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dental careers and practice transitions dental careers and practice transitions

How serendipity and an international friendship led to one hygienist’s dream career.

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Andrea Pasenelli is a hygienist at Midwest Dental in Chisago City, Minnesota and she loves her job. Every day, she walks into the practice with a smile on her face and brings her positive attitude with her. Her journey to get to this point, however, involved more than its fair share of luck and happy coincidence.

Andrea was born in 1987 in West Germany to an American military family, and spent the first decade of her life living on a military base. A family friend happened to be a hygienist at the base dental clinic, and as a child Andrea really looked up to her and wanted to be like her when she grew up. However, when Andrea was 10 years old, her family moved back to America and eventually lost touch with their hygienist friend.

Andrea’s family settled in Utah, where she spent the rest of her youth. As she entered college, she realized she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life or what kind of degree to pursue. Remembering how much she liked and respected her hygienist from Germany, Andrea thought that hygiene might be a good option for her too. Through some mutual connections, she was able to get in contact with her old friend and found that, miraculously, they were neighbors again in Utah!

Learning of Andrea’s interest in the dental field, her friend asked if Andrea would like to shadow at the practice where she worked, and Andrea jumped at the chance. Shortly after she started shadowing, a dental assistant position opened up and was offered to Andrea. She took it, loved it, and decided to pursue a career as a hygienist. Andrea went back to school and got her hygiene degree, and her career path eventually brought her to Midwest Dental.

A current day in the life of Andrea Pasenelli, RDH, is a joyful but busy affair. She always comes in early (well before the practice opens) to prep for the day, making sure all the rooms are clean and checking on the schedule for the day. “I have always appreciated how organized everything is at our practice,” Andrea says. “It makes it so easy to keep track of our incoming patients and ensure everything runs smoothly”

Then she participates in the team huddle, where the entire staff gathers to discuss the plan for the day. “We all share a great dynamic. Our chemistry as a team allows us to get patients in, take great care of them, and get them on their way. And we are always ready and willing to help each other out if we start to ever run behind. I love my team, and they are one of my favorite things about coming to work.”

And then, of course, there are the patients. “Many of my patients quickly become my friends. One of the best parts of my day is seeing a familiar face and catching up. Midwest Dental shares my patient-first approach to care and the environment they help create at our practice has allowed me to develop many close and lasting relationships with patients.”

On top of great patients and great colleagues, Andrea is able to go through each day essentially stress-free. “Midwest Dental has really set me up to be happy and successful. We get to own our production and I’m never worrying about falling behind on anything. Midwest Dental cares about what’s important to me and that’s why I love going into work every day.”

Midwest Dental is now hiring talented and passionate hygienists. Click here to explore our current opportunities.