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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.

Life as a New Dentist — Active Duty – Army

Dr. Keri Jamison

Dr. Keri Jamison

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

Who are you? I’m Dr. Keri Jamison. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2013 of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and I am practicing general dentistry at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia before I start my prosthodontics residency in July 2014.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? My family says I’m the C.E.O. type and my friends think I’m a frustrated interior designer, so maybe I could be the C.E.O. of an interior design firm.

How did you choose this career path? The military paid for my four years of dental school, in addition to providing a stipend, and in return I owe four years on active duty. My prosthodontics residency will be an additional three years so it’s a total active duty commitment of seven years.

Biggest surprise so far about this career path? I should mention that our clinic has 46 chairs with 13 doctors. We mainly see young soldiers right out of basic training and it was a big surprise to find out how many of them had never seen a dentist or had any dental education. We spend a lot of time educating them about oral health.

What’s your schedule like? We see patients Monday-Friday from 7:30 to 4:30. Tuesdays are entirely devoted to new-soldier exams and each doctor will see around 30 patients on a Tuesday. Friday mornings we have physical training starting at 5:45 a.m., and there are classes and CE courses during the month.

What are you doing for fun? I play tennis a few times each week, and since I miss my horses in Kentucky so much I am learning to play polo!

Any advice for someone considering your career path? Be passionate about whatever you choose to do. That way your enthusiasm and drive will be noticeable, whether you are writing a letter-of-intent, or interviewing with a program director.

Future Plans? I believe in always pushing myself and never staying stagnant. I have a lot to accomplish!

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.

Life as a New Dentist — Veterans Administration

Dr. Rebecca Berry

Dr. Rebecca Berry

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

Who are you? I’m Dr. Rebecca Berry. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2011 of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and I work for the Veterans Administration health care system in a community-based outpatient clinic in Bangor, Maine.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? Well it would definitely involve living in London. I spent a month there during undergrad, and I fell in love with the city. Moving there was my fallback plan if I didn’t get into dental school. Who knows what adventures would happen if I moved abroad?

Why did you choose working for the VA? I completed an AEGD at the main dental clinic in Augusta, Maine and I had a lot of encouragement to apply for this position. Some of that time there was a second dentist, but often it’s just been me. I meet up with my dentist colleagues once a week to discuss cases, and I always have someone I can call if I have a question. Being in the clinic on my own really helped me to grow as a dentist.

Biggest surprise so far about this position? I’m the first dentist in my family, so I didn’t have a lot of pre-conceived ideas. Definitely the best surprise has been all the gifts of food from my patients. Homemade pumpkin chocolate chip whoopee pies, 50 pounds of potatoes, moose meat — I really do have the best patients.

What’s your schedule like? I have a four-day week, and each day lasts ten hours. I really like this kind of schedule! I start and end my day with something straightforward, like a denture step or an exam. Then the rest of the day is a mix of surgery, operative, prosthetics and endo. We get a lot of emergency patients as well. It’s never dull!

What are you doing for fun? I enjoy cooking and I’m happy to make an effort to put together a good meal. Fitness is important but I get bored easily. I just did the Tough Mudder obstacle course and I also go to aquafit where I am easily the youngest person by 25 years. And it turns out that I miss academia, so I’ve been taking free, online courses just for fun.

Any advice for someone considering this career path? Do a residency with the VA to see if you like it. It’s very different from private practice. For me it’s a good fit.

What are your plans for the future? I’m very happy at VA. I love working with the veterans; they are very appreciative of the care we provide. I have a great team and my direct supervisor is very supportive so I feel lucky in that regard. My plan is to stay for at least 20 years. If I decide to explore other interests then I’ll still have plenty of time to go down a new path before I hit my 50th birthday!

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.

Starting a New Dental Practice — Checklist

The ADA Center for Professional Success

The ADA Center for Professional Success

If you’re opening a new dental practice, there are many things to consider, including licenses, local requirements, supplies, insurance, infection control and OSHA, just to name a few.

The ADA Center for Professional Success has a checklist to help the new practice owner stay focused on all these details.

This checklist is just one of the solutions you’ll find at the ADA Center for Professional Success. Resources include 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. Visit Success.ADA.org today!