[Webinar] Three Simple Steps for Managing Student Loan Debt

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


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

Watch & Listen Now

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

4 Signs Your Daily Routine is Getting in the Way of Your Potential

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 @ 01:30 PM

student-struggling.jpg“Killing time” is not in the dental student’s vocabulary. With how busy the average dental student’s life is, it’s easy to find yourself adhering to a daily routine. While it’s good to have structure, and be able to get all of your necessary tasks done in an orderly fashion, doing the same thing every day may lead to burnout, a depressive state of mind, or even a lack of constructive days.

It's hard to juggle so many things, and having any free time might seem like a longshot. Even at times when you might find yourself with a good stretch of time, you might not know what to do with it. Life is full of these situations, and for any dental student running from class, to clinic, to making sure to eat, it’s only more of an issue. Make sure the free time you DO have is maintained well. Seize the days!

Here are some signs that your daily routine is getting in the way of your productivity:

Not Susceptible to Change

Does change scare you? When the grind of hours of class and clinic move in a slightly new direction, do you overreact? Falling into a daily routine may mean that any problems against that routine may be overwhelming. You may find yourself scrambling to get things back in order. However, change, even in the slightest sense, may actually benefit you in the long term. If you find yourself burned out by your typical day-to-day, find a new study spot, try a new food, or just turn on a new light in your room. You might be surprised by how good you feel.

No Wiggle Room

If your schedule is maxed out every day, you may not have any wiggle room to set aside for some of the more drastic things that may arise. Emergencies and other last-second rearrangements cannot make their way into your current routine. If you cannot conceive the possibility of one of these situations coming into play, you might need to rethink how tight your schedule is. No matter how busy you might be in any given day, make sure to at least be prepared when these things occur. If you had a medical (or even a dental!) emergency, would you be prepared?

No Creativity

Creativity is defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas. You might think of creativity as leading to big things out of your talents. You don’t have to paint the Mona Lisa to show some creativity, it’s much simpler than that! Think of creativity as more in terms of creating something, and you’ll have a much better time being more creative! Make a figurine or other craft, bake some food, or write a blog for THE NEXTDDS! Make sure to sprinkle some creativity into your daily routine in an effort to make each day different than the last. The reward will definitely be worth it!

Stress and Taking a Look at Yourself

When’s the last time you did something for yourself, in order to relax? With so much going on around you, it can be easy to overlook the fact that you haven’t been taking very good care of yourself. In the modern dental student curriculum, stress is sure to sweep its way into your life. Don’t let stress buildup in your psyche and be destructive. It’s important, every now and then, to treat yourself to something that relieves that tension. Going to the gym, getting a massage, or just doing something you really enjoy can help lower your stress and get you back on the right track in your dental career.

No matter how tight things get when you’re in school, it’s important to liven things up every now and then, or you might risk doing some serious damage to your well-being. Stress and anxiety affects so much of the body and mind that it’s important to ease your feelings and emotions to remain healthy and continue working hard on your journey to becoming a successful dentist.
Find more helpful information by enrolling in THE NEXTDDS

Related Readings:

Top 10 Ways to Make Time for Exercise

Being Flexible: Yoga for Dental Professionals



Tags: dental school, stress management, stress relief, daily routine, productivity

THE NEXTDDS "Going Pro" Peer Networking Event Series Kicks Off in Los Angeles for Area Dental Schools

Posted by Eric Silverstein on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

September 8th marked the launch of THE NEXTDDS "Going Pro" Series, peer networking events conducted on behalf of dental students and THE NEXTDDS user community. The first event was hosted in Los Angeles, California, on behalf of invitees from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC, UCLA School of Dentistry, Western University Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, and Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. Dozens of attendees came together after a full day of classes and patients for an evening of camaraderie, fun, and learning.

USC Attendees at the first THE NEXTDDS Going Pro event.


Upon arrival at the Radisson Hotel at USC, attendees were greeted at the registration booth by THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors Giuliana Di Piazza (USC ’17) and Asma Patel (Western ’17) and Eric Silverstein of Next Media Group, who hosted the event along with sponsors Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC, and Aspen Dental Management, Inc. Registrants received “Going Pro” VIP Admission Passes and personalized nametags as well as tickets for the evening’s complimentary refreshments. All had an opportunity to mingle and network with peers from other universities during the arrival portion of the event. The hors d’oeuvres included a perfectly seasoned chicken satay and delicious shrimp tempura, dumplings, and a first-class pita and hummus spread. Great foodstuffs will be a mainstay of THE NEXTDDS “Going Pro” events!

