The significance of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry Award

October 2, 2015

Women are becoming a notable force in dentistry, and this is why Dental Products Report’s annual recognition of women is an important and worthwhile tradition.

In  2010, 25 percent of all dental school students were female. Today, five years later, females represent more than 50 percent of dental school students. Women dental professionals are not only swelling the ranks of the world’s dentists, they are also achieving equal representation in most industries. As a result, it is not surprising to see more women achieving leadership roles in their respective professions, including positions like president of the ADA and president of the AACD. Women are becoming a notable force in dentistry, and this is why Dental Products Report’s annual recognition of women is an important and worthwhile tradition. 

Being named a top 25 woman in dentistry four years ago was a great honor. Although this award provided industry-wide recognition, it also came with a responsibility. I asked myself, “What did I do to attain the DPR Top 5 women speakers in continuing education, and what do I need to continue to do to substantiate the honor?” When I was informed of this decision, I thought, “Really? Me?”All I had done was say “yes” to every project that had been requested of me. It began at my local chapter of the ADA and then my state constituent of the AGD. I was frustrated with general dentistry and mentored by a TMD specialist who suggested I complete a series of CE courses. 

These courses lead me to the AACD and a long and challenging accreditation journey. I shared my cases with my local study club, and the education continued. I learned much from my colleagues during my presentations because of their questions, challenges and perspectives. A universal question now posed to me after lecturing is “What do I have to do?” My response: “What do all of us have to do?”

Related reading: Dental Products Report's Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2015

1. Constant education and continued mentorship

The concepts presented in a full-day lecture are just a CliffsNotes version of years of education and practice. To accomplish these results, you must enter a more saturated program on the subject you are most interested in. For example, if you desire to hone in on your cosmetic clinical skills and wish to develop a cosmetic practice within your general practice, join the AACD. You must read and study the journals, attend the scientific sessions and take the accreditation track classes. Hands-on programs are key to training your eyes to see what your hands must create. If you are looking for a comprehensive continuum with occlusion and prosthodontics components, the Kois Center curriculum is your choice. I attend the AACD and the Kois Symposium yearly, and I feel both programs, in concert, can fulfill any dental educational requirements.

2. Objectively critique your own clinical work

Through this process, you will strive to continue to improve outcomes by evaluating procedures and techniques.

3. Publish

Give back to the dental community, share your outcomes and teach others through publishing clinical scientific articles.

4. Join organized dentistry

Provide leadership by example and be proactively involved with organized dentistry as both a clinician and patient advocate. 

5. Provide mentorship

Be a role model by enriching the lives of all dentists and providing guidance to those seeking to improve. Help everyone in your path become the best they can be.

I applaud this year’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry. Your peers and the industry recognize your hard work and passion.

Please accept this honor with the pride it deserves, and inspire and educate everyone in your path.