How To Complete Continuing Education In Dentistry
Depending on where he or she is licensed to practice, dentists will be subject to different requirements for continuing education in dentistry. The courses are required to be completed before the license will be renewed. There is a wide variety of courses available.
In some places, not only do dentists have to take classes to stay current on the latest developments in their work, but the people who provide the instruction must also meet certain requirements. For example, it is standard in some regions for the course provider to have on hand for inspection the instructor’s resume, an outline of the course content, clearly stated educational objectives, a description of the teaching methods, and attendance records.
Just like the education undertaken prior to obtaining a licence, these after-licensure classes are intended to directly enhance the knowledge, skill, and competency of the dentist. While there may be a broad spectrum of course offerings that will satisfy the governing body’s specifications, usually there are a few areas that must be studied. Those include infection control, basic life support, and coverage of the related laws in the jurisdiction where the license was issued.
Sometimes the offerings are categorized into two areas: those that primarily benefit the licensee and those that pertain to the actual delivery of dental services to the patient. Topics that fall into the first category are things like human resource management, peer evaluation and case studies, leadership and team development, teaching methodology and curriculum development, and dental practice organization and management. Some licensing agencies will put a limit on the number of courses in this category that a licensee is allowed to take toward the total required course unit credits.
Courses that pertain to the actual delivery of dental services might focus primarily on topics such as preventive services, diagnostic protocols and procedures, and comprehensive treatment planning; patient nutrition; the role of dentistry in community health emergencies, disasters, and disaster recovery; and the selection, incorporation, and use of new technologies in dentistry.
Other common course topics in the dental services category include the evaluation, selection, and use of dental and sterilization instruments; anesthesia; legal requirements related to delegation of responsibility to employees and compliance with patient privacy; and cultural competency. Some course providers offer classes related to working with special needs populations; chemical dependency and substance abuse issues that affect a practitioner’s ability to provide appropriate patient care; and working with insurance companies and billing requirements.
In regions where continuing education is required for license renewal, the licensing authority very often maintains a list of courses it will accept as credit toward the requirement. Dentists can check with the licensing agency before taking a course to make sure that he or she will receive credit toward satisfying the requirement.
The requirements for continuing education in dentistry can be met with a good amount of work, but it’s also possible to combine the work with enjoyment. Often times, course providers will arrange their courses over a weekend at a higher end hotel or resort. This way, dentists have the possibility of socializing and networking while ensuring that he or she is up to date on the latest information.