Build Your Dental Career The Way You Want With A Little Help From Others – usdentistsdirectory

One of the best things about being a dentist is that your career is what you want it to be. At first glance, I know a lot about many subjects. Dental school prepared me with just enough knowledge to get by and sent me on my way. From there it was up to me to look for opportunities and fill in the gaps. I’ve found many ways to do that over the past seven years. By attending professional seminars, using social platforms, and seeking advice from former classmates, I have learned a lot about myself and how I intend to shape the scope of my practice. More importantly, I have found that the path I choose and the success I achieve is within my control.

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dr. hale

Do you feel that you have only just received the necessary root canals? Do you want to do many? Awesome! Go out and learn more about them. There are so many people who can teach you more than you ever thought about endodontics. Even as a general dentist, you can become great at endodontics if you commit to learning more. Or, if you want to refer all of your endo instead, you can devote yourself to learning about other aspects of dentistry that you enjoy doing. The same goes for any specialty you love or loathe.

I am fascinated by sleep and obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep is so essential in our lives. There is a reason that every creature on this earth sleeps. Even animals that are in constant danger of predation spend a significant portion of their lives dormant. I can’t even count the number of hours of training I’ve put in on this subject over the years. Today I spent the morning learning about how vitamins B and D and your gut biome can affect your sleep from Stacia Gomanik, MD, a renowned neurologist with a particular interest in sleep.

dr. Gomanik knows an insane amount on the subject. The unique thing that I have learned is that there is more than one way to treat a patient with sleeping problems. As dentists, we can help our sleep patients by repositioning the lower jaw. She’s a doctor, so obviously her treatments are different. The great thing is that we can work together to give our patients the best possible care.

The rest of the morning ended with acclaimed author James Nestor talking about the art of nasal breathing. He’s a pretty big deal if you’ve never heard of his book “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.” Mr. Nestor explained that there is more to breathing. It’s not as simple as breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. How you accomplish this task can have quite profound health implications — this breathing and our evolution in modern society affect how we breathe and how our facial structures develop. Both topics have been incredibly engaging to me, and I’m excited to incorporate what I’ve learned into my primary care practice and my patients in dental sleep medicine.

Maybe sleep isn’t your thing, or maybe these speakers would put you to sleep (sorry, I couldn’t resist the joke.) But not every topic has to be your thing. The beauty of our profession is that we can focus on whatever we want. Besides taking a ton of CE, today’s technology makes it easier than ever to learn from your peers. There’s a Facebook group for just about everything and message boards like Dentaltown to bounce ideas around with other doctors

Some have tons of experience, others don’t. What’s important is that everyone has a unique perspective on the problem you want to solve. My personal favorite is a group chat with some classmates from dental school. While there is a lot of non-dental banter in our chat, we have a collection of brilliant doctors in this group. Some of us are general dentists, while others specialize in ortho, endo and oral surgery. If I’m having trouble with a tricky case, I can easily send an X-ray to my friends, ask for help, and usually have an answer within minutes.

I’ve heard some dentists say their class wasn’t as close as mine. If you didn’t have a close-knit group of classmates to lean on for support and guidance in your new profession, those peers could be found at your local dental association. Send a text, start a thread. Connecting with your peers is so important to learn. Mentoring relationships can also be great. The relationship with peers is incredible because they are often going through the same learning curve as you right now.

Dental school is a great foundation, but it should be seen as the beginning of your learning journey, not the end. It is not the culmination of your learning process. We must continue to improve ourselves, because our patients deserve the best possible care. The opportunities for advancement are limitless, and the support from your own dental community is hopeful. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to see a doctor who hasn’t committed to lifelong learning. So get out there and connect with your peers. You can help each other become excellent dentists. And if you want to get in touch with me, you can contact me on LinkedIn at

dr. Jonathan Hale is the owner and dentist at Hale Family Dentistry and Fort Wayne Sleep Solutions. He received his doctorate in dental surgery from Indiana University School of Dentistry and began his dental career in Florida before returning to his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Indiana Dental Association, Isaac Knapp District Dental Society, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and guest blogger at the ADA New Dentist Now Blog. He is currently studying the master’s program to become a Diplomate at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. Jonathan Hale by visiting his website at: or

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