to GPR or not to GPR (or AEGD)

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dentalinthemental

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So I know this topic has been discussed many-a-time, but currently am in peak decision making period and am having a tough time knowing what I want to do and would love some advice from experienced docs and new grads alike. I'm currently top quartile of my class in D3, but don't really find any of the specialities interesting and am interested on doing general dentistry. I really enjoy the surgical aspect of general dentistry (exts, implants, alveolo), as well as cosmetic dentistry, but have limited exposure in school. I know great CE exists, but I've found that I'm a huge hands-on type of learner and the idea of doing an implant on a patient after sitting in a hotel banquet hall for a weekend really scares me, and some hands-on CE can run tens of thousands of dollars. I don't have any family in dentistry and the professors at my school are always pro-residencies but I feel their opinions are biased so it's hard to get a real image of what's the best choice.
I have minimal debt (<50K) luckily, so delaying income is not my big worry. My only thing is that I'm so tired of school and am exhausted at the idea of having to suck up to professors if I don't need to and am just going to end up working after graduating.
For those that either worked after school, or pursued a residency (whether it was a positive experience or not): what would you suggest the next step would be for me? Start hustling and making connections with professors to get into a killer GPR, or stop caring so much and just get a job post-grad?
 

allDAT

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Maintain good grades and continue networking. Apply to good programs and see what happens next year.

Plenty of time to work. And you have little debt so that’s great.

I applied to GPRs and after interviewing withdrew from match because I didn’t interview anywhere that I thought would be good fit for me beyond the program’s location (all CA).
 

dentalinthemental

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Maintain good grades and continue networking. Apply to good programs and see what happens next year.

Plenty of time to work. And you have little debt so that’s great.

I applied to GPRs and after interviewing withdrew from match because I didn’t interview anywhere that I thought would be good fit for me beyond the program’s location (all CA).
Did you apply this cycle or have you started working yet? If so... what was your experience with working/using CE instead of attending a GPR
 

allDAT

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Did you apply this cycle or have you started working yet? If so... what was your experience with working/using CE instead of attending a GPR

I’m a 2015 grad.

With regards to CE, it just depends on the type of offices you find yourself working in; the type of dentistry done there; the fees they charge for that work; and the owner’s tolerance for you to “learn” using their patients.

When you own, time away from your practice is expensive, it’s not just the cost of the course - it’s the lost production, the travel and time away from your family.
 

princesspeach

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This decision comes down to the quality of the residency vs the quality of your potential employer. I’m a relatively recent grad (2019), and only just now am starting to do some of the more expensive/advanced CE. I went to work after dental school because I wasn’t interested in GP residencies, and I learned how to do advanced procedures while at work. I’ve mentored newer hire dentists who did GPR/AEGD, and those who came straight from school and I didn’t notice any real difference among them. They all needed the same amount of hand holding on crown preps, endo, surgery, practice management (just as I did when I started). No one was truly ”better” with or without a residency, the only difference was the willingness to learn something outside their comfort zone.
With that being said, I think the best thing for you to do is to have an idea in your head of what dentistry YOU want to do. Then question these programs and potential employers on what types of dentistry they do, the volume that’s being done, how much of this volume will YOU get to do, and how much true mentoring you are going to receive on each of these things. But I also understand that it’s also hard to make a decision on these things without real world context, because you’ll only have perspective from a dental student’s standpoint. No matter what you do though, in the meantime it’s super important to maintain your connections, develop good contacts with professors and clinic faculty because you never know if you ever want to do more advanced training in the future, which may need good recommendations from faculty.
I was lucky because I had a work mentor teach me complex tx planning, implants, complex surgical ext, molar RCTs, extensive crown/bridge in a really busy office that just had tons of volume to do. I learned everything on the job, and was confident in doing all those things by myself within a couple months.
Feel free to shoot me a DM if you have questions!
 
