Amber Auger, RDH - March 7, 2022

Women Who Have Inspired Me

Oprah is someone who truly inspired me to chase my wildest dreams. Oprah was raised by a single mom and created by overcoming many hurdles, challenges, and obstacles, yet she still leads with love.

In our profession, I have always been inspired by Jackie Sanders. Jackie is the editor of RDH magazine. Before her role as editor, she was Professional Relations Manager with Sunstar America. Jackie is someone who leads with her heart always, is one the hardest workers I know, and does it all with a massive smile on her face. Jackie continually inspires me to be the best version of myself, chase the passion in my heart, and never settle.

I also grew up with a single mom. My mom worked three jobs and barely kept food on my table. She consistently told me that she didn't care what profession I chose as long as I went to college. I was the first member of my family to go to college. I chose dental hygiene because I did not have a co-signer for dental school loans. There has never been one day that I have regretted becoming a dental hygienist. I worked as a waitress and borrowed over 90K from Sallie Mae to pay for school. The years of repetitive motion caused carpal tunnel in my scaler wrist, and three months before starting my first semester, I revived my first and last Cortiozone injection.

I practiced dental hygiene for three years and decided to continue my education with a master's in public health. Once I obtained my Masters, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I went to a dental conference for professional development and found that public speaking could be a great option to diversify my career. Currently, I work two days a week clinically while working with corporate clients and lecturing nationally. I love the diversity of my career and have created a membership program called Thrive in the OP. This membership program includes over 30 on-demand lessons and weekly coaching to equip dental hygienists with every clinical and business skill they need to achieve patient outcomes and personal development excellence.

I am honored to be an educator in the dental hygiene community. So many women in this field have fought to change the profession. One mentor and friend that comes to mind is Patti DiGangi. Patti is a pioneer in our industry and has advocated for excellent patient care. Her commitment to the expansion of dental codes has changed the future of the dental hygiene field. Patti's work resulted in the Gingivitis Code (D4346), multiple books, and the expansion of teledentistry.

- Amber Auger, RDH