I'm currently a 3rd-year dental student at Loma Linda University.
I started as a dental assistant, in a high school work program. The vivid memory of walking into the dental office, the instruments, the chairs, the smells, and most of all the people. I knew very early on that I wanted to serve people through the skill of dentistry. I completed my bachelor's degree from the University of Texas-San Antonio in Biology (2011). In anticipation of attending dental school, I joined a Dental Laboratory Technician program at San Antonio College. I applied to dental school a couple of times but was unsuccessful. I started working for a private practice as a duo assistant and tech. I LOVED the experience, and wish I could go back sometimes, but it also felt like a dead end. One day I got a call from ClearCorrect, asking to see if I would come for an interview. Oh boy, what a blessing that was for me! I took the plunge and joined ClearCorrect's diagnostic team. As one of the newest members of the team, I learned they were looking for a supervisor for my department. I took another leap and became a supervisor of the diagnostics department. Another experience I LOVED every moment of!
I still felt incomplete after several years of working. I debated what my next step should be, should I continue to grow in a company that is at the forefront of dentistry, or should I go back to clinical care. I reached out to our spiritual guru to seek advice over this turmoil. His advice led me to clinical care. Not realizing that I had been out of school for 5 years, I took a leap to finish the prerequisites for dental hygiene.
I applied to Loma Linda University and was soon accepted, but denied from the bridge program because my course work was too old. I completed my first quarter and still had an itch to inquire about the bridge program. I requested a re-review, and was accepted into the bridge program! Here I am now! SOOO many life lessons, so many opportunities, so many avenues! It was not always easy and I haven't always been so positive about it BUT I wouldn't trade these experiences for the world!!
My biggest advice I can give to pre-dental students: if you truly believe this is your passion— DON’T GIVE UP! Stick with it, let my story be an inspiration. It is possible, you can do this! It may be a longer journey than you may have expected but it will be well worth following what you are passionate about. Some more advice to pre-dental students is to make absolutely sure this is what you want to do! Take on more shadowing hours, get your dental assisting license, and be more hands-on! Trust me, the more you know about dentistry, the less you will question pursuing it. My last piece of advice and what most people don’t say out loud: work on the hand skills before you get into dental school. We’re working in a MICROscopic world, millimeters, your hand skills should also be at that level. Take on more tasks and hobbies that use hand dexterity.
Hope all of this really helps, wishing each and every one of you a successful journey in dentistry!!