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New Dentist

Great Idea for a New Dentist Activity with Sponsors — Fantasy Football

Having a (fantasy foot)ball

Having a (fantasy foot)ball in San Antonio

Each year the ADA New Dentist Committee recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to new dentists and dental students through their enthusiasm, volunteerism and dedication to the future of the profession.

In 2014 the award for New Dentist Committee Outstanding Program Award of Excellence goes to the San Antonio District Dental Society Committee on the New Dentist.

The group formed a fantasy football league for member dentists who compete for the glory and the right to display a custom trophy in his or her office for the year. Each two-person team in the fantasy league is made up of a practicing dentist or residency student paired with a representative from a corporate sponsor (for whom the teams are named.) This friendly competition provides a unique networking opportunity that is ideal for new dentist participation.

Dr. Larry Dougherty is accepting the award on behalf of the group. Longtime readers of this blog will recognize Dr. Dougherty from his guest posts (here’s another one from Dr. Dougherty).

If you have a success story to tell about your new dentist activity, or if you are a new dentist interested in contributing a guest post, contact ADA New Dentist Now and get started today!

Dentistry at a Crossroads

The 28th New Dentist Conference has kicked off with a full day of leadership programming.

ADA Chief Economist, Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., discussed the future dental care system and the key changes on the horizon due to the Affordable Care Act, increased consumerism, shifts in demand for dental care and other factors.

The presentation was informed by an environmental scan the ADA completed that identified these changes. You can read the full document here (PDF) or an executive summary here (PDF).

Educating Patients using Evidence-Based-Dentistry

Dr. Partha Mukherji

Dr. Partha Mukherji

When it comes to oral health there is a lot of misinformation circulating in the public imagination. What’s the best course of action when a patient makes a request or assertion that isn’t supported by science?

Dr. Partha Mukherji is a general dentist practicing in Ft. Worth, Texas, and a supporter of Evidence-Based dentistry. He spoke with New Dentist Now about strategies dentists can use when patients are misinformed about science.

New Dentist Now

Let’s start with a quick definition of Evidence-Based Dentistry

Dr. Partha Mukherji

Sure—Evidence-Based Dentistry, or EBD, is the point where scientific evidence, my expertise as a dentist and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences all intersect. EBD isn’t new, but it has received increased focus in recent years, especially as junk science has gained prominence in the public imagination.

NDN

How do you integrate EBD into your practice on a day-to-day basis?

Dr. Partha Mukherji

It starts with my team—I’ve worked to make sure that everyone in my practice is familiar with Evidence-Based-Dentistry and how to use tools such as EBD.ADA.org. The site has some quick tutorials that can help bring newcomers up-to-speed.

I think it’s also important to share this information with patients. It has always been our role to educate patients, and this adds another dimension. It moves the conversation beyond, ‘Well I’m the dentist and I say so.”

NDN

What happens when a patient presents a real challenge, such as presenting an oral health myth as fact?

Dr. Partha Mukherji

It’s a two-step process. First of all I use it as a teachable moment, to explain how I use EBD to support my decisions, and to give an overview of how I assess scientific research. I find that many patients aren’t familiar with the basics about science—for instance the difference between correlation and causation.

And second, I work to demonstrate respect for the patient’s perspective, even as I maintain respect for my own integrity as a dentist. So I might say, “I am recommending scaling and root planing as a treatment plan. If you want to research that approach independently or seek a second opinion, I support that completely. However science doesn’t support oil pulling as an alternative.” I’ve found that helps to strike a balance between the patient’s wishes and my responsibility as a clinician.

***
The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry is at EBD.ADA.org

Take Action on Dental Student Debt

dental student infographicDid you know the average dental school graduate carries $221,000 in student loan debt? While this debt may not be the sole factor in determining whether a new dentist will choose a career of private practice over public service, 68 percent of graduating seniors say it does influence their decision.

The infographic uses data gathered by the American Dental Education Association.  Please take action now and contact your representative about this important issue, please visit ADA.org/Engage.

Apply Now for the 2014 Executive Management Program

open mouthThe ADA and Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management offers the ADA/Kellogg Executive Management Program exclusively for dentists and their teams.

This intensive business education program curriculum is designed to teach the core principles of an MBA program taught by the same professors in Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management MBA program.

The program meets over 3 sessions; September 19-22, October 24-27 and November 14-18, 2014.  This is not a practice management course.  Here’s the link for more details and the application. Don’t delay — application deadline July 1, 2014.

Tried it — Didn’t Like It

Dr LarryToday is a guest post from one of a pair of married dentists, Dr. Larry Dougherty and Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty.

