As a practicing dentist you stand on the shoulders of giants of the profession.  Years of trial and error have been rewarded with huge technological advances in dental care.  You have relied on the experience of other professionals to advance your practice. By using  knowledge skillfully obtained by your predecessors you have built a successful dental practice. Without that knowledge base you would be doomed to repeat the same mistakes others have made over the years.

When you encounter a disabling illness or severe injury from an accident, you will be shocked by the effect it will have on your practice of dentistry.  The personal challenges you experience will also be large component of the anxiety and stress that follow. The poor decisions made following such events are not surprising . These early and hasty decisions can lead to irreversible financial and personal loss.

Make no mistake, you are not the first dentist to encounter the loss and emotions associated with an illness or injury.  It may seem that you are all alone and you may have never heard of another dentist in a similar circumstances.  Use this knowledge to you advantage. Other dentists have gone through these dark days before you. Your situation may be unique , but its similarities to others will be strikingly the same as those encountered by the dentists in the past.

Once you have time to catch your breath, sit back and think. How bad are you hurt or how sick are you? Evaluate your condition and seek out the best care. Early on you will be required to make some very important decisions. Hopefully you have a written practice continuity plan/MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT.  These documents will save you a considerable amount of stress.   DENTAL MUTUAL-AID AGREEMENTS.

Use the time that follows to seek out real help. Practical assistance will come from others who have experience disabling events. You should talk with you spouse, staff, and friends; but they will be drawing on limited realistic experience.


  1. Start with the Support Groups sponsored by your hospital. These diagnosis specific groups have proven extremely effective and will work for you.
  2. Call your dental peers and talk. They may not have experienced your exact circumstances, but they do run dental practices and can relate to your situation well. They may know of other dentists who have faced disabling injuries or illnesses.
  3. Contact your state/local dental society. Some have established programs to help dentists in need assistance when ill or injured.
  4. Reach out to any dental specialist organization you belong to. They may prove to be a valuable resource for encouragement and help.
  5. Your family and faith should not be overlooked and be continuously involved in your rehabilitation and recovery.
  6. You have already stumbled upon this website, so go ahead and contact the AADD and ADA and ask for advice. We will gladly walk with you on the road to survival.
  7. Your disability insurance company can be a source of reassurance, but understand they will have their own separate priorities.

Be prepared for adversity.   Use the attached video for ideas to adapt and survive. We know the power of TED talks and they are timely and relevant. Start your journey with following the advice from others who have experienced adversity/disability. Use their experience to gain strength.

If you are facing an illness or recovering from an accident, see our recommendations on survival and success.  Disabling events are challenging and use the lessons learned by others to overcome the difficult times ahead.  The earlier you start following a plan the better. Use the steps we suggest to make your own plan.  TEN STEPS TO SURVIVE DISABILITY.  We will be there to help and support your efforts.






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