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A guide to navigating the transition from dental school to dental practice

matthew-parkerAs you make your way through dental school, you’ve probably thought about what to do after graduation. While it’s an exciting time in your life, new graduates are faced with many different options upon finishing dental school.

The downturn in the economy has undoubtedly affected the dental market. However, buying an existing dental practice is a practical option for graduates making the transition from dental school. With many of the “baby-boomer” dentists looking to retire, there are increasing amounts of great dental practices available for new dentists to acquire.

As a new dentist, it can be difficult to navigate through your next steps. To make the process less stressful, I’ve created a guide based on my own experience with this Phoenix area dental practice to help make your transition as seamless as possible.

A small act of advocacy

social media advocacyOne of the pillars, at all levels of organized dentistry, is advocacy. As members of the American Student Dental Association, advocacy is not something to be viewed as an entity that is merely provided to us. Advocacy is a personal task that should be actively engaged in so that we can serve as a voice to our colleagues, law-makers and the general population.

For today’s dental student, the utilization of social media is at times used to vent about a rigorous week at school, post pictures of your latest sim clinic work-of-art, or even share that infamous “stab lab” photo op. The ‘likes’ and comments these posts generate can be astronomical and are comprised of other dental students, family members and friends. It is easily apparent that through our postings we have the ability to reach a variety of different individuals.

How e-cigarettes and hookah pens impact our oral health

E cigWith the recent popularity of the recreational use of e-cigarettes and hookah pens as a “healthier” decision to traditional cigarettes, consumers are falsely convinced there are no harmful effects to these water vapor alternatives. The notion that these products pose no threat (or a lesser threat than the accompanying two) has encouraged smokers, nonsmokers and young people to consume them. Some consumers have bypassed any further research on these water vapor products and have already allowed it to become a replacement to cigarettes…

Is there a link between hypodontia and cancer?

research-spotlight-thumbnailSix years ago, Dr. Leigh Chalothorn published a study in JADA that looked at hypodontia among epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients. It was found that there was a prevalence of 20% for hypodontia among EOC patients, while only a 3% prevalence in the control group. This has been a major source for additional studies at “home,” aka the University of Kentucky. My particular study looked at the role of Activin βa and Activin βb and the Activin Type II receptor, which is involved in the transition from Bud-to-Cap stage of odontogenesis, across families with hypodontia to see if there was any correlation. My null hypothesis is that these genes are not associated with hypodontia.

Know your DSO: it could make a difference in your career

thumbnailCrushing student loan debt. First-job jitters. Worries about clinical performance. Just some of the concerns that weigh on today’s dental school grads. And, the reason why so many are choosing a large group practice over private practice.

In the past, dental service organizations (DSOs) were viewed very differently than they are today. The word is getting out. DSOs are not only shaking up the world of dentistry, they can be the best way to realize your career goals.