On January 1, 2005, changes to the rules regarding Professional Development were put into action. Everything from the length of your CE cycle and the date it begins to the definition of CPR, was revised. This information is designed to be an overview of some of the major changes in the rules that affect you and your license. If you need more detailed information, please contact the Board of Dentistry or review the Professional Development Information on their web site.
Cycles are now two years in length and end on the last day of your birth month. If you were born in an odd year, your cycle will renew in odd years. If you were born in an even year, your cycle will renew in even years. A CE cycle for a new licensee will be at least two years; the end date will be pushed out to the next odd or even year when the standard calculation of the cycle would mean a first cycle of less than two years.
Number of Credit Hours
Dentists must earn at least 50 credits in acceptable courses. These credits are subject to distribution requirements and no more than 20 of the claimed credits can be elective. A dentist can earn all of his/her credits in fundamental categories.
Generally, a fundamental credit can be considered “clinical.” Fundamental credits are those credits earned in activities directly regarding the provision of chair-side clinical dentistry. All CORE credits are counted as fundamental credits. Some of the most overlooked fundamental credits are those earned either online or from JADA where there is reading or a video followed by a post-test. As long as a test is completed and scored, the credits earned are fundamental.
CORE credits are fundamental credits earned in one of 6 subject areas: Record Keeping, Infection Control, Ethics, Patient Communication, Management of Medical Emergencies, and Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. You must show some education in at least two of the subject areas every cycle. This does not mean two “courses” in two subject areas. For example a 6 hour course on “Veneers” could have a 2 hour discussion regarding diagnosis and treatment planning and possibly have a 1 hour discussion regarding communicating with your patient about the procedure. Therefore, this one course would satisfy your CORE requirements because it provides you with some education in two of the CORE subject areas (2 hours Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, 1 hour Patient Communication, 3 hours Fundamental).
Elective credits differ from fundamental in that they are related to the practice of dentistry, dental hygiene or dental assisting. As an example, most if not all, of the practice management courses (unrelated to record keeping) would be classified as elective. Providing dental services or dental demonstrations on a volunteer basis is another example of an elective credit. Reading professional journals or publications are also classified as elective credits. The Board recommends that you make a copy of the article and file it in your portfolio if you intend to claim these credits for licensure.
Under the new rules, every licensed dental professional must be certified in Healthcare Provider or Professional Rescuer level CPR. These courses include instruction in the use of an AED, adult/child/infant resuscitation, use of a barrier device and one/two person CPR. Please check with your instructor to ensure your course meets the requirements of the American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR or the American Red Cross Professional Rescuer CPR. Fundamental credit is earned on an hour-for-hour basis for completing your CPR training. You cannot claim CPR credits as CORE-Management of Medical Emergencies.
The Self Assessment is a test that can be found on the Board of Dentistry’s web site. This self assessment can be completed on an individual basis or in a group setting, such as a staff meeting. Once finished, sign and date the assessment and file it in your professional development portfolio. One self assessment must be completed each cycle. One fundamental credit is earned for completing the test.
Courses taken to satisfy OSHA regulations would most likely qualify for credit towards your professional development requirements. However, whether or not a particular course would satisfy OSHA regulations is a question for the Department of Labor and Industry. Read more here.
Acceptability of Credits
According to the new rules, only you can decide whether or not a course will be acceptable for credit. If the content falls under the definition of fundamental, elective or CORE credit and is taught by a qualified individual, the Board will most likely allow it for credit. The Board of Dentistry and the MDA do not accredit, endorse, or approve CE sponsors. If you have any questions regarding the acceptability of credits, please contact the Board of Dentistry.
Becoming a CE Provider
Because the Board of Dentistry and MDA do not accredit, endorse or approve CE providers, any individual who is qualified can provide CE opportunities to the dental profession. This includes procedures discussed at staff meetings. As long as the event is properly documented, attendees can claim credit. Again, the burden of deciding if a course is acceptable is on the attendee.
Each credit claimed should be supported with documentation that provides the following information:
If you are a CE provider (including office managers if you are claiming activities completed at staff meetings), your certificate of attendance should include the above information.
DANB is the Dental Assisting National Board. If you are not a dental assistant who is maintaining national certification, these credits do not apply to you and you can simply ignore them.
Every month 1/24th of the dental profession is eligible for a random audit. You will receive a notice in the mail and have 60 days to provide the Board with copies of the documentation for the credits you are submitting. If you fail the audit, you will have a period of time to correct the deficiencies. However, if you do fail the audit and even if you correct the deficiencies, you will automatically be audited at the end of your next CE cycle. Currently, the most common reason for failing an audit is because the Self Assessment has not been completed. Be sure to download and complete a Self Assessment sometime during every cycle.