When Dentistry is a Family Affair

Five New Jersey families share their stories of working and living together.

Kevin Lehnes with his wife, Stephanie Rossy, and sister-in-law Danielle Rossy, left. Photo by Scott Jones


Danielle & Stephanie Rossy, sisters
Pediatric Dentistry

Kevin Lehnes, husband of Stephanie

OFFICES: Randolph and Newton (Kevin only)

FAMILY FACTS: Danielle and Stephanie co-own Rossy Pediatric Dentistry, but they’re not the only ones with a sibling in the field. Stephanie’s husband, Kevin, has a twin brother, Greg Lehnes, who is a dentist in Voorhees. Kevin and Stephanie met at Stephanie’s orientation for dental school at UMDNJ (now Rutgers), where Kevin was also studying dentistry. His crush was immediate. Stephanie and Kevin live in Randolph with their four children, ages six and under. Danielle and her husband, George Mazpule, a surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center, live in Denville. They have a 2-year-old and another baby on the way.

Danielle and Stephanie, how did you get into dentistry?

Stephanie: It was her idea, but I stole it. Danielle and I shared a room growing up. I’m four years older, but Danielle started running around at age two saying she wanted to be a dentist. As we grew up, I thought, That’s a good idea! But since I’m older, I got to do it first. I always knew I wanted to work with children, and I loved the pediatric dental rotations in school. So when Danielle got into dental school, I was like, “You have to check this out.” She loved it also. That’s how we both wound up in pediatric dentistry.

What is your working relationship like?

Stephanie: We love it. I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else. It’s fun—you’re doing what you love with people you love.
Danielle: Our relationship engenders that family vibe in our office. We’ve found that everyone feels like family—the office staff, everybody.
Stephanie: And that’s our big thing with our patients. In this day and age, you get to know your hygienist. The dentist comes in and counts your teeth and says, “Goodbye”! People are really responsive to us spending time with them and treating them like they’re in a family place.

Stephanie and Kevin, do you bring your work home with you?

Kevin: Our dinner conversation is very boring. The funny thing is we have a large number of patients in common, and the patients we see in the practice are people we interact with in the community. They’re people we’ll see at gymnastics or at birthday parties. A lot of times, it boils down to what happened in someone’s mouth that day.
Stephanie: It’s fun to have other people to talk to who understand your quirkiness. Like, if I see a crazy thing at work, and I was to call somebody else and say, “I saw this molar that was wild,” they would be like, “What?” But if I say it to Danielle and Kevin, they’re like, “Really? Show me a picture!” We actually learn a lot from each other that way.

Do you differ in the way you interact with your patients?

Danielle: The big difference is that when Steph sings, kids love it. If I sing, they start to cry.

Photo by Scott Jones


Lauren & John Archible, wife & husband

OFFICES: Phillipsburg and Annandale

FAMILY FACTS: John and Lauren met as dental students at the former UMDNJ (now Rutgers) 16 years ago, then did a general dentistry residency together before taking turns going back to school to learn their specialty, root canals. When they started to practice together in Phillipsburg in 2015—Annandale came a year later—the community had high expectations: Lauren’s father, Bruce Jiorle, was an orthodontist in the same building. He recently retired after more than 30 years of straightening teeth. 

How does working together affect your marriage?

Lauren: We work together only one day a week in Phillipsburg, so we’re not together all the time. For the most part, it’s been really good, because we have a built-in support system, and we feed off each other’s strengths. Like, if we have any questions about any cases we’re working on, we talk about it. Four eyes are better than two. And in terms of running the practice, he sees my strengths and I see his strengths, and we put them together. 

How would you characterize those strengths and weaknesses? 

John: Lauren’s strength is that she really puts people at ease. She talks to them in depth about everything under the sun before she even worries about the tooth. She’s friends with the person by the time she starts working. Me, I’m more direct. I get down to business. Besides doing root canals, I’m pretty good at the management side. 

Do you feel the need to pursue separate hobbies for space?

Lauren: We have an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, so our social life is geared mostly toward them and whatever activities they have going on. But we have the same interests. We both enjoy going to Long Beach Island in the summer—that’s where John is from—and we have the same friends.
John: Everybody needs balance in their life between the person that they love and their business partner, but I’ve got both in one person. That makes my life really simple. We hang out with each other and make each other laugh.  

Do you talk about work at home? 

Lauren: We’re definitely able to compartmentalize those things. Work doesn’t really carry over. If it does, we put the kibosh on it and move on. But when the extended family is together, teeth can come up. My dad’s an orthodontist, and my younger brother is an endodontist in Washington, D.C.
John: Her dad is a legend in Phillipsburg. Everybody who comes in asks her, “Are you Bruce’s daughter?” And they’ll say to me, “Are you Bruce’s son-in-law?” It’s helped with familiarity. 

Would you recommend working together to other couples? 

Lauren: Yes. One of the great things about it is, we’re able to do stuff with the kids and still have coverage at the office. Like, I can be a chaperone on a field trip while John is with patients. Or if there’s a snow day, they can come to the office. It’s a huge benefit.

Photo by Scott Jones


George Papasikos, father

Jacy Papasikos & Arianna Papasikos, siblings

OFFICES: Montclair (all) and Bedminster (George only)

FAMILY FACTS: Arianna and Jacy grew up in Morristown in a tooth-conscious family. Their mother, Corinne, is a dental hygienist and educator; she works in George’s Bedminster office. Arianna is three years older than Jacy. George has been practicing 35 years, Arianna, 7, and Jacy, 6. Jacy’s wife, Samantha, is the office manager in Montclair.

Jacy and Arianna, how did your father influence your decision to get into dentistry?

Jacy: We grew up going to my father’s office, and I have great memories of spending time in that environment. I always had an interest in the field. And then as far as lifestyle, we had a father who was able to spend time with us, because he set his own hours.
Arianna: And he seemed to enjoy what he did.

George, did you encourage them?

George: I was very happy they made the choices they did. There’s a great mix of work and home and education in what we do.

Jacy and Arianna, you decided to study orthodontia. How does that work in the office?

Arianna: Not going into the same specialty my father chose was more challenging. But it’s been advantageous in terms of caring for patients.
Jacy: Oftentimes, patients have two different issues to treat, and it’s easy for us and for the patient to communicate between the different fields.

Do you all keep up with dental technology? Or maybe one of you introduces the others to the latest gizmos?

George: We have cone-beam scans, but Jacy and Arianna do a little more scanning than I do, because there are more patients in orthodontia who need scanning.
Jacy: But I would say for someone of his age….
George: Careful!
Jacy: I would say that he has kind of set the bar for us. He takes continuing education classes more than anyone I know. You’d think he’d reach a plateau, but he’s actually always bringing new techniques into the office.

Do you make a point of seeing each other outside the office?

Arianna: I have two kids under the age of two, and Jacy is expecting twins. So we have a lot to juggle outside of work. But in that respect, working together benefits us because one of us can keep the office open when the other can’t.
George: We took a family vacation to Greece a few years ago. We closed the office for that.

What is the benefit to patients, if any, of coming to a dental practice run by doctors who are family?

Jacy: We’re constantly communicating with each other. But maybe more important is that we’re so invested in our practice. Each of our names is on the door. It’s our family name.
Arianna: We’re in this long-term.

Are there ever sibling squabbles?

George: There’s only one challenge for me as a parent having siblings in the office, and that is I have to remember at work that they’re not my children, they’re highly trained professionals. At the beginning, when someone mentioned they needed orthodontic work, I would say, ‘Oh, you can see my children for that!’ There was always a big laugh. They’re not my children, but my colleagues.

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