S2 EP5: Career pathways in dentistry

First in a two-part series: dentists share how their careers took shape around their interests, lifestyle and goals.

ADA Dental Sound Bites - Career Pathways with  Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas

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Episode notes

Dentists trace their career choices and share what they love about their work

How did you decide which direction you wanted your dental career to take?

Solo owner, small group practice, DSO?

A medical setting or a Federally Qualified Health Center?

Faculty or Military?

So many practice options! Where do you start?

Join us for  the first of a two-part dental career exploration as we talk to dentists who chose different paths, and dig deeper into how those choices fit their career interests, lifestyles and goals. Our hosts will also be testing out the newest career pathways quiz from the ADA Member App and share their results during the podcast!

Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas head shot
Dr. Maestas 

In part one, our special guest is Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas, dental director at a Federally Qualified Health Center in El Paso, Texas, who tells us: “I share my story, and I encourage [students] to consider a career in public health and how rewarding it can be if they're looking for a different option that isn't your typical private practice. And that's the beauty of dentistry is that you can take different paths and it can change along the way. And yeah, I encourage them just to kind of be open to what those changes might look like.”

Show notes

  • Dr. Maestas graduated from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston in 2018. Upon completion of her residency, she returned to the El Paso Borderland community where she serves as dental director at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). She also serves as a faculty member at the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine in El Paso, Texas.
  • Growing up, she lived in an area where many people didn't have the opportunity to see a dentist. So, to her, becoming a dentist was to give back to the community that she lived in, or a similar community.
  • She came across the National Health Service Course scholarship that paid for her schooling  in return for service in an underserved area.
  • Dr. Ioannidou, Dr. Maestas, and Dr. Wright have taken the Career Pathways Quiz, available on the ADA Member App, and they reveal their results later in the episode.
  • In a bonus segment, we hear from Dr. Dan Hammer, an active duty oral maxillofacial surgeon in the U.S. Navy, who tells us about his career in hospital and military dentistry.
  • Dr. Ioannidou shares her career path into academia and research at the University of Connecticut Dental School. Her research focus is on kidney disease and the periodontal status of patients, especially when they go on dialysis.
  • Dr. Maestas talks about work-life balance in an FQHC environment, and highlights that while no two FQHCs are the same, hers offers her the flexibility to be involved in academia, stay on top of continuing education, and take part in leadership roles in dentistry organizations.
  • In another bonus segment, Dr. Rob Margolin, a general practice residency director for a hospital in New York City, describes a typical day in hospital dentistry and what he enjoys most about his career.
  • Our hosts and Dr. Maestas reveal the surprising results of the Career Path Quiz on the ADA Member App.


View episode transcript


Ioannidou: [00:00:00] There are so many paths in dentistry. How do you know which is right for you? Hello, everyone. I'm Dr. Effie Ioannidou. 

Wright: [00:00:08] And I'm Dr. Arnell Wright. And this is Dental Sound Bites. Today it's all about the different career paths in dentistry. 

Announcer: [00:00:18] From the American Dental Association, this is Dental Sound Bites. Created for dentists by dentists. Ready? Let's dive right into real talk on dentistry’s daily wins and sticky situations.

Wright: [00:00:34] I have a question for our listeners. How did you decide which direction you wanted your dental career to take? And if you're still in dental school, where can you turn to get a comprehensive picture of your options? Oh, we've got something for you!

Ioannidou: [00:00:48] That's right, we do. There are so many options in this episode, and in the next one, we will explore some of the many possible dental career paths.

Today we are hearing from dentists in federally qualified health centers, in academia, hospital and military hospital settings. 

Wright: [00:01:06] I want to welcome our guest today, Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas. You have a remarkable story. As a dentist, you have been making an impact in the profession and winning the ADA 10 under 10 award last year.

Ioannidou: [00:01:20] Woohoo. 

Wright: [00:01:21] Yes. Please tell us about yourself and how you decided your career path. 

