Dental hygiene and whole-body wellness make a perfect couple.
HYGIENIST Katti Webb Simpson (above) has long served her rural Maine community via her mobile clinic, On the Go Dental Pro. (The pandemic was just a brief speed bump; once the ADA offered safety guidance, she says, “I was back on the road again.”) Recipient of the Lucy Hobbs Clinical Expertise Award in 2014, she has recently augmented her services with an increased focus on whole-body health, founding West Main Wellness in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine (northwest of Bangor), this July. She recently sat down with Incisal Edge to discuss her work.
Over the years, you’ve faced a lot of resistance as a hygienist offering a variety of care, haven’t you? One of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to overcome is acceptance from dentists as one of the first independent practice dental hygienists to open a brick-and-mortar office. In addition, insurance companies were not quick to come onboard with the Maine law requiring reimbursement for IPDH services, and I’d go weeks and in some cases months before receiving reimbursement.
What spurred you to add a wellness component to the services you offer? The recognition, over the past year and a half, that many people are losing faith in the current state of our health-care system. It’s my hope to provide a place for people that offers trustworthy, alternative methods to obtain optimum health.
How do you go about doing that? Creating an atmosphere where people want to be, and offering a level of genuine care, is extremely important to me. My patients and I laugh, cry, share family stories and work on community events together. They bring me remarkable happiness, and I’m grateful they put their trust in me to take care of them. That’s what success feels like to me.
How do you strike a balance as a working mother and business owner? I do things that fulfill me both personally and professionally. I’ve always taken three-day weekends; around our anniversary, my husband and I take time off to go hunting together. Getting involved in my community is also a way to create balance. I love cycling, so I’m volunteering to fundraise for a local community gym by partaking in a “bike-a-thon” this fall. This connection to people is grounding, satisfying and good for the soul.
PHOTOGRAPH BY t.Dow Photography