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Deciding Between In-Office Vs Professional Handpiece Repair

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 01:00 PM

bigstock-The-Dental-Instruments--163393169- edited.pngHandpieces are the life blood of a dental practice. Given their importance in daily practice, however, it is no surprise that a dental handpiece will need occasional repair even when properly lubricated and maintained by you as a practitioner. When this step is needed, there are two primary repair options to choose from: fix the device yourself or outsource handpiece repair.

Deciding which repair option to turn to takes some thought. Turnaround time and cost are two major factors in the decision. In his presentation titled, “5 Simple Recommendations to Maintain Your Dental Handpiece”, Mr. Glenn Williams discusses everything from turbine lifespan to handpiece maintenance. Here are the pros and cons of both repair options.

 

In-Office Repair

One option for fixing a balky handpiece is in-office repair. You can order a new turbine from the manufacturer, open the handpiece, clean it, and install the turbine yourself. With this method, clinicians will save valuable time and have the opportunity to get the instrument right back in rotation. Make sure to avoid replacing the original turbine with an inferior generic turbine. Installing a new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) turbine is the best option for efficient use of the handpiece, but this can be costly. While some dentists also decide to rebuild their own turbines, this consumes valuable time and most are not trained in this process. You may ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time and dental education?”

 

Professional Handpiece Repair

Sending out the handpiece is a way to receive the best possible repair. Handpiece manufacturers are well-equipped with the knowledge, components, and skills to fix a failing instrument. After all, they created the device. Time and cost are two important considerations, however, for this path to repair. While professional repair will restore the device to optimal function, this alternative is generally more costly than self-repair and can take several weeks.

The dentist can similarly use a dealer repair center, internet repair option, or a local repair services—but be mindful of a few things:

  • Ask to speak with the technician if possible;
  • Ensure the faulty turbine is replaced with a turbine of equal performance and value;
  • Make sure a new turbine is installed in the handpiece instead of rebuild; and
  • Be clear about exactly what components you wish replaced or serviced.

Local repair companies can be a valuable resource in this capacity. Most are small, family-operated business with good customer service and fast turnaround. Local options can often offer solutions tailored to the practitioners’ needs and budget.

Dental handpieces are integral to daily patient care and most effective when properly maintained and/or serviced. There several different pros and cons with in-office and professional repair and, as you become a new dentist, it’s best to know all methods and ultimately determine the approach that best fits your situation.

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A Conversation with Mr. Glenn Williams Regarding Dental Handpiece Maintenance

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

bigstock-dentistry-medicine-medical-e-119855579-592999-edited.jpgMr. Glenn Williams has a wealth of knowledge in the dental handpiece business, which includes the recognition of different components, how handpieces work, and how to reduce spending on costly repairs. At the conclusion of his presentation titled “5 Simple Recommendations to Maintain Your Dental Handpiece,” Mr. Williams answered questions posed by the students in attendance regarding maintenance, repair, and importance features of the handpiece.

Dental Student: At school, we have a two-piece, high-speed system: the handpiece as well as the coupler. There is some controversy among the students about whether or not to sterilize the coupler. What are your thoughts?

Mr. Williams: That’s a controversy in the industry as well. The current FDA guideline is to sterilize that which goes into a patient’s mouth. The consensus is that you do not sterilize the coupler because you’ll then have to sterilize the hose, and you’ll be working backwards. The handpiece is designed to be separated and sterilized. The coupler doesn’t go into the patient’s month technically so it’s not required to be sterilized by the FDA.

Dental Student: When it comes to the failures, do the handpieces start to break down all at once or is it a gradual process?

Mr. Williams: Yes, it is a gradual process. As soon your bur stops turning concentrically and starts to wobble, that’s a sign that the bearings are going. You’re going to hear an increase in noise and you should feel it in your hand. You can absolutely tell when it’s going, and we would urge you to send it in sooner rather than later because when the bearings go, everything else gets damaged--which leads to handpiece replacement rather than repair.

Dental Student: Are there certain features that are most important to a dentist who’s going to be using a handpiece on an ongoing basis in daily practice?

