Continuing Education for Dentists

January 22, 2018 6:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

 

Technological advancements will continue to push dentistry forward, and I, for one, believe it is a great thing. When I first started in the dental industry, treatments that are now standard fare weren’t even a thing yet!

In the last twenty years, some of these developments have changed the industry. Porcelain laminate veneers can give someone an entirely new smile. Teeth whitening now offers many relatively quick and inexpensive options to whiten a smile. Improvements in dental implants have been tremendously successful, and lasers, computers, and digital imaging have changed the way we practice dentistry forever.

The skill level of you and your team shouldn’t be permanently set once you hang out your shingle and start practicing. To offer the best treatment and to stay competitive, your practice needs to stay up-to-date with the latest in preventive care, diagnostics, and treatment.

Here are some of the most important reasons to make continuing education a priority in your practice.

Keeping up with technology

Having to constantly learn new and updated systems is a necessary pain of living in the modern age. You might be comfortable with the technology you have, but (for example), you can’t keep using Windows XP forever. Eventually, systems and software need upgrading, and your team’s knowledge base will need some upgrades to match.

Become comfortable learning new things, and be prepared to learn from others on your team. This doesn’t mean you need to always have the latest and greatest, only that at some point, not taking time to learning about new technology will start biting into your bottom line. New technology, software, and updates generally increase efficiency, safety, and quality of treatment.

You’re the CEO

One of the unique challenges of the dental profession is that not only is the dentist a highly-skilled specialist, they are also in charge of marketing, finance, and human resources. These are all areas that often need their own specialists in many businesses, but the dentist that owns his or her practice usually needs to wear all those hats at once. Proper training of your team, and good leadership, can take care of some of those hats.

Continuing education can help everyone sharpen the saw . As an employer, you’re going to have to seek out knowledge for the topics they didn’t teach you at dental school. The better you’re able to handle the business end of your practice, the more you’ll be able to focus on the clinical work.

Build a team you can count on

Think of it this way – the better your team is, the less work up front you need to do and the more you can focus on actual dentistry. Ideally, you could delegate non-essential tasks to your assistants, hygienists, and administrators, who often spend more time with your patients than you do.

Your education didn’t end with school, and neither should theirs. Continuing education offers your team members the chance to improve their skills, regardless of what their position is. The more proficient they are in their jobs, the more you can focus on yours. Look for opportunities in continuing education for dental assistants, hygienists, and administrators.

Stay Dedicated to Your Profession

Continuing education isn’t just in conferences and seminars that award you credits for participation. Look to books, videos, consultants, and experts in related industries to continue improving your practice. There’s always something new to learn!

 

~Linda O’Grady

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This post was written by Linda

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