Recent Posts

Strategies for Removing and Managing Dental Biofilms

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

gums-and-teeth.jpgIn the role of the dental professional to ensure optimal patient care, the continuous and routine removal of dental biofilms needs to take place. Despite patients being able to treat through at-home care and chemotherapeutic agents, proper oral health care is an ongoing maintenance when combined with the help of the dental health professional. Studies indicate that inflammation in the mouth has been linked to conditions elsewhere in the body,1 and as a dentist working with a dental hygienist, patients need to be educated and assisted on this oral-systemic connection and how they can adequately remove this dental biofilm and work toward the goal of proper oral health.

In a recent THE NEXTDDS live training event, Dr. Christine Hovliaras discussed key strategies for managing and removing dental biofilms.

Mechanical Plaque Removal

Manual and electric toothbrushes, floss holders, and other oral irrigation and interdental devices provide perhaps the quickest and easiest way for patients to remove harmful dental biofilms. Brushing twice a day in the morning and evening, as well as recommending flossing every night before bed is the main goal for practitioners. In this way, dental biofilms can be removed by the patients themselves and prevent issues that can lead to dental caries and gingivitis.

However, patient compliance remains a consideration and must be part of any oral health instructions provided by dental professionals. In addition, it has been noted that patients brush their teeth too fast, falling short of the two-minute recommendation issued by the ADA.2 Thus, patient education is a must for new dentists working in collaboration with dental hygienists in order to ensure that specific oral health needs of their patients are met.

Periodontal Debridement

From the clinical perspective, periodontal debridement is used to stop the progression of periodontitis to restore that patient to healthy pocket depths and attachment levels.3 Supragingival and subgingival scaling are standard non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease as are local or systemic antimicrobial therapy. Root surfaces should be smooth upon completion of periodontal debridement, thereby reducing the potential recolonization of harmful bacteria. Dental calculus provides an environment conducive to the adhesion of bacteria and biofilm retention, which also contains endotoxins in gram-negative bacteria and can cause inflammation.

The objective of periodontal debridement is to disrupt the dental biofilm and remove the maximum amount of biofilm, calculus, periodontal bacteria, and debris on the root surfaces and at the gingival soft tissue. Through a combination of hand and ultrasonic scaling (for patients with tenacious calculus), this goal is achieved.

Ultrasonic Instrumentation

When compared with hand scaling, ultrasonic scaling can offer the dental professional a number of advantages.4 It can be less fatiguing and time consuming in debris removal, it can retain more tooth substance and structure, it can provide irrigation of the pocket during instrumentation because of the water used to cool the heated tip, and can provide superior access to tight subgingival areas.

There are two types of ultrasonic instruments:

  • Magnetostrictive — A vibrational movement and frequency of 25,000 to 30,000 cycles per second via inserts connected to the handpiece. Power is distributed to all surfaces of the tip for removing deposits.
  • Piezoelectric — Has a frequency of 25,000 to 50,000 cycles per second and contains quartz discs or ceramic plates in the handpiece that vibrate, rather than vibrating metal stacks on the magnetostrictive insert. A linear motion of the tip occurs and the two lateral sides of the tip provide the working stroke to remove calculus and other debris.


The goal of the dental professional is to assess each patient, conduct a proper oral examination, and obtain quality radiographs that permit preventive care and assessment. Dentists are also responsible for evaluating the patient’s periodontal and restorative health and identifying the appropriate treatment plan to provide optimal care. Working in a team in a proactive and engaging way with trust, respect, and value allows the dental assistant, the dental hygienist, and front office team to provide the highest level of professionalism and care for patients.

Click here to watch this THE NEXTDDS live training event.

