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ADA New Dentist Committee

New dentist among ‘Top 25 Women in Dentistry 2015’

Dental Products Report named Dr. Andrea Janik, District 15 ADA New Dentist Committee member, among the “Top 25 Women in Dentistry 2015.”

Dr. Janik

Dr. Janik

In its sixth year, the list was designed to recognize women from across the dental industry, including dental professionals, industry leaders and practitioners.

Dr. Janik, of San Antonio, is a dental practice owner in the Pacific Dental Services Group.

“Her practice is one of the top performing practices in the company,” according to her nominator. “She also serves organized dentistry at all levels.”

To read more about Dr. Janik and the others on the list, click here.

Each of the honorees will be featured in the October edition of Dental Products Report.

New Dentist Conference, ADA annual meeting inspire new dentists, dental students

Westwood, Calif. — While many 2015 dental graduates are busy looking for or settling into practices, one of their fellow graduates is urging both them and dental students to mark some days in early November on their calendars.

Dr. Mendoza

Dr. Mendoza

The New Dentist Conference, which for the first time will coincide with the ADA annual meeting, which takes place in Washington, D.C. from Nov. 5-10. New dentists can participate in both meetings this year and experience all ADA 2015 has to offer, featuring high-level networking opportunities during Leadership Day; a new dentist reception at Penn Social; inspiration from keynote speaker Daymond John, entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” co-star; an exclusive, customized continuing education track featuring real-time interactive technology and more.

Dental students and new dentists alike should make every attempt to attend both events, said Dr. Kristopher Mendoza of the UCLA School of Dentistry Class of 2015.

He should know, considering that he is the immediate past president of the American Student Dental Association and has been an active participant in two past ADA annual meetings.

“It’s a great time to recharge and see what’s beyond dental school,” Dr. Mendoza said.

The 25-year-old dentist, who has just begun a three-year residency in dental anesthesiology at UCLA, said that while the advantages of attending the annual meeting are myriad, one in particular is especially useful for dental students and new dentists.

“One of the greatest benefits for students at the annual meeting is definitely networking with other dentists and students,” Dr. Mendoza said. “Everyone there is extremely helpful, helping the next generation of dentists. They want to see you succeed.”

New Dentist Conference 2015There are several reasons why connecting and interacting with students and more established dentists is important, Dr. Mendoza said. One is that dental students close to graduation and new dentists are seeking jobs, and he has found that some of the established dentists have looked at dentists to join their practices or even sell their practices to.

A second reason is that the ADA annual meeting exposes current and new students to a national community of dentists who provide perspective and inspiration. Attending dental school can place students in a bubble but going to a conference with hundreds of other people who had gone through the experience or were going through the experience invigorated him, he said.

“It was my break,” Dr. Mendoza said. “It helped keep me going. You’re not the only one going through it. It gave me a better outlook on the dental field.” It helped Dr. Mendoza because when he grew up in Fresno, California, he didn’t have any dentists in the family to relate to.

Dr. Mendoza gets asked frequently from younger dentists and dental students if they should join the ADA. “I would challenge them to explore all that being a member offers,” he said. “The value far exceeds the cost.”

Registration for ADA 2015 is open online at ADA.org/meeting.

For a list of courses planned, visit eventscribe.com/ADA/2015.

Search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook for more on the ADA annual meeting.

A question of ethics

Some issues that a new dentist might face may include:

It is my first time doing a procedure that I want to incorporate into my practice: how can I do that ethically on my first cases?

When should I refer? Are there ethical considerations if I don’t refer?

At what point should I send the patient to a specialist? When and how do I tell a patient their treatment should continue with a specialist without losing the patient’s confi dence or trust? As an ADA member, what is my ethical obligation to my patients?

Dr. Ishkanian

Dr. Ishkanian

We invited Dr. Emily Ishkanian to share perspectives relevant to clinical experience. is the ADA New Dentist 14th District representative and representative on ADA’s Council Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs. The ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct (the ADA Code) can offer guidance to help new dentists answer ethical questions, Dr. Ishkanian said.

