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Life as a New Dentist — Transitioning to Ownership

Dr. Tyler Scott

Dr. Tyler Scott

The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.

Who are you? I’m Dr. Tyler Scott. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2009 of the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Currently I’m working as an employee in my father’s dental practice, and we are working with advisors to transfer ownership from him to me.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? That’s a tough one—this has been my dream ever since I was a kid, so I didn’t ever focus on a plan B that wasn’t dentistry. Although the thought of being a PGA teaching professional or a pro photographer has some appeal.

Biggest surprise so far about this career path? Practice management is such an underlying key to success. I’m working to learn the science of running a dental practice.

What’s your schedule like? I’m working in the office four days a week. For fun I like spending time with my family. I also officiate high school wrestling.

Any advice for someone considering your career path? My biggest influence has been my father. I would encourage everyone to find a mentor to help guide you and increase your chances for success at making your dream become reality.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.

Let’s Talk about Barbecue

BarbequeThe Kansas City Barbeque Society reports that Kansas City has more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other American city.

Apart from the delightful fact that there is such a thing as a barbecue society, this information is important to you for two reasons:

  •  A person who has enjoyed some barbecue is a person who will soon be wishing he or she had some dental floss.
  • The 28th ADA New Dentist Conference is taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City, Crown Center (mark your calendar).

The Conference includes:

  • hands-on endodontic and implant CE courses at UMKC School of Dentistry
  • a full day of leadership development
  • Friday night social event at KC Live! In the Power & Light District
  • breakfast-and-learn sessions; all-inclusive lunches

Barbecue consumption by attendees is entirely optional, but highly recommended. If you have a suggestion for Kansas City barbecue, be sure to leave it in the comments!

Developing a Written Employee Agreement

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessIf you are the owner of a dental practice, you might already have an employee agreement for use in clarifying expectations between the practice and the dental team. If you don’t have an agreement in place, consider Preparing Written Employee Agreements. As the title suggests this brief document is not a substitute for legal advice, but it is a helpful list of topics that are customarily included in an employee agreement. For instance:

  • What are the expectations around uniforms?
  • What is the arrangement for professional liability insurance?
  • What are the policies for continuing education?

…and more. ADA members can get the complete story at the ADA Center for Professional Success. And while you are there check out the other resources including Be a Great Boss, Checklist for Terminating an Employee and Using Flexible Benefit Plans in your Practice.

How Should You Squeeze Toothpaste?

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and, to be honest, we are already focused on the upcoming holiday.

We have been spending a lot of time with this video How to Toothpaste. The video was made by Vi Hart, a self-described “Recreational Mathemusician” and therefore this video is purely aesthetic, rather than clinical in nature. Still, we are of the opinion that this is the finest existential toothpaste video we have ever seen.

Preparing for the Worst — Disaster Recovery

Preparing for the Worst — Disaster Recovery


We have been working on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News and one of the pieces is about the importance of disaster preparedness.


stormy weather aheadAn electrical outage is usually just an inconvenience. But if the power was down for an extended period in your community, would that impact your ability to keep your practice open?

It’s no fun to think about a catastrophe, but a plan could make the difference between surviving a crisis and closing a practice’s doors forever.

The ADA has a process to guide dentists through the steps of creating a business recovery plan. Go ahead, just take a look at what’s involved in creating a plan—while it’s more demanding than doing nothing at all, it is probably much less difficult than you might fear.

But what about a situation where the worst has happened?

The ADA Foundation understands how difficult it can be to recover from an unexpected calamity. To help dentists in their time of need, the ADA Foundation’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Program may provide up to $2,000 in immediate financial assistance to help meet eligible dentists’ most urgent and vital needs immediately following a declared disaster – such as food, bottled water, clothing, blankets, medicine and medical supplies, and emergency shelter. Any dentist who is a victim of a disaster may apply to the ADA Foundation for a grant. The ADAF’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Grants are not intended for more long-term needs such as rebuilding homes and or other structures, or replacing household and personal belongings. In addition, funds cannot be used to replace lost income.

