Bonded for Life
Dr. Robbin Cramer’s skill, expertise and passion for creating healthy, stunning smiles has reaped a growing list of longtime patients
by Bill Donahue

Years ago Karen Harvey’s family decided to relocate from northern New Jersey to Blue Bell in the heart of Montgomery County. After getting settled and taking care of all the immediate needs a family has amid such a jarring transition, she started her search for a local dentist whose skill and compassion could equal that of her last dentist on the outskirts of Manhattan.

Thanks to her daughter’s daycare teacher, who referred her to Robbin L. Cramer, D.M.D., Harvey found such a person—and then some.

“Dr. Cramer is unmatched in terms of thoroughness, friendliness and knowledge,” Harvey says. “I’ve been going to her primarily for teeth cleanings, but she can do anything. I once had a situation where I chipped a tooth, and she immediately saw me and resolved it. Her work is superb, and she surrounds herself with the best team you can find.”

It has been nearly 20 years ago since Harvey, as well as her husband and daughter, first started seeing Dr. Cramer at her office in Blue Bell. Even though Harvey works in Philadelphia and her family has since moved to the Fort Washington area, she has not once considered changing dentists. Doing so, she suggests, would be tantamount to sacrificing excellence for a matter of simple convenience.

Dr. Cramer, who earned her dentistry degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has been providing general and cosmetic dentistry services to a growing crop of patients since 1984. General dentistry services include cleanings, dentures, implants, nonsurgical gum treatments and pediatric dentistry. On the cosmetic side, she specializes in porcelain veneers, crowns and implants, and teeth whitening, among other “smile makeover” services.

“When I first entered the field of dentistry, there were not many women in the field, so I felt like a pioneer,” says Dr. Cramer, whose practice recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary. “I always wanted to be in the medical profession, and as a dentist I get to relate to people one on one instead of once in a lifetime, like you see in other areas [of medicine].

“As a woman,” she continues, “I care very much about the way people look when they leave; when they step out my door, they are a reflection of me and my commitment to their oral health and happiness. Aesthetics are of the utmost importance. I also think people recognize me as being gentler because I’m a woman, and I’m very compassionate regarding people’s fears and concerns.”

Dr. Cramer excels at calming patients through her deft technique and highly skilled team of hygienists and support staff. Cutting-edge technology such as quieter, quicker and more dexterous drills, as well as computer-crafted porcelain crowns, has further improved the patient experience.

“If someone comes in with a broken tooth, in most cases we can fix that in one visit,” she says. “With some dentists, implants and crowns will be drawn out over months, but we can give it to you in a day if you need it. No matter what it is, if there is something wrong with your smile or if there is something you don’t like about it, I can change it. That’s why I’m here.”

Solving Problems
Dr. Cramer maintains a full schedule as the sole dentist in her practice, yet she still finds time to find other ways to help others, including teaching the next generation of dentists. Currently she works at Temple University as a clinical instructor, coaching dentistry students while they work on patients in real-life situations.

There is nothing Dr. Cramer hasn’t seen, no patient she cannot help—whether in her office or through a network of first-class referring specialists. She remembers one patient who had been so traumatized by her childhood dentist that every time she walked into a dentist’s office she would sob uncontrollably. In fact, any sound that reminded the patient of a dentist’s drill would conjure the same effect. Then she came to see Dr. Cramer.

“She couldn’t even sit in the waiting room without crying,” Dr. Cramer recalls. “I’ve been seeing her for 20 years, and when she comes in now she’s fine. She can actually laugh about it at this point, but I hear a lot of stories like that. Some people just think it’s going to hurt, and I always tell people nothing I do has to hurt. Dentistry is different today; going to the dentist should be something to smile about.

“Sure, some people are scared to go to the dentist,” she continues, “but they just have to get themselves here and we’ll care of the rest. Some of those patients have been here since they were kids, and now they’re bringing in their kids.”

Another frazzled patient came in recently, crying for a different reason altogether.

“Every other dentist she had gone to was telling her she needed $25,000 worth of dental work,” Dr. Cramer says. “This was a single mom, and she didn’t need that much work—or if even she did, she certainly could have had it done in steps rather than all at once.

“I tell all my patients, ‘Do what you can; we can go as fast or as slow as you want,’” she continues. “If it’s a busy executive, they might want to do everything in a few visits. We also use CareCredit [health care financing] for people who want work done quickly but pay for it in installments. What it comes down to this: We work with people to help them get where they need to be.”

Best of Both Worlds
Dr. Cramer worries that some patients will not “get where they need to be” if they do not find an office such as hers, which takes into account each patient’s individual needs both emotionally and financially. Considering recent medical research tying poor oral hygiene—specifically, periodontal disease—to potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer, the value of a healthy mouth is practically priceless.

Regardless of a patient’s needs or situation, Dr. Cramer personalizes each person’s care in terms of her approach to proper oral care. Also, she’s quick to point out that a healthy, beautiful smile does not necessarily require a big commitment of time. In most cases, for example, she is able to provide a patient with a new tooth within one day.

“People come here to get dental work done with confidence, and they won’t have to spend 14 visits reaching their goals,” says Dr. Cramer. “Today it seems you have either a factory setting with 10 dentists where you never see the same dentist twice, or you have so-called boutique dentists. We offer the best of both worlds: individual and caring treatment while being very efficient and sensitive to each patient needs.

Patients describe the office as “spa like,” complete with a soothing waiting room featuring a serene saltwater aquarium, where patients can enjoy snacks and coffee before or after appointments. Furthermore, patients tend to see familiar faces in the form of other longtime patients and Dr. Cramer’s staff members, some of which have been working alongside her for more than two decades.

For longtime patient Karen Harvey, Dr. Cramer’s practice’s can be summed up by recounting her daughter’s experience—from 20 years ago till now.

“For a child, going to the dentist is generally not a fun thing, but my daughter never had any fears,” she says. “My daughter is now 24, and she, my husband and I both say it’s almost like we enjoy going to the dentist. Dr. Cramer is so passionate about what she does. My sense is that she has many longtime patients, and it’s easy to see why.”

Robbin L. Cramer, D.M.D.
978 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Phone: 610-272-0404