The State of Alaska requires dentists to take a minimum of 32 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain their license.

In 2018 alone, I have taken a total of 179 hours.

How many hours of continuing education has your dentist taken thus far?

Continuing education is required in dentistry because the dental arts is ever evolving with new techniques, new medications, new equipment, and new legislation. Concerns over privacy, cleanliness, labor, and insurance adds additional layers of complexities over running an effective dental practice.  Moreover, dentistry is a highly competitive industry, and remaining at the highest level of competency requires as much on-going education as I can get.

Cosmetic dentistry and full mouth rehabilitation is trending right now. People want the best in both oral health and good looks, and that drives a lot of my continuing education. Facial pain and TMJ disorders continue to be popular courses. Sleep apnea is moving into dentistry. But interestingly, what trends in the news also drives continuing education. The use of opioids and cannabis have become rising topics in dentistry as of late.

Legislation is a big topic, particularly with discussions over a future single-payer system, along with reporting requirements, and new rules and regulations concerning cleanliness and infection control.

But Alaska Smiles has always been about the blending of excellent oral health with bright beautiful smiles. We focus on making you both feel good and look good. That’s why of the 179 hours I’ve spent on continuing education in 2018, 104 hours were devoted to cosmetic dentistry, esthetics, and restoration.

You should expect that level of commitment from any one you hire, for any field of work.

But how would you know if a dentist, mechanic, accountant, attorney, or other professional, is going beyond the state requirements of continuing education, or just doing the bare minimum?

Well, for one, you could call them and ask. But obviously, they’d give you a general answer because for one it’s not a common question, but two because they want your business. So, how else can you determine this? Sometimes, looking at their social media feed can show them holding up a certificate, or documenting their efforts to continuously educate. Otherwise, there’s no single place that tells you which professionals are on the leading edge of expertise, nor which ones have the most CE hours.

That’s why I’m writing this here on our blog. I want to tell you from my own voice (or fingers) that I’ve gone well above the minimum requirements and to explain where I’ve focused most of my hours.

The bottom line is that Alaska Smiles is serious about being the dentistry leader in the entire State of Alaska. I want you to feel assured that when you step into our practice, your oral health will be in the very best hands for hundreds of miles around.

Alaskans shouldn’t have to fly out of state to find a better dentist. They already have one of the top dental practices in the country right here in Anchorage… Alaska Smiles.