Welcome! It is my pleasure to be here today. I’ll spend the next hour or so talking about my experiences as a Dentist and as an ADA Member. Thank you for being here and taking time from studying and your personal lives to listen. It’s says a lot that you are here. [Consider adding your personal story here – Why did you choose dentistry for a career? When did you know it was right for you? Any major roadblocks along the way? Key learnings? What did you wish you knew then that you know now?] I remember my days – some time ago – as a dental student. Those were some of the toughest and most exciting years of my life. Like High School, I absolutely do not want to go back—but in the same vein, I fondly remember my “pre-practice” days.
On that reminiscent note, I offer you some advice: [PAUSE] As obvious as it sounds, I truly hope that you are learning everything you can during your tenure as a student. With two years under your belt, you certainly are familiar with dental student life…and many of you may be getting anxious for school to be over. Trust me – it will happen! Before you know it, you will be out of school and entering the profession with a whole new life ahead of you. Take advantage of the rich resources available to you as a student. Such as: Professors/Instructors Practicing Dentists who speak at your school (ahem) Your School’s Library, electronic files Practice Labs and/or Equipment Your peer group ADA and ASDA benefits Ask questions. Absorb knowledge. Observe. If you’re not sure what it is you need to know -- reach out to a new dentist and ask. He/She will very likely be glad to help! My point is: Now is the time to learn. In no time, you’ll have D.D.S after your name and will shoulder the responsibility that comes with those letters. And I trust you will take that charge seriously.
When I was a new graduate, my peers and colleagues at the ADA played an important part in my transition to practicing dentist – and they continue to do so today. I’m continually surprised by how often I pick up a tidbit from colleagues at almost every meeting I attend. [speaker: adjust to fit your experience, if desired.] Things like: Advice on how to handle a tough employment situation Suggestion for a new marketing approach Support from someone who has been there Confirmation from a trusted colleague on a recent business decision The practical information gained from colleagues and the friendships made are very important. The network of dentists, along with the other tangible benefits of ADA membership, make it a “no brainer” to renew my membership each year. While, you will have to discover the benefits yourself, I hope that you will see the return on investment in your ADA membership. Photo: 2009 picture of the Committee on the New Dentist.
With that said, I’d like to ask everyone to write down one (or more if you wish) learning goal—outside of your regular academics—that you want to accomplish before you graduate. It could be anything. Some examples could be: You’ve been meaning to go to Annual Session, but haven’t yet You want to shadow a specialty dentist You’ve been thinking about asking a local dentist to be your mentor. I’ll give you a moment to write down your idea. [Pause] Thank you. Now comes the fun part… I want you to find someone else in this room who can help you achieve that goal, someone who shares the same interest perhaps. [speaker give them: 2- 5 minutes] Photos: Left – Lousville dental students. Right – 2009 ASDA Externs, Jamie Royal and Prem Patel
I hope that exercise was useful. Now, I’d like to shift gears for awhile to talk about something that is surely on your mind: what will happen after I graduate?
There are many more pieces of the dentistry puzzle. Dentistry is a dynamic profession with a wealth of differing career opportunities. Learning about these options and selecting the career path that is right for you will be the foundation to your success. Whatever path you decide, you will find that dentistry is one of the most rewarding careers you could have chosen, both personally and professionally. Where you go and what you do is, in large part, up to you!
As a dental student, your focus is probably on building your clinical skills… and that’s great! If treating patients is what you love… then “wet-fingered” dentistry is the way to go. Of course, now we should really say “wet-gloved.”
A lot of new graduates say that they see the business side of practice as a whole other skill set – and it is. But lots of graduating seniors can’t wait to run a practice the way they want to run it. Implementing your own practice philosophy with your own team in your own office – seeing your business grow and succeed – it can be very satisfying. But some folks don’t see the appeal.
In the past, dentists were mostly solo practitioners. In that practice, the owner is the only dentist, and the rest of the dental team are all employees. And solo practice is still the most common type of practice. But you might prefer a group setting – anything from you and a partner to a large group practice – or a community health center, for example. Military, VA, and US Public Health Service dentists practice in a group setting also.
