If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I have ever thought about working in a dental office, I probably would have laughed in your face. I never considered the field in all my years of random jobs ranging from: cleaning locker rooms, shampooing hair, taking dry cleaning orders, making appointments at a barber shop or even in my 6+ years in design and marketing. However, after losing my job with an advertising agency in January, all of that changed.
I found a posting for a position within a “Happy Dental Office in Evanston.” They needed someone to handle all of their marketing, design and social media. They would train said person in the amazing world of dentistry. This sounded intriguing. Instead of handling multiple clients, I could design and strategize solely for one. I could concentrate my efforts and join a team of happy people who love what they do. Well, I just couldn’t resist and I applied right away.
Once Stephens Dentistry interviewed and hired me it was crash course learning time. The team guided me with patience and ease, showing me initially just the basics. Do you know they “count” children’s teeth in letters and adults in numbers? Or how about those cavities, also known as carries, do you know they are one of the most transferrable ailments? You can get them from kissing someone with decay in their mouth! Or how about the fact that dental insurance is more like a coupon and the system behind it hasn’t changed since the 50’s! I learned so much so quickly that it was a bit daunting. I never knew so much went in to our regular cleanings and tiny toothaches. Thankfully, I have an office full of experts to guide me through the amount of material I need to learn.
Probably one of the most amazing things I saw in my first few days here, was the CEREC machine. I remember times of having to return to the dentist’s office repeatedly with my mother and siblings because they would need a crown and then it wouldn’t fit or the bite wouldn’t be right. Multiple visits, drives and hours later; you finally had the tooth you want. This amazing machine will image, prep, mill and bake your new crown all in a few hours and it’s almost always a perfect fit. Being from the design world, I can only equate this to my first time seeing a 3D printer. It’s one of those moments we so often have now, “Wow, today’s technology is going to change the world of tomorrow!” It’s this kind of technology and forward thinking that made me so excited to keep learning more in this ever evolving field.
I am still getting accustomed to the 5 surfaces of a tooth and the best way to deal with insurance companies, but this learning experience has taught me so much already about our general health and what a “happy” working environment is. Stephens Dentistry is like a family, they surprise each other with birthday decorations and share advice about owning pets. The team encourages the best kind of attitude with their mission statement that includes lines like: “We believe it’s important to change people’s lives – to have fun – to have lots of time with friends and family,” and so much more. I have also learned that going the 4 years I did without a regular cleaning and exam was detrimental to my health and that the concerns people have about visiting the dentist are almost always caused by media driven fear.
Stephens Dentistry has taught me that coming to the dentist can be fun, and that your dentists and hygienists are your allies. Hopefully, with further training and more time; I can not only offer stellar marketing and design for this team, but also phenomenal care to patients, bringing comfort and ease to people on a daily basis.