When you’ve been a dentist for 25 years, things change. That’s why staying on top of innovations in your field is essential. 

Most medical professions require Continuing Education or CE, and dentistry is no different, for the most part. When choosing a dentist in Bend, OR, it is crucial to consider their priority of continually educating the team. The last thing you want is to be seen by a dentist who makes CE an afterthought.

Continuing education is critical for medical professionals because it allows them to learn the newest advancements in dental care. Some classes can be taken locally or online, often for free. However, the most coveted and comprehensive courses require travel. Therefore, an investment is required. 

Why should this matter to you? In healthcare, as a patient, having a dentist proficient in the latest dentistry advancements improves your experience. Not only will it result in better results, but often less discomfort too. Why not make the time at the dentist one that is the highest quality as possible? If you agree, finding a dentist who prioritizes CE is important. But how do you know this? It is virtually impossible unless you ask. A dentist’s bio should explain their education and advanced training. Advanced training is what you want to see – that they continually advance their knowledge in specific areas. 

At Living Dental Health, CE is a priority. Dr. Andy Engel (Dr. Andy) has advanced training in full mouth reconstruction, oral surgery, aesthetics, dental implants, ClearCorrect, and tissue and bone grafting surgeries. This comprehensive training means he is well qualified to serve as your dentist and address various surgical procedures you may need throughout your life. But CE doesn’t stop with the dentist. You should also know that your Hygienist and Dental Assistant (DA) are well-educated. 

In Oregon, DAs are not licensed but must be certified to take x-rays and perform certain expanded functions. Most DAs receive “on-the-job” training. Some graduate from an accredited school, but most learn how to do their job by working at a dental office. We sat down with DA Christy Spencer to get her take on training. 

Christy is originally from California, where DAs are required to graduate from an accredited program to work, so when she relocated to Oregon, she transferred her license. And despite her training, she is passionate about continually learning, but sadly, Oregon doesn’t require Dental Assistants to complete CE.

“I have wanted to get my Restorative license for ten years,” said Christy. “As soon as I heard about it, I wanted to do it, but it is expensive and requires travel.”

So she approached Dr. Andy about the Portland program and asked for his support, and he agreed. For three months, Christy traveled each weekend to Portland to complete her training. Now that she’s licensed, she feels more confident as an assistant.

“Dental Assistants want to help make the doctor’s day easier,” said Christy. “With this license, I can free up more of his time as I am qualified to place composite fillings (among other things) instead of him having to do everything.”

Freeing up the doctor’s time means patients can see the dentist sooner. With the long wait to see a dentist in Bend, OR, becoming more efficient yet proficient is vital, not to mention Christy’s sense of fulfillment.

“I find it very gratifying to make someone’s day better,” said Christy. “I wish Oregon required assistants to go through more CE courses. Inconsistencies in knowledge and training are common in dentistry, and I am happy I can help my patients feel comfortable and satisfied with their experience.”

And Dr. Andy couldn’t be happier with the well-rounded skillset that Christy has. 

If you’re looking for a dentist in Bend, OR, who makes continuing education a priority and wants to give you the very best dental care around, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andy today. 

Living Dental Health