actually one of the things that drew Dr. Williamson to a career in dentistry. Far above that which is required for all dentists, she has continually sought to embrace new technologies and techniques and further her dental education, even recently completing a 13-month forensic dentistry fellowship.
“I flew to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville once a month to complete the fellowship and won’t receive board certification for at least five more years,” she said. “But now I’m able to volunteer with the Tarrant, Collin, and Dallas County morgues to use dental knowledge to help the medical examiners. It’s different from anything I do in my daily practice, but it’s a field that has always interested me.”
Dr. Williamson and her hygienists are also in the process of completing a five-month course in myofunctional therapy. “We’re learning to identify tongue tethers, oral habits, and bite issues in patients that can profoundly affect their speech, sleep apnea, breathing, and cause headaches and neck pain,” she said. All of these things are intimately tied into the teeth and jaws and greatly affect the dental care of her patients.
Dr. Williamson says of her ardent pursuit of further education, “I think lifelong learning is what keeps you young and keeps life interesting. Every day my patients teach me something new. I go home with my pockets full of post-it notes about books and movies they recommend and topics they introduce that I want to research. I have a patient who brings in her amazing cross-stitch she’s completed. Another is learning a foreign language in her 80’s. Talking to them gives me an appetite for learning more. Everyone you meet has something to teach you.”
Dr. Karen Williamson has provided a dental home to the families of Greater Rockwall for 30 years, a practice that just keeps improving with the latest and best technology and know-how, and she’s excited about making it even better.
Visit KarenWilliamsonDDS.com for more information about Dr. Williamson, her team, and the services they offer.
560 West Ralph Hall Parkway, Suite 104
Rockwall, Texas 75032