Why I Became a Dental Hygienist (and would again!)

Sometimes it takes something major to cause you to reevaluate every aspect of your life. For all the challenges and disruption the pandemic has brought, it has also forced us to take stock and re-evaluate what is important. For me, it has rekindled and renewed my love for the dental community and helped me re-identify with the reasons I got into dental hygiene in the first place––to care for others and be in community with those who share that same passion. 

The Moment I Knew I Wanted to be in Dental Hygiene

When I was just eight years old, I went soaring over my bike handles and faceplanted into a parked car. It knocked out my permanent tooth and fractured my upper anterior. I was obviously terrified, but after care from an ace ER team, Dr. Busch from Gainesville, Georgia, I wasn’t scared anymore. They were able to implant tooth #8 back into my mouth after it had been knocked out for hours.

That bike accident, and my subsequent care, was a powerful and pivotal moment in my life that solidified my intention to provide that same care and comfort to others. The team did amazing work – the tooth they re-implanted lasted 18 years! They also did good work – they made me feel safe and cared for. I knew, through this profession, I could help others to not feel scared, afraid, self-conscious, or anxious. Our work has the power to change lives for the better. It certainly changed mine.

Finding Your Purpose and Passion in Dentistry

So many people are feeling anxious and afraid these days. Though I now spend most of my time running DentalPost, I set an intention to get back to temping in the dental office at a time when many offices were struggling to find hygiene help amid Covid-19 concerns. It feels great to work alongside others who share the same confidence that we, as dental professionals, play an integral role in preventing infection spread. We must convey this to our patients! They need us now more than ever. 

I miss seeing patients regularly and helping make a difference in their lives. That’s why when I hear someone complain about the profession, my heart sinks. I know they haven’t yet found their purpose in dentistry. Sometimes, it takes some off-roading to uncover it. And that’s what DentalPost aims to do – to get you on the “just right” path and in the “just right” place. When you find the right people, those who share your beliefs and values, it turns a “job” into a calling with a higher purpose. 

Taking Stock: Make Sure You’re in the Right Place. 

If this pandemic has you questioning your profession, I implore you to search within yourself and reconnect to that original thing that drove you to dental patient care in the first place. 

Not all offices are created equal. If you find yourself questioning your career choice, it’s possible that it’s not the dental profession. It could be the office you practice in and the people leading it or those you work alongside. 

Take advantage of our free assessments on Core Values, and Workplace Culture to assure that you are in the right place, with the right people who will help keep you in alignment with your greater purpose.  

Celebrating Dental Hygiene

I’m forever grateful for the accident that set me on my path in the dental profession, and the journey that has followed. I get to live my dream by helping my colleagues in the field find jobs or build dream teams, ultimately helping them pay the bills, buy the car they want, or go on that dream vacation. 

This month I celebrate you, my dental hygiene family, and all the teams, offices, and patients whose lives we all touch. Let us join together, uniting our passion and purposes to build a better dental community than we have ever known before. 

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January 20, 2021