I grew up working on cars with my dad. Although he did it professionally during the day, nights and weekends were spent helping me develop my mechanic’s hands and teaching me principles of mechanical systems. College, much less dental school, was never even considered. However, I developed a love for math and science and with the encouragement of some influential high school teachers, I found a path that would complement my passion for turning wrench with solving equations. I finished a mechanical engineering degree and started working in the automotive industry to develop airbags. I was able to oversee manufacturing equipment for multiple auto manufacturers and later transitioned into a role designing and testing airbags specific to individual vehicle platforms. I found great satisfaction in knowing the work I did everyday was literally saving lives. However, as the time behind a computer screen became the majority of my work week, I became disillusioned and began looking for a career change that would give more opportunity to use my hands and to help others. At the same time, trauma to teeth #7 and #8 resulted in RCTs. I looked around the endodontist’s operatory and had an epiphany; dentistry is just engineering. Now, in dental school, I’m able to apply those principles of design, material science, and engineering to one of the most mechanical systems in the human body.
– Casey Brewer, Class of 2021