Maestas: [00:01:27] Well hello, hello everyone. Thank you all for having me. I'm super excited to be here and I'm excited to talk about this important topic and I think it's important for our listeners to know that no matter what stage of career that you might be in, if it changes in your future, it's never too late.

Wright:I love that. 

Maestas: So a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. I went to school in Houston, graduated in 2018, did an AAGD in 2019, and made my way back to the borderline hometown community of El Paso. I now currently work at A FQHC. About 45 minutes outside of the city, and I'm also a part-time faculty member at the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine in El Paso.

Wright: [00:02:03] Nice. Well, welcome. Welcome. 

Ioannidou: [00:02:05] And you both make me feel so old. 

Maestas: [00:02:07] Oh, no, no. 

Ioannidou: [00:02:08] Like literally you were, you graduated in 2018. Oh dear God. But anyway, 

Wright: [00:02:15] you’re seasoned. 

Maestas: [00:02:16] That's right, that's right. 

Wright: [00:02:17] We have lots of wisdom to share with us. 

Maestas: [00:02:19] We're here to learn from you. Yes, absolutely. 

Ioannidou: [00:02:21] Absolutely true. Before we ask you more about FQHC, I would like.

To do something a little unusual, a little bit fun. Did you all know that there is a career pathway quiz on the ADA member app? Mm-hmm. It's free to the ADA members, and if you're a student ASDA member, you already have an a d a membership. So you just need to download the app. 

Wright: [00:02:43] There you go. 

Maestas: [00:02:44] Got to do it.

Let's do it. Yeah. So. 

Wright: [00:02:46] Dr. Effie, Dr. Maestas, and I just took the quiz. It's short and easy. We're going to be revealing our results a little later in the episode. 

Ioannidou: [00:02:54] Yeah. I'm so curious to hear your results. 

Wright: [00:02:57] Yeah, mine were pretty surprising, so I'm super excited to hear everybody 

Maestas: [00:03:01] suspense. 

Wright: [00:03:01] Yeah. Yes. Yeah, I know, right.

So, Dr. Maestas, let's talk a little bit about your career path. What helped you decide to work at an FQHC? How did you find out about this type of practice? 

Maestas: [00:03:14] Yeah. Thank you for your question. So I grew up in an area where many people didn't have the opportunity to see a dentist, lots of friends and family, and living in a borderline community.

Many of our, our friends did take the opportunity when I was growing up to go over into Mexico to get a lot of their treatment done. And so I knew that. Becoming a dentist for me was to give back to the community that I lived in or a similar community, like El Paso. And so before I started dental school, after I had been accepted, I was looking to see what scholarships were available.

My dad always said, you know, there's free money out there. You just gotta look for it. So I did start looking for it and I came across the National Health Service Course scholarship that paid for my schooling in, returned to some service in an underserved area. So I got my four years of schooling paid for.

I do still have some loans out because dentistry and living on your own is expensive. Sure. And in return, giving some time back at the FQHC. 

Wright: [00:04:05] Awesome. 

Maestas: [00:04:06] And this kind of just fit with my mission and with my why, and it kind of just fit right in. So I didn't really know that this career path was something that would be available to me. But through some Google searching, that's kind of how I came across it, and I really enjoy being in public health and serving a community that really doesn't have a whole lot of, of other places to turn to. 

Wright: Yeah. I love that so much.

Ioannidou: [00:04:27] Isn't amazing the fact that you had this, first of all, you were smart enough, to find the free money, and then the fact that you were able to go back to your community and the surroundings and give back. I mean, this is amazing. You know, many times we think that things happen, like, by accident. But I think in your mind, as you said, you had a mission. Yeah. So you went for this mission. This is great. I really like it.

Maestas: [00:04:52] That's right. Yeah. Very well said. And, and this is a great opportunity for those who are, are listening to, whether it's the scholarship or, loan repayment options. It's a great way to give back to your community and get some loans paid off along the way. 

