Jaméla McFadden Grier


AAS in Dental Hygiene
South Florida State College

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

I loved going to the dentist as a kid growing up in Tampa, FL! I’m an 80’s baby. I’ve never had a cavity before, even up to this day! I think that played a huge role in my perception of going to the dentist. I’ve always had pleasant experiences. I looked forward to going to the dentist. My childhood dentist’s name was Dr. Fernandez. He was located off of the corner of Armenia Avenue. He and his staff were great! My younger brother, Corey and I would have so much fun going in for our visits! It was like going on a field trip! I distinctly remember an old yellow Volkswagen Beetle in the waiting room that we’d play in while we waited for our names to be called to head back.

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

My passion for overall health and wellness, paired with the memorable dental experiences that I’ve had early on in my childhood led me into dentistry. When you look good, which most definitely includes a healthy, beautiful, balanced smile, you feel good, and you’re confident! It’s always been dentistry for me. I’m most inspired by aiding in culturally diversifying the field of dental hygiene, as Black/African American hygienists only represent 3.5% in our profession.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing results! Before & Afters. I’m most rewarded when I’m able to actively participate in getting guests on the road to health (treatment planning, creating solutions), getting said guests into agreement, acceptance, and completion. I also love when people fall in love with me, and are excited to return for their visits!

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

Oprah! I don’t think I’d get any work done though! I’d be Chatty Cathy! Oftentimes as the clinician, we’re constantly giving (educating, motivating & inspiring), rarely taking. Having Oprah in my chair would definitely be a take moment for me! I’d hang onto her every word. She’s an inspiration. I’d be interested to know what we’d discuss, advice she’d give me.

What’s your dream toothpaste flavor?

Wrigley’s Extra, Polar Ice.

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

Growing up, I played softball since age 5 (tee ball), picked up volleyball in middle school. I played tenor saxophone. I’ve never lived outside of FL, up until 2021. My first car was a (stick) manual shift. I’m obsessed with iPhone cases!

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

Spa Day! I love facials, massages, lash & nail appointments!

What dental stereotype are you most passionate about changing?

Representation of Black/African American dental hygienists!

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

IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I may actually dabble in this life, at some point!

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

R & B

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