Dr. Ashley Brown '06
Orthodontics made all the difference in Ashley Brown’s life – it not only changed her smile but it inspired her career in dentistry.
“Going through orthodontic treatment during my teen years gave me a tremendous confidence boost,” says the 2006 McDaniel alumna and dentist with RZ Dental Group in Marriottsville, Md. “From that moment I knew I wanted to pursue dentistry and make others feel better about their smiles.”
Brown shadowed her family dentist during the summers and became intrigued by dentistry’s unique blend of art, science and engineering. As high school came to a close, she earned an academic scholarship to McDaniel and left her home in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the fall of 2002 to become a member of the first entering class of what was now McDaniel College.
"McDaniel taught me to think critically, and this helped me tremendously at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, This helped me to excel, graduating in the top 5 percent of my class." - Dr. Ashley Brown '06
Her sights set on a future in dentistry, Brown majored in Biology and was a member of Tri-Beta, the Biology honor society. She also joined the Dance Team and counts performances at half time of home football games among her favorite McDaniel memories. More often than not, she could be found in one of her favorite spots on campus – the private study rooms on the lower level of Hoover Library away from distractions.
“McDaniel taught me to think critically, and this helped me tremendously at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry,” says Brown, whose love of science was fostered by now retired Biology professors Bill Long and Esther Iglich. “This critical thinking helped me to excel, graduating in the top 5 percent of my class.
“Even now, I have to use the analysis and evaluation of many conditions on a daily basis to come to a diagnosis.”
Her passion for dentistry remains, even after nine years of practice. The female-run RZ was voted Best Dental Practice in Howard County in 2019.
“The most gratifying part of my career is having the ability to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain and making them feel better,” she says. “It’s also heartwarming when you can transform a person’s smile and completely change the way they see themselves for the better.
“To see a patient cry tears of joy because of something you were able to remedy is one of the best feelings in the world.”
Brown’s advice to McDaniel students who want to pursue dentistry as a career is to take some business courses as an undergraduate, since there’s no time during the four years of dental school to learn the business side of being a dentist. Study hard, she says, and take all the prerequisites to ace the Dental Admissions Test, which gets more competitive each year.
“Working on your manual dexterity will be extremely helpful,” says Brown, who loves flowers and finds time to plant a bunch every spring along with traveling, reading, listening to music and spending time with family and pets. “During training, dental students must gain the ability to work with precision on an extremely small scale – and that takes practice!”
About Dr. Brown