Dentists Are Fond of Continuing Education

Post your comments about continuing education on our blog. Read the dental continuing education survey press release.

Dental Continuing EducationGood news, dental patients!

In our most recent survey, we asked dentists how many hours of formal continuing education they log in an average year. The mean response was 75 hours per year, more than enough to meet state requirements. Interestingly, general dentists reported more CE hours than did specialists.

Read the dentists’ comments

General dentists versus specialistsThe difference between general dentists and specialists was notable. The generalists in our survey logged significantly more hours of dental continuing education than did
the specialists.

One possibility for this trend is the desire of some general dentists to expand their dental practices to include specialty treatment. Needless to say,
not all specialists are pleased by this tendency.

Male dentists compared to female dentists

Gender results were totally unremarkable. When it comes to how many hours a year of continuing education dentists log, gender differences are negligible.

Urban, suburban and rural dentists

Geographic differences were minor, but rural dentists did report more hours of continuing education training than did their urban and suburban colleagues.

For state-by-state results, just click on this interactive map. (Flash required)

Source: ADA Continuing Education Guidelines

For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

Why is the state involved?

  • "As professionals, the State shouldn’t have to dictate a minimum number of hours of CE; but dentists should take much more than 15 hours mandated by Virginia." (Virginia dentist, 100 hours/year)
  • "I think state requirements should be done away with, but states should keep a public record of hours accessible to the public for each dentist." (Tennessee dentist, 70 hours/year)

State requirements are wholly inadequate

  • "State CE requirements are ridiculously low. Illinois only requires 32 hours every two years, and they don’t all need to be health care related topics that might actually be something that would help you deliver better care for your patients." (Illinois dentist, 175 hours/year)
  • "The orthodontic world is exploding with information and the state CE requirement is 20 hours a year. Hopelessly inadequate." (Michigan orthodontist, 120 hours/year)
  • "More CE should be required." (Georgia dentist, 200 hours/year)
  • "No issues, really could be more hours than what my state requires." (Minnesota dentist, 200 hours/year)

Some dentists love continuing education

  • "I’m a CE junkie. I also chase extraneous awards and distinctions from various organizations." (Tennessee dentist, 150 hours/year)
  • "You are not a dentist if you do not educate yourself. Too many get their degree and run." (New York dentist, 50 hours/year)

Different states, different requirements

  • "Ohio requires 40 hours every two with mandatory drug abuse-OSHA-Infection control included." (Ohio dentist, 32 hours/year)
  • "Ohio has stupid etoh abuse among dentists – mandatory class." (Ohio dentist, 100 hours/year)
  • "This state has NO CE requirements. On an average, I accumulate between 80-100 per year. I’ve been practicing since 1980." (Wisconsin dentist, 80 hours/year)

Many doctors go above and beyond what’s required

  • "I teach about 125 hours a year(implants and bone grafting for GPs). I also take about 100 hours per year personally." (California dentist, 225 hours/year)
  • "My formal CE hours do not include reading, tapes, etc." (Maine dentist, 80 hours/year)

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