Dr. Long is an experienced, gentle clinician with a passion for providing her patients with exceptional care, and we’re thrilled to have her here at Westlake Hills Dental Arts! She is taking over for Dr. Jones so that he can smoothly transition to retirement without worry after over four decades of high-quality service. Her favorite part of her job is being able to help her fellow human beings smile more by removing barriers like pain or self-consciousness from the equation. Keep reading below if you’d like to learn more about her.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dentist?
Growing up, Dr. Long was lucky enough to have parents who supported her dreams wholeheartedly, as she went through stages of wanting to be a waitress on rollerskates, an astronaut, and an MD like her father. It wasn’t until college that she really started to home in on the dental field, which combined her interests in biology, healthcare, psychology, and community service. As a teenager, she’d spent several years in braces and undergoing gum surgeries. In college, she chipped her front tooth, which made her self-conscious and more introverted. She was finally able to visit her hometown dentist when her school was on break. Her dentist was able to restore the tooth so beautifully that it looked as if it had never been fractured and Dr. Long was once again comfortable smiling and laughing without reservation. After that experience, it became her calling to give other people that gift, and she’s never looked back.
Where Did You Study Dentistry?
After studying at the University of Virginia, Dr. Long pursued her dental doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Today, she pursues more continuing education than most dentists, having completed over 600 hours so far in her career. She travels two to three times per year for continuing education, seeking the most sought-after instructors and the best professionals in the field to learn from. These trips often take her to the Spear Education Center in Scottsdale, AZ. She also attends the annual Chicago Midwinter Meeting, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry conference, and various study clubs, both in-person and online. She is currently on track to earn her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in June 2021
Outside of the Dental Office, What Do You Like to Do?
Dr. Long is lucky to have her husband Ryan as our business manager and her best friend. They currently live with their beloved rescue dog Roxy and two newly rescued kittens (Kismet and Kylo Roo) who bring them so much joy (along with some aggravation- they get into everything!) As for personal hobbies, she enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling; some of her favorite trips have been to Costa Rica and New Zealand. She would love to see Africa someday too! She’s also a big animal lover (with the exception of mosquitos) and has volunteered at shelters in the past- she had to stop volunteering for a while because she wanted to take all of the animals home. Of course, spending time with family (especially her young niece and nephew in Chicago) is a big priority.
All in all, Dr. Long believes that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So far, she’s tried scuba diving, skydiving, and bungee jumping, with more adventures hopefully on the horizon.