The other day I read a funny quote off the internet that said something along these lines: Show your parents a little respect; they made it through school without Google. Do I wish Google had been around when I was in school? You better believe it. To say that we have more information at our fingertips than ever before would be an understatement, an understatement that becomes more and more obvious every single day.
When I think back to my days of being in dental school—and I have to think back quite a ways—a couple things really come to mind. One, I didn’t learn a darn thing in dental school that taught me how to run a business. And two, if I wanted to learn something new, it was going to be learned by doing (and often making a mistake) or by watching a more experienced dentist. On one hand, I wouldn’t change much about all the learning experiences I’ve had since I first began practicing in 1987, since they shaped me into who I am today. While on the other hand, I feel a twinge of envy for new grads fresh out of dental school. They are entering into a world of dentistry entirely unlike the one I encountered.
Since I graduated I’ve gone on to be a part of something truly special. I started Dentaltown.com, the world’s largest online dental community, and am the publisher of Dentaltown magazine. I have been fortunate in my life and my career to be able to do more than just practice dentistry. My passion has always been in connecting dentists to one another. Honestly, it started off as a pretty selfish endeavor. I had gone from being in dental school where I had constant access to instructors and peers, to sitting in my practice with questions every day and no place to turn for answers, no colleague to consult, and certainly no Google to save me.
Now dentists from all around the world can communicate instantly about everything under the sun, and especially everything under the operatory light. You could go on Dentaltown.com right now and post a question in the morning and have a dozen responses before lunch. While there is more information available than ever before for dentists, there’s always been one area of information that’s been lacking: new dentists. There are innumerable resources out there for advanced endo techniques, or encyclopedias’ worth of content comparing composites, and probably a million pages of practice management—but if you look around you’ll notice there’s really not much out there geared for the thousands of new dentists who enter into practice every year.
This is where Dr. Neha Garge has hit it out of the freaking park. When I first received a copy of “The New Dentist’s Guide to Real World Dentistry,” I was sitting in my office and I asked out loud (to no one and to everyone) “Where the heck was this book when I graduated?”
If there’s one thing I appreciate more than great dentistry, it’s dentists who work to better their profession. There are many out there who try, but only a rare handful who step up and deliver. After all, it’s hard enough just being a good dentist. Dr. Garge delivers, and more impressively, she delivers in a way no dentist has before.
What you’re going to find in “The New Dentist’s Guide to Real World Dentistry” are the practical, everyday tips, tools and kinds of information that I wish I had when I graduated dental school. This book is going to be a lifesaver for countless new grads out there. It is the kind of resource that contains a world of information, and also a resource that points new dentists to a thousand others. It’s empowerment in print.
If there is one thing Dr. Garge does better than understand the business of dentistry, it might very well be teaching. She has created more than just a book with this guide by including resources galore and an amazing section of worksheets. In addition to that, Dr. Garge has completely embraced the digital age by creating a companion website full of downloadable content, live forums, and much more. I wish more authors had this kind of foresight!
My favorite sections are her discussions on case selection and treatment planning, along with her prudent and frank advice on perfecting work flows. Bookmark those! Dr. Garge’s humble approach in explaining her points is as admirable as it is easy to understand. She is asking you to learn from her experience—sometimes from her mistakes—and always with the desire to help you be the best dentist you can be.
Sometimes the best advice for new dentists comes in the simplest forms. When I think about the success I’ve had in my career, and the success I’ve seen among the biggest names in dentistry, there are three key similarities. One, they never stop loving what they do. Two, they surround themselves with passionate, driven people. Three, they never miss an opportunity to learn. With “The New Dentist’s Guide to Real World Dentistry,” you’re getting the trifecta. You’re getting a terrific learning opportunity from cover to cover, written by someone who loves what she does, and who is passionate and driven to leave dentistry better than she found it.
Go on, get started on the “The New Dentist’s Guide to Real World Dentistry,” and keep this book close for the many years to come.
Howard Farran, DDS, MBA
Founder of Dentaltown.com, and CEO and publisher of Dentaltown magazine
Best-selling author of Uncomplicate Business: All It Takes Is People, Time, and Money