Dr. Heather Schneider teaches kids and adults about oral health.
Dr. Heather Schneider
Profession: Dental Director at Delta Dental of Arizona
What do you do for a living?
As dental director for Arizona’s largest dental benefits provider, I am not only a dentist, but I advocate for good oral health among all Arizonans. This essentially means that teaching kids and adults alike how to take care of their mouths and teeth is my jam. How many kids and adults? We have about 1.2 million Arizona residents under our care!
What type of training do you need to do your job?
First, you must be a licensed dentist, which takes about eight to 10 years of training after high school. I am both a dentist and have my certificate in public health as well. It also helps if you’ve taught others about dental education prior. I did this through work as a faculty member at Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. Finally, I actually got my start as a dental assistant, which helped me really understand oral care from every angle.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
It is a tie between connecting with people to inspire them to be proactive in their health and helping everyone gain access to care. We actually make goodie bags and provide them to hospitals and medical centers statewide with free oral health assistance for new mothers and their babies, and we support dental care at places like shelters where there is a major need.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What advice would you give to a kid who wants to have a similar career?
It takes some hard work to get here. Sometimes it can feel like the finish line will never come. But do not stop. Keep going and keep pursuing this if it is your dream. It is worth it.
One fun fact NOT about your job?
I have a twin sister!