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  • Li X, Kolltveit KM, Tronstad L, Olsen I. Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral Infection. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2000;13(4):547-558.
  • Creeth JE, Gallagher A, Sowinski J, et al. The effect of brushing time and dentifrice on dental plaque removal in vivo. J Dent Hyg 2009;83(3):111-6.
  • Aimetti M. Nonsurgical periodontal treatment. Int J Esthet Dent. 2014 Summer;9(2):251-67.
  • Chatterjee A. Baiju CS, Bose S, Shetty SS, Wilson R. Hand Vs Ultrasonic Instrumentation: A Review. Journal of Dental Sciences & Oral Rehabilitation Oct-Dec 2012.

Tags: dental biofilms, clinical, removing dental biofilms, managing dental biofilms

The Fundamentals of Root Canal Therapy

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

proper-root-canal-access-thumb.jpgRoot canal therapy is an important requirement during your dental school training and a mainstay of clinical practice. Root canal therapy is often classified according to three main requirements: proper preparation, disinfection, and obturation. As you focus on developing your treatment planning and hand skills for your future in the profession, understanding the nuances of endodontic therapy is important.

Dr. Gary Glassman, a leading educator and authority in the field, recently presented a four-part virtual training continuum on endodontic treatment, discussing such topics as proper diagnosis, shaping, disinfection, obturation, and key variables to treatment. In Part 1, Dr. Glassman begins his instruction with these fundamentals to root canal therapy.

The Basics

A principle goal with endodontic therapy is to sustain the vitality of the affected tooth. However, if the tooth has been committed to root canal treatment, then the pulp tissue needs to be removed. Canals need to be shaped to accomplish disinfection and, once that is complete, the root canal system is to be cleaned and obturated in three dimensions, finished with a restoration and crown if necessary.

First and Second Appointments

Whether a root canal takes one appointment or two depends on a practitioner’s level of expertise, as well as the status of the dental pulp. Make sure that you are focusing on the quality of the endodontic care, rather than the number of the appointments you need to make with the patient.

accessing-root-canal-systems.pngTake a radiograph to visualize the anatomy of the tooth and aid in the diagnostics. Sedate the patient using locally administered anesthesia, or conscious sedation for patients with anxiety. It’s important to use rubber dam isolation, for moisture control at the site as well as to prevent the inadvertent aspiration of endodontic instruments and/or debris. Access and locate the canals, shape them, and irrigate to clean. If a second appointment is needed, provide the patient with a temporary restoration (e.g., calcium hydroxide) to protect the affected tooth, and/or a temporary restoration to seal.

In the second appointment, re-access the affected tooth and apply the final irrigation protocol for 3D disinfection. Dry the root canal and fully obturate it in three dimensions as well. Restore the tooth with a restoration and crown if necessary.

Postoperative Care

It is important to equip the patient with all the necessary information that he or she needs to know after therapy. Prescribe the patient with any medication that will manage his or her pain, and emphasize the importance of a regular antibiotic schedule if need be, fulfilling and refilling prescriptions as directed. Provide additional oral health instructions to the patient to allow time to heal, stressing his or her need to avoid chewing in the affected areas but allowing brushing and flossing as usual.


No matter where you stand with endodontic treatment, root canal therapy is a very sophisticated aspect of daily practice that has a lot of dentists intrigued. With its rich history of research and continued exploration of advances in the future, endodontic therapy continues to evolve and provide greater efficiency for dental professionals. Based on attendee feedback from the virtual training continuum, the importance for additional hands-on learning in this facet of dentistry is much needed, as many attendees plan to have endodontics become a big part of their practices down the road.

