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Life as a New Dentist — Practice Owners

Dentists posing with dog

Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, Dr. Larry Dougherty and Emma

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

ADA New Dentist Now: Who are you?

Ana: I’m Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, a proud member of Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine class of 2008. I’m the co-owner of a dental practice in San Antonio, Texas with my husband, Dr. Larry Dougherty.

Larry: That’s me, Dr. Larry Dougherty, also Nova 2008. In addition to our practice, which we started from scratch about 2 ½ years ago, I teach dental anatomy one morning every week at the dental school here in San Antonio.

ADA NDN: Is this part one of your master plan or is this “happily ever after?”

Larry: Eventually I’d like to own the building rather than leasing space for the practice. I’d like for us to be known for having one excellent practice, rather than having multiple locations.

Ana: I don’t know that I’ll ever be in a “happily ever after” phase professionally. I have too much to accomplish.

ADA NDN: If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be?

Ana: I’d be an actress living in Paris. This almost happened!

Larry: I would either be composing music for children’s television shows or working one of those jobs like in MONEYBALL where I analyze statistics to help professional sporting team make personnel decisions.

ADA NDN: Biggest surprise since leaving dental school?

Ana: I thought life would get a lot easier after dental school, but mostly it has just been a new set of challenges. I’m completing my teacher certification in yoga and I hope to teach some of what I’ve learned to my fellow dentists.

ADA NDN: Any advice for someone wanting to follow your career path?

Larry: Get involved with organized dentistry. After school there isn’t that built in group of peers and advisors, and that’s what I get out of being a member.

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

Congratulations to Dr. Ray Bowen!

open mouthWhat can a new dentist accomplish in the realm of research? Consider Dr. Ray Bowen, perhaps best known for his development of dental composites, patented in the 1960s.

As a new dentist in the early 1950s, Dr. Bowen was frustrated with poor-quality direct filling materials and began exploring potential options. He set up a laboratory on his back porch in San Diego, where he had moved after dental school.  His back porch efforts eventually led to the creation of BIS-GMA resin, patented in 1962 while Dr. Bowen was with the ADA Research Unit at the National Bureau of Standards.  Read the whole story at ADA News.

Dr. Ray Bowen  received the 2014 American Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award. The GlaxoSmithKline-sponsored award biennially recognizes a scientist “who has contributed outstanding research of particular significance in any of the fields related to oral science.”

Today, Dr. Bowen is a distinguished scientist at the Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center, where he continues to research dental materials.

Congratulations Dr. Bowen!

 

Take your knowledge of evidence-based dentistry to the next level

ADA Headquarters BuildingThe EBD Champions Conference 2.0: Implementing Science in Practice happens May 9-10 at ADA headquarters in Chicago. Steven Novella, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Yale University School of Medicine and host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, will explore the question, Why is Science-Based Medicine Important? in his keynote address.

The registration fee is $150 for ADA members and $225 for non-members. Visit ADA.org/EBDconference for more information and to register by March 31.

The conference is supported by a contribution from Procter & Gamble Professional Oral Health.

Celebrate Healthy Smiles during World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2014

World Oral Health Day logoMark your calendar and make plans to join more than 125 countries taking part in World Oral Health Day on March 20. The theme for 2014 is Celebrating Healthy Smiles. Find a toolkit of resources including logos, web banners, and resource guides all in multiple languages.

World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with the ADA and sponsors.

Is it ethical to date a patient?

ETHICS rubricPrinciple 2 of the ADA Code of Ethics relates to nonmaleficience – that is, do no harm.  Section 2G specifically states that dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient.

So, while the Code does not specifically state that dating a patient is unethical, it does raise some questions to consider.

The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

One simple trick to improve your experience at networking events

LeadershipWe are well underway with plans for the ADA 28th New Dentist Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center (registration is open now!)

One of the great benefits of the conference is the ability to network with new dentists from across the country, as well as with key ADA leaders. But we know that not everyone is immediately comfortable in a networking environment.

We came across this great list at The Daily Muse of 21 Ways to Make Networking Less Scary and More Fun. Here’s one tip that stood out for us:

Approach Pairs, Not Singles

“If you see a pair of people talking, the chances are that they arrived together and know they should be mingling. Or else they’ve just met and are, in the back of their minds, worried that they’re going to end up talking to this one person all night. (You’ve just made it easier for one of them to exit.) Either way, they’re relieved to see you. And your chances of having a decent conversation are better, because now you’re talking to two people, not just one.”

What about you — do you have any strategies that work well in a networking event? Leave your answers in the comments.

Dental Student Loan Repayment and FQHCs

Couple discusses moneyWe’re hard at work on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News, including a piece about FQHCs and dental student loan repayment.

An FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) is part of the dental safety net — these centers serve locations or populations with limited access to care. They may be located in urban or rural areas. An FQHC is often an integrated medical facility, where a patient has a single chart encompassing all care, including medical, dental and behavioral health.

Some dentists work full-time at a FQHC, while others devote part of their schedules to working for one of these centers. Loan repayment is available for a combined commitment that includes both a minimum number of 20 hours per week, and a minimum number of years of service.

Find out more at this link.

Have you worked at an FQHC? Share your experience in the comments.

Procrastinating online? Try this tip

Pocket watches in a bunchEver had the experience of avoiding something you know you should be doing in favor of refreshing your newsfeed or checking your email?

Emily Schwartz, author of The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management, feels your pain. And over at the Fast Company blog she offers a simple suggestion to triumph over those distractions:

Log out of the game/network/email/whatever before you start your important task.

“The extra step of having to enter in your password will buy you enough time to realize that you’re distracting yourself and shouldn’t,” she says. “Distracted work takes far longer than focused work.”

What about you—what’s your secret for keeping yourself focused when it counts? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Let us now consider dental patient napkin holders

open mouthDental patient napkins used during routine dental procedures are often disposable, but napkin holders typically are reusable, although they can be tough to disinfect.

There are both disposable napkin holders and disposable napkins that don’t require a separate holder on the market. Dentists need to make informed decisions on whether to use disposable or reusable products for patient protection in their practices.

The ADA Professional Product Review analyzed six disposable products and compared them to reusable products. Each product was evaluated using seven criteria including ease of use and moisture protection.

Considering disposables? You might be surprised to find out what the evaluators had to say!

ADA members have access to the full online archives of The ADA Professional Product Review. From digital radiography systems to water quality monitoring kits, find the complete resources to help you make informed decisions about professional products.

Minimize Canceled Appointments

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessCanceled appointments are part of operating a dental practice, but they can be managed to minimize their effect on your bottom line.

The ADA Center for Professional Success has an article about minimizing cancelled appointments that includes:

  • What to say (and avoid saying) when leaving a reminder on a patient’s voicemail
  • How to handle changes to dates or times
  • Providing a constructive response when a patient has changed his mind about treatment

The ADA Center for Professional Success is a member-only resource. 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.