To maintain a dental license in 49 US States, continuing education is a legal requirement. In addition, taking full advantage of professional development opportunities helps dental professionals learn new skills and technology to continue improving patient outcomes.
Continuing education doesn’t mean boring seminars or less-than-useful classes; it should be focused on improving and future-proofing your practice. Here's what you can consider before your next continuing education experience:
1. Continuing Education Requirements for Licensure by State
With the exception of Wyoming, every state has renewal requirements for dental licensing. Different states have different requirements in order to keep your license, so your home state will impact how you fulfill your continuing education requirements.
For example, Colorado is one of the least restrictive states, with continuing education and licensing renewal required every two years. It doesn't, however, have specific unit requirements for DDS, or DMD, RDH, or RDA.
All other states require continuing education in at least one of those areas. Since each state has different requirements, it's essential that you know the rules for furthering your education to keep your license valid and up-to-date. The ADA has an interactive map that can help you stay compliant.
If you haven't met your state's requirements for continuing education credits upon time for your license renewal, you won't be allowed to until you complete the coursework, which could put your practice in jeopardy. You can learn more from MyDentalCE about meeting requirements to avoid putting your license and practice at risk.
2. Choosing Providers for Continuing Education
Continuing education is only as good as the provider creating it, so ensure you’re learning from qualified, ADA-certified organizations that give quality instruction. The ADA’s eligibility requirements certify that these organizations provide accurate and reliable content. This gives you the opportunity to access a variety of trusted options, as some may better fit your budget or schedule.
3. Online vs In-Person Options for Dentist Professional Development
Traditionally, continuing education required dental professionals to gather in person; you can now access continuing education units online, in-person, or through hybrid (both online and in-person) offerings. These options make finding time to earn CEUs more convenient.
The benefits of online continuing education include:
- Choosing from the most flexible and the greatest variety of scheduling options
- Learning at your own pace from your home or office
- Staying safe if COVID protocols are still in place
- Accessing courses easily if you are in a rural area.
You may prefer in-person options if:
- It can be difficult for you to stay focused at your home or office
- You’d like to spend some time networking with other professionals
- Your schedule allows you to spend a whole day or weekend tackling the content at once, instead of over a longer period of time.
Making the best of your current situation, effectively managing your time, and obtaining quality continuing education units are each crucial keys for the success of your dental practice.
Keep Your Practice Moving Forward
Since dentistry comes with a number of regulations, it’s important to work with professionals who specialize in working with people in your field.
At Treloar & Heisel, we have over 60 years of experience helping dental professionals like you find the right coverage for yourself and your practice. Contact us today to find insurance coverage for you — no matter where you are in your career.