At the age of 8 I played tennis, enjoyed spending time with my family, attended business events with my Dad, embraced the idea of helping others, and not only enjoyed learning in the classroom but also from my parents. My exposure to the field of dentistry began at the age of 8 when I underwent gingival graft surgery around my lower incisors. It was a frightening experience, however, one that first opened my eyes to healthcare. Today, at the age of 21, I am a rising senior in college, an intern at Benco Dental, and a predental student, excited to be applying to dental schools this summer.
Initially when I entered college I was torn between pursuing a field in business or following a more science-oriented track. Ever since I was little I was enthralled by the idea of running my own business, which is why in eighth grade I personally invested in a tennis racket stringing machine and created my own tennis stringing business called, “Lesavoy Strings for Less,” which still exists to this day. However, when I began my orthodontic treatment with a dental professional who was genuinely interested in my life and who took the time to educate me on my treatment plan, my previous interests in healthcare resurfaced and eventually transformed into a genuine fascination with the dental profession.
What sparked my interest in the dental field was my desire to provide care and to do something meaningful for the people with whom I interact. From a practical sense, the hands-on and artistic aspects of dentistry are also very appealing to me. Additionally, the idea of giving people confidence in the form of a smile is something that I truly value.
As I shadowed more dental professionals and experienced some of the different aspects of dentistry (like the volunteer and business aspects of dentistry for example), my interest in learning more about the dental field intensified my desire to be the one providing dental care to my own patients. The thing I most value about dentistry is the meaningful relationships I have observed between the several dental professionals I have shadowed and their patients. Through their role, dentists have the unique ability to develop these relationships with their patients over an extended period of time, to build friendships, and to positively influence the lives of the people with whom they interact every day.
While the dentists I have shadowed and the clinics that I have volunteered at have deeply influenced me, my internship at Benco Dental proves to be yet another guiding force in my pursuit of dentistry. So far I have learned so much about the services that Benco Dental provides, the give back programs that it supports, and the programs—like The Lucy Hobbs Project—that Benco Dental creates. Sitting in on meetings and hearing the sincerity in the voices of the Benco team-members as they discuss the purpose of The Lucy Hobbs Project, their goals with the project, and their upcoming events has truly impacted me. Lucy Hobbs became the first licensed female dentist in 1866, and while her perseverance and passion continues to impact females in dentistry, Lucy Hobbs has also broadened my perspective and inspires me to overcome the obstacles that I’m sure to confront in dental school and beyond.
Little has changed for me since I was 8-years-old. I still enjoy playing tennis, cherish the time I get to spend with my family, embrace the idea that learning does not only come from the classroom, but also from the world and people around me and still have an unwavering passion to improve the lives of those around me. Though my path to dentistry began 13 years ago with periodontal surgery, I continue to pursue a life in dentistry with more enthusiasm, passion, dedication, and drive than ever before.