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Finding the tech that works for you: Advice for new dentists

Oct. 29, 2022
As you peruse articles and interact with your peers, remember—what works for someone else might not work for you.

I really love a new piece of technology. Whether it’s the best new computing system equipped to handle all my personal and professional needs or the latest iteration of the scanner systems we use in our offices, it’s all exciting to me.

I love to wander the aisles of dental shows trying out everything I see—and some of my earliest childhood memories are of the Greater New York Dental Meeting, following my dad (and now boss!) around as he wandered through the aisles.

When you're a new dentist and a new associate, every office you interview at is going to have a different workflow. With this comes different options for technology; some of these may be familiar from school or may be something you read about on the internet or in a dental social media group. As you peruse articles and interact with your peers, remember—what works for someone else might not work for you.

Related reading

Easy ways to welcome a new dentist into your practice
3 tips for making difficult technology decisions for your dental practice

Think about what specific areas of dentistry interest you and what technology supports these interests. I’ve had dentists ask me what they should look for in a new office when it comes to tech, and I always recommend learning as much as you can about as many different systems as you can, especially when you’re an associate.

It’s likely (especially for all of you near major metro areas) that you’ll be working in more than one office. Use this time to get familiar with what works for you, and learn and ask questions about things that are new and interesting.

The amount of incredible continuing education available now, both remotely and in person, is a great place to start. Some states still allow you to take a certain amount of these credits online toward your requirements for renewing your dental license. I would take this opportunity to study cases done in different ways, with different systems, by different clinicians, before committing to time off from work to spend in hands-on training.

Last, is a lack of technology a deal breaker for signing a contract to work in an office you’re interested in? I would take it into consideration, but I would also tell you to look at the big picture. Is there room for growth? Is this a practice you’re considering buying into (or buying the owner out of) in the future? Is your boss open to investing in new technology and willing to contribute toward courses for you to learn it?

We are happy to help our associates grow—after all, it contributes positively to the forward progress of our profession, with the hope that the associates will pay this forward in the form of mentorship as they transition through the stages of their career.

Never stop learning and exploring new opportunities—shiny or otherwise!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the October 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

About the Author

Amrita R. Patel, DDS, FICD, FPFA

Amrita R. Patel, DDS, FICD, FPFA, graduated from NYU College of Dentistry in 2011 and completed her residency at the Nassau University Medical Center. She is a general dentist in private practice with her father, endodontist Dr. Rohit Z. Patel, in Westchester County, New York. She chaired the New York State Dental Association New Dentist Committee and served as the new dentist representative on the ADA’s Council on Dental Benefit Plans for 2020-21. She is also among the recipients of the 2021 ADA 10 Under 10 Awards.

Updated June 27, 2022

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