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Participating in 2015 GKAS? Share your photos

The 2015 Give Kids A Smile Day is Feb. 6, and program coordinators nationwide should have their digital cameras ready to capture the highlights of the event.

The ADA News welcomes digital photo submissions from GKAS program participants — including candid pictures of children, dentists and team members interacting and clinical photos (patients in the chair, dental team in gloves, masks and protective eyewear). Be sure to include identification of those pictured and facts about your event.

Send high-resolution photos for consideration for use in the ADA News in print and online to adanews@ada.org as soon as possible following your event.

GKAS photosProgram coordinators can also post photos on the new ADA GKAS Facebook page (http://facebook.com/GiveKidsASmile). Clinical photos submitted for the site should also show dental professionals using universal precautions.

With GKAS Day just a couple of weeks away, a total of 1,324 GKAS events have registered, and estimate they will treat nearly 320,000 children on or around Feb. 6. Nearly 8,000 dentists and almost 25,000 other dental team members and lay volunteers will be providing care to kids in need through GKAS programs.

Programs are encouraged to register if they haven’t done so yet — either before or after their events, and all program coordinators/dentist participants are asked to report their actual program totals following their events.

Log on to givekidsasmile.ada.org. GKAS corporate sponsors continue to generously support the program. Henry Schein Dental will provide professional dental kits containing gloves, patient bibs and bib holders, masks, plastic cups, tongue depressors, gauze pads, prophy angles and past, fluoride varnish and chair sleeves. Colgate Palmolive Co. has donated toothbrushes and toothpaste. DEXIS Digital X-ray Systems will donate the use of their X-ray units and the expertise of their staff to U.S. dental schools requesting assistance, state associations and large group practices during GKAS.

Can you sing or play an instrument?

The Medical Musical Group chorale and symphony orchestra are seeking health care professionals, students and family members who sing or play musical instruments.

MMG’s 2015 schedule includes a Nov. 1 concert in Washington, D.C., followed by a trip to England and Scotland, with a major concert Nov. 7 at London’s Central Hall Westminster. To view some of their performances, go to YouTube.com and search for “Medical Musical Group.” For more information, Call 1.202.797.0700, visit medicalmusical.org or email vanmmg@hotmail.com.

Dentist ranked top 2015 occupation

“Dentist” is number one on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best occupations of 2015 for offering “a comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance.” Dentists also top the publication’s list of best health care occupations.

“Dental hygienist” is number 5 on the top 100 list and number 4 on the health care list, which has “dental assistant” at number 67.

“Today’s students want it all. And dentistry really does deliver that. What other profession allows you to care for patients, make a good living, work as part of a team and have flexibility?” said Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, president and chief executive officer of the American Dental Education Association.

The U.S. News & World Report quoted Dr. Ada S. Cooper, an ADA consumer adviser, on the process of becoming a dentist and professional opportunities that “will find you – you won’t need to hunt them down.” It’s also a good idea to get involved in local and state dental associations for networking purposes, the report said.

To read U.S. News and World Report’s full review on dentists, click here.

Life as a new dentist — Pediatric dentist

Dentistry is made up of individuals. Here’s one of them.

Dr. Colleen Greene

Dr. Colleen Greene

Who are you?

I’m Dr. Colleen Greene, a second year resident in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In 2013 I graduated from the Harvard Schools of Dental Medicine and Public Health with DMD and MPH degrees, respectively. I remain actively involved in ASDA as a past president and, most recently, co-chaired the National Leadership Conference in Chicago. This summer I will transition from resident to full-time attending in our hospital-based residency program. Fun fact: My husband was also my senior prom date in high school.

How did you get into dentistry?

My high school chemistry teacher encouraged me to consider aiming for medical school. I’ll never forget coming home and telling my mom about this exciting encouragement. Her response:  “Well, you could, but you’d be in school until you’re 30!” We laugh now at the accuracy of her prediction, since I am now exactly 30 years old and almost done with residency. Her larger point was to consider the work-life balance between a traditional career in medicine and other rigorous health care professions. To me, dentistry combined the community impact of working as a physician with the joys of working with my hands, business responsibilities and work-life flexibility.

Dr. Green (far left) celebrates her 30th birthday with coworkers.

