Education: University of Illinois, Parkland College
RDH: 34 years
Practiced: 30 years

Dawn Kasper, RDH
Dawn Kasper, RDH
Global Education Manager

Question

Why do you love Dental Hygiene?

Answer

I love being a Dental Hygienist and truly enjoyed practicing clinically because it allowed me to combine my ability to put others needs first and help create change in my patients’ lives. Whether it was trying to change a bad habit or perpetuate a change in lifestyle, I knew anything was possible. Most patients truly have a fear of the unknown, and that is what dentistry represents to them. Being able to provide a little bit of education enabled me to open their eyes to options available to them, and provide answers, which in turn took away their fear.

Question

When you were practicing regularly, what was your proudest moment?

Answer

When practicing regularly, I found many moments that I recall very proudly, but two in particular stand out, and both were when volunteering: The first was when I conducted in-service education for nursing home staff and taught them how to label dental prosthesis (dentures): Most nursing home patients had dentures, and the staff would take out each patient’s dentures and then put all of them together in big buckets to clean. When the time came to return them to the appropriate patient’s mouths, they had no idea who the rightful owners were. The second was when I helped fabricate makeshift toothbrush handles to enable elderly patients to have home care compliance: Toothbrushes did not come with handles designed for patients with various disabilities (i.e. strokes, temporary or permanent injuries, bedridden patients, paraplegics, etc..), so I created them, and then created a program to train nursing home staff to design them as needed. It was tremendously rewarding to see the smiles I received from patients who no longer had to rely on someone else to brush their teeth or help them with their oral home care needs.

Question

How does being an RDH help you in your job at Hu-Friedy?

Answer

Being an RDH helps me in my job as Global Education Manager at Hu-Friedy in two big ways: First, when training new employees or dealer reps in instrument usage, I’m able to teach them first hand why Hu-Friedy designs certain features in their products, and why the rewards provided by the benefits from those features are important for both the patient and the clinician. Second, when the company is designing new products, I’m able to provide real life experiences; demonstrations of a clinician’s product usage, issues a hygienist or patient would need addressed, products missing from the dental market, and hygienists wish lists for their dental products.

Question

What do you do to support RDHs in the field?

Answer

Being an RDH helps me in my job as Global Education Manager at Hu-Friedy in two big ways: First, when training new employees or dealer reps in instrument usage, I’m able to teach them first hand why Hu-Friedy designs certain features in their products, and why the rewards provided by the benefits from those features are important for both the patient and the clinician. Second, when the company is designing new products, I’m able to provide real life experiences; demonstrations of a clinician’s product usage, issues a hygienist or patient would need addressed, products missing from the dental market, and hygienists wish lists for their dental products.

Question

What do you do to support RDHs in the field?

Answer

To support hygienists in the field, I’ve remained active in local, regional, state and national dental hygiene groups throughout my career. I continue to stay very active on legislation affecting the profession, volunteer for many research and funding programs including the Oral Cancer Walk (helped organize and enter Hu-Friedy into the first local fundraising walk in 2013), volunteer for community screening programs, attend many tradeshows, and stay current on the newest products.

Question

Why do you believe in Hu-Friedy products/the Hu-Friedy brand?

Answer

I believe in Hu-Friedy products and the Hu-Friedy brand because I know firsthand the value Hu-Friedy provides in their instruments/products, and the passion they have when designing them. I tell this story to all my dealer reps, and our newest employees and I’d like to share this story with all dental professionals: As a student, most hygienists have to purchase their instruments, and so they take good care of them. That said, my first instruments as a dental hygiene student were made by Hu-Friedy. At the time, I knew very little about the company, and my instruments all were made with the original #2 pencil shaped handle. I used those instruments throughout my years of school, and brought them with me into many of my practices in my early years of being a clinician. Those instruments held up year after year, through many sharpenings and many sterilization cycles. Recently I found those instruments still in the bagettes they were last sterilized in, and I know if I take them out today, sharpen and sterilize them, I could still use them 34 years later! That speaks volumes to the quality that goes into each and every instrument Hu-Friedy makes. In the 4+ years I’ve been with Hu-Friedy, I have seen the pride and hard work that each employee exhibits. We make products we are proud to put into each and every clinician’s hands, knowing that using our products will help them provide exceptional dentistry to their patients.