So, you've finally graduated and have been let loose into the big bad world. This only the very beginning of your dental career and as time progresses you will find that you will have a plethora of information about courses, materials and equipment throw at you from every direction.
It can become very easy to get lost in it all. But fear not, if you have found yourself in this situation already, we at the Dental Student Network are here to help steer and direct you in the best way possible.
Loupes are an absolute necessity for any dentist who wants to get better at their craft. Not only will it allow you to see everything in great detail but it will massively help with posture.
As a newbie in the world of dentistry you have to protect your body- your back, eyes and your hands become your greatest assets and if one or all of these are not functioning well then it could cut your career short.
Loupes can be an expensive buy but when you total up the number of years you could potentially spend in your dental career and the cost of the pair of loupes- it ultimately pays for itself.
Also, in the first few years of qualifying, there will be countless offered and deals available. It would be highly recommended to invest at this time and most of the companies like optident and orascroptic offer finance options or monthly instalments to make the cost more manageable.
2: A good camera.
A camera may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about all the purchases you can make with your first few pay checks - but a camera is a wise investment for any dentist who wants to get better at dentistry.
Why? We hear you ask.
Because photos are an excellent method of recording your work. It is also a fantastic visual aid for patients - to show them what you can achieve and even more so it is a brilliant tool to help you critique and improve on your work.
There are lot of amazing cameras on the market and although DSLR's are often the camera of choice there is no hard and fast rule of which one you should buy. Do your research properly and get one within your budget. It doesn't even need to be brand new. Buying one second hand but in good condition is just as favourable.
Once you have a camera you can keep a portfolio of all your work and see how your clinical skills advance.
3: A mentor/ network of dental colleagues.
No man ( or woman!) is an island. Meaning that you cannot do life on your own.
We were never conditioned to function that way. Yet once you graduate and start your first job, your mates from dental school may be scattered all over the country or you may simply loose touch, but even if this should happen it is extremely important that you make a concious effort to have a network of colleagues and friends in the profession that you can lean on for advice and support.
Because trust us you will need it!
Dentistry can be stressful and from time to time you will need to talk to someone about how you navigate life a new dentist.
"Questions like how much money do I need to start putting money away each month for my taxes? And which accountant do you use? What do you think about this dental material or how would you approach this challenging case? "
These are valid questions that you will not necessarily have the answer to but someone more expereined in the profession may do.
If you happen to come across a dentist you've grown to respect and admire then don't be afraid to ask them if they can mentor you and help provide guidance.
So ask, ask and ask some more!
4: Motivation & dedication.
Last but not least - you have to be motivated.
If you were able to survive dental school then you already know a thing or too about motivation. But it doesn't stop there. Sorry to disappoint you.
You will find that the individuals who's careers really excel are those who put the work and effort in. They attend courses, they network with others in the profession and they generally just try and improve everyday.
It is the only way you will ever get better.
We are in no way suggesting that you eat, sleep and drink dentistry - but coasting along will only get you so far. Sometimes you will need to push a little harder.
Did you like this blog post? Then share it with your friends and colleagues.
Until next time, keep smiling.