“My reputation, my name and my license are too valuable to risk,” Dr. Ishkanian said in describing several real world practice situations she encountered. Dentists are faced with challenging ethical dilemmas in day-to-day practice. However, new dentists are placed in especially precarious positions when faced with what seem to be a choice between acting as defined by the ADA Principles Professional Responsibility and possibly losing their job.

Some ethical situations include the following:

Advanced procedures
When you are asked to complete procedures and your gut tells you this isn’t a treatment you feel comfortable performing, you have the option to refer to another practitioner who is more skilled in the procedure. Not only should this be an option, but it may actually be an ethical obligation. Ultimately, as the dentist, you make that call, because only you know your capabilities and you are responsible for making sure you do no harm to your patients. Recognize that referrals don’t make you a weak clinician, but rather show that you value the patient’s best interests. No one should expect you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.

Ratios
Crown-to-filling ratios may sound absurd, but some new dentists have actually been faced with this expectation. If a dentist hasn’t met the adequate ratio, he or she may have been reprimanded or in some instances his or her employment may actually have been at risk. At the end of the day, as a dentist you have gone to school to gain the clinical knowledge to diagnose, educate and treat your patients. Yes, dentistry is a business, but you and your patients determine the best treatment, not the offi ce manager.

Continuing your education
Upon graduation from dental school, you quickly learn that you are a beginner. Is there a treatment you are looking to incorporate into your practice but you feel you don’t have quite enough experience? Take the proper steps to fulfi ll your ethical obligation to do no harm to your patients. Participate in continuing education, specifi cally hands-on CE; engage in a mentorship with a seasoned dentist by shadowing him or her while he or she is doing the procedure; reference online tutorials, textbooks, dental blogs, message boards; and most importantly know your limitations and when to refer to maintain the standard of care and to do what is best for your patient.

“After the physical, emotional and financial sacrifices I’ve made to reach this point in my career, I’ve realized that my dentistry and my work reflect the person I am and how I choose to care for my patients,” said Dr. Ishkanian.

Dr. Ishkanian suggests that if you are faced with an ethical dilemma, address it with the owner or owners of the practice. If you don’t see change on the horizon or there are too many ethical challenges that appear unlikely to be resolved, then it might be time to move on, maintain your ethics and standards and fi nd a practice that shares your philosophy. Always put your patients first, and remember this is your license and your reputation. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re defending it.

Available ADA resources to help new dentists facing ethical situations include the ADA Code of Ethics, the Ethics Hotline and the archive of ethical scenarios that can be found at ADA.org.

When professional conduct is the question, the ADA Code may have answers.

The ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct amplifies Dr. Ishkanian’s advice. “The American Dental Association calls upon dentists to follow high ethical standards which have the benefi t of the patient as their primary goal,” says the preamble to the Code.

“The ethical dentist strives to do that which is right and good. The ADA Code is an instrument to help the dentist in this quest.”

New dentist group leader applies GKAS Institute lessons to Hawaii events

The Hawaii Dental Association Young Dentist Group volunteers hold up a Give Kids A Smile Hawaii banner at their Feb. 21 GKAS event. Pictured at the top, from left: Drs. Tina Mukai, Lauren Young, Keri Wong and Jaclyn Palola.  At bottom, from left: Drs. Blake Kitamura, Robert Yong, Scott Morita, Bryan Sato, Suzan Ly, Christopher Young, Scott Hiramoto, Wesley Sato, Rachel Dipasquale and Blake Matsuura.

The Hawaii Dental Association Young Dentist Group volunteers hold up a Give Kids A Smile Hawaii banner at their Feb. 21 GKAS event. Pictured at the top, from left: Drs. Tina Mukai, Lauren Young, Keri Wong and Jaclyn Palola. At bottom, from left: Drs. Blake Kitamura, Robert Yong, Scott Morita, Bryan Sato, Suzan Ly, Christopher Young, Scott Hiramoto, Wesley Sato, Rachel Dipasquale and Blake Matsuura.

Hawaii’s isolation from mainland resources and not having a dental school are two of the challenges that face anyone coordinating a Give Kids A Smile event here.

In contemplating taking the lead in organizing the Hawaii Dental Association’s GKAS event, Dr. Scott Morita applied for and obtained a spot at the 2014 GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute, according to ADA News.

