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: Kevin Luan
Hometown: London, England
Dental School: King’s College London
Grad Year: 2014
Residency: Periodontics at University of Pennsylvania (Grad Year 2017)
Why Dentistry? I first pursued a career in music majoring in piano and minor violin with the Royal Schools of Music, London. The manual dexterity skills gained from years of training along with my interests in health sciences seemed to fit will in a career in dentistry. However, during dental school, I participated on a volunteer dental mission with Global Brigades to Ghana where I developed a passion towards volunteering to surgical dentistry.
During the pandemic? At the start of the pandemic, like everyone else in dentistry, I found myself unable to go to work and spending more time (than I ever had) at home. With restaurants closed, I started cooking more elaborate meals at home (thank you New York Times Cooking). Unfortunately, this led to some changes in my physical health which forced me to enroll in some online fitness classes and more frequent walks with my puppy. Once I was able to get vaccinated myself with the help of ISDS and UI Health, I started volunteering regularly with some of my colleagues and students at UIC College of Dentistry at one of the mass vaccine sites (UIC Credit Union 1 Arena) where we are giving up to 1,000 vaccines per day! Also, I managed to accumulate more online CE than I could ever ask for in a year…
In terms of CE, what have you found to be of most value in your career? I have enjoyed a plethora of CE related to periodontal surgeries and implant-related procedures as well as dental education. However, the most meaningful CE I completed was the COVID-19 vaccine training I received through ISDS and UIC College of Dentistry. The ability to help deliver vaccines to the vulnerable and help prevent the spread of COVID is fulfilling and meaningful on a personal level. During the days I’ve volunteered at the vaccine site, I’ve seen tears and gratitude of individuals who are looking forward to seeing their family members and beginning a return to “normal”.
What do you look forward to in the coming year – in dentistry? Outside of the dentistry and “the office”? I am looking forward to in-person conferences that will not involve staring at a screen for hours at a time. Interacting with colleagues and friends in-person and learning for master clinicians and educators. Outside of dentistry, I can not wait to travel back to London to see family and friends again!
Name: Jackie Hassenplug
-Home Town : Bloomingdale, IL
-Undergrad: Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!!)
-Dental School: Midwestern University - IL 2021
2) Why Dentistry?
- As a child, I was in the dental chair every other week from 2nd grade to 7th grade going to various ortho, oral surgeon, or general dentist appointments. I learned to love my time in the offices I went to and really got to learn a lot about dentistry throughout my own treatment. In high school, once I started to think about college, I realized I really love helping people through various volunteer efforts I participated in and knew that was something I wanted in a career. I also loved science and art. Dentistry truly encompasses all three of these aspects.
3) During the pandemic, what have you been doing outside of dentistry to stay healthy/well/sane?
- Besides becoming obsessed with peloton workouts, my family and I spent a ton of time at our condo in Lake Delavan, WI enjoying the lake life and the change of scenery. We also have been spending tons of time playing and training our new Golden Retriever, Cooper!
4) What is your ideal day in the office?
- Well I guess we are about to find out! Graduating in May, I'm looking forward to learning so much more outside of dental school and learning my new schedule.
5) In terms of CE, what have you found to be of most value in your career?
- So far, I have really enjoyed Spear Education courses. I look forward to going to some in person classes with them in the future, but their online portal is great! They do a great job breaking things down to the basics and help you understand the why behind their lessons!
6) What do you look forward to in the coming year - in dentistry? Outside of dentistry and the office?
- In dentistry, I am looking forward to actually working! I can't wait to build a patient base that will hopefully last for generations. I also look forward to learning so much more my first year working. Is there a life outside of dentistry? Just kidding! I am looking forward to vacationing again post-covid as well as figuring out what life is like without school/studying.
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!