To start watching the endodontic therapy continuum, click here for our complete YouTube playlist.Watch the Continuum Now

Tags: root canal, root canal therapy, endodontic therapy

The History of Dental Adhesives

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

adhesion-2.jpgAdhesion, or bonding is the process of forming an adhesive joint, consisting of two substrates joined together. Most adhesive joints involve only two interfaces; a bonding composite restoration is an example of a more complex adhesive joint.1 The word “adhesion” is derived from the Latin roots that translate as “to stick together,” and is defined as the molecular attraction exerted between the surfaces of bodies in contact; the force referred to as adhesion occurs when unlike molecules are attracted.2

Dental adhesives are used for a wide range of clinical applications in restorative dentistry. Direct composite resin restorations all require bonding, and indirect resin inlays, onlays, and veneers require bonding and—depending on their design—crowns, bridges, and endodontic posts and cores may require and/or benefit from the use of dental adhesives in conjunction with resin luting materials.3

Adhesion technology has allowed for more freedom for dentists and a better way to treat teeth without the need for extensive preparations, preserving the original sound tissue. However, the constant battle with adhesive dentistry becomes making procedures more efficient while not sacrificing bond strengths. In this way, dental adhesives have become so much of a changing force that it establishes a new way of thinking and treating cavities, orthodontics, and other treatments that are crucial to patient’s overall health. It’s important for future dentists to learn more about how these different generations of adhesives have both improved in quality over time and have grown to be a standard of care for many dentists.

A recent presentation, “A Primer on Dental Adhesion,” by Dr. Howard Glazer discussed the evolution of adhesive bonding in dentistry, the indications of total-etch and self-etch adhesives, and other related topics. Here’s a rundown of the differences involved in the generations of dental adhesives as Dr. Glazer explains:

4th-Generation Adhesives

The 4th generation of adhesive bonding in dentistry achieves bond strengths of over 18 megapascals in the enamel in order to have a strong adhesive bond. If a system requires more than one bottle and requires a separate etch step, it is commonly referred to as a "4th generation" adhesive. In a three-step total etch procedure, the etch is first applied, then primer, and then the adhesive agent.

5th-Generation Adhesives

On the other hand, if there is a separate etch step with only one bottle, it is regarded as a "5th generation" system. In the 5th generation, the procedure is now condensed to an etch, then a bottle that has the combined primer and adhesive. As one step in the process is eliminated from the 4th-generation adhesives, you can see how the bonding procedure can become simpler, faster, and more efficient.

6th-Generation Adhesives

In the 6th generation, the separate etch step is eliminated, and a primer adhesive, two-bottle system is now utilized. This approach has an acidic primer that is built into its system, and a separate bottle for the adhesive. Bond strengths in the 6th and 7th generation are among the strongest of their kind for enamel and dentin, with upwards of 20 megapascals.

7th-Generation Adhesives

A 7th-generation adhesive is a one-step, self-etch, bonding agent, and several options are available as HEMA-free formulations and with improved bond strengths. Here, adhesive dentistry has come to a single-bottle approach. By combining the acidic primer with the adhesive in one bottle, the 7th generation is a single-application system that allows it to be an effective and popular choice for dentists. Despite this, 7th generation bonding can still use a separate-etch technique.

As adhesive systems in dentistry continue to evolve, bond strengths become stronger and postoperative sensitivities are minimized for patients. Still, the name of the game is a better-quality product that is more efficient for use. While earlier systems have had acceptable bond strengths but were technique sensitive, today’s adhesive systems are less complex to use. The continuing balance between strength and efficiency is such an important aspect to being a dentist working chairside. As quality increases, adhesive dentistry becomes easier for the healthcare professional and more effective for the patient. It will be interesting to see how even more simplified and effective dental adhesives become as generations continue to advance.

 Find more helpful information by enrolling in THE NEXTDDS


[1] Perdigao J, Breschi L. Current perspectives on dental adhesion. In: Aesthetic Restorative Dentistry. 1st ed. Mahwah, NJ: Montage Media Corporation; 2008:319.

[2] Terry DA. Adhesion: A micro-mechanical bonding. In: Natural Aesthetics With Composite Resin. 1st ed. Mahwah, NJ: Montage Media Corporation; 2004:86.

[3] Latta M. Recent advances in dental adhesives: An overview. THE NEXTDDS. Accessed November 22, 2016.

