Sarai Puente began her career as a dental assistant (DA). Her passion for helping others quickly led her to earn an undergraduate degree in dental hygiene from the University of Southern California’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. She was awarded with the Patient Education Award for demonstrating the highest standard in didactic and clinical patient education. She joined the DentalOne Partners family in February 2017 as the regional hygiene director over the West region.
Over the years, Sarai has gained a wealth of knowledge. She has experience with both the Dental Support Organization (DSO) and the private practice market. As a result, she has direct insight into the challenges and opportunities hygienists have at hand. Sarai is eager to share her experience and advice on the topic in our two-part Q&A series.
Q: What intrigued you about being a hygienist?
A: As a DA at a county clinic, one of my rotations included taking radiographs on patients with excruciating toothaches. This was not an easy task, especially when there was additional discomfort to the patient from biting down on the dental film. This experience led me to want to learn more about prevention of dental infections and diseases.
Q: Why did you want to join DentalOne Partners?
A: The focus on patient care. I’ve seen firsthand the negative effects from dental care negligence and the destructive nature of periodontal disease. Here at DentalOne, the hygienists have the support, tools and well equipped practices to deliver optimal patient care.
Q: What do you tell hygienists who ask about personal development within the company?
A: Personal development comes from your own sweat, those who surround you and the company’s culture. Here, I find myself surrounded by amazing, talented individuals. Additionally, there is continued growth at DentalOne, and we see that with the recent announcement of the 15 senior dental hygienists who have excelled in their clinical role. That speaks to the direction, vision and culture at DentalOne.
Q: How do hygienists benefit from the type of DSO structure (including compensation) maintained at DentalOne?
A: From my personal experience, the DSO structure has provided me with career opportunities not found in the private practice market. This setting creates infinite opportunities for learning. In regards to compensation, here at DentalOne and our compensation plan, there’s no cap to how much you can earn—it’s limitless. The key is to focus on optimal patient care.