Special thanks to Giuliana and Asma for making the
evening a success for all their peers in attendance.


Dr. Brian LeSage of the Beverly Hills Institute of Dental Esthetics (and himself UCLA School of Dentistry faculty), contributed the keynote presentation for the evening. For the assembled dental students Dr. LeSage highlighted his own journey into dentistry and shared some of the experiences that enabled him to graduate from dental school and ascend into the ranks of the nation’s best-recognized dentists and educators. “He’s a great speaker,” said Gwendolyn G (Western ’20) “Motivational and really captured my attention 100%.” Importantly, Dr. LeSage offered recommendations on how each student can best position him/herself for the transition into practice after graduation.

“Very informative and engaging,” commented Joshua K (Western ’18). The keynote was followed by an interactive question-and-answer session that allowed Dr. LeSage to emphasize the need to continue the push for knowledge. It was clearly evident for all that Dr. LeSage’s recommendations were of particular interest to the Going Pro attendees.

Dr. LeSage’s experiences and the work he put into becoming a successful dentist resonated with the students, and he in turn applauded the attendees for their drive and passion to learn as much as possible in the time they can during dental school. Dr. LeSage also conveyed the importance of being confident in the craft of dentistry and being confident with one’s patients and staff.

Dr. Brian LeSage brings clarity to the transition from dental student to professional.


 Remarked Dr. LeSage, “Don’t get into dentistry for the money; do it because you enjoy it and the satisfaction you get in helping your patients. The day I stop having fun doing dentistry is the day I retire, but I hope I can do this forever.”

Dr. LeSage was warmly greeted by dental students following his presentation and fielded additional questions before the evening’s conclusion. All were extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend and expressed interest in similar events in the future!

Be sure to spread the word about THE NEXTDDS Going Pro peer networking events that will be hosted in Columbus, Chicago, New York, San Antonio, and Boston throughout Fall of 2016!

Tags: THE NEXTDDS, dental school, Going Pro, Los Angeles, Live Event

D1 Year School Survival Toolkit: Note Taking

Posted by Dr. Patrice Smith on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

taking-notes-1.jpgCongratulations on being accepted into dental school! All your hard work has paid off. You made good grades as an undergrad, studied and did well on the DATs, and you had a killer application that earned you a spot in your dental school. Now the real fun begins! There will be several hurdles to jump over throughout the next four years, but don’t worry! We will be taking it one step at a time.

You are about to start classes and, for many of you, it will be a bit overwhelming at first. It will be very different from your undergrad experience in terms of the sheer volume of reading and work required. One of the first things you will want to get a hang of is proper note taking.

Everyone has a different way of doing things. People’s levels of efficiency and how they absorb and retain information vary greatly, and you will have to find the way that works best for you. However, there are some tried and true ways to get this done without stress.

“Old Fashioned” Notepad and Pen

Some people are just not tech savvy, and that’s okay. You might find that you are more efficient at simply writing notes in a notebook rather than fiddling with technology, trying to figure out apps or hearing the lecture over all the clicking keyboards. Pick up a notebook, notepad or perhaps a binder with re-fillable note pages from your bookstore. Grab some colored pens as well if you find that helps you keep things organized. Typed Notes >Type your notes using your computer’s notepad or note-taking tool. Apple Notes, while pretty basic, is a good tool as is Microsoft Word. If you are not into apps or any of that “fancy” stuff, keep it simple and get the job done using one of these tools.


Most of your lectures will probably be in the form of PowerPoint and will most likely be made available to you ahead of class time. You may find it simpler to either 1) Print out these PowerPoint lectures and make notes on each slide as you go along, or 2) Make notes at the bottom of each slide or write on the slide itself if you’re using a touch screen computer or tablet. This will make following along seamless and all your notes and lecture material will be in one place.

Note Taking Apps

If you are somewhat tech savvy, you might find that using some note taking apps will help you be a lot more organized. Some very useful note taking apps include Evernote, Microsoft One Note, Simplenote, Google Keep, and Google Docs. I personally have experience with Microsoft One Note and Evernote. Both are unique and I like different things about each. The great feature with Evernote is that you can incorporate text, images, audio recordings, web links, and files, and then organize them into notebooks. Another cool feature is that even if you have hand written notes, you can scan them into Evernote using the Scannable app by simply taking a picture of them with your phone.   Microsoft One Note was a favorite among some of my classmates. An entire semester’s PowerPoint lectures can be placed in designated folders. On these PowerPoints, you can incorporate audio notes and keep them next to written notes. You can also mark up images and place diagrams and drawings anywhere within your notes. This is particularly great when studying for cumulative exams. All the information for the entire semester can be accessed in one place.

