When we ask anyone the mantra for success, one answer we always hear from every professor, mentor, senior or successful colleague is – read, read, read! Be updated, practice evidence based dentistry – just read! But what to read?! Are you someone who doesn’t like reading much? Are you someone who reads up before a confusing case, or reads a topic of your interest and think it is enough? Then this editor’s note is for you!

Every month, to get maximum benefit out of your reading, you need to read six types of articles. This is what I call the ‘360° Reading Concept’. So which articles are these?

1.Current Affairs in Healthcare

You need to walk with the times if you want to consistently be at the top of your game. If you are not up to date with the current diseases or trends in the field, you will be unaware of the impact it has on your practice. For example, if you do not know intricate details of how the corona virus stays on surfaces, you will not know for sure what infection protocol to follow and its financial implications on your work. Make a habit of reading top dental news at least once in a month.

2.Patient Oriented Material

Patient counselling is a big part of private practice. A big part of counselling is speaking in a language the patient understands. However educated your patient is, he may not understand terms we commonly use in dentistry like osseointegration or pulp extirpation. Patients understand better if instructions or tips are specific and in layman terms. Reading patient oriented material makes patient communication much easier. You can also share good material with them as handouts or on social media platforms.

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3.Clinically Oriented Content

Science is ever changing and so are techniques and concepts. A lot of what we read in dental schools is traditional, even historical! It forms a strong foundation, but practical dentistry can be a lot more different and advanced than that. Reading clinical tips and tricks can give you an idea of why your crown prosthesis keeps coming off or your tooth root keeps fracturing. This is probably the most loved article type – the twist here is to not read only those clinical topics that interest you, but also what you get stuck at. If you like esthetic dentistry, do not limit yourself to reading only ‘practical tips in veneer tooth preparation’. Be inclusive – if you keep committing perforations in your RCTs, read ‘how to prevent and treat root perforations’ too.

4.Challenging Case Reports

Reading case reports is the best way to learn from someone else’s experience, or even mistakes. If you dislike reading, this is the best article type to start with, because its typically like a short story! There will be many cases you face for the first time in your life, and if you have read a similar case done by someone else, you automatically know how to go about the case.

5.Dental Marketing

We may think of our practice as a service, but if you ask the experts, dentistry is more of a business. Every business needs strategy, planning and marketing. In today’s digital world, having no online presence can adversely affect your business. Even the classic word-of-mouth publicity can be improved with few marketing tricks. In a world of cut throat competition, only marketing can give you that edge over others. Reading this and you can apply it in your practice by making small changes.

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6.Research Oriented Theory

Without research oriented theory, work becomes just mechanical. Theory is important to appreciate the finer things in dentistry– you should know why you are doing what you are doing, or which material or drugs to use in which situation. Research helps you predict what may be the next big thing in your field and mould your practice accordingly, well in advance.For your ease, I am presenting to you, 6 articles in the same order as the 6 article types given above. This will give you the best idea of which 6 articles a dentist should read every month. Start your 360° Reading today!!! 

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