What I Learned by Asking 17,000 Dental Professionals About Their Struggles

What I Learned by Asking 17,000 Dental Professionals About Their Struggles

When things start going wrong, many people tend to become closed off and feel like they’re the only ones struggling. During those times, it’s hard to remember that everyone experiences some type of difficulty in their lives. Seeing other people’s Facebook feeds full of only their highlights doesn’t help. We can easily assume everyone but us is living an incredible life when all we see is vacation photos and perfectly framed still shots.

This can be especially challenging in the dental industry. Many dental professionals feel like they should have everything under control. We have great, professional jobs. We should have everything together, right? But what happens when the only people smiling after coming to our office are our patients?

I know dental professionals struggle just like everyone else—and sometimes even more. That’s why I asked the 17,000+ members of the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group to let the community know how they were struggling.

When I first asked the question, the answers blew me away. As the conversations continued and people responded to each other, I learned so many things and was even prouder to lead such an amazing group of people in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook community. Here are my biggest takeaways from those conversations.

No matter what you are struggling with, other people are, too.

When we go through hardships, it can be really easy to feel isolated and alone in our challenges. Everyone else’s lives might seem perfect from our viewpoint, and we feel like they’ll never be able to relate to us and our problems. However, that simply isn’t the case.

Overwhelmingly, the professionals in the Nifty Thrifty Facebook community said they were experiencing the exact same struggles as each other. Not a single person’s struggles were one-of-a-kind.

No matter how tough it feels, know you’re not alone. More people than you can imagine are either going through the same problem right now or have in the past.

People need community.

Sometimes it can feel like a burden to ask for help, even if we know other people have been through the same problems. But one of my biggest takeaways was that people need and want community. Time after time, people were comforted to know they were not alone. They felt supported and encouraged by the community. And they felt more equipped to make it through their struggles.

We crave community. We need it. To be connected with positive and helpful people who understand you and what you’re going through is powerful.

The dental industry is full of generous people.

We get so busy in dentistry that we can sometimes overlook how generous the people around us are if we ask for help. When people posted their needs, so many others jumped in to help.

Other professionals offered advice, connections, and even just words of encouragement. Experts offered private consulting for free. Companies offered discounts or even free products or services to give people a hand up.

Help is sometimes just one question away.

Although this industry is incredibly generous, we need to remember that others can’t read our minds. We need to be a squeaky wheel and raise our hand to ask for help. We need to find a safe place to ask for help, like the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group.

People really do want to help you succeed, but they can’t if they don’t know you need help. If you’re in a group, post your question or need. If the topic is sensitive, you could also ask the group leader to post it anonymously on your behalf.

There is no reason to keep your burdens on your shoulders.

With so much help from generous people in the dental industry, there is no doubt in my mind that we don’t have to go through our struggles alone. The dental industry is a huge community full of people who have experienced the same problems, who want to help, and who are actually able to help. Don’t carry your burdens alone. Find the support we all crave and need.

If you are not a member of a thriving group of dental professionals where you can get help and support, join in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook community. You’ll find me and thousands of other dental professionals there ready to support you.

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