Join your peers in Atlanta – fees increase today at 5 p.m. CDT

There’s still time to register for the New Dentist Conference at ADA 2017. The advance registration deadline has been extended until 5 p.m. CDT today. If you’re looking to bring friends to the New Dentist Reception, be sure to purchase additional tickets while prices are still low.

New this year you can purchase up to five (5) additional New Dentist Reception tickets for your friends, family or guests – your ticket is already included in the New Dentist Conference package. Ticket prices increase after the Friday.

Stay on top of your schedule, ADA 2017 events and all things New Dentist Conference with the mobile app. Search “ADA 2017” in your app store to download. A new feature this year includes the ability to connect with others who are attending the meeting before you arrive in Atlanta and while you’re there!

Visit ADA.org/NDC to register.

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Come sail away: New dentist sails the Atlantic

Benavent_2As the media has noted ad nauseam, millennials seem to prefer experiences to possessions. Still, can you imagine purchasing a sailboat instead of a house – and living on it – because you love to sail? Or taking a year or two off from your dental practice to sail around the world?

Benavent_1Dr. Herby Benavent, who practices in Clarksville, Maryland, grew up in Puerto Rico and has had a lifelong love of the ocean. He and his wife Maddie set sail on the trip of a lifetime on their boat named Wisdom (the dinghy’s name is Tooth) – across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, then down to the African coast. The pair will then head west to Brazil and finally up to North America. They don’t know how much time the trip will take, but said they could be gone as long as two years.

So who inspired Dr. Benavent, 31, to take a break from the dental practice he operates with his father and pursue this dream? Much of the credit goes to his patients.

Benavent_4“I see a lot of older patients, and I noticed none of them talk about how much they worked,” Dr Benavent said. “They do talk about the memories they made with their family and friends.”

As you might expect, some were skeptical of Dr. Benavent’s plan. After working so hard to obtain a dental degree, why take off in the prime of your career? The Benavent’s simply decided there is no time like the present, and if they wanted to do this, they should do it before starting a family.

Dr. Benavent said he realizes and respects, because of practice or student loan considerations, many of his peers wouldn’t be able to do something similar. Still, living a simple lifestyle is one big reason the Benavent’s are able to set sail. Dr. Benavent bought the 50-year-old sailboat for $20,000 in 2012 and lived on it alone until Maddie moved in a couple years ago. While at sea, the couple budgets $500 per month for the trip.

“You don’t need to purchase fuel on a sail boat,” Dr. Benavent wryly noted.

So while you may not be able to take a couple years off, dentists like Dr. Benavent or Dr. Bruce Terry think it’s important to remember your passions, especially when dentistry seems all-consuming.

What’s one passion you’d like to pursue? Or one that you already do? Comment below!

Read more about the Benavent’s in this article from The Baltimore Sun, and follow their journey on Instagram and YouTube.

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Not too late: Can’t-miss webinars this week

Would you like to learn more about how to use video to market your practice? And would you like a better understanding of various federal guidelines? Check out these two webinars this week:

Marketing Your Dental Office with Video: Creating videos can help differentiate your dental practice from your competitors and increase awareness in your local community. They can also drive traffic to your website or generate interest in a particular service. Learn more and register for this Wednesday webinar.

Regulatory Compliance Got You Down? Turn Your Practice Around!:  The regulatory environment is full of ever-changing regulations that can make it difficult for dentists to ensure they’re up-to-date on, and in compliance with, the many regulations that need to be followed in the practice. Participate to learn about requirements from OSHA and HIPAA, as well as the latest guidelines on infection prevention and control. Learn more and register for this Thursday webinar.

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Starting a new dental practice checklist

checklistStarting a new dental practice? 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.

This checklist and related resources can be used as a starting point to address many of the issues dentists encounter when opening new practices. For more information, contact your state dental society.

To download the checklist, available to ADA members for free, click here.

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Specialty pathway Q&A: Oral pathology

Dr. Emily Lanzel likes solving puzzles. It’s a simple enough hobby and a simple enough reason why she pursued oral pathology.

Dr. Lanzel

Dr. Lanzel

“Each case is a new puzzle,” said Dr. Lanzel, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.

Dr. Lanzel holds a master’s degree and a certificiate in oral and maxillofacial pathology from the University of Iowa, where she also received her dental degree. In addition, she has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The ADA New Dentist News asked Dr. Lanzel about the details that went into her decision to pursue a specialty.

Here is a summary of the conversation:

Q. How and when did you choose to pursue oral pathology?

A. Dentistry is a wonderful profession, but from day one, I was not cut out for general dentistry. I loved the basic science courses, had a passion for studying and a dislike of using my hands. I would much rather take a test than cut a crown prep. I fell in love with oral pathology my second year of dental school during our oral pathology course.

