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Helping You Be a Better Dentist

Win a Fitbit Flex office package through the Center for Professional Success

Looking to improve your fitness and the health of your staff? Member dentists have a chance to win a Fitbit Flex office package (six devices) by logging into the Center for Professional Success website and entering the monthly contest.

Center for Professional SuccessTo enter, simply log in with your user ID and password at Success.ADA.org, click the Fitbit image and register by April 30.

Last month, Brett Nelson, a dental student at the University of Colorado, won an Apple iPad Air.

The ADA Center for Professional Success is an ADA member-only interactive Web resource where dentists and dental students can find practice management information and decision support tools and applications, along with online and in-person executive management certificate and life mastery programs. Through the Center, dentists can discover relevant and impactful solutions to the business challenges they face every day in the office. Visit Success.ADA.org to learn more.

Conducting research? ADA Library & Archives is your go-to source

ADA Library & ArchivesWhether it’s historical information on the dental profession or the latest scientific studies on dentistry, the ADA Library & Archives is the place to go for any dental researcher — in person or online.

With the help of a team of experienced library professionals, the ADA Library & Archives offers access to a unique collection of electronic, print and archival material.

And since the launch of the ADA Library & Archives eResources in August 2013, more ADA members are accessing and downloading more journal articles.

These early 20th century handpieces are among historical items displayed at the ADA Library & Archives, which maintain the Association's historical records and publications.

These early 20th century handpieces are among historical items displayed at the ADA Library & Archives, which maintain the Association’s historical records and publications.

In 2014, 5,252 visitors conducted 8,177 searches, and ultimately downloaded 5,452 articles, according to data provided by the ADA Library & Archives. In comparison, 95 members requested 614 articles for the entire year of 2012.

This gavel, displayed at the ADA Library & Archives at ADA Headquarters, was made from a wood salvaged from Grant Hall, the site of the Aug. 4, 1859, organizational meeting of the American Dental Association.

This gavel, displayed at the ADA Library & Archives at ADA Headquarters, was made from a wood salvaged from Grant Hall, the site of the Aug. 4, 1859, organizational meeting of the American Dental Association.

“Members who want to continue their education, put together presentations, are curious and want to learn more about a topic or find needed information for their patients now have a one-stop library to find literature or the information they need,” said Dr. Hal Fair, chair of the ADA Library & Archives advisory board.

ADA members can access full-text articles online with instant access to about 290 journals through the ADA Library & Archives website. About 95 percent are strictly dental journals. The other 5 percent have medical-dental crossover, including in-house access to the New England Journal of Medicine articles going all the way back to 1812. Thirteen new journal titles, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, and 14 new book titles will be added this year.

Other ADA Library services include:

  • Recommendations or referrals to sources of dental information.
  • Assistance with PubMed and Internet searches.
  • Access to ADA Archives and historical information.
  • Customized lists of current articles and abstracts on dental topics.
  • Space for quiet study or meetings at the ADA Library, located at ADA Headquarters in Chicago.

In addition, the ADA Archives, located within the ADA Library, maintain the Association’s historical records and publications, which include answers to questions concerning the history of the organization, the dental profession and the people involved in its development and history.

For more information on the ADA Library & Archives, visit ADA.org/library.

Volunteers sought for dental mission to Jamaica

Organizers of a dental mission to St. Thomas, Jamaica, need dental volunteers for the Aug. 2-8 event.

Zion Care International’s charitable work projects promote and help preserve the health, welfare and physical well-being of people in need. The organization, which assists and empowers poor people throughout Jamaica and the world, seeks dentists, assistants and technicians for the summer mission.

A group airfare rate will be arranged. Volunteers will be responsible for their own hotel accommodations at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston as well as their own ground transportation.

For more information and volunteer forms, visit zioncareinternational.org or contact Bishop Craig Brown via email at Bishopatzion@aol.com.

To find other international volunteer opportunities, visit the ADA Foundation’s International Volunteer Website at
internationalvolunteer.ada.org.

If you’re a new dentist, consider these ADA resources

With about 1,000 new dentists graduating from dental school in Virginia alone over the past 10 years, the future of dentistry looks very bright. The hopes of the Virginia Dental Association’s new dentist committee is to keep all of our recent graduates abreast of what is happening nationally as well as in our state and local ADA components.

Dr. Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair

I am a fairly new dentist; I graduated from VCU in 2009 and can hardly believe that I just had my 5-year reunion a few months ago. It was great to visit with my fellow classmates and see just how many different paths had been taken; however, many of us were thriving in general dentistry.

