Management + Leadership

What do you do when a patient is more focused on their chart than on you?

snooping-patientI recall an encounter I had with a new patient of mine. She was a middle-aged woman who has not seen a dentist in a very long time. The visit started with a “Welcome to UCSF” message, a brief overview of the clinic operations, and the goal for today’s appointment. At UCSF, we are taught to sit face-to-face when using the computer instead of behind the patient to allow adequate eye contact. It also allows for a more collaborative platform when discussing treatment plan options. I apologized to the patient in advance if there are times when I am focused on editing my note or navigating my way through Axium. But this patient wanted more than just a discussion. Keep reading to find out what happened and weigh in on how you would have handled it…

News + Issues

Dental coding contest: A review of the ADA’s CDT Companion

CDT Kit and AppThe ADA’s CDT companion is like the encyclopedia of dental procedures and nomenclature. How many times have you looked for a procedure code in your clinic computer program and you couldn’t quite pick a code that met your procedure in particular? Patients situations, diagnosis and your treatments are often difficult to categorize into a set list of codes. However, what many of us don’t know are that there are so many codes out there that we are unaware of. In dental school, we aren’t always taught the importance of coding, and coding with accuracy. If you aren’t careful about what you are coding, there can be severe consequences. There have been reported cases of dentists coding inaccurately and therefore suffering legal consequences. Understanding what you are charging the patient for, and what you are filing through insurance is extremely important…


Making a difference in ADA Mission of Mercy

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.00.26 PMVolunteers from all across the nation gathered in San Antonio, Texas for the shared purpose of bridging the gap to oral care for patients unable to attain dental care due to financial reasons. During October 11-12, the ADA Mission of Mercy (MOM) transformed the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center into a fully functioning oral care center. On Saturday, the center was equipped with portable dental chairs and tables necessary to perform X-rays, sterilizations, exams, fillings, extractions, oral surgeries, endodontic treatment and even prosthodontic treatment. I was one of the predental students who volunteered my time to the ADA MOM with the hope of helping make a difference in the oral care of the community. Read about Ileana’s experience…

News + Issues

The making of UCLA’s Implant Festival

Prosthodontic Study ClubMy passion for implants got me the idea of having an implant study club. UCLA School of Dentistry was one of the first places in the US where dental implants landed, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I started the club under the mentorship of Dr. Kumar Shah, director of predoctoral implant courses, and then I formed a cabinet of strong leaders.

I had a goal of 100 members and even my team own thought this was crazy. However, in nine days we passed our goal and now we have 156 members: the largest study club ever, 40% of the school! Read about how we made this event possible…

Science + Tech

Overcoming the overdenture

dentures dental lab

Overdentures are an amazing treatment opportunity for patients who have dentures and have trouble keeping their lower prosthesis in place. The implants are placed on the lower arch with the use of a surgical guide. Once the implants have healed and the healing abutments are placed the denture is constructed with a metal mesh to reinforce the acrylic in the lower arch. Once the denture is made and the implants are osseointegrated the Overdentures is modified chair side to allow the patient to snap the denture in and out of place. The following tips are just parts of the overall modification appointment, but they are key steps that will make they process go smoothly. Remember, before starting the procedure make sure that they denture is fully adjusted in the patients mouth and make sure they are conformable.

News + Issues

3 ways to give back during the holidays

charityThe past couple weeks, I’ve seen news stories pop up about dentists buying back Halloween candy from kids. There’s a Halloween Candy Buy Back program where dentists pay kids $1 per pound of candy they bring in and often give out toothbrushes and other oral hygiene supplies. They take the candy and donate it to an organization that ships it to U.S. troops overseas. We can only hope a few toothbrushes get shipped along with the candy! It’s a sweet program [pun intended] and a great way to get involved in your community.

There are plenty of ways to give back all year round–individually or as an ASDA chapter. But this time of year seems to warm people’s hearts and inspire more than the usual charity. If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, here are three ideas on how to do so…


Life in reverse: full-time work to full-time predental student

back to schoolYou’re not Jim Halpert, and you don’t work at Dunder Mifflin Paper Co., but like him, you know you don’t see yourself retiring doing the same job you’re doing now. In fact, you know that you’re not even in an industry you want to retire in. You may like the people around you, you may like the paycheck, you may even like the job itself, but there’s an itch left unscratched. And, let’s face it, nobody wants an itch they can’t scratch.

I decided to leave sales and management to pursue dentistry, and if you find yourself contemplating a similar choice, or if you recently made a similar choice, listen up! The biggest question anybody faces in this situation is… how do I do it?