Dr. Alan Robbins of Timberville recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a local dentist. (Photo by Katie King / DN-R)
On Sept. 17, Dr. Alan Robbins received a surprise from his wife and office staff. In honor of his dental office’s 25th anniversary, he was treated to balloons and lunch at a restaurant in Harrisonburg.
Robbins said he enjoyed the outing, and is grateful to the town of Timberville for the opportunity to work as their dentist.
“It’s just a wonderful community to be in,” he remarked. “I’m appreciative of the support the community has given me over 25 years.”
For Robbins, becoming a dentist was a natural choice.
“As a young person, I was always interested in science and I enjoyed using my hands,” he said. “It seemed like a good combination.”
After earning his dental degree from the Medical College of Virginia, now known as Virginia Commonwealth University, he started his career with the United States Army. Robbins, who had just gotten married, was soon stationed in Hawaii.
“It was really nice, we were newlyweds … we kind of had a three year honeymoon in Hawaii,” he recalled.
While the couple enjoyed the islands, after three years, Robbins was ready to depart the military and start up a private practice. Although he acknowledges having a private practice is “more hectic” and involves “more pressure,” he enjoys being his own boss.
Wanting to return to his native Virginia, he settled on Timberville and hasn’t looked back.
“It’s a great place to raise a family,” says Robbins, whose youngest son graduated last spring.
While Robbins loves living in the Valley, he warns locals that he’s seeing some upsetting dental trends in the area.
“I’ve begun seeing more young people with rapid tooth decay,” he remarked, adding that the condition is especially on the rise among children without access to a fluorinated water supply.
He suspects the popularity of sugary beverages may be a cause, and encourages Valley locals to drink soda in “moderation.”
He especially cautions soda lovers against sipping.
“Drink it with a meal — don’t sip on it for a long time,” he advised. “That does continuous damage.”
In addition to running his business, Robbins takes time to give back to the community by volunteering at the Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic about six times a year.
“About a dozen dentists in the community rotate,” he said. “[Those who receive services] are very appreciative.”
Once a year, Robbins hits the road and takes his dental services to the Bland Ministry Center and Dental Clinic in Bland.
“My family roots are from southwestern Virginia, so I have particular bond to that part of the state,” he said.
According to Robbins, the area is economically depressed, and suffers from poor dental and physical health.
Though parts of the experience are saddening, he enjoys doing what he can to help, and says he can provide more “comprehensive care” at the center than at the free clinic.
“It’s definitely a rewarding experience.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.