Mr. Williams: The best handpiece is the handpiece that suits you well. It needs to fit your hand shape. Handpieces are becoming more and more ergonomic. Head sizes are very important as well. One of the things that we’re seeing now, which is great for practitioners, is the multi-port water spray, in which water comes all around the bur and never gets blocked by the tooth. If you go distal, you still have water on the back side, which comes down and irrigates the bur. Here’s the tradeoff: Doctors want power so they can work efficiently. The bigger the head, the more powerful the handpiece. However, with the large head, the tradeoff is now access and vision; you cannot exactly see what you’re doing. Smaller heads provide better access and visibility but they are not as powerful. There are the tradeoffs you’ll have to deal with when using a handpiece. Word to the wise: never buy a handpiece without try it out first.

Dental Student: Are there areas you repair most frequently on a handpiece? Bearings? Fiber optics?

Mr. Williams: Always the bearings. In a handpiece there’s only one moving part; that’s all there is to fix. You can have a chucking issue where the bur is being released, which leads to a patient safety issue. Fiber optics are going away. We used to do large business in replacing optics. We quit replacing them because dentists increasingly use headlight systems. We are seeing more and more non-optic handpieces.

Dental Student: From your expertise, do you repair air or electric more often?

Mr. Williams: Air is predominant. Electric has grown to become 18% of our business last year. Once you’ve invested in electric handpieces, you cannot go back to air. The power difference is tremendous. The problem is, for a doctor in an existing practice, it’s a big investment. Each unit costs $3,500 and each handpiece can run to about $1,500. The barrier to entry is the cost.

Dental Student: When do you anticipate future advances will come in handpiece technology?

Mr. Williams: Size. Everything is about getting small. After years of making heads smaller and smaller, the electric motor itself is a pretty good-sized object that you have to hold in your hand. With all the gears and everything you see inside the body, the bodies got heavy and fat. The goal is to get the electric motors down to a certain size.

Thank you Mr. Williams for sharing perspectives and knowledge with us and THE NEXTDDS user community! Click here to watch other videos from THE NEXTDDS regarding topics in dexterity, hand skills, & instrumentation.

 

Tags: dental handpiece, handpiece maintenance, air-driven handpiece, electric handpiece, dental handpieces, dental handpiece maintenance

A Conversation On Dental Handpieces with Dr. Marty Jablow

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

dentist using dental handpiecesMarty Jablow, DMD, is a clinician, speaker, and authority in dental technology. In his presentation titled “The Dental Handpiece & Its Role in Daily Practice,” Dr. Jablow discusses the history of handpieces and the differences between air-driven, electric, and hybrid electric handpieces. Read below as THE NEXTDDS talks to Dr. Jablow for his insights on using handpieces to access difficult areas, proper hand treatment after procedures, and his daily maintenance routine for dental handpieces.

What’s your approach when using a high-speed electric handpiece to cut through a zirconia crown?

Dr. Jablow: First: I would knock down the rpms from 200,000 to 100,000. I do not bond every crown in because I don’t think it’s necessary if you have good resistance and retention form. What you would do is slice into this; cut through it on the buccal at about a 1/3 or 1/2 way across the occlusal and, if I can get an instrument in there, I can crack the crown into two pieces and it comes out fairly clean. It’s much easier using this than an air-driven handpiece.

Share some insight on how you access difficult areas like mandibular lingual, maxillary molars, etc.

Dr. Jablow: There are huge advantages to isolation. Do I put a rubber dam on every patient? The answer is “No.” What we use in my office to make things easier are isolation systems. My system of choice includes mouthpieces that retract the tongue and the cheek and provides vacuum suction and illumination. It’s also important to use thing like cotton rolls, retractors, and other hand-held instruments; those make your access much easier.

How should dental students build up their hand skills with their handpieces as they think about making their way into the clinical environment?

Dr. Jablow: It’s just about cutting and taking the time to do it. You are going to go through a whole bunch of things. I believe teeth are not contiguous enamel and dentin; they do not cut the same. Some enamel in the teeth is harder. With practice, practice, and more practice, you will eventually develop the skills. The main thing is the frustration. Let it go, it’s not always easy, just keep practicing. There is no magic to this.

You also talked about your daily upkeep of your handpieces. How long does your maintenance routine take and who’s responsible for that in your practice?