Tags: dental adhesion, adhesives, dental adhesives, composite restoration, dental restoration, teeth restoration, total-etch adhesives, self-etch adhesives

Five Recommendations You Don't Want to Miss from THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

sa-blogs.jpgWe are close to three months into 2017, and THE NEXTDDS has shared a variety of new resources with its dental student user community. From successful webinar series that captivated dental students from across the country, to live learning events in Baltimore, Michigan, and Chicago. THE NEXTDDS has presented learning opportunities in multiple formats. It's part of our commitment to providing sound instructional tools and resources for dental students in the topics and formats they value most.

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors participate in this mission as well, sharing these resources with their peers across the country and posting their own learnings from the classroom and clinic. Student Ambassador contributions on THE NEXTDDS have touched on topics related to patient care to personal stories about outreach programs and how to prepare for key milestones in the journey toward graduation. Want to learn more about THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Program? Click the button at the bottom of this list to get started.

In the meantime, here are the top five most popular Student Ambassador blogs of 2017 thus far:

  1. Preparing for the NBDE I

Back in December, University of Washington School of Dentistry Student Ambassador Nicole Antol took the NBDE Part 1, a challenge every student certainly recognizes! In her contribution, Nicole goes over several ways in which her school prepares students for this daunting time of year, as well as ways that she herself prepared for the exam.

  1. My First Extraction

The first time a dental student performs an extraction can certainly be a nerve-wracking experience. Luckily, University of Connecticut School of Dentistry Ambassador Paul Dyrkacz stayed focused, and outlined step-by-step how he approached his patient in the clinic. What did he learn from the procedure? Click the link to read more.

  1. sa-blogs-2.jpgHow Dental School Curricula is Misunderstood in the Health Profession

When you talk with friends and peers outside of the dental profession about what you learn in school, do they ever ask, “Why do dentists even need to know that?” University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston Student Ambassador Raven Deneice Grant encountered this question one too many times, and wrote this inspired piece about how misunderstood the dental curriculum is compared to other areas of healthcare. The next time you get that question, show them Raven’s blog!

  1. Board Studying Strategies

Continuing on the topic of the NBDE Part 1, Andrew Bertagna, THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador at the University of Chicago at Illinois College of Dentistry, runs down several of his key study tools to ensure that you ace the exam. From taking practice exams, to assessing your strengths and weaknesses, Andrew covers solid ground and implores readers to question their study habits and methods to better prepare for these major exams.

  1. Learning a Skill as a Dental Student

The most-read Student Ambassador blog of the year so far was submitted by Matthew Mannella, THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador at Rutgers University School of Dental Medicine. Matthew explains how, despite the massive time-consuming toll that dental school takes on students, there is still time in the day to take up a new hobby, study a new language, or, indeed, learn a new skill. For Matthew, this challenge came in the form of picking up the bass guitar upon starting dental school. He soon found that working with your hands—plucking at the strings and hitting those notes—allowing his hand skills and dexterity to improve over time. What new talent have you picked up during dental school? Click the link and comment below to let us know!


Want to get in on the action and join THE NEXTDDS user community? Register today, or learn more about our Student Ambassador program and register to become one for your school by clicking the link below.

Want to be a Student Ambassador at your dental school? Submit your Application!

Tags: Student Ambassadors

The Keys to the Dental Student CV

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Resume-Writing.jpgAfter graduating from dental school, creating a successful CV will grow your confidence as you apply for an associateship or a residency program. Whichever route you decide to take in your professional career, you’ll want to present yourself as a knowledgeable and professional candidate who would be an ideal fit. The CV is the first thing that crosses the interviewer's desk or computer screen, and within five minutes of reviewing your qualifications, a first impression will be made. Therefore, it’s important to make those five minutes count, and create an effective and concise CV that drives the point home of why you should be in that next position.