Ioannidou: [00:05:04] Yeah. What's your typical day, we all know about FQHCs, but it's really interesting to understand more about your day. You know, what is the advantage and disadvantage of working in FQHC so tell us a little bit more about this. 

Maestas: [00:05:20] Sure. Yeah, great question and no, two FQHCs are alike, so 

Wright: [00:05:23] I love that 

Maestas: [00:05:24] every person who you might find in a public health setting, their day may be very different. but typically I work Mondays and Fridays seven to noon, and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, seven to 5: 30. And pretty much from when we start to when we end, we have patients kind of coming in and out. I would say predominantly we do a lot of extractions, a lot of removable. Those are two areas that I feel passionate about. So I'm pretty content doing those procedures. But we do a ton of extractions and we save where we can.

Wright: Right. 

Maestas: But I would say that predominantly we are a large removable clinic. Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's kind of my day in and day out. I see about two to three patients an hour depending on what that procedure might look like. But yeah, that's my day in and day out. 

Wright: [00:06:04] Wait, did you say that you work Monday and Friday, seven to 12? Like, let's make, I'm everyone jealous who's listening to this. Like that's what I just wrote down. Did, did I hear that correctly? 

Maestas: [00:06:15] I do seven, so I work every day, but yes, seven. Seven to noon is when I work. And then Monday afternoons I'm at the dental school. 

Wright: [00:06:22] I was gonna ask, okay. Oh, I love that. 

Maestas: [00:06:24] Yeah. That was a way for us to.

To balance the schedule. We really should have two dentists at the clinic that I'm at now, but since it's just me, they've asked me to be there every day, and it was a friendly compromise that we were able to meet, so I could be at the dental school on Monday afternoons. 

Wright: [00:06:36] Awesome. Okay. 

Maestas: [00:06:38] Yes. Yes.

Ioannidou: [00:06:39] So you go to the dental school.

As a part-time faculty, obviously only Monday afternoon. What about your Friday? Your Friday is free?

Maestas: [00:06:46] Yeah, my Friday's free. That's, that's, that's party time. 

Wright: [00:06:48] Well balance. Well balance and wellness. And taking care of yourself. Like Yes. Talk about it all. 

Maestas: [00:06:53] Oh, I'm looking to work less. Sign me up. 

Ioannidou: [00:06:56] Yeah. Well played. Well played. Right. So as a faculty, how do you feel going back to dental school, because this is also giving back to education, right? So you, you are a part-time faculty in the dental school. How well connected you are with the setting, with the students, with the other faculty? How do you collaborate, and how did you think of going back to education?

Wright: [00:07:15] Yeah. Being what, five years out, right? 2018? 

Maestas: [00:07:18] Yes. So for me, Long-term wise, I'd like to be in education. Being involved in, as is a student really connected me with my fellow peers. And, students from across the nation. And I, I just found a passion in working with students, during my time in dental school and growing up, I was always told that El Paso would never see a dental school.

And during my time in ASDA, I connected with a dentist who was the trustee in the ADA, who was from El Paso, his name is Dr. Rick Black, and we connected actually at a meeting in Chicago, it was a joint ADA- ASDA meeting, and he told me, Hey, dental school is coming to El Paso. Would you like to be a part of it?

And I said, a hundred percent yes. And so I knew, you know, since even before graduating dental school and while the dental school here was just a, a vision at the time that I wanted to come back and be a part of the dental school and help our community and help those students who are at the dental school now.

And so, thankfully they have been very welcoming to me to bring me on as a part-time faculty, and they've allowed me to kind of grow in my skill and share the knowledge that I have with the students that are there. And it's great, you know, I'm there. I help in the pre-clinic if they're there in the clinic, if they are, and if they're in classes, I sit in there and, and try and grasp some more knowledge that maybe I miss out on in dental school.

Wright: [00:08:28] Mm-hmm. Wow, that's so good. So a couple of curve balls here. In your role as a part-time faculty, I feel like you're also a great mentor. Like you almost have to mentor some of these students  you probably saw on your way out or, you know, you're giving them some hope as well about returning back to the school.

