Danielle is the March Clinical Recognition Program honoree.

RDH Clinical Recognition Program winner: Danielle Lambersky, RDH

March 15, 2024
For more than 20 years, Danielle Lambersky was a professional makeup artist. She credits this experience with helping her become the dental hygienist she is today. 

Each month, the RDH Clinical Recognition Program, sponsored by Water Pik, Inc., features a dental hygiene clinician who goes the extra mile in their job to change their patients’ lives, influence their patients’ health, and make a daily difference. Here we honor Danielle Lambersky, RDH.

Blending art and patient care

Danielle Lambersky, RDH, did not begin her working life as a dental hygienist. For more than 20 years she has been a professional makeup artist, and she credits this experience with helping her become the dental hygienist she is today. 

“There is so much crossover between being a makeup artist and being a dental hygienist,” Danielle says. “I have an exceptional eye for detail, compassion, empathy, and an excellent chairside manner. My approach is different because of my years of experience working with people one on one, making them feel comfortable and at ease, boosting their confidence, and helping them to feel supported. 

“Part of being an artist and an RDH is educating, showing, and teaching. Because of my unique background, I feel I can explain things in such a way that my patients understand, and they become an active part of their plan of care,” she continues. “They know that we’re a team with the common goal of health.” 

Making patients happy and healthy

Danielle completed her hygiene schooling in 2017. Since then, she has been helping patients stay healthy with her clinical skills and ability to motivate. She also brings joy to her operatory with her positivity and ability to evoke laughter. 

“I love teaching patients and motivating them to not only improve their oral hygiene but also their overall health. I love when they come in excited to show me how great they’re doing. I love changing their perception of dentistry,” she says. “I love when I help a patient who was phobic now feel comfortable. I feel at the heart of all of this is the rapport and relationships I build with my patients. They trust me, they learn from me, they follow my advice, and they get results. My patients enjoy coming to the office to have me as their hygienist.”

Success stories

When asked what story signifies her clinical success and confirms her professional choice, Danielle has difficulty choosing just one. She remembers the SRP patient with whom she worked to get all healthy probe depths in under a year. Then there’s the patient who was extremely sensitive, with bleeding tissues and poor home care, who took Danielle’s recommendations to heart and was so thrilled when they came back to show her their complete resolution of symptoms.

“One of my patients recently shared with my dentist that she used to hate coming to the office, so much so that she wanted to reduce her visits to once a year or less,” Danielle says. “She said she never dreamed that she would look forward to coming in, let alone having a good time, laughing, and actually seeing a difference in her teeth, but now she comes to the office every four months to see me ... I truly care about my patients, and I feel they know it’s genuine.”

Professional guidance for new graduates

Learn not to take things personally. “This was a big one for me. Patients will communicate fear in different ways, and the dental environment can elicit these feelings in many patients. Be patient, be kind, and be understanding,” she says. “If a patient comes in with an attitude and seems to be directing those feelings toward you, it’s important to understand that it probably has nothing to do with you or your skill. 

“Do a lot of listening," she adds. "This aids in communication, customizing treatment and recommendations, and building rapport. That will lead to better compliance and relationships.

“There are always opportunities to learn from every experience, so stay open-minded...I have learned from seasoned hygienists, new hygienists, assistants, dentists, front office staff, patients, and a lot from being a makeup artist and providing client service. 

“Remember to prioritize ergonomics, so you can work a long and successful career, and keep your back and neck healthy. Wear loupes, practice good posture, and a saddle stool is a must!”

Connect with Danielle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielle.lambersky

Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2024 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.