Dental continuing education is critical. We graduate with just an entry ticket to the game. So the courses we take, and how we approach these courses make a huge difference to the trajectory of our career. 

Add to this, the earlier you learn, optimise or perfect a skill, the more impact this will have on your career. Just like compounding interest, adding implants to your procedural repertoire or perfecting your communication technique now will have exponential impact on your career over the years to come.

Yet, CPD is expensive! And perhaps the most costly part is the opportunity costs of being away from work. Add in the travel, accommodation and being away from your family, this really is a big investment. So if you’re going to invest in expanding your knowledge with continuing education, then you better get your money’s worth.

Go In With A Plan.

1. Do your research. 

If we were purchasing anything else worth thousands of dollars we would be doing our research. 

  • Find all of the courses that can teach you what you plan to learn. I was frustrated that this wasn’t easy, so i created a place you can find this: 
  • Look for reviews and ask around. The best reviews are honest comments from friends and colleagues who’ve already done it. 
  • Make sure the curriculum meets your expectations
  • Compare prices. You often get what you pay for and the best, in demand courses are not cheap. 

2. Prepare Before You Go

  • The more knowledge you have before the course, the higher your understanding will be after. You can only absorb so much information at any one time. If you know the basics and know what you need to learn, you’ll absorb the important higher level information and leave with a better overall understanding 
  • One of the best tips I’ve received regarding cpd was to go in with a list of questions you want answered. Tick them off and when you get to the end, you can ask the educators any that haven’t been answered. This really guarantees you’ll get out what you want. 

We created an FREE e-book with a template to help you prepare.

It is complementary if you make an account at

3. Plan Your Implemention

  • What day will you review your notes? I find having a plan of when exactly to review what you’ve learnt increases the chances it will be done. 
  • How are you going to implement what you’ve learnt? If it’s a new procedure it is a great idea to have a patient or two lined up to ensure you use the skills you’ve just learnt. ‘use it or lose it’ is very applicable here. 
  • Let the patient know you’re new to the procedure, offer a referral but you’ll be surprised how many want to stay with you the dentist they trust. 

We spend huge amounts of money on our continuing professional development and so putting in the thought and effort to go in with a plan is a must. After all, we do this to learn, not just for the food! 

Find all dentistry continuing education courses in one place – And make an account for a free e-book “How To Get The Most Out Of CPD” and be the first to see new CPD Junkie course discounts.

David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at

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