There is a saying in medicine that there can be many different treatments for a given problem but there can only be one correct diagnosis. One of the challenges facing all medical professionals is to keep ourselves up to date on the latest diagnostic tests in order to make accurate diagnosis, but the more difficult challenge comes in matching diagnosis with appropriate treatment. Dental school education is excellent in the United States, but even the top students (I graduated in the top 10%) have much to learn after graduation. A commitment to lifetime learning is paramount in order to maintain excellent care.
With the rapid changes in materials and technology in dentistry, it is important that we keep up to date with the changes, but most new advances reach the market with minimal research about effectiveness and with grand claims of benefit. Unfortunately, much of the continuing education provided to dentists (particularly the easiest and cheapest to attend) is financed and produced by companies promoting their products, and consequently truly great continuing education is surprisingly difficult to find. The California dental board only requires 50 hrs of education every 2 years. I consider this wholly inadequate and average about 4 times this amount. I would like to highlight some of my training, both past and present in the list below.
- Graduate of an Advanced Education in General dentistry Residency (1 year intensive in-residence training) at the US Air Force Academy Dental Clinic 2004. This intensive training program involved one year of one-on-one training with specialists in endodontics, Oral Surgery, periodontics, orthodontics, complex restorative dentistry, and prosthodontics. This training was invaluable and greatly expanded my clinical skills and capabilities over the average dentist, and is the primary reason I am comfortable providing many treatments that general dentists refer out.
- Member of the Seattle Study Club – The Seattle Study Club is a university without walls, where many of the greatest minds in dentistry are brought to our local study clubs for lectures and presentations.
- Graduate of the Misch International Implant Institute – The oldest, and most highly respected dental implant institute in the United States.
- Spear Education Faculty Club Member – Dr. Wetherington is part of the mentoring faculty organization at Dr. Spear’s institute. Dr. Spear is one of America’s greatest dental minds in the management of complex dental problems, full mouth reconstructions and comprehensive dental care.
Professional Organizations I am a member of include:
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists
- American Dental Association
- California Dental Association
- San Joaquin Dental Society
- American Academy of General Dentistry