If you’ve spent the last few years training to be a dentist and you’ve finally reached the point where you’re graduating and making your way into the world of work, this can be an inspiring time. However, it can also be very daunting since this will be one of the first times you’ll be directly responsible for your patients.
While you’ll be expected to take things slowly and surely, over the last few decades, we’ve been able to observe what young dentists do while they’re out in the real world, as well as note what mistakes they’ve made. Here are the five most common mistakes young and inexperienced dentists make, along with everything you need to know to avoid them.
Not Focusing on Training
Just because you’ve finished dental school, that doesn’t mean you need to stop learning. In fact, this is where you should be learning more than ever before. When you join a practice, make sure you’re training up to its standards and doing whatever you can to improve your skills and be the best you can be. Knowledge is everything in the modern age, especially when it comes to offering customer service and working in the ever-changing healthcare industry.
Young dentists should expand their knowledge by attending dental conferences and seminars where they can learn about new techniques or simply listen to their more experienced colleagues talking about their work. Reading books, journals, and magazines and websites such as Dentistry Today is also a good idea for useful education. Young dentists who want more can pursue specialty certification and other advanced degrees as well.
Not Being Kind to Patients
During your training as a dentist, and definitely throughout your career, you’re going to come across people who haven’t looked after their mouths. Annoyingly, they could have avoided this poor oral health with proper care.
It’s not your place as a dentist to be overly critical, though. Of course, you’ll want to advise and educate your patients about how these problems could have been prevented and try to help them live a better, healthier life. But there also are multiple ways you can approach this topic. Choose wisely.
For example, you can tell them that their teeth will now require a lot more care when it comes to brushing and flossing. You can also inform them why they developed such poor oral health in the first place. But you need to do so in a friendly way that does not criticize or offend them, which would discourage them from returning to your office for any follow-up care.
Not Referring to a Specialist
Specialists exist for a reason. While you may think you want to make a good impression on your patients and seem like you can handle everything, this simply isn’t true, and it’s important to make sure you can admit that.
When you see patients who need their third molars extracted, for instance, you should refer them to an oral surgeon if removal is beyond your capabilities. When patients have a big overbite or issues involving crowding, you should refer them to an orthodontist.
“A good business practice is to build up a network of trusted specialists where you all work together to create the best and most effective patient experience, so start early, and this will benefit you quickly in your career,” shares Tina Harper, a health expert for Elite Assignment Help and State of Writing.
Not Looking Around for the Best Opportunities
You’re a dentist, but that doesn’t mean you should accept any job offer that comes your way. When you graduate and start looking for a job, make sure you’re researching what’s out there and what kind of opportunities would best suit you as an individual.
You’ll be far more valuable to a company and far happier with a lot more job satisfaction if you’re able to work in a company or practice you enjoy. With that in mind, be proactive in looking for this place to give you the best start to your career. When applying for a job, make sure you use a high-quality resume that gets results.
Not Following Up with Patients
It’s understandable you’re going to be busy with your patients, and there’s a lot on your plate. But in the healthcare industry, it’s all about making sure you have a trusting and worthwhile relationship with your patients.
If your patients don’t trust you, they’re going to go elsewhere, and slowly but surely, you’re going to end up out of a job. If you say you’re going to follow up with a patient, make sure you actually do it.
One of the best ways of following up is through phone calls. When patients leave your office, wait for three to four days and then call them to see if everything is okay. You can ask your clients what’s the best way to reach them and then use that means of communication to follow up. Following up once a few days after the initial appointment and then right before the next scheduled visit is enough.
There are many common mistakes you’ll need to be aware of as you enter the world of work as a dentist. Be mindful of what you’re doing and your actions, and always be mindful of how you can plan to improve yourself as a professional, and you’ll be on the right path to success.