I was born and raised in India. So in India, dentistry is not given that much importance. Life goes on, people have other things to worry about, and teeth are not their concerns. And I had an opportunity to observe, watch a dentist, and I come from a family of physicians where there were opportunities for me to kind of explore different fields.
So there are choices, and slowly I stumbled upon the profession and I got into a great school in India, the top universities, and I decided that’s what I’m going to study, and as I started my adventure, my journey, into studying the art and science of dentistry, I fell in love with it. I cannot really imagine doing anything else with my life.
What I love about being a dentist is the impact I make in people’s lives. I have patience. I love meeting new people. I love getting to know their stories. When I can play a small part in getting them to a state of better health and helping them understand how, you know, taking care of their oral health can benefit their overall life, and even little things that, you know, they need in their lives, there are certain minor changes, something that can help them gain confidence.
Little cosmetic things that can help them, you know, feel better about themselves, and knowing that my skill… I can give them what they want, and we can impact in people’s lives, however little it could be, it makes my day.
Dr. Aparna Menon Strives to Meet Patients’ Needs
Dr. Aparna Menon grew up in India among a family of physicians. She was blessed with strong female role models (including her mother and aunt, who are both doctors) who taught her the value of independence in a society that gives males preferential treatment. Education was a top priority in her family. Money, she was taught, can come and go, but education is something that no one can take away.
Dr. Menon doesn’t even remember going to the dentist as a child in India. As she grew older, she realized that dentistry wasn’t given nearly enough attention. This – combined with the fact that there were no dentists in her family – made her decide to pursue dentistry as a career.
Dr. Menon got high marks in her national examination scores, which meant she was able to go to the top universities in India. After earning her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from Manipal University, she had the opportunity to come to the United States. When she got here, she studied at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, formerly the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). She was on the dean’s honor list for two years and graduated in 2015 before going through a yearlong residency at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch. She has advanced training in cosmetic dentistry and dental implantology. She has earned her fellowship at the AAIP. She will be awarded her ICOI fellowship in November 2022.
She understands that each patient’s needs are unique and strives to develop treatment plans based on an in-depth understanding of her patient’s needs and goals for the best outcome. She’s committed to providing the highest caliber of care in the most comfortable setting. To further her dental knowledge and provide the best care she can, Dr. Menon still takes continuing education credits. She also stays up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry through memberships in the following professional organizations:
- The American Dental Association (ADA)
- The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)
- The New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA)
- The Monmouth-Ocean County Dental Society (M-OCDS)
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI)
- American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics (AAIP)
Dr. Menon practices sedation dentistry to help her anxious patients. She is multilingual; she speaks English, Hindi, and Malayalam. She also serves as a Captain in the US Army Reserves. She is an avid runner and has completed several half marathons and full marathons. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband, Rajive, and her son, Shaan. Dr. Menon also enjoys traveling, cooking, and reading.
Dr. Menon is a firm believer in karma. In her opinion, what goes around, comes around – so it’s important to do right by people. She strives to treat people how she wants to be treated because she believes if you put good out there, it comes back to you.