Top 25 Women in Dentistry: Andrea Hegedus, CDT

September 26, 2012

Andrea Hegedus is a certified dental technician and owner of Great Lakes Smile Design Studio of Muskegon. She recently received the award for second place in best Digital Documentation at the 34th International Dental Show in Germany.

Andrea Hegedus is a certified dental technician and owner of Great Lakes Smile Design Studio of Muskegon. She recently received the award for second place in best Digital Documentation at the 34th International Dental Show in Germany.

Being a young and successful woman, Hegedus has had to make a lot of difficult decisions concerning her life and her career, but she attributes each success she’s made to her strong focus and ambition.

“It comes across as being selfish, but you’re really not, you’re really advancing yourself so you can help people in the long run,” she said. “You have to focus on that part of you, and getting your education and getting started.”

Hegedus said being a dental technician takes a lot of self-discipline simply because there is a lot of independent studying and learning. You have to be able to work outside the classroom, she said, because you won’t get the experience you need to be successful from in-class time alone.

She gets her work ethic from her grandparents. Her grandmother was a professional seamstress who made window treatments for people’s home, and her grandfather was a carpenter and window designer for department stores; before the big printer they use today, he would hand paint all the window advertisements and signs.

“My grandpa used to say, ‘you can’t be scared to put enough paint on your paint brush in order to make a straight line,’ ” she said. “Every time I’m working I think about that, you can’t be afraid of using up what you have in order to complete what you want to do.”

Today, Hegedus helps her patients by designing their smiles, but that path wasn’t always the most clear to her. She began her journey with a concentration based in another area, but as she began working she realized she was really good at designing smiles and that’s when her career began to flourish.

“Sometimes it takes a while for you to accept you are really good,” she said. “You have been given a gift to create and this is where you are supposed to be.”

Hegedus works side-by-side with her father and three other family members in their dental office, and that’s where she learns most and finds the most happiness.

“If I did not have the modeling of my grandparents and support of my parents telling me I was good at making people’s smiles, I would not have continued on being a technician,” she said. “Like any artist, you are your own worst critic and it takes a long time to develop your skill with confidence. I have spent many, many late nights in my lab-networking, reading and taking an abundance of courses. Only then have I been able to perfect the right steps for my cases to come out successful.”

Hegedus hopes to mentor more students and one day produce videos that detail the procedures she performs in hopes of giving students a more in-depth education.