Two Out of Three Dentists Recommend Dental Careers

Majority of Dentists Seem Happy to Be Practicing Dentistry

Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, two out of three dentists reported that they would recommend a career in dentistry to their children or grandchildren.

Female dentists were far less likely to recommend a dental career than were their male counterparts. While only 28% of male respondents said they would not recommend dentistry, fully 55% of female respondents did.

While 36% of general dentists said they would advise against a dental career, only 7% of specialists felt the same way. This suggests specialists may be happier with their careers than general practitioners.

Here are some comments from dentists…

  • “It is a wonderful career where you can truly be the boss. What could be better?” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “I like the profession but dislike the business of dentistry.” (New York dentist)
  • “I don’t know who is earning all that money that I read about in various surveys, but it sure isn’t me.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Ask any physician. They’ll all admit we’ve picked the right profession.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I thinks the physical strain is too much. Disability comes fast.” (California dentist)
  • “It is a part of me.” (South Carolina periodontist)
  • “I wouldn’t want my children to have to experience the stress that I had to go though.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “Helping other people with their physical and psychological health is extremely rewarding.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I love the practice of dentistry, and my son is starting dental school this fall.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “It has been corrupted by the influence of dental insurance.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “It has turned out to be the best thing I could have done both personally and professionally.” (New York dentist)

Post your own comments or read the complete dental career survey results…

Whew! $15 Million Dental Malpractice Award in Washington

Oral Surgeon Plans to Appeal Jury’s Award

In a jury trial, Washington state’s Spokane County Superior Court awarded a stunning $14.8 million to a woman left disabled after a series of jaw operations. The defendant’s lawyer commented that it was the largest dental malpractice award he had seen in his 21 years of practice in the state.

Kimberly Kallestad, 29, originally injured her jaw while sledding. Botched operations left her jaw fused shut. She suffers from chronic pain, and her parents now take care of her.

Oral surgeon Dr. Patrick Collins has allegedly had similar problems with patients in the past. He is planning to appeal the verdict.

Read more

Dental Retirement Age? No Way, Say Dentists

Dentists veto mandatory dental retirement ageDentists shouldn’t have to retire just because they’ve reached a certain age, say doctors. This survey found only 1 dentist in 10 supporting a mandatory retirement age for dentists.

A mandatory dental retirement age was recently in the spotlight when the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of Germany’s law mandating retirement for dentists and firefighters past a certain age, finding it does not constitute age discrimination. [Read more]

Here are some thoughts from dentists:

  • Dental continuing education should be required. Patients know when a practitioner’s abilities are diminishing, as do dentists themselves. Liability concern should prevent dentists from procedures for which they no longer have the skills.” (Mississippi dentist)
  • “In Germany and in Europe, there is a mandatory retirement age for workers/employee, so why not for dentists? I do not think it has to do with competence, but rather with social economy and spot for young dentists to practice.” (California orthodontist)
  • “I am approaching my 76th birthday and 48th year in practice. I still am able to deliver superb dentistry including full-mouth and cosmetic dentistry cases, but I just see patients three days a week. To me, retirement is a nasty word.” (California prosthodontist)
  • “I am about to turn 70 this year, and I feel my skills are better than they have ever been. I take lots of continuing dental education and feel I know so much more about dentistry than most younger recent grads.” (New York dentist)
  • “A simple evaluation of current work is very easy to do today. Just have a dentist present pictures and radiographs of current work as a competency report.” (New York prosthodontist)
  • “There maybe should be some additional testing in those dentists over 75-80. We have one in our city that I believe is 88… His patients are not getting proper periodontal care and I’m concerned about the dentistry provided.” (California dentist)
  • “The doctor should know when it is time to hang it up.” (Texas pediatric dentist)
  • “If you can be US president in your 70’s, why not a dentist?”
  • “Not only do people’s skills vary, different aspects of dentistry demand different levels of skills. In addition to orthodontics, I practice dental sleep medicine (oral appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea). I could practice the latter until they take me out on a stretcher.” (Oregon braces dentist)
  • “We all know dentists that should have ‘retired’ at the age of 30! Some of us can go to 70 with no problems. It depends on the individual.” (Nevada dentist)
  • “Dumb idea. Who would make that decision — some governmental bureaucrat? Should there be a mandatory retirement from life itself, too?” (California dentist)
  • “The wealth of knowledge and experience an older dentist has would be a loss to our profession if he/she could not mentor a new associate in a clinical environment.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “Specialties vary. People vary. It’s insane to consider seriously.” (Colorado orthodontist)

Read more: Dentist Retirement: Dentists Say ‘No’ to Mandatory Retirement Age

Dentists with Sex Appeal: Hollywood’s New Obsession

Star dentists with sex appealThe entertainment world has been abuzz in the past week with news of not one but two stars soon to play sexy dentists.