Digital Recorder

Some people don’t necessarily get all the information while in class. Between mid-lecture snoozes and other distractions, it might be easy to miss some things. In this case, you can invest in a digital recorder. You can record lectures and listen to them at a later time. Your school may have podcasts where the lectures are recorded and made available to you at your leisure. A cool app that integrates recording and note taking is Pearnote. It allows you to upload a PDF or PPT file and record as you take notes. Before you start recording lectures, however, be sure you are given permission by the professor.

Hire a Scribe or Note Taker

So maybe you are not good at this “listening while taking notes” thing. You find that there are a lot of gaps in your notes, but you faintly remember your professor mentioning something else that you can’t quite remember. Ugh, how frustrating! Your note taker in this instance can be a classmate that takes really good notes and can seemingly write everything that comes out of the professor’s mouth verbatim. Or, as a class, you can pool together and hire a scribe. This person will get a digital recording of the lectures and turn them into files that can be distributed to the entire class. All of your classmates will have their notes and someone just got a part time job. What a win-win!


The key to note taking in dental school is finding what best works for you. Try a few of the above methods and see what you’re comfortable with and go from there. Don’t take too much time figuring this part out—you’ll have bigger fish to fry soon enough!

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

Tags: dental school, note taking

Here's How to Start Your First Year in Dental School Off Right

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

student-studying-resize.jpgIf you’re an incoming dental student, you might be excited and nervous to know that September is right around the corner. Your first year of dental school is about to begin, and with it comes a plethora of new information and experiences awaiting you. The next four years will be met with new friends, technologies, and learning that will lead you to a successful career as a dentist. But how do you get over the hump in your first year?

Abby Halpern, starting this fall 2016 as a third year dental student at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, recently showcased a two-part “D1 Survival Guide” for THE NEXTDDS blog. Here’s a quick overview of some of the topics she covered:


Dental school compared to undergraduate school is, as Abby Halpern explains, an “apples to oranges” situation. Certainly, dental school students already have experience with the hustle and bustle of higher education, but be prepared for an even heavier workload.

A typical day starts at 8am and ends at 5pm, filled with studying, lectures, and lab work. However, you’ll have a team of peers and dental professionals to help you along the way. “The experiences you have inside the dental office and outside its confines give you a better understanding of the practitioner you want to be,” Halpern says.


This workload will certainly warrant a lot of note-taking. It’s important to know that note-taking can be achieved in different ways for different people. Some might condense lectures into small bubbles of handwritten text, followed by pictures and diagrams.

Others might use apps, online applications or software provided by their universities to get the job done. Whichever one you choose, stick to it and develop your note-taking skills.


By this point, you probably have your notebooks full of scribbles and you’re thinking, how am I going to make it another three years? For Abby Halpern, help came in the form of joining and working with an organization such as the ASDA to keep herself motivated.

Good distractions from family and friends will occasionally divert your attention away from the grind of dental school. Spending time with them will make you realize why you wanted to get into dentistry in the first place, helping people as you would your closest companions.

Seeing Patients

While the timetable for seeing patients depends on your dental school, it’s never too early to see what your first-patient experience is going to be like. You’ll want to build a trust between you and your patient, ensuring that they are confident in you.

Build your station, prep your assistant, and once you bring in the patient, build a rapport with them. Abby noted that she felt an “out of body experience” and felt more comfortable than she thought she would. If you’ve prepared for this moment, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

Your first year in dental school will no doubt be a challenge. As you start your journey in obtaining your white coat, new paths will begin to open up for you. They will certainly lead you down surprising roads, making new discoveries about your work, your philosophy, and your ambition along the way. For the next four years, you’ll have a clear sense of what kind of dentist you want to be. Good luck in the fall semester!


Find more helpful information by enrolling in THE NEXTDDS

Tags: dental school, first year

Top 5 Student Ambassador Blogs of 2015

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

best-of-sa-blogs-thumbs.pngThroughout the year, THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors develop outstanding blog content that help their fellow student’s with practice management, dental school, or a certain dentistry-related topic. We complied the top 5 Student Ambassador blogs of 2015 and made them easily accessible in a downloadable piece. Check them out!


