Technology impacting the future

I believe technology today has definitely impacted the future and especially in my career of dentistry. The new kinds of technology has enhanced the quality of dental work and easies patient’s discomfort. Social media has also played a key role in free marketing and dentists have been taking full advantage of it. When I went to get my x-ray license at school, we were taught how to develop each x-ray shot we took and the process of developing these x-rays would take 15-20 minutes.

Today, in almost all dental practices, when digital x-rays are taken, it shows up immediately on the computer screen for quicker diagnoses. This lessens the time patients have to wait in the chair and allows them to go about their day. In addition to x-rays, I have had the privilege of working as a dental assistant for a dentist who used a cerec machine. The cerec machine allowed the dentist to create the crown for a crown prep that same day. This makes for a quicker procedure and the patient does not need to come back after 2 weeks to receive his/her crown.

The cerec machine only takes a few minutes to create the crown as well. As a dental assistant, I would notice all of the technology that has developed since the beginning stages of dentistry, from the amalgamator, autoclave, drills, touch screen and all of the other devices that has made dentistry where it is today. When I recently had my wisdom tooth removed, I had a CT scan performed to develop a radiograph of my entire skull and all of the nerves that aligns with my jaw.

My wisdom tooth removal was a special case, in that the tooth was sitting on top of my facial nerve. This particular radiograph allowed the oral surgeon to determine the best way of removing the wisdom tooth because if there was a slight mistake, I could lose function of the lower part of my jaw. The CT scan did wonders in allowing me to have a seamless procedure. In the near future, I do not see technology-replacing dentists, only because dentists are able to adapt to different scenarios and dentists are also compassionate and patient health clinicians. Dentists do have the patient’s best interest in mind, when diagnosing and treating.

I also see most offices going paperless in the more modern dental practices. Technology and dentistry has been fascinating to observe and I only expect more types of technologies to ease patient’s discomfort. 

I also believe social media has been a huge leap forward in free marketing of dental practices. Dentists are able to post pictures of their practice, before and after cosmetic procedures, as well as technological advances to help ease the worries of patients, who are scared to go to the dentist.

I believe in today’s generation, yelp and Google have played huge roles in identifying great dentists in the area. This is based on people’s reviews and from my own personal experience of using amazon, I tend to purchase items that have the best reviews, for the sake of having to try products I am not familiar with. Instagram for example has played a huge free marketing tool that dentists can utilize.

Dentists post pictures of there practice, employees, before and after shots, as well as they can post videos that last a couple seconds. This can bring about a vibrant and entertaining page that can draw lots of traction from people all over the world. It is fascinating to see dentists have thousands of followers on instagram. These thousands of followers are potential patients. Instagram also allows you to post videos that can show up on your story as well. Stories are videos that anybody can see for up to 24 hours and after those 24 hours the stories disappear, unless you decide to save them.

Facebook also allows you to create a personal page for your practice. People are able to write reviews, they can send you direct messages, but also see posts and videos you want to share. These types of free social media is what revolutionizes dentistry in today’s age. In the near future, I see technology always improving, starting from light cures, impression material, more precise hand pieces, loupes and everything else. 

When I was five, I remember spending time watching my father build my first aircraft model. I watched him cut, paste and paint the meticulously. My father lovingly shared his passion with me as we built planes together. Since then, I followed my father in sharing his hobbies. Whether it was sketching, playing musical instruments, or building model airplanes, my father fostered discipline and perseverance as I honed my hand dexterity.

These are my most cherished moments now that he is gone. My dad suffered from diabetes and due to poor oral hygiene had lost all his teeth. Dentures however gave him new life so visible when he smiled. It is this memory that still motivates me to pursue dentistry in hopes of changing others’ lives by giving them the ability to smile.

In addition to being competent at diagnosing and treating patients, compassion is critical for a clinician. Growing up I witnessed my mom as a caretaker in both her job and at home and I too was draw to patient care of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease; this experience has helped me to develop patience and empathy towards others who cannot care for themselves. I understand more fully that as a future dentist it is important to identify and treat discomfort with skill but also to provide care with compassion to each patient.

During the time I shadowed Dr. Abello, I learned how successful dentists care for their patient’s oral health as well as their physical and emotional well-being. She modeled the dentist I hope to become by combining quality clinical care with compassion and patience. The way she genuinely listened to her patients’ concerns and kindly addressed each one with reassurance earned her their trust and soothed their worries. Most of all, her respect towards each patient and her readiness to help others truly showed when she developed personalized treatment plans for each patient. Dr. Abello understood that each patient was different and offered treatment options that best fit their needs. Like Dr. Abello, I want to become the kind of dentist who dedicates my time to serving others with compassion and humility by always having the patient’s best interest in mind.

