When choosing a dentist, patients often look at things like price, reviews and referrals when deciding on a provider. They look for someone who is in network and highly-rated, or someone who has been recommended by a friend. While these are all good things, there is an additional factor I believe people should consider – education.
Education is an important piece in the dental profession, and continues well beyond graduation from dental school. Dentists are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education courses each year to help hone their craft and learn new techniques. I take my education so seriously that I often complete 300 hours of courses in a year.
Throughout my career, I’ve made continuing education a priority because I believe it plays an important role in providing high-quality dental care. I’ve received the designation of Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD) and completed all eight classes at the Kois Center.
If you’re wondering why education is important, here are a few reasons:
1. It helps dentists stay current on the latest products and techniques
Just like any other field, the dental profession is constantly evolving. New products and techniques are being tested and developed every day and it is the dentist’s job to stay on top of these. Continuing education courses, like those I have attended at the Kois Center, are one of the best ways to do this.
The Kois Center is the only continuing education program in the country conducting and publishing independent research. Courses are updated yearly with new research and attendees are given non-biased, evidence-based research to support products and treatment plans. This is valuable information and will directly affect treatment planning.
2. It can improve patient outcomes
When it comes to dental care, each decision your dentist makes can affect the outcome of care. For instance, when placing a crown, the dentist must decide what material to use, how to design the preparation, and which adhesive is best. Each decision can affect the long-term outcome.
Understanding which products and techniques are best in any given situation is important to delivering lasting results. And staying on top of these is the goal of continuing education courses. My goal as your dentist is to make decisions that overtime will dictate the predictability of your dental health and help you keep your teeth until you’re 100.
3. It supports evidence-based care
The best dentists will make treatment decisions based on research that has tested products and proves they will provide predictable, long-term results. In the medical profession, we call this evidence-based care, and it is just as important in dentistry.
Making decisions based on research may seem like common sense, but it is not the norm for all dentists. Some dentists make treatment decisions based on cost, while others choose products based on what their sales rep is selling them. In my practice, I will not change a product or technique unless it’s been backed by research and proven to produce a predictable result.
When choosing the best dentist, education is key. Look for someone who is constantly learning and honing their craft, and who is familiar with both old and new products and techniques. With dentistry, you are paying for a person’s brain and hoping they are making good decisions for you. Working with someone who is well-educated will help ensure that you are receiving the best possible care.
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