Trends in Dental CE Courses Shed Light on Industry Divide

Your interests can say a lot about you, especially as a dentist. We’re not talking about what sports you watch or what radio station you listen to on your way home from work; we’re talking about what you study. Some trends in dental continuing education courses are obvious, but some may make you stop and reflect what your studies say about your priorities.

It’s probably no surprise that 71.3 per cent of Canadian dentists* have taken a cosmetic/restorative dentistry CE course in the last two years. In an age of selfies, social media and millennials, cosmetic surgeries of all types are on the rise, and dentistry is no exception.

Broken down, all practice revenue brackets (practices earning less than $500,000/year, $500,000-$1.5 million/year, and more than $1.5 million/year) had cosmetic/restorative as their most, or second most, attended course over the last 24 months. It’s worth noting this was the only topic in the top three for all revenue brackets. Here’s a look at the three most attended topics for each breakdown:

Practices earning less than $500,000/year

  1. Cosmetic/restorative
  2. Endodontics
  3. Periodontics

Practices earning $500,000-$1.5 million/year

  1. Cosmetic/restorative
  2. Implants
  3. Endodontics

Practices earning more than $1.5 million/year

  1. Implants
  2. Cosmetic/restorative
  3. Practice management

There are two important anomalies to pay attention to:

  1. Periodontics only appears in the lowest revenue bracket’s top three
  2. Practice management only appears in the highest revenue bracket’s top three

Different trends by different revenue brackets shed a light onto dentists’ current interests, but also upcoming trends. Now, practice management isn’t necessarily a “trend”, but the topic is a growing concern for dental professionals for a number of reasons, from sexual harassment accusations, infection prevention and control guidelines, practice management software, finding, hiring and managing a dental team, and everything in between.

While cosmetic/restorative courses train dentists with skills sets needed to accommodate requests and transform patients’ smiles, business-related courses (like practice management) can ease the burden of running a business with up-to-date legislation explained, new technology to make your front office experience seamless, and tips for running a successful practice (read: business).

So, what do your studied CE course topics say about you as a dental professional? Perhaps you’ve spent so much time honing your clinical skills, which are vital to being the best option for your patients, you’ve been missing the opportunity to improve your practice in other ways. There’s no “wrong” topic to study, but choosing a balanced selection of courses will ultimately allow you, your practice and your career to improve your current skills and look ahead for a successful future.

Start now: Find CE courses near you in our Continuing Education Calendar!


Let us know: What CE courses do you plan on taking in the next year?


*Between February and March 2018, RKI, a third party independent research house, conducted a 10-minute online survey of active, practicing non-hospital affiliated dentists and dental specialists on behalf of Oral Health. Using Oral Health’s subscription list, a total of 398 dentists participated in the study (with 219 completing the survey to the end). Assuming a total of 20,000 dentists in Canada (and 398 total completes) the margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.86, 95% CI.

Sponsored by 

Follow the Oral Health Group on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates on news, clinical articles, practice management and more!