…a conversation with Dr. Jillian Gordon, Associate with dentalcorp
October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and for our Associate Spotlight we sat down with Dr. Jillian Gordon from Village Orthodontics. Jill tells us about what inspired her to pursue a career in orthodontics in the first place, and what it is that keeps her and her patients smiling their greatest smiles, day in and day out.
Tell us a little bit about your journey into dentistry?
When I was in high school, my dentist was amazing. She loved her job and it showed. Her passion and dedication were an inspiration to me, and from that point on, I knew I wanted to work in dentistry. I even wrote in the high school yearbook at graduation that I wanted to become a dentist. I hope I too can be an inspiration to young people.
What are the factors that influenced you to specialize in orthodontics?
During dental school, I was intrigued by the subject of orthodontics. Planning someone’s final orthodontic outcome is like solving a puzzle, where you make the most of the patient’s teeth and then use your skills to influence their movement toward the final desired result. I love to think that way - I'm a planner in all parts of my life.
What do you find most rewarding about practicing dentistry, and ortho in particular?
There are two really rewarding parts of someone's orthodontic journey. The first is when the patient starts to notice their teeth getting straighter, and they get excited that it’s working. The second is when the treatment is complete and they see the final product, and they love it even more!
What does excellence in patient care mean to you?
Having the privilege to treat people orthodontically is so special - I value the trust that we earn, and I take that very seriously. When a patient sends a family member or a friend to get my opinion on their teeth, that is such a compliment, and it reassures me that I am doing the job people expect. I treat people how I would want to be treated myself. We have great conversations and I learn so much from my patients.
Of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of? What do you plan to accomplish next?
I am proud of the relationships I’ve built with our patients and their families, our team members, our dental community and beyond. I intend to keep that up and develop deeper relationships at each opportunity. Hopefully during my career, I will have the opportunity to treat more than two generations of families.
How has the pandemic impacted you, professionally and personally?
When we first returned to the office after being closed due to the pandemic, I felt very comfortable and ready to welcome our patients back. In orthodontics we are lucky to be able to perform many of our duties without generating aerosols, so we could provide the continuity of care that many patients really needed. We were sometimes the only reason that patients left their house other than for groceries, so they were super excited to see us, and also eager to keep working on their smiles...it was a nice feeling! An interesting and unexpected side benefit to widespread mask-wearing was that people were suddenly eager to get braces, as most of the time their teeth (and the braces) were covered by masks. That’s been an interesting twist and very helpful to our industry. As for me personally, being away from patients for that extended period during lockdown made our family slow down and we definitely appreciated the time we were able to spend together...and I got a lot of gardening done too!
What advice do you have for emerging dentists?
I will never forget some advice from Dr. Dorothy McComb, professor and former head of the restorative department at the University of Toronto: just work hard every day, treat your patients with respect, and the rest will fall into place.