Patients with Diabetes Should Watch Their Mouths

open mouthNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month and the ADA is taking the initiative in spreading the word on how uncontrolled diabetes can affect individuals’ teeth and gums.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that one of five cases of total tooth loss in the United States is linked to diabetes. While complications are part of managing diabetes, for the nearly 26 million people in the U.S. living with the condition, tooth loss and other dental health problems are unlikely to be on their radar.

Patients with diabetes have a lower resistance to infection. That, along with a longer healing process, makes them more susceptible to developing gum disease and developing a more severe form of the disease.

Looking for a resource to share with patients? Check out MouthHealthy.org which has consumer-friendly information in both English and Spanish on oral health topics, including diabetes.

Deadline Alert — Mandatory OSHA Training Prior to December 1st

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessDue to a revision of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) you must provide mandatory employee training by December 1, 2013. The basic goal with the changes this training covers is to improve your staff’s understanding of the chemical hazards in your office.

Need more information? ADA members can get the complete story at the ADA Center for Professional Success. And while you are there check out the other resources including financial calculators to factor loan payments and overhead expenditures, ergonomic tips to keep you healthy and patient communications strategies to build trust and increase patient satisfaction.


Here’s How They Did It — Real Talk from Dentists in Private Practice

Dr. Chris Salierno

Dr. Chris Salierno

Operations, human resources, finances, marketing — there is so much that goes into being an owner. If you missed the new dentist panel discussion about the nitty-gritty of private practice ownership, you can stream it at ADA.org/ADA365, the online extension of ADA13. Access to ADA365 is free to ADA members; non-members can sign up for $50.

Both dentists who bought into an existing practice and dentists who started practices from scratch were represented on the panel, moderated by Dr. Chris Salierno. The group tackled topics ranging from patient recall to search engine optimization, addressing all those non-clinical skills that aren’t a part of school, but are critical to your success. Stream the entire program at ADA.org/ADA365.

Nail that Phone Interview

Man on cell phone

Is this the best way to conduct a phone interview?

We’re putting the final touches on the upcoming issue of ADA New Dentist News, and one of the stories is about dentists finding opportunities in a group practice setting. Many of the dentists we spoke with mentioned that their initial interviews for these positions took place over the phone rather than in-person.

Judith A. Stock, writing for the Fast Company blog, has a list of suggestions for increasing your effectiveness in a phone interview. Some of the suggestions seem common sense (choose a quiet location, use a land line if possible) and some of the tips were new to us (try to find a pic of the person you are speaking with and address your answers to that image while talking) and we especially liked the three Cs of phone interviews—Concision, Concentration and Courtesy.

Concision: Phone interviews are shorter than in-person interviews, meaning less time to make a good impression. Avoid long-winded answers that could lose your audience. Keep your responses to no more than three sentences.

Concentration: Stay focused and take notes during the call. It’s not the time to organize your mail or reply to emails.

Courtesy: Be professional and be polite. At the end of the call, ask, “Do my qualifications meet the company’s needs?” Then ask when you can meet with them in person.

If you have experience being interviewed over the phone, what has been effective for you? And if you’ve ever worn the interviewer hat, anything that interviewees have done that is helpful (or confusing)? Leave your answers in the comments.

ADA Scientific Panel Issues Evidence-Based Clinical Recommendations for Topical Fluoride

open mouthAn expert panel convened by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has issued updated clinical recommendations on Topical Fluoride for Caries Prevention. A summary of the recommendations is published in the November 2013 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA).

The panel recommended the following for patients at elevated risk of developing cavities:

  • professionally-applied 2.26 percent fluoride varnish or a 1.23 percent fluoride gel every 3-6 months
  • home-use prescription-strength 0.5 percent fluoride gel or paste or 0.09 percent fluoride mouth rinse (for patients 6 years old or older)
  • A 2.26 percent professionally-applied fluoride varnish every 3-6 months is recommended for children younger than 6 years old

The full report of the clinical recommendations, a chairside guide for you to use when talking to your patients and an audio podcast summary of the recommendations is available now on the ADA Center for Evidenced-Based Dentistry ebd.ADA.org.