Dr. Jablow: After you use the handpiece, run the water through it for 30 seconds or so; this procedure is done every day in the morning. We also flush the lines and place the oil. This is the manual way of doing it. There are also handpiece cleaners/centers where you can actually put the handpiece on the attachments and they will lubricate and blow the air through it.

Sounds very effective. What do you to help with your hands before a long procedure?

Dr. Jablow: Take a break. Give yourself enough time. If you going to do a long procedure, make sure the patient has break time and you have break time. Sometime I simply flex my hands and stretch them out. If you’re having hand issues, you should speak with an orthopedic surgeon or hand surgeon.

Any tips for the new dentist on handpiece positions? For example, if you’re preparing tooth #2 or #15 distobuccally for a crown?

Dr. Jablow: First thing: use magnification. I know in many dental school students are required to buy loupes but not everyone is wearing them. That’s a big deal; if you can see it well, you can do it well. This is very important for preparation. Obviously, isolation is a little harder back there. If you’re concerned about lacerating cheeks, absorbent pads and dry shields will help prevent that. You may even have to get out of the chair and do those non-ergonomic things for an effective procedure.

Thank you very much for your time Dr. Jablow! We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge with THE NEXTDDS user community!

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Tags: dental handpiece, handpiece maintenance, air-driven handpiece, electric handpiece, dental handpieces, dental handpiece maintenance

How to Create and Maintain a Successful Budget for Your Financial Goals

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

bigstock-Young-Couple-Calculating-Their-budget-small.jpgWith looming student loan debts affecting almost every dental student, it’s important to implement a budget in order to live smart and keep a strong financial profile. Don’t guess where your money is going: Even if you think you have disposable income, you shouldn’t be spending your money blindly. As soon as you start spending, keep an eye on it before you run into trouble. Keeping track of your expenses is the best way to find out exactly where your money is going. For new dentists, living within your means is a big aspect of becoming an associate dentist.

Check your income, and divide up a certain amount of money to be used for each aspect of your life. Use one portion for your living essentials, another for savings, an emergency fund, etc. Continue down this path to dispersing your income, and focus on keeping your spending under control. Save the house, car, restaurants, and expensive vacations for the future once your career is thriving.

Courtesy of Dr. Janki Patel, a THE NEXTDDS virtual training event entitled “Maximizing Your Earning Potential & Paying Down Your Student Loan Debt” discusses topics such as credit health, types of debt, and much more. Here are the major dos and don’ts for how to best create and maintain a budget.

The Fundamentals of Creating a Budget

Research your net income. Identify how much money you have coming in, and don’t overestimate your total salary as how much you’re able to spend. Subtract your deductions: Social Security, taxes, 401k, and other flexible spending account allocations. Research these deductions to see if there are any different options in different states. This might be a good indicator of a relocation, if that is in your plans. The money left over is your “take home” pay, and what you’ll be able to use as you continue your budget goals.

Track and limit you spending. Categorize your spending to better understand where you can make adjustments. On what are you spending the most money? Where could you cut back (or cut completely)?

Writing down all your fixed expenses is a good place to start, and should be at the top of your list. These include regular monthly bills such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, or car payments. Since you cannot cut these off completely, it’s helpful to know how much of your monthly income they consume.

Next are variable expenses, or ones that may change from month to month. These include groceries, gas, and entertainment. This is where you might cut back. Check your credit card and bank statements as they itemize your monthly expenditures. Could you spend a little less at the supermarket, or cut back on movie tickets and other entertainment luxuries? Do a number crunch—will this free up money? Even these small savings could mean a huge difference in the future.

Mark your goals, and make a plan. Determine your short- and long-term goals. Short-term could be paying off one of your credit cards within the next year. Long-term could be saving to acquire a practice, something that will take years to achieve, but is still on the horizon. These goals don’t have to be a complete focus, but it may be easier to visualize your budget relative to those short-term goals. With your compiled expenses and goals in mind, make your budget. Get a sense of your monthly habits, break your expenses into “needs” and “wants,” and predict how much you’ll be able to save and spend. Even some “needs” could be cut down accordingly, albeit at a more difficult level. Weigh your options and make the best with what you have.

