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Reminder: Redeem ADA Visa points

ADA members with the ADA Visa from U.S. Bank, the card endorsed by ADA Business Resources, are advised to review their statements and redeem any expiring points.

cardReward points expire five years after they are awarded. Because the ADA Visa rewards program began five years ago, some points may be expiring soon. Points are redeemed or expire in the order they were earned and awarded to the account.

There is a wide variety of reward options. These include cash back through a statement credit to your account; merchandise, including electronics, sporting equipment, home décor and more; and gift certificates from leading retailers.

Earning 25,000 points equals up to a $450 airline ticket on more than 150 airlines with no blackout dates or online redemption fees; 100,000 points equals up to $1,800 in airline tickets.

Cardholders earn one reward point for every net $1 in purchases (purchases minus credits and returns). They earn five reward points for every ADA purchase including continuing education and registration at ADA 2015. Accounts must be open and in good standing to earn and redeem points.

For more information, call 1-888-229-8864 or login at usbank.com; under My Account, click on My Rewards.

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.

Journalists to speak at ADA 2015

Washington — The ADA Distinguished Speaker Series will feature columnist Charles Krauthammer and journalist and author Eleanor Clift at ADA 2015 — America’s Dental Meeting here, Nov. 5 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

The ADA Distinguished Speaker Series annually presents renowned personalities with notable careers and accomplishments in politics, media and industry. The 2015 Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by Church & Dwight, makers of Arm & Hammer, Spinbrush and Orajel oral care products.

Charles Krauthammer, who earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, practiced medicine before becoming a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale. Later, he joined The New Republic as a writer and editor. More than 400 newspapers worldwide publish his syndicated weekly column, begun in The Washington Post in 1985. He appears nightly on Fox News’ evening news program Special Report with Bret Baier.

Eleanor Clift

Eleanor Clift

Ms. Clift is the Washington correspondent for The Daily Beast, a longtime panelist on the weekly public affairs show The McLaughlin Group and also provides commentary for Fox News.

Ms. Clift is a former contributing editor at Newsweek and author of four books, including her latest “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics,” an examination of the right-to-die debate through personal experience with the loss of her husband.

For more information on ADA 2015, click here.

Three new dentists, three different paths

Whether it’s the owner of a private practice, an associate or a dentist serving in the U.S. military, dentistry offers a wide range of workplace settings. The ADA New Dentist News spoke with three dentists to learn what led them to dentistry and how they chose their career path.

Federal dentist

U.S. Air Force Maj. David Schindler’s passion for dentistry began at a young age with each visit to his dentist whose positive attitude and sense of humor, he said, were contagious. That passion only grew with the influence of his stepfather, Lee Salisbury, a general dentist from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Maj. Schindler

Maj. Schindler

Meanwhile, growing up, Maj. Schindler was also a fan of military history, especially from authors like Stephen Ambrose who wrote “Band of Brothers.”

“I wanted to be part of that tradition and continue the family legacy of service,” said Maj. Schindler, whose grandfathers both served.

Maj. Schindler joined the Air Force in 2005 before beginning dental school, accepting a four-year scholarship. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry and graduated May 2009.

After graduation, he entered active duty service and began officer training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, followed by a one-year general dentistry residency in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Today, he practices at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. His mission: To ensure dental readiness by providing high quality care for their active duty population so they can execute their mission at home and be ready to deploy if needed without any dental emergencies interfering.

“One refreshing thing I enjoy about practicing in the Air Force is there is no ‘typical’ day,” he said. Patient care is about 85 percent of a workday, the rest is administrative duties around the dental clinic or the wider medical facility.

In addition, the educational opportunities to expand your skill sets are exceptional in the Air Force, he said.

Other reasons to join are for the great benefits, travel opportunities and the patients who do some extraordinary things for the country each day.

Although service requires some sacrifice on the part of families, Maj. Schindler said, a good option for those going into private practice while continuing to serve on a limited basis is joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.