Do you get a lot of questions and do you get the opportunity to share your story about how you went into academia, even though it's part-time right now? Do you get to share a little bit of that story with some of your students? 

Maestas: [00:08:58] I do, and, and hopefully I do serve as a good mentor to these students. They really are like a sponge. They wanna learn as much as they can. But yeah, I share my story and I, I encourage them to consider a career in public health and how rewarding it can be if they're looking for a different option that isn't your typical private practice. This. So I encourage them to consider doing something outside of the box and I share it with them, my story and kind of how I foresee what my future will look like in dentistry.

And that's the beauty of dentistry is that you can take different paths and it can change along the way. And yeah, I encourage them just to kind of be open to what those changes might look like.

Wright: [00:09:30] Which is what we're talking about today. And so for everybody who's listening, don't be afraid to share your story because you never know where it will land you.

Maestas: [00:09:37] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. 

Ioannidou: [00:09:40] So after discussing and learning so much about FQHCs, it's interesting to go to another career choice. We have with us Dr. Dan Hammer, who practices dentistry in the military, and here is why he loves his career choice. 

Hammer: [00:09:54] My name is Dan Hammer. I'm an active duty oral maxillofacial surgeon in the US Navy, and I am outside Scripps Mercy here in San Diego, California.

And I just want to kind of share about dentistry in a hospital and, of course, as oral maxillofacial surgeons, we spend a lot of time with facial trauma and infections, but dentistry is needed in all hospitals. You could be helping out a cancer patient before they start radiation or chemotherapy, or helping a patient with emron or osteo radio necrosis and doing rehabilitation in these really, really difficult patients.

But it's so, so rewarding. I was lucky enough to do a GPR for those of you who are new grads, definitely something that. Will help you expand your skillset and make you feel comfortable with some of these more challenging cases. It definitely makes me a better dentist by integrating in the overall healthcare network of San Diego and, uh, leveraging my talents and learning from the amazing, talented people in the healthcare communities. 

Ioannidou: [00:10:52] See, this is so interesting because he brings up so many different aspects of the industry. Not only the fact that he's in the military 

Wright: [00:11:00] Right. Hospital setting. 

Ioannidou: [00:11:02] Correct. Hospital setting. Yeah. Putting the dentistry  in the center of the overall medical care. So I think it's really interesting and I think it's nice when you have the opportunity to work in the hospital and get also this dimension. So that's really a, a, a great career choice. 

Wright: [00:11:18] Yeah, and I was just gonna say, even from that one clip, I feel like our listeners can just garner and just see the many paths that they can take, and hopefully they can also find themselves throughout this conversation that we're having with Dr. Maestas today. 

Maestas: [00:11:31] Absolutely, and as you all are rockstar, Dr. Hammer's story is really, really awesome. Somebody to definitely look into. I, I think you all will be very impressed at all of his accolades. 

Ioannidou: [00:11:41] And a lot of people now after graduation try to do first an ADD or a GPI, right? I mean, this gives you a little bit of a different career skill, even for people that then decide to go to specialty.

But I think it's really important. I see that a lot of our students, at U Conn after graduation, before they make a choice of the specialty that they want to choose or to follow, they, they prefer to go through the experience of, you know, a little bit more adventures general dentistry. 

Wright: [00:12:10] Oh, yeah. Get a little bit more exposure to what your hands are gonna be doing.

Like kind of make that hands connection with, with what you're, what's already in your mind, right? Yeah. 

Announcer: [00:12:21] [AD] Group practice, FQHC, Faculty, which suits you? Find out in a new career path quiz on the ADA member app. Now through June 12th, 2023, quiz takers automatically enter to win great prizes. It's a win-win. See contest rules and download the app at ada.org/app. 

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Maestas: [00:13:20] Dr. Wright, did you do an AEGD or GPR? 

