Why did you begin a career in dental hygiene?
I began my career in dentistry 15 years ago as a dental assistant. After becoming a dental hygienist, I realized that even though I loved clinical work, it was not the best fit for me on a full-time basis. Why? Because I’m constantly asking “Why?” I’m always looking for ways to improve the system, to become more efficient, and to make things better. I quickly became unsatisfied with traditional clinical dentistry.
I also have the unique experience of having worked in four different states and temping in hundreds of practices. This experience, along with my desire to make change, helped me take a step back and see the gaps in dentistry—as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and inefficiencies.
Today, I wear many hats. I’m an influencer, advisor, consultant, writer, speaker, and clinician. My overarching goal is to make the dental experience better for both providers and patients. At this moment, things such as teledentistry, mobile dentistry, direct access/independent dental hygiene services, and workplace wellness top the list of things that can, and will, improve our industry.
The future of dentistry looks drastically different than dentistry as we know it, and the thing is, the future is already here!
Years in dental hygiene: 11 years
Are you still practicing clinical dental hygiene?
Yes, though I’m mostly out of the operatory right now because I have young children, but I temp for many types of dental practices!