THE NEXTDDS Blog

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 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!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

NYU Dental Student, Jessica Li, Sits Down with THE NEXTDDS

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 12:15 PM

Jessica_Li.jpgJessica Li is in the midst of her fourth year as a dental student at New York University College of Dentistry. Her latest blog, Painless Dental Appointments, covers a topic that is relevant to dental students and patients alike. Jessica recently spoke to THE NEXTDDS about her educational experiences at the nation’s largest dental school and how digital is shaping her future in the profession.

THE NEXTDDS: Dental school brings us all together into one intersection, yet we take different roads to this destination. What made you want to become a dentist?

JL: I actually didn’t consider going into dentistry until junior year of undergrad. But I haven’t had any regrets since deciding to pursue dental school. There are so many reasons dentistry works for me – it’s a people-facing career, you can educate patients and set them on a path to great oral health, and you get to be your own boss and business owner.

THE NEXTDDS: Is it generational?

JL: No, I’m the first dentist in the family. It’s nice to be the only person in the field because everyone asks you about their dental and oral concerns!

THE NEXTDDS: Having finished your third year, we’re interested in your patient experiences. Tell us about your first patient.

JL: The first patient I ever treated was a friend who needed her wisdom teeth removed. Completing the comprehensive exam and referring her case to oral surgery wasn’t so daunting. But compare that to the first time I ever gave a patient an inferior alveolar block for a restoration! That was nerve wrecking! It’s true what they say about experience – once you have enough of it, everything becomes easier and more streamlined.

THE NEXTDDS: That’s why it’s the ‘practice’ of dentistry, right? What aspect of dental school is the most challenging?

JL: Finding a new method of studying was the biggest struggle for me. I was always an independent studier and did not rely on study groups to understand and retain information. After my first year of dental school, however, I realized seeking help from peers and studying with classmates was one of the best ways to solidify the massive loads of information we are taught in dental school.

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?

JL: Whenever I feel like I lack resources on topics – such as implant placement, complex case management, how to start up and finance a business, I look to THE NEXTDDS for resources that could answer my questions. There are certain things that are not taught in our curriculum and it’s great to know there is an online platform such as the NEXTDDS that can help answer the questions I have.

THE NEXTDDS: That’s great. We have great contributors who help us every day—just like you do as Student Ambassadors.  What do you envision your next five years of dentistry to look like?

JL: I am very interested in pursing a residency in periodontics following graduation. I can at least see another 3 years of schooling in my near future.

Jessica-with-Erin-Guiliana.jpgTHE NEXTDDS: Fantastic! What clinical topics do you find most intriguing? Periodontology seems like a given.

JL: I am very interested in comprehensive care and how to integrate multiple disciplines of dentistry into one comprehensive treatment plan. For example, I currently have a patient who needs extractions, implants, bridge work, and possibly, a sinus lift. It’s fun to figure out a dentally sound and financially acceptable treatment plan for my patients and understand how to stage the treatment so that my patient receives treatment in a timely and efficient manner.

THE NEXTDDS: What clinical topics would be most beneficial to show in an animated or interactive format?

JL: I think videos on endodontic procedures, implant placement, sinus lifts, basically anything that is beneath the gums and invisible to the patient would greatly help us educate patients when discussing their treatments. Dental students and dentists often talk in jargon and it’s important that we rely our thoughts in a manner that is easily understood by patients. Often, imagery and videos are very powerful tools to aid patient education.

THE NEXTDDS: How has your experience as a Student Ambassador for THE NEXTDDS helped you network with your peers?

JL: My experience as THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador has opened doors to meeting peers in different schools, networking with professionals, and getting opportunities to represent NYUCD in different settings. The bond I’ve developed with other students through THE NEXTDDS is unrivaled. 

THE NEXTDDS: That’s great—we love to hear that. Chief concerns about being a dental student?

JL: As a third-year dental student, I was primary concerned with my future steps: getting into residency and understanding the business models behind opening one’s own practice.

