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Discovered a Passion for Dentistry, Fulfilled Goal to Become a Registered Dental Hygienist

Regina D. Roschi is working as a registered dental hygienist for Oak Cliff Dental in Eagan, Minnesota. She began her career in the dental field as a chair side assistant, trained on the job by a dentist she’d known since childhood. Regina discovered that she enjoyed the professional atmosphere of the office—as well as learning the skills of dentistry. “As I watched the dental hygienists, I realized that [this] is what I really wanted to be doing. Working one-on-one with my own patients and seeing the difference that my care could bring was the pull I felt toward [studying dental hygiene],” she says.

Today, Regina works in two private practice dental offices. She provides oral hygiene care, instruction, and follows up with patients with conditions from simple gingivitis to severe periodontal disease. “I work closely with the dentists and my patients to ensure they understand their conditions, how they got to this point, and what their treatment options are.” Regina asserts that her goal as a dental professional is to help her patients to not only achieve dental health, but to maintain it.

In addition to her work at Oak Cliff Dental, Regina volunteers with Medical Teams International (MTI) on its mobile dental unit. She began her volunteerism the day that she received her registered dental hygienist license. In 2011, she earned an “Above and Beyond” award for her work from MTI. That same year, she received a bronze “The President’s Volunteer Service Award” and a letter from President Obama for completing 100 hours of volunteer service.

Regina admits that the road to earning her degree was not always easy. She comes from a family of seven and had to pay for her own education. “It took me longer to get my degree than I wanted, but the important part is I got it.” She chose to pursue her studies at Argosy University, Twin Cities because of the friendly and helpful atmosphere at the school. “I evaluated a number of other schools but I felt like [the admissions department at Argosy University, Twin Cities] really had my back and wanted to see me succeed.”

In school, Regina received hands-on training that she describes as “invaluable.” Her education also emphasized that being a dental hygienist was more than just cleaning teeth. “We are the liaison between the dentist and the patient—the patient and good oral health. We are the front line of defense between our patients and pathologies.”

Regina, who in 2011 earned an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene from Argosy University, Twin Cities, adds that her instructors helped her to overcome the obstacles that she faced while in school. She initially had difficulties taking exams, and her instructors understood that she had a firm grasp on the material—but could not express that through testing. “[My instructor] encouraged me to seek [assistance] from the school counselors. It changed my life. I overcame a paralyzing fear of testing and by the time I had to take my board exams, I felt confident that what I knew would translate onto the test.”

Regina encourages current students to take advantages of the opportunities that Argosy University, Twin Cities affords to its students. “The school wants to help you succeed and you will feel so much more prepared for your next chapter in life.”

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