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What do you do when you suddenly can't do what you went to school for?

Feb. 1, 2017
A colleague is suddenly unable to practice for an unknown length of time due to an accident. You’re there to help, but for how long? Breakthrough Clinical’s Editorial Director Dr. Stacey Simmons is taking this as a wake-up call. How about you? Do you have disability insurance and other provisions in place as part of a disaster preparedness or emergency preparedness plan should something happen to you?
This article first appeared in the newsletter, DE's Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS. Subscribe here.A request comes out to help a friend in need, because he is suddenly unable to practice for an unknown length of time due to an accident. Of course you want to help, so you sign up with other colleagues to donate time to keep the practice running. A lot is on the line—figuring out how to make overhead, juggling to meet the patients’ needs, staff members are wondering if they are going to keep their jobs, and you hope that you don’t screw things up because you’re working in an unfamiliar environment. This recent event that happened to a colleague of mine has gotten me to thinking about emergency preparedness plans that I have in place should I become unable to practice. Toss into the mix various types of insurance plans (disability insurance, overhead disability, etc.), and it is a tad overwhelming.

With that said, I would encourage you to take action and make sure that you are covered should an accident happen to you. Dental Economics has a slew of articles available that discuss this topic, and our new newsletter—Principles of Practice Management, headed by DE’s superhero, Dr. Chris Salierno—will definitely focus on disability and disaster preparedness in future issues. Sign up for that newsletter if you haven’t already. In the meantime, I wish my colleague a speedy recovery.

This issue of Breakthrough Clinical has some good reads. Cracks, fractures, and broken teeth—we’ve all seen and dealt with them, but is what you’re doing really the right course of action? Reassure yourself with this article and the summary table that’s included. A couple of elusive case reports are also there to challenge you.

How healthy are your patients’ gums and hearts? Did you know that February is Heart Health and Gum Disease Awareness Month? A candid discussion can ensue between you and your patients when you tell them about the link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. The article by Dr. Robert Gregg can help guide you with the dialogue. This could be the key that motivates Mr. Jones to finally begin his periodontal therapy.

Last month’s pathology case generated a lot of interest, and I thank you all for your discussion and input. Take a look at the follow-up to that path case along with a new pathology case involving an 8-year-old female.

Here’s to continued success with your clinical endeavors! Cheers!

Stacey L. Simmons, DDS
Editorial Director, DE’s Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS

This article first appeared in the newsletter, DE's Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS. Subscribe here.

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Stacey L. Simmons, DDS, is in private practice in Hamilton, Montana. She is a graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry. Dr. Simmons is a guest lecturer at the University of Montana in the Anatomy and Physiology Department. She is the editorial director of PennWell’s clinical dental specialties newsletter, DE’s Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS, and a contributing author for DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and Dental Economics. Dr. Simmons can be reached at [email protected].

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