There Are Plenty Of Options For Earning Dental CE Credits

Becoming a dentist is hard work! Only dedicated professionals who invest a great deal of time and effort in educating themselves can reach the goal of practicing dentistry. It may seem ironic or irritating that further education is required throughout dentists’ professional careers. Continuing education is an important way to elevate the skills of all dentists, though, and it ensures that patients will always receive the best possible care.

The Necessity Of Continuing Education

Dentists are not the only professionals who are expected to maintain and refine their skills while they’re working. This practice is common for many highly-trained workers in order to ensure they can deliver the highest levels of service. In a health care field like dentistry, continuing education is particularly vital in order to see that patients receive top quality care and caregivers stay abreast of the latest developments in their field. Continuing education is a requirement for all dentists and dental hygienists, and many jurisdictions have CE requirements for dental assistants as well.

Standard Requirements (State Guidelines)

Navigating the requirements for dental CE credits can be a little confusing since regulations vary from state to state. Each state sets different guidelines for dental professionals, often including mandatory attention to specific issues like caring for HIV-positive patients, CPR, identifying domestic abuse or other points of particular interest. Each state sets a cycle for gathering CE credits in order to maintain a professional license. While the most common cycle is two years, some states use three years, one year, or even (in the case of South Dakota) five years. The number of hours required during each CE cycle varies from state to state, ranging from 12 to 20 hours a year for full dentists.

Methods For Gaining CE Credits

Thankfully, modern technology makes it a lot easier for dentists and other dental health care professionals to earn the credits they need. Continuing education has always been at the forefront of the educational fields devoted to distance learning, and that allows dentists and hygienists to fit their CE responsibilities into busy schedules without short-changing their patients. These options include classroom learning and attending seminars and also count towards earning CE credits.

The Balance Between Classroom And Online Training

Of course, most state licensing bodies want dentists to get well-rounded instruction in their continuing education. It was mentioned earlier that many states lay out particular areas of interest that dentists are required to study; in many states dentists are also limited in the amount of CE credits they can accumulate through online courses. This is a reasonable restriction, meant to ensure that dentists experience a wide range of training opportunities. It also encourages seminar attendance and other collaborative learning methods. In this way, continuing education requirements help to draw the dental profession together as a whole.

While some dentists chafe at the amount of time, it takes to earn their required CE credits, ultimately they know the system is a good one. With mandated requirements for professional growth and continual training, dentists stay on their toes and keep their skills at an extremely high level of expertise. This translates into better treatment and happier patients!

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