Dr. Greene (far right) celebrates her 30th birthday with coworkers.

What attracted you to pediatric dentistry?

Growing up in a low-income family covered by Medicaid, my parents struggled to find a dental home for us. I remain really concerned about the limited access to pediatric dental care. These frustrations still fuel my drive to minimize barriers to care and I’m really optimistic about the growing public health consciousness of dental school graduates. Whether in a pediatric or general practice, there is a critical need for enthusiastic providers for children from low-income families. I want to fill that gap.

What do you say to new dentists who may be interested, but will rule out a position in working at a hospital, as oppose to working at or starting a practice?

It’s hard to balance out an interest in public health with the competing need to avoid personal bankruptcy! Student debt is a giant factor for many dental students, myself included. The benefit of pursuing hospital dentistry is that large health care systems tend to be financially more stable than independent community health clinics and therefore compensate very fairly while handling lower reimbursements. I’m impressed with the comprehensive benefits package at my hospital and thrilled to help fill a big need for more dental providers in our state. It’s the best of all worlds at this point in my career.

Any advice for someone wanting to follow your career path?

Remain as open-minded as possible to every opportunity that comes your way. Get involved in activities you enjoy that you believe will make a meaningful impact in your community, for patients and colleagues. Take it one year, one semester or one day at a time. Avoid the regret of playing it safe and not exploring the chances to serve that will come your way.

If you could have any job other than dentistry, what would it be? Why?

It’s honestly hard to think of a different job that would better blend all of the things I love to do: talk, write, educate, comprehensively manage cases, surgically restore health, etc. It’s a great gig! I love the varied responsibilities. You’ve stumped me.

Dr. Greene recently participated in the new ADA Practical Guide to Internet Marketing, co-authoring a chapter on blogging. Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than 10 years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org

Millenials in dentistry: When generations collide

In a Dental Economics article, Dr. Ryan Dulde asks and explores the question: What happens when tech-savvy, hyperconnected narcissists take over the dental profession?

“As more baby boomers plan retirement, millennials are arriving in dental practices as associates or partners,” according to Dr. Dulde, who co-founded the National Leadership Conference for the American Student Dental Association. “Generations clash when millennial dentists must share their work environments with hiring/selling dentists who are often of the baby boomer generation and an office staff that can span across two or even three different generations.”

Dr. Dulde also explored the stereotyping of millenials, their work-life integration, their use of technology and their optimism.

“Make no mistake: Millennials are anything but lazy,” Dr. Dulde said. “We’re a creative, entrepreneurial, high-achieving generation ready to work hard for our ambitious goals and a sense of purpose. It may not be a perfectly smooth transition, but dentistry can look forward to strong leadership from the next generation.”

To read the full article, click here.

Where are you choosing to live after dental school?

According to the New York Times, young college graduates aren’t only looking to cities such as New York, Washington and San Francisco to start their careers.

Based on a report published by think tank City Observatory, the number of college-educated people age 25 to 34 are moving within three miles of city centers. And metropolitans getting the biggest share of young people with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education include Houston, Nashville, Denver, Austin and Portland, Oregon.

Denver Skyline

Denver

For example, Denver, which has seen a 47 percent increase in the number of college graduates age 25 to 34 from 2000 to 2012, is attracting the young and educated because of it’s a booming industries, sunshine, mountains and the perception of cultural cool such as microbreweries and bike-sharing, according to the article.

In addition, the article said, about 25 percent more young college graduates live in major metropolitan areas today than in 2000, which is double the percentage increase in cities’ total population. All the 51 biggest metros except Detroit have gained young talent, either from net migration to the cities or from residents graduating from college, according to the report.

“There is a very strong track record of places that attract talent becoming places of long-term success,” Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard and author of “Triumph of the City” told the New York Times. “The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.”

As new dentists, what factors came into your decision on where to live and work after dental school?

Editors’ Pick: Favorite New Dentist Now blog posts of 2014

It’s been an eventful 2014 for New Dentist Now as it continues to feature resources for new dentists and dental students, along with news and insight on the dental profession and beyond.

Just in case you missed them, here’s a look back to some of our favorite and most popular blog posts of the year.

