Latest Posts

Drilling down on the psychological component of pain

Fear of injection is a significant factor for those who avoid dental treatment. Emotion is a major component in how we perceive pain. Particularly of interest to dental professionals are the emotions associated with local anesthesia injections. In anatomy, we learn the limbic system, prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus control emotion.  A 1991 study in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavior Neurology, found cancer patients with these areas of the brain removed perceived pain differently.

Seeking education after school hours

Extracurricular learning can give students an edge. I started dental school in 2013. Classes started at 8:30 a.m. sharp and continued until 4:00 p.m. I was pretty excited with class work, but unfortunately my curriculum didn’t have any patient interaction in the first year. I decided to go in search of a medical & dental clinic where I could observe. At first I had trouble finding the right fit, since I was just a freshman in dental school and still had a long way to go to complete my studies. Then I found a hospital that allowed me to observe in the general, emergency and surgery departments. I went to the hospital for four hours every day after school. I would study late into the evening. My day typically began at 5:30 a.m. and went until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. It was very hectic, but the learning opportunities I found were amazing.

Buying a practice does not need to be stressful


If you’re in the market to buy a practice, the first step is to create a dental-specific team of advisors to guide you through the purchase, transition process, and the operation of the practice after purchase. Your team should include the following members who each have dental-specific experience in their fields:

Exercise your mind with meditation

Being a dentist seems glamorous, fun and exciting. There is always a new challenge around the corner with every patient. However, the process of becoming a dentist is not always glamorous and fun.   A significant number of hours are spent behind a laptop studying for exams and quizzes. What’s more, there are assignments, simlab requirements, patients to treat and board materials to study.  The rigors of dental school cavl cause you to sleep less and abandon socializing, ultimately increasing mental fatigue and stress.

Idioms we need to stop using in dentistry [giveaway!]

Puns are fun. No matter how cheesy they are, they are always good for a laugh or an eye roll. As a dental student, you are probably numb to all the puns of your profession. Unfortunately, not all puns are appreciated by their audience. Many of your patients will not look forward to their appointments. You will find yourself coping with their sensitivity in more ways than one. As you are on the cusp of becoming dentists, I want to brace you for dental puns that could leave your patients negatively impacted.

New screening for oral cancer could make for quicker detection

Oral cancer kills 40 percent of those diagnosed within five years. If caught early, the survival rate is as high as 90 percent. Scarier still, more than 1 percent of U.S. adults will develop oral cancer at some point in their lives. Despite these sobering statistics, many patients aren’t screened regularly for the appearance of oral and pharyngeal cancers. According to Matthew Kim – chairman, founder and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences – only 29 percent of U.S. adults are screened by their dentist. Part of the oversight, he explains, is a widespread lack of awareness and understanding of the danger of oral cancer. His plan, in addition to increasing awareness for the general public, involves a novel diagnostic test that identifies patients as high risk of developing certain types of oral cancer.

Dental students: The time to protect your future is now

Whenever I talk to ADA student members, I always stress the importance of enrolling in the no-cost ADA student members disability insurance as soon as possible. I’ve been working as an Insurance Plan Specialist for Great-West Financial long enough to know that having disability coverage while you’re in dental school is one of the most important ways you can help protect your future.
There are countless ways you could become disabled. Fall off your bike and break your leg. Slip on the ice and injure your back. A skiing accident could end your career as a dentist. You could also be diagnosed with an illness, such as cancer, that could force you to interrupt your education.