Dental Hygiene Master, Vietnamese, Dental Missions

I am a Vietnamese woman who was born and raised in Vietnam and have been resident in the US since 2001. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene, awarded by the University of XXXX in January of 2009.

I was raised in a country where people usually seek the services of a dentist only when in pain. The idea of routine dental visits is virtually unknown. Routine personal dental care is also widely neglected and many people never even brush their teeth.  Most people in Vietnam have lost all, or most, of their teeth by middle age, this is regarded as merely a natural consequence of aging.

Soon after my family came to the United States, I sought the services of a dentist and was informed that I had several cavities. It was explained to me that these would need to be filled and that a strict regimen of personal dental care was necessary to avoid further problems and avoidable loss of teeth. I encouraged other family members to seek help and similar problems were identified. Until this time, I had little idea of the importance of dental health but quickly realized how significant it is, not only in cosmetic terms but also in the maintenance of good general health. I then decided that this would be a good field in which to devote my time and talents. I became a Dental Assistant in 2001 and have worked in dental surgeries since that time. I now regard my work as more of a vocation than a mere career choice and feel privileged to have been able to fulfill it.

In 2005 and 2008, I returned to Vietnam as a volunteer and worked with several organizations.  I spent time in remote, rural communities teaching children to read, repairing houses and providing general assistance. I also worked, for a time, in the Hospital for Tropical diseases as a patient representative amongst other duties.

I would love, one day, to return to Vietnam to raise the awareness of the importance of dental health and good basic personal routines and also to provide some personal dental care in poor communities. I would also love to be involved in designing courses for local dental hygienists and infecting them with my enthusiasm for ‘bringing a smile to the face of Vietnam’.   I also hope to volunteer to help immigrants to the US from cultures in which dental health is a low priority and to teach them the lessons that I learnt and also to provide treatment to those who cannot afford to pay.

I began my formal dental hygiene studies in 2006 and excelled in them. Since 2009, I have been employed as a Dental Hygienist and find that I can’t wait to start work each day, I genuinely love my work. I relate very well to patients and receive excellent feedback from them. 

I am a hard working person, as my academic results and honors demonstrate. I also offer a dedication to, and passion for, the improvement of dental health in the community.  I feel that my experiences would enable me to provide useful insights to the academic community.   I hope very much to increase my expertise as a dental hygienist by means of the program and ultimately to pursue a doctorate in dentistry. I am sure that the Master’s program at XXXX is the best means to enable me to do both.

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