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Wisconsin

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Virginia

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Wade Hampton
Taylors
Easley

South Carolina

 

 



 

Continuing Education Requirements for Dental Assistants and Hygienist

Dental technology is constantly evolving and improving, and dental workers must stay on top of the latest developments in order to offer the best service to their patients. Dental assistants and hygienists are now required to take courses every few years in order to be updated as part of the renewal process of their licenses. These courses are measured in hours known as continuing education units, and dental professionals are not permitted to continue practicing without attending the appropriate amount of further training within the designated time period.

 

 

Hourly CEU Requirements

The number of continuing education units required varies from state to state. Normally these must be completed within the usual time frame of the validity of the particular dental assistant or hygienist license, but in some cases a certain number of units are required each year. After completing the necessary coursework, a certificate or other documentation is issued to verify that the dental professional attended the course. Typically dental assistants and hygienists need only to sign a statement upon their license renewal application swearing they have completed the necessary requirements, but they must be prepared to show proof in the event of a random audit. For example, in California, both dental assistants and hygienists must complete 25 hours of continuing education every two years and attest to this on their renewal application, producing documentation only upon request. In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, within a two-year period hygienists must complete 20 hours of continuing education units and dental assistants only 10, and the proof must be submitted along with the renewal application. A complete list of dental continuing education requirements by state can be found on the American Dental Association's official website.

 

Where Dental Professional Can Get CEU's

The American Dental Association offers courses throughout the country and it is also possible to complete courses online. Many people find online courses to be the most convenient way to earn their continuing education units because the schedule is more flexible and material can be studied at home. There are also dental seminars offered by universities and dental schools on occasion. State dental boards also provide courses designed to meet the continuing educational requirements of dental professionals throughout the year in various locations. The majority of these courses take only a few days to complete and are designed around a typical dental professional's schedule to avoid conflict but many employers grant dental assistants and hygienists paid time off to complete their continuing education requirements if necessary. It is also possible to earn continuing education units via home study, whereby an accredited company mails you the coursework and a workbook and you mail them your final answers after studying the material. Some states have requirements about the subject matter that must be studied or limits on how many credits can be earned online, whereas others require prior approval of the course of interest so it is important to be aware of the specific rules of your state before signing up for any class.

The cost of these courses is generally very low and in some cases it is covered by the employer as an added benefit. Most dental professionals report that the courses are quite interesting and enhance the level of service they are able to provide to their patients. Continuing education benefits both the dental professional as well as the patients. Researchers make new scientific discoveries every day in the field of dentistry, suppliers are constantly improving the available tools and equipments, and laws are perpetually revised. For all of these reasons, measures have been put into place to ensure that dental assistants and hygienists remain updated throughout their careers.

 

 


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