For dentists, networking can be an invaluable skill and habit that eases and expedites their career at every step of the way. But it’s not always a priority in the busy day-to-day life of a practicing dental professional. It’s important for dentists to realize just how impactful networking in dentistry can be in terms of bringing opportunities and immense value to dentists and their dental practices.

Here are five reasons why networking is incredibly valuable in dentistry.

Networking early on can help young dentists establish themselves and find work.

From as early as dental school and onto residency and general practice, it’s essential to make an effort to connect with everyone — classmates, professors, co-residents, dentists and other professionals around the office. Networking done early on in your career can lead to job referrals, invaluable advice and mentorship and open new doors down the road.

It’s a way to “pay it forward” to other dental professionals.

Many people enjoy the feeling of giving back. One meaningful way to give back to both the community and the industry is by networking and connecting with younger dentists. Networking can be an asset to both parties and can provide established dentists with an opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of dental professionals.

It can make practice transitions a lot easier.

If you’re winding down your dental career and are ready to retire, networking within the dental community can make the transition much smoother. Over time, you will get to know and trust others who could possibly take over your practice. By networking throughout your career and connecting with dentists in your area, you can ensure a reliable, trustworthy and qualified dental professional steps in when it’s time for you to retire.

Filling open vacancies will become a much smoother, faster process.

Before the pandemic, the dental community included many dentists with long tenures. Now, many practice owners fear their practice won’t be able to find qualified dentists and will have to slim down the number of patient appointments as a result. “Even before the pandemic, dental team members were in short supply, and the educational requirements for these positions could be part of the reason,” says the American Dental Association. Because of dentists’ lengthy academic journey and the impact of the pandemic on dental school admissions, dental practice owners may find it increasingly challenging to find associate dentists, hygienists, administrators and more.

By networking throughout your career, you can put yourself and your practice in a much better situation when filling open positions. Interacting with other established dentists, dental students, residents and administrators at dental schools will help you develop a hiring pipeline and help ease the burden and stress that comes with recruiting.

Having a dental community can provide emotional support throughout your career.

Many dentists appreciate the sense of community they receive from being a part of organizations such as the American Dental Association and the New York State Dental Association. Networking provides a community where dentists can learn from one another, give and receive support and form friendships professionally and personally.

The value of networking has become all the more evident during the pandemic, as dentists faced unprecedented challenges and sought advice and camaraderie from others undergoing the same difficulties.

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