Connie grew up in San Francisco. Based on a high school requirement for a job credit, she happened to knock on the door of a woman dentist and got a job in her dentistry office. She found the field to be interesting and thought dentistry was a great career for a woman.
To enter the field, Connie obtained a graduate degree in biology from San Francisco State University and then completed the requirements for a DDS degree at The University of the Pacific. The DDS program helps future dentists gain clinical confidence. The curriculum focuses on the health and technical aspects of dentistry. The DDS degree prepares one for setting up a dental practice, working as an associate dentist with someone and / or teaching dentistry.
Connie started out as an associate working for two dentists and then partnered with one of them. Now she is learning the business aspects of running a dental practice. Her current job involves common dental activities, such as fillings, crowns, and root canals. After her second child was born, Connie reduced her work week to 3 eight-hour days. She says that dentistry is a great career for women because you can make a good living and have some flexibility.
Her biggest work related challenge is dealing with the mental stress caused by the fact that most people do not like going to the dentist. However, this is in part offset by the enjoyment of relieving patients’ pain and helping them to look better.
To be a successful dental practitioner, Connie has come to appreciate the advantages of having a friendly personality, being a good listener and having both patience and perseverance. Continuing education training to keep up with the latest developments is also important. Using the internet, attending ADA Conventions and ADA Seminars helps her obtain the required 50 units of continuing education every 2 years.
She points out that the new developments in dentistry are centered on cosmetics as patients want to look younger. Veneers, implants and teeth whitening are much more important. But to retain healthy teeth, she recommends daily teeth brushing and flossing plus semi-annual visits to your dentist. Finally, it is beneficial for a child to start visits to the dentist at around 2 years of age.
Aside from her dental practice, she values spending time with her family.