Networking is a must for all professionals, including dentists. It can lead to strong personal and professional relationships that ease and expedite your career at every step of the way — and there are many more reasons networking is valuable! But how do you get started?

Here are four foolproof ways to network in dentistry.

Join local, state and national dental organizations.

For dentists, joining local, state and national organizations can help you stay informed of industry updates, anticipate potential changes in your dental practice and network with other professionals near and far. Well-known groups like the American Dental Association and the New York State Dental Association provide dentists with a community of dental professionals to connect with, give advice to and turn to for support.

Local dental organizations can also help you connect with nearby dentists. It’s always helpful to know other dentists, periodontists, orthodontists and oral surgeons in your area so you have a number of options when you need to refer patients out.

Connect with alumni groups.

Forming relationships while in dental school will help you throughout your career. The connections made during your academic years can continue to get stronger over the years if you join and participate in alumni groups. Also, reconnecting with former classmates can provide you with a fresh pool of employment and employee prospects, as well as the chance to learn and gain perspective on different aspects of the dental industry.

Joining alumni groups can offer other unique advantages if your alma mater provides professional resources and career services. These resources offer additional networking opportunities and can facilitate employment transitions if you’re considering changing practices.

Find a community on social media.

Social media can help you stay informed and up to date on all things dentistry-related — while networking with your global peers at the same time. Having connections to dental professionals around the world can give you a fresh outlook that helps you treat a diverse patient population better.

Social media networking can also open doors for research. By networking with researchers globally, you can collaborate on projects that require a global participant population. Find like-minded dental professionals and organizations by following popular hashtags like #DentalNews or #Dentistry.

Attend events and conferences.

As a dentist, attending local events and national conferences can help expand your network and knowledge of new technology, best treatment practices and more. In New York State, one of the don’t-miss annual events is the Greater New York Dental Meeting, which offers education, networking and volunteer opportunities.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to give out your business card and keep in touch with the other dental professionals in your growing network — you never know whose perspective you may benefit from down the line.

For more articles about research, industry news, risk management tips and more, visit the MLMIC Dental blog. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for frequent updates on the dental industry and professional liability.