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dental careers and practice transitions dental careers and practice transitions

When you love what you do, every day is a joy.

Even as a child, dentistry’s pull on Dr. Carrie Teahen was strong. “I’ve wanted to be a dentist my whole life. When I was little, I would sit on my mom’s lap and count her teeth. I always liked going to the dentist – the feeling of freshly polished teeth, the thrill of choosing your polish and fluoride flavors. I even liked going when I needed fillings or teeth removed for braces! I had a great experience with my own dentist and it set me up for wanting to pursue that as my career.”

Dr. Teahen attended University of Iowa, starting on the pre-dental learning path from day one. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and officially began her journey toward becoming a dentist. “I accepted my first job in Santa Rosa, California as an associate at a private practice. I stayed for several years and then was ready to return to my home state of Iowa. I next pursued a role as a general dentist at a hospital-based, pediatric dental clinic for low-income families and those with disabilities.”

Dr. Teahen found a lot to love about practicing dentistry. “I love working with my hands and helping people become healthier and feel happier with their smiles. I love creating relationships with my patients and educating them on how to prevent oral disease. It’s very satisfying to see someone who has taken what my team and I have taught them and made improvements to their oral health. I also like building a team of staff members who are as passionate about providing great quality dentistry to our patients as I am, and who enjoy coming in to work.”

Within a few years, Dr. Teahen was ready for a change of pace. “While I enjoyed my time treating pediatric patients, I knew my passion was for treating adults and families in a general dentistry setting. A good friend of mine from dental school (Dr. Will McBride) worked for Midwest Dental in Dubuque and always had positive things to say about his experience, so I started to explore my options as well. My goal was always to practice within commuting distance of Iowa City, and the organization had an opportunity available in Davenport. The position would allow me to practice as the only dentist within a four-operatory practice with an established patient base. After learning more about the role and the company, I knew it was the right fit.”

After six years in Davenport, a new opportunity unexpectedly presented itself. “Ultimately, I always knew I wanted to be in Iowa City. I also knew I wanted to stay with Midwest Dental. I was lucky enough to have the support of Midwest Dental in building a brand new practice with Dr. McBride. The practice opened in February 2020, and I am thrilled to have my long-term career plan set with Midwest Dental in the city and practice setting of my choice!”

Working with Midwest Dental has proven to be the perfect complement to Dr. Teahen’s priorities. “I alone make all clinical decisions regarding treatment planning and execution. Midwest Dental handles the business side of things, including insurance, HR, IT, and safety compliance. I don’t lose sleep at night worrying about payroll or whether a piece of equipment needs replacement. Midwest Dental allows me to focus on clinical dentistry while they take care of the rest.”

If Dr. Teahen has one takeaway from her career so far, it’s to “find what you like within dentistry and build your practice to focus on those procedures. Create an office dynamic that makes you want to come in to work every day.” It doesn’t get any better than that!

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

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