KDA Today

KDA Today

For Immediate Release

Date: Aug 12th, 2013
Contact: By Lindsey Lonneman Willoughby, DMD, KDA New Dentist Committee Chair
Phone: 800-292-1855
Email: info@kyda.org

Thoughts from a New Dentist: the Top Three Reasons that I am Involved with Organized Dentistry

When I was asked to write this quick piece, my rough draft was a list. I love lists, and I bet you do too, so I left it as such. You might have a list of reasons that you don’t want to be involved in organized dentistry: You don’t have time, or space in your inbox, or you don’t need it. Well, hear me out, and talk to other people who are involved. You might just reconsider. 

I know you can’t hand the suspense. So here you go:

Number One: Relationships
I remember thinking how much more in common I had with my college friends than my high school friends. And then I got to dental school. There I was, surrounded by all of these intelligent, accomplished, anxiety-riddled people who were just like me. Upon graduation, I’ve found that I can continue these relationships with my classmates, but it’s difficult because we’ve all gone our separate ways. With a local dental society, especially a New Dentist Group, I can continue to build relationships with the types of people who understand what I am working with on a day-to-day basis.

Number Two: Be a Part of Something Bigger
Transitioning well from Reason Number One, I think it’s a privilege to be a member of a national organization, one that has existed long before me and will, hopefully, persevere long after I am gone. I also think it’s our responsibility (as the next generation of dentists) to ensure the existence of said organization.

Number Three: Don’t be Ignorant and/or Self-Absorbed
It’s amazing to me how much new graduates don’t want to be bothered with ADA policies or political actions. I might be running an awesome practice, flying solo, but somewhere there is someone fighting for the reimbursement rates that fund my paycheck. Someone is regulating the equipment and products that I use. Someone is guaranteeing that there will be another dentist in 30 years to take my place. I cannot, and you should not, pretend that you could do this without the American Dental Association or the Kentucky Dental Association. And if you acknowledge that as truth, how can you not support them?

You may still need to compose your own list, but I hope this gets you started. As dentists, we are all together in the battle against oral disease. Organized dentistry is simply the tangible representation of that. I hope to see you at a meeting soon, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts about being a small part of the big picture.

Lindsey Lonneman Willoughby, DMD
UK College of Dentistry Class of 2013
New Dentist Committee Chair

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