Caring Collaborator

Dr. Hoda Hosseini sits on a dental chair. A 3D image of a lower set of teeth and gums is on a screen next to her.

The first professional experience that Hoda Hosseini [DMD/06, M.Dent/12] had after dental school made her wonder whether she had chosen the right career.

The Ottawa practice where she worked as a general dentist was profit-oriented, Hosseini says, and focused on the business side of dentistry. But she wanted to get to know her patients and take time to care for them. 

“What did I get myself into?” she recalls thinking. “This is not in line with who I am.”

Hosseini’s personality played a major part in the type of oral health professional she wanted to become. She thrives on working as part of a team, loves collaboration and values education.

But that dispiriting clinical experience wasn’t all bad. A periodontist worked in the clinic. Observing him opened her eyes to periodontics – the specialty that focuses on the gums and bone that support teeth.

“Perio has been my calling ever since,” says Hosseini, who was born in Iran, lived in England from the ages of 12 to 17, and then immigrated to Winnipeg with her family.

Three years into her dental career, Hosseini decided to return to UM to earn her master of dentistry in periodontics. The program, which currently accepts two residents per year, immersed her in advanced procedures, from treating periodontal disease and doing intricate tooth-saving surgeries to placing dental implants and performing gum and bone grafting. 

Hosseini says it also taught her the value of critical thinking and the importance of self-motivated learning.

“I was mentored by Dr. Stephen Ahing, a professor who is now retired,” she recalls. “I would go to him with a question, but I never got an answer. He would always answer my question with another question, forcing me to think.”

What Hosseini loves about periodontics is that it allows her to collaborate with the patient. You can be the best practitioner, she says, but if the patient isn’t motivated to follow your post-operative instructions, it can negatively affect the outcome of the treatment.

“It’s important that I customize the patient’s care and treatment to fit their life, rather than their life having to change to fit my treatment.”

Today, Hosseini runs her own practice in Winnipeg called ClearCare Periodontal & Implant Centre. In six years, the clinic has grown from one treatment chair and two team members to nine treatment chairs, four specialists and more than 20 team members.

Each year, ClearCare holds a full-day, perio-themed continuing education session for the dental community that raises donations for a charity.

Giving back to the profession is important to Hosseini. She is the current president of the Canadian Academy of Periodontology and is heavily involved in bringing its annual conference to Winnipeg in June 2024.

She also contributes by sitting on the Winnipeg Dental Society’s executive committee and the Manitoba Dental Association’s convention planning committee. She gives back to UM as a part-time instructor at the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry.

“Perio has given me a life,” she says. “It’s given me a career that I really enjoy. So having the opportunity to serve this discipline is precious to me.”