Other Important Notes and Factors on Maintaining Your Budget

In the case of credit cards, checking accounts, and mortgage loans, maximize your spending by looking at what benefits are included. Use an online search tool such as NerdWallet to find the best deals and benefits that work for you, and take advantage of other free online resources available. Keeping an Excel spreadsheet for logging your finances is another good tool to use.

Prepay your loans and credit cards bills, starting with those that most affect your credit worthiness. If your loans are in deferral, don’t start frivolously spending money you don’t have! Find a certified financial planner, and see how you can work with him or her to create a sustainable plan with your money.

Check-in. Revisit your budget periodically to see how you’re doing. Your budget is constantly adjusting to your habits. Did you get a raise or promoted in the practice? Have your expenses increased since you last made your budget? Have you reached a financial goal and want to make a new one? Keep asking these questions to yourself and review where you need to change your budget.

Conclusion

You wouldn’t travel without directions, just as you can't expect to reach your financial goals without developing a plan for spending and saving. Creating a budget can be overwhelming, but the effort is surely worth it. Developing a budget that you can maintain over time can help you build wealth, while simultaneously helping you get out of debt and cut expenses. Luckily, you will soon be in a position where your income will grow, and you will be able to put more towards your loans and major expenses.

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Tags: financial security, student loan debt, budgeting, financial goals

5 Simple Recommendations to Maintain Your Dental Handpiece

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

bigstock-Dental-Tools-On-Dentist-Chair--137501039-338816-edited.jpgDental handpieces have a long and storied history and remain a vital, daily part of dentistry today. The care and maintenance of these handpieces are essential to preserving their lifespan and proper functionality. While traditional air-driven handpieces are more common in daily practice, the increase in electric handpiece availability means that they have now become more widely used.

Understanding how to properly clean and maintain handpieces and their components will help you provide optimal care to your patients. Knowing when to replace or rebuild handpiece turbines or knowing when to clean and lubricate handpieces are essential steps to achieve long-lasting quality. While every dental handpiece will need to be serviced at some point, properly maintaining your handpiece will be crucial as you move through your day-to-day operations.

Courtesy of Mr. Glenn Williams, a recent THE NEXTDDS virtual training event entitled “5 Simple Recommendations to Maintain Your Dental Handpiece” discusses the recognition of different components of dental handpieces and how they work. Mr. Williams also shows the viewers how to reduce spending on costly handpiece repairs, increase the life of turbines between repairs, and improve handpiece maintenance knowledge and skills. Here are the five recommendations from the presentation:

1. Air Pressure

Air pressure has the most effect on the life of a handpiece and is an important consideration. Handpieces have tiny precision bearings that have a certain operating envelope, and if they are taken past the recommended pressure and pushed beyond their limit, they will have an accelerated failure and become prone to constant repairs. Small, inline gauges can be used to make accurate readings of air pressure, which is important because handpieces have frictional air loss as air travels through the tubing, which may lose as much as six pounds of pressure from the dental unit to the handpiece. Consistently checking your handpiece’s air pressure should be paramount in your practice.

2. Lubrication

Many questions come into play when discussing lubrication:

How often should you oil the handpiece?

You should oil your handpieces every single time you autoclave it. This procedure is now universal, as every manufacturer has guidelines to spray the oil, run out the excess buildup, and then begin the autoclave proceedings.

Where does the oil go?

A four-hole or four-line handpiece has an exhaust which is usually the biggest hole on the handpiece. Here, you don’t want back pressure building up on the handpiece which will slow the handpiece down. Instead, the smaller of the two large holes is called the “drive” hole that drives the turbine where the air is going under pressure. This is where you want the oil to go.

Oils come in a dropper and a spray. Which one is better to use?

Droppers usually don’t penetrate the bearings enough when compared to sprays, which means that you’re relying on the pressure of the air to drive the oil to the bearings. Sprays take out these variables. In addition, using the correct tip on the handpiece can be a huge factor as different brands may have intricate qualities that prevent proper cleaning.

Why should you run out excess oil?