Wright: [00:13:22] No. And it's funny that you bring that up cuz I was gonna interject and say I kind of wish that I had done something like that, but life happened. I was actually pregnant in my senior year of dental school. I don't even know how I got through it, but… 

Ioannidou: [00:13:37] oh my God. 

Wright: [00:13:38] I know. Yeah, we and, and, and we weren't planning. Oh, that's stuff I know. And. So I was pregnant with my son, and so I kind of had to just pivot real quick and make sure that I had a job because I'm like, all right, I really have mouths to eat yeah, other than my own.

But I was able to learn, I did a whole bunch of continuing education and I still do to this day, just so that I can stay fresh and with the times. But yeah, that's one thing if I could have, that's one thing that I would've done. 

Ioannidou: [00:14:04] It's never too late. You know that. Right? 

Wright: [00:14:06] You know, I, I, I, you know, it isn't too late, but I think about it. I'm just like, okay, so what would I be doing? Would I be wasting my time? So now I'm really conscious of how I manage my time and how I use my time. Or I should say invest it. So I think about it all the time, and I, if I would be that one person that's kind of disrupting the flow of learning for other people who are fresh and who haven't been in the practice setting, you know what I mean? So I'm like six years out. I've thought about it though, but.  Not right now. 

Ioannidou: [00:14:33] Yeah. Maybe you can think about a specialty. 

Wright: [00:14:36] You know, I, I have thought about a specialty to be honest. Uh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. 

Maestas: [00:14:43] I love that. I love that. 

Wright: [00:14:45] So, well, we touched on academia already. Let's talk about that career path. Dr. Effie, why did you choose academia? What's a typical day like for you? 

Ioannidou: [00:14:54] It's so complicated. It's exactly what we said that sometimes life happens. So they, you know, I was in private practice. I spent a few years out there, not in the US back in Greece. Yeah. Things happen in personal level. We were relocated here and it was, a very nice coincidence to be recruited, the UConn Dental School.

And I started from a fully clinical appointment. Full-time. Most of my time was devoted to the clinics. Okay. And as time went by, shifted a little bit at more towards research. So there is no typical day for, for academics, right. Always there is, there is always something unpredictable. The same thing that happens in practice.

Right. Okay. There is no typical days. There is always something that will shake up a little bit. The spice of your day. Yep. So now I lead the Department of Periodontology at the University of Connecticut. So there are a lot of things with faculty, with students, it's a complete fluidity during the day. So it can be from, you know, there are days that are super calm and you can really sit down in your desk and complete the paper that you are writing.

And, there are days that you start a sentence and you will never finish this sentence for, you know, in eight hours. There are so many meetings, so many things happening and you know, we have our podcast, we have our service to the ADA, organized dentistry. Right? I volunteer my time to other organizations like the American Association for Dental Oral and Craniofacial Research. Yeah, the AADOCR.  So there are so many things during the day. Right. So, yeah, that's, that's why I like, I like academia because it's very unpredictable and keeps me young. Woo. 

Maestas: [00:16:32]: You blend right in with the students, Dr. Effie. 

Ioannidou: [00:16:34] Yes, that's right. 

Wright: [00:16:35] There you go. There's a statement that I, I think both of you can attack in this moment, and I kind of think it should be done away with, and this is another curve ball.

You guys know I'm good for that. But it says, those who can do and those who can't, they teach. So I wanna know what you guys' reaction is to that and I I, I'm, I'm gonna start actually, because one of the things, so I love academia, I love teaching. I was actually a science teacher, before I went into dentistry. Right?

And when I heard that statement almost makes me feel like, oh, I wanna be ashamed of the fact that I like to educate, because then with this statement out there, people will think that I can't perform clinically, so I want to know you guys' thoughts about that statement. 

Ioannidou: [00:17:21] I, I have an alternative statement. The one that says, you see one, you do one, you teach one. 