With so many do’s and don’ts surrounding resume writing and your CV, deciding where and how to make changes might cause a bit of hesitancy. Put your doubts to the side and take a look at these recommendations for creating your perfect CV:

Primary Objective

As previously mentioned, the primary objective of the CV is to highlight your achievements and skills in the field, while complementing them with relevant details that provide additional context or further address the big accomplishments in your career. The CV should be easy to read and flow from section to section. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to include and not include in your CV, think about what milestones you have achieved that would stand out if you were to describe them to someone. What makes you different? What is your main selling point that the owner dentist or program director should be aware of?

When you get that major interview, the interviewer will base many of his talking points on what is shown on your CV. Therefore, while it’s crucial to create a CV that highlights your relevant experience, qualifications, activities, awards, and interests, you can’t get by on achievement alone. It can be beneficial to form anecdotes from the content on your CV, should they arise when brought up during the interview. This way, you can be less worried about memorizing the key facts and stats of your dental school career, and more focused on telling stories and experiences in a conversational manner. When you’re comfortable during the interview, you can steer it organically into mentioning these key credentials and specific figures. Keep in mind: Your tone, body language, and pleasant attitude is just as important as how qualified you are for the position.

The Specifics

The key is to keep your CV consistent and easy to read. Use a simple font and white space to break up large blocks of text. Don’t be too concerned with graphics or fancy templates. Keep your most important information first in bullet point format, and don’t include any unnecessary information (outdated work experience, hobbies, jargon, etc.). You’ll want to keep your CV short, with a two- to three-page maximum limit.

Some things you may want to include:

  • Shadowing experience
  • Publications (blogs, news, etc.)
  • Professional organizations, associations, or other positions you’ve held
  • Awards and recognitions, being as specific as possible to add perspective to your experience
  • Outreach and volunteer work
  • Speaking credits or posters presented

Things to Keep in Mind

As each position is unique, adjust your CV to the specific role you’re applying for (a recruiter will only spend so much time reviewing it). You’ll want to wow the practice owner or program director with as much relevant information as you can fit in those compact two pages. After reviewing the requirements of the job at hand, ask yourself some personal questions: What do they need? What can I do for them? How does my experience best work for what they’re looking for? How can I best represent myself for them?

You’ll want to include each of the following details:

  • Personal details
  • Education and/or qualifications
  • Work experience and previous employment
  • Skills
  • Interests

If you go over the two- to three-page limit, remove some of the less important sections (such as skills and interests). Ask a peer or faculty advisor for recommendations on potential adjustments to ensure you have an outside perspective as well.

The Don’ts

At this point, you’ve probably got more than enough information to help you in your quest to create the perfect CV. However, what are some major things to avoid when collecting and crafting your history?

You’ll want to be honest and accurate, so be sure not to skew any details to your advantage, and fact check every item to make sure each is up to date. Don’t include too many personal details. Besides your basic contact information, things like your age, race, gender, etc. do not need to be included; awards and memberships are far more important. Don’t try to be fancy with design elements, shading, or waste any space because of it. As discussed, being concise and neat is the name of the game, and anything to distract the reader will certainly cause them to pass over on you.

If you can afford it, resume writing services (which can also tackle LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, etc.) can be a worst-case scenario option if you feel your resume is lacking that “kick” to get you hired. Otherwise, try finding a good template online and working from there (the CV templates on Google Docs, for example, could be a good place to start).

Don’t be lazy in your writing and the way you present yourself. Use action “punch” words to really make the initiation (e.g., you led the team, you managed that organization). Keep your projects, your actions, and the results you achieved in mind. Where possible, add statistics (percentages, numbers) to quantify the impact you made.

The main purpose of a CV is to demonstrate your key skills and achievements and how they can best be utilized for the job at hand. However, no matter how great you make your CV, it won’t do everything to get that ideal job. Try your hand at our numerous resources on interviewing that’ll help you ace your next interview!

