Top 10 Tips For New Dentists
Dentistry is a greatly respected profession. Your patients rely on you for best oral health care. To become a dentist in your own dental practice is not an easy task, and it needs an exceptional experience working with patients. To have a successful dental career you need to create a lasting impression on your patients.
In this article, we will discuss the Top 10 Tips For New Dentists to help avoid common mistakes and rocketstart your dental career.
In the end of the text, we will reveal the most closely guarded secret of experienced dental professionals.
With more awareness and economic growth, the dental industry is expanding rapidly. From simple cavity filling to implants, patients are ready to invest big money for better oral health.
To have a piece of this financial cake, all you need is to do your honest best. And the patients will not stop coming.
Starting your journey as new dentists, you face many challenges that no university prepared you for.
By following these tips you can achieve your dental success faster and with fewer mistakes.
Disclaimer: we do not provide any medical, legal, tax or financial advice. Everything that is presented here is a personal opinion. Please consult appropriate professionals.
- Starting Your Dental Business
- Right Diagnosis
- Using Dental Radiographs
- Dental Restorations
- Root Canal Treatment
- Handling Cases With Complex Problems
- Things To Remember While Performing An Extraction
- General Extraction
- Surgical Extraction
- Modern Online Marketing
- Dental Regulations
- Tax For Dentists
1. Starting Your Dental Business
As you know dental school curriculum does not include proper business administration techniques. After graduating it is best you learn a bit about business in dentistry. The dental industry is constantly changing andyou need to be updated about the latest materials and treatment options. Keep up the spirit, success comes with maturity and skills.
Some points that need to be considered:
- Right location – research a bit about the local market and chose a location that is easily accessible to target patients. Also, avoid a location that is saturated with other practitioners with the same service.
- Appoint staff – appoint competent staff for the proper functioning of the clinic. Give adequate training to the staff before functioning fully. A good team can be the best support system that will keep your work going in the right direction.
- Advertise – it is important to advertise at the beginning itself. Use the local newspaper and TV channel for advertising about your new dental hospital.
- Biomedical waste disposal should be done as per the local bodies rules and regulations. For this, you should get registered with the bio waste managing organization.
- Hepatitis B vaccination and other vaccinations of all the staff members should be taken regularly.
- Consider getting medical help during emergencies from a nearby hospital.
2. Right Diagnosis
The most important parameter of dentistry is the right diagnosis. Wrong diagnosis can lead to a wrong treatment plan, which does not solve the initial problem and at the same time brings more of them. As obvious as it might sound, but it is still a very common mistake among new dentists.
Always consider all possibilities.
Never cut corners while diagnosing by presuming.
Right diagnosis depends on:
- Proper and detailed patient history
- Thorough clinical evaluation
- Proper investigation
Listen to your patient carefully and understand the problem. Proper diagnosis will result in proper treatment plan.
3. Using Dental Radiographs
Dental radiographs are an essential part of any dental treatment plan. Intra oral radiographs are most commonly used in dental practice.
- Dental radiographs should be advised only after intra oral examination and reviewing patient’s medical history.
- When there is pathology with one or two adjacent teeth IOPA or RVG is advised.
- When multiple teeth are involved OPG is advised.
- For implants, go for CBCT scan which gives information about underlying bone, sinus extension, and other anatomical variations.
As a dentist, it is your responsibility to control patient’s radiation exposure to as little as possible. Modern radiographic techniques help you to reduce patients exposure. By learning and understanding good radiographic techniques you can ensure patient safety from radiation.
4. Dental Restorations
Though dental filling is an easy procedure, many patients experience discomfort post restoration. Understanding patients occlusion before starting the procedure can help you avoid these mistakes.
- Evaluate patients occlusal contacts first. Check for centric occlusion, left and right movements, and forward movements.
- Use occlusal indicators like articulating paper, or foils.
Our profession has moved beyond amalgam restoration, knowing the advanced restorative techniques is also important. Whether it is a single unit or multiple, you should do everything to make patient comfortable to enhance their experience. By using your skill and judgement in the right way you can serve your patients better.
5. Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment failures are the most common cause that lead to extraction of the tooth. Root canal procedures should be done with proper care using proper technique like:
- Proper sterilization of handpiece, burs and endodontic files should be followed, to prevent chances of cross contamination in patients. Glass bead sterilizer and autoclave ensures proper sterilization of RCT instruments.
- Do not leave the GP points pushed periapically, it will only lead to infection and extraction of tooth.
- Same way, under extension of GP points lead to periapical lesion.
- Use radiographs to determine the working length, post procedure confirm using radiographs
- Give clear instructions to patient about the chances of failure and post treatment care.