Wright: [00:17:26] There you go. Wow. Okay. I think that wraps it up really, really well. Oh, there you go.

Maestas: [00:17:32] I, I think so. Yeah. Really, really good. I don't think you can beat that with a, that's a great rebuttal song. Yeah. I'm, I'm just gonna say ditto. 

Wright: [00:17:39] Yeah, I'm gonna use that actually.

So, well, tell us what is it that you enjoy the most? and if you could change anything, what would you change about a typical day? And Dr. Maestas, you, you can answer this too. 

Ioannidou: [00:17:50] The thing that I find, very rewarding, in academia, is that I feel that I'm a part of a very large community that kind of, Is synced all the time.

So what, what do I mean when I say this? I have so many friends and collaborators in so many different schools, like you know, in Texas, in California, in Kentucky, in Florida. Right? And it's so nice to share experiences, learn from each other, collaborate. You don't feel that you are restricted in very narrow local institution.

You feel like you are kind of a citizen of the world of academics, right? So, This freedom and this open communication is something that excites me and that's one of the most exciting things I think in academia that I didn't have in private practice. I didn't have, other people might, but I felt like I was, you know, in my own really solo, small practice in my own world.

Wright: [00:18:45] Yeah, yeah. 

Ioannidou: [00:18:46] I don't have this feeling in academics. 

Wright: [00:18:48] Mm-hmm. 

Maestas: [00:18:49] Yeah, that's very well said, Dr. Effie. you know, I, I love the questions that the students bring in, in the realm of academics. I think that being at an FQHC, is rewarding and challenging in a lot of ways. You know, it's rewarding because you're providing a service to those who may not have anywhere else to turn, and you, you get to build a bond with, patients in the community that you're in. but it can be very, very busy. And unfortunately, since I am the only dentist out there, the wait times, I mean, they're long right now. I mean, we're booked out to the end of the year. Really booked out. It's really, really saturated.

So it's, yeah, we're, we're overworked for sure. So I, I would say that if I could change anything, I wish that we had more help in the community to provide the care that's needed. 

Ioannidou: [00:19:28] Yeah, that's interesting. You are both younger than me and when I started my career, we discussed this with Arnell before, things were very difficult or more difficult for women in the workforce.

You are in a different generation. How do you see, is there any flexibility for you, Tanya, in the setting of the FQHC say that you, you know, you wanna start a family or say that you want to develop as a dentist. How do you see this so our audience understands a little bit more about the work-life balance?

Maestas: [00:20:03] Right. So like, like I mentioned earlier, no two FQHCs are the same. Yes. But for me, I, I would say that when I do get to that point where I'm, I'm ready to start a family. I think that they would give me that flexibility to do so. They're very open to me taking CE courses. I think that they have been very generous to me to go ahead and, you know, go out and with the commitments that I have and the leadership roles that I'm very passionate about, they're very generous in allowing me to do that.

And take some days away from the clinic to go ahead and go out and, and travel and be a leader. so I, I have felt that flexibility there. Uh, would we like more flexibility? Of course. But I, I, I think that maybe that'll come with time. 

Ioannidou: [00:20:39] Yeah. And it's really nice because they have the understanding, which is great, the understanding that if they allow you to do this to be a leader, this basically reflects back on them.

Right. Because they can be proud of you. 

Wright: [00:20:52] You took the words out of my mouth. I was literally gonna say I. Feel like there is just this understanding that we're starting to see in the world, and especially with like the rise of social media and businesses starting to utilize social media and I, I  feel like at leverage it to their advantage, it only helps them when you become better because you're pretty much a representative of them when you're not in the practice.

And so I think you add value to them, by being even better. You know what I mean? And so I just. Feel like companies are starting to realize that, or maybe they are always have, but maybe employees, like in our case, we're starting to talk about it a little bit more and it's a growing kind of thing. Right? 

