Shore Children’s Dental Care is pleased to announce and introduce to you our new General Dentistry Associate, Dr. Shira Gross.
We know you will welcome her with open arms!
After graduating Cum Laude with a bachelor of science from Adelphi University, she attended New York University College of Dentistry to receive her DDS degree. While at NYU, Dr. Gross had the unique opportunity to participate in an Honors in Special Patient Care program where she treated the medically compromised and special needs population.
Following her graduation from NYU, Dr. Gross accepted a residency position at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey. There she continued her interest in general dentistry, serving the local community while learning cutting edge techniques. While at Monmouth Medical Center, she continued pursuing her passion for special needs dentistry. She is an active member of Monmouth Ocean County Dental Society, as well as the ADA.
Dr. Gross lives in Lakewood, N.J. When not caring for patients and learning about dentistry, she spends her free time with her family and at the Jersey Shore. She also enjoys playing the piano, and travel.
In a recent interview with Dr. Gross, we learned more about her background, career and what she looks forward to most here at Shore Children’s Dental Care.
When did you first decide to become a dentist? Why? Like most students in college, I went through a lot of career options before I finally decided to go to dental school. I liked the fact that in addition to helping people, dentistry mixes actual physical skill with science and technology.
How/why did you choose the school you attended? I chose NYU because of the unrivaled clinical experience it offered. Of course, the location was a big draw as well. Going to school in NYC was a wonderful and memorable experience.
What surprised you the most about your studies? How much there is to learn about teeth! For such a focused study, the amount of research and education is enormous. I am still learning every day.
If you had it to do all over again, would you still become a dentist? (Why or why not? What would you have done instead?) I would absolutely do it all again. I love what I do.
Has being a dentist met your expectations? Why? In most ways being a dentist exceeded my expectations. Impacting someone’s life by improving their smile is far more rewarding that I would have thought. It can be emotionally draining as well which I did not expect.
What do you like most about being a dentist? The people I meet along the way. I have learned so much from my patient’s- they have such interesting stories to tell.
What do you like least about being a dentist? Like most employees in the healthcare field, we work in an indoor office setting all day. It would be nice to find a way to have dentistry offered in a more portable, preferably outdoor setting. Imagine getting a cleaning while lying on a lounge chair on the beach. I’m still working on that.
How much of your time is spent teaching/seeing patients/doing research? Can you change that mix if you want to? The majority of my time is spent seeing patients. I am a more hands on kind of person so this works for me but I can absolutely change that. Some dentists divide their time between teaching and working; others are devoted full time to research and academia. This flexibility is one of the great things about dentistry.
Describe a typical day at work. There is no typical day. SCDC specifically, is very patient driven which means our experience varies with each person that sits down in the dental chair. There are always surprises!
What information/advice do you wish you had known when you were beginning school? The director of the residency program I attended used to tell us, “don’t sweat the small stuff -and almost everything is small”. Most of us in the dental field tend to be a little obsessive so this was a good lesson to learn. I’m working on it.
From your perspective, what is the biggest problem in healthcare today? Specifically in dentistry, lack of education and poor access to care is a big problem. This point was illustrated to me on some of the dental outreaches that I volunteered on.
How do you spend your free time? Any hobbies? I love spending time with my family, especially my two boys. They keep me busy! When I do have free time I love working on playing piano. I also signed up for the gym although I haven’t actually gone yet.
What are you most looking forward to in working with SCDC? SCDC is primarily a pediatric practice. As a general dentist who treats patients of all ages, it’s a fun experience to work in such a kid-friendly environment. It will be nice to see these kids develop as they get older.