Tried it — Didn’t Like It

by Dr. Larry Dougherty:

Owning a dental practice is rewarding. Understatement alert: it can also be stressful. This isn’t unique to dentistry; it’s just part of owning a small business. If only there was a perfect cookbook on how to handle every situation, it would be so easy.

There’s no cookbook — we learn as much as we can, we measure and analyze, and we try to course-correct after mistakes. What worked in year one might not continue to work in years two and three.

Here are a few things we used to do – maybe they will work for you, but they didn’t work for us:

  • Stay open late The evening slots were booked weeks in      advance, but the no-show rate was terrible compared to our normal hours.      And our after-hours patients were more interested in emergency/patch up      treatment, not in becoming regular patients to our practice. We also didn’t      enjoy being in the office so late and our productivity declined.
  • Maintain Multiple Vendors When our practice was small, it didn’t seem      like a bad idea to comparison shop between numerous suppliers of the same      products. As we grew, we didn’t have time for all of that. Worse, managing      inventory became confusing. 
  • Micro-manage the Office At first we didn’t have an office manager or a bookkeeper. I tried to do it all myself and realized I was in way over my head. Sure, I’m smart enough to get up to speed, but is that the best use of my time and skills? It made sense in the beginning to do it myself, but the busier we became, the more it made sense to hire professionals and maintain oversight.

***
Dr. Larry Dougherty and Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty are the owners of Rolling Oaks Dental in San Antonio, TX.

Hands-On Attachment and Implant Dentistry Course at the New Dentist Conference

conference logoRecently we blogged about an innovative online CE course where you can follow a full-mouth restoration from the initial exam to final placement of prosthesis.

If that course interests you, consider enrolling in Treatment Planning: Implants and Attachments on Saturday, July 19 as part of the ADA 28th New Dentist Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The course is in two parts that may be taken individually or together.

Part one is a morning lecture taking place at the Conference’s host hotel. Part two is a hands-on workshop taking place across town at the UMKC School of Dentistry. An additional $75 fee applies to those enrolling in the hands-on course.

The ADA 28th New Dentist Conference takes place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City, Crown Center. The conference offers up to 14 hours of continuing education, including this hands-on course. Courses do sell out; to ensure your spot, register today.

Follow Bob and Earn CE

follow Bob logo

Robert “Bob” Hartman is 62 years old and in need of a full-mouth restoration.

Bob will have an immediate maxillary and mandibular dentures placed, with extractions of all of his teeth, appropriate bone reduction and placement of prosthesis.

Bob’s case will be part of a CE online series where ADA members are able follow his treatment—from diagnosis to surgery — through courses posted on ADA CE Online (here’s a link to that first course.)

ADA News has the full story, including background information on Bob. We were especially interested in what this means for continuing education:

“We’ve done a lot of live patient courses at the ADA Annual Meeting since 2007 and many online courses featuring live-patient video,” said Richard Schuch, ADA director of Continuing Education and Industry Relations. “But we’ve never taken a look at a patient from beginning to end and let our members follow that patient. We’ve wanted to do this for a long time.”

Each step in the process is being filmed—from Bob’s initial examination and diagnosis and taking appropriate recordings of his mouth to surgery and placement of implants and prosthesis. In all, the process is expected to take about 18 months, culminating in a three-hour Education in the Round course at ADA 2015 — America’s Dental Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Independent Contractor or Employee — What Happens with Patient Records?

Dentist Employment Agreement GuideWe’ve blogged before about the difference between classification as an independent contractor vs. as an employee. The difference in classifications has a number of ramifications, including taxes, decisions about how work is to be performed, and other considerations.

The ADA has a new publication — Dentist Employment Agreements: A Guide to Key Legal Provisions that goes into detail about the distinction between the two classifications, and raises a number of issues that could require clarification, including patient records:

Upon termination of the relationship, who will retain patient records? Where will the patient records be stored and how long will they be kept in the event of malpractice litigation? Are there any provisions to access the patient records? Can the dentist make a copy of certain patient records? Generally an employee does not own patient records, where an independent contractor may develop his or her own patient pool and possess ownership rights of patients’ records unless otherwise stipulated in the agreement. If the independent contractor does not possess ownership rights of patients’ records, it is advisable that the independent contractor secure the contractual right to photocopy the records of treated patients to defend in case of a malpractice suit, peer review or dental board action.

Dentist Employment Agreements is not a substitute for a lawyer, but can help you know what questions to ask and discussions to have with your legal advisor. The publication is available from the ADA Center for Professional Success, a member-only resource, exclusively for ADA members. 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