Like most things these days, the field of dentistry is rapidly changing with continual advances in technology. Procedures that used to take weeks or months can now be completed in a single appointment. Sometimes that’s a good idea, sometimes it’s not. With so much going on in the dental field, it is important that you choose a dentist who stays up-to-date through continuing education (CE) opportunities. CE helps ensure that you are always receiving the latest and greatest care — keep reading to find out why!
Opportunities for Continuing Education
CE requirements vary by state. Here in Washington, a DDS (doctor of dental surgery) must complete at least 21 hours of education credits annually. Of course, this is not the limit — and the best dentists don’t pay much attention to the minimum CE requirement – they far exceed that anyway.
A dentist can choose to develop their skills across any dental field through CE. National and local professional organizations like the American Dental Association, the Washington State Dental Association, and others offer specialized courses annually that count toward the requirement for CE. These opportunities can range from a specific cosmetic dentistry treatment like porcelain veneers to those focused on patient retention and practice growth and everything in between.
Dental Implant Continuing Education
Perhaps one of the most valuable avenues that a dentist can benefit from through CE is that for dental implants. There are several organizations focused specifically on helping dentists stay educated on the latest in implant dentistry — a field that has been rapidly evolving over the past decade. A dentist can ensure that they are continually offering the latest technology and most successful methods through groups like the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and others. Gaining a Fellowship in this organization in particular denotes outstanding dedication to and success in the field of implant dentistry.
Continuing Education for All Dental Professionals
Of course, dentists aren’t the only professionals who need to stay up-to-date in the field. In the state of Washington, there are minimum requirements for registered dental hygienists (RDH), too. Some examples of CE classes for an RDH include care for specific age groups, dental hygiene during pregnancy, considerations for fluoride, and more. By staying on top of this requirement, dental hygienists can better help patients on their journey toward excellent oral health and hygiene.
To conclude, CE is an important aspect of any practicing dental professional. Choosing a practice that values education is sure to pay off in the long run!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. L. Blaine Kennington is a Castle Rock dentist offering comprehensive general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services at Cowlitz River Dental. Throughout his career, Dr. Kennington has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses and is currently an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and a founding member of Advanced Dental Implant Studies group based in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Kennington’s background or if you would like to schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to contact his office at (360) 274-9100.