How Dental Schools Develop Disillusioned Dentists... and how Dental Nachos can help!

by Victoria Harris Victoria Harris | Sep 5, 2023 1:59:34 PM

Deciding to attend dental school is one of the biggest, most life-changing decisions you can make. Students take out tens of thousands of dollars to become a dentist, and for most, this will be the career for the rest of their lives.   

However, does dental school develop dream dentists? Are these new grads, fresh out of D4, ready to tackle real-world dentistry?  

Most successful dentists would say no – but why?


To put it simply, dental school is not a dental practice. While school may be shoving the biological width rule down your throat to prevent crown lengthening, in reality, dentists violate this quite often (remember to use zirconia!) 

As Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster, once said: “To become proficient at anything, you need to learn the basic principles. To become an expert, you need to learn when to violate those principles.”                   


While this is one clinical disconnect between dental school and dentistry, the majority of the disillusionment falls on the people & business side of dentistry: patient communication, office management & systems, and dental insurance.

Don’t you wish your dental school offered business management and human relation courses?

If so, Dental Nachos's Nacho On Demand CE platform is a wish come true – we have dental continuing education courses AND bonus content on all of the above and more! Let’s take a look at some tips & tricks from our courses that can help. 

Patient Communication 

Patient communication is an essential part of dentistry. How would you feel if someone stuck their fingers in your mouth but didn’t tell you why, or what’s going on? Or worse — they did tell you, but they're basically speaking an alien language! Patients want to be kept in the loop. It’s their teeth, their money, and their time – and they’re choosing to spend it on you.

One core element of patient communication is to use warm and welcoming language to connect with patients, like the terminology used in Patient Communication Strategies for NEW DENTIST GRADS!  with Paul “Dr. Nacho” Goodman.



These simple switches Paul suggests reduces anxiety, builds trust, and creates a welcoming environment for patients! In another video on our platform, 60 Minutes to 60K in Production, Paul demonstrates his patient communication skills, which leads him to a $60K full mouth rehab case. 

So, dentists, remember to ditch the jargon and speak human. Your patients will thank you, and they might even start looking forward to their appointments. Well...let's not push it, but at least they won't be running for the hills!


Office + Team Management & Systems 

Imagine a patient walking into a dental office where the receptionist can't find their file, the hygienist doesn't know what treatment they're in for, and you, the dentist... well, you're still trying to figure out who the patient is. It's like watching a sitcom where everyone's running around like headless chickens. Not the best experience, right?

Now, imagine a patient walking into an office where everyone knows their name, appointment time, and the reason for the visit. That is the magic of having systems and team communication in your dental practice. The experience that builds patient retention - keeps patients coming back! 

One simple way to start improving office communication and developing systems is to have staff meetings, as experienced front-office manager Laura Hatch explains in our course, The Dirty Dozen: 12 Challenges Every Dental Office Faces. 



Team meetings are like the mouthwash of communication, freshening up dialogue and flushing out issues before they become painful cavities. They ensure everyone is on the same page - because who wants to be the one dentist who still thinks root canals are medieval torture methods? Plus, they keep us focused on what matters most - the patients. Because behind every set of teeth is a person who probably doesn't love being in a dental chair as much as we do.

Dental Insurance 

One of the greatest hurdles of a practicing dentist is dental insurance. Dealing with spoiled guac PPOs and their fees, explaining to patients why you can't take their insurance or why their insurance doesn't cover the cost of the full procedure. 

In this excerpt from Dr. Stephanie Mapp's Insurance 101, she compares the numbers and rates of different dental insurances.


Dental insurance is a complex topic, so being able to access detailed resources that can demystify insurance is key to becoming a successful, and less disillusioned dentist. 

Does dental school cover all of that? No? Then imagine a dental school that's got your back, minus the all-nighters and never-ending exams. Our Nacho On-Demand CE platform is like your favorite college professor who made learning feel like a breeze. Our dental continuing education courses tackle those tough topics they conveniently skipped over in dental school - dental insurance, team communication & office systems, and patient communication.  Thankfully, Dental Nachos is here to help us navigate these murky waters with a dash of humor and a whole lot of know-how. Now, isn't that something to flash your pearly whites about?


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