The MONTHLY Smile
TRANSFORMING SMILES THROUGH THE ART OF DENTISTRY
Meet Dr. Jamie Austin
While studying at The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, Dr. Jamie took on a case that became truly pivotal in her career. A heroic young man had become severely injured during a bar fight while trying to protect a woman. In addition to his other injuries, one of his front teeth was shattered. Rather than extracting the damaged tooth, Dr. Jamie was able to completely restore it. This case led her to publish an article regarding her restoration technique in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry — an amazing accomplishment for an aspiring dentist. Dr. Jamie’s exceptional work didn’t stop there. During dental school, she went on a mission trip to Peru, where she and several other dentists provided free dental care for people in villages on the outskirts of town. Some of the patients she worked with had never seen a dentist in their lives. Communicating through translators, Dr. Jamie was able to relieve their pain and discomfort through fillings, cleanings, and extractions.
If you ask Dr. Jamie Austin for her favorite aspect of the job, she’ll reply that it’s “transforming smiles through the art of dentistry.” Very few people in other professions would refer to their jobs as art. But for Dr. Jamie, the artistic aspect of her work is what fuels her passion daily. Ever since she was young, Dr. Jamie has enjoyed using her hands to create. She grew up spending her free time drawing, painting, and scrapbooking. In fact, Dr. Jamie’s love for crafting led to a part-time job at Michael’s while attending college. Surprisingly, this job was instrumental in introducing her to the dental world, which would change her career path forever. During the summer of her freshman year at Georgia College and State University, a coworker at Michael’s introduced Dr. Jamie to a pediatric dentist who needed help around the office. Dr. Jamie started by assisting with charts, processing insurance information, and sterilizing instruments. She learned how a dental office functioned and was able to ask the dentist about various diagnoses and treatments, which fueled her interest in the dental field. She returned to college the following year ready to pursue both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology and went on to attend dental school shortly afterward.
Even when Dr. Jamie isn’t in the office helping her patients, she spends her time expanding her breadth of knowledge. In addition to joining study clubs with fellow dentists in the area, she makes sure to attend as many dental conferences as possible. “The dental field is always innovating, and it’s important to keep abreast of the emerging technologies,” Dr. Jamie explains. “In this way, I get to be a lifelong learner.”
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