Q&A with POS Instructor Dr. Emmy Le | Incorporating orthodontics as a young dentist

Posted by POS Course Adviser on 6/28/18 7:59 AM

POS Instructor Dr. Emmy Le began learning orthodontics impressively early in her career, just 2 years after graduation from dental school. Get to know Dr. Le in this interview!


GABY CASTILLO: Hi, I'm Gaby and I'm here today with Dr. Emmy Le from Orange County, California. We're going to get to know a little bit about her today. So Dr. Le, what made you decide to learn orthodontics?

DR. EMMY LE: Well I had a few family members that were dentists that had gone through the POS program and had a great time learning ortho. They are both general dentists and they referred me here so I was very lucky to start early on in my career. I think it was about a year or two after I finished dental school starting the course. I was lucky enough to work in two pretty busy general dentistry practices and the only service that we weren't providing to our patients basically was orthodontics. We would see implant patients, we would see denture patients, and all kinds of restorative. The other dentists suggested that I should go and learn orthodontics so I started the course a few years after finishing school.

GABY: So what are the advantages of starting so young?

DR. LE: I feel really lucky that I started early. Coming out of dental school I really knew very little about orthodontics. They don't teach you a lot. I went to a great school and they just they don't expose you to a lot of orthodontics and you're basically trained to refer most your cases out to orthodontists. So I feel lucky because I was able to learn orthodontics and incorporate it into creating comprehensive treatment plans for my patients and add that additional service for our families in the offices. I feel like it's helped me to be a better general dentist, big time. I feel like orthodontics alongside with periodontics is really a backbone for general dentistry. You really step back and you look at the big picture a lot better. You see things that you would not see before your restorative cases. Everything turns out better. I do an orthodontic work up for all new patients even if they don't ask for it because it just goes hand in hand with everything else we do.

GABY: What are the challenges of practicing in two offices?

DR. LE: I do see orthodontic patients in both practices and in the beginning there's a challenge because you have to have all of your equipment at both offices. And your staff at both offices has to be well trained to help you. In the beginning when you commit to orthodontics, you have to commit to buying a whole new armamentarium. It's a whole new set of equipment. I had to buy two kits for example. I had to make sure that we had all the equipment at both offices. I wasn't going to travel with my tools. Then I had to make sure that our assistants were on board and they knew that we were doing orthodontics. They were all really excited about it. It brought a lot of life to our practice. They were really excited to get going and learn how to help out with those procedures for the patients. So there's the equipment and then there's also the training that you have to do with your staff, but then after that it went really smoothly. We just started seeing patients at both practices and the patients started coming in. I've been at these practices for 10 years now, but one of the practices has been open for almost 25 years and so we have a big patient pool. Lots of families come back to us and so mom's doing the braces, and then the kids are doing the braces, then the sisters and the brothers are coming in, so it's just really fun. It adds a lot of life to the practice.

GABY: So how do you balance your teaching life, your practice life, and your family life?

DR. LE: That's a challenge! And I love it. I'm up for the challenge. I try to stay really organized. When I know that I have my ortho patients coming in, I usually prepare a week or so in advance and take a look at where they are in treatment and see if we need to order any supplies for them. You can also train your staff to help you do this too. Then the teaching has been a fantastic part of my career now. I really look forward to going and sharing my ortho knowledge with all the other doctors around the country. I just try to fit it in when I can. My staff and my patients all know that I do this, so they understand if I'm gone for a weekend or so. Then family time I just build that into my work days and the weekends and try to enjoy every moment. It makes my life very full.

GABY: What would you recommend to new students coming into the program?

DR. LE: I applaud them on signing up. I would tell them just to stick with it because in the beginning it's very challenging to learn something brand new and get yourself ready to incorporate it into your office. Just get started with patients as early as you can, then find an instructor to do your diagnosis. Start with them and find a mentor that'll help you and answer all your questions. Just start as many patients as you can. I think I started 35 cases during my first round. I took the course the basic seminar twice I think because the first time around you don't pick up everything. The second time around you pick up a lot more because you're starting to go into mechanics with your patients and you're starting to finish cases. That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to take this course, because those other doctors that referred me told me that you have lifetime retake with the seminars which is really valuable with ortho, because you're always seeing something new. If I needed to go back and learn a little bit more about mechanics or something I could go to Seminar 7, for example, and I can pick it up from there. I feel like even now if I took the basic seminar classes, I'd probably still pick up things here and there. Orthodontics is just a really exciting, dynamic field and so it's really nice to have the backbone and the support that POS offers. So good luck.

GABY: Thanks, Dr. Le.

When and how did you decide to incorporate ortho into your practice? Share in the comments below!

Topics: POS Instructor Tips, Tips for Success, Orthodontics for Beginners, New POS Students

Start learning orthodontics now

Request a FREE 1 Hour Intro Video

Keep up with our blog!

Recent Posts