volume 87 number 2

March - April 2008
Pucker Up - The Effects of Sour Candy on Your Patients' Oral Health

Anatomical Variations of the Lingual mandibular Canals and Foramina

Taken to Heart: The 2008 MDA President's Interview

Can I Afford to Retire?

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Report from the Committee on the New Dentist

Personal Renewal and Using Your Resources

Julie Clouse, D.D.S.*

The New Dentist Committee’s duty is to identify the needs and concerns of dentists who have graduated in the last ten years. We would like to hear from you regarding your concerns and how the MDA may be of help.

Committee Members:
Dr. Thomas Smyth, Chair
Mr. Bradley Anderson
Dr. Mark Bierma
Dr. Chris Carlson
Dr. Julie Clouse
Dr. Ryan Clouse
Dr. Robert Gardetto, Board Liaison
Ms. Julee Kingsley
Dr. Woody Kwon
Dr. Erick Nolting
Dr. Eileen Patterson
Dr. Kimberly Rauk
Dr. Kristine Riewer
Dr. Joni Richmond
Dr. Eric Skatvold
Dr. Joe Trowbridge
Dr. Philip Wadkins
Dr. Robert Wottreng

This issue of Northwest Dentistry gives us a cover story on the principles of the green philosophy in our practices and our daily lives. I would like to extend that to include taking care of ourselves in a healthy way.
Here’s why:

My husband Ryan and I celebrated a not-so-happy holiday season these past few months. It began when a childhood friend died in a car accident on a snowy Maine road. He leaves a wife, a toddler, and a newborn to live without him. My uncle succumbed to a lifetime of drug addiction that had shadowed him since his days in Vietnam. And another long-time friend suffered a massive stroke while getting his young children ready for a weekday morning. His days now focus on physical rehabilitation and relearning the most basic activities of daily living so that in time he can join his family at home and return to work.

Now I would say that normally I deal with stress in a pretty rational and healthy manner. But the compilation of three tragedies in that many weeks had made me angry and upset at even the smallest disturbances in my daily routine. I was short-tempered at both family and my team members. I was lucky enough to find a kind ear in an MDA staff member who reminded me that the Association provides its members with a powerful resource to help them manage their well-being. I was directed to MDA member services online, and from there took advantage of the Dentist Wellness Program, a collaborative effort among the MDA, the Sand Creek Employee Assistance Program, and Dentists Concerned for Dentists. I spent several sessions visiting Sand Creek’s website, reading about loss, grief, and stress management. The information on the website is invaluable. I was able to visit on my own schedule and choose the nature and content of my investigations.

At a recent New Dentist Committee meeting, our MDA staff person, Dawn Jensen, noted that the Dentist Wellness Program has been underutilized. We need to continue to get the word out about this valuable, perhaps invaluable, member service.

The content contained on the Sand Creek website is vast and varied. Not only is there information about health and well-being, but on automotive repair, pet care, and vacation planning! If you are considering relocating, there is a geographic database with statistics on housing, crime, schools, and health care. There is tax preparation software, and many legal documents that are available for downloading. In the savings center, there are coupons available for printing and on-line use at major retailers throughout the nation.

The Sand Creek website can be used on a daily basis to stay informed on all aspects of healthy living. For those who are more comfortable speaking to live humans, the Dental Wellness Program also offers phone support to address needs and make referrals when needed. I would encourage any and all MDA members to visit the member services area of the Association’s website and take advantage of the wealth of information contained within the Wellness Program. This benefit can be shared with family members and is sure to provide interesting browsing at least, and the most vital kind of helping hand if that is needed.

My husband and I returned last night from a week-long trip to Mexico with our extended families. We were delighted to find that our chest freezer had malfunctioned and left us with a soupy mess of epic proportion. I think I’ll head over to the Sand Creek website and review appliance maintenance and print a coupon or two for frozen foods…

Here is what I have learned from my journey of the past few months. Use your resources for all of life’s events - routine or life-changing, surprises or meticulously planned. There are resources available to help you and your family better manage any situation that should arise.

Calendar of Events

April 10, 2008: Ideas Exchange Seminar, 5:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Cost is $30.00. The event will be held at the Saint Paul Hotel, and is limited to the first 80 new dentists. This ADA award-winning seminar is open to all dentists who graduated between 1997- 2007. Enjoy a fabulous dinner and learn from your peers about the successes and mistakes of practicing dentistry. This informal session will discuss four topics, with 15 minutes of discussion per table and 10 minutes of sharing as a group. Discussion topics this year:

• Staffing: Team Building
• Materials and Techniques: What’s Working for You?
• Technology
• Work/Life Balance as a New Dentist

This is a great opportunity to meet up with classmates and discuss issues within your practice. Sign up for this helpful session as part of your 2008 Star of the North Meeting registration. Ideas exchange code is P823.

April 10–12, 2008: Minnesota Dental Association Star of the North Meeting. We encourage everyone to attend this year’s new format at the Saint Paul River Centre. Did you know that the Star of the North Meeting, with more than 250 booths, has one of the largest exhibit floors in the Upper Midwest? I invite you to bring your staff, shop the exhibit floor, and avail yourself of a tremendous educational opportunity.

June 26-28, 2008: The American Dental Association’s New Dentist Conference will be held in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Join new dentists from all over the country while spending time in the Big Easy. Ten CE credits can be earned during the course of the conference. For more information about the ADA New Dentist Conference, please visit the ADA website.

*Dr. Clouse is a general dentist in private practice in New Brighton, Minnesota. E-mail is masterjulz@hotmail.com.

Copyright 2008. Minnesota Dental Association

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