All clinical and non-clinical staff will need to be kept up to date on new policies and procedures, materials, dental equipment, computer programs, and the like. Updates can be provided during staff in-services or regularly scheduled staff meetings. Continuing dental education (CDE) courses are conducted by national associations and their state and local affiliates; dental, dental hygiene, and dental-assisting programs and schools; government agencies; and proprietary organizations. Various formats are used, including options for self-study. Records of training should be maintained in each employee's personnel file.
CDE is required by most states for license renewal for dentists, dental hygienists, and some categories of dental assistants. The number of hours required varies. Some states also have requirements for certain CDE subjects for each license renewal cycle, such as CPR certification, HIV/AIDS, or infection control.
You will need to determine if provision of or payment for CDE will be an employee benefit or an individual responsibility. Choosing to not include CDE as an employee benefit may have a negative impact on recruitment and retention of professional staff.
If you decide to make CDE an employee benefit, quantify the benefit in terms of CDE hours, cost per course, or total amount the clinic will pay for each year. For example, the clinic may offer dentists and dental hygienists up to 1 week of time off and reimbursement of costs. Depending on the number of hours of CDE required during each license renewal cycle, the clinic may also offer additional time for staff to obtain CDE at his or her own cost.