Maestas: [00:21:36] Yeah. Dr. Wright, that's a great point and one thing that I struggle with, even when I'm away from the clinic, although they, you know, they give me that time, is that guilt. I still feel guilty at not being at work. It's just really hard to manage that sometimes and to leave work at work and not have that in the back of your mind.

So that can still be difficult. Hopefully they think that way and I haven't heard any complaints. Yet, but it's definitely something that kind of we'll find out after this podcast. They'll be reaching out.

Wright: [00:22:05] Yeah, I know, right? Well, hospital dentistry is an exciting career as well. Here's Dr. Rob Margolin telling us a little bit about what his days are like. 

Margolin: [00:22:14] Hi, my name is Rob Marlin. I'm currently a general practice residency director for a hospital in New York City. I didn't choose hospital dentistry so much as a great opportunity presented itself, and I chose to take it about 20 years ago.

I've never looked back and I've never been happier in my dental career. Some of the things I like about hospital dentistry, It gives me the ability to work with and treat an underserved and diverse patient population. I have a great sense of comradery working with other dental specialists and my medical colleagues.

We're gonna optimize our patients for dental care, and the part I liked best is the opportunity to work with young dental residents as they begin their dental journey. Typical day for me is usually lecture combination of seeing patients, varying degrees of medical and dental complexity with the dental residents, and also time for administrative duties.

Ioannidou: [00:23:00] I'm sure it's very exciting to bring the hospital setting in New York. 

Maestas: [00:23:04] Oh yeah. Wow. 

Wright: [00:23:05] I feel like from a hospital perspective, what I love just hearing these stories is it's like, you know how some people when they're like they're general physicians or whatever, they are like, okay, well you're just a dentist.

You know that whole thing that is like that statement, you're just a dentist. And I feel like in the hospital setting you may be regarded as more than just a dentist, that word in front of our careers. You know what I mean? Yeah. So it sounds really, really fun to get to do. And it sounds like he also gets to give back and teach and do some of the same things that both of you guys are doing.

Ioannidou: [00:23:39] You made a very good point. You're just a dentist until they have a dental problem, right? And then you become a doctor. 

Wright: [00:23:47] I think you're good about having some good rebuttals. Like you have some great rebuttals. 

Maestas: [00:23:53] Dr. Effie, we are going to take you on some debates. 

Wright: [00:23:57] I know really. you're quick on your feet. 

Ioannidou: [00:23:58] No, but isn't it true?

Isn't it true? That's true. Yeah. I, my research for quite some time was and still is on, kidney disease and, the periodontal status of patients, especially when they go on dialysis. So I remember when we first started this. Project maybe more than 10 years ago, the Nephrologists were so suspicious, like, eh, is this an issue here?

But the more we were educating them and the more they saw in their patient's eyes, the appreciation that the patients are getting now an exam on the dialysis chair, some of them were getting a cleaning during dialysis, so they were, ‘oh, that's. that's a good service’. These people know what they're doing.

Yeah. So, yeah, I completely get it. And I know that there is a moment that this culture will completely shift. 

Maestas: [00:24:46] I hope so. I, I would say that I've definitely heard that sentiment said several times. 

Ioannidou: [00:24:50] Yeah. 

Wright: [00:24:51] Are you all ready to reveal your results from the career path quiz? 

Ioannidou: [00:24:55] Yes, 

Maestas: [00:24:56] I am eager to hear Dr. Wright's results.

Ioannidou: [00:24:58] Me too. Me too. 

Maestas: [00:24:59] Because she said she was surprised. 

Wright: [00:25:01] I actually am not. In this practice setting, but I feel that as I continue to grow in dentistry, I will eventually be in this setting. And so, drum roll please. Ooh. My primary was to be in a small group setting. I'm a very collaborative thinker, and so that was actually the result that came about, and I was like, ah.

