Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Ronald E. Riggio


A dentist holds a unique leadership position in which they must lead their dental practice, their dental staff, and their patients. The multifaceted nature of the occupation requires a combined team effort, and a cohesive partnership can be inspired through transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is a mutual process where leaders and followers empower one another and develop together toward a shared vision. Its effectiveness is implemented by the leader and further maintained by the followers. A transformational leader within a dentist can be manifested through the 4I’s of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration. The four components supplement one another to establish a supportive work environment that motivates dental staff to pursue high quality dental care and find meaningfulness and satisfaction within their work. An authentic and caring dental team translates immediately onto patients who feel more comfortable and relaxed, and in turn are more willing to comply with treatment recommendations and be led through better oral hygiene practices. There is a positive feedback loop present within the application of transformational leadership in dentistry, a mutual benefit found across the board; the dentist finds balanced teamwork with their dental team, increased patient retention, and a growing dental business; the dental staff acquire personal and career development, and job satisfaction; and the patients are eased of their dental anxiety and see improved oral health and overall well-being.