6. Handling Cases With Complex Problems
The biggest challenge faced by new dentists is handling cases that involves multiple problems. While learning you get to treat a single issue but when it comes to practise you have to deal with complex problems.
Doing a long term treatment planning is needed in such cases. Planning the treatment, aligning it, working in patient parameter and overcoming the communication issues are all needed to treat such complex cases. You can improve these skills only through experience. When the treatment planning is done well it will result in an extremely satisfied patient.
7. Things To Remember While Performing An Extraction
Extraction is a crucial procedure and any small mistake can lead to big problems. When there is a need for extraction, first determine the type of extraction the patient needs. It can be either general extraction or surgical extraction.
- Patients are usually anxious about tooth removal. Before starting the procedure you must explain the patient the requirement of tooth extraction and how it will be performed. Listen to your patient worries to make them co-operative during the procedure.
- Study the patient’s medical history well, check for allergies, and prescribe antibiotics.
- Give proper instructions to patients about post extraction care.
- If surgical extraction is advised, do not use forceps which may lead to fracture and trauma of surrounding bones and tissues.
- Poor flap design may complicate the extraction procedure.
- Inadequate flap reflection may lead to soft tissue tear. Good flap reflection is required for proper access of the surgical site.
- Select the right forceps, adapt the beaks well and apply forces as apically as possible.
- Irrigate the surgical site properly to avoid any infection.
- Use the right suturing technique that will hold the flaps with right amount of tension.
When dental extraction is performed well you receive more patient satisfaction. Make a follow up call to patient after such surgical procedures. You need to make an extra effort to make this procedure as stress-free for patients as possible.
8. Modern Online Marketing
Being visible online is another important factor that can improve your dental business. There are many ways to improve our online presence:
- Create your own website
- Do search engine optimization (SEO) so that your website will be more visible on Google.
- Do paid ads like Google Adwords.
- Establish your social media presence by creating and posting interesting information on Facebook.
- Add some videos and photos of you and your work to create trust.
- Use email marketing for reminding appointments, latest dental news, asking for a referral, and informing the latest technologies used in your practice.
- Have a good online scheduling system to have an efficient and superior customer service.
It takes a lot of dedication and consistency to follow these strategies. This is the precise reason you will get ahead of the competition. Because your competition is not likely to do the all marketing consistently.
9. Dental Regulations
Legal formalities take time, hence it is better to start working on them soon. To start practicing as any health professional you should get acquainted with local government laws and regulations. To get registered as a health professional you need to apply in the prescribed manner, paying the required amount of fees.
Never work without all the necessary registrations, documents and certificates.
It is your responsibility to comply with your local health authorities.
- It is mandatory to register as a health practitioner
- All the health facilities should be licensed
- Any training programmes should be approved
Your practice should fulfill the following regulations:
- The registered health professional should follow professional conduct.
- Practice standard should meet the high standard of public health.
- Accredited health services and facilities, quality control should be monitored.
- Internationally comparable practice standard should be enforced.
- All the health matters of public health should be assisted and monitored.
Maintaining proper patient record is the topmost important element in dental practice. All the clinical findings, treatment, and follow up advice should be documented well according to your local health authorities. In case of any dispute, these records will be required.
10. Tax For Dentists
Being self-employed does not mean that you can work tax-free. As a self-employed dentist, you must register, declare our earnings and pay taxes.
We are not financial professionals and are not giving you any financial advice. Please consult with your local tax authorities.
Different countries have different tax systems. In some, you pay a fixed amount of tax in a fixed period of time. In others, you pay a percentage of you gross income. Still more, you may have a tax-deductible expenses like Membership fees, Legal fees, Insurance, Rent, Paid Advertisement, Dental Equipment etc.
It is your responsibility to be properly registered with your tax authorities and comply with all tax and legal regulations.
It will take some time to get established as a successful dentist. As a new dentist, you need not be perfect with all the skills, many things are learned with experience.
Every patient is different, hence it is important to consult other practitioners during an unfamiliar condition.
You need better communication and better service to achieve patient satisfaction.
Be flexible, give it time, enjoy every step of your growing dental business.
Finally, these dental tips can help you understand the business better, but there is no fixed plan or strategy for success. Adapt these tips to your dental career in your own way matching with your personality and service.
In the beginning of the article we promised to you the most closely guarded secret of experienced dental professionals. Here it is:
“ There is no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
– Colin Powell.
Happy patients and healthy environment, is the foundation of a successful dental career. Dentistry is a rewarding career that needs some hard work, dedication, and commitment. Move ahead with a positive mindset and success will be yours! Good luck!