Once you leave the doors of dental school, you quickly realize how career paths are available. You can specialize, attend a residency, become an associate, enter public service or the military and even start your own practice. I have experienced several of those areas myself starting with public health, working as an associate, and finally starting my own practice a few years ago.

Did you know that the ADA can help in almost all of these areas? If we just take a look at my recent journey from student to practice owner, the ADA has been a great resource for me in almost every segment. In the next few issues, I will highlight some of these areas that the ADA has helped out along the way and show a few of the various ways the ADA may be able to help you, the new dentist.

ADA Sponsored Insurance Policies

Did you ever think what would happen if you had some life altering issue while you were in school? How would you pay your loans? What would happen if you injured your hand disabling you from practicing dentistry? I was a young dental student and none of these ideas ever crossed my mind; however, I didn’t need to worry about it!

The ADA had taken care if it for me as they currently do for all dental student members.  When you are student member in the ADA, you are covered in an ADA sponsored policy that not only includes a $500,000 life insurance policy, but also a $2,000 a month disability plan with $150,000 coverage in student loan protection.  There is even a chance to continue on with the policies as your career advances and your need for coverage increases. For more information, click here.

Licensure Maps

Where do you want to practice? One of the main hurdles for many dental students is deciding what regional board is going to be the best one to take. The ADA has a great informational website that lists all of the regional board exams and the states that accept that exam for licensure. There are also links to contact the state’s individual boards as well as state dental components if there are any further questions. For more information, click here.

CV Development

How do you distinguish yourself among your peers for that perfect job?  Not everyone graduating dental schools wants to do the same thing, but how do you get that first interview for your first associateship. As an ADA member, you have access to the group at the Career Transitions Center of Chicago (CTC).  The team at CTC can provide you with general tips for having a successful resume all the way to co-writing that perfect CV to help you land your dream job. For more information, click here.

 

This blog post, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in the Virginia Dental Association journal. Dr. Cappy Sinclair is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and a 2009 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Sinclair currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, as member of 3M’s Council for Innovative Dentistry, and as an ambassador for the Dawson Academy. He started his own practice Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry 3 years ago from the ground up and is more than happy to share his success and failures with fellow new dentists. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Association. To contact Dr. Sinclair, email him csinclair@smilevabeach.com.

Austin, Texas, dentist shares his approach to continuing education

Austin, Texas — Dr. Vincent Ip left his role in a cosmetic dentistry practice to return to his native state of Texas to pursue his passion to provide oral health care for families.

Dr. Vincent Ip

Dr. Vincent Ip

This native son of Stephenville, Texas, founded Smile 360 in Austin to realize that dream, and continuing education has helped him do just that.

“I’m always looking to expand my dental knowledge and stay current in my craft,” he said. “I pride myself and my office on the fact that we are state-of-the-art and always try to use the latest and greatest equipment and ideas to benefit our patients.”

He completed two courses at ADA 2014 — America’s Dental Meeting that covered lasers in managing periodontal patients: Manage Your Periodontal Patients with Techno Power and Utilizing Dental Lasers in a Periodontal Environment (both with Dr. Samuel Low).

“I signed up to juxtapose the traditional way with the new way — lasers — so that I have the knowledge of both,” he said.

He also took Concepts and Procedures for Predictable Crown Lengthening (Dr. Jim Grisdale). Dr. Ip shared practical and tactical advice for other new dentists when planning their CE options.

Managing expectations

“I take classes to broaden my knowledge. I need to have the ability to explain procedures and treatments to my patients in a way they understand so they know what lies ahead,”

Dr. Ip said “Patients are looking at me as the expert.

“I want all of my patients to leave my office wanting to commit to their health and their teeth. The only way for them to do this is if I keep learning new tools to help them commit.”

Taking it chairside

Dr. Ip appreciates CE that allows participants to work hands-on, citing chairside benefits in periodontics classes.

“More than half of my patients have periodontal disease,” Dr. Ip said. “So obviously this is something that I need to stay very current on. I also need my patients to feel confident that I can help them treat their disease. There is not a day on my schedule that I don’t have a perio patient .”

He said classes like the ones he took at the ADA annual meeting provided him with the information needed to give his patients the options to decide what is best for them and their health.

Getting the full experience

Aside from options at the ADA annual meeting, other opportunities for CE exploration are available on ADA CE Online — adaceonline.org. A 50 percent discount is available using promo code 482153.

