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Dental Career Track Pt. 1: Fundamental Advice for Dentists Early in Their Career

By Planet DDS
June 21, 2021

It can seem as though there are “thousands” of things to know. But the advice for dentists early in their career is to focus on those things that establish a strong foundation for your life in dentistry.

Your opportunities arise during those daily routines as a dentist. Keep that in mind and prepare (early in your career) to take advantage of it.

Keep it all in perspective

Eyes on veteran dentists can give the impression that you’re lagging behind in mastery. And while you are perhaps behind in experience – you are not behind in the drive to achieve said mastery.

That, in a nutshell, can define your next few years as a new dentist.

  • You’ve prepared yourself educationally
  • You’ve assimilated with a practice, an organization, or boldly launched a start-up
  • You’ve put yourself in a position to apply what you’ve been trained to deliver – a high standard of patient care.

What’s next?

Well, it’s a matter of what you do with what you’ve achieved thus far.

Lifelong fundamentals you can leverage now and at every phase of your dental career

Always be learning

You completed dental school in recent years. That makes the thought of being a “student” seem a bit burdensome perhaps.

Reality check: the learning never stops!

But you already knew that, right? Even so, staying in perpetual learning mode will set the pace for a stellar career in dentistry.

There’s always something new to learn. Scan dental journals, dental industry blogs and social media and you’re sure to get the picture – innovation is constant.

Those innovations keep you on your toes. If not, you’ll be left in-the-dust of those inclined otherwise.

Learners leverage every opportunity to make new and beneficial discoveries.

Accept that perfection isn’t the goal

If not, what IS the goal? Aim for doing your best – or if you prefer – “excellence.”

You’ll always have a standard or benchmark to meet in clinical procedures. The same applies to your leadership within the practice including team relationships and patient engagement.

Strive to do the best you can with what you have (and know). You’ll improve but only as you release yourself from the perfection-syndrome.

And make sure your personal benchmarks are the goal – not someone else’s.

Assemble a support network

Consider those you gather around you to have a mutual stake in your success. Growth happens in an environment of collective support.

  • Start with your dental practice team. Co-worker bonds form a solid network to help you (and them) through the day-to-day rigors of dentistry.
  • Build your clinical network. Develop a relationship with a good, dependable dental lab. And develop a go-to referral network who will be an extension of your standard of patient care.
  • Get a mentor. Build a list of colleagues you respect and admire. Have a short list of one to two whose counsel you routinely seek. And narrow the list to one that you have on “speed-dial” for those “anytime” moments.

Account for your financial future

The best time to start saving is…today! Financial savvy isn’t automatic – it requires intentional strategy.

Financial advisors can assist you early in your career. They can provide you guidance on those long term financial goals (e.g. retirement) and those ongoing short-term investments such as technology, CE, practice expanse, etc.

You’ll want to monitor your financial plan and stay aware of any income and portfolio gains or losses. Again, being intentional and seeking financial counsel will keep you on-track.

Achieve a healthy work-life balance

Career and professional goals are best when kept in the context of a well-managed life. Of course, there are seasons of when your dental career will demand higher levels of your energy.

That’s when your investment in the emotional core of your life will pay off. It’s a matter of keeping it in perspective across life’s general areas:

  • Work
  • Play (Hobbies, Interests, etc)
  • Relationships (Family, Friends, Colleagues, etc)
  • Spiritual and emotional core (Faith, Attitude, Generosity, etc)

No doubt, you’ll invest a substantial portion of each day’s time in your career and professional expertise as dentist. As earlier noted, it’s a matter of keeping your career path in perspective.

Start strong and you’ll more likely finish strong.

Keep your forward-thinking edge

As every stage of your dental career, Planet DDS is a leading technology provider among emerging and sustained dental innovations and trends now and in the future.

Planet DDS’s Denticon is the proven cloud-based Dental Practice Management Software in today’s market among solo private practices, private group practices, and top DSOs.

Contact us for more information about how Denticon can streamline your workflow systems and operational tasks that can help you stay productive at this stage of your career and beyond.