Aug 1 / Dr. Dennis Hartlieb

Interview with Dr. Melissa Seibert

What different pathways can you take to pursue to enter the dentistry profession, and what can continuing education look like for successful dentists?

In this DOT Sharecast episode, our host Dr. Dennis Hartlieb and guest Dr. Melissa Seibert discuss Melissa's background, her career with the Air Force, and her podcast, Dental Digest. Check out Dr. Seibert's insights into the importance of membership, what it's like for women in dentistry today, and what it's like to pursue dentistry within the Air Force. 

About Dr. Melissa Seibert

From the Dental Digest Institute website:

"Dr. Melissa Seibert is the creator and host of the top dental podcast, Dental Digest. The podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts globally and has won most educational podcast in dentistry two years in a row. The podcast has the mission of enabling dentists to stay on the cutting edge of evidence-based dentistry She was recently awarded top 40 Under 40 dentists in America by Incisal Edge magazine. She is in her third year of an AEGD with the Air Force. She has lectured to national and international audiences. She is well trained in disciplines and procedures such as CAD/CAM dentistry, implant placement, the integration of a digital workflow, IV sedation, complex third molar exodontia, restoratively-driven orthodontics, biomimetic dentistry, periodontal surgeries (such as crown lengthening, flap osseous, guided tissue regeneration) and esthetic dentistry. She received her Doctorate of Medicine in Dentistry at the University of Louisville. Prior to that she received her Bachelors in Science and commission as an Officer in the United States Air Force from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She currently proudly serves as a dentist in the U.S. Air Force. 

Episode Highlights


Episode Overview

Check out the topics by timestamp, or watch or listen to the whole episode. (See above, or watch on YouTube or listen wherever you find your podcasts.)


Introduction of this episode. 0:00

Welcome to the Dental Online Training Sharecast with Dr. Dennis Hartlieb.

Today's guest is a very special guest, Dr. Melissa Siebert.

Intro to Dr. Melissa Seibert. 2:04
Melissa has the best dental podcast out there. She also has a mastermind group that she started through Instagram.

She wants to hang out with dentists and talk about dentistry.

Melissa’s background and accolades. 

About being an impactful parent. 6:55

You don't always have to be there all the time to be a really impactful parent, and that's good for people to know.

Melissa’s parents went to the Naval Academy.

Melissa went into the Air Force and is still in the Air Force.

How did you decide to pursue a career in dentistry? 11:25

How she went through a crisis in dental school and wondered if she was good enough for dentistry.

She fell in love with dentistry and was blessed with the kind of dentistry available today.

The women to male to female ratio at West Point dental school was 12% or less, and the challenges of being a female in a very male-centric environment.

The importance of male leaders in dentistry taking a stand to elevate women in dentistry.

Mentorship starts with extending support. 17:53Men are petitioning that women have equal rights and an equal voice in dentistry.

They want to make a better place for others.Mentorship starts with mentor relationships.

The transition from the military to dental school. 21:03

The transition from dental school to becoming a civilian for four years was hard for Dr. Seibert.

Dental school was academically demanding.

One of the beautiful things about being in the military is that you always belong somewhere. For better or worse, you are always accountable to someone.

Being a part of something bigger than yourself is a beautiful thing, and it was really lonely to be alone.

Advice for dental students thinking about joining the air force. 29:23
Melissa gives advice to someone who is looking to go to dental school or who is thinking about the service, what advice would she give them is to consider the education they get.

The impact of sleep apnea in dental school, and how figuring that out changed Melissa’s life.

The thirst for more knowledge in dentistry.

Being a naturally curious person, but aggressively trying to learn more and more, and how that led her to become curious about dentistry.

Mentors that lit Dr. Seibert’s fire. 35:54

She is eternally grateful to all of the people who have influenced her, including Frank Spear, who has made education palpable and interesting.

She has several “North Stars” of who are dental leaders and mentors.

Dentists are all on their own path, and it doesn't matter if they've been practicing for a year or 35 years.

They all learn at different rates, and things will become evident at different times.

Get better every day. 43:00

The reality is that there are going to be incredibly gifted people in the world, and they can be in your community or somewhere else.

The goal is to get a little bit better every day. Get better 1% every day, get better 1%.

Dr. Seibert started her podcast three months before COVID-19, which was a gift, because she was ready to go.

She wanted a podcast to help her get caught up to speed or stay on the cutting edge of evidence-based dentistry.

She shares her journey of sleep apnea and the struggle from dental school to the real world.

How the podcast has changed the dental industry. 47:21

Dental podcasting has become super popular and has become the number one podcast in dentistry.

What Dennis learned from doing the podcast, what he was expecting and what he found in the first episodes, and how it built his confidence.

The first 100 episodes were stressful, but it's gotten easier.

Advice for women in dentistry. 50:41

Melissa gives advice to young female dentists: give yourself a little grace on the stuff that is hard, because what they do in dentistry is hard.

As a young female dentist, Dr. Seibert sees women taking a stronger role in leadership in organized dentistry.

Melissa hopes to see more women in leadership roles in the dental industry. She believes women need to be courageous and supportive of one another.

"You don't always have to be there all the time to be a really impactful parent... I know a lot of people listening right now might feel guilty about how much time they're spending in the office. "

~Dr. Melissa Seibert

Balancing Time in the Office with Other Responsibilities

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Dr. Seibert shares about how impactful her father, who was often on deployment during her childhood, was and is in her life even though he was often away for work.

"It was actually after dental school that I really fell in love with dentistry."

~Dr. Melissa Seibert

Curiosity and Discovery in Dentistry

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Dr. Seibert shares about how she grew her passion and excitement for the dentistry that she does in her practice today.

"With the podcast, that was the first time in my life that I gave myself grace to say it's okay if it's not very good right now, but it's going to get better. And that was a life-changing paradigm."

~Dr. Melissa Seibert

Making Space to Improve

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Dr. Seibert shares what it was like to start the Dental Digest podcast and how humbling it was in the beginning to learn something new. 

Dennis Hartlieb, DDS, AAACD

DOT Founder

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