Providing any kind of dental care requires a combination of skill, experience, and knowledge. To deliver the best for your patients, you need to be confident in all three areas. When pursuing orthodontic continuing education, make sure that the course you choose can instill that confidence, which requires practical hands-on learning.
The Benefits of Hands-On Learning in Orthodontic Continuing Education
While there are certain areas of orthodontic continuing education where strictly online content can be a tremendous asset, hands-on learning is essential to receive the full benefits. The best general dentist orthodontics courses combine lectures with hands-on learning and other resources to deliver these key benefits.
1. Active Learning and Skill Development
Active learning plays an important role in instilling the confidence you need to provide orthodontic treatment for your patients. Learning isn’t just about reading or seeing but also involves a practical element that isn’t easily replicated without hands-on learning.
Practical exercises familiarize dentists with the reality of applying and adjusting orthodontic appliances. It’s important to ensure proper technique for these treatments, and working through practical exercises provides greater clarity than written instruction or even visual demonstrations.
Dentists can then apply that knowledge in a controlled environment. This aspect of hands-on learning lets them develop and refine necessary skills before being thrown into real-world situations.
2. Real-Life Scenario Replication
As a dentist, you are already aware that many cases don’t fall along strict textbook lines. Instead, each patient is highly unique, and you can often face unexpected challenges. Hands-on learning provides opportunities to replicate real-life scenarios that accurately reflect these complexities.
Orthodontic continuing education courses can simulate real patient cases and treatment challenges to provide dentists with valuable insight into actual practice. Working through these cases provides fundamental decision-making and problem-solving skills that go beyond a theoretical understanding of the concepts at play in orthodontic treatment.
Dentists who go through courses like these are better equipped to provide orthodontic treatment at their practices. The range of situations they’ve worked through means that they can begin taking on real patients confidently.
3. Immediate Feedback and Mentorship
Orthodontic continuing education isn’t just about receiving information. It’s about engaging in training and support that builds up your skills and confidence. Hands-on learning experiences allow for immediate feedback and meaningful mentorship, both of which are key to developing your skills to the highest level.
By working under the supervision of experienced instructors, you’ll have the benefit of direct feedback. Instructors will identify areas for improvement and growth, helping you to move forward and overcome specific challenges. The learning process proceeds much more smoothly with this feedback.
Practical hands-on learning also facilitates self-assessment and self-correction. By working through procedures, you can develop a better understanding and will identify many potential errors on your own.
4. Confidence-Building Through Experience
Much of the confidence that you need to provide effective straight-wire treatment and other care for your patients comes from familiarity. Hands-on learning enables you to become more familiar with orthodontic procedures, with the practical experience serving to guide you when it comes to providing care for your patients.
Many dentists feel fear and uncertainty when implementing new treatment options at their practice. You have an obligation to provide the best care possible for your patients, so trying something new can be deeply stressful. With hands-on learning, you can overcome this initial fear with a foundation of practical experience.
5. Collaboration and Networking Opportunities
Hands-on learning in orthodontic continuing education courses also provides opportunities for collaboration and networking. Going through a course with a group of peers in person is a different experience from strictly online learning and can deliver a range of benefits.
As you work through the course and practical exercises, being able to collaborate with your peers is a considerable asset. You can benefit from the insights and viewpoints of those around you to help guide your own experience and skills development.
You’ll also build a supportive professional network that can last much longer than the course itself. New connections with peers in similar situations means that you will have people to speak with about the challenges of implementing orthodontic treatment within your practice.
The right general dentist orthodontics courses can make all the difference.
Choosing an orthodontic continuing education course that features hands-on learning will better prepare you to provide quality care for your patients. You’ll have the confidence to handle diagnosis, planning, and treatment. Orthodontic cases are highly rewarding work, both in terms of professional satisfaction and revenue potential.
You can find the best orthodontic continuing education courses at the American Orthodontic Society. Develop the skills, experience, and knowledge you need to provide orthodontic treatment through our hands-on courses. See our complete course catalog to find the right course for you.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.