Historically, dentistry has been described as a “cottage industry.” The majority of dentists practice as solo practitioners. We work with a variety of staff members - hygienists, assistants, and front-desk personnel. But we rarely are exposed to fellow dentists.
Five years ago, we started the “Give Kids A Smile Program” in St. Louis. It turned out to be something very special. Not only were we delivering top quality, comprehensive dentistry to children who otherwise had no access to dental care, but we were able to work side-by-side with a group of dentists (and other dental and nondental personnel). What a special feeling! How much fun is that!
We finally had the opportunity to do what we love to do, but in an environment surrounded by a large group of other people doing the same thing. Physicians are on staff at hospitals. They are constantly consulting with each other regarding patient care. Dentists do get to interact with our specialists, but it is so much fun to work together as a 250-member team on each of our St. Louis Give Kids A Smile Clinics.
The Internet has become a wonderful place for dentists to interact. If you are into e-mail discussion groups, the Internet Dental Forum at www.internetdentalforum.org and ACEsthetics Forum (formerly the Genr8tNext group) at www.ACEsthetics.com are great groups to which to subscribe. You may get intimidated a little bit by the volume of e-mails you will receive, but you will learn how to handle your “delete” key in no time. You are never alone out there in any of these groups. These are great places to get clinical opinions, find discussions of new products, or just plain hang out with your fellow dentists.
Dental Web logs or blogs are becoming more and more popular. These are places where you can type in short “essays” on just about anything dental. Visit these sites and see if this is something you are interested in:
Podcasts are now becoming more popular. On these sites, you can find and listen to or download “interviews” on various dental topics. These are great to add to your iPod or MP3 player and take on long drives, flights, or just lying around on the beach or by the pool. Visit these sites for more information:
A potpourri of Web sites
While I have your attention, let’s have some real fun. Here is a potpourri of different sites for you to explore. Enjoy!
- www.paulsadowski.com/birthday.asp - Fun details about your birth date.
- www.fatfingers.co.uk - Interesting site dealing with misspelled items on auction sites.
- www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,7488,00.asp -Top sites for 2006.
- www.youtube.com - You’ve heard about it … go visit it!
- www.ohdontforget.com - Send yourself text-message reminders.
- www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com/index.asp - Only in America can this guy make a living!
- www.yousendit.com - A way to send a file off of your computer to someone else.
- www.surprise.com - Get help finding gifts for others.
- health.allrefer.com - A very thorough health-reference site.
- www.overlawyered.com - Interesting site on our legal system.
- www.allthetests.com - This is a site filled with all sorts of tests and quizzes.
- www.bestplaces.net - Instant demographics.
- www.dpreview.com - Shopping for a digital camera? Here is a great review site.
- travel.airwise.com/arrivals - This site is great for tracking flights … you will know when to leave to go pick up someone at the airport.
- www.20q.net - This is an amazing site - play 20 questions with a computer!
Enjoy this new online atmosphere of camaraderie. You have all sorts of opportunities in 2007 to talk with, e-mail, and work with your fellow practitioners. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season, and I wish you all a super 2007!
Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FAGD, FACD, FICD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He is one of the co-founders of the Give Kids A Smile Program. Contact him by e-mail at email@example.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or by fax at (314) 567-9047.