Doctor Spotlight: Dr. Tashiba Nelson, DDS – Associate Dentist

Position: Associate Dentist

Location: Orangeburg, SC

Number of years working for Kool Smiles: 2.5 years

What do you love most about working at Kool Smiles?

Kool Smiles values of quality, compassion, integrity, diversity, teamwork and fun aligns with my professional values and leadership style. Whenever I work in one of our dental offices, I try to establish a reputation of quality and integrity, through consistency and holding high standards for myself and the team.

What keeps you going? What is your motivational mantra?

My professional agenda and the goals I instill in my team are to impact the kids and parents of our demographic, nurture a population of patients who like coming to the dentist, value dental care and feel equipped to maintain their oral health.

My professional mantra: one patient at a time.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far in your career?

My career has taught me that I will never stop growing and learning. The tooth, the patient and the circumstance challenge me daily to ensure that I continue to grow in my profession.

Describe your experience as a dentist in one word?

Fulfilling.

What advice do you have for people trying to make a difference in the world of dentistry?

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing, for others?” – Martin Luther King.

My advice is, “start where you are, use what you have, do the best you can.” That’s another quote and my personal mantra. The world can be so big and at the same time, so small, therefore, we should never underestimate our impact, especially when we set an intention to do the right thing and to give back.

How do you plan to live out the Kool Smiles mission on your trip?

Kool Smiles’ mission – to provide quality dental care to underserved families – will serve me well in Ghana where my purpose is to ensure that my talents as a dentist and my compassion for others will positively impact the children and staff at the Touch a Life Care Center.

What sort of impact do you hope to make among the communities you will be serving?

I hope to positively impact the oral health needs of the patients in a compassionate and effective manner. If there are issues or concerns of dental anxiety and ignorance, our presence and impact can, hopefully, open up dialogue, create alternative perspectives and ultimately have direct influence on oral healthcare access and perception in the community.

What kinds of experiences do you hope to have on this trip? What do you hope to learn?

During and outside of practicing dentistry, I’m looking forward to a cultural exchange. It’s a very short period of time, but I wish to experience the clothes, food, history, religion and way of life in Ghana for members of the community.

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