DATE: Oct 13, 2016
AUTHOR: Jen Collins,RDH

When you graduate from dental hygiene school you have the tools and skills to practice dental hygiene. But the learning doesn't (and shouldn't) stop there. It's important to keep current and to learn new skills and to learn about dental specialties to improve not only your professional knowledge, but to help improve patient care. When you're browsing courses, how do you decide which new topics to explore? Here are some tips on how to assess dental conferences and courses to decide which ones will benefit your career (and your patients) the most.


Read journals and subscribe to professional publications, as they may publish schedules of upcoming conferences and available courses that may interest you. Ask for recommendations from your coworkers and other dental professionals in your social network if you are unsure about any of the courses. Focus on finding cutting-edge dental specialties that will place you and your dental team above all the others in your town. Read about new speakers and sponsors that offer the newest technologies. Go online to CE Zoom to look for upcoming dental specialties courses that will be held in a location near you.


Discuss with your employer the benefits of learning new skills and how you will implement them in your practice. Chances are if you successfully present the facts along with the expected outcome, your employer may help with all or a portion of the cost. When your employer approves your time off, start planning right away. Also, register for courses and workshops early as these are often limited to only a few attendees.

New Courses

Finding new areas of interest will require you to think about the dental specialty you have always wanted to explore. Look outside your dental hygienist comfort zone! If you struggle with a specific area, focus on finding courses to improve that skill. Procedures change by the day it seems, so take a course that centers on teaching you the most updated information possible. The Colgate Oral Health Network is a great resource, and offers you free CE courses on a wider variety of topics. One topic trending in dentistry that is probably worth a look is Caries Management by Risk Assessment, also known as CAMBRA, according to RDH Magazine.


Taking new courses to gain another skill makes you a more successful dental hygienist, thus it may ensure your job security. By attending new courses, you also surround yourself with experts in the field and often meet new friends. Expanding your current skills will build your resume if you plan on moving to another office. When you put your new skills into practice, your patients will respect your dedication to providing them with the very best care.


  • Broaden your dental hygiene knowledge by attending classes.
  • Pick the best courses to keep up to date on the latest dental trends.
  • Meet new professionals and network to advance your career.

Why It's Valuable

Continuing education credits are part of being a dental hygienist. Attend dental specialties courses that will help you reach a whole new level of dental hygiene knowledge.