Practice Management |3 min read

Finding Your Compass in Dentistry

Tiffany Dalton, MAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

Gaining direction in your work

Dentistry is a vast and ever-growing industry with a wide variety of jobs and careers:

  • Dentist
  • Hygienist
  • Dental assistant
  • Front office administrator
  • Office managers
  • Lab specialist
  • Equipment representative
  • Software technicians
  • Consultants
  • Coaches

And the list goes on.

There is no doubt that dentistry is one of the most rewarding industries available to the workforce. Not only do we get to help patients through many walks of life on their journey to overall oral health, but we get to educate our patients and their families on how they can better care for themselves and each other.

We literally, figuratively, and emotionally get to create smiles on a daily basis!

Yet we still find ourselves in a staffing shortage crisis, and sadly some of us who found a home in dentistry before the pandemic are getting burned out, questioning our career choice, and in some very difficult situations, leaving the profession altogether.

  • So how do we get back to loving our jobs again?
  • How can we love the work we do and see the rewards that our careers bring?
  • How do we move from having a ‘job’ to building a profession that leads to the blessing of finding your life’s true passion?


Reason is our mind’s way of thinking. It’s how we understand and form a judgment. Reason is our natural ability to form logic and is our RATIONAL MOTIVE TO ACT!

Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm. Loving the work you do creates a positive feedback loop that creates productivity. It is the emotion that fuels our DESIRE TO ACT!

Together, Reason and Passion are like the rudder and sails of your ship. If either is broken, you will toss and drift or be held at a standstill. Both must be functioning in unison to get to the desired destination.

Grit is the COURAGE to show the STRENGTH of your character and the will to persist after setbacks. Grit is the ability to have a growth mindset by showing resilience and perseverance to achieve challenging and meaningful goals.

Grit is built on four pillars:

  • Interest: You need to have an interest in what you are doing. Find the PASSION Points
  • Practice: Apply what is learned repeatedly in order to improve proficiency. Practice makes perfect!
  • Purpose: The REASON for which something is done. This is key to sustaining Interest and Practice!
  • Hope: The expectation and desire for something to happen. It’s what you hold on to when things get tough!

Having some directional clarity on what motivates you and energizes the spark that fuels your fire creates truly meaningful work, resulting in a happier day-to-day lifestyle.

When you are lucky enough to find work that is truly meaningful, show your GRIT to pursue it! If you have not quite found the work you love, then seek it with REASON and PASSION! “Work is Love made visible.” –Kahlil Gibran.

Meet the Author

Tiffany Dalton, MAADOM

Tiffany Dalton, MAADOM is the Practice Administrator for Murdock Family Dentistry in Billings, MT and has been with her team since 2011. She is also the Founder and Chapter President for the Yellowstone Valley, MT AADOM Chapter… Opens in a new window to AADOM’s website… .

In 2020, Tiffany was nominated for Practice Administrator of the Year and was awarded the prestigious Practice Administrator of Distinction Award… Opens in a new window to AADOM’s website….

She most recently achieved her Mastership (MAADOM) and is on track to complete her Diplomate distinction (DAADOM) in 2022. Tiffany has loved growing in her role in the practice setting and enjoys helping her patients through their oral health journey.

She has a true passion for dentistry and strives in helping others create & implement the tools they need for personal and professional growth. It is her goal to always be an inspiration to others.

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