Get ready for NCDHM 2015

Dentists nationwide can help their young patients “defeat monster mouth” by participating in the ADA’s 2015 National Children’s Dental Health Month.

For the 66th year, the NCDHM campaign brings thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others together to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, adults, caregivers and teachers.

Defeat Monster This year’s two-sided poster features the NCDHM campaign slogan “Defeat Monster Mouth.” The free posters are available in English and Spanish thanks to a grant from the ADA Foundation.

Information regarding how to order or download posters can be found at ADA.org/ncdhm.

Also available on the website is the NCDHM Program Planning Guide, which provides program coordinators, dental societies, teachers and parents with resources to promote the benefits of good oral health to children.

The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample NCDHM proclamation and more. Other free campaign materials, including publicity resources and activity sheets — many in both English and Spanish — can also be downloaded.

For answers to questions regarding NCDHM, email ncdhm@ada.org.

A variety of brochures, videos, activity and coloring books for children are also available from the ADA Catalog. Visit adacatalog.org or call 1-800-947-4746 for more information.

Volunteers sought for Navy humanitarian missions

According to ADA News, the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society nongovernmental organization seeks civilian volunteers for U.S. Navy hospital ship humanitarian mission trips from April through September 2015.

The USNS Mercy will travel to Southeast Asia and the Oceania Islands, with stops in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Philippines, Micronesia and Vietnam. A smaller ship will make stops in Kiribati, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Philippines and Vietnam. The USNS Comfort will travel to the Caribbean, Central and South America with stops planned stops in Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Haiti. This is the first time both hospital ships will be on humanitarian missions at the same time, and the first U.S. Navy mission trip since 2012.

“These missions change the lives of participants from our nation, partner nations and host nations,” said Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein, UCSD Pre-Dental Society director. “Our participants have been able to help with and see some amazing things and bring friendship, understanding and build closer relationships with different people in the world. These are not just humanitarian missions. They help forge diplomatic ties and help create friendships.”

UCSD Pre-Dental Society seeks dentists, physicians, pharmacists, optometrists, nurses, dental hygienists, dental assistants, medical assistants, medical and dental lab technicians, pharmacy techs, physical therapists, biomedical repair technicians, sonographers, translators, educators, engineers and all other health-related professionals.

Both ships will leave about April 1. The pre-dental society NGO will serve as a civilian partner in the Navy’s humanitarian missions.

Volunteers can choose the length of time and countries in which they will serve. Professionals must serve at least two weeks; technicians and assistants must serve at least four weeks. Preference will go to those who can volunteer for longer periods. Volunteers must pay for their transportation to and from the ship. Once aboard the ship, the Navy will cover volunteer expenses, including food and lodging.

Request an application via e-mail at ucsdpds.missions@gmail.com or dsilverstein22@cox.net as soon as possible to begin the credentialing process.

Did Hermey inspire you to be a dentist?

He didn’t want to build toys. He dreamed of becoming a dentist.

According to ADA News, Hermey the Elf continues to do his part in increasing oral health literacy among children and adults — 50 years after the animated classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” first aired on national television.

Hermey the Elf

Hermey the Elf

The ADA is featuring Hermey the Elf in an online campaign to help promote oral health literacy, stressing nutrition, dental hygiene and dental visits as key factors in preventing cavities.

Through the campaign, the ADA’s MouthHealthyKids.org will feature free downloadable educational coloring book pages featuring Hermey along with the ADA’s tips for maintaining good oral health. The coloring pages will be available for download through the end of December.

MouthHealthy.org will also include a fun dental health quiz for families and a separate sweepstakes drawing to receive a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer prize package.

In addition, Hermey was designated a DDG, or Dental Do Gooder, by Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president, for promoting good dental health to his friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and everyone in the North Pole.

“Hermey’s passion for dentistry, coupled with his devotion to helping others feel good about themselves inside and out deserves recognition,” said Dr. Feinberg. “I know Hermey the Elf, DDG, will continue to inspire young people and those who are young at heart to follow their dreams.”

The animated special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” tells the tale of how Rudolph and Hermey were initially rejected by their peers for being different, yet they go on to triumph when they show that their differences make them unique and helpful to their community. The program airs Dec. 9 on CBS.