Join 14,000+ Students! Enroll in THE NEXTDDS now

Further reading and examples:

How to Build a Strong CV

Curriculum Vitae vs Resume

Tufts University Dental Career Services Resume Writing

ASDA: Tips for Writing Your CV/Resume

The Young Dentist: Tips On How To Write A Good CV

Tags: curriculum vitae, curriculum vitae writing, resume writing, resume

Learning How to Negotiate: 3 Tips for Success

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

handshake-negotiation.jpgNegotiation skills are important both in your personal and professional life. When applying for your first associateship, negotiating well can lead you to success. Luckily, negotiating can be a developed skill with practice, and you might already be using many of these best practices associated with negotiating in your everyday life (and not even know it!). Conflict resolution, dealing with individuals that try to take advantage of you—you negotiate more than you think. Negotiation skills can be honed and perfected as you go into your associateship interview with the expectation of these discussions.

With that, let’s look at some recommendations for developing these interpersonal skills:

Start First, Start High

When you are negotiating with the practice owner or office hiring manager, starting first and producing an “anchor number” for your compensation, where every number that follows it is based off your original number, will be advantageous in swaying the conversation in your favor. Whether lower or higher, this is a benefit to starting the negotiation as opposed to deferring to the other side.1 If you put your number higher than you’re comfortable with, this anchor will influence the conversation in your favor.2 However, get a feel for the beginning stages of this process and gauge the conversation, sensing the tone and emphasis of the conversation to format your approach. Make sure to not get too ahead of yourself during this intense time.3

Be Passionate and Convincing, But Listen

You certainly want to assert your confidence, showing that you have done your research on the practice and are passionate about the associateship, understanding the circumstances surrounding it.4 Give the feeling that “time is running out” on your talents, as the owner dentist might be more inclined to agree to your wishes. 5 Give the owner dentist as much information as possible for them to be less inclined about nuances and more open to persuasion.6

However, don’t dominate the conversation. Be sure to listen to the opposing side, focus on the pressures they face with the negotiation, and show how their needs will be met by your talents. Don’t be in a hurry. A negotiation should take time, and both parties should be able to take something away from it.7

Self-Awareness, Objections, and Walking Away

You should be self-aware going into these proceedings. You might get what you want, but you might not as well. The important thing is to reach a “win-win” situation with the owner or employer dentist and capitalize on it if things start to go south. Understand that many obstacles may come in between the negotiation, either through the line of power, finances, or otherwise.8 That is why it’s important to be on a good foot with the person on the other side of the desk, and find commonalities in order for things to go smoothly. After all is said and done, you should always be able to walk away and get something out of the deal. For instance, settle for an extra sick day, or compromise on a good compensation percentage.

Competition in the job market means needing to become a well-rounded dentist so that you can eventually own your own practice. Negotiating brings with it confidence in one’s skills and personal worth, so training yourself to be a good negotiator is key. As you find yourself at the precipice of your dental school career, it’s important to take these tips with you when applying for your first associateship. When working up the ladder, having better hand skills and job skills will ensure a positive career path.

 Find more helpful information by enrolling in THE NEXTDDS


[1] Galinsky AD. When to make the first offer in negotiations. HBS Working Knowledge. Accessed January 3, 2017.

[2] Galinsky AD, Ku G, Mussweiler T. To start low or to start high? Current directions in psychological science. 2009;18(6):357-361. Accessed January 3, 2017.

[3] Curham JR, Pentland A. Thin slices of negotiation: Predicting Outcomes from conversational dynamics within the first 5 minutes. J Applied Psychology 2007;92(3):802-811.

[4] Hareli S. et al. Running head: Anger and credibility. Accessed January 3, 2017.

[5] University of Alberta. (2009, September 29). Sold-out products influence consumer choice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 3, 2017 from

[6] Giang V. 7 Tips to win any negotiation. OPEN Forum. Accessed January 3, 2017.

[7] Brodow E. Ten tips for negotiating in 2017. Accessed January 3, 2017.

[8] Miller T. Five tips to negotiate better with just about anyone. Lifehacker. Accessed January 3, 2017.

