How many Dental CE Credits are Needed by a Dentist?


Continuing education credits are a fundamental requirement for the dentists to renew their license in most countries. There are various courses and training opportunities available through different professional organizations and dental schools. These courses can help to refresh the dentist’s skills before the renewal of their license. CE credits help to refresh the mind and add skills for delivery of quality services.

Continuing Education

Currently, every dental professional can easily access continuing education courses. You can either study dental CE online or through independent study and lectures. Among the courses that help to refresh the dentist’s skills are clinical training rotations, hands-on training and lectures in a university. There are many continuing education units available, and each country determines the number of units each dentist requires to complete before license renewal.

Some of the common concepts you will learn in dental continuing medical education includes:

  • Dental office management.
  • New techniques in dentistry.
  • Patient safety and pharmacology.
  • Effective disease diagnosis.
  • Management of dental cases.
  • Current industry trends.

List of courses

Dental hypnosis– it involves discussing the history of hypnosis, and how you can use it to decrease patient’s pain and anxiety. In this course, you will receive instructions on how to provoke hypnosis.

Local anesthesia– you will learn practical ways on how to administer local anesthesia to patients. You will discover different types of various anesthetics to use, injection techniques and landmarks for injection. You will also learn how to teach your assistants on how to handle dental patients.

Crown lengthening – you will learn a variety of techniques that you can use to modify the crown and the surrounding. You will learn this course through lectures and by doing interactive practice on a model. You will cover topics like osseous therapy, suturing and logic for lengthening a crown.

Dental pharmacology– this course will cover the latest information in the pharmaceutical industry. You will learn about patient safety, probable issues with pharmaceutical and drug updates.

Geriatric dentistry– focuses on elderly patients above 65 years. This class will cover older people’s neglect, abuse and treatment plans.

Sleep apnea– this focuses on the dentist’s role in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

Oral cancer– you will learn about perceiving and treating oral cancer. You will get instructions on the advances that dentists were using in the past decade for treating and diagnosing oral cancer.

CE requirements

All the certified and practicing dentist professionals must renew their licenses after a specified time. In some countries, there is a rule that you must undergo a continuing medical education for you to qualify for license renewal. Below are the requirements for the renewal of a license.


For the renewal of 3 years period, it is a requirement to complete requirements of not less than 60 hours. Below are the ways on how dentists earn their CE credits.

Up to 10hours- you can get this by reading magazines and articles with information related to dentistry. You should document what you read and the time used to read it.

Minimum 20 hours– you can do the learning online by watching live webinars or in a classroom. Watching live webinars after broadcasting does not meet the qualification of classroom credit.

Up to 30 hours- you can do this course online, and it must have approval from ADA, MI board of dentistry or AGD.

3 hours- out of 60 credits, 3 hours must be about pain management.

1 hour– Human Trafficking Identification is a requirement that takes 1 hour. You only require this once.

20 hours of 60 hours of credit must have a relation with clinical issues for the general practice dentist.

For dental specialists, you must spend 20 out of 60hours credits in the area of your dental specialty.

CPR– on top of the necessary 60 CE credits, a dentist must carry a current basic life support CPR card. Recertification of CPR cards is only through hands-on- class.



These are registered dental hygienist [RDH] and registered dental assistants [RDA]. They work together with the doctor of dental surgery [DDS], and cooperation among them lead to the delivery of quality dental care to the patients. The renewal requirement for continuing medical education is 3 years.

The RDHs and RDAs require completing not less than 36 hours of CE in 3 years. Below is a breakdown of how to earn CE credits.

Up to 10hours– you can obtain these credits for free by reading magazines, articles and other documents that relate to dentistry. You should keep a record of what you learn and the time you have spent reading it. You can also save and keep the reference article if possible.

Not less than 12hours- this has to be through watching live webinars, or you study in a classroom. The online webinars must be live and watching after the broadcast does not qualify for CE credits.

Up to 18hours– you can do an online course with approval from MI board of dentistry, AGD, and ADA.

2 Hours– out of the total 36 credits, you must take at least 2 hours on a pain management course.

1 hour– a course on Human Trafficking Identification is a requirement for CE credits. You must complete this requirement before license renewal.

12hours- you must take a course that relates to specific credentials with RDA and RDH.

CPR– it is mandatory to have a CPR card for basic life support. CPR education must be through a hands-on class and not online courses.

Conclusion Dentistry is a crucial profession in the health sector. It is a sensitive career that involves dealing with dental health and oral hygiene. Therefore, it is essential to keep the dentists up to date on the current ways of diagnosing and treating oral health problems. To achieve this, many countries have come up with a rule that every dentist must CE credits before the renewal of the license. You can earn CE credits through continuing medical education. The CE credits have a breakdown of the number of hours that you need to cover for you to certify the regulatory body. You can source the learning materials online, through reading magazines, articles, or attending lectures.

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