Samantha Perez


English, Spanish
AAS in Dental Hygiene
Hostos Community College

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

My patients when I was a dental assistant inspired me to pursue my career as a registered dental hygienist. I wanted to have more time with them and saw myself providing knowledge to those who lacked access to care. I will never forget when a patient of mine was so afraid, we spoke about the visit and she told me I was made to help people.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Creating a safe place for all of my clients is the most rewarding part of my job. Many individuals suffer from dental anxiety and have experienced traumatizing dental treatment at some point in life. I work try my best to change the narrative and make their experience amazing.

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

I’ve been in the field for 15 years. I have worked my way up within dentistry from dental assisting, office manager and now registered dental hygienist. I’m able to provide them with oral hygiene instructions as well as having conversations about access to care.

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

A long drive home listening to my favorite podcast and some guided meditation usually does the trick for me.

What dental stereotype are you most passionate about changing?

I think I work hard to eliminate the idea that “dentists” are not doctors. It is unfortunate that some clients don’t have faith in their dentist as they would for their physician.

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

Absolutely nothing! I can’t even imagine life without dentistry. However, If I had to choose I would probably be an RN or a physicians assistant.

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