Celebrating Smiles | 08 November, 2022

From The Dentist's Mouth - Dr Marika Arnold

Dr Marika Arnold is part of the experienced team at Lumino on Cambridge, working there 4 days a week.

What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?

I was first introduced to dentistry in my last year of high school during a career day. I spent time in a dental office and I knew right then and there that this was where I belonged. I did not know much about teeth, I didn't even know how to floss my own teeth back then, I was 15. But after that day, I enrolled into the dental hygiene programme. I think I was too young to realize I could attend university so a collegial degree just made sense. I am the first generation in my family to go to college. After 5 years and many hours spent working alongside a dentist asking oh so many questions, I was so passionate and curious about teeth, the mechanics, the biology and the chemistry of it all, that I decided to pursue the doctorate degree to become a dentist. And the rest is history!


How long have you been practising dentistry?

I graduated from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2016. But I have been working in a dental office since 2006.

Tell us about your career background?

After graduation, I was accepted into a hospital based residency for a year at the University of Utah Hospital. I worked alongside specialists, did on-call duty, trauma assessment, oncology, etc. We then moved to Vancouver Island where I practiced in a family dental office. I offered a wide range of dental treatments from exams and fillings, to root canal, single crown/bridge and implant restoration, to aesthetic smile design, and full mouth reconstruction. Because of my dental hygiene experience, I am known to explain a lot. Whether it is about my findings or a potential treatment, I sure do like to talk! I find it very important that my patients know as much as possible about their condition and their options in order to make the best decision together.


What is your most memorable case to date?

My most memorable case to date? I’d say my first digital smile design with the emotional mock up. I had seen this 80 year old lady patient a few times then, and she kept telling me about how she was annoyed that after having braces in her 50s, her upper canine still looked darker and not at the position it should have been. I suggested doing this new thing I’d seen at a conference using a digital smile design but I warned her she’d be my first case. She was so excited to get to see her smile, live, without even beginning the drilling part that she said yes on the spot. With the help of the digital workflow, I designed her smile and she got to test ride it for the session. She was so excited by the results, she did not want me to remove the mock up. The final results were stunning. The colour was perfect, the shape was exactly what we had designed, and there were no surprises. She wanted her new smile on time for her cruise to Europe and I was able to deliver. She said she had so many compliments, but none were about her teeth! Friends and family asked her what she had done to look so much younger suddenly. Everyone wanted in on her secret. No one knew it was the work of her new smile! To me, that is the best compliment. A natural smile that makes you look younger.


What do you love most about your job?

I love to fix things. I like when someone comes in with a problem and I get to solve
it, and maybe even offer multiple solutions to fit into different budgets.


What are your special interests in dentistry?

Tough question. I enjoy a lot of what dentistry has to offer. I do enjoy doing
invisalign with a combination of crowns and veneers to restore a beautiful smile.
But I also really like doing a composite (white filling) and making it so smooth and
shiny it is hard to tell whether it is a tooth or a filling.


What is the main piece of advice you give your patients?

The best return on investment you will ever have is on home care. Everyone should
invest in an electric toothbrush (sonic style is my fav!), a water flosser, and the
largest floss dispenser one can find. And then use it twice daily. No excuses.


Where would we find you outside of the practice?

In the mountains- on my bike or snowboard, at home gardening or working on a
new DIY project, or in the ocean, surfing