Career Corner: Lisa Wadsworth reflects on her path into consulting

July 9, 2013
Lisa C. Wadsworth, RDH, BS, owns her own company, Lisa C. Wadsworth Inc., a business focused on coaching and education for the entire dental team on periodontal protocol, implant dentistry, and ergonomics.

Lisa C. Wadsworth, RDH, BS, owns her own company, Lisa C. Wadsworth Inc., a business focused on coaching and education for the entire dental team on periodontal protocol, implant dentistry, and ergonomics. She is a member of ADHA and ADIA. With over three decades of experience in the implant and periodontal arena, Lisa began her career as a dental assistant, progressed to certification in Implant surgical assisting, and finally a degree in dental hygiene.

Lisa has received Fellowship status with the Association of Dental Implant Auxilliaries, is recognized by Hu-Friedy as a Thought Leader, and by Sonicare as a “Key Opinion Leader.” Lisa enjoys lecturing on a national scale on topics specific to periodontal protocols, implant dentistry, ergonomics, and communication skills.

Lisa enjoys writing and had the opportunity to be a contributing editor for Modern Hygienist from 2005-2007. She now writes for several dental publications such as RDH magazine, Dental Assisting Digest, The Profitable Dentist, and Dentistry Today in the “Hygiene Today” publication.


Read other Career Corners from RDH eVillage


RDH eVillage: What is your success secret?

Enjoying the journey, keeping current in our profession, and wanting to assist the entire dental team in making a difference for our patients. I always believed that latching on quickly to the latest trend, or hogging the spotlight, will not result in the longevity one needs to sustain a successful and productive career.

RDH eVillage: What strengths or qualities have helped you excel?

Wadsworth: I like to think that my strengths are an outgoing personality coupled with clinical curiosity and a high level of personal integrity. Other qualities that have helped me excel are maintaining a working relationship with my mentors through the years — tenacity is probably the word! Also as mentioned before, I think my determination to keep pushing to learn new skills and remain current.

RDH eVillage: What’s the biggest issue that hygienists face today?

Wadsworth: Not being perceived as the well-rounded clinicians and health-care providers that they truly are. We are not “tooth scratches,” as my father jokingly called me.

RDH eVillage: What is the best business/career advice you have ever received?

Wadsworth: My father told me as far back as I can remember to follow my “gut” feelings and listen to my heart, which I always have with no regrets. About 10 years into my career, Linda Miles said, “If you want to consult, you must write and lecture too.” I took that advice to heart and began seeking writing and lecture opportunities. More recently, Michael Ventriello advised me to stake out a unique position in the marketplace and brand myself accordingly and consistently!

RDH eVillage: How and or when did you get the entrepreneur itch?

Wadsworth: The itch came early thanks to my employers who had a strong commitment to mentoring their employees to reach their personal best. For example, back in the 1980s I watched Dr. Alan Meltzer (my employer) strive to provide the highest level of patient care every day. There was no doubt in my mind that I had to follow his example. Through the decades, I have been very lucky to work with many other dentists, who have the same work ethic and determination to be the best for themselves and for their patients.

RDH eVillage: In service to the profession, please tell us about your products and or services.

Wadsworth: My passion has long been dental implant assisting. I believe that adding to my perio-SRP-focused hygiene to the surgical operatory and case presentation for implant therapy provided me with increased job satisfaction and job security. Just as I've evolved my clinical skills to focus on successful Implant therapy, I've done the same with my consulting business, which is now dedicated to providing individuals and teams with the skills they need to be an integral part of a successful dental implant practice. I've been doing this for so long that I can also assist in the dental implant team hiring process.

RDH eVillage: What are your best life/work balance tips?

Wadsworth: Funny you should ask that. All through my career, journey as a hygienist, I knew my life was out of whack. I loved what I was doing and didn't want to leave my profession, but there had to be a way to reduce stress, avoid stress-related illness, not let the small stuff aggravate me. In a nutshell, be serious about your career, but try not to take yourself so seriously. Laugh often, laugh hard, as the saying goes.

I sought the help of a life coach and liked the results of having a more balanced life and more positive perspective on life. I wanted to provide this service to my stressed-out colleagues. I am now a certified professional coach and offer individual and team coaching services targeted to dental professionals. I can work with anyone from any profession, but when it comes to working with dental professionals, I can honestly say, “I feel your pain.”

RDH eVillage: What is one thing most people do not know about you?

Wadsworth: Very few people know that I am a National Accredited horse show judge in five associations (retired). In fact, I grew up showing, breeding horses, and riding on a national level. I'm also the first woman from the East Coast to judge a World Show (PHBA Youth Congress). Another note, I love watching NASCAR, and the PBR (Professional Bull Riding).

RDH eVillage: What do you do to relax and feel rejuvenated?

Wadsworth: I love spending time outdoors, especially walking and hiking. My husband and I do this every opportunity we can. I like to think I am an avid gardener! I spend enough time at it. For a few years, I was sidelined from gardening and hiking due to an injury. I am glad to say I am back up and in the garden and on the hiking trails!

RDH eVillage: Do you have a favorite quote/book and or movie?

Wadsworth: My favorite quote is from Reba McEntire: “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” I've adopted this as my motto and include this quote in my email signature.

My favorite book is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” It’s not about motorcycles at all! Getting ready to read it again soon!

My favorite movie is “Arthur!” with Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, and the scene-stealing Sir John Gielgud.

RDH eVillage: How do you define success?

Wadsworth: I used to think it meant financial success and fame. I've since learned that success is realizing that you have made a positive impact on someone's life every day. This could be for a patient, co-worker, friend or significant other.

Visit Lisa’s website at or email her at [email protected].