And if working with other health professionals, such as primary care and specialty physicians and surgeons, appeals to you, there are dental career options there, too.
The US Army, Navy, and Air Force all have opportunities for dentists, as does the VA system and the US Public Health Service. Patriotism, a desire to travel, colleagues to work with, opportunities for specialty training and of course, a government pension are all mentioned by dentists as reasons for a career in the federal services.
Dental education’s another option –either full-time or part-time. I think you’ll agree that America has a great dental education system – I know I really valued MY education at _______________. And faculty have a great opportunity to keep that system going, to pay it forward… usually while enjoying patient care and keeping their own skills current through a faculty practice. Or, you can go the other route – most of your time practice, and part-time at the dental school.
Inquiring minds want to know! And dentists are needed to do all kinds of research in many different settings – working for the federal government, in university settings, for private industry, even working for the ADA at their Chicago headquarters or the ADA Foundation’s Paffenbarger Research Center near Washington DC. All the occupations I’ve mentioned have great things to recommend them. Every career is a perfect career – for someone. The perfect practice setting for you depends entirely on you.
Another decision that’s all about you – Would you like to be a general dentist or one of the 9 recognized specialties? About 80% of dentists today are general practitioners – many with advanced training through a general practice residency or AEGD program. About 20% are specialists – the largest specialty is orthodontics, with about 9,000 dentists. The next is oral surgery, about 6,500, and then pediatric dentistry at about 5,600. The smallest recognized specialty is oral and maxillofacial radiology – there are only 90 oral and maxillofacial radiologists in the US! Deciding whether to specialize, to go on to a GPR or AEGD program, or enter practice on graduation is a big decision. Only you can know what’s right for you!
Your personal preferences, desire for work/life balance – even your love life can impact your decisions! Two career couples can find it takes balance… and that’s true even when both members of the couple are dentists. Some decide to practice together, some say ‘Never, never would we do that.’ And that’s a great thing about dentistry. You do have choices.
The reports include population by age, ethnicity, education and income demographics. Perhaps most beneficial of all: you can look at the number of active dentists in the county as well as the change in that number over the past 10 years. Additionally, you can learn about the average travel time and estimate cost of living… So if you’re thinking of moving to Chicago or back home to Ann Arbor, you can make an educated decision and know what to expect. The ADA does charge for the service – and members receive a discount – the cost is $75 per report. Think of it as a small investment when making a major life decision. [speaker: Contact the ADA ahead of time. We may be able to create a few sample reports to distribute]
The map represents the ADA’s 17 districts. You may notice that the ADA’s districts are slightly different from ASDA’s. [Speaker: You may wish to point out about your district on the map and discuss how the representation works nationally.]
Good question. Think about this for a moment. Please keep in mind that the ADA resources we&apos;ll discuss today are just the tip of the iceberg – the state and local dental societies offer many valuable resources as well. Organized dentistry works at the local, state and national level to support dentistry. And here are some of those concrete benefits. [Speaker: You may wish to talk about the specific state/local society of where you are located and any personal experiences.]
I know you have more reading to do than you have hours in the day… but I hope that you find time to look at ADA News and other ADA and ASDA publications. You can use the publications to your benefit. For example, the facts found in ADA News make great conversation starters in professional situations. You never know who you may meet at a local component meeting, Annual Session or the New Dentist Conference. You could say: “It’s great that the ADA Annual Session will include the live broadcast to dental schools again. I’m looking forward to the digital impression demonstration.” You’ll make an intelligent impression and have a natural avenue to more conversation. Additionally, by reading the publications – ADA News, JADA, MOUTH, etc – or at least scanning them –you stay informed. You’ll know your field and the leaders in your field. Speaking of – do you know who is in the photo on the screen? [Features past ASDA presidents Wayne Stephens and Mike Meru]
I also wanted to mention how important it is to have good data available to you in your practice or as you’re deciding your practice future. The ADA Professional Product Review is a quarterly publications that provides clinical and laboratory testing information about professional dental products. You simply cannot retain everything about dental materials and equipment in your brain – you would melt or explode. Instead, reference the Product Review. Commit to reading about a new product every day or a few pages every week. It’s essential to stay current for your patients and your career—especially as the up and coming dentists in your generation. People will expect you to know the latest and greatest technology and products. You’re going to hear a lot more about evidence-based dentistry , if you haven’t already. On the EBD web site, the ADA provides systematically assessed evidence as tools and resources to support your clinical decisions. So you can integrate evidence into patient care in a practical way. Find reviews on topics like smoking cessation, recommendations for fluoride use, and a list of resources-- all available online.
