You may be required to complete continuing education as a condition of your state licensure, or you may simply want to stay on top of the latest trends and advancements in dentistry. Whatever the reason, it’s important to make continuing education an integral part of your career plan.
The dentistry field is always advancing and evolving, so you’ll be doing yourself, your clients, and your career a big favor by staying on top of the trends and changes taking place.
Fortunately, there are a number of free resources that’ll get you in touch with continuing education of all sorts. Whether you want to attend a seminar, take an online course, or attend a virtual seminar, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve listed our top 5 picks, but keep in mind that your state board of dentistry is also likely a good source of continuing education opportunities:
Viva Learning (www.vivalearning.com)
Viva Learning offers up a huge selection of free online continuing education opportunities. We discovered no less than 19 upcoming webinars, 991 on-demand classes, and 344 product tutorials when we visited the site, so there’s always something that’s sure to interest you. This is the place to go if you want to learn about the latest news in everything from digital imaging to dental hygiene to OSHA topics to infection control.
We also really like the Viva CE app (available on iOS and Android) that lets you dive into continuing education on the go with your mobile device.
Colgate Oral Health Network (www.colgateoralhealthnetwork.com)
The Colgate Oral Health Network is a great resource for continuing education, as it offers both live and on-demand webinars, a huge library of articles, and on-site events. We also really like this resource because of the topical issues they cover. A sampling of some of their upcoming webinars include:
- Eco-Friendly Dentistry
- Creating a Work-Life Balance for the Dental Profession
- Dental Ethics – Practical Prospective of Professionalism
- Oral Health and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- The Value of Digital Risk Assessment for Patient-Centric Care
You can also subscribe to their newsletters to stay in the loop on upcoming continuing education opportunities.
Dental Care (www.dentalcare.com)
Dental Care is a comprehensive resource for dental professionals that’s sponsored by Crest and Oral-B. You have to create a user account to gain access, but all the resources here are free.
There’s a dedicated section on the site for dental assistants where you can download patient education materials, a library you can use while in school and, of course, a wide array of continuing education resources. In fact, there’s more than 150 continuing education courses (searchable by topic, audience type, author, or title) that cover a wide breadth of topics, such as:
- Achieving Patient-Centered Care Through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
- Adverse Drug Reactions
- An Introduction to Substance Use Disorders for Dental Professionals
- An Overview of Dental Anatomy
- Basic Techniques for Management of the Infant and Toddler Dental Patient
- American Dental Assistants Association (www.adaausa.org)
If you’re a member of the American Dental Assistants Association (the professional organization for dental assistants), make sure to take advantage of their continuing education opportunities. The ADAA e-Learning Center offers formal continuing education programs, which are offered as a benefit of membership. (You can also pay for courses if you’re not a member.)
The ADAA e-Learning Center has more than 70 online courses in a wide variety of topics, such as business management, medical emergencies, radiology, infection control, and more.
- Philips Learning Connection (www.theonlinelearningcenter.com)
Philips, the international company known for its electronics, healthcare, and lighting, offers free continuing education opportunities through the Philips Learning Connection Online Learning Center.
There is a wide variety of on-demand online courses (they call them modules) for dental professionals here, including dental assistants. You have to first create an account to enjoy access to the courses, but it’s free to do so.