Average Dentist Spends 75 Hours Annually on Continuing Education

Dental Continuing Education Is an Important Part of Dentistry

In our most recent survey, we asked dentists how many hours of formal continuing education they log in an average year. The mean response was 75 hours per year, more than enough to meet state requirements. Interestingly, general dentists reported more CE hours than did specialists.

“More continuing should be required,” wrote a Georgia dentist who logs 200 hours/year. A Michigan orthodontist (logging 120 hours/year) agreed: “The orthodontic world is exploding with information and the state CE requirement is 20 hours a year. Hopelessly inadequate!”

“I’m a CE junkie,” said a Tennessee dentist boasting 150 hours a year. “I also chase extraneous awards and distinctions from various organizations.”

Check out the full results of our dental continuing education survey for more data and comments from dentists.

Dental Care: California Medi-Cal Cut Dental Coverage for 3 Million

California Medi-Cal Cut Dental CoverageThe Los Angeles Times is reporting that ever since California cut coverage for 3 million Medi-Cal recipients two years ago, dentists say patients now wait until infections become so severe they must visit emergency rooms or their teeth must be pulled.

In the Los Angeles Times article, Nagaraj Murthy, a dentist in Compton for the past 32 years, states that ever since California cut back dental coverage, he has lost about half of his adult patients because they don’t have money to pay for dental treatments. He doesn’t charge these patients for preliminary comprehensive exams but said he can’t afford to provide free dental treatment.

The highly anticipated healthcare reforms are not expected to help.

California’s Medi-Cal program no longer pays for X-rays, root canals, dentures, fillings or cleanings. As a result, some dental patients are having their teeth pulled instead of repairing or replacing them.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that 12% of U.S. adults 20 to 64 have not been to the dentist within the past 5 years.

For more on this story see: Reduced State Dental Benefits Create Dire Situation for Patients.

Festivals Are for Dental Practices, Too!

Editorial
by Jim Du Molin

Summer’s here, and it’s festival time for your dental marketing!

Just about every community has a summer festival of one sort or another. In the last month alone, my little town of Tiburon, California has had a wine festival (we have no vineyards), an arts festival (I’m sure we have artists), an antique auto show (yes, we have cars) and a “Friday Night on Main Street” get-together (people eating and drinking in the street while listening to music). However, I’ve yet to see a “Shark Festival,” although tiburon is Spanish for “shark.” I have yet to see a local dentist take advantage of these marketing opportunities, though I can imagine a giant Jaws-style shark float with big teeth.

On a national level, I can report on at least one great creative approach to festival marketing by a dental office. Dr. Jim Sparaga and his wife Kathy of Machias, Maine, put together a great float for their town’s Wild Blueberry Festival. That’s Dr. Jim driving the tractor with some kids from his practice riding the float. And yes, those are blueberries stuck in the giant smile.

On the other side of the float he had his team passing out balloons. Needless to say, they won first prize for this creative endeavor – not to mention a tremendous amount of local good will and recognition for the practice.

I’m still trying to figure out what the chair on the back of the float was for, but let’s not quibble about the details. If you have done some festival marketing, feel free to email your photos and ideas to Jim@TheWealthyDentist.com.

Dental Care Reform: Senate To Require Dental Veneers

Cosmetic Dentistry USA: dental veneers for all AmericansIn an unexpected bipartisan move, Democratic and Republican senators will announce on April 1st that they will supplement the health care reform bill with a comprehensive reform of dental care in the USA.

“Americans are typically considered to have perfect teeth,” said Senator McGrin (R-CA) at a press conference Tuesday. “What is at stake is nothing less than our country’s international reputation.”

“We will do whatever it takes to stay #1 in the world,” agreed Senator Smilestein (D-NY), also speaking at the press conference. “Our plan will guarantee dental veneers for every man, woman and child in the US.”

Under the proposed plan, dental veneers would become mandatory for all Americans in 2014.

Well-known for having a perfect smile himself, President Barack Obama is expected to support the bill.

Cosmetic dentistry is a right!” declared Sen. McGrin. “For too long, dental makeovers have been limited to those who can afford them. It’s simply not fair. Mandatory veneers will level the playing field, teeth-wise.”

Those who have had braces or who have naturally perfect teeth may be able to apply for a special waiver. However, these individuals would be required to undergo yearly exams from a cosmetic dentist. At the first sign of decay or yellow teeth, porcelain veneers would be immediately required.

But not everyone is thrilled with the new legislation. In fact, Tea Party conservatives and ACLU liberals have joined forces to protest the bill. “Requiring cosmetic dentistry is un-American,” declared Glenn Beck of Fox News. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I completely agree with Glenn Beck,” replied the president of the ACLU.

“Who is going to pay for universal cosmetic dentistry?” asked Beck. “The Congressional Budget Office has projected that mandatory veneers or lumineers for all Americans will cost the country half a trillion dollars over the next five years. High-income Americans are taxed enough already. And don’t think that higher taxes to pay for this will be limited to people in the upper income brackets. You’re going to see tax increases for middle-income Americans also, if this goes through.”

While the National Dental Organization supports the measure, opponents have loudly challenged the measure. “What’s next?!? Dental implants and dentures for children? Braces for seniors?” demanded one protester. “Why should fat-cat dentists get a special break?”

James Du Molin, president of dental website TheWealthyDentist.com, replied, “Dentists, like other small business owners, are the backbone of our economy. Why are we bailing out banks and other megacorporations? It’s small businesses, like the privately-owned dental office, that create 80% of the new jobs in America.”

Overall, Senators McGrin and Smilestein remain unfazed. “Government-sponsored veneers are the perfect blend of socialism and capitalism,” said Sen. Smilestein. “We’re confident that this solution will satisfy everyone… and cement America’s position of having the best-looking teeth in the world!”

Root Canals are the Most Profitable Procedure in Dentistry (video)

root canalsWhen a Virginia dentist was asked about the cost of root canals, he responded by saying, Root canals are the most predictable and profitable procedure in dentistry.  Dentists who do not do endo lose on the average $90,000!”

Do you believe this to be true?

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists about their root canal therapy fees.  Not all dentists agree that performing root canal treatments is worth the money.

“I have never been happier since I was told by a dental consultant: what would you rather do on a Saturday morning, play golf or do a root canal?” said a California dentist.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about root canal fees, please click play and watch the following dental survey video

Would you like to take part in our surveys?  Be sure to sign up for our email newsletters to the right.  Our survey question newsletter comes out every Friday.

What are your thoughts on root canal treatment?

For more on the cost of root canals see: Cost of a Molar Root Canal? $1,000

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