The benefits of continuing education

Continuing education has many advantages for dental assistants

While earning continuing education (CE) credits may be necessary to renew DANB certification or meet state requirements, the value of CE extends beyond the number of credits earned.

DANB certificants say they enjoy earning CE for many reasons, including keeping up with changes in the industry and a love of lifelong learning.

Some dental offices look at staff development as a team-building opportunity. In a December 2013 poll, the DALE Foundation found that of the offices that planned staff development opportunities for the team, more than 60 percent participated in dental meetings or CE courses.

There are numerous other benefits to offering CE opportunities to the dental team, such as improving day-to-day operations, increasing office efficiency, giving staff the opportunity to grow in their careers, and making team members feel appreciated and engaged.

But with so many ways to earn CE, it can be tough to decide what courses to take. To maximize the benefits of CE, it’s important to select courses that are interesting but also challenging.

Of course, cost and convenience also factor into the overall value of CE. It’s not always possible to take time out of the workweek to attend a dental meeting or CE course; in these cases, e-learning courses, like those offered through the DALE Foundation, may be the answer.

What’s important to look for when selecting a CE course? This handy checklist can help.

  • Does the course meet state CE requirements?
  • If you are DANB certified, does the course meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements and the category you need (clinical or non-clinical)?
  • Is the course offered by an ADA CERP or AGD PACE approved provider?
  • Are the learning objectives displayed?
  • Is the course topic of interest?
  • Is the course challenging?
  • Is the course engaging and interactive?
  • Is the course within budget?
  • Is the course offered at a convenient time and place?

To learn what the dental assisting and CE requirements are in each state, visit the DALE Foundation’s CE requirements-by-state map.

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