Growing up in a rural community in Haiti where dental care was almost nonexistent, I cannot recall entering a Dental Office. At the age of twelve my family migrated to the United States, this was where I received my first dental care. In my new affluent adopted country, I came to the realization that oral hygiene care was not readily available. This was especially true in my working class community in Brooklyn. I also understood the important role of the dental hygienist in providing oral hygiene care because most of my own personal care came from dental hygienists. I gained a deep appreciation and respect for dental hygiene professionals. Since graduating from college, I started to consider a career in dental hygiene.
After visiting Haiti two years ago during the summer, my desire to enter the field of Dental Hygiene matured into a concrete career plan. During my visit, I was shocked to see so many young adults including many relatives with tooth decay. Witnessing to this allowed me to grasp the concept that oral hygiene is an important necessity of life. I volunteered at a dental office last summer and took notice to how care was given to prevent tooth decay, infections, and periodontal diseases among others. This experience led me to further research this topic. I was surprised to learn the connection between dental disease and systemic inflammation affecting the body. Hence, I realized that not only did good oral care allowed for proper mastication and cosmetic appearance, but it also had important ramification for overall health.
I was fortunate to become employed at Samson Family Dental in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. This is where I gained experience in both the front office work as well as with direct patient contact. I was blessed to be given the opportunity to work with Dr. Samson and his assistant. This experience was crucial in confirming my desire to pursue my career path in a dental hygiene. I saw that the hygienist’s intervention serve to not only treat the oral aspects, but also allowed patients to gain assurance in themselves and their abilities. My greatest memory was seeing how elated and relieved one women was after having a dental visit. She returned later to thank us again because she was confident enough to go for a job interview and was hired immediately. The opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others is a huge accomplishment, I hope to achieve this great accomplishment as a dental hygienist. In addition, my desire is to pursue this field and excel as a dental hygienist.