Excellence in Dentistry. What does that mean? Follow me:
I am on a JetBlue flight flying back home from spending five days at the ADA Meeting in New Orleans as I write this. I just took seven courses in five days at three hours each. These courses were all in areas that directly affect my patient’s care.
Continuing education has always been, and continues to be, a lifelong process that I embrace. As I travel back East, I’m thinking of the many ways this will positively impact my patients. I find this intellectually stimulating and exciting.
Dr. Mark Piper was amazing in his hands-on cadaver course. Yes, most dentists don’t see a cadaver after dental or medical school. The dissection helps to fully understand the anatomy of the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint). The TMJ is the jaw’s joint that, if not seated correctly, can cause a multitude of problems. Facial pain and tenderness, tinnitus, bite problems, and headaches are just some of the symptoms of TMJ Disorder. Greater understanding of the intricacies of TMJ Disorder has recently been advanced, and it was thrilling to have Dr. Piper by my side as I learned more. I was fortunate to be one of only 16 dentists to have this experience.
Dr. Gail Demko gave a great review of dental appliances for sleep apnea. I have been making oral appliances for clenching and grinding since I began my practice. More recently, we have been involved with patients who snore, or have more potentially damaging sleep apnea. Dr. Demko spoke for three hours without taking a break, showing an impressive array of patient cases.
During the meeting, I also took courses about updates in infection control, dental access for the disabled, and an update in the use of dental lasers.
Ultimately, continuing education for the doctor is an intrinsic part of excellence in dentistry. Remember that excellence can only be achieved if the patient does his or her part. Oral hygiene and follow-up visits with the dentist are essential. This can not be overemphasized. If the dentist needs to see you in three or six months – just do it! You may be preventing a bigger problem from developing. Patient cooperation is an integral part to achieve the best care.
Thanks for visiting….. 🙂