This week, we spoke with Benjamin B. Klayman, DMD, FAGD, of Red Bank Smiles Family Dentistry.
An Interest Becomes a Passion
Soon after graduating from Drew University with a degree in neuroscience, Ben Klayman found himself at a crossroads.
He had done well in his undergraduate work in neuroscience and had enjoyed it so much that he had gone on to begin a Ph.D. program in neuroscience at Rutgers. But he increasingly felt drawn more to health care than to scientific research itself. Working with people rather than in secluded laboratories was what appealed to him. He had an uncle in dentistry and decided to pick his brain about the profession. Realizing that dentistry could offer him everything he was seeking, Klayman applied to dental school and never looked back.
After several years of arduous study, he graduated from the New Jersey Dental School in 2012. He completed his post-graduate residency at Monmouth Medical Center, where he was trained under some of the best general dentists and dental specialists in the area. He is currently working on his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, which is an advanced degree requiring 500 hours of continuing education.
Private Practice
Following his residency, Klayman purchased a practice from another dentist in August 2014. He notes his good fortune in having been able to find a practice that was so close to the area he loved and where he had grown up. Following in the steps of his predecessor, Klayman set to work on carving out his own identity as an expert caregiver with an all-encompassing approach. He explained that this January marked a critical turning point in realizing that identity.
As the sole dentist for the practice and owner of the practice, Klayman has two very distinct roles: patient care and everything else that a business entails.
He credits his key to success as coming from a focus on the golden rule. “The most important thing we learned [at CBA] is do unto others,” said Klayman in a phone interview. “In a healthcare setting, you have no choice but to do your best.”
Klayman explains that this commitment extends into every aspect of how he delivers care and runs his practice. “Either you’re going to do the best thing for other people or you’re not. The things we do are the best. We buy the best, we make the best; there’s no other choice.”
And while the prospect of business ownership may seem like a goal in itself, Klayman has a more important motivation. “I get to help more people and heal more people,” he said. “That’s the goal…that’s the cool part.”
Hopes to Accomplish
With a few years in the driver’s seat, Klayman is intent on continuing to raise the bar for what his practice can deliver and what the Red Bank community can expect. In a few years time, he hopes to grow the practice to a point where he can open a second facility.
All the while, Klayman is keen on increasing his skills and never settling in terms of his continuing education. It’s this tenacity that has made him one of the youngest dentists in the country to receive a Fellowship in the Academy of Dentistry, a distinction given each year to less than 6 percent of dentists worldwide.
Additionally, he has embarked on a curriculum of learning at the esteemed Pankey Institute and the Clinical Mastery Series, where he is learning from world-class dentists.
He notes that a daily goal remains: trying to be one percent better everyday, in being a better person, employer and caregiver.
What He Misses Most
With his practice in Red Bank, Klayman is never too far from the CBA community. He has been able to share his passion with Academy men, speaking to students in this year’s Scholars Program earlier this school year. From his days as a student, he misses the exciting awareness of the world around them that only Academy men know — as high school students not yet in “the real world,” but inspired and empowered by the wide range of opportunities their education brings to them.
Likewise, he misses the camaraderie that comes from a living and learning community like CBA. “It’s all young men, growing up and living together. There’s a certain joviality to that.” He values the life lessons he learned at CBA, including how to prioritize, how to accept failure, and how to be a life-long learner.
How CBA Prepared Him
Recalling his time at dental school, Klayman acknowledges just how important the entire CBA experience was to his success. The focus on education of the whole person, through academics, extracurricular activities and opportunities to grow faith enabled him to tackle the arduous days of all-day classwork and all-night studying. “It’s mind, body and spirit,” said Klayman. “Not just mind, not just body, and not just spirit.”
The Next Alumni Spotlight!
The response has been great thus far for submissions, but we are still accepting nominations throughout the year. Know of an alumnus who’s recently had a major career/life accomplishment, or who’s doing something great in his industry, at his school or in the community? Contact Vincent Ferrer, associate director, marketing & communications by email [] or ext. 222 and nominate him!