I Graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College with a degree in Communications. I have always been digitally and design-inclined, laying out pages for yearbook in high school, being editor of the college newspaper, and designing websites and marketing materials in previous jobs.
My mom’s dad was a dental technician in the Navy and my dad’s grandfather was a dentist. Interested in possibly pursuing dentistry, I interned at a local dentist’s office. It took one shadowing of a cleaning appointment to gain clarity on my future career goals. I walked away fully respecting but no longer seeking the clinical aspect of dentistry.
I have 9 years in the dental lab field, starting as the front office manager. I got the opportunity to start scanning and digitizing stone models, which lit the fire for seeking the digital technician path. I went on to mill, 3D print and design, and over time, became the CAD/CAM manager. I developed digital workflows and CAD/CAM processes for a multitude of softwares and trained the team. I’ve learned you have to be a patient problem-solver and lifelong student to work in CAD/CAM.
I value education - bringing others up with you. I love to learn and teach others, providing clear goals and expectations, resources and education. When you train others with the fundamental principle that the patient is the reason why, you get passionate and focused results. We get to serve patients and give them function back. Give them confidence back. We have the opportunity to use left and right brain and be objectively subjective on each case. Every case is a new challenge and I will give my best for each patient. My team knows they can rely on me (grab a wrench and get greasy), ask me questions (even in the middle of a full-mouth design) and utilize me as a resource. If I don’t have the answer, I will find it and share it. Doctors know they can call me and work through scanning issues or discuss new techniques.
My family is my rock, and I’m blessed to have my inspirational husband, 5 year old comedian/future world-leader daughter and 14 year old agape-incarnate puppy. They support me and get excited with me when I discover something new or find a solution and have a dental jargon-filled outburst.
Even when I lose my implant bridge design after the third computer crash of the day, when the mill gets angry and turns red, and when the printer produces a Lego instead of a model - I still love what I do and why I do it. The patient matters most.
285: Ladies of the Mill 2023 with Mary Cardenas, Denisse Lasso, Dora Rodrigues, Krysta Lovelace, Heather McMeans, Raegan Bicklein, Lauren Crowe, Holly Wood, Sarah Williamson, Jennifer Taylor, Emily Valentine, Hannah Fischer, Stefani Hudson, Lindsay Berg, Betty Teel, Brandy Jo, and Kathryn Green
September 11th, 2023 | 1 hr 23 mins
apex dental lab, aspen, barn, cousins, daughters, dental, digital dentures, f bomb, family, front office, lab ownership, laboratory, mountains, og, podcast, remote design, speaking, strength, teaching, technician, voices from the bench, weakness
Our most guestful episode yet! We are back talking to 17 wonderful ladies during the Ladies of the Mill Summit 2023. We chat with Mary Cardenas, Denisse Lasso, Dora Rodrigues, Krysta Lovelace, Heather McMeans, Raegan Bicklein, Lauren Crowe, Holly Wood, Sarah Williamson, Jennifer Taylor, Emily Valentine, Hannah Fischer, Stefani Hudson, Lindsay Berg, Betty Teel, Brandy Jo, and Kathryn Green. Enjoy!