Dr. Ip mentioned enjoying the comradeship with his coworkers and other peers during CE courses and workshops.

Coming in November, check out the New Dentist Conference in Washington, D.C., scheduled for the first time in conjunction with ADA 2015 — America’s Dental Meeting. Exclusive benefits will include a VIP lounge, access to significantly reduced hotel rates, high-level networking opportunities and a customized CE track featuring live interactive technology. For more information about the New Dentist Conference and all that the Nov. 5-10 annual meeting has to offer, visit ADA. org/meeting.

I’m a new associate dentist…what does the ADA do for me?

From supplying life insurance, advice on which board to take, and resources to make your CV shine; the ADA has many benefits to offer. In this blog post, I’ll be focusing on what the ADA can do for the recent graduate as well as a dentist entering an associate or partnership position. This was myself a few years ago. Unfortunately I was unaware of these items below that the ADA offered; however, I would have utilized almost all of them. Hopefully the resources that I go over in this issue will be useful to you — the new dentist!

Dr. Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair

Classifieds

Finding a job after graduation was much harder than I originally anticipated. During dental school I consistently heard about the rapid retiring rate of general dentists and the lack of new dentists entering the job scene creating a huge demand.

Well if you add in a recession and a few more dental schools opening up in the US, let’s just say jobs weren’t as plentiful as I initially believed.  Besides even if there were jobs out there, where was I supposed to look?  I had never seen a job posting for a dentist on the pages of monster.com or Craigslist.

Did you know that many state dental associations have their own classified section for dental jobs? While writing this article, I paused to take a moment to check out the listings. With the help of the Virginia Dental Association, I was able to view over 25 postings for general dentist jobs in almost every part of the state. This consolidated area of postings is a great way to see what positions are available as well as a fantastic resource for posting that CV you worked so hard on. Visit the VDA classifieds here. The ADA classifieds can be found here.

Contract resources

Congratulations! You’ve been offered a job, or maybe two or three. Well how do you know this contract agreement you are getting ready to sign is fair? Do you have a 5, 10, 20 mile non-compete, and do you know what that entails?

Just imagine if there was a non-compete clause in your contract that made and job locations in a 20-mile radius around your current employment location off limits. If this was the case, you could find yourself having a 30-45 minute commute for any future employment opportunities. How will you be paid on production, collections or salary? Are you going to be an employee or an independent contractor?  Are you or your employer responsible for paying lab fees? These are just some of the questions I had to answer looking over my initial contracts, and I was unfamiliar with almost all of these terms. Each one of these choices listed above has its own pros and cons, and that is where the ADA comes in.

The ADA has a free resource for members, “Dentist Employment Agreements: A Guide to Key Legal Provisions.” This document explains many of the terms and provisions common to dental employment agreements. The material is presented in a manner to help you consider and review a contract employment. You can also contact the ADA legal department for help understanding the language in your contract. However, remember this is not a substitute for legal advice or a lawyer’s review of your contract. That scenario above about a 20-mile non-compete creating a long commute happened to a fellow dentist.  I think that makes this one service by itself worth every penny of your ADA membership — at least from all the gas money you would save.

Ethics Hotline

Chances are after you have signed your employment contract you will end up working with at least one other dentist.  Many of these dentists have gone through very similar, if not the exact, training that you went through. What happens though if you start seeing shared patients, and you disagree with the recommended treatment plan? The first step would be to discuss the plan with the other dentist(s), but afterwards if you still feel as is if it excessive or unnecessary treatment where do you turn? The ADA created their Ethics Hotline (1.800.621.8099) for instances like this. The ethics hotline is place to discuss questionable issues that may arise in the day to day happening of a dental office in an anonymous environment. Personally I have never needed this, but I find it very comforting that the ADA offers this resource to its members.

Reduced Dues

One of the most common talked about items as a new dentist is the amount of debt that has been incurred. I, like many of you, had to take out student loans to cover the cost of my education as well as my living expenses. I read just the other day where the average dental student debt upon graduating is around $240,000. The ADA and its components understand this as well.  As a new dentist, the memberships rates are drastically reduced the first 5 years of practice and are even free the first year of practice. For more information, click here.

Being an associate can be very challenging and rewarding at the same time.  It will give you the opportunity to develop your speed and skills as a dentist while in many cases working with a mentor. Associateship will introduce you to the fellowship of dentistry that the ADA embodies.  I had the privilege of working alongside several great dentists in varying office environments during my associateships and call many of those dentists’ great friends today.

