Topics: Adolescent Oral Health, Cosmetic Dentistry, Digital Radiography and Dental Implants

MetLife announced today that four quality resource guides have been added to its American Dental Association (ADA) and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recognized dental continuing education program. The new self-study courses focus on: 1) Adolescent Oral Health: Perspectives for Dental Practitioners, 2) Cosmetic Dentistry, 3) Digital Radiography (second edition), and 4) Restoration of the Single Tooth Dental Implant. The courses are available online at and can be completed for continuing education credits.

"Staying current with new ideas is important and having access to these ideas is critical for those in the dental profession, and MetLife is pleased to provide easy-to-access educational resources that can help keep the dental community current on clinical and professional developments," said Alan Vogel, DMD, national dental director for MetLife, which is the largest administrator of dental benefit plans among all single commercial carriers, providing dental plan administration for over 21 million people.

The MetLife Dental Advisory Council provides expert guidance for the company’s Quality Initiatives Program, in which educational offerings are developed via needs assessment. The four new MetLife Dental Quality Resource Guides include:

Adolescent Oral Health: Perspectives for Dental Practitioners. Written by Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, DMD, chair and professor of the department of pediatric dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh and Dennis N. Ranalli, DDS, MDS, senior associate dean and professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, this guide discusses the physical growth, hormonal changes, changing self-awareness and the expectations of peers and society that all play a role in the expression of oral diseases in adolescents and influence their treatment decisions. The shift in caries risks and patterns, the onset of periodontal diseases, questions regarding third molar removal, tooth whitening and the management of traumatic injuries are among the topics discussed in this guide. In addition, oral health problems associated with the use and misuse of common medications are included. While taking the practitioner on a tour of the oral health problems occurring during adolescence, this guide also highlights multiple opportunities to establish effective strategies for a lifetime of good oral health at a time when the patient's focus is on self.

Cosmetic Dentistry. Author Richard D. K. Wilson, DDS, former clinical professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Dentistry and private practitioner, defines cosmetic dentistry as "the oral health procedures that improve patient appearance." As such, there is much more involved than creating an aesthetically acceptable restoration when treating disease or the consequences of traumatic injury. The process of obtaining and documenting the patient’s expectations and arriving at a mutual understanding of what can and what cannot be accomplished is the thread that runs through this guide, including the point when the dentist must decide whether or not they agree to treat or refer. The guide also covers the pertinent aspects of tooth preparation, material selection and the periodontal considerations necessary for successful cosmetic dentistry.

Digital Radiography. Now in its second edition and written by Dr. André Mol, DDS, MS, PhD, assistant professor in the department of diagnostic sciences and general dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this guide provides insights into the design of dental offices, including digital radiography, converting your office to digital, or simply assessing your current digital system with a view to a possible upgrade. The guide provides objective information to help address questions such as: What kind of sensor best meets the needs of your practice? Should you have intraoral capability only or intraoral plus panoramic? What about detector sensitivity? What are The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standards? How best to display images and what about storage and making hard copies?

Restoration of the Single Tooth Dental Implant. Dr. Thomas McGarry, DDS, associate professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Dentistry, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois School of Dentistry and clinical director for the McGarry Implant Institute, is the author of this new guide. As dental implants continue to grow in popularity as the treatment of choice for missing teeth, general dentists must recognize the factors that make their restoration unique. This guide looks at the many factors influencing the ultimate success of a crown supported by a single dental implant and discusses all phases of restoring a single dental implant from case selection through follow-up maintenance care. Clinical photos illustrate the author’s guidelines and a table outlines selection decisions that must be made when designing the final restoration.

As an added benefit for participating in the MetLife Preferred Dentist Program (PDP), participating dentists and hygienists receive continuing education credits for MetLife educational offerings at no charge. Non-PDP dentists and hygienists also have access to the offerings free of charge, but will be assessed a nominal fee for educational credits.

For additional information about MetLife’s dental continuing education program, visit

About MetLife 
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit


Shalana Morris