Continuing education options

From the day you graduate dental school, working as a dentist requires you to learn new information that can improve your ability to deliver quality care to your patients.

There are many ways to consume this information, from dental conferences to professional journals to collaborating with colleagues. Here are a few ideas to keep your CE on track.

ADA CERP recognition

The American Dental Association’s Continuing Education Recognition Program provides members with a system to locate and participate in quality continuing dental education programs. The ADA CERP uses a committee approach and a rigorous analysis process that judges 14 distinct aspects of a CE program. While it’s important to note that participation is voluntary, dental professionals can easily check if a particular CE course is recognized by looking for the ADA CERP logo.

Online coursework

While online dental courses are hardly a new development, the technology behind this approach to running courses improves every year. Courses are available through the ADA or via a wide variety of private or government organizations and universities. For example:

In-person continuing education

Dentists who prefer a traditional in-person environment can search available courses directly through the ADA website. Manufacturers of dental supplies often offer in-person courses in varying locations across the country. For example:

CE requirements by State Dental Board

Every state’s dental board has differing regulations on how many hours of CE are required to maintain your standing and how often your hours reset. Some states require annual CE hours and others are checked in 2- or 3-year intervals. The New Jersey State Dental Board requires 40 CE units every two years.

8 tips for selecting the right CE courses

Getting the most out of CE requires that you sign up for courses that will teach you the skills you need to be a more effective clinician and grow your practice. Here are some guidelines to follow when researching how best to fulfill your CE obligations:

  • Search out training on topics that are important to you
  • Take courses featuring research-based information
  • Test video/audio quality for online courses and webinars
  • Online courses should be user friendly
  • Quality CE courses provide supplementary material
  • Choose courses that offer modules in concise, bite-size lessons