Women in Dentistry: Insights from Two Inspiring Female Dentists

In the world of dentistry, there are countless women who have made significant contributions and continue to inspire others with their work. We had the privilege of speaking with two accomplished female dentists, Dr. Maehata and Dr. Maï-Lan, about their personal and professional experiences. Their insights provide a glimpse into the challenges they have faced, the impact they have made, and the advice they have for other women in dentistry.

Which women have inspired you in your personal and professional life? How have they inspired you?

Dr. Maehata: “I don't have a specific woman in mind, but in my 48 years of life, I always have been influenced by the strong-willed women I have come into contact with in my personal and professional life. I have learned from them that women are independent and that we need to speak up and do things without making distinctions because we are women or men.”

Dr. Maï-Lan: “If I had to choose an inspiring woman, that would be my mother whom I deeply respect. She inspires in many ways: as a driven pedodontist, as a caring mother, and most of all, as a wonderful human being. I wish I was a quarter of the woman she is.”

What advice do you have for other women in dentistry?

Dr. Maehata: “Women are very susceptible to hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. It is not a matter of course to keep a good physical and mental balance in their lives. I hope that all women, not only women in dentistry, but also female patients, will be able to maintain a good physical and mental balance in their work.”

Dr. Maï-Lan: “You go and do what you do. Don't doubt yourself, because you know more than what you think you know. Go break a leg, girl!”

What is your favorite thing about being a female dentist?

Dr. Maehata: “I don't know what it means to be a female dentist and how different it may be from being a male dentist. But I can tell you what my favorite thing about being a dentist is: to connect with my patients. The best part of this job is when I manage to change their opinion, whether it's about themselves (full mouth reconstruction) or about our job (dentist phobia).”

Dr. Maï-Lan: “I think the best thing about being a female dentist is that I can be close to patients who have fear or discomfort with male dentists, or patients with female-specific diseases that are difficult to discuss with male dentists.”

What are your goals for 2024?

Dr. Maehata: “To keep giving great experience to my patients while treating them, to participate in continuing education and overall to maintain balance in my professional and family life.”

Dr. Maï-Lan: “It is to challenge new and different approaches in 2023 on the basis of balancing mental and physical health and work all together.”

Dr. Maehata and Dr. Maï-Lan's stories and advice serve as inspiration not only to women in dentistry but to anyone pursuing their passions in the field of healthcare. Their experiences highlight the importance of determination, self-belief, and creating meaningful connections with patients. Let us celebrate the contributions of women in dentistry and continue supporting their endeavors.