Meet the Team: Raymond Valenzuela

Raymond Valenzuela

Raymond Valenzuela began working at Riverside Dental Ceramics in April 2013, when he was just 19 years old. His efforts to contribute to the success of the company have been recognized by his supervisors, and he has recently been promoted to a supervisor himself. Mark Anderson, president of RDC, says that Raymond is special because of his willingness to challenge himself: “Raymond’s drive to learn more, take on more responsibility and move up the ladder has gotten him to where he is currently.”

What was your early career like with the company?

I started off as a finisher for BruxZir® restorations and steadily learned all the different aspects of what goes into the making of a crown. After about two years of finishing and staining as well as developing my contouring skills, I moved to the Implant department. There I was able to continue my education with contouring and learn how to create various types of custom abutments.

Tell us about something in your career with RDC that you’re most proud of.

While in the Implant department, I worked hard to pick up my speed in designing and fabricating restorations. I was able to ramp up my production while maintaining low remake rates, which in turn helped the Implant department grow.

What have you learned recently?

Since being promoted to supervise the BruxZir department, I have been able to continue my growth and teach my team all the things I have learned over the years. Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to help people smile and be happy, and now I am literally making smiles for people. It feels good to share my knowledge and know that we are providing a wonderful service to people. Being able to speak with doctors and see the fruits of the hard work that my team and I put into these crowns is very exciting. We’re always aware that the quality of the cases is very important.

How has RDC supported you in your career?

I was happy that, after I’d been in the Implant department for about three years, the president of our dental lab recognized my skills and offered me the position of BruxZir team lead. Some companies prefer to keep you where you are exceling, but RDC is helping me advance my career. I have continued honing my skills, and now I’m in charge of the BruxZir department where I started out. My journey here has come full circle.

What do you enjoy most about working at RDC?

What I love about working at RDC is that I’m able to build up my skills. Working with teeth has intrigued me even more as I continue to advance in this field. Each case is the same but also different, with unique challenges that we can help dentists address. We see so many different teeth and mouths here, and that alone is interesting.

Of course, having all the employee benefits RDC provides is also very helpful to me because I’m able to feel comfortable knowing that, if I get sick or injured, I will be safely insured by the company. And there are a number of special events and perks that make me feel like a well-appreciated employee.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with RDC?

My advice to a new hire would be to not overthink things too much. People often come into the lab for the first time and see it as intimidating because it’s something that they’ve never dealt with before. I try to ease their mind by suggesting that they focus on just one thing first. We can teach them more once they understand the terminology and so on. Also, don’t rush into trying to produce too many units at once. Our goal is quality, and we’d like to maintain a good relationship with the doctors we serve.

What do you do for fun?

One great thing about working here at RDC is that I’m able to take vacations and travel to many different places. I’ve been able to travel a few states in the U.S., including Hawaii, and I’ve visited Japan as well. Being an outdoor person, I love being able to travel whenever I get the chance. I plan on taking at least one to two weeks per year off as long as I’m still working here. I would also like to add that I have been approved to foster children. I’m so glad that RDC has given me the flexibility and has wonderful benefits so that I am able to comfortably foster two children. Since I have become their guardian, it brings me joy to know that I can start bringing them along with me on my trips throughout the country and around the world. I make sure to have a nice work-life balance so that I am able to spend time with the kids throughout the week. They have been a blessing to me.

Thank you very much, RDC, for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!

Raymond Valenzuela, who supervises restoration fabrication in the BruxZir department at RDC, makes sure to enjoy a healthy work-life balance, including vacations where he can enjoy the outdoors and travel the world.

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