Eat, drink, and get CE credits!

These days, every dentist and hygienist are looking for an easy way to fulfill their mandatory continuing-education credits. You can get a few by reading journals

Louis Malcmacher, DDS

These days, every dentist and hygienist are looking for an easy way to fulfill their mandatory continuing-education credits. You can get a few by reading journals or even taking some home-study courses that will give you some of the credits that you need. Of course, there is always the traditional way of taking half-day or full-day courses at a local, state, or national dental meeting. All of these methods require time, patience, and sometimes an outlay of money on your part for either travel and/or course fees.

We have discovered a way to fulfill some of our CE requirements without having to leave our office. As a matter of fact, it gets better than that! Not only do we get CE credits, but lunch is provided for free. Even better, the presenter comes to our office at our convenience and on a day that we choose. Add to that, the presenter brings all of the necessary materials and usually even brings us free samples to keep and share with our patients. We get continuing-education credits, lunch, free samples, never have to leave our office ... and the best part, it doesn't cost us a dime!

Many dental companies now provide what they accurately call "Lunch and Learn Seminars." The company will send a representative — who might be a dental assistant, hygienist, or even a dentist — to your office on your lunch hour. These companies have had their "Lunch and Learn" programs certified so they can provide you with actual continuing-education credit for the time that you spend listening to their programs.

Some companies have let us pick the restaurant that we would like to order take-out food from for our lunches. They pick it up and bring it with them when they come to the office. After some nice, friendly, conversation (with our mouths full!), the representative will then give a short talk on whatever topic he or she is presenting. Subjects range from the newest advances in dental hygiene, to dental materials, to teeth-whitening, to oral-care products. We have found that the presenters are very knowledgeable about a wide range of materials and products. Their information has been extremely helpful in the way we practice dentistry.

We typically do this between five and six times per year, giving us that same number of credit hours. It gives our office team a chance to sit together, eat lunch, and bond through a shared experience. You also will get better acquainted with dental company representatives, who will provide you with excellent customer service and support if you decide to order any of their dental products.

Examples of companies who provide this service are: Proctor and Gamble, whose representative will discuss oral-care products; Philips Oral Health Care, makers of the Sonicare toothbrush, who will share their outstanding studies on sonic technology, biofilms, and fluid dynamics; and Rembrandt/DenMat, whose representative will come to your office and provide a one-hour whitening clinic. During the clinic, the representative will offer to whiten one of your staff member's teeth for free.

Take advantage of the wonderful services that these companies have to offer. You will enjoy the experience and your staff will really have a great time and a nice lunch. It's a terrific benefit for the entire office to obtain some CE credits and learn some valuable information which will then translate into more comprehensive-care for your patients. With "Lunch and Learn," everyone is a winner!

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author, known for hiscomprehensive and entertaining style.An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988.For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or via email at dryowza@iname.com.

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