Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Elaine Sparks fell in love with all things dental as a young girl. So, it came as no surprise to anyone when she decided to pursue a path in oral health. She began her career as a dental assistant, later transitioning into dental hygiene, and eventually obtaining her diploma in Dental Therapy.
After practicing dental hygiene for two decades, Elaine moved from across the pond to Western Canada in the summer of 2005. Three years later, she joined Carrington Dental Centre in West Kelowna. Shortly after joining, she implemented a soft tissue management program for patients with gum disease, ranging from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis, which continues to be highly successful to this day.
After 33 years in the field, Elaine continues to take pride in building lasting relationships with her patients and educating them on their oral health. “I got into this profession primarily as an oral health educator and find that building long term, trusting relationships with my patients is the most rewarding part of my job. When my patients trust me with their oral health and understand the importance of it, then they are more likely to listen, learn and act on my advice,” she said.
When asked what advice she has for other dental hygienists looking to flourish in their careers, she states, “Enjoy all of your successes and learn from your failures and mistakes. Understand that not all of your patients will heed your advice and knowledge or change their oral health habits straight away, but with time and trust, they will.”