Inside Dentistry
September 2020
Volume 16, Issue 9

Knowledge Is Power

Robert C. Margeas, DDS

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 shutdown, the practice of dentistry has changed greatly. But what about the rest of dentistry outside of practice? And by that I am referring to all of the elements of the profession that support us in practice, such as the annual meetings of professional associations, industry events, continuing education programs, study club meetings, lectures, and other experiences. Indeed, the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has affected them as well. In this month's cover story, Inside Dentistry takes a look at how the exchange of information in the dental profession has become more virtual than in-person and examines the ramifications of this trend regarding learning, technology, networking, and more.

Many of the major advanced educational programs have implemented virtual online learning programs, and this could continue into next year. Although there are advantages and disadvantages associated with virtual experiences, their necessity during COVID-19 is providing insight into the way that the knowledge of dentistry is transferred and acquired. For many of my virtual courses, we mail the participants the models, restoratives, instruments, etc, so that they can follow along. This is more dynamic than simply watching a computer screen. If the delivery is effective, I believe that you can learn a lot virtually; however, one downside is in the instructor's limited ability to critique the participants' work. Follow-up can be critical to success.

All of the seminars that I'm going to be a part of this fall will be presented in a virtual format except for a few. Regarding in-person experiences, it is incumbent on clinicians to become informed about the precautions that will be taken and make decisions regarding attendance based on what's most appropriate for them to best protect their families, staff, and patients. After all, the most important thing is for everyone to be safe!

About the Author

Robert C. Margeas, DDS
Editor-in-Chief, Inside Dentistry
Private Practice, Des Moines, Iowa
Adjunct Professor

Department of Operative Dentistry
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

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