I keep throwing around this term “organized dentistry.” What is organized dentistry? Anyone want to take a stab at answering that? [You could consider offering a small token to the person who answers the question correctly .] Organized dentistry is simply how the ADA refers to the local, state and national dental associations as well as all the organization that contribute to the profession. Because of the three levels, we call it a “tripartite” membership. Each level offers great value to you as a new graduate!
We know that finances are tight, especially for the first few years after graduation. That’s why the ADA offers the Reduced Dues Program. In your first year out, national dues are zero dollars – you can’t beat zero! In your second year, you pay 25% of full dues. In the third year, it&apos;s 50% and fourth year, only 75% of full dues. You don’t pay full ADA dues until your fifth year out! ! Many state and local societies also offer reduced dues. [Speaker: find out ahead of time if the state and local society in the state follows the ADA model.] And if you’re going into a graduate program, your national dues are just $30/year and the Reduced Dues Program will kick in after you are done. But don’t forget to apply. Y You may be wondering… “Does ‘tripartite’ mean I need to apply three times and have three different memberships to manage?” You can complete one application and make one dues payment. If you stay in ______ [state name], the _____ State Society will process your membership dues and application for all three organizations. [speaker: consider personalizing slide to include the link to the state society web page: Apply at smilemichigan.com]
Organized dentistry is an investment. You’ll get a lot back, every day, in terms of benefits and services. But you’ll also feel good knowing that you are contributing to a better world for dentistry and for the public. Your membership investment visibly shows your support and contribution to the profession, to dentists who practiced before you and to dentists of the future who will follow in your footsteps. Organized dentistry protects and promotes our profession—your profession—in Congress and with federal agencies as well as in state legislatures across the nation. In fact, the ADA has an office in Washington D.C. so that we are positioned to work more effectively with our nation’s elected leaders.
Licensure is regulated by the state, and they are the final authority on who gets a licensure. And since it’s up to the individual state laws, the licensure process varies state by state. You should always contact the state dental board directly for the licensure process in the state where you want to practice. At the ADA, our legislative and regulatory advocacy spans a broad spectrum of issues from OSHA to smoking. Licensure is a key issue for both the ADA and the American Student Dental Association. Both organizations are committed to working in cooperation with the American Association of Dental Boards and the clinical testing agencies to facilitate improvements in the clinical licensure process. The ADA updates the publication Understanding Licensure: The Dental Examination Process for the New Graduate every year. Third-year students receive it each spring. It’s one of your most powerful tools as you transition from student to professional. In addition, you will also receive two copies of the companion piece Patient Guide to the Clinical Licensure Exam, which will help you communicate licensure exam information to your patients. These resources are also on ADA.org and available to everyone for free.
An agenda for change focuses on key licensure topics: Clinical exam content Standardized examiner Calibration Remediation programs Results Timeliness (receiving results in minimal/optimal time) Minimizing/eliminating use of Human subjects Did you know that the ADA has lobbied for laws specifically for you with regards to your student loans? Most of you have them, right? We fought successfully for your choice to consolidate with any lender and to expand the tax deductibility of student loans. The ADA also successfully lobbied and continues to lobby for accession bonuses for new military and public health dentists. That means that if you choose to enter a military or public health dentistry role—thanks to our lobbying efforts—you’ll be able to reduce your student loan debt at an accelerated rate during your tenure in those service roles.
In granting licensure by credentials, the Board of Dentistry determines that the applicant is currently licensed in a state that has equivalent licensure standards. 46 jurisdictions offer licensure by credentials, plus Puerto Rico and D.C. 40 accept more than one regional exam ADA is advocating for all states to accept the results of any exam Organized dentistry is working for you – for us - by pro-actively educating the public about the link between oral health and overall health. And, our organization presents strong, solid, and scientifically accurate information in Washington, and across the country, to safeguard the public’s oral health though water fluoridation and to continue the right to appropriately use amalgam restoratives. These are just examples of the way you – through your ADA membership –support your profession.