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dentalinthemental

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This decision comes down to the quality of the residency vs the quality of your potential employer. I’m a relatively recent grad (2019), and only just now am starting to do some of the more expensive/advanced CE. I went to work after dental school because I wasn’t interested in GP residencies, and I learned how to do advanced procedures while at work. I’ve mentored newer hire dentists who did GPR/AEGD, and those who came straight from school and I didn’t notice any real difference among them. They all needed the same amount of hand holding on crown preps, endo, surgery, practice management (just as I did when I started). No one was truly ”better” with or without a residency, the only difference was the willingness to learn something outside their comfort zone.
With that being said, I think the best thing for you to do is to have an idea in your head of what dentistry YOU want to do. Then question these programs and potential employers on what types of dentistry they do, the volume that’s being done, how much of this volume will YOU get to do, and how much true mentoring you are going to receive on each of these things. But I also understand that it’s also hard to make a decision on these things without real world context, because you’ll only have perspective from a dental student’s standpoint. No matter what you do though, in the meantime it’s super important to maintain your connections, develop good contacts with professors and clinic faculty because you never know if you ever want to do more advanced training in the future, which may need good recommendations from faculty.
I was lucky because I had a work mentor teach me complex tx planning, implants, complex surgical ext, molar RCTs, extensive crown/bridge in a really busy office that just had tons of volume to do. I learned everything on the job, and was confident in doing all those things by myself within a couple months.
Feel free to shoot me a DM if you have questions!
This was a very helpful response and exactly what I was looking for! It's interesting that you didn't notice a difference between the GPR/non-GPR grads- I would think there would be one but then again, I'm a dental student so my knowledge is limited at best. I guess for me it's tough to know what kind of dentistry I'd like to do, when school provides so little opportunity to seek that out (veryyy limited to no esthetic cases, bridges, endo experience, etc). I always hear about the importance of mentorship but at any given DSO marketing pitch they advertise it so it's tough to know where the real opportunities lie. Did you work for a private practice after graduating?
 

pma96

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I think it really depends on many factors whether it's worth to do an AEGD/GPR or not. First one being, the quality of the program and what will you be doing. If it's going to be an extra year of dental school where you'll be doing mainly bread and butter dentistry, I don't think it's worth it because you can gain speed and confidence in private practice. The value of a residency is in training you to perform advanced procedures (implants, veneers, molar endo, third molar extractions, ortho, perio surgery, sedation, etc.) that you didn't learn in dental school, and for which you'd have to pay thousands of dollars in CE. In a residency, you're learning in a supportive environment under someone else's license, so you can learn a lot in a year without worrying about being by yourself if you encounter a complication. Some may argue you can learn the same if you find a good mentor in private practice, however that's easier said than done. It's an ideal situation in an ideal world and rare nowadays.

Another factor is your age and debt, life situation. If you're young, relatively low debt, no family to support yet, I think that's an ideal situation to invest one more year in your learning and broadening your skills. Doing an AEGD also gives you more negotiating power in some cases when looking for a job.

Make a list of what procedures you'd like to learn in a residency. Then, do your research and make a list of programs that will teach you those. When it's closer to the application/interview cycle, go and visit the programs (really helps make you stand out). Finally, keep your grades up and keep grinding so you have the freedom to choose what to do when you finally decide. You never know where life takes you and your plans may be completely different in a few months, for me it was that way. Having a good rank gives you the opportunity to decide.

Good luck!
 
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jake89

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This decision comes down to the quality of the residency vs the quality of your potential employer. I’m a relatively recent grad (2019), and only just now am starting to do some of the more expensive/advanced CE. I went to work after dental school because I wasn’t interested in GP residencies, and I learned how to do advanced procedures while at work. I’ve mentored newer hire dentists who did GPR/AEGD, and those who came straight from school and I didn’t notice any real difference among them. They all needed the same amount of hand holding on crown preps, endo, surgery, practice management (just as I did when I started). No one was truly ”better” with or without a residency, the only difference was the willingness to learn something outside their comfort zone.
With that being said, I think the best thing for you to do is to have an idea in your head of what dentistry YOU want to do. Then question these programs and potential employers on what types of dentistry they do, the volume that’s being done, how much of this volume will YOU get to do, and how much true mentoring you are going to receive on each of these things. But I also understand that it’s also hard to make a decision on these things without real world context, because you’ll only have perspective from a dental student’s standpoint. No matter what you do though, in the meantime it’s super important to maintain your connections, develop good contacts with professors and clinic faculty because you never know if you ever want to do more advanced training in the future, which may need good recommendations from faculty.
I was lucky because I had a work mentor teach me complex tx planning, implants, complex surgical ext, molar RCTs, extensive crown/bridge in a really busy office that just had tons of volume to do. I learned everything on the job, and was confident in doing all those things by myself within a couple months.
Feel free to shoot me a DM if you have questions!
How did the mentor have time to teach you those things while they have their own patients?
 
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