Transitioning from In-School to In-Practice: 6 Tips for New Dentists

Posted by Amy Carbone on Feb 15, 2021 9:00:00 AM

You have made it through dental school and are about to enter the real-world of dentistry. 

Now, you will face many options, such as determining if joining an existing practice or starting your own is an appropriate direction for your new dental career. You will also begin putting into action all the techniques you learned for patient care and excellent dentistry practice. All of this is part of moving from school to the real world. 

Read on for a few tips to make this entire process easier as you transition from in-school to in-practice:


1.) Business Acumen

What does it mean to run your own business? If you decide this is the direction you want to take once graduating, you need to brush up on at least a little of everything involved in running your own business. Even if you opt to join an existing office and partner with other dentists, understanding the ins and outs of running a business is important. 

Either way, you should know what it takes to run a successful business. To do this, consider hiring a CPA, insurance advisor, or an attorney to guide you through this all-important time in your dental career.

2.) Accounting Mentorship

In addition to general business knowledge, it’s also wise to have a clear understanding of accounting as it relates to running a dental practice. Do this by finding a mentor, a business partner, a certified accountant (CPA), or hiring someone to help you organize and oversee your bookkeeping. 

Without a profitable business, you will be unable to practice dentistry and treat the patients you want to treat. This is why it’s important to take on the task personally of understanding your dental practice’s accounting in order to ensure your practice is not overextending itself in any way and is maintaining a good balance between what is coming in and going out.

3.) Marketing Your Business

To create a profitable business, one that allows you to live out your career goal, you need patients. To reach them, you may need to understand how to market. Marketing can include various methods and/or platforms like video marketing, local advertising, email, social media and more. 

4.) Networking is Important

Building your network may help you build your practice. This can include joining organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce or networking with other dental professionals. Either way, networking will aid you in building your practice from the ground up. Speaking to and building relationships with other dentists who have been there, done that, may be extremely helpful as you begin your new career. 

If you aren’t sure there are other dentists in your area who would like to network with you, just ask around. It’s a small world after all and there are most certainly some dental professionals who would welcome the networking opportunity.

5.) Establish Balance

It’s a difficult process to transition from in-school life to in-practice life. You have likely heard some horror stories about dentists who have purchased practices, committed their blood, sweat and tears, and burnt out after a couple of years only to leave their career for something else. 

While that does happen in some rare cases, the more preparation you put into launching your dental career, the more likely you are to succeed in your endeavor. Part of this preparation is setting personal boundaries to create balance in your life, so you don’t overdo things. It’s important to create healthy, manageable boundaries for yourself as it relates to prepping for and running your new dental practice.

6.) Take Advantage of Available Resources

Finally, as you move from dental student to practicing dentist, it’s wise to take advantage of any available resources you have to educate yourself on the transition and make your life easier in the process. 

Learn More about Life after Dental School

It’s challenging to transition from dental school to a career. You can help ease the transition by learning more about what you can expect after graduation. 

Download your free copy of our post-dental school survival guide today to discover some of what is on your horizon.

Learn More about Life after Dental School

Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

Insurance products are offered through Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice. Treloar & Heisel, LLC. and its divisions do not offer tax or accounting advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.


Topics: Dental Practice Business Tips, Dental School Tips