Tags: negotiation, negotiate

Proven Ways to Find Mentors and Build Your Leadership Skills [Webinar]

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Mar 07, 2017 @ 09:17 AM

Out of the many relationships that are created and maintained in the dental world, mentorship is one of the most vital and rewarding. A mentor can teach and provide the insight to their mentee that isn’t found both in and out of the classroom. Having someone who is working alongside you and is in the educational process as well can be beneficial throughout your journey. This one-on-one, individual relationship allows the mentor to provide personalized advice for their questions and issues as you both become professionals. This coaching can not only be key in your dental school development, but also be a good way to train yourself to being malleable in your associateship and beyond post-graduation.

Leadership too is an important part of your future in dentistry. As a dentist, you will be responsible for patient care, revenue production, and promoting effective communication among the staff, and there are several steps to take in order to become an effective leader in the practice.

Mentoring and leadership will be key learning objectives in our upcoming webinar that also covers the following:

  • Defining a vision for the practice
  • Ways to build relationships and foster trust among your future team
  • Communicating effectively with staff members
  • Developing your team through training (e.g., one-on-one, at staff meetings, CE)
  • Effective team supervision and accountability


Tags: mentor, mentorship, leadership

Maximize Your Earning Potential: Paying Off Your Student Loan Debt [Webinar]

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Sat, Feb 25, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Are you starting to worry about how you're going to pay for your dental school education? One of the biggest concerns that we hear consistently from dental students is getting out from under their debt burden when they finish school.

Many people already have previous schooling debt from their undergraduate programs and are looking for recommendations for reducing the burden of dental student loan debt. The good news is that there are plenty of small adjustments that dental students can make to reassess how they manage their student loan debt.

Financial wellness is an important goal as you transition from dental school into the dental profession. Loan debt can be a strong hindrance, but there are many ways to manage it. You can take certain steps both now and post-graduation to understand your overall credit health and to maximize your earning potential.

In this recent NEXTDDS webinar, students learned many of these key points including:

  • Recommendations for protecting your credit / credit health as a dental student
  • Understanding debt and compounding interest
  • Reviewing available repayment options
  • Differentiating between the “big 3”: educational debt, practice acquisition debt, and home ownership debt


Click the picture above or click here to watch the webinar on Youtube.

Tags: debt, student loan, earning, webinar, student loan debt

A Few Simple Strategies to Get That Successful Associateship [Webinar]

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

An associateship after dental school is a great way to begin practice, and there are more associateship opportunities available today than ever before.

The vast majority of your dental school education is focused on making an accurate diagnosis and implementing an appropriate, evidence-based treatment plan. As you near the end of your time in dental school, however, you will need to tap into skills that are not so measurable when it comes time to score that first associateship. How do you relate to people? How do you sell yourself? How do you get started in the position? And how do you know if this position is right for you?

For many new dentists, associateship is an important step along the journey into the dental profession. It’s a time for building your diagnostic skills, confidence in patient care, enhancing your clinical skills, and for developing an understanding of the business of dentistry.

Recenly, on Thursday, February 23rd, THE NEXTDDS and Dr. Bianca Velayo (Tufts '15) presented a webinar for students to learn more about the above and additional tips and recommendations.

This webinar covered:

  • Interviewing with owner dentists
  • Developing diagnostic and clinical skills as an associate dentist
  • Improving oral health in your patients by providing excellent clinical care
  • Building rapport and communicating effectively with patients


Click the picture above or click here to watch the webinar on Youtube.

Tags: associateship, webinar, virtual event

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador of the Month: Lyn Wilson

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Advisory_Board-Lyn_Wilson.jpgLyn Wilson is in the midst of her final year at The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. Most recently, Lyn wrote a blog contribution discussing how she dealt with personal grief during dental school. You can read her piece over on THE NEXTDDS platform. In this interview, Lyn shares her clinical interests within dentistry as well as her first patient experience.

THE NEXTDDS: Why did you choose to pursue dentistry as a career?

