Continuing Education – what’s your perspective?
It could be an opportunity to learn something new or refresh on things you might have forgotten or become just a bit complacent on. Maybe it’s a chance to catch up on that all-important networking.
In whatever frame of mind, your CE finds you, it’s a necessary, inescapable part of working in dentistry.
Dental CE in 2021
There’s little doubt that Covid-19 has forever changed the way we all access and engage with continuing professional development. While face-to-face learning gears up again for all of us, there’s still more online content and flexible learning out there than ever before.
As always, that precious time away from chairside and the associated costs still need serious consideration, as well as taking the time to find your preferred learning sources.
If you’re a student – you’ll need learning with a grounding in the basics, real-world applications, and an eye on the future, as well as some of those shiny credits.
That’s where we at Ignite can help. Here’s our handy reference guide to as much free (and almost free) CE as I could find on the web, indexed, and linked for you by type.
Many, though not all, links here come from dentalcare.com – an expansive library of free CE resources, both video and text-based, provided in partnership with Crest and Oral-B.
CDE World also provides a broad mix of payable and free content – the webinar library, while mostly free, also provides CE credits for each video.
Where possible, we’ve gone for courses or modules from ADA CERP Recognized or AADH approved providers, though you’ll need to check the fine print in respect of requirements for your state.
Free CE Courses
Here’s our list of the best free CE courses online in 2021:
- Surgical & Implants
- Webinars, Podcasts, & additional resources
Of course, the most recently updated or revised content relates to infection control and PPE. Not all updates are contemporaneous, however, with some resources last revised 2 years ago, or more.
For those who love a good, solid spreadsheet geek-out, there’s also a downloadable Excel workbook listing all the content available on dentalcare.com and the time required, boosting your credit-crushing CE efficiency.
A two-part course, which in total gives 4 credit hours.
CPR and Mecial Emergencies
Tobacco 101 – 3 credit hours
Dental Jurisprudence and Ethics
A legal non-drama in 3 acts, for a total of 6 credits
A hot-button topic for dental teams amid a pandemic – here you’ll find essential advice on aerosols, PPE, vaccination and more:
Aerosols: 2 credit hours
General Infection Control: 3 credit hours
Vaccines: 2 credit hours
PPE: 1 credit hour
Video Infection Control Protocol Guide: 1 credit hour
Resin Infiltration: 1.5 credit hours
Smile Design: 1.5 credit hours
Bruxism and occlusion (restorative aspects)
A bumper list from dentalcare.com, 14 modules ranging across: treatment modalities, operative or instrumentation techniques, periodontal therapy and dementia, implant placement, and the evidence base for interdental aids.
Surgical and Implants
As in several topics, there’s much overlap here, covering the care of ‘ailing and failing’ implants, periodontal aspects of implantology, and periodontal considerations in implant placement. CDE World’s surgical CE offerings also prove implant-heavy:
Though it’s a little more challenging to find free CE on sleep dentistry, it does exist! CDE World comes to the rescue with a list of free sleep-dentistry webinars, in which there are the inevitable intersections with restorative dentistry and the black art of occlusion:
Webinars, podcasts and the (almost) free
From Colgate – a library of free webinars, covering many of the topics above, as well as aspects of practice management and oral medicine. Like several such platforms, the restorative and prosthodontic content has an implant-related focus.
You’ll need to create an account to access both live and pre-recorded content: https://www.colgateoralhealthnetwork.com/webinar/
Explore further and you’ll find articles and podcasts, all with CE credits available.
From Dental Academy CE – though much of the video content here is free, this also serves as a hosting platform for other CE providers, many of whom charge a registration fee. You’ll find information on fees clearly indicated for individual webinars or modules.
From VivaLearning – a limited listing of upcoming live webinars, many delivered by clinicians and reps for companies such as VOCO.
Dental Academy of CE (not to be confused with Dental Academy CE) also provides a small selection of free, or low-cost webinars – for example, a webinar on Periodontology and Rheumatoid Arthritis, for as little as $8, and worth 1 credit.
Where else can I find free dental CE?
The ADA lists approved CE course providers, some free, some not, here.
Dentaltown provides free-to-view content, with CE credits available, though you’ll need to pay a little (around $30-$40) to gain the credits here.
Though lacking in credits, for products and equipment you’re considering, it’s also worth hitting up the various dental materials and equipment companies for their instructional videos and articles – always best approached with a healthy dose of critical thinking:
There’s also a wealth of free, practical content online, including YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram, no credits, but offering much to apply to your practice tomorrow. Tips on predictable prosthetics stages and rubber dam placement lend themselves particularly well to social media – follow social pages from local specialists and dental education providers.
Some of my favorite dental content-creators can be found here: established providers of face-to-face courses and payable online CE for the dental team. It’s worth checking out the free online seminars/webinars and blog posts for short, easily digested, and practical clinical development on the go – a recent watch of one of Stephen Phelan’s webinars on posterior composites was an hour of my evening well spent, with technical tweaks I implemented the very next day. Much of the free content is time-limited, so check back regularly.
Max Out Your Memberships
Don’t forget: if you’re a member of a dental organization like the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, or the American Periodontal Association, you can access free on-demand member-only content, too, which can have value exceeding your annual membership costs.
Find our guide useful, check out these additional CE websites. Found more free dental CE we’ve missed? Want even more spreadsheet geekery? Let us know!
Maysa Hattab is a general dental practitioner and practice owner, with an interest in relative analgesia. Her family practice is majority private and based in northwest England. Outside of her practice: she reads widely and writes on a freelance basis. She has contributed to publications on books, film, and television.