Annual Session 2016 in Dallas, Texas was an incredible success. Nearly 600 dental students from every dental school in the U.S. attended. Meetings like this can be a great opportunity to meet new people and practice your networking skills. Social media outlets are can be used to connect you with other dental student attendees.
Every dental student knows that the four years of dental school are difficult and demanding. From testing schedules to clinical requirements, it is hard to find time to relax and unwind. Fortunately, a fellow classmate introduced me to a Tumblr page that kept me cracking up and helped me understand that dental students really are all going through the same thing.
The Tumblr page #whatshouldwecalldental provides an endless supply of gifs that explain exactly what it’s like to be a dental student. The videos contain snippets from TV shows, movies, or other content that has been posted to the Internet. Along with the gif, there is a description of how that video relates to a situation you might experience when in dental school or interacting with patients. Here are some of my favorites…
Instagram is an engaging way to capture moments and instantly share them through social media. Most people have a personal Instagram account to display their daily activities and likes. However, the social media platform is quickly becoming a branding and advertising tool for dental offices. The photo-sharing application can help dentists educate and entertain their patients, even when they are not in the office.
I believe there is a very important part of the mouth that is often forgotten in dentistry. We always check the teeth, the gingival and mucosa, behind the tongue, but how often does someone really look at a person’s lips?
As dental professionals, many of us act as motivational speakers. We influence and educate our office staff and fellow students. We reduce patient anxiety and explain why treatment is recommended. We even inspire ourselves to take continuing education and learn about new dental technologies. This type of communication can be used to stimulate change or simply encourage others. Motivational speaking is a skill that anyone can improve with practice and guidance. In her article “The Key Components of a Motivational Speech,” Laura Woods describes four basic techniques to engage your listeners.
One of my favorite courses at UT Houston was the study of implantology. I had originally though implants to be new technology relying on sophisticated materials and techniques. In fact, the practice of replacing teeth was actually attempted as early as 400 B.C.! Civilizations in Egypt, South America and China are now known to have used materials such as stone, ivory, wood, seashells, animal and cadaver teeth, and gold to fill the holes in their mouths. I don’t know about you, but placing a sharp piece of anything into my jaw bone sounds less than desirable. Yet, all over the world archeologists are finding examples of humans practicing ancient dentistry.