This blog post, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in the Virginia Dental Association journal. Dr. Cappy Sinclair is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and a 2009 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Sinclair currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, as member of 3M’s Council for Innovative Dentistry, and as an ambassador for the Dawson Academy. He started his own practice Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry 3 years ago from the ground up and is more than happy to share his success and failures with fellow new dentists. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Association. To contact Dr. Sinclair, email him csinclair@smilevabeach.com.

Learn how to help law enforcement through dental coding workshop

Registration is open for FBI-sponsored National Crime Information Center Dental Coding workshop in Sacramento, California, March 28-29.

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division organizes these weekend workshops across the country. The training sessions are designed to provide NCIC dental coding and National Dental Image Repository instruction to forensic odontologists and licensed dentists who wish to provide assistance to law enforcement in identifying missing and unidentified persons cases.

The workshop is set for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade. Participants will receive a certification for 16 hours of training at the end of the course, but they should also check the continuing education unit requirements for their organization or association to determine whether the credit is accepted.

The FBI will conduct a criminal history background check on everyone who registers, and a felony conviction will disqualify a person from participating. The FBI also asks that those who have attended a workshop before not register to allow others to participate.

The training is free, but attendees must pay for their own travel and lodging. Those who choose to stay at the Embassy Suites should reference “dental coding workshop” when booking their reservation.

There are 50 slots available, and registrations will be accepted first-come, first-served. Registrants must be licensed dentists. For a registration form, email Kathleen Oldaker at kathleen.oldaker@leo.gov.

New dentist wins ADA monthly free management course giveaway

Congratulations to Dr. Radip Uprety, of Bucksport, Maine, for being the February winner of the monthly giveaway for a free ADA Executive Program in Dental Practice Management class.

Clinical and BusinessThe ADA Executive Program in Dental Practice Management is a video-based, e-learning certificate program offered through the ADA Center for Professional Success that takes on the tough practice management challenges today’s dentists must master. This includes reducing costs, enhancing marketing strategies and practicing amid increased regulation.

These six online courses help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry:

  • Legal and ethical issues in dental practice.
  • Negotiation and conflict management.
  • Understanding leadership.
  • Business strategy and systems.
  • Dental team management.
  • Financial management.

For each course completed, verification of potential continuing education credits will be issued. One winner will be named each month this year.

To enter the giveaway, click here.

Visit PMcertificate.Success.ADA.org or call 1.855.598.6559 to learn more about the program.

8 tips for reducing hand pain

Dentists may experience hand pain, which include throbbing, aching and stiffness, in doing dental procedures. Although pain in the hand can originate from problems in the arm, shoulder area or neck, and from systemic diseases, pain that originates in the hand itself is frequently due to either osteoarthritis or tendonitis.

Center for Professional SuccessAs always, consult a physician for any persistent problem, but here are tips for lessening the physical demands on the hand from the ADA Center for Professional Success.

  • Use instruments that perform many of the functions the hand would ordinarily perform and so reduce movements of the hand; such instruments are those that swivel and reduce torque.
  • Use instruments that lessen the time the hand must be used, such as instruments that have variable and rapid speeds.
  • Use instruments that reduce stress on the hand, such as those that are vibration free, lightweight, and have enlarged handles
  • Use instruments that improve access to the work area, such as instruments that provide bright or intense illumination, magnification, multiple spray ports.
  • Reduce the time spent doing the same task.  For example, take a ten minute break at least once every hour from doing tasks requiring grip.
  • Use hand stabilizing techniques when doing precise hand tasks.
  • After completing a task that required intense grip, gently stretch the hand, especially the area between the thumb and first finger.
  • If pain continues to worsen, consider seeing a physician for a medical evaluation and treatment of the condition.  A splint might provide support of the hand.

For more information on reducing hand pain, including examples of hand motions that may aggravate hand pain, click here. The article is only available to ADA members.

Do you have other tips?

ADA offers resources for new dentists, dental students

Recognizing that dental students and new dentists have different needs, the ADA offers a plethora of services, resources and benefits to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives.

“As dentist, we are professionals, and the ADA is our professional organization,” said Dr. Chris Hasty, vice-chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee. “I see the ADA as the lighthouse of dentistry, guiding our profession to a safe and ethical future, and steering us away from the dangers of outside entities.  As new dentists, we have our whole career ahead of us, and the ADA is here to help and see us prosper.”

