Student Loans? Cut Your Debt in Half (or More)

Dental school graduates know the pain of student loans all too well. The American Dental Education Association estimates that 2021 graduates were saddled with an average of $301,583 in loans

However, don’t let your dental school loans deter you from building the career you’ve always dreamed of! 

Whether you’re looking for that first associateship or striving for practice ownership, there are ways to pay off your loans on someone else’s dime. The federal government, states, and even local municipalities have created a host of programs that can ease the burden. Refinancing can help, too — as can a bit of creativity. 

Read on for some possible ways to cut your dental debt. 

Check the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The U.S. Department of Education Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is accepting applications through October 31, 2022 — so if you haven’t checked your own eligibility, take a minute to do so now! Even if you can only get $10-20K in forgiveness, it is worth taking the time to fill out the paperwork.

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Topics: incoming, associateship, Real Talk

How to Become a Team Leader When You’re New to the Practice

As the new associate in a practice, you’re in a tricky spot. You’re the new kid. You don’t know how the practice flows, when staff typically show up, or where to get the best local coffee. And you certainly don’t know any of the patients!

Despite these challenges, you need to immediately establish yourself as a leader so you can effectively work with your auxiliaries to deliver consistent, quality care to your patients. 

So how can you make the shift from new associate to team leader? Read on for a few tips. 

Think like a dentist, not a student

As a student, you were expected to show up, do your homework, ask thoughtful questions, and demonstrate that you were learning. Your professors guided your path and prompted every step. Your dental school clinic was likely run by the staff. And since they remained a constant fixture as you rotated through, and they controlled much of the activity in the clinic, you likely deferred to their judgment. 

Now that you’re in practice, that hierarchy has flipped. You’re in charge, both in your career and in the operatory. You need to be decisive and respectful with your actions. Your auxiliaries should defer to you when treating patients.

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Topics: incoming, Real Talk

Starting an Associateship? Own the Operatory from Day One!

Ready to start a new asssociateship — maybe even your first associateship after dental school?

It’s nerve-wracking starting any new job, let alone the first one as a new doctor. 

However, your patients and staff need to know you’re in control, right from the beginning. You must project confidence to gain their trust and ensure treatment acceptance. 

And even if you’re shaking in your shoes, remember: you worked hard to get here and you are ready

Your dental school granted you a degree based on your work.

Your state has licensed you.

The practice owner hired you because they believe in you and your abilities. 

Now it’s time to demonstrate all that to your patients. 

Here are five ways to get off on the right foot and take ownership of the operatory.

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Topics: incoming, Real Talk

5 Musts for a Successful Dental Career

Dentistry offers so many possible career paths. You can practice nearly anywhere, in offices of all sizes and configurations. Do a little bit of everything or master a specialty. Work with toddlers or senior citizens. Choose public health, the military, research, academia, organized dentistry — the possibilities are truly endless.

No matter your path after dental school, I’ve landed on five things that dentists need for a successful, satisfying career.

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Topics: incoming, Real Talk

Build Your Dental Dream Home

Through ADA Practice Transitions, I work with many dentists who are looking to buy a dental practice. While it is tempting to search for the “perfect practice,” I ask dentists to keep an open mind and find a practice with a great foundation – one that you can transform into your very own dental dream home.

Just like with homeownership, you have two basic choices when it comes to dental practice ownership. You can build it new, or you can buy an existing practice. The reality is that it is often financially advantageous to find a practice – a fixer-upper, if you will – that you can adapt to fit your vision.

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Topics: incoming, purchase a practice

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