For New Dentists
The Illinois State Dental Society Committee on the New Dentist was formed to advise the Society on issues related to newly practicing dentists. The committee is composed of eight ISDS members out of dental school less than ten years and two dental students who meet twice a year to share ideas and activities of the new dentist.
The mission of the Illinois State Dental Society New Dentist Committee is to serve as a mentor and professional resource for new dentists who have been out of dental school for 10 years or less, primarily through networking, seminars, and special events, in order to help the transition into the dental profession and encourage involvement in organized dentistry.
Resources for New Dentists:
For further information about your New Dentist membership, please contact: Danielle Williams, 800/475-4737.
Name: Tejpal Jadeja
Hometown: Woodridge, IL
Undergrad: Illinois State University
Dental School: Midwestern University, IL
Current Practice: Creative Smiles Dental Care, Champaign IL (Heartland Dental)
Dental Officer: Army National Guard
- Why dentistry?
Our patients present to us with a problem or a “chief complaint.” Our responsibility as dentists is to conceptualize a solution for these problems and navigate our patients to their goals with a combination of education and treatment. I find this ability extremely powerful. It requires a tremendous level of trust from our patients, which I find sacred. It also needs a lot of critical thinking, which I find stimulating. The end outcome is improved oral health for our patients, which I find rewarding.
- During the pandemic, what have you been doing outside of dentistry to stay healthy / well / sane?
Like the rest of the world, I spent the majority of my time connecting with my friends and family here and overseas with the help of the internet. While my wife deserves most of the credit, I did spend a large amount of time planning my wedding in India during the pandemic. Once, travel was possible, I was able to travel and get married amongst close friends and family.
- What is your “normal” day in the office?
While everyday looks different, a “normal” day involves a combination of treatments such as endo, restorative, denture or invisalign steps or consults, along with limited exams and surgery. We are a two doctor practice, with multiple hygienists, dental and business assistants requiring constant communication to direct the flow of the doctors and patients. We all work as one team, while having the most fun and a lot of coffee in the morning.
The focus of our practice is to provide the best experience and customer service to our patients. We really focus on the patient’s chief complaint to address patients' concerns. This allows for a positive start in developing a relationship with our patients, further allowing us to educate the patients and navigate them towards comprehensive care.
- What is your “ideal" day in the office?
My “ideal” day in the office is when I finish treatment for a patient, which either alleviates their pain, gives them significant function or confidence back to a degree that it improves their quality of life.
- In terms of CE, what have you found to be of most value in your career?
I used to initially not enjoy orthodontics with clear aligner therapy. However, after a series of continuing education and after having completed many more cases, I find it an extremely valuable skill, whether it be adjunctive orthodontics or comprehensive.
- What do you look forward to in the coming year - In dentistry? Outside of the dentistry and "the office”?
In the coming year, I am planning to relocate to the Chicago, suburbs to practice dentistry. I am looking forward to practicing in my community. Outside of the office, I am looking forward to be able to travel, whether it be with family or for conferences and to grow my skill level.
Name: Jessica Piepenbrink
Hometown: Geneseo, IL
Undergrad: Southern Illinois University
Dental School: Southern Illinois University
Residency: St. Louis University - Orthodontics
Hello! My name is Jessica Piepenbrink. I grew up in Geneseo— a rural town in northwest Illinois. I studied biomedical sciences and Spanish at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville, and in 2018 I earned my DMD from SIU as well. From there, I completed a residency in Orthodontics at Saint Louis University.
In December 2020, I moved back to my hometown and I joined the team at Quad City Orthodontics. Our offices serve patients in both Illinois and Iowa. I chose dentistry because I was inspired by incredible people. Many years ago, my dentist encouraged me to consider dentistry as a career. By shadowing him and his wife (an orthodontist), I was able to see firsthand the impact that a dentist can have on the community. I was moved by their compassion and inspired by their professionalism and skills. When I realized that a career in dentistry would be not only fulfilling and meaningful but also create an opportunity to have a positive impact on others, I knew I had found my calling! Fast forward about 15 years and I am now blessed to be able to practice with my longtime mentor.
For me, every day in the office is a little bit different, but we work hard and love what we do! Some days, Dr. Richards and I see patients together and other days we practice individually. We split our time between our two offices—one in Illinois and the other in Iowa. We provide orthodontic care for patients of all ages. Our treatment modalities vary based on individual patient needs but our focus is always on patient care of the highest quality. We are thrilled to practice with a top-notch team— we couldn’t do what we do without them. My ideal days at the office are two-doctor days where I am able to pick up pearls from my mentor— whether they are clinical, business-related, or about life in general.