Jennifer Aniston will appear in the upcoming movie Horrible Bosses, where she will play a sexually aggressive dentist who doesn’t show much respect for sexual harassment laws.

It’s said that the role will show a new side of Aniston, typically known for playing the “good girl.” Though the character will no doubt be randy, Aniston has denied rumors that she will appear topless in the movie.

On the small screen, John Stamos will join the cast of the hit TV show Glee next season. The musical series about a high school glee club has been this year’s breakout television hit.

Stamos – known both for playing Uncle Jesse on the classic show Full House and his marriage to supermodel Rebecca Romijn – will play the love interest of high school guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury.

This just might be good for dentistry; some celebrity appeal could increase interest in the profession. (Now, if only CSI creator Jerry Bruckheimer would launch a show about dentists…)

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 2

Dr  Harvey Silverman How many times have you heard a patient say, “Let me go home and think about it” or perhaps, “Let me talk to my husband (or wife) about it” after a cosmetic consultation? There are many excuses, or even hidden objections, causing patients to “hold-off” on proposed cosmetic dentistry.

The bottom line though is that this does not have to be the case. I know that from teaching dentists how to step up the cosmetic component of their practice for over 25 years.

So what is the best approach and how long does it take to expand the cosmetic component in your practice? At the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry we found that no matter where you practice the good news is that it does not take months to take your cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level.

It can happen in one day if you are willing to make a commitment to distinguishing the cosmetic component in your practice.

Even in today’s economy patients want to have a self-confident smile and to look/feel their best. In order to achieve this cosmetic expert status, you need to cultivate outstanding clinical skills. The good news is that it is easier to do that today than ever before with non-invasive/minimally invasive veneers.

See Figure 1 and 2 below. Simultaneously we must look at our work environment. You might as well do that today since your patients are doing that when they enter your dental practice every day.

Figure 1: This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment

Figure 1:

This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment by another dentist.  He is interested in knowing what can be done to enhance the final esthetics of his case.

Figure 2: After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7

Figure 2:

After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7, the patient can see exactly what the final outcome of the case will look like.  The patient is also considering tooth whitening prior to doing the in-office LifeLike Veneer™.

Step 1: Creating Self-awareness Through a Self-evaluation of Your Practice

Here’s a simple suggestion on how you can accomplish that. Walk out of the office for a moment. Okay now come back in and look around. What do you notice? Does anything you see in your reception area jump out at you?

Write down some notes on a piece of paper.

After doing that let’s step out of the office again – and come back in. Now this time I want you to look around the office with a different perspective, as if you are a patient. What does your office say about you as a cosmetic dentist? Is there anything in the reception area that informs, educates and motivates patients to learn how recent advances in cosmetic dentistry can enhance their smile? What silently provides your patients with increased confidence in your cosmetic dentistry skills?

Is there anything that you see that helps distinguish you as a skilled, talented cosmetic dentist?

I can go on and on but I think you get where I am going.

This exercise is something I have dentists do during our cosmetic dentistry Boot Camp program. The result is that the dentist and the entire team learn to think about the unspoken message your office is sending to your patients. This may seem obvious enough but when was the last time you sat down in your reception area and looked around – seeing the office from the eyes of a patient? When you do this you and your team will learn what needs to be done to build cosmetic awareness.

So what should your practice look like?

If you snap a few photos of your reception area (no more than 5) and send them in jpg format to my email address at, I will be happy to review them and provide you with a few complimentary suggestions on simple changes you might want to make.

This is a very important first step for you if you want to take your cosmetic practice to the next level and I’d like to help you accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:


About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.


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