Dental Tribune Russia
Dr Anne Longuet Tuet is a dental surgeon and lecturer based in Paris in France. (Image: Anne Longuet Tuet)

Interview: “It’s very important to have female peers and mentors”

By Kuraray Noritake Dental
March 05, 2020

Though traditionally a male-dominated discipline, dentistry is increasingly welcoming women into the fold, and female dental students now outnumber their male counterparts in many countries. In advance of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Paris-based dental surgeon Dr Anne Longuet Tuet spoke with Kuraray Noritake Dental about the challenges that women may face in dentistry and what it takes to succeed in this environment.

Dr Longuet Tuet, how did you decide to enter the field of dentistry?
I have always wanted to work in a medical profession. Initially, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then, at a certain point, I spent a lot of time in a dentist’s office. She was also a woman, a teacher at the local university, and I saw what she could do and was inspired to help people in a similar way in order to let them smile again.

In your experience, are there any advantages or disadvantages to being a woman in dentistry? Has the situation changed over time?
I regularly lecture, and this still tends to be a very male-dominated arena. For example, at a lecture last year in Tunis, there were ten of us on stage and I was the only woman. Being a female lecturer can sometimes be a bit of a disadvantage, as we often have to work harder than the average male lecturer to prove ourselves and receive the same level of recognition. However, this will hopefully change in the future as more women prove themselves to be highly capable in this field.

Do you have any female mentors or role models in dentistry that you look up to?
Someone I really admire is Dr Francesca Vailati, who has contributed so much to modern adhesive dentistry through her lectures and research articles.

How important is it to have peers and mentors with whom you can have discussions?
I think it’s very important to have female peers and mentors, but it’s also worth remembering that men should also be part of your network. It’s nice to see other women when I give lectures or attend conferences, of course, but I also have plenty of male peers I admire and who help me grow professionally.

If you don’t consider men for mentorship, you can really limit yourself in the dental world, so it’s better to be open-minded in this respect. Good mentorship isn’t necessarily related to gender but instead to knowledge, experience, charisma and a willingness to share your expertise.

What do you need to succeed in the dental world?
I think the most important quality is a commitment to lifelong learning. It’s dangerous to think that you know everything there is to know about dentistry—there’s always an area in which you can improve. Even when you’re at a certain level and have been practising for many years, there’s always some new technology or technique that you can learn or something that you can improve on.

Of course, this is not just on the personal level. Dental materials and technologies are constantly evolving, and if you stop learning about them, you stop being up to date, right?
This is especially true if you work in adhesive dentistry. You need to be aware of the new bonding products and materials that are introduced to the market, since this can be a way of improving your work and the cases you treat.

How were you first introduced to Kuraray Noritake Dental’s wide range of adhesive solutions?
It was about four years ago, just after I really began to develop my restorative and adhesive dentistry skills. I was looking for a way to improve my composites and the way I bonded my ceramic restorations, and a friend of mine told me that the company’s CLEARFIL MAJESTY range of composites was very good. I was sent some samples soon afterwards and have been using the company’s products ever since.

Which Kuraray Noritake products do you use in your daily workflow?
Since 80% of my work at the practice is now restorative dentistry, I use the CLEARFIL MAJESTY ES-2 composite every day, as well as Kuraray’s PANAVIA adhesive cement. In addition, the dental lab that I work with uses KATANA Zirconia regularly to manufacture dental crowns.

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