Some people know they want to go into dentistry from a young age. They have a fascination with teeth or an intense desire to help others. And then there’s the rest of us, like Sienna Stafford, who happened onto dentistry and discovered a passion they didn’t know they had. She’s found her place at Dental Depot as a hygiene assistant with even bigger dental dreams, and here’s the story of how she got there.
Sienna grew up in Northern California, spending long summer days on the beach or in endless card games with her sister and grandmother.
“[My grandmother] would always make us homemade orange juice, that’s what I always remember,” Sienna said. “We’d go and pick them off her orange tree. If you think about it, that’s the only orange tree I ever saw.”
But summer always comes to an end and Sienna went in search of who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do with her life.
“When I was in college I just thought, ‘I want to try this,’” Sienna said. “I was young and I needed to work. I wanted to try [dental assisting]. It seemed like it’s something that’s not going to go away. I actually did it and started working and I just sort of fell in love with it.”
And while Sienna joined the Dental Depot team in December 2017, she got her start in dental assisting at a private practice in California.
“Truthfully, I was a little nervous when I started working [at Dental Depot] because it’s a lot of women and I had only worked in private practice before,” Sienna admitted. “But this is one of the best offices I’ve ever worked at. We have a great dynamic with both the hygiene side and the general side. It’s amazing.”
And while the transition from a small private practice to the bustling offices Dental Depot can be a culture shock for anyone, Sienna took it in stride largely thanks to the support of her teammates, she said.
“The size is different; you’re working with a lot more rooms and people. And time; we’re seeing patients every thirty minutes,” Sienna explained. “At a private practice, you’re seeing them every hour or two. [Dental Depot] is more fast-paced, but I have more resources to help me. There’s always going to be somebody here to help you or talk to you or ask questions.”
Now, Sienna has her eyes set on an even bigger prize – hygiene school. And while she’s a busy mom of three rambunctious boys, including twins, she wants to make the best of her new life in Oklahoma.
“I’m in the process of doing my pre-requisites for hygiene school …” Sienna said. “Hygiene is definitely a great career. When I applied and they told me about hygiene assistants, I didn’t even know that was an option. So it was really exciting. It’d be nice to come back here after I’m done.”
Hygiene school isn’t an easy feat. Admissions are limited and classes are competitive. But Sienna has never been afraid to fight for what she wants in life, largely due to the lessons and influence imparted on her by her late grandmother.
“My grandma lived with Alzheimer’s for ten years, and she fought her way through it,” Sienna explained. “She was an amazing woman. She taught me to be a strong, independent woman, and how to take care of yourself and your family.
“I was pregnant with my twins and she was still alive and fighting,” Sienna said. “She was able to make it to my baby shower and then passed away the next day. I really feel like she was there and knew she needed to be there.”
And while Oklahoma may be lacking in orange trees, Sienna has found that her own family grows just fine on the plains.
“I’m here with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for about nine years,” Sienna said. “His family is from here and he grew up here. We met in California when he was stationed in San Diego, he was in the Marines.
“We have his son, he’s 12. Then I have my twin boys who are six. It’s fun,” Sienna continued. “They’re so wild and rambunctious. The boys all do sports and they keep us seriously busy.”
Sienna has faith that no matter where her future leads her, she’ll be okay because life doesn’t give Sienna lemons; it gives her oranges.
When she’s not at work, Sienna can be found with her family at sporting events for the boys, including; baseball, basketball and soccer. She values quality time and enjoys helping her boys with homework and going on outdoor adventures as a family.
Sienna was nominated for Employee of the Month by her coworkers at Dental Depot North OKC.
“Sienna is always looking to help others. She is a joy to have. She’s always willing to help anyone that needs it. Sienna cares about her patients and is always genuine.” – Annabelle Crownover, business office associate
“Sienna is always willing to help and goes above and beyond. She’s super friendly and approachable.” – Irene Carranza, dental assistant
“Sienna works very hard. She takes initiative and is kind. She maintains the hygiene schedule very well and always has a great attitude. I could not have asked for a better hygiene partner.” – Delwin Cifuentes, dental hygiene assistant
Dental Depot is a locally owned and operated family company. As such, we believe that the incredible group of doctors, hygienists, assistants and staff that make up Dental Depot are more than their job titles; they’re members of our extended family. In our family, we like to recognize when someone goes above and beyond, living the Dental Depot values. This April, we are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Sienna Stafford.