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Dental Hygienist Spotlight: Laura C.

Posted Mar 20th, 2023 in spotlights, the wire

We're shining the spotlight on Laura C., Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) at Smile Dental Centre in London, Ontario. Laura tells us about experiences that have shaped her long career as an RDH, how teaching is a process that develops over time, and the importance of connecting with patients on a personal level. 

Tell us about your career path and what drew you to your role as an RDH with Smile Dental Centre 

My father owned a successful and highly respected dental practice in Woodstock for over 40 years, and I worked in the office in the summer. His dental hygienist was kind, caring, and professional and guided me to this gratifying career. 

What experiences stand out so far in your career? 

I've been a Dental Hygienist for 36 years, and I worked at Oakridge Dentistry for 34 years. Later on, Dr. Garakani purchased the practice, which became Smile Dental Centre, and we recently joined dentalcorp. Dr. Garakani was committed to our ongoing education, both personally and professionally. We had many exciting team-building experiences, and I'll forever treasure her generosity and commitment to excellence for her team and patients. A family of patients recently moved from London to Victoria. The mother told me she was grateful that I helped her overcome her deep-seated dental fears and would take this confidence to her new dental office. It reminded me that we achieve more if we take the time to connect personally with our patients.
What is one of your favourite oral care tips you like to share with your patients? 

Oral care is essential to your daily self-care routine. A healthy mouth is a big part of a healthy body. Do not rush your brush and floss the ones you want to keep.

How do you teach patients about the importance of oral care? 

I actively listen to their comments and concerns, share my findings, and relate them to any systemic health issues they may have. When patients have a clear understanding, they are more successful in carrying out a sustainable home care routine.

What do you think is a common dental myth? 

People are surprised that a tooth with a crown can become decayed. I remind them that it needs the same care as every other tooth in their mouth to protect their investment. 
What advice would you give a new student enrolled in a dental hygiene program? 

Students should always remember why they chose the dental industry. We're here to help people achieve and maintain optimum health. By building relationships and trust, we can better engage with our patients.

What is the best advice or guidance you have ever received, and how do you apply it in your personal life?

I have been fortunate to work with exceptional dental professionals throughout my career. But the person who impacted me most was the Practice Principal at Oakridge Dentistry, who led by outstanding example. He was the ultimate professional with empathy, humour, and skill. He told me that each person we see is much more than the teeth they bring to us – a whole person is connected to those roots. I keep this core value with every new and long-term patient I see.