DentalPost Blog

Why I Became a Dental Hygienist

October 30, 2018 by

With Dental Hygiene Month upon us, I find myself fondly reflecting on my 23 years practicing as a registered dental hygienist. I have always considered it a gift to go to work every day, doing something I love by helping improve the lives of my patients.

I flew head-first – quite literally – into my love of dentistry and, ultimately, my long-time career as a hygienist. At the age of eight, I knocked out my permanent tooth and fractured my upper anteriors in a bad bike accident. A dental team took excellent care of me at the ER. Dr. Busch from Gainesville, Georgia implanted tooth #8 back in my mouth after it had been knocked out for hours. I kept tooth #8 for 18 years after implantation! That bike accident changed my life and directed me on a course to becoming a dental hygienist. I knew I wanted to help people in the same way that my dentist helped me.

About ten years after graduating from dental hygiene school I knew I wanted to start a family, but I had a struggle with infertility. I needed more flexibility in my schedule for fertility doctor visits. So, I started temping in offices all over Atlanta. This gave me little control over my schedule. I began to see there needed to be a better way for us to connect as dental professionals. I created a simple website called DentalPost, which has evolved over the years.

I continued working as a hygienist as long as I could while building DentalPost because I loved my job and patients. It was only last year that I turned in my notice to my dental office. The decision to leave was not easy. I cried five times writing the letter to my dentist after 13 years of working side-by-side. Still today, I miss it so much. When I hear someone complain about the profession, my heart just sinks that they don’t get as much joy as I do in helping others.

My passion and heart belong in dentistry and helping people. The profession has given me so much that money cannot buy, and I’m grateful to be able to keep giving back to the dental community on an even bigger scale through DentalPost. We now have 39,000 dental offices using our site to make a better hire using data obtained through personality matches, core value assessments and culture assessments to make a better fit. When we pair the right professional with the right employee, everyone is happier.

I am forever grateful for the accident that set me on my path in the dental profession, and the journey that has followed. I celebrate my dental hygiene “family” this month and every month, and maintain my commitment to helping improve the lives of my colleagues in the field – from helping find jobs to put food on the table, pay your bills, buy that car of your dreams, and go on that vacation with the kids. Helping you find that right team member that fits in and helps take care of your patients is my mission.

 

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About Tonya Lanthier

Tonya Lanthier, RDH, began her career as a dental hygienist in 1995. Her love for dentistry was a driving force in the founding of DentalPost.net in 2005, as an easy-to-use platform to help dental professionals and dental practices connect. Tonya is a delegate for the Atlanta Dental Hygiene Society, serves on the planning committee for the Gala for Smiles, and volunteers for the Georgia Mission of Mercy and the Ben Mansell Clinic. Tonya lives in Atlanta and is the mother of twin girls.

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