Running out the excess oil is important for several reasons. First, it allows the oil to not “bake” into the bearings, which would cause the handpiece to become sluggish. Secondly, it allows the oil to not spray into the patient’s mouth. Finally, it allows the oil to not contaminate the operating field. In this way, flushing stations are a good option to use after lubrication in the sterilization area.

Does it matter what type of oil I use?

If you bought the handpiece from a manufacturer under a product warranty, you should use the manufacturer’s oil or risk voiding out your warranty. Thus, it is important to use only one brand of oil for that handpiece’s lubrication. However, if you do not have a warranty, the type of oil you use does not matter, as long as you consistently and routinely lubricate your handpieces.

What about automatic lubrication machines?

Automatic lubrication machines offer both positive and negatives to the practitioner. While these machines create more staff time to do other tasks, can consistently clean multiple handpieces at a time at a measured pace, and can extend your warranty in some situations, they can be expensive, fill counter space, and can possibly fail through longtime use. When taking these machines into account, know that staff can be easily trained to do the manual task of lubrication.

3. Sterilization

The type of autoclave you use and how you perform sterilization are also factors that impact the life of your handpiece. Compared to conventional autoclaves, the cassette autoclaves advocated by Williams have no rise time compared to the 30-minute wait for water to steam in conventional machines. There is no corrosion and down time as the vacuum pump removes all air from the cassette without oxidation and removes all steam from the cassette. Thus, cassette-type autoclaves take a total of 12 minutes compared to the 60-minute wait time for conventional autoclaves.

4. Chemical Wipedown

You should not use any chemical wipes of any kind with your handpieces, as this process is redundant, harmful, and useless. There’s no reason to wipe the handpiece with a disinfectant (where you are just going to introduce chemicals into the head and bearings) when you’re going to kill everything through sterilization. Handpieces should be brushed under running water only to remove external bioburden prior to sterilization.

5. The Practice Type and Number of Handpieces

Some things are outside your control, such as what type of practice you are in, that effect the lifespan of a handpiece. For example, a prosthodontist may use their handpieces more often than a periodontist or an orthodontist. The number of handpieces you have in rotation also plays a factor. If your inventory is tight, it will make a huge difference when one handpiece breaks down and has to be repaired.

 

The introduction of dental handpieces has revolutionized dentistry. They are an essential part of dental practices as dentists rely on them daily. Despite their importance, however, education is needed to fully understand the intricacies of their design, maintenance, and overall performance. Understanding how they work will extend their life and keep repair costs down. When it does come time to do the necessary repair protocols, it pays to be aware of what steps need to be taken.

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Tags: dental handpiece, handpiece maintenance, air-driven handpiece, electric handpiece, dental handpieces, dental handpiece maintenance

How New Dentists Build Relationships with Team Members

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Dec 06, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

pds3.jpgMany dental school graduates will soon be finding themselves in the practice setting, and despite being an associate dentist, there is a lot of responsibility required in the position. From the onset, associate dentists are given many opportunities to be more than just a supporting team member. As one grows in the position both clinically and as an employee of the office staff, associates will soon be looked to as leaders. In this bigger role, managing a team requires gaining the trust and respect of peers. Once promoted to a senior dentist or becoming a practice owner in the future, how can this connection be sustained?

Courtesy of Dr. Cody Mugleston, THE NEXTDDS virtual training event entitled “3 Proven Ways to Find Mentors & Build Leadership Skills” discusses topics such as the importance of mentorship, how to develop leadership skills, building relationships, and pursuing clinical excellence. Below are several key points outlined in the Mugleston presentation.

Developing into a Leader

It’s important to become accustomed to the responsibilities of a leader in a modern practice setting. Creating an open communication channel between you and your staff, being an active listener to their feedback and concerns, and showing appreciation and care for those who are working effectively—these are all tools that will impact you, your team, and the patients you treat. Once you get to a spot where you can delegate responsibilities to your staff and cultivate a “group pride” feeling in your practice, you will soon be seen as a collaborator who works well with others, many of whom welcome the added mentorship and guidance.

Form a quick, 15-minute daily huddle every morning as the workday begins: start by going over how you will handle the day’s tasks, review the schedule and collectively making a plan with your team. Go back to yesterday’s workday: What were the successes? What were some of the missed opportunities that you can work on in the future? Garner feedback on these issues and other topics of the day. When necessary, troubleshoot problems with your team altogether so you’re not hung up on past mistakes during the day. Create a tight-knit group.

