FYI

Dentist blog from Delta Dental

Tag: dentist of the month

Dentist spotlight: Dr. Francisca Mojica

Meet Dr. Francisca Mojica, DDS, our Dental Health Partner of the Month. Dr. Mojica is a San Jose, California–based dentist whose interest in dentistry as a child has become a lifelong passion.

The founder of the La Amistad Dental office, Dr. Mojica has been practicing dentistry for more than three decades. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Mojica an active member in the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Santa Clara County Dental Society.

How did you decide to become a dentist?          

I first became interested in becoming a dentist when I was in elementary school. My older sister at that time was attending a university for dentistry, and I would look at her notes and challenge myself to memorize the information. When I was in middle school, I would help my sister at her dental office by setting up the rooms for the patients and helping them put on their bibs. I would see patients come into the office with pain, and I knew that this career would be for me, because I wanted to help them feel better. This motivated me to go university and become a professional dentist so that I can help my community and put a smile on my patients’ face.

How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been practicing dentistry for 34 years.

What’s the most rewarding part of your career?

The most rewarding part of my career is when I’m able to give my patients their smile back and they leave happy.

Can you tell us one of your funniest stories from the dental office?

One day I was doing a crown preparation for my patient. I asked him to close his mouth for about five minutes so that the material for the impression I had placed in his mouth could dry up, so he did as I asked. The next step was to make his temporary crown. For this step he needed to keep his mouth open so that the acrylic could dry, but to my surprise the patient thought that he needed to close his mouth and as he did that, he bit down on my finger. I told him to open, but he got confused and didn’t hear me, so he kept on biting down on my finger — ouch! Once he opened his mouth, I went to the sink and ran some cold water on it to help with the pain.

What do you consider dentistry’s biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges is for my patients to overcome the fear that they have in coming to the dentist.

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy cooking and gardening.

What are you most proud of about your heritage?

I am most proud of the culture of my ancestors, such as the painting, architecture and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.


We’d like to take a moment to congratulate Dr. Mojica and thank her for the work she does for her community. To find out more about Dr. Mojica, visit the La Amistad Dental Office website.

Dentist spotlight: Dr. Marc A. Cirelli

Meet Dr. Marc A. Cirelli, DMD, our Dental Health Partner of the Month. Dr. Cirelli is a Reno, Nevada-based dentist whose passion for carpentry and home improvement seamlessly blend with a compassionate approach to helping veterans with dental care, free of charge.

Why did you become a dentist?

I majored in biochemistry, Spanish and history while in college. I found that I really liked dealing with people more than laboratory work. I was also fortunate that my parents owned rental properties. I quickly learned how to become proficient in all of the trades with respect to home improvement. I especially liked framing and other areas of carpentry work. It turns out dentistry is a lot like being a carpenter, but there is still an artistic approach to it.

How long have you been practicing dentistry?

I’ve been practicing dentistry since 2007, graduating from Oregon Health and Science University. When I returned to my home state of Nevada, I worked for three years in a public dental clinic, followed by two years as an associate in private practice. I then purchased my dental practice in December 2012.

What are some of the challenges facing dentistry?

Getting people to recognize the importance of oral health and how it affects other systems of the body is one of the greatest challenges facing dentistry today. I like to use the analogy of a person with severe acne. You see the effects it does to your skin, and you want to clear it up, so you go to a dermatologist. With an oral cavity, people aren’t aware of what happens in the mouth, so they don’t see a dentist until they have a toothache.

We take intraoral photos in an effort to educate patients about the importance of regular dental care. This has been a great motivator for better hygiene and preventive treatment.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking, skiing, target shooting, martial arts and, of course, home improvement projects.

Tell us one of your funniest stories from the dental office.

As every dentist knows, esthetic cases can be the most challenging. You not only have to meet the patient’s desires but those of their significant other.

In one such case, the patient was in the office for a complete maxillary denture. Esthetics were great: The patient liked the shape, size, form and, most importantly, function of the denture. He’d even provided us with a picture from before he lost his teeth.

We ended up meeting the demands of the patient, but his wife had us redo the denture to meet her demands. She wanted him restored into her ideal husband! I still remember going through the wax try-in and he gave me a look that said, “I like the first, but I need to satisfy her, so go with the second!”

What is most rewarding about your career?

Seeing the results of your work and how it changes a person. Our office works with a program called Adopt a Vet. Since most veterans are not eligible for treatment through the VA, we see veterans on a volunteer basis and do all of their treatment at no charge. They come to the office in pain, and some can’t even chew. We get them out of pain and restore their dentition, often completing dentures so that they can smile and enjoy a good meal again. To me, that’s what dentistry is about.


We’d like to take a moment to congratulate Dr. Cirelli and thank him for the work he does for his community.

To find out more about Dr. Cirelli, visit cirellifamilydentistry.com or check out his Facebook page. You can also learn more about the Nevada Adopt a Vet program.


Dentist spotlight: Dr. Sheri Watson-Hamilton

Meet Dr. Sheri Watson-Hamilton, DMD, our Dental Health Partner of the Month. Dr. Watson-Hamilton is passionate about dental health and provides care to uninsured and underserved patients.

Based in South Florida, Dr. Watson-Hamilton works at the Martin Luther King Jr. Clinica Campesina Health Center. This full-service facility provides dental care alongside urgent care, primary care and more. It’s part of the nonprofit health care organization Community Health of South Florida, Inc., or CHI, which offers affordable, quality health care services to local residents.

Why did you decide to become a dentist?

I’ve always wanted to practice in the medical field. As a child I would always ask anyone I was close to, “Let me see your teeth!”

What really helped me decide on dentistry was when I volunteered at a dental office during undergrad. I saw how a patient would come in with pain and receive immediate relief. Patients would come in with self-esteem issues and once their teeth were restored, they’d leave the office smiling confidently — no longer hiding their teeth.

How long have you been practicing?

For 24 years.

Tell us one of your funniest stories from the dental office.

During one of my appointments, I had a set of twins as patients. One was a really great patient — the other was really dramatic. At one of the visits, the dramatic twin was hesitant about the visit, as always. Once the anesthesia was placed, she looked up at me and said, “If you do that again, I’m gonna call 991!” — meaning 911.

What do you consider dentistry’s biggest challenge?

Getting patients to value their teeth and their smile.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy spending my free time with my immediate family.


Congratulations, Dr. Sheri Watson-Hamilton! Thank you for your work.

You can find out more about Dr. Sheri Watson-Hamilton and CHI by visiting the CHI website or following the organization on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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