Behind the N95 Mask: Meet the TeamWe enjoy getting to know all of our patients and their families. When you’re here for a visit, it’s all about you, and that’s how it should be! But we realized you might not always have a chance to get to know the Romeoville Dental Center staff as well as we know you, and thought it might be fun to change that. That’s why we’re launching our Q&A series. Every month or so, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our wonderful staff (family) members. We hope you enjoy learning what makes us tick.
This inaugural Romeoville Dental Center Staff Q&A is a very special one, because we have the privilege of introducing you to our newest staff member, Dr. Saba Sheikh DDS. She joined our practice in December 2020 after more than 10 years at Sonrisa Family Dental. Her care and connection with her patients matches ours, and we know you’ll love her. You can read her professional bio here, and get to know her a little more personally in the Q&A below.
Q&A with Romeoville Dental Center Staff Member Dr. Saba Sheikh
Q: What led you to the practice of dentistry?
A: You might be surprised to learn how early I knew this was my calling. I still have a journal I kept in 2nd grade with an entry about wanting to be a dentist! Along the way, there were many things that reinforced my interest. I had braces at a very young age, and I felt a great change in my own confidence. That showed me how this intricate work can make such a big difference in a smile and a life. I wanted to help other people be happier and be more confident. It might not be obvious to everyone, but dentistry is a unique combination of art and science. I was always driven, process-oriented, focused, and precise, but also artistic, working with my hands, painting, and creating.
Q: You said in your bio that you enjoy new cuisines. Is it the cooking or the eating you enjoy? What cuisines have you been enjoying lately?
A: I enjoy both cooking and eating! I enjoy Middle Eastern, Mexican and Asian cuisines. Cooking has been more fun lately because my kids enjoy being my sous chefs! There’s a real comfort food recipe I gravitated to throughout the quarantine called Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s a dish of roasted marinated chicken cooked in a creamy, spicy curry. So good! I also enjoy cooking Italian foods, soups and Thai dishes. I tend to stay away from Pakistani cooking, not because I don’t love it, but because I love my mom’s cooking so much I just let her do the honors.
Q: You also said you love reading hardcopy books. Any favorites or recommendations?
A: Well, I’ll admit being a huge fan of the Twilight series. I was really excited to read the latest installment, Midnight Sun. I don’t know why, but I really love vampire stories – maybe it’s all those fangs! But I like serious reading too. I’ve recently been appreciating a book called Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. It’s a story of self-love and not settling. I have to say that despite the challenges this year (2020) brought us all, I have appreciated the time it afforded me to just read multiple books when it might take me a year to finish just one in a normal year. One other favorite – I always have my chai (Indian black tea with milk) as an accompaniment when I read!
Q: You grew up in the Chicagoland area – what are some of your favorite spots around town?
A: Yes, I grew up in Tinley Park, so a local for sure. A few of my favorite destinations around Chicago are the Morton Arboretum, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and I just can’t get enough of the view of the skyline from the downtown Museum Campus near the Planetarium.
Q: Last question. 2020 has been an interesting year. What are your biggest learnings personally and professionally?
A: Professionally, I realized that while we as dentists are trained to be very careful and cautious about hygiene and safety. We maintain that throughout our career, but over time, dental practices in general seem to ease up on some of the easy safety measures, like always wearing a face shield. Covid was a bit of a wakeup call that we should always maintain the most rigorous safety protocol, even under normal circumstances. It’s just not that hard, and it’s so important.
Personally, I already mentioned how much I’ve been enjoying reading more. But it’s more than that. I’m also cooking more, finding real connections more, and feeding my own soul. It has felt like a blessing to spend time with family and feel closer with everyone. Before this, it had started to feel like we saw each other almost in passing. Having this time at home has been grounding, and healthy in a way I never would have expected during a pandemic!