Catherine Lopez


English, Cantonese, Tagalog
AAS in Dental Hygiene
Northern Virginia Community College

Most people either loved going to the dentist as a kid—or absolutely hated it. Where did you fall? How come?

I did not hate the dentist. Growing up, the dental office became almost a second home. Between two sets of braces, crowns, root canals and fillings, I thought I might as well work in a dental office!

What (or who) inspired you to get into dentistry? How so?

As a child, I remember seeing my dentist for the first time. She was wearing a white lab coat and had the prettiest, straightest, whitest teeth and wide smile. Since then, I always dreamt of becoming a dentist. However, my parents were not able to support such an expensive professional education. Being a dental hygienist is the closest I came to that goal in dentistry.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is the patient’s smile and happiness. The dental office is not everyone’s favorite place to be. It’s rewarding to hear a patient say, “I am looking forward to my next dental visit!”

What famous person (alive or dead) is your dream dental patient? Why?

I love to have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson be my dental patient! Apart from having a beautiful smile, he seems to be a fun and down to earth guy!

What’s your dream toothpaste flavor?


What’s something your patients might be surprised to learn about you?

Most of my patients are surprised to learned that I am in a nursing program. They automatically ask the question, “Are you leaving dentistry?” To which the answer is, No!

How do you recharge after a long week? What’s your go-to activity for hitting the restart button?

I have no specific activity after a long-week. Being at home with my family, relaxing and being lazy is enough to recharge me for another week.

What dental stereotype are you most passionate about changing?

Dental office = a painful, scary, and expensive experience.

What is the absolute coolest thing about the human mouth?

It’s like a fingerprint. Every mouth is different.

In another life, if you weren’t working in dentistry, what would you be doing?

Cosmetic surgeon

When I’m in the patient chair, I’m probably grooving to {blank} in my headphones.

Bob Marley

What’s something that really, really, really makes you smile? Like, really?

The beach, the sound of waves, the breeze!