Transforming Smiles, Empowering Lives: 5 Ways Women Dentists Are Redefining Orthodontics
Although a few dental schools admitted female students as early as the 1860s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that women accounted for more than 10% of all practicing dentists in the United States. Despite the lack of representation, early female dentists paved the way for today’s dental professionals to succeed. Keep reading to learn more about how women in dentistry continue to support each other and make the dental field better for patients and colleagues alike.
Women in Dentistry: A Brief History
The Ohio College of Dentistry refused to allow Lucy Hobbs Taylor to enroll, but that didn’t stop her from entering the dental profession. Instead of attending classes with other dental students, Taylor met with the school’s dean and learned from him directly. After several years of practice, she finally received a DDS degree.
In 1893, the World’s Columbian Dental Conference recognized Emeline Roberts Jones as the first woman dentist. She had always wanted to enter the dental field, but none of the dental colleges would allow her to enroll. Fortunately, her husband was a dentist, so he allowed her to join his practice and build her skills.
Minority women had an even tougher time breaking into dentistry. Ida Gray Nelson became the first African-American woman dentist after working in a dental office while she was in high school. The practice owner also worked as the dean of the dental school at the University of Michigan, so he encouraged her to apply to UM’s dental program. After graduation, she opened a practice in Ohio and spent much of her adult life serving as a mentor to her patients.
These are just a few of the trailblazing women in dentistry who made it possible for future generations to follow in their footsteps. Today, women work as general dentists, orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, endodontists, and more.
5 Ways Women Dentists Are Redefining Orthodontics
Advocating for Patients
As of 2022, 21.5% of all dentists practice some type of specialty, from orthodontics to periodontics. Now that women make up a larger percentage of the dental workforce, they’re well-positioned to advocate on behalf of their patients. Women in dentistry are working hard to make dental care safer, more affordable, and more comfortable for adults and children.
Mentoring Young Dental Professionals
Experienced women dentists know how difficult it is to get through dental school and build a successful career. They’re using their knowledge and experience to help young dental professionals avoid some of the same obstacles they faced. Some woman-owned practices have formal mentorship programs, but much of this mentoring is informal, making it easier to access.
Building Networks of Support
There’s strength in numbers, so many women dentists have joined forces to start organizations dedicated to making the dental profession as inclusive as possible. For example, the American Association of Women Dentists strives to enrich the lives of women dentists by promoting respect, integrity, teamwork, collegiality, and advancement. Members give advice, support each other through tough times and provide referrals for a variety of services.
Creating Inclusive Learning Environments
Having women dentists on staff goes a long way toward creating inclusive learning environments. For example, Synergy Orthodontic Seminars supports men and women as they work to learn more about the orthodontics field. Our orthodontic courses are designed to build confidence and give general dentists the skills they need to increase production and grow successful practices. We strive to make our learning environment as inclusive as possible, ensuring that every participant feels safe and comfortable.
Encouraging Professional Growth
Women dentists also play an important role in helping dental assistants, dental hygienists and other dentists grow their careers. For example, when a female dentist mentors a female dental student, the student gets to learn from someone who has experience working in a male-dominated field. The dentist can provide actionable advice tailored to the student’s unique situation, resulting in better outcomes. Attending one of our seminars is also a great way to grow your career as a dentist.
Start a Career in Orthodontics
At Synergy Orthodontic Seminars, we offer orthodontic courses designed to empower women in the dental profession. When you attend our general dentist orthodontic course, you have the opportunity to improve your leadership skills and learn how to generate more revenue in your dental practice.
Orthodontic courses also foster diversity and inclusion in the dental field, as they help women and members of minority groups gain confidence and learn how to apply their skills to a different type of dental work. We strive to make every participant as comfortable as possible, eliminating barriers to success in orthodontics. Every seminar we offer equips men and women with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the evolving dental landscape. Contact us to learn more or sign up for your first course.