WESTPORT — Lindsay Gadzik’s friend was called away from their dinner to treat a dental emergency. A teenager had multiple teeth knocked out by a goal post while playing soccer. Gadzik agreed to tag along and assist.

Through that experience, Gadzik, then a Boston-based professional working in asset management, witnessed “firsthand what a dentist can do for a family.

“There was dental trauma, the parents were a little hysterical and this teenager walked out with a temporary result, but better than where they were,” Gadzik said.

It was that transformative moment that spurred the Westport native, after six years of working in consulting and asset management, to go to Harvard University to satisfy the post-baccalaureate requirements needed for admittance to a dental school program. Following the two-year program at Harvard, Gadzik started her dental education at Columbia University in 2012.

Gadzik, who as a child occupied the dental patient chairs at 22 Imperial Ave., has returned to the same location to begin working as a dentist this month. Gadzik was a patient of Dr. Adam Freeman at Westport Dental Associates, and his father, Dr. Stanley Freeman, was one of her instructors at Columbia.

“I actually like coming to the dentist. This is where I got my fillings when I was a kid, so it’s really familiar to me and kind of ironic that I’m back here,” Gadzik said.

Her fully operational practice, Adult and Pediatric Dental Care of Westport, takes all dental insurances, including state-sponsored HUSKY insurance. It will be operating under the umbrella of Westport Dental Associates, which recently moved to Riverside Avenue.

To start, Adult and Pediatric Dental Care will seek to serve the insurance-based population and people who otherwise may not have local dental options based on their insurance provider.

“Basically, we don’t want to turn anybody away because they don’t have ‘the right insurance,’ ” Gadzik said. “We want to take any patient who has insurance and build our practice that way.”

“The thinking is that not a lot of providers are taking HUSKY in this area, so it’s not just Westport, it’s surrounding towns. There’s definitely a need,” Gadzik said. “There’s a little bit of a disconnect. Just because you have the state insurance doesn’t mean you can see somebody locally, and that’s what we’re trying to address here.”

The 1999 Staples graduate is looking forward to clients she will serve for years to come.

“(In dentistry) you can have a patient that comes in for life. Regardless of what’s going on in the economy, they’ll usually still be your patient,” Gadzik said. “You can see people grow, you see them get married, and you become part of people’s families.”

@chrismmarquette / cmarquette@bcnnew.com