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

JL: I love patient care and being able to take care of my patient’s oral concerns. It also brings me great joy to develop relationships with my patients that go beyond the dental clinic – for example, I dance on the side and my patients have even come to my performances to support my non-academic endeavors.

THE NEXTDDS: Thanks for your time today. We really enjoy working with you and appreciate your leadership as a Student Ambassador at New York University School of Dentisty and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration for the spring semester!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

MUSoD Student, Pinkesh Shah, Discusses Patient Care & Career Goals

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Advisory Board-Pinkesh Shah.jpgPinkesh Shah our Student Ambassador of the Month for November is a fourth-year dental student attending Marquette University School of Dentistry. If you’re a student interested in the prevention chronic musculoskeletal pain while conducting dental procedures, be sure to read his blog titled An Ergonomically Friendly Dentist. In this THE NEXTDDS interview, he discusses the challenging as well as the rewarding aspects of dentistry and also why he chose this profession. 

THE NEXTDDS: Let’s start at the beginning--why did you choose dentistry as a career?

PS: From a very young age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would provide meaningful aide to individuals. I became very familiar and in love with the opportunities healthcare provided. Dentistry stood out to me the most because it provides the opportunity for me to get to know the patient on a greater level and practice preventative care.

THE NEXTDDS: That a commendable reason. Is it at all generational?

PS: Actually, I will be the first in my family to be a dentist.

THE NEXTDDS: How exciting! Briefly take a look to your earlier years in dental school. Were you excited or nervous when working on your first patient?

PS: As an upcoming 4th-year dental student, I am seeing a couple of patients every day. I’ll admit, although it was exciting to finally be working on actual patients, it was nerve-wracking. 

THE NEXTDDS: We can imagine. Now, what aspect of dental school is the most challenging for you?

PS: I find frustrating how underemphasized dental care can be at times among my patients. Trying to educate them to seek continued preventative care or follow through with referrals is definitely something I struggle with.

THE NEXTDDS: It definitely is challenging, yet rewarding once accomplished. What roles do social media and educational resources play in dental education? How frequently do you access them for school-related activities?

PS: THE NEXTDDS helps supplement the education I received in dental school. It provides students with a vast network of learning opportunities to broaden the scope of what they know.

THE NEXTDDS: Well we’re glad to be of assistance to your studies. Next question: What do you envision your next five years of dentistry to look like?

PS: I hope to pursue oral and maxillofacial residency, and thereafter join a group or multi-specialty practice.

THE NEXTDDS: Sounds like a plan! Are there any clinical topics you find most intriguing?

PS: I am always fascinated by the ability of the human body to heal itself. It’s amazing how we can do full craniofacial reconstructions and restore a person’s life to what it used to be.

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

PS: I don’t think the stress should be placed on presenting particular clinical topics, but more or less on presenting a wide variety of each. As an educational resource, it is important to have variety in what we provide so that students can get the most out of their experiences with THE NEXTDDS.

THE NEXTDDS: Interesting outlook. You’ve been a Student Ambassador for THE NEXTDDS for a little while now. How has this experience helped you in networking with your peers?

PS: I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know so many representatives across the nation, and it has allowed me to communicate with them regarding experiences at their respective schools.

THE NEXTDDS: Do you have any chief concerns about being a dental student?

PS: To name a couple, student debt and licensure examinations.

THE NEXTDDS: Student debt is definitely the most common answer. Finally, what do you enjoy most about being a dental student, or dental school in general?

PS: It is great finally getting to learn what I will be doing for the rest of my life.

THE NEXTDDS: We’re sure it is. Pinkesh, thank you for your participation in this interview--we appreciate your opinions and insight. We look forward to collaborating you throughout your 4th year and beyond!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Feature: Asma Patel

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Fri, Oct 07, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

1960788_10202692711712979_6373930999003997214_o.jpg

Asma Patel is a fourth-year dental student at the Western University College of Dental Medicine. Her latest blog post, The Power of Service!, can be seen on the Student Ambassador blogs.

Asma shares in this interview what brought her to the field of dentistry and what she expects as a member of the graduating class of 2017. She explains the challenges she faces in school and how she thinks dentistry will change for her and her contemporaries.

THE NEXTDDS: What attracted you to the field of dentistry?

AP: Working with people in more of a team matter and actually being able to see the outcome of your own work in such an instant. A lot of other health professions have a longer waiting time to see improvement in health.

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

AP: I find being able to learn about dental materials the most interesting. Being able to know what each material is made out of and how that advances that certain material is great knowledge for ourselves and our patients.

THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school has been most challenging for you?

AP: Being able to time manage everything that we have going on. From treating patients in the clinic, to doing lab work in the evenings, to studying and doing extra-circulars on the side. It’s always a lot to keep track of.

THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school has been the most surprising?

AP: How different your first two years of dental school are compared to the second two years. It is like a whole different world when you enter clinic and start seeing patients.

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

AP: After graduation I plan to work in a private office for a good amount of time and then slowly drift into dental academia.

THE NEXTDDS: What do you think will be the biggest material or procedural shift once you’re a few years into your career?

AP: My speed and confidence is something that I know will increase as time goes on in my career.

THE NEXTDDS: What’s one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you first started dental school?

AP: To try not to shortcut your way out of things. Being able to have all these professors around you, picking their brain about dentistry is something you will never get back. Take that time to learn about everything you can.

THE NEXTDDS: If you could give one piece of advice to any dental student, what would it be?

AP: Make the most of your dental school experience and do everything to its fullest extent.

THE NEXTDDS: What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to in the dental profession?

AP: Being able to start my day at 9 instead of 8.

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!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

Justine Bednarski Discusses Her Life in Dentistry with THE NEXTDDS

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

THE NEXTDDS presents a new monthly series that will highlight our outstanding Student Ambassadors stationed at dental school's across the country. Starting off our series, meet Justine - our Ohio State ambassador and Regional Delegate for the midwest area.


bednarski.16.jpgJustine Bednarski recently started her third year as a dental student at Ohio State University College of Dentistry. If you’re seeking information regarding signs in the oral cavity signifying systemic issues, be sure to read her latest blog, Oral Manifestations of Gastrointestinal Abnormalities. In this interview for THE NEXTDDS, Justine talks about what drew her to dentistry as well as the aspects she finds most interesting. She also shares several challenges dental students face today and what she loves the most about dental school.

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

JB: My decision to enter the field of dentistry stems from when I had braces at the age of 13. During this crucial time in adolescence, I was pretty insecure with my appearance, and let’s just say my smile was not one to be proud of. However, after one short year of wearing traditional braces, my smile drastically improved and I began to have a little more self-confidence. It always amazed me that one person, my orthodontist, could cause such a remarkable change in both my physical and more importantly in my internal self-image.

Upon deciding which career route to take, I kept thinking of a quote my father would always say, “Choose a career that will bring joy, be a challenge, and provide inspiration every single day.” The more I thought about what would make me happy day in and day out, the more I realized that dentistry was the career for me. If I can make a difference to at least one person in terms of boosting their self-esteem through improving their smile, that will make this career choice worthwhile.

THE NEXTDDS: That’s great. That’s similar to many of the students we talk to, yet unique as well. Is dentistry generational for you?

JB: I do believe that dentistry is, to an extent, generational. With new technologies coming out every year, we as the younger “tech-savvy” generation will be utilizing them in our practices whereas the older dentists know that the old ways have worked well for decades. However, I also believe that certain older dentists are aware of the new technologies and are starting to use them in their practices more and more.

THE NEXTDDS: Are you excited nervous to treat your first patient?

JB: As I am finishing now my second year of dental school, I have not had the opportunity to see any patients yet. However, in our Intro to Clinic course at Ohio State, we were able to bring in a family member to be our “first patient”. I brought in my father and we did a typical new patient appointment. This entailed a thorough medical history, dental charting, head and neck exam, periodontal charting, plaque index, and a standard prophy.

I was a little nervous, but more so excited about this appointment--especially because I was able to show my father all of the knowledge I’ve gained thus far in dental school. My father loved the experience and felt extremely lucky to say he was my first patient, an experience neither of us will ever forget.

Justine-with-OSU.jpgTHE NEXTDDS: That’s fantastic! What aspect of dental school is the most challenging for you?

JB: The most challenging aspect of dental school is balancing a busy schedule. Not only do we take over 20 credit hour semesters, which usually entail 6 to 9 classes, but we also enjoy engaging in extracurriculars, like ASDA or being an ambassador for THE NEXTDDS. I often laugh and wish I had more hours in a day to get everything done, but with organization and finding one night a week to completely relax, it is definitely doable to get everything done each week.

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?

JB: I believe that social media and sites like THE NEXTDDS are useful as adjunct teaching tools. The professors at our schools do their best to teach material as thoroughly as possible, but when certain procedures don’t fully make sense, looking into other sites are helpful to find videos/case studies that pertain to the subject matter learned. I access these adjunctive learning tools when I have practical/competency exams when my hands are put to test just to see the correct ways to perform the procedures asked of us.

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

JB: Of the next five years, the first two will be spent in class and clinic. I am very excited to develop my skills on patients since I have only been in pre-clinic practicing and haven’t had the chance to interact with patients yet. Following dental school, I plan to do a 1-year General Practice Residency-- (GPR) hopefully back home in Chicago—but am also open to traveling to a new city depending on the opportunities available. After the GPR, I then see myself as an associate in a successful private practice in a big city somewhere in the U.S.!

THE NEXTDDS: Sounds like you have a vision taking shape for what’s next. What clinical topics do you find most intriguing?

JB: My favorite clinical topics are those that are centered on esthetics, especially because that is the reason I chose to go into the field. Seeing case studies on orthodontics, whitening treatments, crown lengthening, and veneers put a smile on my face in class and constantly remind me of why I chose to enter this remarkable field of dentistry. Although I am unsure of where my path will lead, I envision my future practice being centered on cosmetic dentistry to help others not only obtain the best oral hygiene measures but to boost their self-confidences with winning smiles.

THE NEXTDDS: What clinical topics would be most beneficial to illustrate online?

JB: I think case studies and presentations are always the best way to teach/show clinical topics. It is often hard to simply read about what happens clinically and, thus providing plenty of procedural images really helps in learning how to perform them. Since more and more people are getting implants, I think more case studies and videos on this topic would be beneficial for all students to use.

Justine-with-Chris-Bashnelli.jpgTHE NEXTDDS: How has THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador experience helped you in networking with your peers?

JB: The student ambassador experience has helped me network with my peers in a significant way. With support from THE NEXTDDS, I was able to attend the 2016 ASDA Annual Session and share the experience with students across the country. I was able to post social media blasts for THE NEXTDDS and handed out literature to a great number of the 600 dental students at the conference. Traveling as a representative of THE NEXTDDS allowed me to interact with more students than I would have otherwise and I was able to learn about their experiences at their individual dental schools. This was such an amazing and unforgettable experience, and if I wasn’t a Student Ambassador I would have never had this opportunity.

THE NEXTDDS: Chief concerns about being a dental student?

JB: Student debt!!! This is the one topic that frustrates dental students the most because our debts are constantly growing and on our minds while in school. When we all have friends and family members who are successfully making money while we are continually falling deeper and deeper in debt. It is often discouraging. With tuition rates constantly rising, I frequently wonder when these rates will ever stop increasing, if ever.

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

JB: My favorite part about being a dental student has been the opportunity to get involved with ASDA and travel to various conferences across the country. To date, I have traveled to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington D.C., and at each conference have heard influential leaders speak along with meeting a ton of dental students and representatives from several dental companies. Without these opportunities, I would not have heard about THE NEXTDDS, would not know how different dental schools operate, and would not have learned that dental students can make a drastic impact on legislature that will concern us as practicing dentists. I am very grateful that our university supports ASDA and that I became involved as early as I did. The students involved are the ones who continue to inspire me to be the best dental student and best dentist that I can be.

THE NEXTDDS: It’s been a pleasure for us too—we really appreciate all your contributions and your insights. We know you have bright things ahead and look forward to our ongoing collaborations.

 

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

The College of Dental Medicine at NSU Student Shadiya Hasan Discusses Education and Career Milestones with THE NEXTDDS

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

Advisory_Board-Shadiya_Hasan.jpgShadiya Hasan is a recent graduate at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, and served as a Student Ambassador of THE NEXTDDS over the past two academic years. For those looking to open a practice, check out her latest blog entitled Overhead Expenses for a Dental Practice for information regarding budgeting, dental laboratory costs, administrative fees, etc. Read the below exclusive from THE NEXTDDS!  

THE NEXTDDS: Let’s get started and start at the beginning--why did you choose dentistry as a career?

SH: There are several aspects of dentistry that I really admire. The most important is the connections you make with your patients. You really get to form long-term relationships with most of them, and they appreciate your care. You really get to give back in a way that’s productive. I also like working with my hands and the aesthetics of it.

THE NEXTDDS: Your first patient is always memorable. Were you nervous or excited for this milestone?

SH: I was definitely very excited to start clinic my third year. We were finally getting to use all the knowledge we’d learned the first two years of dental school but, at the same time, this was very nerve-racking also. Now there’s a real person in your chair and that’s a bit scary but you just have to get started and you’ll get the hang of it.

THE NEXTDDS: From your vantage point, what aspect of dental school is the most challenging?

SH: For the first two years, the most challenging aspect was time management as well as allocating enough time for each subject. You may need to study and prepare for 5 exams in one week. You really have to budget your time. For the third and fourth year, the most challenging aspect is patient management. You have to be your own secretary, your own assistant; you’re running a one-man show.

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

SH: Facebook is one of the social media sites our class particularly uses to communicate. For us, it shares class-related deadlines, exam information, and any other important info and announcements. It’s a way for everyone to keep in touch. The digital aspect of dentistry is incredibly important.

THE NEXTDDS: It democratizes information, right? We see the same applications for THE NEXTDDS. Next question: How do you envision your next five years of dentistry?

SH: After graduation, I will be starting orthodontic residency in San Francisco at the University of the Pacific. My program is 27 months and, after I finish, I would like to start working as an orthodontist wherever I get the best opportunity. As a new clinician, I would like to learn and pick up as many skills as I can so I can one day open my own practice and be successful.

THE NEXTDDS:  This one is going to be obvious given that last reply…but what clinical topics do you find the most intriguing?

SH: Since I will be specializing in orthodontics, I find that intriguing. However, prosthodontics is probably the most intriguing that I’ve done a lot of cases for. I think it’s really interesting. You learn it for the first two years, but it doesn’t really gel until you actually work on a patient who doesn’t have teeth. I did a denture case where we made the patient look 10 years younger. I love that aspect of it. Everything that I learned in this field will help me in the future.

THE NEXTDDS: What clinical topics would be most beneficial to illustrate in some online or interactive capacity?

SH: I think all the prosthodontics procedures will be immensely helpful to see in images, videos, and articles. It was very difficult to transition to clinical work; doing a procedure hands on was very different from reading a PowerPoint or textbooks. Having step-by-step images or videos are extremely beneficial. I’ve watched videos of certain procedures on YouTube to see how it’s done before I attempt it myself.

THE NEXTDDS: We applaud the thirst for knowledge—you’ll have to keep us in the know of procedures we can add, and in a peer-reviewed scientific format. How has your experience as a Student Ambassador for THE NEXTDDS helped you network with peers?

SH: Last year when I was a D3 ambassador, the role helped me get to know my D4 classmates. When I started, I had to send out a D4 student survey so I had to get in touch with them to figure out how I can share this request with them. Being a Student Ambassador basically helps you establish connections.   

THE NEXTDDS: And we appreciate all the great work you’ve done since that time. Switching gears now, what are your chief concerns of being a dental student?

SH: I think most dental students across the country view student loans as a concern. Here’s an example: Right now dentistry is a profession that requires mentorship and guidance from older dentists. I really look up to the faculty and my mentors, because they helped me succeed in school. Typically, the academic route may not be the most lucrative, so we may have the best, most-talented rising teachers that cannot pursue an academic route because of their student loan burdens. This is a concern the entire dentistry profession should have. What if we established a solution in which debt forgiveness is given to teachers because we need them as mentors?

THE NEXTDDS: That’s a great suggestion—and nicely phrased. What do you enjoy most about being a dental student, or dental school in general?

SH: I enjoyed working with the patients; you learn so much. They teach you how to be compassionate. If you can be an empathetic clinician during school, I think it’s something you’ll carry on for the rest of your life. These aren’t just teeth you’re treating, there are people behind them. Every patient I treated with severe dental anxiety was extremely grateful and appreciative afterwards--and I love that. We make a difference in their lives. When a patient comes in with no teeth and we give them dentures, they’re so grateful and there is a sense of fulfillment in that.

THE NEXTDDS: You get to change lives. That’s really quite a gift. All at THE NEXTDDS thank you for being a great Student Ambassador at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine for the 2014-2016 academic years. Congratulations, and we hope all the best for you at University of Pacific and in your future endeavors!

Tags: Student Ambassadors

VCU Student, Christina Horton, Discusses Her Rising Dental Career with THE NEXTDDS

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Me_with_Casts.jpg

In fall 2016, Christina Horton began her fourth year as a dental student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. Christina’s latest blog post, 10 Things I Learned at the Hinman Dental Meeting, can be seen on THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador blog page. With three years already completed at VCUSD, she has a great perspective on life in dental school and several of the challenges faced by today’s dental students.

THE NEXTDDS: What originally attracted you to dentistry?

CH: When I was 11, I avulsed teeth #9 and #10 playing flashlight tag. My dentist came into his office in the middle of the night to help me and reimplant #9. After that I was hooked!

THE NEXTDDS: That’s quite a jump start! Now that you’re in dental school, what clinical topics do you find most intriguing?

CH: I find special care dentistry very intriguing. I want to be able to incorporate special needs patients into my general practice, and I love learning about ways to modify your office and your practice to make seeing those patients easier.

THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school has been most challenging for you?

CH: Fixed Prosthodontics. I had a prosthodontics faculty member who claimed to be able to look at your prep and measure it to the tenth of a millimeter. It was a very intense class that required a lot of extra work on the weekends!

THE NEXTDDS: We’ve heard that from students about preclinic instructors and other experienced faculty too. What aspect of dental school has been the most surprising?

CH: I'm surprised by how many friends I've made in dental school. I'm lucky to have so many wonderful classmates - we do our best to help each other out.

THE NEXTDDS: Yes, those relationships will carry forward for sure. What do you envision your next five years in dentistry to look like?

CH: I think digital scanning is going to become more and more commonplace. I also think we'll be using more intraoral photography to help education patients on their procedures and diagnoses. A lot of my patients go home and Google what I tell them, and most of them want me to show them specifically what I'm doing to their teeth.

THE NEXTDDS: What do you think will be the biggest material or procedural shift once you’re a few years into your career?

CH: I think I'll be doing less amalgam. Currently a lot of the posterior restorations I'm doing are amalgam, but I think I'll shift into more and more composite restorations in private practice.

