It’s well-known that work-related musculoskeletal disorders are highly prevalent among dentists. A 2009 study by Hayes in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene stated that between 64 and 93 percent of dental professionals experience musculoskeletal pain. In 2016, Leggat published an article in the international journal, Healthcare, claiming the prevalence is 85 percent among dental students.
The question every fourth-year student is asking themselves right now is this: “What am I going to do after graduation?” While some may spend hours weighing different residency programs, others may contemplate joining a corporate or private practice. But there is another option to consider: advocacy.
Many people see their dentist more often than their doctor so establishing a connection with your patients should be a priority. To ease the “awkward” phase of getting to know patients, several dentists have chosen creative marketing techniques that combine their hobbies with social media. The goal is for patients to feel more connected with their dentist and dental health.
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.
Growing up in a household with a Special Education teacher exposed me to some of the most amazing people, but also the great challenges they face each and every day. From children to the elderly, special needs encompasses people of all ages and touches their lives in many different forms. Yet, regardless of the extent of their condition, special needs patients still have the same needs as you and me when it comes to oral health care.
Whether it be football, basketball or baseball, they are all sports that require top notch athletic abilities. It’s not just about the ball handling skills or how many yards the QB can throw the ball. It’s also about the nutrition and the healthy lifestyle of the athlete. Tobacco is one way an athlete can detriment their abilities. It is for good reason that the NCAA has placed a ban on the usage of tobacco for any student-athlete, coach, or game official.
Train tracks, metal mouth, brace face: all creative nicknames for orthodontic treatment. Today more than ever, patients are trying to avoid that metal look by requesting something more aesthetic such as lingual braces or clear plastic aligners. To develop appropriate treatment plans and inform patients about the basics of braces, dentists should be aware of the patient’s aesthetic concern but also consider the indications and limitations of each method of treatment.
It’s important that dental students have a basic knowledge of the various forms of orthodontic treatment. Even if you are not interested in specializing in orthodontics, this information is necessary to answer basic questions in a general practice setting.