There is no one size fits all approach for acquiring dental continuing education
Experienced dental professionals have their preferred learning methods and providers. This page is an evolving resource, with links to help you find continuing education that works for you. We’ll continue to add tips and best practices from successful dentists, practice owners, clients and industry connections, so bookmark this page and come back often. Continuing education and licensure requirements vary state by state, and your state dental board is the official agency to contact for information related to licensure.
What other dentists have to say
We asked 78 dentists and industry professionals about their preferred CE providers, in-person seminars, and tips for choosing CE providers. We’ve included their top recommendations in this guide.
Join Your Local Dental Society — “Contact your local dental society. They know all that is going on. There are local study groups that not only offer continuing ed, but is a good networking tour.”
Find your State and Local ADA chapter here
Seek Out Study Clubs & Get Personal References — Many survey participants suggested that dentists find local study clubs, stay connected to your dental school and colleagues. They prefer getting personal recommendations from people they trust about where to go for continuing education.
Know Your State CE Requirements — “Be certain that the [CE course] is approved by your local licensing board. PACE approved courses, ADA certified and AGD courses are always a good bet.”
Decide What Is Important to You
Our survey participants all had different priorities and processes for how they choose continuing education, and what they prefer. However, most prioritize CE according to the following main categories. We’ve included some guiding questions to help you choose what is most important for you and your practice.
1. Topic or Subject MatterDoes the topic interest me? Is it relevant to my practice? Do I need to improve or add knowledge in this area? Do I want to focus on clinical or practice management? Is it in my specialization?
3. Time and Location
Do I want to incorporate CE into my travel/family time? Is there a fun destination for this conference/seminar? Do I need to limit time to weekends or online only? Is the location close to my office? Do I prioritize and budget for quality over convenience?
4. CostIs there an immediate ROI? What is my budget? Can I get quality CE for free? Is the cost reasonable or affordable for me and my staff? Is this most applicable at the lowest cost?
5. Overall Experience and Value
How will the educational learning experience create value for my patients, my team, and myself? Will this have clinical application for my practice? Will this advance my business or set me apart from competition?
6. Credits and License Requirements
Is this course approved by my local licensing board? Is it a recognized ADA CERP provider, or other recognized program?
Online Continuing Education Courses and Webinars
Four Quadrants does not endorse particular providers. We are Academy of General Dentistry approved. The information provided here is meant to give a broad view of how different dentists approach continuing education, along with resources for finding CE.
Courses in clinical dentistry, practice management, implantology, restorative dentistry, and leadership institute, as well as JADA continuing education.
Academy of General Dentistry
Both online and in-person CE for members. From the website: “Membership at AGD means full access to high-quality continuing education (CE) courses you can take in your pursuit of Fellowship (FAGD), Mastership (MAGD), Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition (LLSR) awards, or simply to stay on top of your profession. As a member, you have full access to our live and on-demand webinars as well as our free CE program, which includes up to six complimentary webinars for every AGD member."
Over 700 lessons focused on clinical expertise, practice management and team training.
Membership model for online CE courses, conferences, and other educational programs.
Dental Academy of Continuing Education
On demand webinar courses and live webcasts.
American Dental Institute (ADI) has merged with its sister company Western Schools, and all the quality CE once provided by ADI is now available for purchase through Western Schools. You get an expanded library of Dental CE with the same high-quality content and dedicated customer service. Approved PACE Program provider FAGD/MAGD Credit. Recognized ADA CERP provider.
Offers their members a selection of courses that are free to view, with a small fee to receive CE credits. Dentaltown’s CE Series and Curriculums offer a wide variety of topics and speakers, and members can also view their entire CE Library of comprehensive CE courses presented by respected teachers in dentistry. Recognized ADA CERP provider.
A.C.E.S for dental professionals to earn Live Dental Continuing Education credits. Providing Real-Time, Interactive Online Dental CE webcast seminars. Offering live dental CE credits for Continuing Dental Education units. Recognized ADA CERP provider.
From their website: “Viva Learning™ is an industry-wide dental continuing education platform that delivers free CE accredited content through the convenience of the Internet. Webinars are prepared and presented by today's most respected clinicians, speakers and dental educators.” Recognized ADA CERP provider.
In-Person, Hands-on Continuing Education for Dentists and Dental Professionals
Offers both online and in-person CE for members. From the website: “Membership at AGD means full access to high-quality continuing education (CE) courses you can take in your pursuit of Fellowship (FAGD), Mastership (MAGD), Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition (LLSR) awards, or simply to stay on top of your profession. As a member, you have full access to our live and on-demand webinars as well as our free CE program, which includes up to six complimentary webinars for every AGD member.”
Week long classes, one day lectures. Approved PACE Program, Provider FAGD/MAGD credit.
From their website: ”We are a private provider of continuing education in dentistry. We are not beholden to any commercial sponsors. We are recognized by the AGD and many states which have continuing education requirements. We started business in 1983. Our primary speaker, Dr. Raymond Bertolotti, has been invited to speak at most of the major US dental meetings such as the ADA, the Chicago Midwinter, and the Hinman a well as major foreign meetings. We have annual guest speakers who we consider to be among the best in the world.” Approved PACE Program Provider FAGD / MAGD Credit.
If you could give one piece of advice to other dentists about continuing education, what would it be?
We asked 78 dentists and dental professionals this question. Here are some of their answers.
"Budget for it! Don’t look for the cheapest route possible."
"Make sure you get “pearls” that you can use in your practice otherwise find alternative learning venues. Hands on programs really hones one skills!"
"Make sure you know the specific material required by your dental board to make sure you are making the most of your CE purchases."
"Take courses that you have an interest in vs. just fulfilling requirements."
"Keep an open mind, be willing to change and listen well. Ask questions cause everything isn't always clear."
"Make it worthwhile intellectually and academically rather than just a requirement filler."
"Learning never gets old. If you even pick up one gem you are ahead. Contact your local dental society. They know all that is going on. There are local study groups that not only offer continuing ed but is a good networking tour."
"Choose instructors that you can contact 24/7 after the course for on going support."
"Insofar as most dentists look to CE as a license requirement, it is advisable to be certain that the course is approved by their local licensing board. PACE approved courses, ADA certified and AGD courses are always a good bet."
"Take them monthly so you don’t get behind."
"Go to CE that you can put to use Monday morning."