Continuing education need not cause stress

June 1, 2012
Everyone has those moments when organization falls by the wayside. Living in a semi-empty nest state ...

Everyone has those moments when organization falls by the wayside. Living in a semi-empty nest state the last couple of years has made me soft in planning and task accomplishment. But the announcement that five of my offspring are tying the knot in 2012 kicked the old organizational skills back into action. Now it is appalling to realize just how unorganized my life had become.

Last month I received a frantic phone call from a dental hygienist needing 10 CE credits in the next five weeks. Obviously, she had also fallen off the organization bandwagon, and attempting to find enough courses in the short time frame was a daunting task for her. All the necessary requirements were ultimately fulfilled, but not without a hefty dose of stress for both of us.

Finding yourself unorganized and failing to plan for an upcoming educational requirement does not need to bring you heart palpitations. In your time of immediate need, turn to the Internet. There are several sources on the web that provide quality continuing education that can be done on your own time and for a relatively low cost.

For immediate continuing education needs, check out your association website at Under the continuing education tab, both members and nonmembers can take advantage of reasonably priced online courses. There are also four courses available for free. Check out the topics at and start learning instantly.

Online CEs, webinars, and videos are available at your fingertips from The easiest way to access these excellent courses is by visiting and clicking on the Continuing Ed tab. From the landing page you can select featured courses in a variety of topics. Four of the five featured webinars and videos are free. Also from this easy-to-use page, you can select topics from the left hand navigation bar, enabling you to target the courses most tailored to your interests.

As part of my search, I selected “oral-body connection” from the listing. The page had 19 courses that offered one to three credits each. The most expensive course on this page is $59, and the least costly is free. Each course is rated with a 1 to 5 star system. The quality of education offered at INeedCE is high, as every course received four or more stars. Some of the CE authors are familiar to RDH magazine readers, and all are respected professionals.

Do not leave the DentistryIQ site before clicking on the events tab and checking out RDH Under One Roof. The 2012 UOR will be July 31 to Aug. 3 in Las Vegas at the Rio Casino and Hotel. The conference site at has all the tools necessary to select continuing education sessions, register for the conference, and even book your room at the Rio. While attending RDH UOR for the educational opportunities and exceptional exhibitor hall, you will also experience contests, drawings, and random acts of fun beyond any expectations.

If you have time to plan your continuing education calendar, check out your state or local association websites. Even if you don’t know the exact web address, any search engine will deliver you to the desired page.

Another option is the annual Napa Dental Experience, held each March in Napa, Calif., and providing 12 credits over two days. Visit for information on courses and speakers for 2013.

Conferences and events deliver educational opportunities for those with flexibility in planning. All of the large meetings have websites and online registration. Some of my favorites are the Greater New York Dental Meeting ( held each November starting the day after Thanksgiving, the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting ( offered each February, and the Yankee Dental Congress ( every year in Boston.

Dental product companies also offer easily accessible courses online. Two that come up often in search results are, a Crest/Oral-B sponsored site, and Both are ADA CERP recognized providers that offer most courses for free.

Whether catching up with last minute requirements or planning ahead for educational prospects, the World Wide Web answers most CE needs. You can take classes in the privacy of your home, or share the experience with friends and colleagues at an event of your choosing. Always remember, it is your responsibility to check the credibility of courses and determine whether classes fulfill the requirements for licensure or renewal. More importantly, dental professionals must be aware of the danger in using limited knowledge when implementing new technologies or procedures into practice. Only evidence-based facts should be used in patient therapy. RDH

Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking
nationally on a variety of topics.

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