For any professional who loves what they do, one of the most rewarding opportunities is to share that passion with the next generation of young professionals – and Boger Dental is no different. Hiring recent undergraduates interested in pursuing a dental career is one of our most cherished missions as a dental office (besides making patients smile, of course!). When we hired Kylie to join our team and gain experience in the dental world, we knew she’d make a difference in our office, but we didn’t know just how much we’d appreciate watching her grow, learn, and fall in love with dentistry.
Here’s Kylie’s story – we hope it inspires you, too!
From Anxious to Assured
Kylie’s dental career may just be getting started, but the real beginning was years ago when she first visited the dentist herself. The experience was scary as a child, and Kylie recalled struggling with dental anxiety, a highly common condition for children first learning the ropes of the dental office.
That all changed, however, when she got braces. “My middle school orthodontist took the time to really explain everything that he was doing and make everything fun.” That extra level of understanding was just the push Kylie needed to not only feel safe in the dental chair but also become passionate about helping others overcome their fears, as well.
It didn’t come as a surprise, then, that Kylie found herself curious about the prospect of dental school as she neared college graduation.
“I knew that dental was the field that I wanted to get into, but before I jumped into school I wanted to make sure I was 100%.”
To get that assurance, Kylie started looking for entry-level dental jobs nearby, and that’s where we met her.
Three Years of On-the-Job Experience
Kylie started at Boger Dental as a sterilization assistant in August 2020. “The culture of Boger Dental is what got me there,” Kylie says. It’s true; we pride ourselves on our team-based office culture, and we knew she was a good fit with our crew right away. Dr. Kristi says it best: “When you have the right people in the right seats, it matters, not only for our patients but also our team.” As soon as Kylie interviewed with us, we couldn’t wait to see what she brought to the table.
She impressed us from the very start. She learned the ins and outs of the sterile tech role in no time and quickly moved up as a chairside assistant, where she worked alongside our doctors to provide patients with care at every appointment – and there’s no doubt this was Kylie’s favorite role.
“The hands-on is what I really loved about chairside,” she explained, and Dr. Kristi filled in:
“You’re hands-on, you’re in the operatories, you’re learning the procedures…you’re basically learning dentistry at that point. And Kylie just excelled.”
Because she was able to get an understanding of the daily life of a dentist, she began to learn more of what they don’t teach you in school: chairside manner, daily operations, and managing patients. Like an apprentice, Kylie got the on-the-job experience that most dental students don’t get until their third or fourth year.
And it was hard to contain Dr. Kristi’s enthusiasm for what Kylie had learned:
“I am honestly so excited for Kylie to go to dental school because she’s going to be a dentist before she even gets there!”
After working as a chairside assistant, Kylie gained additional experience as a treatment coordinator, helping our dentists craft treatment plans for patients that we would implement as a team. Then, with three years of solid dental experience under her belt, Kylie felt that 100% assurance she was originally looking for and applied to dental school.
Onward & Upward
Throughout the application process, we made it a goal to help Kylie in any way possible. From writing extensive letters of recommendation to accommodating her schedule to prep for entry exams, her passion became our passion. Kylie appreciated that our letters of recommendation reflected a genuine understanding of her as a person, and when asked what to expect from dental school, we were happy to share our experiences.
But one of the most heartening aspects of Kylie’s application process was a memory she included in her personal statement.
A patient had scheduled an appointment for pain management, and Kylie and Dr. Kristi were on the case to help her out. However, this patient had one holdback: she suffered from severe dental anxiety, and because of it, she hadn’t seen a dentist in years. Kylie pulled from her personal experience as a child struggling with the same thing and felt the urge to help the patient overcome her fears like Kylie’s orthodontist had helped her so long ago.
“By the end of the appointment, she said she was actually excited to come back to the dental office because of the way Dr. Kristi and I had treated her.”
Because she had been there before, she knew exactly what to do. She didn’t brush the patient’s concerns off, and she and Dr. Kristi explained what was happening every step of the way. That’s when we knew she was ready.
Kylie will be attending the University of Minnesota Dental School this August as a member of the class of 2028. We couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments, and we can’t wait to see the next generation of dentists take off on their own.
At Boger Dental, it’s always our privilege to make patients smile – but when we get the opportunity to make the community smile on a broader scale, we feel especially honored. We’re dedicated to giving our patients, employees, and communities a leg up on their dreams and goals, and we look forward to the next chance to do so.
If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our website to learn more.