Last month we talked about the importance of continuing education for dentists. However, more dental office employees are required to have CE credits than just the dentist. Part of team building is building up the competence of individuals on your team. Dental hygienists and dental assistants both need continuing education credits every couple years to keep their licenses active. Even office managers and front desk staff can go through certain training for their jobs such as OSHA and HIPPA courses as well as practice management CE courses.
Continuing Education for Dental Hygienists
In order to find out what the requirements are for licensure renewal for a dental hygienist, the The American Dental Hygienist’s Association put together an overview of CE requirements by state. The ADHA offers many resources, including continuing education courses. They partner with cdeworld.com. Each online course costs only $16-$20 and gives them 2 CE credits.
The ADHA also puts on a conference each year with this year’s conference being in Louisville, Kentucky from June 21st-23rd, where you can earn 1-2 CE credits per Live CE course. The ADHA offers scholarships, fellowships, and grants to further your dental hygienist's career through their career center.
Additional resources for dental hygienist continuing education are:
- Universities with Dental Hygiene Programs
- DentalCare.com which offers Free CE courses
- Colgate Oral Health Network offers Live and On-demand CE Courses
Continuing Education for Dental Assistants
Most states require licensure for dental assistants, except Nevada. However, even Nevada requires certain continuing education such as CPR and a minimum of four hours of continuing education in infection control every two years while they are employed. All other states that require licensure, also require continuing education credits. You can find state specific information for your dental assistant CE requirements here.
A great resource for dental assistants is the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. They offer five national certifications:
- National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA®)
- Certified Dental Assistant™ (CDA®)
- Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA®)
- Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA®)
- Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA®)
In addition, they offer CE courses to keep your credentials.
Another great resource is the American Dental Assistance Association (ADAA). They offer local chapters you can join for networking and community. They also have scholarships and awards available. Online CE courses are available through their website as well as fellowship and mastership courses.
The ADAA offers CE courses in the following areas:
- Intraoral Functions
- Treatment of Diseases and Conditions
- Practice Management
- Infection Control and Occupational Safety
- Hazardous Materials in the Dental Setting
- Anna Nelson Webinar Series which includes Leadership, Best Practices, HIPPA courses, and much more…
These are free CE courses for most ADAA memberships.
Dental Office Manager Continuing Education
Continuing education is not mandatory for dental office managers. However, there are great organizations to help improve your knowledge and increase your value as an office manager. One such organization is American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM). They provide CE courses for dental office managers, local chapters for networking and involvement, as well as conferences you can attend.
“When I launched the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) in 2005, there were national organizations for dental hygienists, dental assistants and, of course, dentists, but none existed to meet the unique needs of the dental office manager.”
– Heather Colicchio, Founder & President.
AADOM is a great resource to grow both personally and professionally. They offer education, community, and support for running a successful dental practice. Their courses include the following:
- eCampus – Online Learning
- New Member Orientation Series
- Complimentary Resource Learning Library
- AADOM Radio – Educational Channel
- AADOM Radio – Conference Channel
- AADOM TV – Video Library
- Sponsored Resource Library
- Dentrix Hall – Practice Management Software Resources
- On Demand Webcast Library
- Office Manager 101
- AADOM Management Learning Series
- AADOM Manager Moments Series
- AADOM Phone Skills Curriculum
- Insurance Essentials Curriculum
No matter what the position is in the dental practice, you want your staff to be the best at their job. State Laws require certain continuing education courses to keep your licensure if you are a dentist, hygienist, or dental assistant. Be sure to consult those laws as well as what your employer may want you to focus on for your CE credits. If the you are wanting your staff to learn new procedures, tell them to find classes around that. Just make sure they adhere to state requirements.
Other job roles like office manager, front desk, scheduler, etc…, may not require CE courses. However, they can further their career and make themselves a more valuable asset to your dental practice by taking CE courses and joining their respective dental association.