5 Things to Consider in  Continuing Education as a General or Family Dentist

Ask yourself these questions to find the right continuing education course for you.

Whether you’re only a few years out of dental school or you’re a seasoned practice owner, continuing education (CE) for dentists is typically mandatory, but also very necessary. Without CE courses, dentists would never learn about new materials and advances in dentistry. General dentists are fortunate to be the dentist of all trades, but if you are looking to master a topic, one of the most commonly searched continuing education courses is orthodontic courses.

There are numerous benefits to practicing orthodontics as a general or family dentist. First, orthodontics is the foundation for ideal bites, addressing malocclusions, and understanding the proper balance between the upper and lower jaw. Without a good background in orthodontics, it can be challenging to treat patients who have bite discrepancies or TMJ problems

Second, orthodontics is a highly lucrative field that adds value to a practice. If you are looking to increase production or you are intending to sell your practice and want to create more appeal, orthodontics is one the most effective ways to do so. 

In order for a general or family dentist to practice orthodontics, you’ll need to find an appropriate orthocourses. Given the popularity of practicing orthodontics, there are plenty to choose from. But how do you know which one is the right one for you? Ask yourself these 5 questions to find a good continuing education course fit. 

1. What are your continuing education goals?

When considering an orthocourse, are you looking to gain some knowledge of orthodontics and malocclusions or are you intending to add orthodontics as a treatment option in your practice? Every dentist has different intentions based on their practice model, but the good news is that courses offered by the American Orthodontic Society (AOS) specialize in working with general dentists who practice orthodontics. 

There is a major difference between dentists practicing orthodontics and other specialists, because general dentists are able to treat patients for other dental concerns like cosmetic dentistry, periodontics, and endodontics. This means you can create comprehensive treatment plans, and a course offered by the AOS, like the Basic Straight Wire course, can prepare you for that.

2. Are you looking for an online course?

Sometimes you want to pursue CE courses, but you simply cannot get away for the weekend. Dentists have so many responsibilities at work and home, and distant continuing education courses are not an option for many. 

The AOS features upcoming courses in both Orlando and Dallas, but if that is not convenient for you, consider a virtual livestream continuing education course. This way you can invest in orthodontic courses without the hassle of leaving your home or practice. The Basic Comprehensive Straight Wire Orthodontic Course has a virtual experience to help dentists get the hands-on experience and didactic background they need to confidently treat patients. 

One of the best things about the online track is that you can rewind and go back to any lessons or challenging cases you want to review. It is a wonderful option for dentists who want the ability to interact with enthusiastic instructors, but need to do so from their homes. 

3. Do you prefer a hands-on course?

A continuing education course typically is most valuable when you can do a live hands-on course because you can interact with other colleagues who have similar interests and goals. The Basic Straight Wire Course offers five sessions featuring two full days of clinical didactic coursework and a half day of case reviews on prospective treatment cases. This ongoing CE course is beneficial because it is not a one-time CE course like many that are offered. Instead, founder Dr. Brad Williams and his team focus on long-term goals of safely and confidently treating Class I and II malocclusions.

It is extremely beneficial to have a live instructor demonstrating orthodontic techniques like bands and bracketing teeth, showing the proper way to take orthodontic records, and understanding how to interpret orthodontic records like panoramic and cephalometric images. 

4. What type of instructor are you looking for?

Orthodontic continuing education for family dentists is a great way to gain credits that are needed for licensure and to boost your career. However, it can be difficult to choose the right type of course because there are so many that claim to offer single day or weekend courses. The truth is, to be a specialist at anything, you need to invest the time into understanding the challenges that go along with orthodontics or any dental field.

The AOS offers coursework aimed at general dentists who want to incorporate orthodontics into their practices. The instructors are trained to teach dentists who don’t necessarily have an orthodontic background, but want to learn the foundations of diagnosis, treatment, and retention. Instructors are familiar with the types of concerns, questions, and needs of dentists who invest in this type of course. 

5. Do you have the time to invest in continuing education?

It is unlikely that anyone can become completely proficient in a speciality field like orthodontics in a single day or weekend course. This is fortunate for patients because you want a practitioner who invested the time to really understand orthodontics and how to treat challenging cases. 

The AOS offers hands-on courses that span several months because it takes months (at a minimum!) to learn the basics of orthodontics. Look at your calendar and work schedule to make sure you can dedicate the time to this orthocourse. It is a major investment, both financially and time-wise, for a reason. 

For the time you put in, you will be compensated financially in your practice and fulfilled by the comfort and happiness of your patients. Becoming a competent and confident provider is the biggest investment you can make in your career for your patients. 

If you’re ready to explore how orthodontics can elevate your practice, consider joining the AOS today. We’ll partner with you on your learning journey to support your patients and their oral care. 

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

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July 22-23, 2022

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