During these interactive staff meetings, reiterate your practice’s mission statement. Allow everyone to contribute equally, and rotate the team meeting leaders, allowing each person to run the ship and improve their own leadership skills. Make sure that everyone contributes and no one’s voice is unheard. Over time, you’ll have a clear vision, and your team will truly believe in the culture of the practice. Champion a company of “ours” rather than “mine” or “yours.”

Being Open with Your Staff

How are you as a listener? Your ability to respond to feedback and course-correct when necessary depends on your role as a listener. For your patients and staff members to feel like their opinions matter in decision making, being open to these responses is vital.

Effective communication requires the two-way exchange of information. Interpret what is being said, repeat back your understanding of what was said, consider the implications of what you hear, ask if your take is correct, and dig deeper with more details. As a psychological tool, active listening can be a good way to provide good communication to your patients and staff. Whenever possible, you should get the entire picture before setting off towards potential solutions.

Showing Appreciation

It’s imperative to show appreciation to your staff. Even something as simple as a positive affirmation at the end of the day could mean the world to a member of your staff who, despite a rough day, plowed through and still did a great job. Will you recognize these achievements on an individual or team level? In a public or private manner? You should certainly show your team that they matter, as the need to feel appreciated is one of the most important things to display to coworkers. These small comments can improve the overall morale of the practice, preserving a collaborative team that increases practice production.

 

With just a small investment of your time, you can be better positioned to lead your team to a positive experience on a daily basis. When you make connections with your team members, they know that they can trust you and that you have their best interests at heart. Being an effective leader means using all of the tools at your disposal to engage staff and patients alike in moving the practice towards success, creating a unified team that is proud to work alongside you.

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Suggested Readings

The Truth About Staff Training

Communicating Your Practice

Advice from Dr. Aldridge: Building Your Practice (Part I)

Attitude is Everything

Tags: mentorship, mentoring, teamwork, relationship building, new dentists

[Webinar] Prevention, Professional Treatment & Self-Care

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Male-dentist-shaking-hands-with-patient-resize.jpg

Effective chairside communication with your patients is one of the most important elements to building a sustainable, successful relationship. Several methods that can create successful patient communication include telling your patients their oral health problems precisely and in simple terms, informing them of how the problems occurred and providing them the best treatment recommendations, and informing them of the consequences if treatment is delayed or ignored. The use of technology and collaborating with your dental team staff are additional ways that you can help take necessary preventive steps with patients to achieve a positive outlook on a patient’s oral health needs.

This event be a discussion of what communication methods are best to use effectively in-office by the dentist and hygienist. In addition, learn how you can influence the patient in their home care, allowing them to control and help eliminate oral biofilms and improve their systemic health.

The following subjects will be addressed in this virtual training event:

  • The basics of the doctor-patient relationship to improving oral health
  • In-office methods of collaborating between the dentist and dental hygienist
  • Creating a “dental home” and other factors to enhance patient education
  • Establishing a patient-centric approach to dentistry
  • Improving patient communication to foster questions and garner case acceptance
  • Recommendations to provide patients to eliminate oral biofilms and systemic health

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Tags: oral health, Tertiary Prevention, self-care

Making Connections: Networking in Dental School and Beyond

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 @ 09:49 AM

networking-young-successful.pngYou might not realize it now, but the friends you make and the faculty that you interact with on a daily basis while in dental school can become lifelong working partners once you graduate. Ever since you’ve made that first connection, you’ve been networking. Your peers might remember you when they see an associateship that’s right for you, or maybe your faculty and alumni might turn into a good mentorship opportunity. No matter how these relationships organically grow once you are out of school, it all begins with building them during those four years.

Actively pursuing networking opportunities might not be something on your priority list. It can sometimes be awkward, unappealing, and not to mention a time-consuming venture. However, it takes more than excellent clinical skills and passing your exams to advance your career. You need to make those connections in order to be vocal about your interests and career goals, and go to events (lunch-and-learns, ASDA, vendor fairs, etc.) that offer these networking or recruiting opportunities.