Examples of how the ADA advocates and protects the profession: By affecting decisions to adequately fund oral disease and prevention programs Improve the dental Medicaid program Access to care for the underserved. Give Kids A Smile helps raise awareness of the access issue as dentists provide free oral health care to about a half-million low-income children annually.
The ADA and state dental societies analyze and respond to more than 4,000 pieces of legislation a year …
The ADA is constantly working to protect dental practices from over-regulation by the government, such as working with lawmakers to pass legislation to exempt small businesses, like the typical dental practice, from the Red Flags Rule—an FTC privacy regulation intended for big banks and lenders.
And the ADA continues to lobby for legislation to even the playing field with dental insurers, working to assure your future patients get the full benefit of the their coverage while dealing with common complaints like assignment of benefits and capping fees on non-covered services. Photo: Washington Leadership Conference.
What is ADPAC? ADPAC is the POLITICAL arm of the American Dental Association, located in Washington DC. What does ADPAC do? ADPAC’s primary task is to make campaign contributions on behalf of the ADA to US Congressmen and US Senators. ADPAC is bipartisan; this means that ADPAC does not contribute to one specific party. ADPAC only supports friends of dentistry. ADPAC does not make decisions on who to give to unilaterally. ADPAC must receive approval from the home state dental leaders before supporting a Congressional candidate or member. Why should I join ADPAC? ADPAC is “personal practice insurance.” What is happening on Capitol Hill today affects our lives 20 years from now. It effects how and where we practice, who will compensate us, the materials we use, and how we practice. In the words of Dr. Jeff Parrish, past chair of the ADPAC Board, our political involvement is as critical as any CE we might take. Joining ADPAC shows that you are aware of the importance ADPAC plays in the future of our profession. This is the best investment we could possibly make in ourselves and our future! How much does it cost to join ADPAC? A student membership in ADPAC costs only $5! Joining at the $50 Student Capitol Club level demonstrates that you realize the importance of what ADPAC does for you and your profession and that you are willing to commit at a higher level. how do I join ADPAC? Contact your school’s Legislative Liaison, your Regional Legislative Coordinator, the Vice Chair of the Legislative Grassroots Network. [Speaker: Contact the Office of Student Affairs to find out who is the contact person for the dental school. ]
As soon-to-be new dentists, it&apos;s time to start thinking about your practice. Whether you are looking for a specific practice management tool, or you’re just looking to network with fellow new dentists, the ADA can connect you with the resources that support your success. At the ADA, we define a New Dentist as less than 10 years out of dental school. The Committee on the New Dentist releases a quarterly publication that you’ve probably already seen. It highlights the professional lives of young dentists and local, state, and national resources available to help them succeed! Get to know your new dentist committee members – even just on paper. Your District __ Committee Representative is ____________ of ___________ (city, state). [speaker – personalize with district rep info] You can find all the CND representatives e-mail addresses in the New Dentist News or simply contact the staff at the ADA (above e-mail) and we can put you in touch. You could also talk to him at the New Dentist Conference, which, by the way, I highly encourage you to attend. The 2010 Conference will be held in San Diego, June 24-26. It’s a bargain with two days of clinical, practice management, professional issue and leadership programs, meals and social events at the dental student member registration rate of just $245. The conference provides worthwhile education, incomparable networking for new dentists and just a really good time. The 2011 Conference will be in Chicago, June 16-18.
Another fabulous continuing education event is the ADA Annual Session. The 2010 Session is scheduled for October 9-12 in Orlando, Florida. The 2011 Session is October 10-14 in Las Vegas. Plan ahead so you can connect with thousands of practicing dentists, gain learning experiences not found in your classroom and explore the latest in dental products and technology. One of the best perks of the session? It’s affordable education! ASDA members can register at no charge, and the majority of CE courses are free with your registration. This is your meeting and I invite you to come and share in the excitement with your colleagues in organized dentistry. I hope to see you there
ADA Catalog Books at www.adacatalog.org You’ll find great value there, like: Associateships: Guide for Owners & Prospective Associates Transitions: Navigating Sales, Associateships and Mergers in your Dental Practice Valuing a Practice: A Guide for Dentists Practice Options for the New Dentist: A How-to Guide You can also keep an eye out for a new series of catalog products: Practice Guides You’ll find “A Practical Guide to Associateships” or the “Practical Guide to HIPAA Compliance” in this series.
