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It could be said that Dr. Yan Razdolsky was destined for a career in dentistry. With a father, aunt and cousin who were dentists, it came as no shock to his family when he- and later, his younger brother- entered the dental field.
“I guess you could say I grew up in the field,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “It’s contagious.”
Since the late 1980s, Dr. Razdolsky has steadily left his mark on the orthodontic field through innovate treatment, a series of patents and hundreds of instructional lectures to fellow orthodontists from around the world.
The most appealing aspect of orthodontics is the gratification he feels at the end of each day.
“You’re really changing people’s lives with orthodontic treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “A smile is a first impression, and you never get a second chance at a first impression.”
Dr. Razdolsky takes pride in knowing his patients will carry that signature for the rest of their lives. And appointments when those braces come off are big events.
"You're really changing people's lives with orthodontic treatment."
“That makes it all worthwhile,” he says.
Born in Moscow, Russia, Dr. Razdolsky immigrated to the United States as a teenager with his family in search of political asylum. It was February 1977, and Dr. Razdolsky had just graduated high school.
The Razdolskys moved to Chicago to be near family who also had emigrated from Russia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Illinois. Afterward, he was accepted to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, which he graduated from in 1985.
While in dental school, Dr. Razdolsky took some orthodontic courses, which really spoke to him- perhaps due to his engineering background. Orthodontics allowed him to apply his knowledge of mechanics, physics and forces.
By 1987, he had earned a graduate degree in orthodontics. Dr. Razdolsky went on to work for a very famous orthodontist on the west side of Chicago.
“Prior to working there, I didn’t think that many of the procedures he was using were even possible,” Dr. Razdolsky recalls. “I spent six months there and learned more than I had in two years of orthodontic residency.”
Dr. Razdolsky recalls seeing his mentor use a variety of innovative techniques from Europe.
“Only years later did I understand how great he was,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “It takes years of continuing education courses just to learn those techniques, and I got to see them on real patients.”
Many of those techniques considered innovative back then are mainstream today. That inspired Dr. Razdolsky to develop his own techniques. He held five patents on orthodontic techniques in the 1990s.
Dr. Razdolsky is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. His professional affiliations include the American and European Associations of Orthodontists, World Federation of Orthodontists, the Midwestern and Illinois State Societies of Orthodontists, the American Dental Society, the Illinois and Chicago Dental Societies, Academy of General Dentistry, and the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.
In his spare time, Dr. Razdolsky enjoys swimming, traveling and the outdoors. He and his wife, Anna, have four children- two boys and two girls- and it appears as though the string of dental field careers will continue. Their son Laniel is attending dental school at UIC, while their daughter Elizabeth is working on a Ph.D. in oral biology at UIC Dental School. Their son Ricky is in school at the University of Iowa, and their daughter Marjey is in high school.