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Dental Hygienist Spotlight: Lisa S.

Posted Jun 21st, 2023 in 2023, spotlights, the wire

We're shining the spotlight on Lisa S., Registered Dental Hygienist at Sturgeon Creek Dental in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We discuss an inspiring patient story, how dentalcorp has connected her to a new hygiene community, and the importance of learning from our mistakes. 

Tell us about your career path and what drew you to your role as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) with Sturgeon Creek Dental?

Growing up, I was immersed in dental because my mom was a dental assistant. I always said I wanted to do what my mom did for a living, but she suggested I look into dental hygiene instead. Once I did, I locked in on the idea at a very young age — and here I am years later! 

What experiences stand out so far in your career?

A patient of mine was extremely nervous when she first came to our office. It's not that unusual, but as I tipped her back in the chair, she started to cry. I sat her up and asked what I could do to make her more comfortable. She told me that she hadn’t been to a dentist in years because of her fear and some health issues. With patience and reassurance, she decided to proceed with the appointment. Since then, her entire family also joined our clinic. They trust us and visit us regularly, even during the pandemic when many were afraid to go to the dentist. It is important to remember that every patient is different.
What is one of your favourite oral care tips you like to share with your patients? 

I always tell patients to gradually work on improving their oral health because changes take time. What works for one person won't necessarily work for another.

What do you think is a common dental myth? 

Bleaching will harm your teeth. We educate our patients as much as possible on this. Also, many patients think that using a whitening toothpaste will help, but I always advise patients that to change the colour of their teeth, they need prolonged contact with a whitening agent and a tooth.
What advice would you give a new student enrolled in a dental hygiene program? 

I’ve been mentoring dental hygiene students through the Manitoba Dental Hygienists Association. They graduate from dental hygiene school and are qualified hygienists, but I tell them it takes years of experience to hone their technique and become the clinician they set out to be.

What are some dentalcorp resources, continuing education courses, or services that have helped you to stay at the forefront of oral care?

As hygienists, dentalcorp helps us remain consistent and provides us with a big community. The resources and the continuing education available are helpful. Joining the dentalcorp network has provided a broader RDH community for me to connect with across Canada.

What's your favourite quote, mantra, or motto, and how does it resonate in your professional career?

It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, learn from them, and don't make the same mistake twice.