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    Top 25 Women in Dentistry: Susan Maples, DDS

    Susan Maples, DDS, says the women on her staff are a huge contributing factor to her own personal success.

    Susan Maples has been in private practice as a dentist for more than 27 years and through each year and each patient she’s found passion and her niche in the world. She attributes that passion to her leadership mindset as well as her ability to stay engaged and open to new knowledge.

    “I like to be a health advocate for people and look at their overall health as well as their dental health,” she said.

    Her team also has been a huge contributing factor in Maples’ success. She said the women on her team share her values. They care for each other and their patients, and through those shared ideals they were able to develop open relationships with one another, allowing them to communicate openly and create a workplace dynamic that feels like a second family.

    “I have a sign in my office that says, you may be better than me, but you’re not better than my whole team. I believe that,” she said. “I really ride on their shoulders.”

    Though she considers her career to be a blessing, it isn’t without struggle from time to time. Keeping a smile on her face in the midst of personal or professional setbacks is sometimes a challenge. “For example, we had a flood a year ago that wiped out our entire building, and I had to come in every day pretending life was beautiful--my team needed that,” she recalled. “It was a $200,000 loss which was huge. When times are rough it’s hard to be that person responsible for keeping the positive energy.”

    As a dentist she feels she doesn’t fit the “typical mold” because she is more creative than logical. As such, she’s fostered a practice that is conducive to developing creative ideas and allows people a unique experience in dentistry. Her children’s Hands-on Learning Lab is just one example.

    “At this point in my career, I feel like the more complex the case the better because it’s so much fun to put all my learning and experience together,” she said. There are so many different ways I’m looking at expanding the scope of what we do because dentistry is unfolding as quickly as my brain can handle it.

    The advice that’s helped her most came from her father who told her to surround herself with good people and always add fun and laughter to your work.

    Maples sees dentistry moving in a direction that considers whole body health as well as optimal oral health and she’s hoping to have her hand in that change by collaborating with other dentists and physicians to share her knowledge as well as learn from them