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2020’s Best Hygienist

May 27, 2022  By: The New Dentist
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This year, the honor goes to Sheena Hinson, Cindy Sambataro, and Lori SanFilippo.

Sheena Hinson

Charlotte, NC

Nominated by Dr. Christian Yaste, co-founder of the Ballantyne Center for Dentistry and Charlotte Dental Implant Solutions

After joining the team, Sheena Hinson worked diligently learning our practice culture and providing extraordinary care for our patients. When the opportunity arose, she eagerly took on the responsibility and role of lead hygienist. Since then, Sheena has implemented ideas and spearheaded programs that have increased our hygiene department’s productivity by 25%.

Her leadership made it possible for our hygienists to practice more holistically and embrace complete oral wellness. She is successfully creating a clear vision of what a winning hygiene department looks like.  In addition to supporting our hygienists, she worked in concert with other team members to help the practice make Fortune Magazine’s list of top 35 places to work in health care in the U.S.

Sheena is a strong leader and displays the core values we hold dear: teamwork, efficiency, humility, loyalty, accountability, compassion, integrity, respect, empowerment and greatness. She is always eager to learn, exhibits an ownership mentality, and consistently has a positive attitude.

In addition to her professional achievements and responsibilities, Sheena makes time to support her husband and four children, two of which have special needs and are unable to care for themselves. She is an incredible asset to our hygiene department and practice. I enthusiastically recommend her as the recipient of 2020’s Best Dental Hygienist award.

Cindy Sambataro

Ellicott City, MD

Nominated by Dr. Gene Sambataro, Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry

There is not even a close second place to Cindy Sambataro, although I’m slightly biased because she is my wife of 40 years. (We’ve also worked together most of those 40 years.) Being a great hygienist comes naturally to her—both her mother and aunt were dental hygienists, too. Her aunt practiced until she was 87 years old!

Why would I promote my own wife as the best hygienist, other than trying to earn some brownie points for myself? Because of her commitment to helping every patient achieve optimal oral health. She is extremely meticulous, so patients leave with an impeccable, healthy mouth. She also takes the time needed to educate patients about proper hygiene, nutrition and lifestyle.

She is an excellent role model for healthy living and goes the extra step to make sure all our employees and family members are up to date with their re-care. I could go on and on, but I’ll just end with what I’ve heard over and over from so many patients the last 40 years:

“My mouth has never felt this clean before.”

 “It was the most thorough cleaning I’ve ever had”

 “Cindy is the most gentle hygienist I’ve ever experienced.”

Lori SanFilippo

Brick, New Jersey

Nominated by Dr. Kevin Mosmen, The Dental Difference

Lori has been a hygienist since 1979 and the staff and I are extremely lucky to have her on our team!

As the practice’s senior most employee, she comes to work every day with professionalism and enthusiasm. There isn't a staff member who doesn't see Lori as a positive, happy employee. In 15 years of business, almost EVERY patient leaves her hygiene appointment telling either me or my front desk staff that Lori's cleaning was the best they ever had. Of my 300+ online reviews, the majority highlight Lori's performance.

We have worked together for so long that she can finish my sentences, anticipate my next move and provide treatment plans like they were my own. She can probably even educate patients better than me.

Not only is she caring and compassionate with our regular and sedation patients, she also steps in to help wherever needed, whether that’s answering a phone, cleaning a room, or calling insurance companies. She epitomizes a true team player and is a role model for all. 

I have met quite a few hygienists in my time, but Lori is simply the best. I can't imagine anyone better earning this designation.

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