From the Mouth

A Blog From Naper Dental Center

Blog - Meet Dr. Erica Zolnierczyk

Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Erica Zolnierczyk. So, I’m the “new kid on the block” - yes, that was totally intentional since they were my favorite when I was a kid! - but really I have been at Naper Dental Center for almost TWO Years already. Time flies when you’re having fun! I figured since most patients probably don’t know my whole life story yet - I’d share a bit about myself via “From The Mouth.”

First the dental stuff: I was introduced to the dental world via my Mom. She works at Loyola University Medical Center’s Oral Health Center and although I always wanted to go into the medical field, she unknowingly (maybe) directed me into the dental side of health. I became a dental assistant in a General Dentist’s office while I was in college and then still assisted on my Summer breaks from Dental School at an Oral Surgeon’s office. The experience was invaluable. I spent four great years at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine learning and making lifelong friendships. I eventually moved back to the area where I grew up and after a few years of figuring out where I wanted to be, luck would have it that I ended up at Naper Dental Sleep Center, as a patient. I eventually started working a day or two at Naper Dental Center once Dr. Planer got to know me and then we moved onto full time and here I am! I love the practice, the patients and the staff and can’t wait to see everyone and get to know you all better.

Now on to the fun stuff!

My family means the world to me and we get together whenever all of our busy schedules allow. My Mom is a wonderful lady, who raised me and my brother, Adam, and here we are at my brother’s wedding:

I am married to a wonderful guy named, Paul, who I’ve known for literally half my life and gave me that wonderful last name that is virtually impossible to pronounce on the first try. Although he does a bunch of awesome stuff, like makes phone apps, he cooks me dinner pretty much every night and I can’t thank him enough for that one! We love to travel and although some might think we’re crazy for it: we love Disney!

We also have two fur-children, Jameson, an English Bulldog, and Mini, a French Bulldog who are hilarious and make ridiculous noises and like to be lap-dogs. Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with their names...

I really LOVE to go snowboarding during the winter and although I’m not the best, I have improved and it's a great workout and I get to spend a lot of time with some of my favorite people while doing it: my husband, my brother & his wife, who was my best friend first, and my cousins and friends! Here is a great picture of last years’ "Cousins Trip."

And when it’s warm outside I like to workout in my garage gym doing Olympic style lifting or just general weight training with the barbell. I used to do CrossFit and still get that type of workout in every once in awhile, but trying to get to the “box” was a little difficult after a while, so we outfitted our gym so we could stay strong and still be able to cook healthy meals during the workweek!

As you might have guessed, we watch a little Hockey in our house. Paul used to listen to the Hawks on AM radio with his Dad, so we watch all the games we can. And my personal favorite player is Duncan Keith #2, especially after he took that puck to the mouth and I dubbed him "No Teeth Keith."

Other than those few outdoor things, I really do love my A/C and the indoors. I love to read novels if given the chance, but would rather be knitting if I’m sitting in one spot. My family has come to expect knitted Christmas presents and I’ve even gone so far as to make my own label! A bit crazy, I know, but it’s that unexpected extra touch that makes it that much more special! This past year I would say my greatest accomplishment was the mermaid tail blanket that I made for my niece. It was a labor of love and I only took on small projects after that but it was amazing after it was done and I love making people happy with things I’ve created! And I guess that’s probably why I ended up in the dental field - hands on work and making people happy!

I hope this gives everyone a little peak into who Dr. Erica really is and once again, I look forward to getting to meet you, if I haven’t already, and getting to know each and every one of you better if we have already met!

-Dr. Erica Zolnierczyk

*Unfortunately, our beloved English Bulldog, Jameson, has recently passed due to a heart tumor. It was very unexpected and we are deeply saddened, but Mini is doing well and keeping us laughing with her crazy antics.