He took his association’s GKAS dilemmas with him to St. Louis last October and the Institute helped him forge ideas on how to corral the energy and efforts of the Hawaii Dental Association Young Dentist Group to tailor a series of GKAS events.

“It’s the first year of new dentists implementing any kind of program in Hawaii like this at all,” said Dr. Morita, an orthodontist.

Dr. Morita poses with Fred the Floss-a-saurus and displays a signed proclamation declaring February Give Kids  A Smile Month in Hawaii.

Dr. Morita poses with Fred the Floss-a-saurus and displays a signed proclamation declaring February Give Kids A Smile Month in Hawaii.

Ultimately, Dr. Morita and his fellow young dentists organized a three-part observation of GKAS in February, with their main event occurring Feb. 21. In total, Dr. Morita’s team attracted 80 volunteers, including 30 dentists, for their GKAS treatment event.

“We saw over 100 children,” Dr. Morita said. “They had more education, but they were also able to get a free oral examination, free prophy and free fluoride treatment on that day.”

To read the full story, click here.

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.

Medicaid challenges and rewards: One new dentist’s experience

Dr. Chris Hasty, vice chair of ADA’s New Dentist Committee, weighs the challenges and “rewarding” experiences with accepting Medicaid in his practice and says, “As new dentists, we should want to see the Medicaid system fixed and functional.”

Dr. Hasty

Dr. Hasty

We asked Dr. Hasty for his thoughts on accepting Medicaid patients.

He offered a litany of “frustrations” with the system, which includes low reimbursement rates, bureaucratic hoops, closed networks, burdensome filing requirements, limited covered procedures, down coding, endless paperwork and RAC audits, “which is not only aggravating for the provider but very stressful and time consuming.”

“A truly functional and fair Medicaid system is not a bad thing,” said Dr. Hasty. “In addition, as long as the system is fixed and functional, dentistry will be able to decide its fate and role. Sure it is not glamorous, but you do learn valuable lessons from accepting Medicaid.”

“Medicaid provides a consistent influx of patients into your practice. This is the real world. You have a steady stream of patients to help you build your speed, work out of multiple chairs and check hygiene at the same time.

“I used my experiences with my Medicaid patients to determine what I truly like in dentistry, and maybe more importantly what I truly did not like. In addition, when the Medicaid system is functional you can depend on your reimbursement to be in the bank in a timely pattern.

However, one must be very careful to limit the amount of Medicaid in his/her practice. A practice too dependent on Medicaid is very vulnerable to outside influences affecting the growth and sustainability of the practice. One significant fee decrease can cause a practice to close its doors if it becomes too dependent on Medicaid.

“I believe that we, as new dentists, should support the ADA’s effort for Medicaid reform. With the number of graduates entering the workforce today, there will always be providers able to continue dental care to these patients even as others drop off the system. In addition there is a sense of satisfaction providing care to a child whose only hope for dental care came with the Medicaid card he or she brought in. It is very rewarding seeing a child that did not have a chance at good oral health grow into a young adult with good oral health because of a system that was fair to the participant and the provider.”

For more information on increasing provider participation in Medicaid, click here.

With student loans, consider options in repayment strategy

Dr. Timothy Oh

Dr. Timothy Oh

Dr. Timothy Oh, of Ellsworth, Maine, graduated from dental school in 2008 with over $300,000 in student debt — a mixture of federal and private loans from various lenders, along with an education loan acquired prior to dental school.

“I feel student loan debt is one of the most serious burdens facing today’s graduates,” said Dr. Oh, New Dentist Committee District 1 representative.

He received some help from the Finance Authority of Maine, a state-based financial aid program. He received $80,000 in loan assistance for treating patients at a nonprofit clinic in an underserved and rural area for four years.

“The grant enabled me to get started with my loans,” Dr. Oh said. “But I was still left with a six-figure loan.”

The average dental student in the class of 2014 left school with about $247,000 in student loan debt, according to the American Dental Education Association.

For new dentists seeking ways to ease the burden of staggering student loan debt, there are options — such as loan consolidation, refinancing and government base repayment programs — that are worthy of consideration as part of a repayment strategy. But like all major financial decisions, they come with advantages and drawbacks.

Consolidations vs. refinancing

Federal loan consolidation combines multiple government-sponsored loans into just one loan. It takes the weighted average interest rate of the loans being combined.