How to Survive Your First Year of Dental School

Most of you have been in this situation and some of you may be approaching this situation, but don’t fret! Student Ambassador, Justine, from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, shares her top 4 tips for surviving your first year of dental school. For incoming students, take some notes! Justine’s words of advice are helpful! And fellow student peers, share your own tips that helped you survive your first year!

Download Blog Post


An Experience with Interprofessional Education

Student Ambassador, Lyn Wilson, from Augusta University’s Dental College of Georgia, was given the unique opportunity to help teach first year medical students how to perform head and neck examinations as well as oral cancer screening exams. She discusses her experience and how it can help develop rapport and respect for different healthcare professions. Find out more on the experience!

Download Blog Post


CAD/CAM: Ceramics for Every Situation

There are 4 leading ceramics on the market today, so how do you know which one will suit your patient’s needs the best? Molly Stice, Student Ambassador from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, goes over the features of each type to make sure you pick the right ceramic for your patient’s replacement.

Download Blog Post


Controversy Surrounding Live Patient-Based Examinations

Back in April, Student Ambassador, Paul Dyrkacz, wrote an exceptional blog that brought to light the issues that surround the use of live patients for licensure. He also highlights that there is no uniform licensure across the nation, and, instead, dental students looking to be able to practice in multiple states may need to take different licensure examinations to practice.

Download Blog Post


It’s OK to Ask for Help

Finishing off the year with a bang was Yale Cho’s, Student Ambassador from University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, blog about asking for help. Sometimes we let our pride get in the way or believe we will be judged or persecuted if we are struggling personally or educational-wise. Yale, without going into too much detail of his significant life changes, discusses why it is okay to ask for help and gives some great tips that he was given by his clinic manager.

Download Blog Post


Want to have unrestricted access to the rest of these great blogs by fellow classmates and more? Enroll now with THE NEXTDDS! It's completely free for dental students!

Enroll Now!


Tags: dentistry, dental school, best of, CAD/CAM, interprofessional education

6 Important Keys to Interviewing for Dental Students

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

Nicole LaMantia, UCSF DDS Candidate, presenting to fellow classmatesGetting prepared for interviewing is key. How do you do it? Anticipate questions, prepare responses but remember to stay relaxed . Interviews are for them to get to know you but also for you to see if you will be a good fit. Interviewing in a lot of ways is like a first date. You have to see if you are compatible.

1. Be yourself.

Easier said than done.

A good way to prepare is to reflect on what you’ve done, and how it’s equipped you to move onto residency. One of my favorite sites that offers advice on prepping for interviews is The Muse. Even though their articles are not directed toward medical or dental residencies, the information is on point. Check out their article on how to answer the prompt, “Tell me about yourself,” which is often one of the first and more challenging prompts at an interview.

2. Look for compatibility.

In order to have a successful and satisfying experience in residency, you want to be at a program that jives with your expectations and values. There is no perfect program, but there are many which offer a variety of attractive attributes to prepare you for your future.

3. Balance is fundamental.

In the interview, it is important to maintain professionalism and respect, without a doubt. However, do not be afraid to share your personality. If they don’t ask you questions directed at your hobbies, goals, or interests, find some way to work it in. Having a life outside of dentistry isn’t just practical, it is important for showing community, social skills and well roundedness.

4. Confidence with gratitude.

Everyone at the interview has already demonstrated on paper that they deserve to be there. It’s important to carry yourself confidently and be clear in your answers, however also remember that it is a privilege to get an interview, that should not be taken for granted.

5. Crash with friends or use house renting sites.

I am a huge advocate for reaching out to friends or friends of friends to have a place to stay. However, when I did that I realized that sometimes your friend’s place is not as close or convenient, and can make your commute to the interview longer or more stressful. Just remember that you want to allow plenty of time the morning of the interview to allow for traffic, parking, public transportation delays, and finding your way around the building.

6. Take names, take notes.

After your interview, be sure to make notes on what you liked and what you did not. Additionally, you want to remind the program of yourself even after the day is over. Make sure you write a thank you card or note to the program after the interview. Showing gratitude and appreciation is professional but also shows you truly care. Mention the strengths of the program and how you see yourself fit in.

Overall, interview season can be stressful. If you are well prepared, you will be more calm and focused when it comes time to interview. Good luck!

Find more helpful information by enrolling in THE NEXTDDS

Tags: interviewing, dental school

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