The difference on-going education makes

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  Posted by: The Probe      16th February 2020

Today, such is the rate of change within dentistry regarding technology, equipment, technique and research, that without on-going education, practitioners run the risk of falling behind. In modern dentistry where competition is fierce and patient expectations are high, this is simply not an option and as such, dentists must do all they can to ensure they’re providing the most relevant care.

It’s not just about keeping up-to-date with the latest in dentistry though – it’s about building on one’s own skills and knowledge base to become both a better practitioner and service provider. Afterall, the better equipped and experienced the professional, the better the service for the patient. That means enhanced results where treatment is required and improved preventive care. What is more, excellence in dentistry cannot be achieved without constant development, so for any dentist hoping to progress in their career or become an industry leader, continuous learning is necessary.

Continuing development is also essential to minimising both the risk of litigation – a problem that has intensified in recent years thanks to rising expectations and the ease with which patients can now complain – and treatment failure. Education is particularly important for the latter, because while a practitioner will never be able to completely eradicate the risks, they can minimise the chance of a problem occurring with relevant training.

The other way to do this, of course, is to find and utilise quality products with a proven track record for reliability and consistency – a task that gets easier with experience. Hands-on training courses that allow practitioners to experiment with certain tools and brands can be particularly helpful, though there’s also a lot to be said for utilising research to help choose products for specific treatments or areas of dentistry.

When carrying out restorations, for instance, research shows that dentine pins offer increased retention compared to when bonding agents are used alone – especially when significant coronal structure is missing.[i],[ii] It’s why products such as Stabilok Dentine Pins from Fairfax Dental are still going strong after 40 years. The major advantage of Stabilok Dentine Pins is that the pin is securely held in a contra-angle shank until it is ready to self-shear at the correct depth.

While just one example, it goes to show the difference a quality product can make, and why learning is so important in dentistry. So, to offer the high standard of care expected today and be the best dentist possible, be sure to embrace education and all that entails.

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[i] ­Widjiastuti I. Pin-retain for restoration of widely tooth damaged. Dental Journal: Majalah Kedokteran Gigi. 2007. 40. 10.20473/j.djmkg.v40.i2.p98-100.

[ii] ImberyT, Burgess J, Batzer R. Comparing the resistance of dentin bonding agents and pins in amalgam restorations. JADA. 1995; 126(6):753-9.


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