Refinancing is when a borrower applies for a loan under new terms, and uses that loan to pay off one or more existing student loans. Unlike consolidation, refinancing is only available from private lenders. Interest rates are not based on a weighted average of the existing loans’ rates. Instead, a private lender will typically use a borrower’s credit score and other financial information to provide a new interest rate on the consolidated loan.

Consolidation: Pros, cons

One good reason to consolidate federal loans is convenience: There is only one loan, one loan servicer, one payment and one place to file forms.

Dr. Oh consolidated a “batch” of his student loans to reduce the number of monthly checks he had to write. Consolidating federal loans also allows borrowers to convert former nondirect loans to direct loans. Only direct loans (Stafford, Grad PLUS and Federal Consolidation Loans borrowed through the federal government’s Direct Loan Program) are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Also, repayment terms may be extended to 30 years, which lowers monthly payments but adds to total repayment costs if it takes the full 30 years to repay.

Drawbacks in consolidating federal loans include a lengthy and cumbersome process (may take 60-90 days), potential for a slightly higher interest rate (interest rate on consolidation loans is a “weighted” rate of all loans being consolidated, rounded up an eighth of a percent then fixed for the life of the loan) and loss of grace periods on loans being consolidated if students consolidate too early.

Refinancing: Pros, cons

Even before graduating from dental school, Dr. Adam Shisler, a pediatric dentist in Houston, had decided to refinance his loans, about $241,000, all of which were Federal Stafford Loans.

Dr. Shisler

Dr. Shisler

In spring 2014, he began the application process to refinance his loans through SoFi, a peer-to-peer lender based in San Francisco. Refinancing can help borrowers pay lower interest rates on their student loans, thus saving thousands of dollars throughout the life of the loan, though it comes with some risks as well. Similar to taking out a mortgage, borrowers can choose between a fixed rate loan and a variable rate loan, or both.

Fixed rate loans typically have higher rates than variable rate student loans but will remain the same over the life of the loan. Variable rate student loans generally are lower but may change, including the risk of going up, on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

Dr. Shisler said he was approved for a five year, fixed rate loan in an accelerated repayment program, lowering his interest rate from 6.8 percent to 4.3 percent — saving him about $70,000 in interest.

However, there aren’t many lenders that will include federal loans as part of a refinancing plan. Dr. Shisler found only three to four other institutions that would refinance his loans.

As for disadvantages, graduates who refinance federal student loans will lose many of the benefits that come with federal loans, such as loan forgiveness and income-based repayment programs. If there is hardship, a dentist won’t be able to apply to defer monthly payments.

Federal, state loan repayment options

Federal and state programs offer student loan repayment assistance, often in exchange for services in a health care shortage area.

Federal options include programs sponsored by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Veteran Affairs, U.S. Public Health Service, National Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service and more. States have their own programs — such as the FAME program that Dr. Oh participated in — that are independent of the federal programs.

“(FAME) is a competitive program, with an extensive application and interview process,” said Dr. Oh.

In addition, many dental schools and advanced education programs may have financial assistance and loan repayment options. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.

Research and resources

Dr. Oh recommends that dentists conduct research before signing up for a repayment program. He is now considering refinancing as a next move.

“I just started talking to companies about refinancing and haven’t made a decision,” he said. “It’s sometimes too depressing to think about, but there are options that can help.”

In addition, Dr. Shisler said the most important thing a soon-to-be dental school graduate or new dentist can do before making any decisions is to go on a fact-finding mission on the status of their loans.

“They need to ask, ‘Where are all my loans from?’ ‘Are they subsidized, unsubsidized?’ ‘What are the interest rates for each of them?’ ‘What is their loan health?’” said Dr. Shisler. “Know your loans before applying because you’ll need that information in your application.”

For more information on consolidation and refinancing, visit the Center for Professional Success here. You can also find information at ADA.org/student. ADEA also

has educational debt management materials at ADEA.org.

ISDS hosts annual new dentist education, networking event

The Illinois State Dental Society hosted its annual “The Event: Envision, Entice, Engage” on March 12 in Springfield, Illinois. The Event is designed to bring together new dentist leaders from across Illinois for education and networking.