LW: My dad is a physician in internal medicine. I grew up working in his office and seeing how things worked. For the longest time, I thought I was going to medical school. But, when I came to Dental College of Georgia they had a program where they introduced you to all the different kinds of health sciences. And what I liked about dentistry was that I liked working with my hands as well as the problem-solving side and artistic aspect of the field. After blending those interests, I found dentistry to be an ideal career for me.

THE NEXTDDS: Will you describe what it was like to work on your first live patient?

LW: I’ve been around patients for a long time. I worked as a dental assistant and pharmacy technician, so I’ve handled a lot of different aspects of patient care. However, being the doctor for the first time, it was so cool to sit down and work. The first time I did a restoration, I was nervous. Up until that point, I had done thousands of them on mannequins and test mouths, but this was the first time on a real person. It felt awesome that I knew what to do; I was really well prepared thanks to my instructors.

THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school is the most challenging for you?

LW: Time management. Dental school is not for the weak. You have to be willing to put in the time to do it…the assignments, studying, clinical requirements, and lab work. You normally have long days. However, it’s important to take time for yourself, too. You need to schedule some self-care time. It’s just a challenge to make sure everything gets done.

THE NEXTDDS: What roles do social media and educational sites such as THE NEXTDDS play in your dental education? How frequently do you access them for school-related activities?

LW: When I was taking didactic courses, we used a lot of different resources, including YouTube videos. I wasn’t aware of THE NEXTDDS website when I started my first year. If I have been, I totally would have been using it. Now I’m into webinars, digital scanning, and how “digital” technology affects dentistry.

THE NEXTDDS:  What clinical topics do you find most intriguing?

LW: I really like oral medicine. People with medical conditions can affect how we plan our dental treatment. What we do in the mouth can affect people later on down the line and their systemic health. Specifically, what I’ve been really interested in lately is head-neck cancer and its effects and oral cancer treatment. This is an aspect I really enjoy. I like the management of those complicated patients.

THE NEXTDDS: What clinical topics would be most beneficial to illustrate in online articles/images/videos?

LW: I don’t see a lot of worthy resources on surgical procedures. I think suture techniques will be best illustrated through video tutorials. Endodontics is great but difficult to visualize. I think medical illustration is helpful. Complex aesthetic cases are very interesting to watch—the different procedures they use to get the desired aesthetic results. Watching those techniques are really awesome and helpful to incorporate into my practice and how I help patients achieve the results that they want.

THE NEXTDDS: How have you been enjoying your Student Ambassador experience?

LW: My Student Ambassador experience has been great. It’s great to hear from everybody and talk to people. When I go to different conferences and I see someone I know, I’ll say “Hey, THE NEXTDDS”! It’s really cool because you know that someone that does this and takes the extra time to network, you know they are going to be a great colleague. It has definitely helped me with networking with other students. I think it’s awesome to share information and learning from each other.

THE NEXTDDS: Besides student loans, what is a chief concern for you regarding dental school?

LW: The demands that are placed on us can get very stressful. You have to be really proactive with your own health and well-being while in dental school. There is external pressure put on us to perform well. The level of perfection we’re expected to strive for can be very difficult.

THE NEXTDDS: What do you envision your next five years of dentistry to look like?

LW: Well I’m going to graduate! I’m really hoping to do a residency. I’m not really 100% sure which route I’m going to take, but I do want to pursue more advanced training and specialize.

THE NEXTDDS: What do you enjoy most about being a dental student, or dental school in general?

LW: We have a class where we do a certain number of community service hours every year. That’s what I enjoy most; going out into the community and helping people whether it’s through oral cancer screening, oral hygiene, dental education, etc. Having that ability to go out into the community and make a difference in people’s lives is what I love most. It’s awesome to make an impact.

That’s very commendable Lyn! Thank you for participating in this interview. We greatly appreciate your thoughts and insight and we look forward to working with you for the rest of the year! Have a great final year!

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