My interest in pursuing orthodontics started at a young age. My teeth were so poorly aligned that I called them my “buckteeth.” I was so embarrassed in school with the way I looked. In sixth grade, I was referred by my dentist to the local orthodontist. I met with my orthodontist and I was relieved when he told me he’d be able to fix my smile. Even though the process took almost three years, I remember how ecstatic I was when my braces were removed as if it were yesterday. I felt so confident and empowered! This event would later become the key moment that inspired me to pursue dentistry. I can't imagine what my life would be like if my parents weren't able to afford orthodontic treatment. My goal is to give this gift back to others. I want to change a child's perception of themselves and to make them feel confident to speak in front of others.
During my junior year of high school, I decided to take my goal to the next level and shadow the orthodontist who inspired me. Shadowing is a common way to explore areas of interest, however, for most people this exploration ends in college. Personally, I continue to be fascinated each and every day in the dental field. I continue to shadow my orthodontist from home as well as shadowing dental professionals at school. Orthodontics is a field that continues to grow and evolve. We need to be equipped with manual dexterity and the ability to problem-solve while treating each patient with compassion and looking out for their best interest. I love a good challenge!
Another long-term goal of mine is to find ways to make orthodontic treatment more affordable to others. It is very hard to go through life without proper orthodontic treatment. This is a severe disadvantage for those who may not be able to afford dental care or who live in underserved areas. For example, first impressions in an interview may be skewed by misaligned teeth or signs of poor dental care. The first thing that many people notice when they meet someone new is their smile. An interviewer could unfairly focus on someone’s appearance instead of their qualifications for the job. No job offer means no health care, which means no orthodontist. This is a constant cycle that many experience with health care disparities. I would like to reduce this because everyone deserves proper health care and a chance to feel comfortable in their own smile.
~ Emma Chubb, Ohio University ’20