Your First Contact

If you are passionate about dentistry (i.e., what sets you apart?) and engage with your equally passionate peers, you’re already working on making connections. Many times, dental students think sales pitches, business cards, and hijacking conversations to get in a word are part of the game, but it’s much easier than that. Being an active listener and asking the easy questions that get you into a conversation will fare better for you. Just make sure to follow up at the end of the conversation if you missed anything you wanted to mention, or have any questions for the person to whom you’re talking.

Think of the Person, Not the Position

Being genuine and authentic in your approach to these relationships will also make connecting easier, building trust and seeing what you can do to help the other person and vice versa. Think of these connections in terms of the people involved, and not the potential positions or opportunities that may present themselves at a later date. Find the person’s desires and concerns, and see if you can be of any assistance. Give yourself to your peer before you ask in return. Overall, leave your personal agenda to the wayside, and instead be open, honest, and friendly to everyone with whom you meet.

Build Your Own Network

In addition, don’t dismiss anyone that you meet as unimportant, or that won’t be a connection once you advance in your career. You never know who’ll be valuable, or if someone else you know might need that person’s specific skills and expertise. Once you start to connect the dots with these connections, you’ll soon realize that you’ve created a nest of connections that are all available to one another. Become the center of your network: organize and host meet-ups, social outings, and other events that might bring these different people together.

 

Your network should be in place for when you need it, both for job searching and for moving along the career ladder. Since you never know when you might need it, it makes sense to have an active career network even while you are still in dental school. Networking can help you become a better dentist and having a viable network in place during dental school will pay its dividends. Use this network to your advantage when taking the next step in your life.

Tags: mentorship, networking, mentoring, networking after dental school

[Webinar] Three Simple Steps for Managing Student Loan Debt

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Nov 08, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

Student-Debt-Word-Cloud.jpg

One of the biggest concerns from dental students is getting out from under their student loan debt burden when they finish school. Many people already have previous schooling debt from their undergraduate programs and are looking for recommendations. The good news is that there are various resources and best practices available that can make a big difference for virtually every student.

Financial wellness is essential for students transitioning from dental school into the profession. While education loan debt is a fact of life for most new dentists, careful planning enables one to limit risks and to repay or refinance existing school loans. There are important steps students must take now and post-graduation to protect their livelihood and to maximize their future earning potential.

The following subjects will be addressed within this virtual training event:

  • Understanding repayment options (e.g., loan consolidation, refinancing, federal or state-based repayment programs, income-driven repayment plans)
  • Managing debt and compounding interest
  • Pros and cons of loan consolidation
  • The importance of timeliness and documentation
  • Understanding the implications of deferments and forbearances
  • Modeling one’s self on the characteristics of financially independent dentists
  • Pending legislation that may impact borrowers
  • Understanding the ADMI compensation package and its impact on educational debt

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Tags: debt, student loan, dental school, webinar, student loan debt

[Webinar] At the Heart of It All - Periodontal Disease & Cardiovascular Disease

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Nov 01, 2017 @ 02:03 PM

people-jogging-systesmic-health

 

Periodontal disease and heart disease have been linked together in several studies over the years, and investigators continue to debate the exact nature of this relationship. At present, there is consensus among researchers that periodontal disease and cardiovascular (CDV) disease are multifactorial conditions, and such patients share common risk factors that must be monitored and managed by healthcare providers and dental professionals.

While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions.1

In this virtual training event, the learning objectives will focus on current theories explaining the mechanism by which periodontal disease impacts cardiovascular health and present the following:

  • Outline patient demographics and population affected by periodontal disease and CDV
  • Role of inflammation in CDV and pro-inflammatory mediators
  • The relationship between periodontal ligament attachment loss and risk for myocardial infarction
  • Professional treatment (i.e., periodontal therapy) that may be plausible for preventing the onset or delaying the progression of CDV
  • Importance of OHI and managing the patient’s individual risk factors
  • Interacting with other members of the patient’s healthcare team

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References

  1. Gum Disease and Heart Disease | Perio.org. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-heart-disease. Accessed August 21, 2017.

Tags: webinar, oral health, oral inflammation, oral biofilms, systemic health

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