It's time for you to hit the books as well

Aug. 25, 2010

By Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA
President, American Dental Assistants Association

It’s that time of year again — time to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer and hello to the days of schedules and studies.

As the kids head back to school, maybe it’s time for us to think about hitting the books as well. Any professional knows that there is no end to the educational process. This is particularly true in a field like dentistry. It reflects the public's ever-growing knowledge with regard to their health and teeth, as well as to the ever-changing products, technology, and equipment used in dentistry.

Who can keep up with all of it? You can. The ADAA makes a point of keeping up with the new, the best, and the proven in the field of dentistry and dental assisting via our continuing education programs — in the Journal, in our printed and online CE courses, at seminars sponsored by ADAA, or at one of our components popping up all over the country.

Continuing education doesn't just happen at ADAA; it is developed and nurtured. We have a Council on Education with 11 members in the profession — hands-on clinicians, educators, administrators, and military personnel. Further, we reach out to nationally known specialists to research, develop, and update our materials, and we continually ask you, our fellow professionals, what you need and want.

We are recognized in the field of dentistry, too. Most of the 60 courses offered by ADAA are approved for continuing education credits by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and most state dental agencies that require dental assisting education. We also offer Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE) from the Academy of General Dentistry. Now that's impressive!

We started off this year with a dozen new and revised courses in the areas of intraoral functions, treatment of diseases and conditions, radiology, practice management, and infection control. We have courses ranging from one hour to 24 hours available on-line, in print, and on CD, and we hope to finish off the year with courses coming out just in time for “back-to-school.” These include:

Gingival Health — Periodontal Assessment
Eastern Medicine Meets Dentistry — The Use of Herbal Medicine
The Patient with Special Needs — General Treatment Considerations
Oral Cancer Genetics — From Diagnosis to Treatment
Intraoral Radiographic Technique
Dental Hypersensitivity — Dilemmas and Treatment

All these offerings are available to you as ADAA members, e-members, and even nonmembers. But of course, our members and e-members pay less and earn many benefits along the way, such as free continuing education when you join, renew, and throughout the year in our bimonthly Journal. There’s free professional liability insurance, accidental death insurance, and a host of discounted purchasing opportunities that come with paid membership in the ADAA.

Visit our Web site at to order your continuing education or to find out more about the benefits available to you as a member of ADAA. You may even want to join us in October in Orlando for our annual session in conjunction with the American Dental Association and take advantage of the extensive continuing education track specifically for dental assistants.

Remember, the best place to get your dental assisting continuing education is from the people who know dental assisting better than anyone else — The American Dental Assistants Association.