New dentists also could meet with the ISDS Board of Trustees, which meets in conjunction with the Event.

Here are some photos from the event.

ISDS

Drs. Lauren Hood-Olson, Lindsey Yates (national NDC rep), Samantha Arnold, Kate Buskirk, Kylea Tibbs-Hnizdo take a group selfie during ISDS’ annual “The Event: Envision, Entice, Engage” event held March 23.

Drs. Lauren Hood-Olson, Lindsey Yates (national NDC rep), Samantha Arnold, Kate Buskirk, Kylea Tibbs-Hnizdo take a group selfie during ISDS’ annual “The Event: Envision, Entice, Engage” event held March 23.

Drs. Rebecca Testa, Mark Ryan, Kristin Tussing

Drs. Rebecca Testa, Mark Ryan, Kristin Tussing

(From left) Jessica Moon, her husband Dr. Brenden Moon (Illinois NDC chair), Dr. Hillarie Hudson and Dr. Sharon Molitoris.

(From left) Jessica Moon, her husband Dr. Brenden Moon (Illinois NDC chair), Dr. Hillarie Hudson and Dr. Sharon Molitoris.

Register for 2015 ADEA Dental Student Virtual Fair

Dental students interested in learning about what comes after graduation, and how to juggle residency applications, writing a resume, leadership and different types of dental careers, should register for the 2015 ADEA Student Virtual Fair.

The free, live, online event will be held 4-10 p.m. EST on April 2. To register, click here.

The 2015 ADEA Dental Student Virtual Fair is designed to give dental students free access to information and connect them with professionals from ADEA, dental specialties and dental companies who can answer their questions in real time.

In addition, two ADA New Dentist Committee representatives — Drs. Kendra Zappia and Jon Pascarella — will be participating in a panel presentation from 7-7:30 p.m. The ADA will also have a booth for attendees to visit.

All dental students are welcome to attend the event. Recent graduates interested in learning about different career options are also welcome to attend.

Students will be able to:

  • Log in to the event from any Internet connected device.
  • Speak directly with dental specialty program directors and association professionals, military recruiters and corporate sponsor exhibitors in live text chat rooms.
  • View presentations about financial aid, interviewing for residencies, ADEA PASS and much more.
  • Download and save resources from dental professionals to access after the live event.
  • Learn about the ADEA PASS application process.
  • Listen to a keynote presentation from the ADEA Chair of the Board, Dr. Lily Garcia.

For more information, including the exhibitor list and presentation lineup, click here.

Nominations sought for 2015 Golden Apple awards

Showcase your dental society or state association’s outstanding programs and initiatives, and the team behind each activity, by nominating them for the 2015 Golden Apple Award. Entries are submitted May 1 through June 1.

Golden AppleThe Golden Apple Awards program recognizes excellence in leadership and dental society activities and programs produced between June 1, 2014, and May 31.

Now in its 27th year, the Golden Apple Awards program has 14 entry categories, including two new categories: Excellence in Interprofessional Education; and Excellence in Interprofessional Relations.

In addition, the Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Dental Ethics has been renamed as the Dr. David H. McCarley Golden Apple Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Dental Ethics. It’s named after the late Dr. McCarley who served on the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs from 2008-12 and was a member of the Texas Dental Association’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws from 2006-14. He was the president of the Texas Dental Association at the time of his passing on Jan. 4.

Entries for a specific program or activity can be submitted in only one category. The categories are:

  • Legislative Achievement.
  • Excellence in Membership Recruitment and Retention Activity.
  • Excellence in Dental health Promotion to the Public.
  • Excellence in Member-Related Services/Benefits.
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Dental Ethics.
  • Achievement in Dental School/Student Involvement in Organized Dentistry.
  • Excellence in Science Fair Program Support and Promotion.
  • Excellence in Dentist Well-Being Activities.
  • Excellence in Interprofessional Education.
  • Excellence in Interprofessional Relations
  • Open Category (where dental societies can enter innovative and successful programs that do not fit any other categories).
  • Excellence in Access to Dental Care Programs.
  • The Green Apple—Excellence in Environmentally Sustainable Programs and Education.
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information on the categories and to download entry forms, visit ADA.org/GoldenApple.