I have really enjoyed being able to share the experience and knowledge of many of my wonderful friends and colleagues with you over the last few months. As you know, they each have a unique perspective, talent and journey that led them to find success and I hope their experience gives you inspiration no matter what field you're interested in.
I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Cristin McPherson-Lewis, DDS of BiTE Dentistry. She is a rare Nashville native and dentistry has been part of her family for most of her life as her father and brother were both dentists. She decided to go into the family business and attained her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry. She continues to pursue excellence in education by seeking the very highest level of post-doctoral training from the Kois Center, the Texas Center for Occlusal Studies, holistic mouth training with Dr. Felix Liao, and Vivos® Breathing Wellness Centers, in order to provide the very best care for her patients. She and her late brother Dr. Will McPherson purchased their father’s dental practice and continued their father’s legacy of dental excellence in Nashville. Dr. Lewis has an extensive background in sports dentistry and has served as the Tennessee Titans team dentist since her father’s practice served the team when they arrived in Nashville.
She is a general dentist with extensive training in airway/TMJ training and has been practicing for 25 years. Dr. Lewis is the owner of BiTE Dentistry and considers a holistic approach to dentistry because she wants to look for the cause of why teeth are breaking down and why someone may be more prone to dental decay. She treats with minimal invasive procedures and is most excited about their airway center to help people treat sleep apnea without surgery. She wants to help people breathe better, smile bigger, and live longer.
She is married to Jay Lewis and she has two teenage kids, Parks (17) and Sara Mac (14) that keep her very busy. During her down time, she likes to attend sporting events, paint, and boxing for exercise.
I had a chance to visit with Dr. Lewis about her career and her advice to young professionals.
Q: What do love most about your chosen career?
A: I love working and serving people. And I love knowing that I made a difference in someone’s health and helped them feel better. I’m very passionate about helping patients heal naturally and breathe better.
Q: What do you wish you’d known at 25 years old entering this career field?
A: In dental school they teach you how to be a great technical dentist, however, they do not teach you the fundamentals of running your own practice and managing a team. Dental school teaches you the trade, but not the business aspect. That would have been helpful to have the business aspect included in the education.
Q: What are the qualities a young professional needs to be successful in your industry?
A: A young professional needs a willingness to learn and to work. The best word I can say that you need in dentistry is perseverance. It’s a grind but, if managed correctly, it can be very rewarding.
Q: What advice would you give to a young professional just starting their career?
A: This career requires patience because you are not going to be extremely busy when you first come out of school. Take your time to get to know your patients and build relationships. Dentistry is a relationship business and you must take time to build those relationships. It’s not overnight success. Also, when you come out of school and are an associate for a dentist, you’ll realize you don’t know it all and the dentist you are working for has a lot of experience to learn from. Make sure you love what you do and remember you are here to serve your patients. If you love what you do the money will follow. However, if you are doing this just for the money, then you will likely struggle.
Q: How do you find work / life balance?
A: As most of us do, I struggle with a work / life balance. When I am at my best, I am managing my time great at work, working out and meditating. I love what I do but I also realize I need my down time. As long as I make myself and my health a priority, then I feel the most balanced.
Thank you to Dr. Lewis for sharing her insight with us!
That’s all I have for now.
P.S. Dr. Lewis LOVES her heels!