Top 25 Women in Dentistry: Susan Hollar, DDS

September 13, 2012

Susan Hollar is a cosmetic dentist who also serves as visiting faculty with the Pankey Institute and Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. She believes cosmetic dentistry is a field that requires active continuing education, and any young woman looking for a career in the field should always be seeking higher levels of education.

Susan Hollar is a cosmetic dentist who also serves as visiting faculty with the Pankey Institute and Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. She believes cosmetic dentistry is a field that requires active continuing education, and any young woman looking for a career in the field should always be seeking higher levels of education.

“I would encourage her to learn how the teeth fit together in the mouth, and to learn to develop an artistic eye,” she said.

This advice comes from direct personal experience on Hollar’s part. She attended the Pankey Institute herself and developed an eye for esthetics and the shapes and forms of the teeth.

“Every individual tooth is like a tiny sculpture, and if it doesn’t look real then the smile doesn’t look real,” she said. “So you have to develop your artistic eye, and the only way to develop that is to take hands-on courses.”

Communication is key to helping patients grasp the importance of dental health as well as the need for preventive dentistry, she said. Her biggest passion is working with patients whose chief concern is the esthetics of their smile. She works with these patients through a procedure called the trial smile, where she sits down with a patient and analyzes every aspect of his or her smile. Then she designs and creates a different smile in front of the patient.

“We show them a before and after on the screen, and patients get so excited and motivated to continue the process, and it’s like magic when it’s done correctly,” she said.

To Hollar, having stability in her life has been very important. Between having a family, a career, a personal life and taking care of her own needs physically, emotionally as well as spiritually, the only way to be happy and healthy, she said, is to find that balance and maintain it.

“It’s the cross of life, and in the cross you balance work, play, family and worship,” she said. “I think we tend to either go in one direction or the other instead of balance. I think I’m in that balance where you’re not a workaholic but you still love your work and you’re still able to hold yourself and your family together.”

The best part of her work is making people feel good about themselves and helping them feel confident to smile, she said.

In the future, Hollar is looking forward to getting more involved in teaching so she can make an even larger impact on patients and the dental profession.