Rdh Advisory Board August 2023

RDH Advisory Board spotlight: Marianne Dryer, Amber Lovatos, Ryan Rutar

Aug. 16, 2023
Meet three members of the RDH Advisory Board. Each member brings a unique perspective and expertise to our publications. Their responsibilities include peer review, content development, and connecting with the best experts.

Marianne Dryer, MEd, RDH

What is your focus for 2023?

My focus for 2023 is to bring students on Cape Cod into the mainstream by exposing them to the profession. We get bogged down in the curriculum and forget to show students what it really means to be a registered dental hygienist. I also want to connect with more of my colleagues in the collegiate sense to add to the profession where I can. My passion is discussing and presenting the AAP Classification system in usable context. I think the communication piece of this system is phenomenal and joins the medical/dental community together in a new way. I hope to continue to spread this message in a way that reaches more students and educators to pass on to the next generation of periodontal therapists.

What is your “why” behind your passion for dental hygiene?

My “why” has become clearly defined as an educator. What an honor it is to mentor and shape the lives/professional development of our future dental hygienists. I am privileged to be a dental hygiene director, and wow, what a blast! To be connected in the industry and bring new technologies, ideas, and events to the program is very gratifying. I know my “why” intimately and am lucky to enjoy going to work every day! 

Amber Lovatos, MAADH, BSDH, RDH

What is your “why” behind your passion for dental hygiene?

My parents are my “why.” Everything I do is driven by my desire to not take for granted the sacrifices my parents made in coming to this country. They immigrated to the United States to ensure that I would have the education and opportunities they did not have. Every patient I serve and every hygienist I mentor is a direct impact of the selflessness of my parents. The work I do is not just for me but for my ancestors, for the women who did not have the same opportunities I have.

What was your greatest moment when you knew you chose the right profession?

When I organized my first community outreach event, I realized that I could bring care to people like me—people who did not have access to oral health care. Although I suffered severe consequences from not having access to dental care, it has also fueled my career and desire to serve my community. I have participated in organizing over 40 community outreach initiatives for individuals with limited access to dental care. Through portable hygiene, I provide care to low-income and uninsured individuals in rural Texas. I have also coauthored Smiles Por Vida, a not-for-profit Spanglish children’s dental book. I also help organize community outreach events throughout the United States through the Closing America’s Smile Gap campaign.

Read last month's RDH Advisory Board spotlight: Carol Jahn, Sarah Lawrence, Bethany Montoya

Ryan Rutar, MAM, BS, BA, RDH

What has been your hardest lesson?

The hardest lesson I have had to learn is to calm the battle within myself. We let fear control a lot of what we do. Even now, I’m debating on whether to get out there more than I do, and if I’m worthy to do so. Impostor syndrome is real, and it’s a huge bully. I work around it by connecting with people in the profession who also go through this, or I speak with friends and family. Never try to do it alone when others are there to help you. Another hard lesson is asking for help! It’s not easy but we all need to do it.

Why would you choose dental hygiene all over again?

Dental hygiene has opened up so many more doors than I could have ever imagined. One can stay in their operatory and never venture out. However, if you desire more, then get out there and meet people. A lot of the time we think that things are just going to fall into our lap, and that is not the case. If you want to know how to do something, know where to go, or just be a part of something, then get out there and ask. There are lots of people out there who will help and allow you to grow in your profession. This is why I would choose dental hygiene again!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the August 2023 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.