How long have you been an RDH?
I’ve been an RDH since 2007 after I graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago Hygiene program. I’ve practiced and held managerial roles at a general office as well as at my father’s periodontal practice.
What inspired you to be a dental hygienist?
My inspirator to become a dental hygienist was my father, a lifelong periodontist. I went to school for business but knew I belonged in a different sort of office, the dental one. I thrive when connecting and helping patients, which was a staple at my father’s practice. The stories and relationships with these patients are what keeps me putting on the scrubs. As I educate them about oral care or brighten up their smiles, they teach me too. Thus, new hygienists must invest in the patient. It’s never just about oral care. Be present and listen, be mindful of the human aspect because as much as this work is medicinal, it’s also conversational.
What transitioned you into being an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had an itch to create and innovate, be entrepreneurial if you will, within the dental field. Whether it’s assistants or dentists, hygienists or staff, an educational investment encourages a greater dental community. It’s inherent in the nature of medicine to always evolve and learn. Thus, my company, Dental AssistEd, offers continuing education courses for the entire staff. From coronal polishing and pit and fissure sealants to sexual harassment, BLS and opioid training, it’s committed to advancing staff education whilst helping meet their administrative requirements. Also, I recently launched an eco-friendly, all-natural products company which includes bamboo toothbrushes, non-BPA and Teflon dental floss and picks made from corn starch. Check them out at udouproducts.com
What’s the best and worst part of being an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is a continual head spin, but the best part is having a hand in all upstream and downstream processes. But, that’s also the hardest part.