Knowing my strong desire to become a dentist and that my academic credentials were weak, I enrolled in Boston University’s Oral Health Sciences Master’s Program to strengthen my credentials for the rigor and challenges of dental school. Even though my path to dentistry has not been traditional, I now feel prepared. Obtaining my Master’s has given me the confidence and the skills necessary to succeed in dental school and allowed me to learn more about the systemic effects connecting oral and systemic health. Having lost my father to diabetic complications, I know that as a future dentist I can better educate others on the importance of maintaining oral health.

As a practitioner, it is vital to provide the utmost care when treating patients, and more importantly, to be able to connect with patients to gain their trust and respect. Dental school will provide me with the scientific foundation to better the oral health of those in need while also allowing me to achieve my dream of creating life-changing smiles. If given the privilege to study and train to become a dentist, I will work diligently to serve my community by educating people on the importance of maintaining oral health. I also know that through my skilled hands and my passion for patient care I will help to create smiles that change people’s quality of life.

My father passed away when I was 15 years old and I had to work to help provide for my family and my grades suffered as a result. I was unmotivated and when I went to community college, I had to learn from my mistakes through trial and error. I decided to pursue dentistry at the age of 21 and I transferred to UCI, where I obtained my BS in Public Health Sciences. At UCI, I lacked the science foundation most of the other students had. It was here where I was also diagnosed as pre-diabetic. This news really put me in a depressed state because I had anticipated the same fate that happened to my father would happen to me. My grades suffered and by the time I applied to dental school, my numbers were not cutting it. After graduating in 2015, I decided to do an informal post-bac and take science classes at my local state school to increase my science GPA in hopes of getting accepted to a master’s program. After doing the post-bac, I was accepted at Boston University, where I obtained my MS in Oral Health Sciences. By this time, I had already applied to dental school 4 times without success. My journey consisted of 7 years of undergrad, 1 year of post-bac, 2 years of a master’s program and having to retake the DAT’s twice. This year I was accepted at Roseman University of Health Sciences, where I will be pursuing my dental degree. I never gave up on my passion and every year I did my best to improve my application and my journey has humbled me and I am truly blessed by it.

My primary goal for going to school is to pursue dentistry. I lost my father at the age of 15 due to progressed type 2 diabetes. My father had periodontal disease and had lost all of his teeth. Dentures redefined the quality of his life by giving him that ability to smile. As a dentist, it is my passion to be able to educate others on how important it is to maintain your oral health and how much of a connection your oral health has with your systemic health. I also have a passion for people through my experience working as a caretaker for physically disabled patients and a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease. My compassion and patience are deeply rooted from these experiences but also because of my faith. Dentistry allows me to use my hands to better serve people. I grew up building model aircraft planes with my father, and played the piano and guitar. I plan to work diligently to serve my community by educating people on the importance of maintaining oral health. Through my skilled hands and my passion for patient care I will help to create smiles that change people’s quality of life. 

I believe that social responsibility is an act of a responsibility to benefit society at large. I believe strongly that clinicians, including dentists are held to a higher standard and its critical to always share my skills with those in need. It is a passion of mine to be able to volunteer in my community and especially with the homeless. I believe as a future clinician, social responsibility consists of competence, fairness, integrity, responsibility, respect and service-mindedness. It is your responsibility to be a lifelong learner, to give your best effort to each and ever patient, treating them in a fair manner. Integrity to treat each patient as if they were a family member. Being responsible to show up on time, being dependable, having a plan for patients of record who have an emergency and by admitting mistakes. It is important to have respect for your patients by maintaining confidentiality of health information, protecting patients from harm, respecting there right to choose their course of treatment within a correct standard of care parameter. It is also important to have service-mindedness and outreach to people who do not have access to quality dental work. 

I worked at a corporate dental office and I remember a story when I had a patient come in, who had previously been in a gang, got shot in the face and was a crystal meth user. I took his x-rays and treated him like I treat every patient, with compassion and patience. As I took this patient to an operatory, he pulled me aside and said “Patrick, thank you for treating me like a person” and this touched me because I could not have imagined treating anybody any different and social responsibility to me is treating patients as people first. This is the reason why technology will not replace dentists. Dentists always have a patient’s best interest in mind and they treat patients as people first, something technology can never do. 

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