Latest Posts

A look into the world of animal dentistry

Dentistry is a door to many unexpected opportunities. This was certainly the case for Dr. Sam Smiley of Dublin, Ohio. 13 years into his career, Dr. Smiley received a fateful call from the Columbus Zoo. A 350-pound western gorilla was not eating properly and was in obvious distress. Dr. Smiley was asked if he’d perform a dental exam during the gorilla’s routine physical. He agreed, and so began his career as a volunteer dentist for the Columbus Zoo.

Texting patients: does it violate HIPAA?

In the midst of busy day where there’s no time to chat, sending a text message to communicate is a quick, convenient option we often use to keep our messages brief and to the point. But, how many people actually prefer texting over talking on the phone? According to a 2011 report by the Pew Research Center, approximately 83% of Americans own cell phones and of these, 73% use the text messaging function. Additionally, a 2016 survey conducted by OpenMarket found that 75% of millennials “chose texting over talking,” often citing the convenience of communicating on their own schedule. As students, we often text our family, friends and classmates to coordinate our daily lives, but many of us may also text our patients to confirm appointments and address questions. While texting might seem to be a convenient way to contact patients, it’s important to remember that this action raises many important implications for patient privacy.

Mentoring is a two-way street

While I was studying at a coffee shop, I happened to meet a dentist. After chatting for a bit about his experiences in private practice and public health, I asked him if he had any advice for a current dental student. Without hesitation, he said, “It’s important to have a mentor who is willing to teach and guide you.”

Out of the many relationships that are created and maintained in the dental world, I believe that mentorship is one of the most vital and rewarding relationships. A mentor can teach and provide insight to the mentee that isn’t found in the classroom or a group setting. Having someone who is already doing what you’re working toward is beneficial throughout your journey. This one-on-one relationship allows the mentor to provide personalized advice for their specific questions or worries.

Staying balanced through the holidays

For many, the holidays bring memories of frosting sugar cookies, spending precious time with family near and far and looking forward to a bright new year. Unfortunately for others, the holidays can look and feel very different. They may spend the season in solitude, or their holiday obligations may bring on unnecessary stress. I know for me, the holidays have been more difficult to celebrate since losing both my mother and father. Those of us who have lost close family members may find if painful to take part in the same holiday traditions once celebrated.

Interest capitalization and taxable forgiveness: two things you must understand if you have student loans

A lack of understanding regarding these two facets of student loans can have a significant impact on your wealth. Let’s start with interest capitalization. When you borrow money, you have to pay for the use of that money. It’s called interest. Interest is usually charged as a percentage of your outstanding principal.

Second is taxable forgiveness. When you get to year 20 (under the PAYE plan), any outstanding debt gets forgiven. Throw a party because that’s really great. But… there’s a catch. All of that debt forgiveness is considered taxable income.

How close to live to your practice

The time has come. You’ve fulfilled your dreams of becoming a dentist! People will start referring to you as Dr. (insert your name), and that may take a little getting used to. But like most new accomplishments, this one comes with a set of new challenges to sort through. One thing to consider when buying or establishing a dental practice of your own is where to live in proximity to your practice. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when making the decision.