“Coming out of school, I didn’t want to deal with the headaches that come with managing the business aspect of a practice — insurance issues, marketing, hiring,” Maj. Schindler said. “I wanted to focus on patient care, help in additional duties; and at the end of the day, focus on my family and not worry about potential issues back at the office. I definitely made the right choice.”

Private practice

Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi is a periodontist in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Marron-Tarrazzi

Dr. Marron-Tarrazzi

“I decided to choose dentistry as a career because it would provide me with independence and flexibility,” she said. “My mother was a true inspiration and I grew up spending time in her dental office. Seeing her as a successful dentist and raising a family helped me understand that as women we can achieve work-life balance. I also enjoy the sense of achievement and pride in the handiwork that comes from reestablishing the health and well-being of a patient.”

After Dr. Marron-Tarrazzi graduated from dental school in Venezuela, she moved to the U.S. to pursue a specialty degree in periodontics. She graduated in 2000 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 2003, she obtained her D.M.D from Nova Southeastern University.

Immediately after graduation she worked as an associate in a small group practice.  Her initial plan was to buy in as a partner. After some years she had the yearning to open her own practice. She started her solo practice in Brickell, an up-and-coming neighborhood in Miami, Florida, where she has lived for the past eight years. Her periodontal office consists of herself, one hygienist and three dental team members.

“Being an associate provided me with ample experience in the clinical aspect, time for teaching and becoming involved with organized dentistry” she said. “But I think, until you become an owner, you don’t really know the business aspect of it. For example, we get many lectures on practice management in school and during seminars. However, it isn’t until you have to implement that knowledge on your own that you fully understand it.”

Dr. Marron-Tarrazzi said she tries to keep up-to-date by attending seminars, reading the ADA Center for Professional Success, and periodically meets with a group of dentist friends to share practice management tips.

“New dentists’ pursuing private practice ownership should be a little visionary and creative. Dentistry is a hands-on profession with daily challenges that require the combination of critical thinking, compassion and talent,” she said. “There are concerns of debt, and dentistry is changing. However, I think that private practice is a viable model for our generation, especially when you want to offer a unique practice philosophy.”

Associate to owner with DSO support

Unlike her older siblings who both knew what they wanted to be before they were 6 years old, Dr. Andrea Janik didn’t make up her mind until she was 17.

Dr. Janik

Dr. Janik

“I had a really great orthodontist, who seemed like he was really happy being a dentist,” she said of making her career choice.

When she told her father, he gave her his blessing with one condition, that she explore other possibilities in college.

“He said, ‘If you’ve done that and still want to be a dentist, you can,’” recalled Dr. Janik, a general practitioner in San Antonio.

She graduated with a psychology degree and enrolled in 2004 in Baylor College of Dentistry. After graduation, Dr. Janik wanted to focus on patient care — not necessarily on running a business.

“My expertise is as a clinician. That’s what I wanted I’ve always dreamed of being,” she said.

Dr. Janik worked as an associate dentist in Dallas, but after five years, she found an associateship at a practice supported by a dental service organization in San Antonio. DSOs provide support to affiliated dental practices with nonclinical functions, including accounting, human resources, legal and marketing.

“Eighteen months later, I realized ownership was right for me,” she said.

Today, Dr. Janik owns a practice, employing one associate dentist and 1.5 hygienists. She receives services from four specialists and contracts with a DSO for business support services.

“I’ve built around me a tremendous staff,” she said. “We’re doing phenomenal patient care. For things I don’t know anything about, I have people who have degrees in those specialties.”

However, Dr. Janik said she realizes DSOs may carry a bad connotation among her colleagues.

“I’ve had judgments passed on to me that I’ve had to overcome, usually from people who don’t understand what I do,” she said. “Basically, anything to do with patient care is all up to me.”

Dr. Janik said with the cost of student loans, opening a practice from scratch is daunting for a recent graduate.

“That doesn’t include the cost of buying a home or car,” she said. “Just from a personal preservation standpoint, coming in to an office with (DSO) support may not be a bad idea because you’re able to just focus on dentistry and patient care.”

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.