Gratitude for the Last 25 Years of Learning

October 28, 2019 Sheri Kay RDH

It was August of 1995 when I first walked through the doors of The Pankey Institute.

At that time, I had only one year of experience under my belt as a licensed hygienist, and I believed I had won the “dental lottery” by having spent the past six months working for a Pankey Institute trained dentist. Dr. Steve Ratcliff was passionate about the Institute and his philosophy of care that was inspired by what he was learning there. He proudly shared everything possible with me about how he wanted our practice to develop.

It was a hands-on perio course at the Institute where I eagerly learned about non-traditional use of Gracey currettes, utilization of ultrasonics, and the current science of periodontal disease and its management with Dr. Sam Low. I remember being so nervous and so excited. There were hygienists from all over the country with similar desires, challenges, and dreams, and together we formed a sweet community of our own, learning and growing together with an even better understanding of what was possible as a dental hygienist.

It’s difficult to believe that 25 years have flown by, and it’s so cool that here I am about to lead the 2020 version of that very same program. Appreciating the magnitude and beauty of Quid Pro Quo, I’m honored to now be teaching with Dr. Sam Low to support hygienists toward their full scope of practice.

Our program will focus on two key components of the hygiene chair:

1. What it means to be a Restorative Partner in your practice by deepening the art of co-discovery and patient engagement.

2. Understanding current science around the diagnosis and management of periodontal disease, including hands-on utilization of power instruments, air polishing, and adjunctive therapies.

There are many pieces and parts to my enthusiasm about this program, The Pankey Hygienist.

What brings me the most joy is knowing that I get to share “my version” of Dr. L.D. Pankey’s philosophy with the doctors and hygienists in attendance. The Institute was certainly a game-changer for our practice and our patients 25 years ago. It continues to be a life-changing experience for me each and every time I get to be within this community, whether it is at the Institute, at an offsite event, or visiting other dental practices inspired by their own time with the Institute. I’m not just grateful. I’m “over the moon” grateful for this life.

Related Course

E1: Aesthetic & Functional Treatment Planning

DATE: May 1 2025 @ 8:00 am - May 4 2025 @ 2:30 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 6800

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (Per Night): $ 345

Transform your experience of practicing dentistry, increase predictability, profitability and fulfillment. The Essentials Series is the Key, and Aesthetic and Functional Treatment Planning is where your journey begins.  Following a system of…

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About Author

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Sheri Kay RDH

Sheri Kay started her career in dentistry as a dental assistant for an “under one roof” practice in 1980. The years quickly flew by as Sheri worked her way from one position to the next learning everything possible about the different opportunities and roles available in an office. As much as she loved dentistry … something was always missing. In 1994, after Sheri graduated from hygiene school, her entire world changed when she was introduced to the Pankey Philosophy of Care. What came next for Sheri was an intense desire to help other dental professionals learn how they could positively influence the health and profitability of their own practices. By 2012, Sheri was working full time as a Dental Practice Coach and has since worked with over 300 practices across the country. Owning SKY Dental Practice Dental Coaching is more of a lifestyle than a job, as Sheri thrives on the strong relationships that she develops with her clients. She enjoys speaking at state meetings, facilitating with Study Clubs and of course, coaching with her practices.