If you’re fresh out of dental school, you might be deciding whether to start your own practice or look for an established clinic to join their ranks. While this is a big move that you could carefully consider, there are a few tips that every new dentist should keep in mind no matter which path they opt for. Here is what you should know.
Understand that patients might not trust you right away
First of all, you should understand that patients might not be willing to trust you straight away. This is especially true if you start your own clinic. When people see a young person, they might not be confident in their skills and might look for someone more experienced. In these cases, it’s crucial that you show them that you have all the knowledge necessary to keep them safe and satisfied. You will have to work hard to attract clients, so using a good marketing strategy will be essential.
Develop interpersonal communication skills
A big part of getting patients on your side is well-developed communication skills. You need to listen to what they are telling you and pay attention to how they’re saying it. Moreover, you cannot overlook body language. All of this should help you understand them better and realize what kind of help they need. You have to be polite, kind, and approachable in order for them to trust you. If you learn some interesting details about them, you can jot these down so that you remember to ask about them next time.
Work on your confidence
It can be difficult at first to be confident as there is no one supervising you or checking to see if you’ve made any mistakes. However, you need to believe in yourself and trust that you’ve learned all the best practices during your education. As long as you think about your patients’ best interests and keep working on your skills, your confidence will surely begin to increase.
Keep proper records
In addition to being confident and approachable, it’s also vital that you take proper notes. Make sure you put plenty of effort into documenting every treatment a patient receives. This will not only make your job easier in the future, as you will know exactly what you did, but it can also protect you in case any patients are unsatisfied and try to sue you.
Take care of your equipment
To be able to provide your patients with excellent care, you also need top-notch equipment. Look into whether buying or renting tools would work best for you. Another thing you cannot overlook in terms of equipment is proper care. You want all your dental handpieces maintained regularly and repaired immediately. Once a patient walks in and sees everything neat and tidy, they are more likely to put their trust in you.
Get to know your coworkers
Being a successful dentist is not all about your patients. You want to pay attention to your coworkers as well. If you’re starting out on your own, you should hire people that are friendly, approachable, and easy to get along with. In case you’re joining an already established clinic, it’s vital that you develop a good relationship with them. They will either be welcoming your patients and taking their information or helping you directly so it’s good to show them respect to have every day go smoothly.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you have a good relationship with your coworkers, it will be much easier to ask for help when you need it – and rest assured, you will need it at some point. Don’t be afraid of reaching out either to colleagues or other dentists if you’re unclear on something or need assistance. This is not a bad thing and it can allow you to grow as a person and as a professional.
Never stop learning
Finally, it’s crucial to remember that you should never stop learning. You need to always be on the lookout for seminars, courses, books, and other materials that can help you perfect your skills. No matter how hard you try, you will not be perfect once you finish school. So, keep evolving to be able to attract and retain clients.
As a new dentist, you still have plenty to learn. From developing your communication skills to taking care of your equipment, there are various aspects to cover. However, don’t let this affect your confidence but work to be the best dentist you can be.