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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Connecticut Mandatory Continuing Education in Special Care Dentistry

Practice Number: 08004
Submitted By: University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Submission Date: March 2007
Last Reviewed: March 2007
Last Updated: March 2007
Best Practice Approach Example Connecticut Mandatory Continuing Education in Special Care Dentistry
In 2005, the State of Connecticut mandated that dentists take 25 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years as a condition of re-licensure. As part of the 25-hour of CE, at least one hour of CE is required in each of five specified areas: (1) infectious diseases, (2) access to care, (3) risk management, (4) care of special needs patients; and (5) domestic violence. Dentists may take courses from CE providers recognized by the Council on Dental Accreditation. On-line courses are also acceptable from appropriate sources. The required CE area in the care of special needs populations is intended to "increase the sensitivity and willingness of dentists to treat special needs patients that may lead to improve access to care for the vulnerable population." This was one of the recommendations of the Commissioner of Public Health's ad hoc committee to improve the access to and quality of oral health care in the state of Connecticut. It is anticipated that this requirement will raise the awareness of special need populations among dentists and improved their clinical skills to care for people with special needs. In the first year that the CE requirement was in effect, the Connecticut State Dental Association provided a course on special needs population to all participants at its 2006 annual meeting. Approximately 500 dentists attended the course. It will take time to evaluate if the CE requirement will increase the dentists' willingness to treat special needs patients and improve access to care for this vulnerable population in Connecticut.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Ruth Goldblatt, DMD, FAGD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Craniofacial Sciences, University of Connecticut, School of Dental Medicine, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT 06030-3910, Phone: 860-679-4829, Fax: 860-679-1340, Email:
Ardell A. Wilson, DDS, MPH, Oral Health Director, Connecticut Department of Public Health, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS #11 CHB, Hartford, CT 06134-0308, Phone: 860-509-7797, Fax: 860-509-7853, Email: