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Dental leaders welcome student advocates

ADA and ADPAC leaders joined dentist members of Congress April 13 in welcoming some 380 dental students to the American Student Dental Association’s annual dental student lobby day.

Speaking at the appropriately named Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel across the river from the nation’s capital, Association President Maxine Feinberg told today’s student leaders. “Your voice is important for our profession.” The dental students met to share lobbying tips with the profession’s leadership the day before canvassing Capitol Hill congressional offices to lobby student refinancing and Action for Dental Health bills.

“Your being here is such an important step in securing your future as dentists,” Dr. Feinberg told the students. “When you sit down with a member of Congress tomorrow, and you’re discussing issues that affect oral health and dentistry, yes, you’re going to be advocating for dentists everywhere. But you’ll also be advocating for your future, your patients.”

Dr. Bruce Hutchison, chair-elect of the American Dental Political Action Committee, and dentist/Reps. Bruce Babin, R-Texas, and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., also addressed the students and offered advice on how to lobby the legislation and work with congressional staff.

Grassroots activist dentists attending the April 27-29 Washington Leadership Conference will also lobby members of Congress to support the Student Loan Refinancing Act “so that we can help dental students like you manage their debt when they leave school,” and the Action for Dental Health Act, which “reduces barriers to care and offers solutions for addressing the dental health crisis in America,” Dr. Feinberg told the students.

“When you meet with members of Congress on the Hill tomorrow, ask them for their support,” the

ADA and ADPAC leaders joined dentist members of Congress April 13 in welcoming some 380 dental students to the American Student Dental Association’s annual dental student lobby day.

Speaking at the appropriately named Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel across the river from the nation’s capital, Association President Maxine Feinberg told today’s student leaders. “Your voice is important for our profession.” The dental students met to share lobbying tips with the profession’s leadership the day before canvassing Capitol Hill congressional offices to lobby student refinancing and Action for Dental Health bills.

“Your being here is such an important step in securing your future as dentists,” Dr. Feinberg told the students. “When you sit down with a member of Congress tomorrow, and you’re discussing issues that affect oral health and dentistry, yes, you’re going to be advocating for dentists everywhere. But you’ll also be advocating for your future, your patients.”

Dr. Bruce Hutchison, chair-elect of the American Dental Political Action Committee, and dentist/Reps. Bruce Babin, R-Texas, and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., also addressed the students and offered advice on how to lobby the legislation and work with congressional staff.

Grassroots activist dentists attending the April 27-29 Washington Leadership Conference will also lobby members of Congress to support the Student Loan Refinancing Act “so that we can help dental students like you manage their debt when they leave school,” and the Action for Dental Health Act, which “reduces barriers to care and offers solutions for addressing the dental health crisis in America,” Dr. Feinberg told the students.

“When you meet with members of Congress on the Hill tomorrow, ask them for their support,” the ADA president said. “Ask them to be advocates for you and for the profession.”

Will there be a dentist shortage in 2025?

May 2015 JADACheck out the May issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association to read how falling busyness levels and financial barriers to dental care may challenge predictions of a dentist shortage by 2025. Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., ADA’s chief economist and vice president of the Health Policy Institute, examines the issue in his Health Policy Perspectives column, Rethinking Dentist ‘Shortages.’

And for more highlights, watch JADA Editor Michael Glick’s preview on ADA.org or jada.ada.org.

Understanding small savings, interest and taxes

Time is money. It’s true. Realize that though you may be shouldering debt, most new dentists are young and can take advantage of money saving techniques and the power of compounding interest. Small savings early can really help with BIG decisions later!

Dr. Moon

Dr. Moon

As soon as possible:

  • Learn to manage your limited money to have fun when you need to relax without breaking the bank, or putting $200 at a time on a credit card.
  • Make a goal to save $2,500 cash for moving expenses after school so you can get to that better job. Saving for this transition helps with your personal psychology to travel for a better opportunity.
  • Establish that retirement savings is a budget line item and figure out how to do it sooner. If you can budget $500 yearly when you are taking out student loans, you should be well prepared to max out your retirement savings when you are earning more. Consider $500 in a retirement account at age 23. If you retire at age 65, that is 42 years of compounding interest.
    • At 5 percent average interest, that $500 is $3,880 at age 65; at 10 percent average interest, that $500 is $27,381 at age 65…..and that’s only the first year of contribution of only $500!

Your first professional years:

  • “Real paychecks” mean you will be in a tax bracket that you have never had the privilege of being in before. This means that to put $10,000 per year toward your student loan, you will have to allocate earnings of somewhere from $15,000-$20,000 per year to do this. Keep this in mind if you consider a loan repayment program.
  • If some loan repayment program is going to pay your student loans, that grant or other money is often not taxed, so $25,000 goes straight toward your loan balance. To put $25,000 toward your loan balance yourself you would have to allocate earnings of $35,000-$50,000 income to make that “dent” in your loan depending on your tax bracket.
  • Considering the above, a $90,000 per year job with loan repayment may be a better decision for some than a $130,000 per year job without. You’ve got to understand the numbers.
  • One option is to secure loan repayment and contribute the max yearly to your Roth IRA when you are 26 instead of putting that toward your loan: Compounded,
    • $5,500 into retirement at 26 years old is worth the following at 65 years old:
      • 5 percent interest average compounded 39 years it is $36,876.
      • 10 percent interest avg. compounded 39 years it is $226,296.

Controlling small amounts of money early is key! Look for more ideas in future blog posts. Note that ADA members can access retirement planning tools and resources from AXA Equitable, the only retirement program endorsed by the ADA for its members. Additionally, members may access loan repayment calculators on the Center for Professional Success. State and local dental societies may also have financial and retirement resources available.

Dr. Brendan Moon is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and currently serves as Chair of the Illinois State Dental Society New Dentist Committee and sits on the Board of the Illinois Academy of General Dentistry. He began practicing in western Illinois after completing dental school at the University of Mississippi in 2007, and enjoys participating in organized dentistry on the state and national level. Dr. Moon practices in both Public Health and Private Practice settings and is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, International College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

NHSC sets May 7 scholarship application deadline

The National Health Service Corps invites scholarship applications through May 7 for the 2015-16 school year for students pursuing primary care health professions training leading to a degree in dentistry or other specified disciplines.

The scholarship pays tuition, fees and other educational costs and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least two years in a NHSC-approved site in a community classified as an underserved health professional shortage area. For each year of financial support (up to four years), the student agrees to serve one year (minimum two years) at an approved site in a high-need urban or rural community. Service begins upon graduation and completion of primary care residency training for dentists.

To learn more about the program, visit hrsa.gov, click on National Health Service Corps tab on left of page and select scholarships “learn more.” A customer care center number is available 1-800-221-9393 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Eastern time.

ADA Foundation accepting donations for Nepal disaster relief

ADAF_Nepal_640x360The ADA Foundation is accepting donations to aid dentists and others providing dental care in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal.

ADA FoundationThe 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal, according to the U.S. Department of State. Some 3,350 people died as of April 27 due to the disaster, and officials anticipated at press time that the toll would climb, according to information on USAID.gov.

The United Nations estimates that the earthquake will affect 8 million people across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts. The most severely affected areas include Bhaktapur, Dhading, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Kavre, Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, and Sindulpalchowk districts in Nepal’s Central Region, as well as Gorkha District in Nepal’s Western Region.

Donations for Nepal disaster relief may be made at ADAFoundation.org/en/how-to-help/ or by sending a check to ADA Foundation, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60611.

The ADA Foundation will grant combined donations to a reputable nonprofit to distribute the funds to the greatest need.

For Nepal earthquake relief, write “Nepal” in the memo field of remitted checks.

CPS offers resources to help dentists navigate Medicare decision

The deadline for opting in or out of Medicare is looming for dentists, and the ADA Center for Professional Success has a number of online resources that can help them make sense of the regulation and what to do, according to ADA News.

Center for Professional SuccessAny dentist who prescribes Part D covered drugs to Medicare beneficiaries has three choices. They must enroll in the program either as a provider of Medicare services or as an ordering/referring provider or opt out in order for prescriptions they write to be reimbursed by Medicare, according to the federal government. Dentists who fit this requirement must take action by Dec. 1.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has several options for enrolling that apply to dentists. Opting out of the program, by signing an affidavit and entering into private contracts with patients as appropriate, means dentists are out of Medicare for two years and cannot receive any direct or indirect Medicare payment for services provided to Medicare patients. Regardless of the choice, a full explanation and links to the appropriate form, as well as sample affidavits, are available through the Center for Professional success.

The Center for Professional Success has a number of other resources that can help with this sometimes complicated and confusing process:

  • Medicare tutorial video
  • Frequently asked questions about the Part D regulation
  • Resources for enrolling as a Medicare provider
  • Resources to opt-in as a Medicare ordering/referring provider
  • Resources to opt out

The Medicare tutorial video, along with the FAQs, is designed to help dentists make a decision on which option is right for them.  To access these resources and more, visit Success.ADA.org.

Nominations due end of May for ADA Foundation’s Whiston leadership awards

Know any promising dentists with leadership potential for improving public health? Nominations are due May 31 for the ADA Foundation’s Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program Awards.

ADA FoundationThe Whiston Awards are designed to support dentists who show leadership potential for improving the oral health of the public. As part of the program, the ADA Foundation provides two $5,000 awards each year — The Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award and the Henry Schein Cares Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award — to cover costs associated with attending an American Management Association leadership training program.

Nominees must be early career dentists or students who have demonstrated the ability to create a vision and motivate others to achieve that vision. They must also demonstrate ability to use those traits for the greater good through activities that help advance the oral health of the public and/or the underserved.  The ADA Foundation’s website lists more eligibility requirements.

To nominate a candidate, submit the nomination form, found on ADAFoundation.org by the deadline.

The ADA Foundation created the Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program in 2014 to honor Dr. David Whiston, who has served the oral health profession through many important leadership roles, including as 1997-98 ADA president and 2010-14 president of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the ADA Foundation, visit ADAFoundation.org or call 1-312-440-2547.

Nepal dental school seeks instructors for new Health Volunteers Overseas project

Dr. Hollander's favorite mountain in Nepal is Ama Dablam, pictured here.

Dr. Hollander’s favorite mountain in Nepal is Ama Dablam, pictured here.

Any interest in teaching in Nepal?

The ADA News is reporting that a dental education project in Dhulikhel, Nepal, is seeking volunteers to teach this fall under the auspices of Health Volunteers Overseas, Dhulikhel Dental School and Kathmandu University School of Medicine.

“They want to improve the dental education that they provide the students,” said Dr. Brian Hollander, project director. “Our volunteers will work with both the students and the faculty in helping them improve their knowledge and teaching techniques. Their goal is to produce excellent dentists. It’s a pretty interesting partnership. HVO just launched the project last month. We’ve already had quite a bit of interest. I’m very excited about this program.”

Dr. Dashrath Kafle, left, and Dr. Hollander stand overlooking the dental school at Dhulikhel Hospital. Dr. Kafle is a professor at the school and the HVO project's local contact.

Dr. Dashrath Kafle, left, and Dr. Hollander stand overlooking the dental school at Dhulikhel Hospital. Dr. Kafle is a professor at the school and the HVO project’s local contact.

The first volunteer is going to Nepal in April. The project needs volunteers for placement between September and mid-November.

Infection control and hygiene; training for dental assistants and hygienists; dental laboratory techniques; finishing orthodontic cases to American Board of Orthodontics standards; oral pathology and oral medicine are among the requested focus areas for volunteers. Academic support in oral medicine and oral pathology has also been requested.

The program needs academic support in oral medicine and oral pathology and training in four-handed dentistry for the dental nurses and assistants.

Volunteers must be fully trained general dentists, specialists and/or board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons who hold a current license to practice. Assignments are for a minimum of two weeks.

To read the full story, click here.

Why new dentists need a legal entity

So you’ve decided to open your own dental practice. Now that you’ve told your family, friends, and dental school buddies, it dawns on you…you don’t actually know how to open a practice.

Rich McIver

Rich McIver

In this blog we’re going to walk you through some of the basic requirements needed to open a practice, and provide you practical steps that you can take to get your practice off the ground.

The first step to starting a dental practice is a pretty mundane one: legally forming a company entity. A legal entity is simply a company that is recognized and registered with your state. Your legal entity can be a Corporation, a Limited Liability Company, a Partnership, or any other business type that your state recognizes. It is distinguished from running your business via a sole proprietorship, or other arrangement which is not registered or recognized by your state.

Why do Dentists Need an Entity?

The short answer is you don’t. There’s no law requiring that you run your practice via an entity, you can run it as a sole proprietorship (which in plain English means, “in your own name”). However, here are some pretty good reasons why you’ll want to have an entity:

  • Legal Protection

The biggest reason to form a dental business entity is that it means that your business is separate, legally speaking, from you. That’s useful because if you get sued personally, which could happen for a variety of reasons—such as a guest slipped and fell at your house, you default on your home mortgage, or you get sued for medical malpractice—then the assets of your business aren’t subject to the lawsuit. That is to say, if the lawsuit against you is successful, they won’t be able to take your business. Same thing applies if your business is sued. If the lawsuit is successful, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets. In effect, it creates two separate pots, and a successful lawsuit can only raid one of those pots if you’ve used an entity.

  • Accounting Transparency

A second reason to form an entity is accounting transparency. By having your business run as a separate entity you’ll have separate bank accounts, separate accounting, a separate line on your tax return to report the earnings, etc. That accounting separation is necessary if you’re ever going to try to bring in a business partner, sell a business, or even just properly calculate your taxes. Can you do these things with a sole proprietorship? Technically yes, but it’ll be such a mess trying to disentangle your personal expenses from your business expenses that nobody, whether it be a partner, a buyer, or the IRS is going to believe your calculations and thus your valuation or tax liability will be worse than it otherwise would be.

  • Business Credit Separated from Personal Credit

Another reason you want to create a separate legal entity is that you can start to develop business credit that is separate from your personal credit. In plain English, the loans you take out in the business’ name, whether for equipment, a building, etc. will go on your business’ credit report, and not your own. That’s a good thing for two reasons: first, if either your business or your personal credit isn’t squeaky clean you’ll have fewer problems; second, you can generally borrow more money in total if they’re separated, which as a new dentist trying to start a practice and likely carrying a mortgage, that’s a good thing.

In sum, it’s not legally required, but it’s a good idea to form a separate entity to run your dental practice in.

In the next article, we’ll cover what type of entity you should form, what elections to make, how to actually do it, and how much it will cost you.

For information on ADA legal resources, click here.

Rich McIver is a New Dentist Now guest blogger. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and obtained his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School in 2008. After graduating law school, Rich founded and managed three tech startups that were each acquired through private equity, private sales and a merger, respectively. In 2010, he founded and managed a Houston-based plaintiffs law firm which he sold via a buyout in 2014. In 2013, he and his wife, Holly McIver, an ADA member dentist, founded Kingwood Orthodontics, where he continues to manage back-office operations. His current project is running Merchant Negotiators, a Web startup based in Houston. Rich provides practical actionable advice for new dentists based on his experience starting and building successful businesses.

The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of legal and other issues that may affect dentists and dental practices, and is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice. Dentists are urged to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in their jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice.

New Dentist Conference Joins ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting

The ADA is pleased to announce that for the first time, the New Dentist Conference will be held at the ADA annual meeting from November 5-10 in Washington, D.C.

New Dentist Conference 2015Features of the New Dentist Conference include:

  • Shark Tank co-star Daymond John as keynote speaker.
  • Exclusive, interactive educational offerings.
  • High-level networking opportunities with leadership and peers.
  • New Dentist reception and lounge.
  • Significantly reduced hotel rates.
  • A chance to give back at the ADA Mission of Mercy.
  • We encourage you to share this information with any dentists who have been out of school for ten years or less as this is an experience they won’t want to miss.

Registration for the New Dentist Conference at ADA 2015 opens May 13 — a full week earlier than general registration! For more information, visit ADA.org/NDC.