Having difficult conversations with patients

If you’ve experienced clinic, I suspect you have had at least one difficult conversation with a patient. Having these types of talks is one of the hardest parts of our jobs and can occur every day. As dental professionals, it is our duty to report the facts about our patient’s oral health to them. Once the patient is informed, they are tasked with making a decision about the course of treatment. How can we make these conversations easier for ourselves and our patients?

Tips for the holiday season

Need some advice on staying balanced and managing stress through the holidays? Perhaps you spent too much this year and need to plan for better budgeting in 2018? Here are some archived Mouthing Off blog posts to help keep you on track.

Dentistry in the U.S. Navy

Traditionally, many students graduate after four years of dental school and enter a residency or the civilian workforce. However, there is another group of dental school graduates who will serve in the military following graduation. Many of these graduates were awarded a scholarship from the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).

What do you do after NLC?

This year was my second time attending ASDA’s National Leadership Conference (NLC), which was held this past November. Each year, the event gets bigger and better. Now that we’re back to the dental school grind after the conference, it can be easy to return to our routines. But there are a lot of things we learned in Chicago that we can implement now in order to prepare for our careers.

The connection between emotional pain and addiction

The prescription drug epidemic, specifically opioid abuse, has been all over the headlines and likely on the minds of dentists and dental students across the country. Addiction treatment expert Austin Eubanks, who is also chief operating officer of The Foundry Treatment Center and a featured member of Speakers for Change, spoke at this year’s National Leadership Conference (NLC), held Nov. 17–19 in Chicago. A survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, Eubanks shared his story of how the injuries and emotional trauma he sustained drastically affected his life, leading to years of substance abuse and, ultimately, a recovery that prompted his efforts in patient advocacy. His biggest message was this: We need to transform the way we think about prescribing pain medication, specifically for patients who may be experiencing emotional pain.

Incentives for the dental team

Part of our job is to create confident smiles. How, then, do we make sure our staff comes to work every day with smiles on their faces? Front desk staff, dental assistants and hygienists are the backbone of any good office. We begin to understand this as students, since we tend to play the roles of scheduler, dental hygienist and dentist all in one. As we transition into dental practice, though, how do we make sure our employees are motivated to bring their “A game” every day? Here are three incentives dentists use to motivate their employees.

The importance of monitoring your credit score

As busy dental students, our credit score is the last thing we want to think about, but it is never too early to start building your credit. Building my credit score and maximizing credit card spending rewards are two of my hobbies. In my downtime, I like to check my credit scores and online bank statements, as well as read financial articles. Earlier this year, the method in calculating credit scores was changed. The new scoring system is being implemented by a company called VantageScore, which was created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These changes could affect your credit score overall, whether you have good or bad credit. But how is your score calculated in the first place? Here are some factors that impact your credit score.