CH_White_Coat.jpgTHE NEXTDDS: Really cool. It’s a topic we cover frequently in THE NEXTDDS and I encourage you and all your readers here to review our diagrams and videos on direct resin procedures. That said, what’s one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you first started dental school?

CH: I wish I'd known to make clinical guides for each class. First and second year I just focused on getting through classes, and I didn't consider that a lot of the material would be very useful in the clinic. It seems obvious now, but I wish I had made myself guides of the key points in each class so I wouldn't have to be digging through old notes now.

THE NEXTDDS: If you could give one piece of advice to any dental student, what would it be?

CH: Step back and enjoy what you're doing. It's so easy to get bogged down in requirements and the day-to-day of clinic. I like to step back and remember how hard I worked to get into dental school and how much I want to be a dentist. I remind myself to take joy in what I'm accomplishing.

THE NEXTDDS: Well said for sure. What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to in the dental profession?

CH: I'm most looking forward to being able to do more complex cases. I want to be able to take someone with reduced function and esthetics and help them enjoy their smile again.

THE NEXTDDS: That’s changing patient lives for the better—we applaud your goals! Thank you so very much for the time to share your experience with us, and for serving as THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador for this past year. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration and hearing of your continued successes—not just in the coming academic year but after your transition into practice as well!

 

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Feature: Paul Redpath

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 03:00 PM


Paul-Redpath.pngPaul Redpath is completing his fourth year as a dental student at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. For insight on improving your clinic performance, take a look at his post Timeframe and Communication in the Dental School Clinic on THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador blogs. In this interview, he shares with us his desire for independence, which led him to dentistry, as well as his concerns with the field.

THE NEXTDDS: Why did you choose dentistry as a career path? What about it is appealing to you?

PR: Independence. Being able to be your own boss, you can make your own hours, you have control over your life. Also, the ability to work with my hands, work with patients every day. There is always more mastery involved with dentistry as well. You’re doing something day in and day out that serves a purpose and makes a difference in the world.

THE NEXTDDS: Is it generational?

PR: No, it’s just me. I’ll be the first dentist in my family.

THE NEXTDDS: Were you excited or nervous when working on your first patient?

PR: It was challenging at first. When you walk in, you don’t really know what you’re doing. You don’t really know how the clinic works. Our clinic also had a new computer system we weren’t really trained well on--it was difficult. Once you find a way to balance everything, it becomes much easier.

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

PR: There is a lot of moving parts. You have to schedule the patients, make sure they show up, form relationships. You have to make sure you’re not neglecting them. You’re basically doing the job of an entire office in one person. Other challenges include working with professors, finding out their availability, lab work, organization obligations, and exams. Just balancing everything and making sure all the moving parts are working together is a lot of work.

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

PR: I plan on working in private practice as an associate and I’ll also be in the U.S. Army Reserves one weekend a month. Paying off my student debt is also a plan of mine.

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

PR: Implants are number one for me. Digital scanning, 3D printing, and CAD/CAM are also very interesting topics. This is the future of dentistry.

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

PR: In-person demonstrations are the best way to learn implant procedures. With scanning, you can learn a lot from watching a video on the topic. For implants, however, you need to have a hands-on experience to build competency.

THE NEXTDDS: How has your experience as a THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador helped you in networking with your peers?

PR: I went to the conference in Boston last year, the 2015 ASDA Annual Session. A lot of people that I met there are involved with THE NEXTDDS. It was cool. We got to know each other after speaking of our involvement with THE NEXTDDS. Also, I learned a lot more about certain topics from the blogs the Student Ambassadors have written.

THE NEXTDDS: Chief concern about being a dental student?

PR: I’m concerned about DSOs and the future of dentistry; I don’t want to see the profession head in a direction where dentists give up their autonomy. I got into dentistry to provide much-needed care and to have control over all practice decisions. I don’t want to be involved in ANY practice environment where I give up that control.