The classifieds are a tool you can use to search for opportunities, equipment and more. Hint: the JADA classifieds are a member benefit and to access them you’ll have to set up a password on ADA.org. By the way, you should all have an ADA number. This ADA number that’s on your member card is the number that you will ALWAYS have. Keep your number handy as you will need it to log in to ADA.org or if you sign up for CE.
Now, I’d like to move onto another topic that may be less front of mind: life insurance. When you’re young and ambitious, it’s hard to relate to the circumstances that may cause you to need life insurance. For some of you who have families, you may have a different perspective. As an ASDA and ADA student member, you receive $50,000 in life insurance for through Great West at no additional charge. New grads are guaranteed the right to continue that coverage at no cost through December 31, with great rates after that. Students can also apply for disability insurance at a low rate (as low as $30). And the “own-occupation” definition of the ADA disability policy really makes sense. This means that if you give up dentistry due to a disability and decide, say to open an Irish Pub or sell Tupperware, the money you make at your new occupation doesn&apos;t affect your insurance payment. Other policies consider post-disability career opportunities as a factor in what they&apos;ll pay you if you become disabled. Ours does not. The point is: You want to make sure that you are covered if your ability to practice dentistry is impaired. If you don’t have coverage yet, you should look into it now! Think about it: How will you make a living without your ability to practice dentistry?
How many of you in this room have taken advantage of the free $50,000 life insurance offer from the ADA? If anyone has not done so, you are still eligible as long as you apply by May 1 of your graduation year. An enrollment form is available on ADA.org. It’s free for ASDA/ADA members. Do it right away… it’s free now and you’ll get great low rates and guaranteed acceptance. Protect your investment and sign up for the insurance. Your coverage does not automatically start – you must authorize it.
Most of the ADA resources can be accessed online. I know you’re internet savvy, but, just in case – here’s a few tips: ADA News Today – sign up for the RSS feed Check out the professional topics from Antitrust to X-Rays and Radiography. Student resources include licensure information, financial planning resources, understanding organized dentistry And with the new ADA.org, you’re sure to have an easier time finding what you want.
You also demonstrate your commitment to your chosen profession when you get involved with ASDA. And, when you introduce your classmates to organized dentistry, you serve as a voice for tomorrow’s dentist. Your state dental association is eager for your participation as well, both as a dental student and after graduation. Like most experiences in our professional and personal lives – the more you put into it – the more you’ll get out of it. The same philosophy is true for your ASDA and ADA memberships. Use your membership. Get involved. You’ll be glad you did. Note: Photo of Dr. Brooke Loftis, past ASDA President and William Bennett, past ASDA Vice-President
And, don’t forget to use the resources available to you as a student. The ADA Office of Student Affairs has a staff whose job is to make sure you get what you need. If you need personalized attention, don’t hesitate to call or email. ASDA is also an excellent resource – they’re the student voice! You have real people standing by to give you a hand; that’s one of the greatest benefits of ASDA and ADA membership.
As you transition to practice, you can continue to call on the ADA to support you. The Office of Student Affairs is a good place to start. And the Committee on the New Dentist staff can connect you to new dentists in your area, offer ways to get involved and other resources for recent graduates. We hope you will stay in touch throughout your career.
Open up for questions if time permits Thank you for your attention I hope the information has been useful Good luck
The Power of Organized Dentistry
Dr. Dennis Manning
You’re a student. Remember that.
Are you learning everything
you can at this time in your life?
ADA Connections Matter
The ADA is important to me,
to my career
Connect and Grow
What are your learning goals outside
of your day-to-day academics?
Yes, there is Life After Dental School
What are your career options
as a new dentist?
I know I want to be a dentist,
Are you all about patient care?
Does a group setting appeal to you?
Or even an
What about serving your country?