Women in Implant Dentistry

From Implant Dentistry – April 2010 – 19(2) – p 91
by Misch-Dietsch, Francine DDS, MDS

We contributed, and we continue to contribute, to the world
of science; and that is for the betterment of the world. “We” are women.
This past year, 2009, was especially noteworthy because 3 women were
awarded Nobel Prizes in the sciences. Ada E. Yonath was a recipient in
chemistry “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.”
Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider were recipients in
physiology “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by
telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.”

Far from that black and white picture, we have all seen
on university walls, of the lonely skirt in graduation pictures 100
years ago, today’s graduation pictures illustrate that many women now
influence the world including, of course, the world of dentistry. From
faculty in universities,researchers in basic sciences laboratories,clinical studies, to doctors in offices around the world, their number
is steadily increasing. One by one, women are opening doors to all
aspects and specialties of dentistry. In symposia, congresses, and
educational platforms, their presence and contributions are equal to
that of their male-dominated predecessors. The only arena in which they
are noticeably less visible is on main podiums (as speakers) in which it
seems macho/ego might be still dominant.

Today’s female dentists are using not only their
education, technical knowledge, and clinical abilities within the dental
field but also their organizational skills that are powerful in forming
office employees into “teams” to manage the longer and more extensive
patient care needed to guarantee implant success. Women seem to excel in
implant dentistry because of an innate ability to scrutinize, organize,
and communicate with patients. Many women being naturally empathetic is
especially helpful inasmuch because the majority of patients are still

What do women and dental implants have in common? Over
the past few decades, both have significantly increased the bottom line
of dental practices around the world. Although both women and implants
have been associated with dentistry for >150 years, their tremendous
positive impact in dental offices has recently been realized. Both have
become an asset that cannot be ignored.

Of course, oral health is a primary concern of both
doctors and patients, but it is no longer the one and only concern.
Today, we not only want to feel good but also want to look good. Modern
technology has afforded us the ability to have both. Enter the “dental
cosmetologist.” This seems to be an excellent avenue where the female
dentist could excel. Many patients, both men and women, have the
impression that women possess a better understanding of “what looks
good” and how to best achieve the appearance that patients not only want
but actually demand today. Technology (cameras, computers, and digital
equipment) offers patients several ways to visualize their anticipated
future appearance before any work is done. They expect their dental
cosmetologist to advise them on all esthetic factors (facial appearance,
tooth size, color, etc.) and how implants can not only enhance their
looks but also improve their oral function and overall health.

Women are no longer required to waste their energy
knocking down the doors that were so often closed to them in the past.
Their efforts and skills can now be focused on improving patient care,
meeting their ever-changing needs, and using their natural abilities to
increase the end result in any and every area of implant dentistry for
the benefit of all those who are involved.

We should also not forget that the majority of future
health care will be delivered and/or monitored by nurses. As mentioned
in a recent Implant Dentistry Editorial, “The knowledgeable
dental assistant is not only an asset, but rather, a necessity.”1
We are all aware that the overwhelming majority are, you guessed, women.

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