During the height of the pandemic, I was in my final year of residency in St. Louis. Outside of clinic, I spent most of the time by myself. I was fortunate to live on the edge of Forest Park, and spent a lot of hours running the expansive trails. For as many hours as I was active, I also logged more Netflix hours than I care to admit!
In regards to CE- I would say that the lectures that I find the most value in are those that cover clinical scenarios that although are common, can be very challenging (for example, impacted teeth). The orthodontists’ toolbox is not small by any means, and I love getting to see multiple solutions to challenges we face every day.
I’m so excited for the next year! Our office has recently opened an in-house digital lab which is allowing us to 3D print dental models and brand our own aligners. I’m excited to offer a cost effective option for our patients to treat minor orthodontic concerns and relapse cases. Outside of the office, my husband and I are enjoying time with our 6 month old goldendoodle and looking forward to a hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park next month. As a personal goal, I will be training this fall to run my first marathon this upcoming January!
Name: David Markiewicz
Hometown: Mundelein, Illinois
Undergrad: Loyola University Chicago (Go Ramblers!)
Dental School: University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry Graduation year: 2019
Why dentistry? Sometimes, after a tough day, I find myself asking this exact question. On difficult days when a more traditional desk job suddenly seems attractive, it’s important I remember why I chose dentistry in the first place. As a dentist, I have the opportunity to be a surgeon, artist, technician, and business person all at the same time. Although juggling all those titles can be stressful, it is truly unique for our profession. Dentistry challenges me and allows me to explore all my interests while simultaneously helping patients and developing deep personal relationships.
During the pandemic, what have you been doing outside of dentistry to stay healthy/well/ sane?
In an effort to find something that could fill my extra time at home during the pandemic, I took up wood-working. I started making adirondack chairs, baggo boards, and keep-sake boxes among other projects. To my surprise, I realized that many of the skills, concepts, and techniques in wood-working mimic those in dentistry. As someone who enjoys creating and working with his hands, wood-working was the perfect pandemic hobby to undertake.
What is your ideal day in the office?
6:30am - Like most days, an ideal day in the office starts with a good cup of coffee.
7:00am - My first patient is also my only patient! Today is the day her front eight teeth are prepared and temporized. We’ve spent the past month perfecting her wax-up and treatment plan and today we are ready to begin her smile transformation. It’s rare, but I love days where my sole focus and attention can be on just one patient.
8:00am - I take a break to do some hygiene checks. My wife just happens to be getting her teeth cleaned today and she has no treatment.
10:00am - I check in with the front desk and they inform me there are no emergencies. In fact, the only phone call they got was from a patient who just wanted to let us know how much he loves our dental office.
1:00pm - My sole patient of the day is thrilled with her temporaries and the bite feels perfect without any adjustments necessary.
2:00pm - Like most days, an ideal day in the office ends with a good cup of coffee. I finish writing all my notes and get to leave early. I walk out of the office and into a sunny summer afternoon.
In terms of CE, what have you found to be the most value in your career?
When it comes to growth in dentistry, I’ve found that nothing provides more value than a generous mentor. Whenever I have a clinical or non-clinical question that I need help navigating, it is reassuring knowing my mentor is a phone call or text away. The best part? Mentors typically don’t charge by the hour.
In regards to more traditional CE, I could not more highly recommend Spear Education. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, Spear has a gorgeous campus that offers in-person workshops and seminars. Can’t make the trip? Their online platform has thousands of pre-recorded lectures on everything from anterior crown preparations to denture fabrication to creating a memorable new patient experience. Spear Education has helped me improve my clinical skills and
business acumen - it’s given me the confidence to take on larger and more challenging cases I otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
What do you look forward to in the coming year - in dentistry? Outside of dentistry?
IN DENTISTRY: In the coming year, I plan on taking a 6 week Digital Smile Design course. I am excited to learn how to incorporate and overlay 3D and 2D imaging to digitally plan complex restorative cases.
OUTSIDE OF DENTISTRY: I am a proud Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball fan. Seeing them make the Sweet Sixteen in the men’s basketball tournament was exciting, but then their head coach, Porter Moser, promptly left the team to become the coach at Oklahoma. Although I’m disappointed Moser left, I am very excited to watch my Ramblers this coming season with their new and talented coach, Drew Valentine - I think he will be great for the program moving forward!