I knew I wanted to be a dentist the first time I saw Dr. Singh fashion a composite veneer on a patient who needed a dental emergency fixed quickly. While working for Dr. Singh prior to dental school I was taught many great values in dentistry. Values such as caring, quality of care, and professionalism. I truly believe that the qualities that I learned from Dr. Singh helped me in my acceptance into dental school. When Boston University offered the Apex program as a way to give real world clinical experience to dental students, I jumped at the chance to be able to work together with my mentors Dr. Singh and Dr. Augustyn. The program allowed me to interact with two fantastic clinicians and prepare me to provide the same quality of care that Drs’. Singh and Augustyn provide to their patients. The program was great in that it allowed myself, a dental student, to really see dentistry from the eyes of the clinician and ask the pertinent questions that will help me in my own practice some day. I was able to work 1 on 1 with Dr. Singh and Dr. Augustyn with all facets of dental care and this was extremely helpful in the transition of working by myself upon graduation.
Today I feel confident as ever in my ability to deliver the highest quality care to my own patients and I truly believe that the Apex program along with the help of my mentors was instrumental in my confidence.
Dr. Augustyn is really dedicated to the education of future dental students and I believe she doesn’t merely see the program as a way to teach dentistry to students but lay the foundation for the moral and ethical treatment of all patients. Dr. Augustyn is truly a passionate dentist and her passion for dentistry has transformed myself in striving to be the best dentist I can truly be.
Dr. Singh’s approach to dentistry is quite amazing. I learned form Dr. Singh that humor, well timed, all the while maintaining a professional demeanor was important in the interaction with patients. Dr. Singh showed that his professionalism and personality allowed patients to be very relaxed in his chair and by doing this I noticed that patients hardly cancelled on him. I owe a lot to Dr. Singh because he was the person that got me where I am today. Dr. Singh’s dedication to the education of students as well, lends perfectly towards the Apex program.
I am very fortunate to have a group of people that are my mentors and who I also call my friends. The apex program that brought me back to Chicago to work with them was extremely important in my development as a professional.
Thank you again Dr. Singh and Augustyn,
Dr. William D. Elza, DMD (Austin, TX)
As an 18 year old just graduating high school, my knowledge and skills as a future dentist ranged from brushing all the way to flossing. Now, as a 20 year old who has interned at Happy Tooth, my spectrum of expertise is far more colorful. To initiate an internship, obviously the first step is to approach a dentist and get their permission to shadow. I took that first step after my younger sister had just finished seeing Dr. Singh for her routine checkup. Some people find talking to a dentist a little unsettling due to preconceived notions. However, Dr. Singh was very inviting and seemed genuinely interested in helping me out. We went back to his office, and there I explained to him that I was an undergraduate student looking for some experience in the field. With a smile, he just asked “What days are you free?”.
Soon after, I showed up for my first day and was introduced to Dr. Augustyn, the other dentist who would serve as my mentor, and the rest of the staff. Thanks to the welcoming nature of the people that worked there, I was able to completely skip the typical “awkward first day”. Being my first day I thought taking it slow would be best, but with encouragement from the doctors and assistants, I hit the ground running. My first couple of weeks were spent observing Dr. Singh and Dr. Augustyn perform a variety of different procedures and learning the “ins and outs” of dentistry. By my second week I was actually getting involved and assisting the Doctors and helping the assistants with their work. About two months into it I was; seating patients, taking x-rays, filling out charts, taking impressions and placing temporary fillings, and the list goes on.
There was not a single person there that did not play a crucial role in providing me the necessary tools to excel. Dr. Singh always took time out to teach me; the inner workings of the mouth, how to use different tools for different procedures, and the general dealings of someone who owns a clinic. Dr. Singh also taught me the logistics of getting into and graduating from a dentistry graduate program. Dr. Augustyn did an amazing job at guiding me through; the “bloodier” procedures, the proper method to anesthetize a patient, and the pros and cons of different techniques and view points. She also pushed me to broaden my horizon by introducing me to her colleagues that specialized in different areas of the dental field. Through her I was able to shadow oral surgeons, endodontists, and orthodontists. The assistants Juan, Ellisa, Gracy, and Gabriela were the ones who taught me how to; perform x-rays, how to clean the equipment, how to handle patients, the proper set up for a procedure, and countless other things. They were also always ready to lend a helping hand whenever i needed it. Even the receptionists Jackie and Sarai helped expand my learning experience by raising my awareness of the financial aspect of the clinic. When asked to recollect experiences, somethings get muddled and others get lost in translation.
What I wrote may seem exaggerated and somewhat sugarcoated, but I assure you that I merely listed the facts of my time spent at Happy Tooth. The lessons I learned from the people there were not restricted to dentistry. The life lessons I took away from this place are innumerable. Working under these two great doctors made me feel a true “master and apprentice” type bond that will probably last forever. Happy Tooth was a fun and academically significant time in my life, and I know it is a place I can always come back to.
I worked at happy tooth for two internships during dental school. It was a great experience. I learned a lot about "real world" dentistry from Dr. Singh and Dr. Augustyn. They took a lot of time to mentor me and advise me on what is most important to learn in dental school. They are laid back and working at Happy Tooth was a fun time! If you are thinking about going to dental school, or are in dental school and want to learn about how private practice works, contact Happy Tooth!
Dr. Abbas, DMD 2010