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    Meet the Dental Products Report Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

    Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to introduce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.

     

    Dr. Maria Maranga

    Dr. Maria MarangaCategory: Dentist

    Twelve years ago Dr. Maria Maranga was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she did not let it take her life or her ambition. Dr. Maranga beat cancer and came back stronger and fiercer than ever. Today, she is an educator, an endodontist, a wife and mother, and an activist in the breast cancer community. She believes that each role has helped to define her and make her better as an overall practitioner and citizen.

    “A survivor is always busy; you were chosen to be saved for a reason and sometimes you just don’t understand why,” she says.

    Within her career, she believes it is of the utmost importance to educate and re-educate herself on the most up-to-date techniques, to harness them and implement them slowly in order to constantly hone her expertise. This is a trait she works to instill in the students she mentors—especially females, who may be at a disadvantage right out of the gate.

    “Females represent less than 10 percent of all dental school deans and our medical counterparts are also only slightly higher as deans and department chairs. As a specialist, many vendors still ignore women at dental conventions and choose to overlook our potential business,” Dr. Maranga says. “Women are now 50-55 percent of the freshmen class of most U.S. dental schools. That in itself is a big game-changer. In the beginning of my leadership roles, women and diverse groups had to wait longer to be promoted, but not anymore.”

    Dr. Maranga comes from a family that strongly encouraged hard work and earning what you get in life. Her mother and father were not college-educated, but she believes that their work ethic took them further than any degree could have. She works hard to emulate that attitude, especially as a woman in a male-dominated field. She has persevered and pursued every leadership opportunity she could, she has made sure she is educated and stays up to date with current technologies, and she has learned to ask for help and never takes “no” as a final answer.

    “When I struggled at times with being singled out as a female, my dad would point to my mom and say, ‘Look at her, she doesn’t get upset over the baby things. Get up and find another way to fit in.’ He may not have used the word ‘adapt,’ but that concept became my cornerstone forever,” she shares. “I adapted my style to whatever needed to be done to keep moving forward.”

    To Dr. Maranga, to innovate is to adapt on the go. Whether she’s working with a patient or helping someone endure the trials of breast cancer, she is constantly working to adapt and understand in the face of new knowledge, technology or unfamiliarity.

    “I think that the innovation I represent has to do with your own self as a human being,” she said. “I adapt and come up with new and exciting ways to be original, encourage others and provide a sounding board for many. I use innovative ways to teach by taking a problem, applying sound biology coupled with the latest techniques, add a dash of common sense and run with it.”

     

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