Doctor Spotlight: Dr. Joanne Tsagas, DDS

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Position: Dental Director
Location: Roxbury, MA
Dental School: Boston University School of Dental Medicine

Who was your super hero growing up?

My younger brother and I played with G.I. Joes when I was younger. Lady Jaye was my super hero.

What do you know now as a dentist that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?

Besides the ability to provide quality dentistry itself, the ability to communicate with patients and parents – What we are going to do? What are the benefits? How we are going to do it? The ability to answer these questions in a clear and compassionate manner can sometimes be more important than the treatment itself.

What made you decide to apply for the mission trip to Peru?

Community for me is not just our immediate community, but our world–wide community as well. I feel very blessed that I was able to become a dentist and do what I love. Having grown up in Boston and gone to school in Roxbury, it has been such a great reward for me to be able to work for Kool Smiles in Roxbury for more than nine years and to give back to my immediate community – a community that has supported me, raised me, and educated me. Now I would like to pay it forward and help global communities in need.

How do you think this trip will affect you personally and professionally?

I believe it will make me more sensitive to the needs of others, make me a better clinician, and help me have a greater appreciation for the limited resources available to communities in Peru.

What’s a final piece of advice you have for people trying to make a difference in the world of dentistry?

My advice would be to be true to yourself. Always do the right thing both ethically and morally. If you are doing the ethical and morally correct thing, your patients will trust you, and in turn, you will be a better clinician.

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