Dental students and new dentists receive benefits all other members get, including travel benefits, health and wellness information, continuing education programs and access to care initiatives. However, certain ADA products and services are tailored to their needs.

Financial planning

CalculatorAdjusted for inflation, the average dental school debt for the class of 2000 was $118,515. For the class of 2013, it was $215,145, according to the annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors. Now add in the cost of starting a practice, and it can get overwhelming.

The ADA provides dental students and new dentists with resources to help them stay on track for a bright financial future.

Provided by Wells Fargo Practice Finance, and developed with dentists in mind, the Center for Professional Success provides business planning calculators, including a debt load calculator, which can help new dentists and dental students determine how much they can responsibly afford to borrow for personal and business use. Other calculators available are the loan payment calculator, which estimates monthly loan payment. The loan term calculator helps dentists see how much faster they can pay off an existing loan by adding an additional fixed amount to their monthly payments.

For students seeking financial assistance, the ADA Foundation has a scholarship program for those pursuing careers in dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental laboratory technology. The number of ADA Foundation scholarships awarded is dependent upon available annual funds. To learn more about the ADA Foundation scholarships, visit adafoundation.org/en/how-to-apply/education. The ADA also provides information on various federally funded scholarships.

In addition, the ADA provides information on dental student loan repayment programs and resources, including federal and state programs, that offer student loan repayment assistance, often in exchange for services in a health care shortage area. To learn more, visit ADA.org/student or request more information from studentaffairs@ada.org.

Understanding licensure

Understanding LicensureDental licensure marks the transition between dental school and dental practice. The ADA provides a free guide called Understanding Licensure, a resource to help guide dental students through the licensure experience.

The guide takes new dentists through the application process, preparing for the clinical exam, notification and appeals, licensure by credentials, etc.

To view the Understanding Licensure guide, click here.

Finding a job

The ADA CareerCenter is the official online job board of the ADA, a resource for searching dental career opportunities or recruiting dental professionals.

The resource allows professionals to search or post job opportunities for dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists and other qualified professionals who specialize in dentistry. Visit the ADA CareerCenter.

Staying up-to-date

The ADA can also help new dentists and dental students stay current on the latest dentistry news as well as scientific findings and studies.

The Journal of the American Dental Association and the ADA News are free to members. These publications are available on ADA.org/publications, along with the ADA Dental Product Guide, the ADA Catalog and ADA E-Communications, which include the ADA Morning Huddle, a daily bulletin of the latest news complied exclusively for ADA members.

New Dentist NewsIn addition, new dentists and dental students receive the ADA New Dentist News, a quarterly publication distributed as an insert in the ADA News as a member resource. To read the latest ADA New Dentist News, click here.

In 2013, the ADA New Dentist Committee launched New Dentist Now, a blog where new dentists can keep up with their colleagues, stay fresh on issues in dentistry and find out about events.

For scientific findings and studies, new dentist and dental student members can access full-text articles online with instant access to over 280 journals through the ADA Library & Archives website. About 95 percent are strictly dental journals. The other 5 percent have medical-dental crossover. This includes in-house access to the New England Journal of Medicine articles going all the way back to 1812. To access the ADA Library & Archives online, click here.

Leadership and Advocacy

Comprising 17 members representing each of the ADA’s regional districts, the New Dentist Committee is a national committee of the ADA Board of Trustees. Its mission: To serve as the voice of the new dentist within the ADA. The committee advises the Board on member benefits and the member experience from a new dentist perspective, as well as, on policy affecting new dentists, among other things. Committee members also provide insight on the issues and needs of new dentists through their liaison roles on the other 11 ADA agencies.

The New Dentist Network engages new dentists, develops leaders and contributes to and influences resources that add member value. It has over 800 contacts and is comprised of new dentist committees and volunteers, ASDA leaders and society staff at all levels of the ADA.

In addition, the New Dentist Committee oversees and actively participates in the Success Dental Student Programs conducted in dental schools around the country. The Success Dental Student Programs provide the next generation of dentists with ethical and practice management information and valuable ADA resources for the transition from dental school to dental practice.

“As a new dentist it is important to be a member of the ADA because we are the future of Dentistry,” said Dr. Michael LeBlanc, New Dentist Committee chair. “In order to help set policy we must have a voice. No better place than the ADA to help set policy and the success of dentistry now and in the future.”

To get involved or for more information, call your state or local dental society, or contact the ADA New Dentist Committee office at newdentist@ada.org or 1-312-440-2386.