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Resources to help jumpstart your way to professional practice

Many dental students try to imagine what life will be like after graduation. But no one imagines starting their career during a pandemic.

Dentistry is no stranger to rapidly adapting to safety needs. The profession has a long history of employing protocols and protective equipment to safely provide care in their work environments. For instance, before the AIDS epidemic, many dentists practiced without gloves, masks or eye protection. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides insight on how to navigate the issues dentists face during this unprecedented time.

Being safe

Find expert guidance on how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission with the ADA’s COVID-19 safety and clinical resources. In addition, the ADA answers members’ frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 FAQ page. Here you can learn about federal student loan matters, employer and employee concerns, financial and dental benefit considerations, office protection, patient communication and more. As the pandemic evolves, ADA updates these pages to provide member dentists with credible information aimed at protecting both patients and dental teams.

Staying well

Maintaining your physical and mental wellness and a work-life balance is important for any health care professional. Coping with your own emotions and stress is equally as important. By taking care of yourself, you are sustaining your ability to care for others. To help dentists minimize the effects of stress, the ADA’s recent webinar, “Emotional Impact: Dealing Constructively with Stress in the Midst of COVID-19,” features a panel of three dentists from the ADA Dentist Wellness Advisory Committee.

The panelists address the emotions surrounding the most common fears and stressors that dentists have reported experiencing before, during and after reopening their practices. Learn more about coping with stress by visiting ADA.org/Wellness for COVID-19 mental health resources.

Getting informed

Stay up to date with how the pandemic is affecting dentists and the dental industry with new episodes from season three of the ADA’s practice podcast Beyond the Mouth. Released weekly beginning Oct. 21, guests talk about non-clinical challenges dentists face every day. Additionally, Beyond the Mouth features episodes on leadership, practice management, burnout, wellness and more.

Additional resources

Further, the ADA’s resources — including the COVID-19 FAQ and clinical safety pages, on-demand webinars, practice podcast episodes and other downloadable resources — are valuable tools to help with the day-to-day issues facing seasoned dentists and dental students alike. Whether you are just starting out as a new dentist or you are starting a new dental practice after years of honing your clinical skills, the ADA has resources to help you with the transition to the next phase of your career and to make informed career decisions.

Despite the current obstacles or frustrations of being in dental school or graduating during a pandemic, remind yourself that you are fulfilling a noble calling — providing people with dental care and advancing their oral health.

~ADA Center for Professional Success

This blog post was sponsored by the ADA Center for Professional Success.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide legal advice. Dental practices that require legal advice should consult an attorney licensed to practice in their jurisdictions.

ADA Center for Professional Success

The ADA Center for Professional Success provides practice management content and decision support tools with the goal of helping members practice successfully, learn conveniently and live well. Visit the Center at Success.ADA.org.

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