We recently connected with Maria Jackson, DDS, FAGD and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, thanks for joining us today. Do you think your parents have had a meaningful impact on you and your journey?
My parents have always stressed the importance of hard work, independence, and perseverance. Growing up, we were taught that great things will not just fall in our lap, but rather, we had to be willing to put in the hours to achieve our goals. There were no handouts in life. For instance, I have always loved the sport of golf and have played since I was 2 years old. At my high school, there was no girl’s golf team at the time, so if I wanted to play it would have to be on the boy’s golf team and in the boy’s league. Normally, this may seem like a daunting thing to do, but because of how my parents raised me, I wasn’t nervous or scared to compete. In fact, I was excited as I had been competing in men’s leagues my entire life at that point and playing against my brother almost every day. Initially, I definitely stood out on the boy’s golf team. I wasn’t always welcome out there but thankfully, I had the support of my parents and teammates during those years. There were many that thought I didn’t belong in boy’s league. I remember my first tournament my freshman year, there were so many eyes on me. My dad would always tell me to ignore the eyes and chatter and just go out and play my game. He would always say that I had put in the practice hours and hard work over the years and my only competition out there was myself. I couldn’t dictate or change how the other golfers played so there was no point in worrying about it. My parents always taught me it was ok to walk alone and be independent and not follow the crowd. It was their continued teachings that made being the only girl in an all-boys league not a big deal for me. I went on to have a very successful high school career in the boy’s league, which earned me a scholarship on a Division 1 team in college.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I am a general dentist who practices in Forney, Texas, at my office Empower Dental. I moved to Texas from Kansas City several years ago, after I completed my residency. I started my dental office in early 2020, despite some natural delays due to the ongoing pandemic at the time. It was always a dream of mine to own my own office and build a brand of my own. It has definitely been a rollercoaster ride, as anyone who owns a business knows. Thankfully, we have come out strong and done really well for ourselves in the Forney community. At Empower Dental, we focus on comprehensive dental care, including preventative care, routine cleanings, whitening, clear aligner therapy, and sports dentistry. We really aim to help with patient education, as it is important to understand your teeth and why they are so vital. Too many do not understand how your teeth are tied to the rest of your body, and how teeth can affect your overall health. Healthy teeth truly translate to a healthier body and outlook. We really strive to better educate our community through visits with us or on our social media platforms. Teeth do not have to be a mystery. This, along with being able to help someone regain or achieve the smile that they were hoping to get, are the two most amazing things we offer at Empower Dental. Not only can you get that nice big, beautiful smile, but you will also understand your complete treatment plan and feel better going forward with it.
Other than training/knowledge, what do you think is most helpful for succeeding in your field?
I definitely believe that dentists sometimes have to act as sounding boards for our patients. It is so important to listen to your patients and what goals or ideas they have for their smiles. Most dentists I know are naturally perfectionists by trait and we can sometimes get dialed in on what we think someone’s smile should look like, when that may not necessarily be what the patient wants to focus on. We always have to remember that teeth are attached to a person, and it is crucial to listen and understand that person’s hope for his or her smile.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
The biggest resilient story comes from when I started my office. I was scheduled to open early 2020 but obviously the pandemic had other things in mind, so I was delayed several months from opening. During that time, it was unclear how I was going to make it all work. There were several obstacles such as, constantly changing guidelines in dentistry to keep patient’s safe, significantly changing costs, and in getting patients to feel comfortable at the dentist again. The year 2020 was definitely not without its triumphs and tribulations, but we made it through, arguably what could only be described as a horrible time to start a dental office. I knew starting my own office from scratch would be challenging, but it has all worked out in the end. We are doing well and adding to our clientele and staff every day.
- Website: www.empowerdentaltx.com
- Instagram: @EmpowerDentalTX
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