What is dental continuing education, and why is it important?
The State of Texas, through the Board of Dental Examiners, requires all dentists to take a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education every year, to make sure dentists make some effort to keep up with advances in the profession.
Dr. Tennison typically takes much more training than the minimum requirement, some years more than a hundred hours, in order to stay current , and to learn new skills in areas like implant dentistry, complex case management, endodonticcs, and oral surgery.
It is Dr. Tennison’s belief that the best way to insure a high level of up-to-date care for his patients is through life-long training, and that staying current in many different areas of clinical dentistry is the best way to gain enjoyment from the profession and avoid burn-out.
In dentistry, at the post-doctoral level, some of the best training involves mentorship with various expert teachers. Dr. Tennison has studied with a number of mentors in various areas of dentistry.
For restorative dentistry, Dr. Tennison studies with Dr. Gordon Christiansen, who is perhaps dentistry’s most recognized teacher. Dr. Tennison completed the Practical Clinical Courses Continuum with Dr. Christiansen in 2015.
Dr. Tennison has studied with many recognized teachers in orthodontics, including Dr. Bob Gerety, Dr. Duane Keller, Dr. Bill Wyatt, and the late Dr. Joe Sim. In 2000, Dr. Tennison completed the IAO’s instructor course, although he is not currently teaching.
In implant dentistry, Dr. Tennison completed the year-long post-doctoral implant continuum at his alma mater, UT San Antonio. In recent years he has continued to pursue implant training, with Dr. Christiansen, who has been placing implants and teaching implant dentistry for more than thirty years.
As far as oral surgery, Dr. Tennison completed, over a two year period, over 50 hours of post-doctoral training in advanced exodontia (tooth removal) at the University of the Pacific Dental School in San Francisco, and has also studied with Dr. Karl Koerner of Practical Clincial Courses.
In endodontics, Dr. Tennison has taken courses from endodontic specialists like Dr. Cliff Ruddle, Dr.Stephen Buchanan, and Dr. James West. He has also studied endodontic management of traumatically injured immature permanent teeth, with Dr. Rebeca Weisleder.
In pediatric dentistry, Dr. Tennison completed a two year residency, and is board certified, by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. To maintain his board certification, Dr. Tennison completes at least 15 hours of training related to pediatric dentistry each year, which includes emergency training, sedation training, and pediatric advanced life support.