Smile 175: Dr. Matthew Catuna

Mint Dental

Name: Dr. Matt

State or Country: Arizona, USA

Occupation: General Dentist

What is your educational background?

D.D.S Loma Linda University

B.S. Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior while at UC Davis.

Why did you choose this career?

I’m something of a class clown, so I love to make people laugh and smile! What better way to help people smile than to actually make that happen through dentistry!

I chose this career after shadowing, for a time, at my  dentist’s office. I was blown away at the integration of medical knowledge and hand skills; something I had always longed to make into a career.

What do you like the most about your career, and the least?

I love interacting with people on a daily basis! I love the amount of different people, stories, and smiles I get to see. While I dislike the fact that so many people are afraid of the dentist, whether due to previous trauma or just the needle, I love it when someone tells me they aren’t afraid anymore and that I played a role in helping that happen!

What advice do you wish someone would have shared with you before entering your career?

I wish someone had sat me down and really stressed the importance of financial planning and how small businesses work. Unfortunately, dental school doesn’t prepare you very much for the finance part of dentistry.

Do you have any tips or advice for people considering this field for their profession?

It may be a cliché, but you will fail, and it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. It’s how you learn from the failure and overcome it that matters most. As long as you love what you’re doing, and dentistry is your passion, then I have no worries that you too will also succeed.

How did you manage your stress and workload during school?

Lots and lots of soccer! I also coached soccer to keep some sanity.

Name one of your favorite experiences during your time studying or working?

Learning how to interact with patients, and truly understanding that my patients were putting their faith in me to provide them with the best possible care.

What are some helpful materials/resources you used to study and prepare for your
board or license exams?

Dental Mastery app for NBDE 1 and 2

Discuss one challenge you faced during your studies or work. How did you overcome it?

I had to learn how to manage a very busy schedule. In my second year of dental school, the coursework really piled up with so many labs and of course pathology, as well as coaching a soccer team and still trying to find time to sleep and have a social life. I really learned to prioritize and manage my time more efficiently, as well as cutting out things that were time-wasters!

What do you use for your everyday oral hygiene routine?

Toothbrush: Sonicare!

Toothpaste: Sensodyne

Floss: Gum-chucks

Mouth Rinse: Peridex or Alcohol-free Listerine

What makes you smile and why?

I’m blessed to be in a position to bring in someone from the dark and improve their self-esteem and smile not just through dentistry, but positivity and love. I smile when I see people confident in who they are and love themselves for who and what they are!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I love spreading positivity, and this idea of sharing smiles is absolutely fantastic! I hope many more people are touched and realize they have a beautiful smile, no matter what!

Instagram I @the.doctor.matt

Practice: Dentistrypeoria.com

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Photos in this post are credited to Dr. Matt.

Thank you, Dr. Matt , for contributing to smilesofpeople.com!

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