By Kyle Issacs RDH -
February 23rd, 2023
Women in Dentistry
Kyle Issacs RDH
When I first entered the world of dentistry 40 years ago, women were dental assistants, dental hygienists, or “receptionists”. Today there are more female dentists than male dentists, more women than men in dental school, and many of these women have stepped out of traditional clinical roles and started dental-related businesses.
These numbers show me that I don’t just help my patients when I say “YES” to an opportunity, I also grow and share my experiences with other women so that they can create their dream job.
I moved to a new state at the age of 52 and the experience propelled me to reach towards well beyond the comfort of traditional dental. It was humbling, scary, and such a growth experience for me. I started my first business, Mobile Dental Hygiene, to bring preventive oral care to those unable to go to a dental office.
This opportunity has given me the confidence to step out of a traditional role in dental hygiene and the confidence to do things I never thought I could or would do.
Mobile Dental Hygiene is more than just oral care; many of the patients I serve are confined to their beds and my visit is often the only one. The ergonomics of these situations is often challenging, and some patients require extra patience and TLC. With no employees, I had to quickly learn all aspects of patient care, not just dental hygiene skills. In addition to these endeavors, I also work for the county where I live providing dental hygiene care for low-income patients, assess the need for, and apply sealants in schools, write an oral health blog for parents of 0-5-year-olds, teach the oral health portion of community health worker training, write articles for dental hygiene journals, speak, work part-time for the Oral Cancer Foundation, and do myofunctional therapy.
My journey has taken me to previously unimagined places. I went from a being a “C” student in English classes in high school to being published and speaking in front of my peers all over the country. I have not limited myself as a dental hygienist and know I can help other women reach their potential.