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Tips For Graduates (From Real Dental Professionals)

Posted February 17, 2016

Tonya Lanthier, RDH

dental-dentist-RDH-Hygiene-hygienist-dental graduation-hygiene graduation Stepping outside the comfort zone of college life to knock on the door of a new career can feel daunting. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘experience itself is the best teacher’, so despite extensive preparation, study, and courage, the uncertainty that accompanies a dive into the dental field can feel like a heavy load in those final days before graduation.

One of the many things that makes the DentalPost.net community so great is that we’re all ready and waiting to help a fellow dental professional succeed and thrive. We asked you to share your wisdom for new dental school graduates, and the results were inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging!

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Be open to every opportunity that comes your way. You don’t have to ACCEPT each one, but be open to it because you never know what doors may open up. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t find your dream job, or ANY job, right away. Gain as much experience as possible and eventually you will get where you want to go. Patience is key! –LaKisha Blackley
  • Get involved with your professional association and be an active member. It’s a great way to network and stay current with the latest trends, technologies, and community outreach initiatives. –Alison Doruff-Stahl
  • Stay focused and determined! – Kristy Dee
  • Jobs are easy to come by, but careers are harder! You’ve worked hard to get where you are and if you continue to put forth that work ethic you’ll thrive as a hygienist. Once you’ve found an office that’s a fit for you and them, stay put! Like I said, it’s easy to find a job, it’s hard work to have a career! Don’t follow the money, but instead follow your ethics and happiness! –Vanessa Justin Jones
  • Practice by the golden rule! Be the upbeat and trustworthy hygienist patients (and coworkers) feel excited to come in to see. –Symone Kirsch
  • Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism even after school; it can help you learn and grow to be a better dental provider. –Kate Shieldsy
  • Take it one day at a time! Treat each patient with respect and kindness, no matter what. Everything learned in school will come together as you gain experience in the real world. –Nena Casillas
  • Don’t be afraid of your boss (dentist). Talk to them and learn from them. They have so much to offer if you just ask. They know you’re fresh out of school, let them mold you into the great hygienist you can and will be! –Brittany Farmer Langford
  • Love what you do and do what you love. Make every mouth your Picasso: do your best work. –Ethel Hagans
  • Network! –Samantha Wagner
  • Connect with your patients on a personal level; treat every patient like you want your family treated. Be real and practical, and good things will happen! –Roslynn Richard Sieta
  • Create your online profile and take our assessments on DentalPost –Tonya Lanthier, RDH & CEO DentalPost

To all the new graduates out there: go boldly in the direction of your dreams! And welcome to the wonderful, meaningful, and rewarding world of dentistry.


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