I can see how that, that definitely describes me as a provider. I love to like pick someone else's brain or I like to present a situation and share, even if it's a pitfall. Like I don't really have a lot of like embarrassment about if I don't know something, something. Off bat, especially if there's someone who's more seasoned than I, like, I know that there's only so much exposure that I'll have at certain stages of my career, and so to see that the quiz recommended or said that I would be in a small group setting, I was like, okay, yeah, that that would definitely be. Really, really like, that's accurate. It describes to me very well. 

Maestas: I like it.

So what about, what about y'all's? Let's see who's gonna go next. We are gonna say Dr. Effie. 

Ioannidou: [00:26:07] Mine was relatively surprising. The primary was hospital, dentist, and the, a little bit down the list was the dental faculty. Okay. So, yeah, I mean, Not very surprising, but, I guess some of the answers were capturing both I, I think education and hospital setting, which is the reality of the matter.

I mean, UConn Dental School is one of the few schools in a health center, so mm-hmm. Yeah. We are, we practice in a hospital setting and I am a dental faculty. So yeah..

Wright: [00:26:39] I love it. Oh my gosh. All right. Tanya Sue, you're up. 

Maestas: [00:26:43] Yeah, I, so I got dentist in federal settings and the additional recommendations were dental faculty and FQHC. Makes sense. Oh my God. Yeah. Hit it right on the head there. Right. No, no surprises there. I was hoping for a big twist, but yeah, 

Ioannidou: [00:26:55] so this is great. Yeah. This means that the test is validated by the three of us. There we go. Great. We validated the test 

Maestas: [00:27:02] Statistically, statistically. That's probably a good sign. 

Ioannidou: [00:27:05] Yeah. Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Scientifically. Yeah. And so if our audience wants to take the test, we will add the link in the show notes so you can download the ADA member app.

Maestas: [00:27:16] Yeah, there's lots of great information in that app. Aside from the career test. 

Wright: [00:27:20] I agree with that too. 

Announcer: [00:27:22] On the next Dental Sound Bites, 

Wright: [00:27:24] our Career Pathways conversation continues. We are looking at how to navigate the dental practice market 

Ioannidou: [00:27:30] from buying your own practice to joining DSO. You will hear from dentists who have gone through it and learn more about the ins and outs of this career pathway in dentistry.

Wright: [00:27:40] That's on the next episode of Dental Sound Bites. 

Wright: Well, this has been such a phenomenal episode. I feel like we got to learn a lot about you, Dr. Maestas. So before you go, can you tell all of our listeners where to find you a little bit about some of the fun activities that you have going on? 

Maestas: [00:27:59] You know, such an honor to be here with you all and you can find me on the gram. Like most millennial dentists we're on Instagram, at TSMaestas, DDS. I also started a podcast New Dentist on the Block. 


Maestas: So, if you are a new dentist and you'd like to be on the podcast, or if you have some information that you'd like to share with new dentists, please let me know. It's a great way to continue to build connections, which I, I believe that you all are doing as well with your podcast. So congratulations to you all as well. 

Ioannidou: [00:28:23] And is this something that you do Friday afternoon? 

Wright: [00:28:25] There we go. 

Maestas: [00:28:27] Actually, don't, you know, for wellness I actually don't book anything on Fridays. I try to do it during the week, and I try to do it during lunch when I can. 

Ioannidou: Well done. 

Wright: [00:28:35] Oh, that's amazing.

Ioannidou: [00:28:36]: Well done. 

Wright: [00:28:36] So thank you once again, Dr. Tanya Sue Maestas, for being here with us today. We are so excited that you were able to join us. 

Maestas: [00:28:43] Thank you for the opportunity. 

Ioannidou: [00:28:44] Thank you. Thank you. And if you like this episode, go ahead and share it with your friends and colleagues. Subscribe to this podcast wherever you are listening so you can get the latest episodes.

Wright: [00:28:55] And don't forget the conversation will continue on the ADA member app. Bonus content- what you didn't hear on the show. 

Announcer: [00:29:03] Thank you for joining us. Dental Sound Bites is an American Dental Association podcast. You can also find this show, resources and more on the ADA member app and online at ada.org/podcast.