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 am able to do so in the future, progressively, as my career matures, I want to devote as much time as possible to those members of the Spanish-speaking community in America who are underserved, many who are both 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 kind of entitlement as a member of the community; and this is probably particularly true with respect to recent Spanish-speaking arrivals to the USA from Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly if they are undocumented. I want to resist this perspective, however, and to suggest that the spirit of community in our melting-pot land of immigrants can reach to the point of providing for 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 then completed 2 years of general dentistry residency, going on to earn a certificate in Implantology: Surgical and prosthetic treatment, a 2-year program. I also became certified as an Invisalign provider in 2011. My father is from Puerto Rico and my mother from Guatemala. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, with both parents primarily Spanish-speaking, I feel equally comfortable in both English and Spanish. I am familiar with urban, Latino communities and immigrant issues, and I feel called to the very fiber of my being to serve those members of my special, 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, passing on the torch to new generations of Orthodontists.
Contributing to research in Orthodontics is also central to my long-term plans especially with respect to the relationship between orthodontic treatments, on the one hand, and implantology on the other. I intend to stay on the cutting edge of implantology as well, an area in which I have already acquired extensive training, and I also hope to contribute at some point in my career to research in the area of malocclusion. A general dentist with more than ten years of experience, I am now also a certified orthodontist. I have been practicing all phases of general dentistry and at this point I know what I want: Orthodontics. I find my greatest happiness helping patients to 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 annual free toothbrush, toothpaste and floss distributions as part of oral health awareness campaigns in my community and food and clothing drives for Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria. Sky diving and Scuba diving help to keep me grounded. I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished residency program in Orthodontics.