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From Glass Marbles to Dental Miracles: Dr. Jacquie's Journey to Dentistry

Updated: Feb 25


Jacqueline Sanders PLLC - Emergency, Family, Cosmetic Dentistry.  Award-winning Dentist Jacqueline Sanders DDS Near You. Dentist Near Tacoma, Fircrest, Lakewood. Children and Adults:  Emergency, Dental Anxiety, Cleanings, Veneers, Dentures, Crowns,



Dr. Jacquie's life is like a storybook filled with challenges, hard work, and big dreams. Growing up in a bustling family of five in the Chicago area, her early life was framed by the towering skyscrapers her dad helped build. Despite his severe back injury, her dad, a dedicated union iron worker, never let it stop him from providing for his family. Jacquie's parents hadn't finished high school, which made the idea of her becoming a doctor seem like a distant dream.


From a young age, Jacquie was known for her artistic talent. Whether it was blowing glass marbles with her dad, crafting jewelry, or painting, her creativity knew no bounds. Despite this, her high school counselors pushed her towards art, not seeing the potential for anything beyond.


But Jacquie's passion for creating went beyond just art; she loved working with her hands in any way she could, from carving wood sculptures to making intricate Russian nesting dolls.



To support her husband through college, Jacquie worked minimum wage jobs at fast food restaurants, showing her willingness to do whatever it took for her family. This sacrifice paid off when her husband supported her in return, helping her pursue her own education later on.


Starting at Austin Community College, Jacquie faced a steep learning curve. Her artistic background meant she had to start from scratch with math to pursue an engineering degree. But she was determined, diving into complex subjects like algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, chemistry and vector dynamics. This challenging journey taught her about applying force and torque, the knowledge she would later use in her dentistry career when manipulating teeth.



Jacqueline Sanders PLLC - Emergency, Family, Cosmetic Dentistry.  Award-winning Dentist Jacqueline Sanders DDS Near You. Dentist Near Tacoma, Fircrest, Lakewood. Children and Adults:  Emergency, Dental Anxiety, Cleanings, Veneers, Dentures, Crowns,


Despite her success in engineering, Jacquie realized her true passion lay elsewhere. Accepted into the University of Texas at Austin, she switched gears to study chemistry and neurobiology. It was here that she discovered her calling to be a dentist, a realization that came with the excitement and fear of more years of schooling and student loan debt.



How to Become a Dentist, How to Start a Dental Practice

But Jacquie's resolve was strong. She became a licensed dental assistant that summer, sending out emails to Dentists on Craigslist and gaining firsthand experience in a dentist's office that solidified her dream.


Even with graduating with honors in engineering and math, she faced skepticism from her counselors at University of Texas about her potential in dentistry due to her B+ average GPA while taking the most demanding science studies, Jacquie didn't back down.


She dedicated over 100 hours to preparing for the dental school entrance exam, ultimately excelling in top 10% of the toughest subjects. When she applied to dental school, it was less about her grade and exam scores and more about her art skills.


Her artistic background, showcased through her detailed handcrafted Russian nesting dolls and jewelry, played a crucial role in her acceptance into dental school.


Dental school was more than just education for Jacquie; it was a chance to give back. She volunteered at homeless shelters, refugee clinics, and at the Mexican-American border, offering dental care to those most in need. This volunteer work, combined with her education, honed her skills and compassion as a dentist.






However, Jacquie's journey was complicated amidst the challenges of Covid-19 and marked by personal loss when her father passed away shortly after she started dental school. This loss was a defining moment, testing her resilience. Yet, it also served as a driving force, pushing her to honor her father's legacy through her commitment to helping others.





After graduation, Dr. Jacquie's experience in corporate dentistry was eye-opening and ultimately led her to take a different path. In the corporate setting, she saw a focus on profits over patient care, with an emphasis on "drill and fill" practices that prioritized financial gain over the well-being of the patients. This approach often resulted in unnecessary procedures and higher costs for patients, many of whom were already struggling financially.


How to Become a Dentist, How to Start a Dental Practice

Witnessing this disregard for genuine care and the exploitation of vulnerable patients deeply troubled Dr. Jacquie. It went against everything she believed in as a healthcare provider. Her upbringing in a low-income family made her acutely aware of the hardships faced by many people when it came to accessing affordable healthcare.


This experience in corporate dentistry solidified her resolve to create a practice that would feel more "like a home" and prioritize patient care above all else, leading her to establish Floss & Fido.


Here, she could provide the kind of compassionate and honest care she believed in, making dental health accessible to those who needed it most, without the pressures of corporate profit margins dictating the quality of care.




Jacqueline Sanders PLLC - Emergency, Family, Cosmetic Dentistry.  Award-winning Dentist Jacqueline Sanders DDS Near You. Dentist Near Tacoma, Fircrest, Lakewood. Children and Adults:  Emergency, Dental Anxiety, Cleanings, Veneers, Dentures, Crowns,



Dr. Jacquie poured her heart and soul into building her dental practice, Floss & Fido, from the ground up, quite literally.


But Dr. Jacquie wasn't born into money and she didn't have unlimited cash to pay movers, technicians and construction contractors. Her hands-on approach went beyond just the dental work; she was deeply involved in every aspect of creating a welcoming and functional space for her patients.


Drawing on her engineering background and her love for art and craftsmanship, Dr. Jacquie rolled up her sleeves and got to work.






She refurbished and moved most of the furniture herself, adding personal touches that made the space feel warm and inviting. From decorating, hanging new shelves, installing computers and painting the walls of the practice.






With her engineering background, she even tackled the technical challenges, installing and repairing dental equipment chairs, vacuum hoses and water hoses to ensure everything was in top condition.








This hands-on approach is a testament to her dedication not only to her craft but also to providing the best possible environment for her patients. Dr. Jacquie's practice became a reflection of her journey, her skills, and her commitment to compassionate dentistry.








Today, Dr. Jacquie's life is a testament to her character and her journey. Living modestly on a farm with her animals, she continues to blend her artistic talent with her dental skills, making her a unique and compassionate caregiver.


Her story is not just about becoming a dentist but about overcoming obstacles, giving back, and staying true to oneself. It's a story that inspires trust and admiration, showing that with determination and a kind heart, you can make a significant impact. Even with Dr. Jacquie's advanced skills is cosmetic Dentistry and Engineering, she honors her roots and offers free services for veterans, free service for gold star families and reduced fees for Children of low-income families.



We understand that dental experiences can be traumatic and you may question the honestly and integrity of many doctors. Rightfully so. We hope the story of Dr. Jacquie and Floss & Fido - Family Dentistry builds trust and faith between you and our practice.









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