Luckily, the course was taught by one of the greatest educators and nicest people I have ever met, Dr. Mike Finkelstein, and he fostered my interest. There was no going back from there.

When it came time to apply for residency, I weighed the positive and negatives — professionally and personally — and decided to follow my passion for pathology and academics.

Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have made, and I have no regrets.

Q. How would you describe some of the benefits or challenges of pursuing a
specialty?

A. By far, the benefit of pursing something I was truly passionate about far outweighed the challenges. But, the job market for oral pathology is a definite challenge. The jobs are not plentiful and, unlike general dentistry, you can’t go just anywhere to practice.

Q. What factors did you consider and what resources did you use to help you make this decision?

A. The best resource was talking to current residents and practicing pathologists to get information about residency cost, job outlook, day-today life during residency, etc. I probably should have done more investigating of the pros/cons than I did, but nothing was going to keep me away from studying oral pathology at that point. I also spent three weeks between my third and fourth year of dental school in the oral pathology department experiencing what the residency was like.

Q. What else should dentists know when considering pursuing a specialty?

A. If there is a specialty you are interested in, see if you can do an externship or job shadow within the department to get a better feel of what you would be getting into. Also, choose a specialty/ job that you can see yourself doing every day and still love it.

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Can Children Develop Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is not a disease that many people associate with children. Though it is not prevalent in children, gum disease can rear its ugly head if your child has poor dental habits and doesn’t receive regular pediatric dental care.

Because teenagers have increasingly high levels of hormones, they tend to be more at risk for gingivitis and early periodontal disease than younger children. Their gums are more susceptible to irritants.

There are three different childhood periodontal diseases that pediatric dentists use to categorize symptoms and severities.

Chronic gingivitis causes gums to swell and occasionally bleed, usually during brushing, flossing, or eating. Though serious, chronic gingivitis is treatable and preventable with a regular healthy dental routine. If your child has consistently bad breath, this might also be a sign of chronic gingivitis.

It is a common misconception that “just a little blood” during brushing and flossing is harmless. Bleeding gums is your mouth’s way of signaling that a bigger problem lies ahead if action is not taken now.

Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. The reason it is categorized as aggressive is because it progresses rapidly. Aggressive periodontitis is most commonly found in teenagers and young adults, and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. A common symptom of aggressive periodontitis is severe loss of alveolar bone. An excess of plaque and calculus does not have to be present in order to develop this gum disease.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis typically occurs during early stages of puberty. Symptoms include inflammation of the gums and excessive plaque and calculus buildup. Sometimes teeth can become loose if the disease has progressed.

There is good news – all of the above can be treated!

Pay attention to your child’s brushing habits and watch for the signs of gingivitis, such as bleeding, swollen, or receding gums. With little ones, be sure to assist them with brushing. When they start independently brushing and flossing, be sure to pay attention to their technique and timing.

Enforce good dental hygiene habits at a young age in order to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and early periodontal issues. The earlier oral health becomes part of your child’s routine, the healthier they will be.

Schedule regular pediatric dental visits for checkups and evaluations. If any of the above symptoms are affecting your child, your pediatric dentist will be able to determine the best course of action.

If your child is experiencing any of the above, or their dental habits are a concern to you, contact us to schedule an appointment. We will happily give your little one an examination and discuss the best short-term and long-term treatment plans.

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Learn how to navigate the regulatory environment

The regulatory environment is full of ever-changing regulations that can make it difficult for dentists to ensure they’re up-to-date on, and in compliance with, the many regulations that need to be followed in the practice.

To make it easier for dentists to become more knowledgeable about certain key federal regulations, the ADA Council on Dental Practice is sponsoring a webinar — Regulatory Compliance Got You Down? Turn Your Practice Around — scheduled for Sept. 28, from noon-1 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Register for the webinar here.

The webinar is a companion to the council’s latest practice management resource, the ADA Guidelines for Practice Success module on Managing the Regulatory Environment, which is available free online to members at ADA.org/gps.

This webinar will feature many need-to-know requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act plus the latest guidelines on infection prevention and control.

The presenter is Olivia Wann, managing member-owner of Modern Practice Solutions, which provides professional compliance training and consulting services for dental practices. Ms. Wann was one of the content authorities who participated in the development of the content for the Guidelines for Practice Success module. In addition to being an attorney, Ms. Wann has worked as a registered dental assistant and dental office manager.

Additional online resources available through the Guidelines for Practice Success series include modules on Managing Marketing, Managing the Dental Team, Managing Patients and Managing Finances. Each resource is available free online to members by searching ADA.org/GPS, and print editions may be ordered through the ADA Catalog.

Participants will earn one hour of continuing education credit for the program.

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