I am a dentist whose life centers around providing high-quality care and smiles, especially to my Spanish-speaking community. To the extent to which I can do so in the future, progressively, as my career matures, I want to devote as much time to underserved Spanish speakers as possible, many of whom are undocumented and unable to afford dental care. For me, an oral health professional seeking a residency position in Orthodontics, I am aware that my chosen specialty is often thought of as ‘cosmetic,’ a luxury expense, and not as any entitlement as a member of the community; and this is probably particularly true concerning recent Spanish-speaking arrivals to the USA from Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly if they are undocumented. However, I want to resist this perspective and suggest that the spirit of community in our melting-pot land of immigrants can reach the point of providing orthodontic treatment for the underserved, at least some of them, as many as possible.
Earning my DDS in 2005 and spending the next two years serving at a hospital, I completed two years of general dentistry residency, earning a certificate by completing a 2-year course in Implantology. I also became certified as an Invisalign provider in 2011. My father is from Puerto Rico, and my mother is from Guatemala. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, with both parents primarily Spanish-speaking, I feel equally comfortable in English and Spanish. I am familiar with urban and Latino communities and immigrant issues. I feel called to the very fiber of my being to serve those members of my unique minority community, those primarily Spanish speakers who most need my support. I look forward to a long professional lifetime laboring to educate the community concerning the importance of dental hygiene and occlusion – in both languages. My long-term plan is to serve for decades as a mentor, sharing all that I hope to learn about Orthodontics and passing on the torch to new generations of Orthodontists.
Contributing to research in Orthodontics is also central to my long-term plans, especially concerning the relationship between orthodontic treatments, on the one hand, and implantology, on the other. I intend to stay on the cutting edge of implantology, where I have already acquired extensive training. I also hope to contribute to research malocclusion sometime in my career. I am a general dentist with over ten years of experience and a certified orthodontist. I have been practicing all phases of general dentistry, and at this point, I know what I want: Orthodontics. I am happiest helping patients achieve the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible. I love the way that it enhances their confidence and quality of life.
The highest moments of my life have been devoted to my community, providing free dental screening for toddlers, for example, enabling the early detection of dental cavities and malocclusion. Other highlights include an annual free toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss distribution as part of oral health awareness campaigns in my community and food and clothing drives for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: skydiving and scuba help to keep me grounded.
Thank you for considering my application to your distinguished residency program in Orthodontics.