Dental Products Report's Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2015
Dr. Yasmi Crystal
Dr. Yasmi Crystal has performed a vast array of duties throughout her career in dentistry. From research to pediatric dentistry, she is proud to continue learning and growing even today. As the daughter of a dentist, Crystal has always been excited by science, and that love led her to become a practicing clinician for the last 20 years.
“It is really, really wonderful as a pediatric dentist to be able to help parents solve problems for their children,” she said.
After working as a clinician for a time, Crystal decided she had enough experience to go into academics, and, today, she serves as a professor at NYU where she teaches post-doctoral classes to students who are already dentists and are interested in becoming specialists.
“My passion is to try to translate all the latest scientific findings into things that the clinician can do to try to deliver the best possible care for their patients,” she said. “I like to do that not only with my residents in the university but also try to turn science into practice on the committee of scientific affairs for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.”
Crystal believes that many times in the dental industry expert opinion is valued over scientific findings, and to provide top-notch patient car, this needs to be turned around.
“To mention one instance: We deal with dental caries as if we’re filling a hole in a tooth when really we should be looking at it as a chronic disease, and we need to pay more attention to the whole patient and what’s going on with that patient,” she noted.
Crystal strives to expose her residents to every new technology available to them, because she believes that technology and its use is what continues to move dentistry forward and deliver better health and outcomes to patients.
“My biggest satisfaction is to be able to introduce concepts, either with my students or with my patients or other doctors, that can help solve clinical problems for patients who can get very little other help,” she said. “When I have patients who are too young or too sick or have special needs, sometimes they have a very hard time finding somebody to answer their questions or to help them solve their problems. My favorite part is when I get the challenge of solving a problem.”
Dr. Crystal faces challenges within each role she fulfills. The biggest is in dealing with inequalities in health care. Her hope is to one day be able to provide the same level of care to every child in need, regardless of their insurance or finances.
“It’s a challenge to take a step into reality and realize there are some children who have access to the best doctors and the best care, and there are some other children that do not have that luck,” she said.