Continuing Dental Education Requirements for the Dentist (video)

Dental CEThe average dentist completes at least 50 hours of dental continuing education each year, much more than mandated by state requirements.

“State CE requirements are ridiculously low,” said one dentist. “Illinois only requires 32 hours every two years, and they don’t all need to be health care related topics that might actually be something that would help you deliver better care for your patients.”

“The orthodontic world is exploding with information and the state dental CE requirement is 20 hours a year,” complained an orthodontist who completes 120 hours of CE a year. “Hopelessly inadequate.”

“I teach about 125 hours a year (dental implants and bone grafting for GPs),” said another doctor. “I also take about 100 hours per year personally.”

Read more: Dental Continuing Education: Dentist Survey Results

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 Continuing Education: No More National Approval for Invisalign

Invisalign loses AGD approval for dental continuing educationThe dentist rumor mill says that the AGD is revoking Invisalign’s PACE approval — that is, the AGD will no longer formally recognize Invisalign continuing education.

Some quick background: The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is the educational arm of the American Dental Association (ADA). The AGD offers national certification to dental continuing education courses through its Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE).

Like so many in the dental industry, the AGD was not happy when Invisalign announced in 2009 that all providers would have to meet Align’s new “proficiency requirements,” which mandated completing 10 hours of Invisalign continuing dental education and starting at least 10 patient cases per year. The AGD congratulated Align on removing Invisalign provider requirements:

On June 2, 2009, Align Technology Inc. announced its Invisalign® Proficiency Requirements that mandated a quota of 10 patient case starts each year utilizing the Invisalign product. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) acted immediately by engaging Align in negotiations and exploring all legally permissible options. More than 1,500 AGD members voiced their concerns directly to the president of Align.

The AGD is pleased to report that the members’ voices have been heard. Align announced yesterday, April 22, that it has dropped the patient case start quota from its 2010 Invisalign Proficiency Requirements.

AGD Press Release, 4/23/10

When I followed up with Invisalign, here’s what their PR rep told me:

  • Align received notification in March that the AGD National PACE Council had decided to withdraw PACE approval from Align.
  • AGD’s decision does not impact Align’s ability to offer CE hours, but it does change the way that doctors will need to apply CE hours towards their individual licensing credentials. Doctors who are interested in applying Invisalign CE hours towards their license renewals will now need to submit them to their respective state boards for accreditation.
  • California doctors are not impacted by this decision. Align is a Registered Provider of Continuing Education in the state of CA, through the Dental Board of CA.
  • This decision by AGD does not impact the 10 Invisalign CE hours Invisalign providers must complete each year. CE hours earned for taking Align courses still count towards the proficiency requirements – regardless of whether or not the doctor chooses to submit the hours to his/her state board for licensing renewal purposes.
  • The AGD PACE guidelines provide a process for appeal or reconsideration of this type of action, and Align has already initiated that appeal process.

– Align Technologies

Confused yet? Me too. Here’s my understanding:

  1. Invisalign doctors will still have to complete 10 hours of Invisalign CE each year, and Invisalign will still offer those courses.
  2. Invisalign CE is no longer nationally recognized under AGD’s Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE). This means that accreditation of Invisalign CE hours will now be state-by-state.
  3. You can still get credit for your Invisalign CE, but now you’ll have to submit those hours to your state board for approval.
  4. Luckily for California dentists, the dental continuing ed has already been accredited by the Dental Board of California.
  5. If you’re an AGD member, you won’t be able to use Invisalign CE hours to meet AGD membership requirements for dental CE.
  6. Invisalign is scrambling to reverse this decision!

An interesting aside: I was not able to get any information on this subject from the AGD itself. They have a confidentiality agreement with providers, so their PACE representative would neither confirm nor deny the rumor. I was directed to their website, where it says that Invisalign is “Nationally Approved from 10/1/2007 – 9/30/2011.” The woman I spoke to at the AGD said that the information on their website reflected the current database.

So what do you think? Is Invisalign on the right track?

The Wealthy Dentist University Doors Are Open

For the first time since last October, Jim Du Molin is accepting new members to The Wealthy Dentist University.

However, spring enrollment will close soon… So if you’d like to join, don’t miss this chance! Click here to learn about enrolling

TWDU is dental continuing education resource that offers dental marketing and dental management training for dentists and their teams.

The Wealthy Dentist UniversityIn a tough economy – one where profitable dental implant or sedation dentistry patients are harder to come by – the right continuing dental education can make the difference between sinking to the bottom or staying above water.

Jim Du Molin has decades of experience as a dental consultant, and TWDU is how he can share that wealth of knowledge with you.

Interested in joining the University? Click to learn about enrolling

Dentist CE: Dental Continuing Ed Plans for 2010

Continuing dental education plans for 2010When it comes to continuing dental education, over half of dentists say they plan to do more clinical CE this year. The average dentist expects to complete over 50 hours of clinical dental CE in 2010.

Even in the present economic climate, dental marketing and management education is somewhat less important to dentists. Only about one in three dentists plans to do additional dental management and/or marketing CE this year.

Here are some comments from dentists about dental continuing education:

  • “I always do more than I plan and I have never been sorry about CE.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “No more cosmetic dentistry CE! It is getting redundant and boring.” (California dentist)
  • “There will be some overlap between the managing and the marketing education. I need a more inviting dental website presence on the web.” (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “With the economy in the dumpster and the recession clearly STILL in progress, there is no time better than the present to increase our marketing and management education at my office.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • Dental marketing CE includes two-hour monthly training with The Wealthy Dentist University marketing materials and TWDU marketing meeting in October.” (Texas dentist)

Read more: Dental CE: Dentists’ Continuing Education Plans

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