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

PR: What I enjoyed most was the connections you make with people. The Rutgers Dental School community is very close-knit. Throughout the 4 years, we have always worked together and had each other’s backs. I’ll always remember the friends that I made and the memories. We are all in this together. Being involved with various organized dental groups such as NJDA, ADA, and ASDA is something I will continue throughout my career because it’s really great to be with people that are like-minded, who care for each other, and want to see what’s best for our patients and dentistry as a whole.

 

Also, THE NEXTDDS would also like to thank Paul Redpath for being a great Student Ambassador at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine for the 2014-2016 academic years. Congratulations, and we hope all the best for Paul in his future endeavors!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Feature: Ami Pandya

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, May 18, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

ami-headshot.jpgAmi Pandya is finishing her fourth year at Indiana University School of Dentistry. If you’re on your way to completing dental school as well, you should read Ami’s blog titled Tips for Finding a Job After Dental School. In the interview below, Ami discusses what drew her to dentistry as well as the challenges she faced in dental school. She also speaks about her plans after graduation and her experience as a Student Ambassador for THE NEXTDDS.

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

AP: I told my parents I wanted to go to the dentist because I wanted braces at a really young age, and that stimulated my love for dentistry. I really wanted a career that would integrate helping people and art. Dentistry allows me to provide valuable healthcare to those in need and also hone my artistic ability at work every day.

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

AP: Time management. Especially in the first two years, there is a lot didactic and lab work that needs to be done. A lot of students want to be involved in different activities such as ASDA and others. It really is a time management thing for a lot of us.

THE NEXTDDS:  Do you think “digital” is important to your exchange and relationships with your peers?

AP: Yes, it’s very important. Most of my colleagues and I at dental school are on social media quite often. We use our class Facebook page pretty religiously to communicate and stay in touch with our peers.

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

AP: I really like technology. I like to see different innovations that are occurring in dentistry. It’s really nice, especially THE NEXTDDS--the website has great webinars, articles, and resources that discuss different things regarding technology, as well as operative dentistry and endodontics.

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

AP: I think operative dentistry and other topics--like extractions perhaps? --that have an element of technique sensitivity should be illustrated with videos. You can follow certain dental groups on Instagram that showcase instructional videos regarding root canals and things of that nature. These videos are beneficial to clinicians as well as patients.

THE NEXTDDS:  Were you nervous or excited when working on your first patient?

AP: I was really excited because I was finally working on a patient. I was nervous but the Indiana University School of Dentistry had prepared me really well for these types of situations. I had really good preparation but there was some nervousness there as well.

THE NEXTDDS: How has your experience as a Student Ambassador for THE NEXTDDS helped you network with your peers?

AP: I had the opportunity to get to know other students that are involved with ASDA like me. We conduct conference calls with my fellow ambassadors and discuss what the other students are doing. It’s nice to talk about different ideas with my peers.

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

AP: Practice management is my biggest concern. There are aspects of this that we haven’t really learned in dental school. Understanding dentistry as well as a healthcare provider and a business owner are both important.

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

AP: I’m really looking to take a ton of CE courses and mentorship programs. I’m focusing on my skill set and seeing where that takes me.

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

AP: I really like the community of dentistry. When I think about my colleagues, my classmates, the people that I met through ASDA and THE NEXTDDS, these are relationships that will foster a life-long connection in learning. It’s really nice to know that I’ll have 100 peers from my class that I can call for advice professionally or simply to reconnect on a personal level.

It’s a great network that I’ve been able to build over the last four years. I’m really grateful for the mentors that I have, the faculty I’ve interacted with, and my classmates as well.

 

All of us at THE NEXTDDS would like to extend our gratitude to Ami Pandya. For the 2014-2016 academic years, she has been a great THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador at Indiana University School of Dentistry. Congratulations! We wish you all the best in your dental career!

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

Tags: Student Ambassadors, Regional Delegate, Indiana University School of Dentistry

Posts by category