For New York new dentist, organized dentistry provides needed career resources

Mentor: Dr. Hemali Ajmera (left) poses for a photo with her mentor, Dr. Kendra Zappia, at this year’s New York State Dental Association New Dentist Conference.

Mentor: Dr. Hemali Ajmera (left) poses for a
photo with her mentor, Dr. Kendra Zappia, at
this year’s New York State Dental Association
New Dentist Conference.

Dr. Hemali Ajmera was never involved with the American Student Dental Association during her time in dental school. But after graduating in 2008 from New York University College of Dentistry, she decided to give organized dentistry a try.

“To be honest, I really liked what I saw,” she said of her first foray into organized dentistry. “I was very lucky to have joined Queens County Dental Society in 2009 and finding great mentors in a few of the new dentists at that time. They encouraged me to speak my voice and found my insight to be very helpful in the programs we currently have at the society.”

From that point on, Dr. Ajmera was hooked.

“The camaraderie that comes from staying involved has really shaped who I am as a practitioner,” she said.

Like all ADA member dentists, Dr. Ajmera receives a variety of exclusive member benefits.

Many of them clearly helpful towards dentists like her and other dentists in similar stages of their careers.

Whether it’s information on starting a practice, entering a partnership or handling patient care, the network she’s built from her local, state and national dental societies and resources available to her have proved invaluable.

“Especially in a world where things change on a daily basis,” she said. “As dentists we can no longer afford to be disconnected from the global world we live in.”

At the state and local level, she said she’s a big proponent of bringing the “latest and greatest” ideas to the forefront of new dentists. For example, new technologies, she said, can help continuing education courses be more efficient and cost-effective.

“We are a group that are burdened with loans, [work-life balance] and the stresses of starting new practices,” she said. “Why should having access to the latest technologies out there be something we have to add to that list?”

From the ADA, Dr. Ajmera is a big fan of the educational information the Association provides. “I used the books on coding and billing that the ADA puts out,” she said. “I especially love the information pamphlets which I give to my patients.

After a consultation, there is nothing like being able to give a patient an ADA-published information packet as an adjunct to the all the data they receive at the office.”

Exclusive promos and discounts on ADA products are often available to ADA members, especially new dentists.

These include student loan refinancing from Darien Rowayton Bank (student. drbank.com/ADA). Qualifying ADA members receive a 0.25 percent rate reduction to DRB’s rates for the life of the loan as long they remain ADA members. Other benefits include discounts on hotel and car rentals, ADA Business Resources-endorsed products — from staff apparel and credit cards to computers and patient financing — and access to resources such as the Journal of the American Dental Association and the ADA Center for Professional Success.

But for Dr. Ajmera, membership to organized dentistry is more than receiving exclusive benefits. It’s also about giving back. It’s a reason why she decided to currently serve as the New York State Association’s New Dentist Committee chair.

From the ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program to volunteering in oral cancer screenings, Dr. Ajmera said these programs are in place because of great leaders in organized dentistry.

“It’s always a great feeling to give back to the community that has given me so much,” she said. For more information on ADA membership, visit ADA.org/membercenter.

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