There are over 210,000 dentists currently practicing in the USA. The possibility of encountering a disabling illness during your dental career is 20-30%. These numbers are quite accurate and supported by very detailed insurance industry data. Do the math, you have a one in four chance of becoming disabled during your career. When you or someone you know encounters a severe illness or is badly injured, let them know that real help for dentists in need is available. WE ARE DENTISTS HELPING DENTISTS.
As a dentist you have a huge stress burden, add-on the uncertainty of a disabling illness and it’s like putting gasoline on a fire. We recognize the need for real support and help when you or a friend is faced with a severe injury or is ill. This is a huge problem for the dental profession and is overlooked continuously. Annually, there are close to 2000 dentists who become disabled due to illnesses and accidents in the USA alone. A high percentage of these disabilities are permanent and lead to early retirement.
One of the best sources of help is other dentists who have already survived their encounter with disaster. We are dentists ourselves, and definitely understand what you are going through. Use our experience and avoid making the mistakes that we made. Our goal is getting you back to work soon and allowing you to make a smooth transition to a new field if that is not possible. We value each dental professional and realize the dedication that each practitioner has. We strongly encourage each dentist to continue to contribute. It doesn’t matter how; whether its education, consulting, or volunteer efforts. We always will be dentists and want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Once you realize that you are still alive and have to do something, you will feel the need to start asking questions. Your family and friends will be a great source of support in these early days. Concentrate on getting better. Seek out second opinions and get the best medical team together that you can. Remember that you are the patient now and follow your physician’s recovery instructions. Work hard on rehabilitation and recovery. Now is the time to think only about SURVIVAL. Accept the gift of life, and be prepared to move on.
Shortly, your dental identity will begin to pressure you to take care of your dental practice. Your first instinct may be to contact the ADA. They do provide some limited support . We are vigorously working to enhance the assistance our professional organizations provide. Until that day arrives, we hope you will look at us as a valuable resource in your early efforts to survive. Contact us directly at disableddentists.org. We are ready to help and will offer kind and compassionate support in your time of need. Whether you have questions on practice transition,disability insurance, or networking; we are ready to help you make good decision relating to you dental practice. We welcome QUESTIONS FROM FAMILY MEMBERS.
Make sure you also consult the ADA website. They do list some resources and provide a list of links/suggestions. There is never too much information available. When considering transition, review the ARD (Association of Retiring Dentists) website at retiringdentists.com for additional ideas.
We hope you take advantage of our past experiences with injuries and illnesses. Dentists are special. They have dedicated their lives to a challenging and difficult profession. They have developed very strong bonds to their patients, staff, and practices. When faced with disability, it is often easy to make decisions in haste that are later regretted. The poor decisions made in the face of disability often lead to irreversible financial and personal loss. Be smart, and seek out your peers for advice and encouragement. SEE OUR TEN STEPS TO SURVIVE DISABILITY. TEN STEPS TO SURVIVE DISABILITY. WE HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE AND WILL KEEP YOU HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.